The impact of accelerating land-use change on the N-cycle of tropical aquatic ecosystems: Current conditions and projected changes

J. A. Downing, M. McClain, R. Twilley, J. M. Melack, James Elser, N. N. Rabalais, W. M. Lewis, R. E. Turner, J. Corredor, D. Soto, A. Yanez-Arancibia, J. A. Kopaska, R. W. Howarth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

190 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Published data and analyses from temperate and tropical aquatic systems are used to summarize knowledge about the potential impact of land-use alteration on the nitrogen biogeochemistry of tropical aquatic ecosystems, identify important patterns and recommend key needs for research. The tropical N-cycle is traced from pre-disturbance conditions through the phases of disturbance, highlighting major differences between tropical and temperate systems that might influence development strategies in the tropics. Analyses suggest that tropical freshwaters are more frequently N-limited than temperate zones, while tropical marine systems may show more frequent P limitation. These analyses indicate that disturbances to pristine tropical lands will lead to greatly increased primary production in freshwaters and large changes in tropical freshwater communities. Increased freshwater nutrient flux will also lead to an expansion of the high production, N- and light-limited zones around river deltas, a switch from P- to N-limitation in calcareous marine systems, with large changes in the community composition of fragile mangrove and reef systems. Key information gaps are highlighted, including data on mechanisms of nutrient transport and atmospheric deposition in the tropics, nutrient and material retention capacities of tropical impoundments, and N/P coupling and stoichiometric impacts of nutrient supplies on tropical aquatic communities. The current base of biogeochemical data suggests that alterations in the N-cycle will have greater impacts on tropical aquatic ecosystems than those already observed in the temperate zone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-148
Number of pages40
JournalBiogeochemistry
Volume46
Issue number1-3
StatePublished - 1999

Fingerprint

Aquatic ecosystems
Land use
aquatic ecosystem
Nutrients
land use change
Tropics
nutrient
disturbance
Biogeochemistry
aquatic community
Reefs
biogeochemistry
impoundment
development strategy
atmospheric deposition
mangrove
community composition
primary production
reef
Nitrogen

Keywords

  • Estuaries
  • Lakes
  • Marine
  • Nitrogen
  • Phosphorus
  • Rivers
  • Streams
  • Temperate
  • Tropics

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Environmental Science(all)

Cite this

Downing, J. A., McClain, M., Twilley, R., Melack, J. M., Elser, J., Rabalais, N. N., ... Howarth, R. W. (1999). The impact of accelerating land-use change on the N-cycle of tropical aquatic ecosystems: Current conditions and projected changes. Biogeochemistry, 46(1-3), 109-148.

The impact of accelerating land-use change on the N-cycle of tropical aquatic ecosystems : Current conditions and projected changes. / Downing, J. A.; McClain, M.; Twilley, R.; Melack, J. M.; Elser, James; Rabalais, N. N.; Lewis, W. M.; Turner, R. E.; Corredor, J.; Soto, D.; Yanez-Arancibia, A.; Kopaska, J. A.; Howarth, R. W.

In: Biogeochemistry, Vol. 46, No. 1-3, 1999, p. 109-148.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Downing, JA, McClain, M, Twilley, R, Melack, JM, Elser, J, Rabalais, NN, Lewis, WM, Turner, RE, Corredor, J, Soto, D, Yanez-Arancibia, A, Kopaska, JA & Howarth, RW 1999, 'The impact of accelerating land-use change on the N-cycle of tropical aquatic ecosystems: Current conditions and projected changes', Biogeochemistry, vol. 46, no. 1-3, pp. 109-148.
Downing, J. A. ; McClain, M. ; Twilley, R. ; Melack, J. M. ; Elser, James ; Rabalais, N. N. ; Lewis, W. M. ; Turner, R. E. ; Corredor, J. ; Soto, D. ; Yanez-Arancibia, A. ; Kopaska, J. A. ; Howarth, R. W. / The impact of accelerating land-use change on the N-cycle of tropical aquatic ecosystems : Current conditions and projected changes. In: Biogeochemistry. 1999 ; Vol. 46, No. 1-3. pp. 109-148.
@article{7d333b1e673a47a68f11dddc48247055,
title = "The impact of accelerating land-use change on the N-cycle of tropical aquatic ecosystems: Current conditions and projected changes",
abstract = "Published data and analyses from temperate and tropical aquatic systems are used to summarize knowledge about the potential impact of land-use alteration on the nitrogen biogeochemistry of tropical aquatic ecosystems, identify important patterns and recommend key needs for research. The tropical N-cycle is traced from pre-disturbance conditions through the phases of disturbance, highlighting major differences between tropical and temperate systems that might influence development strategies in the tropics. Analyses suggest that tropical freshwaters are more frequently N-limited than temperate zones, while tropical marine systems may show more frequent P limitation. These analyses indicate that disturbances to pristine tropical lands will lead to greatly increased primary production in freshwaters and large changes in tropical freshwater communities. Increased freshwater nutrient flux will also lead to an expansion of the high production, N- and light-limited zones around river deltas, a switch from P- to N-limitation in calcareous marine systems, with large changes in the community composition of fragile mangrove and reef systems. Key information gaps are highlighted, including data on mechanisms of nutrient transport and atmospheric deposition in the tropics, nutrient and material retention capacities of tropical impoundments, and N/P coupling and stoichiometric impacts of nutrient supplies on tropical aquatic communities. The current base of biogeochemical data suggests that alterations in the N-cycle will have greater impacts on tropical aquatic ecosystems than those already observed in the temperate zone.",
keywords = "Estuaries, Lakes, Marine, Nitrogen, Phosphorus, Rivers, Streams, Temperate, Tropics",
author = "Downing, {J. A.} and M. McClain and R. Twilley and Melack, {J. M.} and James Elser and Rabalais, {N. N.} and Lewis, {W. M.} and Turner, {R. E.} and J. Corredor and D. Soto and A. Yanez-Arancibia and Kopaska, {J. A.} and Howarth, {R. W.}",
year = "1999",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "46",
pages = "109--148",
journal = "Biogeochemistry",
issn = "0168-2563",
publisher = "Springer Netherlands",
number = "1-3",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - The impact of accelerating land-use change on the N-cycle of tropical aquatic ecosystems

T2 - Current conditions and projected changes

AU - Downing, J. A.

AU - McClain, M.

AU - Twilley, R.

AU - Melack, J. M.

AU - Elser, James

AU - Rabalais, N. N.

AU - Lewis, W. M.

AU - Turner, R. E.

AU - Corredor, J.

AU - Soto, D.

AU - Yanez-Arancibia, A.

AU - Kopaska, J. A.

AU - Howarth, R. W.

PY - 1999

Y1 - 1999

N2 - Published data and analyses from temperate and tropical aquatic systems are used to summarize knowledge about the potential impact of land-use alteration on the nitrogen biogeochemistry of tropical aquatic ecosystems, identify important patterns and recommend key needs for research. The tropical N-cycle is traced from pre-disturbance conditions through the phases of disturbance, highlighting major differences between tropical and temperate systems that might influence development strategies in the tropics. Analyses suggest that tropical freshwaters are more frequently N-limited than temperate zones, while tropical marine systems may show more frequent P limitation. These analyses indicate that disturbances to pristine tropical lands will lead to greatly increased primary production in freshwaters and large changes in tropical freshwater communities. Increased freshwater nutrient flux will also lead to an expansion of the high production, N- and light-limited zones around river deltas, a switch from P- to N-limitation in calcareous marine systems, with large changes in the community composition of fragile mangrove and reef systems. Key information gaps are highlighted, including data on mechanisms of nutrient transport and atmospheric deposition in the tropics, nutrient and material retention capacities of tropical impoundments, and N/P coupling and stoichiometric impacts of nutrient supplies on tropical aquatic communities. The current base of biogeochemical data suggests that alterations in the N-cycle will have greater impacts on tropical aquatic ecosystems than those already observed in the temperate zone.

AB - Published data and analyses from temperate and tropical aquatic systems are used to summarize knowledge about the potential impact of land-use alteration on the nitrogen biogeochemistry of tropical aquatic ecosystems, identify important patterns and recommend key needs for research. The tropical N-cycle is traced from pre-disturbance conditions through the phases of disturbance, highlighting major differences between tropical and temperate systems that might influence development strategies in the tropics. Analyses suggest that tropical freshwaters are more frequently N-limited than temperate zones, while tropical marine systems may show more frequent P limitation. These analyses indicate that disturbances to pristine tropical lands will lead to greatly increased primary production in freshwaters and large changes in tropical freshwater communities. Increased freshwater nutrient flux will also lead to an expansion of the high production, N- and light-limited zones around river deltas, a switch from P- to N-limitation in calcareous marine systems, with large changes in the community composition of fragile mangrove and reef systems. Key information gaps are highlighted, including data on mechanisms of nutrient transport and atmospheric deposition in the tropics, nutrient and material retention capacities of tropical impoundments, and N/P coupling and stoichiometric impacts of nutrient supplies on tropical aquatic communities. The current base of biogeochemical data suggests that alterations in the N-cycle will have greater impacts on tropical aquatic ecosystems than those already observed in the temperate zone.

KW - Estuaries

KW - Lakes

KW - Marine

KW - Nitrogen

KW - Phosphorus

KW - Rivers

KW - Streams

KW - Temperate

KW - Tropics

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0032794536&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0032794536&partnerID=8YFLogxK

M3 - Article

AN - SCOPUS:0032794536

VL - 46

SP - 109

EP - 148

JO - Biogeochemistry

JF - Biogeochemistry

SN - 0168-2563

IS - 1-3

ER -