Role of edaphic, hydrologic, and land cover variables in determining dissolved organic carbon in Missouri (USA) reservoirs and streams

Lake and Reservoir Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

In Missouri, distinct geophysical gradients influence statewide patterns in water quality. Here, we quantify the spatiotemporal variability of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in reservoirs and streams and the edaphic, hydrologic, and land cover variables that account for cross-system variation. Datasets included statewide inventories collected over decades and studies with greater temporal resolution (n = >6350 DOC measurements). Among reservoirs, the smallest DOC concentration was measured in a spring-fed system within a forested watershed, and the largest was where agricultural biosolids were applied to the land (range 1.0–15.9 mg/L, overall mean 5.8 mg/L). Reservoir values increased from the southern forested Highlands (mean 4.7 mg/L) to the northern agricultural Plains (mean 7.0 mg/L). Stream DOC was similar to reservoir values (overall mean in streams 6.3 mg/L; Highlands mean 4.0 mg/L; Plains mean 6.6 mg/L), despite differences in study design and collection period. Reservoir DOC increased in spring, indicative of allochthonous loading, with small autochthonous additions during a broad summer peak. Temporal variability in DOC was low relative to macronutrients and chlorophyll in both reservoirs and streams, indicating DOC may be a sensitive and readily detected indicator of temporal change in these systems. In regression analyses, watershed features accounted for more than 60% of overall cross-system variability in DOC in both reservoirs and streams. Driver-response relations, however, differed between regions. This analysis extends our understanding of environmental influences on surface water chemistry in Missouri and indicates DOC is nearly as predictable as macronutrients using landscape-level features.

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Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Role of edaphic, hydrologic, and land cover variables in determining dissolved organic carbon in Missouri (USA) reservoirs and streams
Series title Lake and Reservoir Management
DOI 10.1080/10402381.2024.2326057
Volume 40
Issue 2
Year Published 2024
Language English
Publisher Taylor and Francis
Contributing office(s) New York Water Science Center
Description 19 p.
First page 177
Last page 195
Country United States
State Missouri
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