Measures of nutrient processes as indicators of stream ecosystem health

Udy, James W., Fellows, Christine S., Bartkow, Michael E., Bunn, Stuart E., Clapcott, Joanne E. and Harch, Bronwyn D. (2006) Measures of nutrient processes as indicators of stream ecosystem health. Hydrobiologia, 572 1: 89-102. doi:10.1007/s10750-005-9006-1

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Author Udy, James W.
Fellows, Christine S.
Bartkow, Michael E.
Bunn, Stuart E.
Clapcott, Joanne E.
Harch, Bronwyn D.
Title Measures of nutrient processes as indicators of stream ecosystem health
Journal name Hydrobiologia   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0018-8158
Publication date 2006-11
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s10750-005-9006-1
Open Access Status File (Author Post-print)
Volume 572
Issue 1
Start page 89
End page 102
Total pages 14
Place of publication Dordrech, Netherlands
Publisher Springer
Language eng
Abstract To better understand how freshwater ecosystems respond to changes in catchment land-use, it is important to develop measures of ecological health that include aspects of both ecosystem structure and function. This study investigated measures of nutrient processes as potential indicators of stream ecosystem health across a land-use gradient from relatively undisturbed to highly modified. A total of seven indicators (potential denitrification; an index of denitrification potential relative to sediment organic matter; benthic algal growth on artificial substrates amended with (a) N only, (b) P only, and (c) N and P; and delta N-15 of aquatic plants and benthic sediment) were measured at 53 streams in southeast Queensland, Australia. The indicators were evaluated by their response to a defined gradient of agricultural land-use disturbance as well as practical aspects of using the indicators as part of a monitoring program. Regression models based on descriptors of the disturbance gradient explained a large proportion of the variation in six of the seven indicators. Denitrification index, algal growth in N amended substrate, and delta N-15 of aquatic plants demonstrated the best regression. However, the delta N-15 value of benthic sediment was found to be the best indicator overall for incorporation into a monitoring program, as samples were relatively easy to collect and process, and were successfully collected at more than 90% of the study sites.
Keyword Marine & Freshwater Biology
Stable nitrogen isotopes
Chlorophyll A
Catchment disturbance
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
National Research Centre for Environmental Toxicology Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 26 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Fri, 25 Jan 2008, 16:57:22 EST