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Multiscale Relationships of Landscape Characteristics and Nitrogen Concentrations in Streams

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Abstract:There have been numerous papers reporting relationships between watershed andlandscape characteristics and chemnical, physical,m and biological attributes of streams (see summary in Lee et al. 2001). Some of these studies have shown strong linkages between stream and near-site landscape conditions (Lammert et al. 1999, Stauffer et al, 2000, Talmage et al. 2002), while others show stronger linkages between stream and watershed scale,landscape conditions (Roth et al. 1996, Allan et al, 1997, Herligy et al. 1998, Davies et al. 2000, Jones et al. 2001a). Moreover, there are differences in the importance of environmental variables in explaining variation in stream condition among the various studies ( for example, see Roth et al. 1996 and Lee et al. 2001, for a comparison).

Differences in results are not surprising given the wide range of scales and biophysical settings in which these studies were conducted, and the potential for variation in environmental conditions (e.g., precipitation and flow) among the years in which these studies were conducted. Scaling is considered to be one of the top challenges facing environmental managers and ecologists alike (Wu 1999, Wu and Hobbs 2002). Stream chemistry , including nitrogen concentration, seems to be controlled by overall watershed conditions (Carpenter et al. 1998, Herlihy et al. 1998, Jones et al. 2001), although point sources and atmospheric nitrogen deposition also can be a significant sources of nitrogen in streams (Behrendt 1996 and Smith et al. 1997, respectively). Studies of the importance of land cover and land use in riparian zones is well documented (Lowrance et al. 1984, Peterjohn and Correll1984), but most have been limited in geographic scope and biophysical variability .Moreover, little is known on how effective forested riparian buffers are in filtering nitrogen in different biophysical settings across broad regions.
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Citation:Jones, K. B., A. C. Neale, T. G. Wade, J. D. Wickham, M. S. Nash, C. M. Edmonds, K. H. Riitters, E. R. Smith, and R. D. Van Remortel. Multiscale Relationships of Landscape Characteristics and Nitrogen Concentrations in Streams.Jianguo, Wu, K. Bruce Jones, Li Harbin, Orie L. LOoucks (ed.), Scaling and Uncertainty Analysis in Ecology Methods and Application, Chapter11. Columbian University Press, Cambridge, NY, (2006).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Book Chaptr
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Published: 03/21/2006
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Downloads:
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Bullet Item Multiple Scale Relationships of Landscape Characteristics and Nitrogen Concentrations in Streams Across a Large Geographic Region
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Development of Landscape Indicators for Use in Regional Ecological Risk Assessments
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Last Updated on Monday, October 22, 2007
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