If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

Inorganic N and P dynamics of Antarctic glacial meltwater streams as controlled by hyporheic exchange and benthic autotrophic communities

Diane M. McKnight, Robert L. Runkel, Cathy M. Tate, John H. Duff and Daryl L. Moorhead
Journal of the North American Benthological Society
Vol. 23, No. 2 (Jun., 2004), pp. 171-188
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/10.1899/0887-3593(2004)023<0171:inapdo>2.0.co;2
Page Count: 18
  • Download PDF
  • Cite this Item

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
Inorganic N and P dynamics of Antarctic glacial meltwater streams as controlled by hyporheic exchange and benthic autotrophic communities
Preview not available

Abstract

AbstractThe McMurdo Dry Valleys of South Victoria Land, Antarctica, contain numerous glacial meltwater streams that drain into lakes on the valley floors. Many of the streams have abundant perennial mats of filamentous cyanobacteria. The algal mats grow during streamflow in the austral summer and are in a dormant freeze-dried state during the rest of the year. NO3 and soluble reactive P (SRP) concentrations were lower in streams with abundant algal mats than in streams with sparse algal mats. NO3 and SRP concentrations were higher in the hyporheic zone of a stream with abundant algal mats than in the stream itself. An experimental injection of LiCl, NaNO3, and K3PO4 was conducted in Green Creek, which has abundant algal mats. Substantial hyporheic exchange occurred. The NO3 and PO4 concentrations at 50 m below the injection were 55 μM and 18 μM, respectively, during the experiment. NO3 and PO4 concentrations were below the detection limit of 1 to 2 μM at a site 497 m below the injection during the Cl tracer arrival, indicating a high capacity for nutrient uptake by algal communities. NO2 and NH4 were present at sites 226 and 327 m below the injection, indicating that, in addition to denitrification and algal uptake, dissimilatory NO3 reduction to NO2 and NH4 may be a NO3 sink during transport. Transport modelling with nutrient uptake represented as a 1st-order process yielded reach-scale parameters of 4.3 × 10−5 to 3.9 × 10−4/s and 1.4 × 10−4 to 3.8 × 10−4/s for uptake of NO3 and PO4, respectively. The best match with the observed data was a model in which PO4 uptake occurred only in the main channel and NO3 uptake occurred in the main channel and in the hyporheic zone. Hyporheic NO3 uptake was 7 to 16% of the total uptake for the different stream reaches. These results demonstrate that nutrient flux to the lakes is controlled by hyporheic exchange and nutrient uptake by algal mats in dry valley streams. Streams without algal mats contribute more nutrients to the lakes than streams with algal mats.

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
1
    1
  • Thumbnail: Page 
2
    2
  • Thumbnail: Page 
3
    3
  • Thumbnail: Page 
4
    4
  • Thumbnail: Page 
5
    5
  • Thumbnail: Page 
6
    6
  • Thumbnail: Page 
7
    7
  • Thumbnail: Page 
8
    8
  • Thumbnail: Page 
9
    9
  • Thumbnail: Page 
10
    10
  • Thumbnail: Page 
11
    11
  • Thumbnail: Page 
12
    12
  • Thumbnail: Page 
13
    13
  • Thumbnail: Page 
14
    14
  • Thumbnail: Page 
15
    15
  • Thumbnail: Page 
16
    16
  • Thumbnail: Page 
17
    17
  • Thumbnail: Page 
18
    18