Original paper

Phosphorus export from a small forested stream: Are there effects from human residential development in the riparian zone?

Conine, Andrea; Porter-Goff, Emily; Frost, Paul C.

Fundamental and Applied Limnology Volume 187 Nr. 1 (2015), p. 55 - 62

published: Sep 1, 2015

DOI: 10.1127/fal/2015/0725

BibTeX file

ArtNo. ESP141018701006, Price: 29.00 €

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While stream phosphorus (P) export generally increases with human development, the influence of streamside residential development on P export has received relatively less study. We examined the net effect of low density, residential development located in a stream's riparian zone on stream P export. We did so by monitoring stream water discharge and frequently measuring total phosphorus upstream and downstream of a minimally developed forested reach of the Miskwaa Ziibi River (Ontario, Canada). Over four summer months in 2012, we found a total of 20.9 kg P was retained within this stream reach. Across the shorter timescale of days, we found P fluxes ranged widely between a net export of 146 g P day–1 to net retention of 1066 g P day–1 with daily retention generally increasing across the summer. Analysis of additional indicators of human-derived nutrients revealed no significant differences between upstream and downstream locations. Altogether, we conclude that human residences within the riparian development of a small forested stream did not significantly increase P export during the summer months and does not necessarily result in large changes in biogeochemical cycles of streams.


phosphorus exportriparian zonestreamsresidential development