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Title: Nutrient dynamics in streams and the role of J-NABS

Author: Mulholland, Patrick J.; Webster, Jackson R.;

Date: 2010

Source: Journal of North American Benthological Society 29(1):100-117

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Nutrient dynamics in streams has been an important topic of research since the 1960s. Here we review this topic and the significant role played by J-NABS in its development. We limit this review almost exclusively to studies of N and P because these elements have been shown to limit productivity in streams. We use the expression nutrient dynamics for studies that included some measures of biological processes occurring within streams. Prior to the 1970s, instream biological processes were little studied, but through 1985 conceptual advances were made, and 4 types of studies made important contributions to our understanding of instream processes: 1) evidence of increased plant production and decomposition in response to nutrient addition, 2) studies showing a downstream decrease in nutrient concentrations, 3) studies using radioisotopes, and 4) budget studies. Beginning with the first paper printed in its first issue, J-NABS has been the outlet for key papers advancing our understanding of rates and controls of nutrient dynamics in streams. In the first few years, an important review and a conceptual model for conducting experiments to study nutrient dynamics in streams were published in J-NABS. In the 1990s, J-NABS published a number of papers on nutrient recycling within algal communities, the role of the hyporheic zone, the role of spawning fish, and the coupling of data from field 15N additions and a N-cycling model to provide a synoptic view of N dynamics in streams. Since 2000, J-NABS has published influential studies on nutrient criteria for streams, rates of and controls on nitrification and denitrification, uptake of stream nutrients by riparian vegetation, and nutrient dynamics in urban streams. Nutrient dynamics will certainly continue to be an important topic in J-NABS. Topics needing further study include techniques for studying nutrient dynamics, nutrient dynamics in larger streams and rivers, the ultimate fate of nutrients taken up by plants and microbes in streams, ecological stoichiometry, the effects of climate change, and the role of streams and rivers in nutrient transformation and retention at the landscape scale.

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Mulholland, Patrick J.; Webster, Jackson R. 2010. Nutrient dynamics in streams and the role of J-NABS. Journal of North American Benthological Society 29(1):100-117.


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