Defense Date

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science

Department

Biology

First Advisor

Paul Bukaveckas

Abstract

Nutrient retention is governed by the interplay between physical processes that control the throughput of water and materials (i.e., water residence time), and by biological processes that govern transformation and uptake (e.g., microbial denitrification). A partial breach of the dam located on Kimages Creek (VA) re-established the historical (pre-1920) connection to the James River and provided a well-defined channel to gauge tidal exchange. We quantified tidal exchange as well as non-tidal (watershed) inputs on a monthly basis to assess Nitrogen (N) retention. Water and N fluxes were dominated by tidal exchange which was typically three times greater than inputs from the upper watershed. Exchange volumes varied by 20-fold in response to seasonal variation in water elevation of the James River Estuary. Comparison of input and output fluxes suggest that the tidal segment of Kimages Creek acted as a source of dissolved inorganic N in the winter and a N sink in other months. Seasonal variation in N retention was significantly related to water temperature and estimates of ecosystem metabolism derived from diel dissolved oxygen data.

Rights

© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

May 2010

Included in

Biology Commons

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