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SFS Annual Meeting

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VARIATION IN NUTRIENT CONCENTRATIONS IN STREAMS ACROSS THE KANSAS PRECIPITATION GRADIENT

The water quality of streams and reservoirs is impacted by the amount of precipitation and land-use in the surrounding area. Kansas has a precipitation gradient with the most arid climate in the West, and most mesic in the East. This precipitation gradient also manifests as a gradient of intermittent stream flow in the west and perennial flow in the east. Layered on the precipitation gradient is also a land-use gradient. We asked: How does land use and stream position within the precipitation gradient affect nutrient concentrations in streams? We collected water chemistry samples from 46 streams across eastern and central Kansas. These samples ranged from second-order streams to eighth-order rivers, thus also spanning a range of intermittent to permanent flow. We measured phosphorus (SRP), ammonia, and nitrate, as well as in-stream chemical parameters. Our preliminary data indicates that less mesic, lower order (i.e., more intermittent) streams in central KS are more likely to have higher conductivity than their eastern KS counterparts. Further analysis will focus on the interaction between land use, stream size and precipitation on nutrients and microbial communities.

Abagael Pruitt (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Kansas, abagaelpruitt@ku.edu;


Janaye Hanschu (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Kansas, janayeh@ku.edu;


Emma Overstreet (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, evover@live.com;


Amy Burgin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Kansas, burginam@ku.edu;


Lydia Zeglin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kansas State University, lzeglin@ksu.edu;


Samantha Thomas (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), Kansas Biological Survey, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, sgthomas@ku.edu;