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The chemical relationships among particulate and colloidal organic material and dissolved fulvic acid were examined in an alpine and subalpine lake and two streams in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park. The alpine lake, Sky Pond, had the lowest dissolved organic carbon (DOC) (0.37 mgC/L), the highest particulate carbon (POC) (0.13 mgC/L), and high algal biomass. The watershed of Sky Pond is primarily talus slope, and DOC and POC may be autochthonous. Both Andrews Creek and Icy Brook gain DOC as they flow through wet sedge meadows. The subalpine lake, The Loch, receives additional organic material from the surrounding forest and had a higher DOC (0.66 mgC/L). Elemental analysis, stable carbon isotopic...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biogeochemistry
Recent work in seasonally snow covered ecosystems has identified thawed soil and high levels of heterotrophic activity throughout the winter under consistent snow cover. We performed measurements during the winter of 1994 to determine how the depth and timing of seasonal snow cover affect soil microbial populations, surface water NO3/- loss during snowmelt, and plant N availability early in the growing season. Soil under early accumulating, consistent snow cover remained thawed during most of the winter and both microbial biomass and soil inorganic N pools gradually increased under the snowpack. At the initiation of snowmelt, microbial biomass N pools increased from 3.0 to 5.9 g N m-2, concurrent with a decrease...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biogeochemistry
In-stream nitrogen processing in the Mississippi River has been suggested as one mechanism to reduce coastal eutrophication in the Gulf of Mexico. Aquatic macrophytes in river channels and flood plain lakes have the potential to temporarily remove large quantities of nitrogen through assimilation both by themselves and by the attached epiphyton. In addition, rooted macrophytes act as oxygen pumps, creating aerobic microsites around their roots where coupled nitrification-denitrification can occur. We used in situ 15N-NO3- tracer mesocosm experiments to measure nitrate assimilation rates for macrophytes, epiphyton, and microbial fauna in the sediment in Third Lake, a backwater lake of the upper Mississippi River...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biogeochemistry
Coastal zone managers need to factor submarine groundwater discharge (SGD) in their integration. SGD provides a pathway for the transfer of freshwater, and its dissolved chemical burden, from the land to the coastal ocean. SGD reduces salinities and provides nutrients to specialized coastal habitats. It also can be a pollutant source, often undetected, causing eutrophication and triggering nuisance algal blooms. Despite its importance, SGD remains somewhat of a mystery in most places because it is usually unseen and difficult to measure. SGD has been directly measured at only about a hundred sites worldwide. A typology generated by the Land-Ocean Interaction in the Coastal Zone (LOICZ) Project is one of the few...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biogeochemistry
The objectives of my current research are to 1. Understand the water quality effects of fire, 2. Measure the effects of fire on the carbon cycle and other biogeochemical cycles, 3. Characterize the combustion products of wildfire, mainly ash and charcoal, and 4. Link post-fire responses and the composition, physical characteristics, and reactivity of ash and charcoal to measures of burn severity detected on the ground or using remotely-sensed data. The overarching objective of my research is to understand runoff, erosion, deposition, and water quality effects after wildfire.
To study the mechanisms, pathways, and rates of transformation of carbon and nitrogen compounds (natural and contaminant) mediated by microorganisms in aquatic habitats and identify factors controlling these transformations and to examine the effect that these transformations have upon other biogeochemical processes.
Invasions of the annual species cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) in North American ecosystems present a threat to the population viability of native plant and animal species. In the interest of curtailing B. tectorum success, we manipulated the biogeochemistry of Canyonlands National Park soils in greenhouse and germination experiments. We compared growth parameters of B. tectorum and a native perennial, Hilaria jamesii, in greenhouse experiments utilizing 10 soil additives. Biomass of B. tectorum growing in conjuction with H. jamesii was greater than that growing in monocultures, suggesting facilitation of Bromus growth by H. jamesii. The opposite trend was true for H. jamesii, indicating that Bromus inhibits H. jamesii...
An experimental system for sampling trace gas fluxes through seasonal snowpack was deployed at a subalpine site near treeline at Niwot Ridge, Colorado. The sampling manifold was in place throughout the entire snow-covered season for continuous air sampling with minimal disturbance to the snowpack. A series of gases (carbon dioxide, water vapor, nitrous oxide, nitric oxide, ozone, volatile organic compounds) was determined in interstitial air withdrawn at eight heights in and above the snowpack at ~hourly intervals. In this paper, carbon dioxide data from 2007 were used for evaluation of this technique. Ancillary data recorded inlcuded snow physical properties, i.e., temperature, pressure, and density. Various vertical...
To determine the dominant processes controlling nitrogen (N) dynamics in soils and increase insights into soil N cycling from nitrogen isotope (?15N) data, patterns of 15N enrichment in soil profiles were compiled from studies on tropical, temperate, and boreal systems. The maximum 15N enrichment between litter and deeper soil layers varied strongly with mycorrhizal fungal association, averaging 9.6 � 0.4? in ectomycorrhizal systems and 4.6 � 0.5? in arbuscular mycorrhizal systems. The 15N enrichment varied little with mean annual temperature, precipitation, or nitrification rates. One main factor controlling 15N in soil profiles, fractionation against 15N during N transfer by mycorrhizal fungi to host plants, leads...
We studied the chemical and optical changes inthe dissolved organic matter (DOM) from twofreshwater lakes and a Sphagnum bog afterexposure to solar radiation. Stable carbonisotopes and solid-state 13C-NMR spectraof DOM were used together with optical andchemical data to interpret results fromexperimental exposures of DOM to sunlight andfrom seasonal observations of two lakes innortheastern Pennsylvania. Solar photochemicaloxidation of humic-rich bog DOM to smaller LMWcompounds and to DIC was inferred from lossesof UV absorbance, optical indices of molecularweight and changes in DOM chemistry. Experimentally, we observed a 1.2‰ enrichment in δ13$C and a 47% loss in aromaticC functionality in bog DOM samples exposed...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Biogeochemistry
Abstract (from While recent work demonstrates that glacial meltwater provides a substantial and relatively labile flux of the micronutrient iron to oceans, the role of high-latitude estuary environments as a potential sink of glacial iron is unknown. Here we present the first quantitative description of iron removal in a meltwater-dominated estuary. We find that 85% of “dissolved” Fe is removed in the low-salinity region of the estuary along with 41% of “total dissolvable” iron associated with glacial flour. We couple these findings with hydrologic and geochemical data from Gulf of Alaska (GoA) glacierized catchments to calculate meltwater-derived...
Our research seeks to evaluate and understand the processes that control and respond to changes in the level of CO 2 in the atmosphere. Our interests include the natural cycling of CO 2 and carbon through plants, soils, seawater, rocks, and sediments. We study the causes and effects of past geologic changes in atmospheric CO 2 levels, and the ongoing effects of human actions on CO 2 and climate.
The purpose of my research group is to develop new methods and applications of environmental isotopes to solve problems of national importance. In specific, the overall goal is to use environmental isotopes, combined with other biogeochemical measurements and hydrologic and biogeochemical modeling, to increase our understanding of biogeochemical and hydrological processes, nutrient and organic matter sources, subsurface flowpaths, and water age distributions in diverse environments. Many of our studies piggyback on the sampling efforts of major monitoring programs to investigate causes of hypoxia and food web problems. Our work provides critical scientific support for these monitoring programs. A long-term career...

map background search result map search result map Biogeochemical control of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) germination, emergence, and growth Biogeochemical control of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) germination, emergence, and growth