Impacts of water residence time on nitrogen budget of lakes and reservoirs
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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OriginalversjonScience of the Total Environment. 2019, 646, 75-83. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.07.255
As an important factor related to the self-purification capacity (e.g. denitrification, burial rate, and downstream output) in aquatic systems, water residence time (WRT) has great impacts on the nitrogen (N) dynamics and its removal process in lakes and reservoirs. In this study, we have analysed the impacts of WRT on the change rates of total nitrogen (TN) concentrations in 50 waterbodies (including 33 lakes and 17 reservoirs) in China, with different change trends (e.g. increasing trends and decreasing trends) and TN concentrations during 2012–2016. Based on the annual ecosystem-scale N mass balance, TN input and output flux in the waterbodies are estimated. The results showed that the decreases of TN concentrations usually occur in the waterbodies with the relatively high TN concentrations in 2012, and WRT has significant impacts on the TN change rates in the waterbodies. Longer WRT could slow down the TN increasing rates in the waterbodies acting as N sinks, but could accelerate the removal from the waterbodies acting as N sources. Higher water phosphorus (P) concentrations could also be beneficial for the faster N removal from the waterbodies, which is mediated via the coupled processes regulating the N transfer from water column to anoxic sediments. China has recently issued the “lake-chief” systems, addressing the specific and flexible strategies for water pollution control in different lakes. The self-purification capacity through denitrification and burial rate, which are closely related to WRT, should be taken into consideration when making specific water management plans in the future.
Embargo until 20 July 2020