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Greater phosphorus uptake in forested headwater streams modified by clearfell forestry


Burrows, RM and Fellman, JB and Magierowski, RH and Barmuta, LA, Greater phosphorus uptake in forested headwater streams modified by clearfell forestry, Hydrobiologia, 703, (1) pp. 1-14. ISSN 0018-8158 (2013) [Refereed Article]

Copyright Statement

Copyright 2012 Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht

DOI: doi:10.1007/s10750-012-1332-5


Clearfell, burn and sow (CBS) forestry can potentially alter stream environments by increasing available light and the input of woody debris. However, little is known about how CBS forestry affects in-stream processes such as nutrient uptake. We evaluate whether short-term(27 years) environmental changes (e.g. light availability and woody debris) associated with CBS forestry lead to differences in nutrient uptake metrics. To do this, we measured in-stream uptake of soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) and ammonium (NH4) in three old growth (OG) and four CBS-affected headwater stream reaches. The abundance of fine woody debris and light availability were significantly greater in CBS-affected than in OG reaches. Uptake velocities varied from 0.0880 to 0.951 mm min-1 for NH4 and from 0.0383 to 1.06 mm min-1 for SRP across all sites. The mean uptake of SRP, but not NH4, was significantly greater (i.e. higher uptake velocities and lower uptake lengths) in CBS-affected than in OG reaches. These results suggest that CBS forestry altered the stream environment enabling greater SRP uptake relative to OG reaches. Our findings highlight the tight linkage between headwater streams and their surrounding terrestrial environment, which has direct implications for catchment-scale biogeochemical processes.

Item Details

Item Type:Refereed Article
Keywords:headwater stream, nutrient uptake, forestry, phosphorus, biogeochemical processes
Research Division:Biological Sciences
Research Group:Ecology
Research Field:Freshwater ecology
Objective Division:Environmental Management
Objective Group:Fresh, ground and surface water systems and management
Objective Field:Assessment and management of freshwater ecosystems
UTAS Author:Burrows, RM (Mr Ryan Burrows)
UTAS Author:Magierowski, RH (Dr Regina Magierowski)
UTAS Author:Barmuta, LA (Associate Professor Leon Barmuta)
ID Code:80236
Year Published:2013
Web of Science® Times Cited:6
Deposited By:Zoology
Deposited On:2012-10-24
Last Modified:2014-04-10

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