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Boreal forest riparian zones regulate stream sulfate and dissolved organic carbon

Ledesma, José L. J. and Futter, Martyn and Laudon, Hjalmar and Evans, Christopher D. and Evans, C.D. and Köhler, Stephan (2016). Boreal forest riparian zones regulate stream sulfate and dissolved organic carbon. Science of the total environment. 560-561, 110-122
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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.230

Abstract

In boreal forest catchments, solute transfer to streams is controlled by hydrological and biogeochemical processes occurring in the riparian zone (RZ). However, RZs are spatially heterogeneous and information about solute chemistry is typically limited. This is problematic when making inferences about stream chemistry. Hypothetically, the strength of links between riparian and stream chemistry is time-scale dependent. Using a ten-year (2003-2012) dataset from a northern Swedish catchment, we evaluated the suitability of RZ data to infer stream dynamics at different time scales. We focus on the role of the RZ versus upslope soils in controlling sulfate (SO42-) and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). A priori, declines in acid deposition and redox-mediated SO42- pulses control sulfur (S) fluxes and pool dynamics, which in turn affect dissolved organic carbon (DOC). We found that the catchment is currently a net source of S, presumably due to release of the S pool accumulated during the acidification period. In both, RZ and stream, SO42- concentrations are declining over time, whereas DOC is increasing. No temporal trends in SO42- and DOC were observed in upslope mineral soils. SO42- explained the variation of DOC in stream and RZ, but not in upslope mineral soil. Moreover, as SO42- decreased with time, temporal variability of DOC increased. These observations indicate that: (1) SO42- is still an important driver of DOC trends in boreal catchments and (2) RZ processes control stream SO42- and subsequently DOC independently of upslope soils. These phenomena are likely occurring in many regions recovering from acidification. Because water flows through a heterogeneous mosaic of RZs before entering the stream, upscaling information from limited RZ data to the catchment level is problematic at short-time scales. However, for long-term trends and annual dynamics, the same data can provide reasonable representations of riparian processes and support meaningful inferences about stream chemistry.

Authors/Creators:Ledesma, José L. J. and Futter, Martyn and Laudon, Hjalmar and Evans, Christopher D. and Evans, C.D. and Köhler, Stephan
Title:Boreal forest riparian zones regulate stream sulfate and dissolved organic carbon
Series/Journal:Science of the total environment (0048-9697)
Year of publishing :2016
Volume:560-561
Page range:110-122
Number of Pages:13
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0048-9697
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Refereed:Yes
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Full Text Status:Public
Agris subject categories.:P Natural resources > P01 Nature conservation and land resources
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Environmental Sciences (social aspects to be 507)
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Geosciences, Multidisciplinary
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Oceanography, Hydrology, Water Resources
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Other Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Agrovoc terms:boreal forests, riparian zones, streams, acidification
Keywords:Heterogeneity, Acidification, Upscaling, Catchment science, Biogeochemistry, DOC
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3583
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-e-3583
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
Web of Science (WoS)000375137100013
DOI10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.03.230
ID Code:13558
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
S - Faculty of Forest Sciences
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
(S) > Dept. of Forest Ecology and Management
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:10 Aug 2016 06:51
Metadata Last Modified:10 Aug 2016 06:51

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