Elevated δ15N values in aquatic plants from cleared catchments: why?

Udy, James White and Bunn, Stuart Edward (2001) Elevated δ15N values in aquatic plants from cleared catchments: why?. Marine and Freshwater Research, 52 3: 347-351. doi:10.1071/MF00002

Author Udy, James White
Bunn, Stuart Edward
Title Elevated δ15N values in aquatic plants from cleared catchments: why?
Formatted title
Elevated δ15N values in aquatic plants from cleared catchments: Why?
Journal name Marine and Freshwater Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1323-1650
Publication date 2001
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1071/MF00002
Volume 52
Issue 3
Start page 347
End page 351
Total pages 5
Place of publication Melbourne, Australia
Publisher CSIRO in cooperation with the Australian Academy of Science
Language eng
Abstract δ15N values of plants and animals are being increasingly used to identify the flow of nitrogen through aquatic ecosystems. The δ15N values of crops, riparian trees, emergent and submerged aquatic vegetation in streams from both cleared (agricultural) and forested (rainforest) catchments were sampled. Riparian and aquatic plants had similar δ15N values in forested streams,suggesting a similar source of inorganic nitrogen.In cleared catchments, however, aquatic plants had δ15N values 4–8‰ higher than adjacent riparian vegetation and aquatic plants from streams in forested catchments. The elevated δ15N values of aquatic vegetation in streams with cleared catchments suggest that these plants either have access to a different source of N than those in undisturbed catchments or that high rates of microbial decomposition and nutrient cycling in the cleared catchments influence the δ15N value of available N. This also suggests that the aquatic plants in disturbed catchments are incorporating a different source of nitrogen than the adjacent riparian vegetation. This supports the proposal that in-stream processing of N affects the δ15N value of available N in streams with cleared catchments. These results begin to identify potential pathways for nitrogen transport to streams and the effect that internal cycling may have on a stream’s nitrogen load.
Keyword nitrogen
stable isotopes
catchment disturbance
riparian vegetation
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Unknown

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Excellence in Research Australia (ERA) - Collection
School of Chemical Engineering Publications
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Created: Mon, 10 Apr 2006, 22:03:54 EST