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.
Annie Drinkard | EurekAlert!
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