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Martin Søndergaard

High ammonium loading can increase alkaline phosphatase activity and promote sediment phosphorus release: A two-month mesocosm experiment

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  • Shuo Nan Ma, Univ Chinese Acad Sci, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, CAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Coll Resources & Environm, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology
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  • Hai Jun Wang, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, Inst Hydrobiol, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol
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  • Hong Zhu Wang, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, Inst Hydrobiol, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol
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  • Yan Li, Univ Chinese Acad Sci, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, CAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Coll Resources & Environm, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology
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  • Miao Liu, Univ Chinese Acad Sci, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, CAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Coll Resources & Environm, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology
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  • Xiao Min Liang, Chinese Acad Sci, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Institute of Hydrobiology, CAS, Inst Hydrobiol, State Key Lab Freshwater Ecol & Biotechnol
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  • Qing Yu, Univ Chinese Acad Sci, University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, CAS, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Coll Resources & Environm, State Key Laboratory of Freshwater Ecology and Biotechnology
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  • Erik Jeppesen
  • Martin Sondergaard

In aquatic ecosystems, ammonium is one of the dominant substances in the effluent discharge from wastewater treatment plants and its impact has been widely explored as it is thought, in its toxic form (NH3), to cause stress on organisms. Little is, however, known about its potential effect on the release of phosphorus (P) from the sediment. In a two-month mesocosm (150 L) experiment, we tested if high loading of ammonium promotes sediment P release and investigated the dominant underlying mechanisms. A gradient of five target ammonium loading levels was used by adding NH4CI fertilizer: no addition/control (N0), 3 (N1), 5 (N2), 10 (N3), and 21 (N4) mg NH4Cl L-1 (NH4CI expressed as nitrogen). We found that: 1) significant sediment P release for N3 and N4 but minor release or retention for NO, N1, and N2 were detected both by the total phosphorus concentration (TP) in the overlying water and in situ measurements of diffusive gradients in thin-films (DGT) at the sediment-water interface; 2) overall, TP correlated significantly and positively with total nitrogen (TN) concentrations in the water. Further correlation and path analyses suggested that stimulated alkaline phosphatase activity (APA) was likely the dominant mechanisms behind the ammonium-induced sediment P release and decreased dissolved oxygen (DO) levels (an approximate reduction from 9.2 to 6.6 mg O2 L-1) was likely a contributing factor, particularly in the beginning of the experiment. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
JournalWater Research
Volume145
Pages (from-to)388-397
Number of pages10
ISSN0043-1354
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 15 Nov 2018

    Research areas

  • Sediment phosphorus release, Ammonium loading, Alkaline phosphatase activity, Dissolved oxygen, LAKE-SEDIMENTS, EUTROPHIC LAKE, GLOBAL ASSESSMENT, DISSOLVED-OXYGEN, WATER INTERFACE, SHALLOW LAKES, NITROGEN, PHYTOPLANKTON, TAIHU, CHINA

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