Nitrogen removal by tropical floodplain wetlands through denitrification

Adame, M.F., Franklin, H., Waltham, N.J., Rodriguez, S., Kavehei, E., Turschwell, M.P., Balcombe, S.R., Kaniewski, P., Burford, M.A., and Ronan, M. (2019) Nitrogen removal by tropical floodplain wetlands through denitrification. Marine and Freshwater Research, 70. pp. 1513-1521.

[img] PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Restricted to Repository staff only

View at Publisher Website:


Excess nitrogen (N) leading to the eutrophication of water and impacts on ecosystems is a serious environmental challenge. Wetlands can remove significant amounts of N from the water, primarily through the process of denitrification. Most of our knowledge on wetland denitrification is from temperate climates; studies in natural tropical wetlands are very scarce. We measured denitrification rates during a dry and a wet season in five floodplain forests dominated by Melaleuca spp., a coastal freshwater wetland of tropical Australia. We hypothesised that the denitrification potential of these wetlands would be high throughout the year and would be limited by N and carbon (C) availability. Mean potential denitrification rates (Dt) were 5.0 ± 1.7 mg m2 h–1, and were within the reported ranges for other tropical and temperate wetlands. The rates of Dt were similar between the dry and the wet seasons. From the total unamended denitrification rates (Dw, 3.1 ± 1.7 mg m2 h–1), 64% was derived from NO3– of the water column and the rest from coupled nitrification–denitrification. The factor most closely associated with denitrification was background water NO3–-N concentrations. Improved management and protection of wetlands could play an important role in improving water quality in tropical catchments.

Item ID: 60381
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1448-6059
Keywords: Australia, Great Barrier Reef, isotope pairing, Melaleuca, palustrine, water quality
Copyright Information: Copyright © CSIRO 2019
Funders: Queensland Government (QG), Australian Government National Environmental Sciences Programme (NESP)
Projects and Grants: QG Advance Queensland Fellowship, NESP Tropical Water Quality Hub, Project 3.3.2, QG Wetland Team and Reef Water Quality Program
Date Deposited: 17 Sep 2019 04:04
FoR Codes: 31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310304 Freshwater ecology @ 40%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410402 Environmental assessment and monitoring @ 40%
41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410406 Natural resource management @ 20%
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9605 Ecosystem Assessment and Management > 960506 Ecosystem Assessment and Management of Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Environments @ 50%
96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960807 Fresh, Ground and Surface Water Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 50%
Downloads: Total: 1
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page