Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science



First Advisor

Paul Bukaveckas


Anthropogenic inputs of nutrients and sediment are a widespread problem in U.S. streams causing localized impairment and contributing to eutrophication of coastal habitats. Sediments and dissolved nutrients interact through diverse processes including ion exchange, sorption and biotic assimilation by particle-bound bacteria. This study examined the effects of sediment re-suspension on nutrient partitioning in lab microcosms using fine benthic matter collected from two Virginia Coastal Plain streams. Kimages Creek was recently restored following dam removal and was characterized by large deposits of legacy sediments. Courthouse Creek was characterized by sandy substrates typical of Coastal Plain streams. Sediment characteristics differed between the two sites and were influenced by discharge. Net nutrient release rates were similar between streams though reactivity of Courthouse Creek sediments was greater than that of Kimages Creek. Equilibrium Phosphate Concentrations calculated for each site show that fine sediments at Kimages Creek have resulted in higher phosphorus retention potential.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

August 2011

Included in

Biology Commons