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Riverine C, N, Si and P transport to the coastal ocean: An overview

January 1, 1988

Terrestrial ecosystems cycle and recyle inorganic nutrients including a feedback to atmospheric dry deposition and precipitation (cf. Lewis et al., 1985). Each year, however, a small fraction per unit area of the atmosphere/plant/soil flux leaks from these land-based cycles via precipitation/runoff (Meybeck, 1982). These losses are, in general, unpreventable. Moreover, such nutrient “losses” have increased with increasing human population (Wollast, 1983); although to some extent this anthropogenic component can be controlled. Most rivers eventually flow into estuaries and the coastal ocean where their natural and anthropogenic nutrient loads continue to recycle, are lost to the atmosphere, or are buried in sediment. In one extreme, when riverine nutrient concentrations are exceedingly low, as in southwestern Canadian streams (Naiman and Sibert, 1978; Stockner and Shortreed, 1978, 1985), downstream plant biomass can be nutrient limited. In the other extreme, when these nutrient concentrations are very high such as in highly populated European river basins, downstream plant biomass can increase, perhaps intensifying natural anoxia cycles within the receiving estuarine/coastal ocean waters if these waters are stratified (Rosenberg, 1985).

Citation Information

Publication Year 1988
Title Riverine C, N, Si and P transport to the coastal ocean: An overview
DOI 10.1007/978-3-642-52452-3_11
Authors David H. Peterson, Stephen W. Hager, Laurence E. Schemel, Daniel R. Cayan
Publication Type Book Chapter
Publication Subtype Book Chapter
Index ID 70175272
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization San Francisco Bay-Delta; Pacific Regional Director's Office

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