Influence of stormflow and baseflow phosphorus pressures on stream ecology in agricultural catchments

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dc.contributor.author Shore, Mairead
dc.contributor.author Murphy, Sinead
dc.contributor.author Mellander, Per-Erik
dc.contributor.author Shortle, Ger
dc.contributor.author Melland, Alice R.
dc.contributor.author Crockford, Lucy
dc.contributor.author O'Flaherty, Vincent
dc.contributor.author Williams, Lauren
dc.contributor.author Morgan, Gerard
dc.contributor.author Jordan, Phil
dc.date.accessioned 2018-01-05T12:20:08Z
dc.date.available 2018-01-05T12:20:08Z
dc.date.issued 2017-03-09
dc.identifier.citation Shore, M., Murphy, S., Mellander, P.-E., Shortle, G., Melland, A. R., Crockford, L., O'Flaherty, V., Williams, L., Morgan, G. and Jordan, P. (2017) ‘Influence of stormflow and baseflow phosphorus pressures on stream ecology in agricultural catchments’, Science of the Total Environment, 590-591, pp. 469-483. doi:10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.100 en
dc.identifier.volume 590-591 en
dc.identifier.startpage 469 en
dc.identifier.endpage 483 en
dc.identifier.issn 0048-9697
dc.identifier.issn 1879-1026
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10468/5237
dc.identifier.doi 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2017.02.100
dc.description.abstract Stormflow and baseflow phosphorus (P) concentrations and loads in rivers may exert different ecological pressures during different seasons. These pressures and subsequent impacts are important to disentangle in order to target and monitor the effectiveness of mitigation measures. This study investigated the influence of stormflow and baseflow P pressures on stream ecology in six contrasting agricultural catchments. A five-year high resolution dataset was used consisting of stream discharge, P chemistry, macroinvertebrate and diatom ecology, supported with microbial source tracking and turbidity data. Total reactive P (TRP) loads delivered during baseflows were low (1–7% of annual loads), but TRP concentrations frequently exceeded the environmental quality standard (EQS) of 0.035 mg L− 1 during these flows (32–100% of the time in five catchments). A pilot microbial source tracking exercise in one catchment indicated that both human and ruminant faecal effluents were contributing to these baseflow P pressures but were diluted at higher flows. Seasonally, TRP concentrations tended to be highest during summer due to these baseflow P pressures and corresponded well with declines in diatom quality during this time (R2 = 0.79). Diatoms tended to recover by late spring when storm P pressures were most prevalent and there was a poor relationship between antecedent TRP concentrations and diatom quality in spring (R2 = 0.23). Seasonal variations were less apparent in the macroinvertebrate indices; however, there was a good relationship between antecedent TRP concentrations and macroinvertebrate quality during spring (R2 = 0.51) and summer (R2 = 0.52). Reducing summer point source discharges may be the quickest way to improve ecological river quality, particularly diatom quality in these and similar catchments. Aligning estimates of P sources with ecological impacts and identifying ecological signals which can be attributed to storm P pressures are important next steps for successful management of agricultural catchments at these scales. en
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (Agricultural Catchments Programme) en
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf en
dc.language.iso en en
dc.publisher Elsevier B.V. en
dc.rights © 2017, the Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. en
dc.rights.uri http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/ en
dc.subject Stormflow en
dc.subject Baseflow en
dc.subject Phosphorus en
dc.subject Agriculture en
dc.subject Diatoms en
dc.subject Macroinvertebrates en
dc.title Influence of stormflow and baseflow phosphorus pressures on stream ecology in agricultural catchments en
dc.type Article (peer-reviewed) en
dc.internal.authorcontactother Gerard Morgan, Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland. T: +353-21-490-3000 E: g.morgan@ucc.ie en
dc.internal.availability Full text available en
dc.description.version Published Version en
dc.contributor.funder Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine en
dc.description.status Peer reviewed en
dc.identifier.journaltitle Science of the Total Environment en


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© 2017, the Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license. Except where otherwise noted, this item's license is described as © 2017, the Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license.
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