Whole stream nitrogen uptake and denitrification in a restored stream of the Chesapeake Bay
Klocker, Carolyn Ann
Kaushal, Sujay S
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Little is currently known about the effects of stream restoration practices on in-stream processing and nitrogen removal. This study quantified nitrate retention in a survey of two restored and two unrestored streams in Baltimore, MD using unenriched nitrate additions, denitrification enzyme assays, and a <sup>15</sup>N isotope tracer addition in one of the urban restored streams, Minebank Run. Denitrification potential in sediments was variable across streams, whereas nitrate uptake length was significantly correlated to surface water velocity, which was lowest in restored streams. In situ denitrification rates in Minbank Run were 153 mg NO<sub>3</sub><sup>-</sup>-N m<sup>-2</sup> d<sup>-1</sup>, and approximately 40% of the daily load of nitrate could be removed over a distance of 220.5 m. Stream restoration projects that decrease water velocity and increase residence time may lead to considerable rates of nitrate removal through denitrification.