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dc.contributor.authorFjare, Dana
dc.descriptionThesis (M.S.) University of Alaska Fairbanks, 2015en_US
dc.description.abstractDiscontinuous permafrost affects the hydrology and distribution of vegetation in boreal forest watersheds, which in turn influence stream water chemistry. I investigated how loss of discontinuous permafrost with projected climate change might affect nutrient cycling in boreal forest headwater streams. I hypothesized that 1) the carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus (C:N:P) ratio in dissolved organic matter (DOM) affects nutrient uptake due to stoichiometric constraints on autotrophic and heterotrophic nutrient assimilation, and 2) labile DOM affects nutrient uptake by increasing heterotrophic production. I tested my hypotheses using a series of instantaneous nutrient additions in nine headwater streams, with a factorial design manipulating both nutrient stoichiometry and DOM source. DOM was added as either acetate or leachate from birch leaves. Ambient nutrient uptake velocity (Vf-amb) was within the upper range of previously published literature values, ranging from 4.1-67.2 mm/min for N, 4.0-25.0 mm/min for P, and 4.2-34.5 mm/min for acetate. Uptake efficiency was similar for N and P added alone, in co-additions, and with DOM. Acetate and birch-DOM had similar effects on nutrient uptake, because both were sources of highly labile carbon. In 30-day laboratory bioavailability assays, birch and acetate-DOM exhibited ≥ 70% carbon loss. Vf-amb was in part explained by ambient stream chemistry, with Vf-amb for N weakly positively correlated with ambient P concentration, while Vf-amb for P and acetate was weakly negatively correlated with ambient N and ambient dissolved organic carbon, respectively. Consequently, inorganic nutrient availability may affect uptake of solutes as well as DOM lability. High demand for nutrients in boreal forest headwater streams suggests that uptake could increase concurrently with greater inorganic nutrient flux following a loss in permafrost extent.en_US
dc.titleCoupling the effects of dissolved organic matter and nutrient Stoichiometry with nutrient uptake in boreal forest headwater streamsen_US
dc.identifier.departmentDepartment of Biology and Wildlifeen_US
dc.contributor.chairJones, Jeremy
dc.contributor.committeeHarms, Tamara
dc.contributor.committeeKielland, Knut

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    Includes WIldlife Biology and other Biological Sciences. For Marine Biology see the Marine Sciences collection.

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