Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Mystery on the Hudson

06.04.2005


Carbon exists in many forms in the air, soil, and water, and is an integral part of most living organisms. In a recent study, Stuart Findlay (Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, New York) discovered changes in the amount of carbon in the Hudson River. Exactly why the amounts changed, and what’s causing these changes, remains a mystery.

In "Increased carbon transport in the Hudson River: unexpected consequence of nitrogen deposition?" published in the April issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Findlay explores what may be driving this phenomenon.

Most large rivers contain dissolved organic carbon (DOC) in fair quantities, but recent tests have shown a doubling of the amount of DOC accumulating in the Hudson River over the past fifteen years. Soggy peatlands, wetlands, or increased agriculture could all lead to increases in the carbon levels. Some areas have shown increased DOC after nitrogen fertilization of forests. Yet activity along the Hudson River, including agricultural use, has declined over the years.



According to the paper, "temperature, water yield, and land cover have not changed in ways that would make these viable causes for the altered DOC."

Findlay proposes two possible suspects: either the composition of materials flowing into the Hudson has changed or the bacteria that normally process carbon are not metabolizing some of the carbon material entering the river. The second possibility, that the metabolism of the bacteria in the river has changed, would result in higher levels of DOC flowing downstream to the freshwater tidal flats.

According to Findlay, if the bacteria are bypassing the material flowing into the river, then downstream waters would receive larger amounts of DOC. This process would add to oxygen demand, increasing the river’s susceptibility to eutrophication-driven problems of hypoxia, such as regularly occurs in the Gulf of Mexico.

Looking at current evidence, if carbon degradation, or the amount of carbon processed by bacteria, had not changed over the past fifteen years, possibly 20 percent less DOC would flow from the upper to the lower regions of the Hudson river.

There is also evidence that the amount of carbon flowing into the Hudson has changed. Other studies have found that increased nitrogen, whether from sources such as fertilizer or acid rain, alter the amount of carbon flowing into small streams and lakes.

These unexpected interactions point to possible larger changes across ecosystems, suggesting that DOC may be a sensitive indicator of changing ecosystems.

Annie Drinkard | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.esa.org

More articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation:

nachricht Dispersal of Fish Eggs by Water Birds – Just a Myth?
19.02.2018 | Universität Basel

nachricht Removing fossil fuel subsidies will not reduce CO2 emissions as much as hoped
08.02.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)

All articles from Ecology, The Environment and Conservation >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Good vibrations feel the force

A group of researchers led by Andrea Cavalleri at the Max Planck Institute for Structure and Dynamics of Matter (MPSD) in Hamburg has demonstrated a new method enabling precise measurements of the interatomic forces that hold crystalline solids together. The paper Probing the Interatomic Potential of Solids by Strong-Field Nonlinear Phononics, published online in Nature, explains how a terahertz-frequency laser pulse can drive very large deformations of the crystal.

By measuring the highly unusual atomic trajectories under extreme electromagnetic transients, the MPSD group could reconstruct how rigid the atomic bonds are...

Im Focus: Developing reliable quantum computers

International research team makes important step on the path to solving certification problems

Quantum computers may one day solve algorithmic problems which even the biggest supercomputers today can’t manage. But how do you test a quantum computer to...

Im Focus: In best circles: First integrated circuit from self-assembled polymer

For the first time, a team of researchers at the Max-Planck Institute (MPI) for Polymer Research in Mainz, Germany, has succeeded in making an integrated circuit (IC) from just a monolayer of a semiconducting polymer via a bottom-up, self-assembly approach.

In the self-assembly process, the semiconducting polymer arranges itself into an ordered monolayer in a transistor. The transistors are binary switches used...

Im Focus: Demonstration of a single molecule piezoelectric effect

Breakthrough provides a new concept of the design of molecular motors, sensors and electricity generators at nanoscale

Researchers from the Institute of Organic Chemistry and Biochemistry of the CAS (IOCB Prague), Institute of Physics of the CAS (IP CAS) and Palacký University...

Im Focus: Hybrid optics bring color imaging using ultrathin metalenses into focus

For photographers and scientists, lenses are lifesavers. They reflect and refract light, making possible the imaging systems that drive discovery through the microscope and preserve history through cameras.

But today's glass-based lenses are bulky and resist miniaturization. Next-generation technologies, such as ultrathin cameras or tiny microscopes, require...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on High Temperature Shape Memory Alloys (HTSMAs)

15.02.2018 | Event News

Aachen DC Grid Summit 2018

13.02.2018 | Event News

How Global Climate Policy Can Learn from the Energy Transition

12.02.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Newly designed molecule binds nitrogen

23.02.2018 | Life Sciences

Stagnation in the South Pacific Explains Natural CO2 Fluctuations

23.02.2018 | Earth Sciences

Mat4Rail: EU Research Project on the Railway of the Future

23.02.2018 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>