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Long-term nitrate increases in two oligotrophic lakes, due to the leaching of atmospherically-deposited N from moorland ranker soils

Tipping, E.; Thacker, S. A.; Wilson, D.; Hall, J. R.. 2008 Long-term nitrate increases in two oligotrophic lakes, due to the leaching of atmospherically-deposited N from moorland ranker soils. Environmental Pollution, 152. 41-49. 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.06.001

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Abstract/Summary

During the last 50 years nitrate concentrations in Buttermere and Wastwater (Cumbria, UK) have risen significantly, by 70 and 100% respectively. By estimating contemporary nitrate fluxes in the lakes’ catchments and in sub-catchments and comparing them with the fractional areas of different soil types, it is deduced that the surface water nitrate is derived almost entirely from organic-rich ranker soils that have a limited ability to retain atmospherically-deposited nitrogen. Little or no nitrate leaches from the other major soil type, a brown podzol, despite it having a lower C:N ratio (12.0 g g-1) than the ranker (17.0 g g-1), nor is there much contribution from the small areas of improved (chemically fertilised) grassland within the catchments. Although some nitrate leaching is occurring, total N losses are appreciably smaller than atmospheric inputs, so the catchment soils are currently accumulating between 3 and 4 gN m-2 a-1.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): 10.1016/j.envpol.2007.06.001
Programmes: CEH Programmes pre-2009 publications > Biogeochemistry > BG02 Recovery from acidification and eutrophication > BG02.2 Critical Loads
CEH Sections: Shore
Emmett
ISSN: 0269-7491
Additional Keywords: atmospheric deposition, lakes, leaching, nitrate, soils
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 17 Apr 2008 15:15
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/2523

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