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Environ Sci Technol. 2013 Sep 3;47(17):9685-92. doi: 10.1021/es4005619. Epub 2013 Aug 15.

Impact of suspended inorganic particles on phosphorus cycling in the Yellow River (China).

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1
Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences , Beijing 100085, China.

Abstract

Phosphorus (P) in water and sediment in the Yellow River was measured for 21 stations from the source to the Bohai Sea in 2006-2007. The average total particulate matter (TPM) increased from 40 mg/L (upper reaches) to 520 mg/L (middle reaches) and 950 mg/L in the lower reaches of the river. The average dissolved PO4 concentration (0.43 ╬╝mol/L) was significantly higher than that in 1980's but lower than the world average level despite high nutrient input to the system. Much of the P input was removed by adsorption, which was due to the high TPM rather than the surface activity of the particles since they had low labile Fe and low affinity for P. The sediment was a sink for P in the middle to lower reaches but not in the upper to middle reaches. TPM has been reduced by more than an order of magnitude due to artificial dams operating over recent decades. Modeling revealed that TPM of 0.2-1 g/L was a critical threshold for the Yellow River, below which most of the phosphate input cannot be removed by the particles and may cause eutrophication. These findings are important for river management and land-ocean modeling of global biogeochemical P cycling.

PMID:
23902405
DOI:
10.1021/es4005619
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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