Sources and cycling of nutrients and dissolved organic carbon in the Lower ACF basin and Lake Seminole
McEntire, Julie Marie
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In shallow reservoirs, the concentrations and transformations of nutrients and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) are determined by natural catchment characteristics, seasonal influences and fluctuations in hydrologic regimes. Examining the factors determining nutrient composition allows for better understanding of how systems process biologically important constituents that potentially affect downstream ecosystems. We examined the factors influencing nutrient and DOC concentrations in large rivers within the lower ACF river basin and estimated the capacity for retention and release within Lake Seminole. This study found that groundwater input and wetland flushing had more prominent effects on nutrient regimes in rivers without upstream reservoirs. Hydrologic variability and seasonal factors appear to control retention dynamics within the reservoir which generally acted as a sink for inorganic nutrients and a source for DOC. Additionally, decomposing Hydrilla verticillata appeared to be a source of inorganic nutrients and DOC that likely effects nutrient dynamics within Lake Seminole.