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Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stoichiometry and eutrophication in River Thames tributaries, UK

Smith, D.R.; Jarvie, H.P.; Bowes, M.J.. 2017 Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus stoichiometry and eutrophication in River Thames tributaries, UK. Agricultural & Environmental Letters, 2 (1), 170020. 4, pp. https://doi.org/10.2134/ael2017.06.0020

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Abstract/Summary

Primary productivity in aquatic systems relies on carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) availability, with a reference stoichiometric ratio of 106 C/16 N/1 P, known as the Redfield ratio. This paper presents a methodology to visualize river water C/N/P stoichiometry and examine phytoplankton response. Redfield total dissolved C/N/P concentration ratios (TDC/TDNR/TDPR) from five River Thames tributaries were plotted in a ternary diagram, allowing relationships between nutrient stoichiometry, total P concentrations, and chlorophyll a, as a surrogate for phytoplankton biomass, to be explored. Chlorophyll a concentrations above 100 μg L−1 were not observed below 14% TDPR, and concentrations above 30 μg L−1 were not observed below 13% TDPR. This indicates a potentially lower TDPR limit for highly eutrophic waters. These rivers are C and N rich, and this methodology should be applied to a wider range of rivers to explore C, N and P thresholds across different river typologies.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI): https://doi.org/10.2134/ael2017.06.0020
CEH Sections/Science Areas: Water Resources (Science Area 2017-)
ISSN: 2471-9625
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Open Access paper - full text available via Official URl link.
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Date made live: 28 Nov 2017 12:09 +0 (UTC)
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/518517

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