Friday, May 2, 2014

On N loading and export from lakes

I am pleased to announce that Xiaodan Ruan’s paper (co-authored by Frank Schellenger and myself) has been published in ES&T. This paper is concerned with nitrogen export from watersheds, which is a worldwide problem (e.g. the Mississippi River “dead zone”, see picture below). Our findings have important implications for watershed management. Specifically, we present a model that suggests a certain reduction (e.g. 50%) in N loading (i.e. from fertilizer or other sources) will not translate into the same amount of reduction at the watershed outlet, because N fixation by cyanobacteria in lakes and reservoirs may counteract the reduction. We are presently running whole-watershed models for a number of systems to develop a quantitative estimate of this problem.
Here is a link to the paper:

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