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Abstract

 

doi:10.2134/jeq1977.00472425000600020018x

Nutrient Transport in Surface Runoff and Interflow from an Aspen-Birch Forest1

  1. D. R. Timmons,
  2. E. S. Verry,
  3. R. E. Burwell and
  4. R. F. Holt2

Abstract

Abstract

Nutrients transported in surface runoff and interflow from an undisturbed aspen-birch (Populus tremuloides Michx., and Betula papyrifera Marsh.) forest (6.48 ha) in northern Minnesota were measured for 3 years. Surface runoff from snowmelt accounted for 97% of the average annual surface runoff and for 57% of the average annual water loss. Slope aspect influenced the amount, rate, and time of snowmelt runoff. In surface runoff, organic nitrogen (N) comprised 80% of the total N load, and organic (+ hydrolyzable) phosphorus (P) comprised 45% of the total P load. The quantities of cations in surface runoff were in the order of calcium (Ca) > potassium (K) > magnesium (Mg) > sodium (Na). More than 96% of all the nutrients in surface runoff were transported by snowmelt. The annual volumes of interflow varied only slightly during the 3 years. Compared with surface runoff, the amounts of all the nutrients (except Na) and their weighted concentrations decreased in interflow. These nutrient losses from the ecosystem can accumulate in surface waters.

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