Controls on nitrogen transformation rates on restored floodplains along the Cosumnes River, California

B. Hoagland, C. Schmidt, Tess Alethea Russo, R. Adams, Jason Philip Kaye

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

2 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Levee construction results in the systematic replumbing of river systems and reduces the frequency of floodplain inundation, which impacts nutrient delivery and transformations in floodplains. Floodplain restoration via levee removal affects downstream water quality by restoring soil microbial metabolic pathways such as denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Although these metabolisms are important for the nitrogen cycle, few studies have quantified the contribution of all three pathways to nitrate retention or loss in restored floodplains. The objectives of this study were to quantify the relevance of denitrification, anammox and DNRA to nitrogen retention, characterize the hydrologic conditions most favorable to each pathway, and estimate the potential for floodplain restoration to improve nitrogen cycling in the Cosumnes River watershed. To address these goals, we simulated flood conditions in soil mesocosms collected from two floodplains where levees were breached in 1997 and 2014 along the Lower Cosumnes River in the San Joaquin Basin of California. River water enriched with K 15 NO 3 tracer was pumped into each mesocosm at a constant rate for a period of 3 months. Samples were collected from the surface water and soil pore water for measurements of NO 3 , NO 2 , and NH 4 + concentrations, and δ 15 N of dissolved gases (N 2 and N 2 O). To the best of our knowledge, this study reports the highest relative contribution to N 2 production due to anammox for freshwater systems (41 to 84%) to date. High anammox rates were associated with heterogeneous grain size distribution across depth and high nitrification rates. We quantify the capacity of restored floodplain soils with distinct textural and chemical characteristics to retain or release nitrogen during large and small floods in a particular water year.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)979-994
Number of pages16
JournalScience of the Total Environment
Volume649
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2019

Fingerprint

Ammonium Compounds
floodplain
Nitrogen
Rivers
ammonium
Soils
Nitrates
Oxidation
Denitrification
nitrogen
river
Restoration
oxidation
levee
Water
Levees
nitrate
Nitrification
Watersheds
Surface waters

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution

Cite this

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title = "Controls on nitrogen transformation rates on restored floodplains along the Cosumnes River, California",
abstract = "Levee construction results in the systematic replumbing of river systems and reduces the frequency of floodplain inundation, which impacts nutrient delivery and transformations in floodplains. Floodplain restoration via levee removal affects downstream water quality by restoring soil microbial metabolic pathways such as denitrification, anaerobic ammonium oxidation (anammox), and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium (DNRA). Although these metabolisms are important for the nitrogen cycle, few studies have quantified the contribution of all three pathways to nitrate retention or loss in restored floodplains. The objectives of this study were to quantify the relevance of denitrification, anammox and DNRA to nitrogen retention, characterize the hydrologic conditions most favorable to each pathway, and estimate the potential for floodplain restoration to improve nitrogen cycling in the Cosumnes River watershed. To address these goals, we simulated flood conditions in soil mesocosms collected from two floodplains where levees were breached in 1997 and 2014 along the Lower Cosumnes River in the San Joaquin Basin of California. River water enriched with K 15 NO 3 tracer was pumped into each mesocosm at a constant rate for a period of 3 months. Samples were collected from the surface water and soil pore water for measurements of NO 3 − , NO 2 − , and NH 4 + concentrations, and δ 15 N of dissolved gases (N 2 and N 2 O). To the best of our knowledge, this study reports the highest relative contribution to N 2 production due to anammox for freshwater systems (41 to 84{\%}) to date. High anammox rates were associated with heterogeneous grain size distribution across depth and high nitrification rates. We quantify the capacity of restored floodplain soils with distinct textural and chemical characteristics to retain or release nitrogen during large and small floods in a particular water year.",
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Controls on nitrogen transformation rates on restored floodplains along the Cosumnes River, California. / Hoagland, B.; Schmidt, C.; Russo, Tess Alethea; Adams, R.; Kaye, Jason Philip.

In: Science of the Total Environment, Vol. 649, 01.02.2019, p. 979-994.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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T1 - Controls on nitrogen transformation rates on restored floodplains along the Cosumnes River, California

AU - Hoagland, B.

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AU - Kaye, Jason Philip

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