Hydrologic exchange and N uptake by riparian vegetation in an arid-land stream

John D. Schade, Jill R. Welter, Eugenia Martí, Nancy Grimm

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

35 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Riparian zones can strongly influence the exchange of nutrients between streams and their watersheds. Most riparian studies have been done in mesic watersheds, which differ significantly from arid-land watersheds hydrologically. The goals of our work were to determine the strength and direction of hydrologic linkages between stream and riparian zone, and to estimate the extent of uptake of streamwater N by riparian trees in Sycamore Creek, a Sonoran Desert stream. Br- and 15NH4 - were added simultaneously to the surface stream to trace water and N from stream to riparian zone. Br- concentrations in riparian wells installed downstream of the release point increased during the addition, demonstrating a strong hydrologic linkage from stream to riparian zone. Percentage stream water in wells increased in a downstream direction, suggesting little or no input of water laterally from uplands or vertically from deep groundwater. Leaf and wood samples collected from willow trees downstream of the addition point became significantly labeled with 15N during the addition, indicating uptake of streamwater N. Other tree species did not become labeled, most likely because they were located farther from the stream channel than the willows. Results from our study provide evidence of strong hydrologic linkage between stream and riparian zone and suggest that N demand by riparian vegetation is a potentially significant sink for streamwater N.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)19-28
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of the North American Benthological Society
Volume24
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2005

Fingerprint

riparian vegetation
arid lands
riparian zone
uptake mechanisms
riparian areas
vegetation
streamwater
watershed
well
arid land
Sonoran Desert
stream channel
water
stream channels
desert
highlands
groundwater
nutrient
nutrients

Keywords

  • Hydrologic exchange
  • Nitrogen retention
  • Nitrogen uptake
  • Riparian
  • Tracer tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology

Cite this

Hydrologic exchange and N uptake by riparian vegetation in an arid-land stream. / Schade, John D.; Welter, Jill R.; Martí, Eugenia; Grimm, Nancy.

In: Journal of the North American Benthological Society, Vol. 24, No. 1, 03.2005, p. 19-28.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Schade, John D. ; Welter, Jill R. ; Martí, Eugenia ; Grimm, Nancy. / Hydrologic exchange and N uptake by riparian vegetation in an arid-land stream. In: Journal of the North American Benthological Society. 2005 ; Vol. 24, No. 1. pp. 19-28.
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