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SFS Annual Meeting

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NUTRIENT FLUX AND URBANIZATION IN LOW GRADIENT BAYOU SYSTEMS

Urbanization encroaching into low gradient bayou systems currently has unpredictable effects. Bayous often do not have measurable flow, even drying periodically during the year. Therefore, in-stream processes rather than watershed landcover features may exert greater influence on bayou nutrient concentrations than land-use alone. This is due to a lack of connectivity between landscape and stream channels. The White Oak Bayou has experienced an 8% increase in urbanization in the last 7 years, and phosphorus and nitrogen levels tend to be elevated within bayou wetlands. Although residential and commercial landcover predicted some variation in nutrient concentrations, much variation is unexplained. Season is an important variable for predicting flux due to connectivity being lost or established from intermittency. Therefore, we predicted urban area would better estimate seasonal nutrient flux within catchments. Nutrient flux is predicted to increase linearly across a gradient of watershed urbanization. Catchments with average discharge of 0.2 m3/s, elevated total nitrogen (0.7-1.1 mg/L), and total phosphorus (0.1-0.35 mg/L) would have the highest flux. We will present landcover and nutrient flux models to enhance the understanding of bayou responses to rapid urbanization.

Danielle Braund (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Central Arkansas, dbraund1@cub.uca.edu;


Stephanie Stoughton (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Central Arkansas, stoughton54@gmail.com;


Sally Entrekin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Central Arkansas , sentrekin@uca.edu;