Tracing the sources of sediment and associated particulate nitrogen from different land uses in the Johnstone River catchment, Wet Tropics, northeastern Australia

Bahadori, Mohammad, Chen, Chengrong, Lewis, Stephen, Rashti, Mehran Rezaei, Cook, Freeman, Parnell, Andrew, Esfandbod, Maryam, and Stevens, Thomas (2020) Tracing the sources of sediment and associated particulate nitrogen from different land uses in the Johnstone River catchment, Wet Tropics, northeastern Australia. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 157. 111344.

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Abstract

While the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), north-eastern Australia, is being threatened by the elevated levels of sediments and nutrients discharged from adjacent coastal river systems, the source of these detrimental pollutants are not well understood. Here we used a combined isotopic (delta C-13, delta N-15) and geochemical (Zn, Pt and S) signatures and stable isotope analysis in R (SIAR) mixing model to estimate the contribution of different land uses to the sediment and associated particulate nitrogen delivered to the Johnstone River. Results showed that rainforest was the largest contributor of suspended and bed sediments in the river estuary (both 33.1%), followed by banana (26.7%, 20.4%), sugarcane (21.5%, 21.4%) and grazing (18.7%, 25.1%). However, bananas and sugarcane land uses had the highest contribution to sediments delivered to the coast per unit of area. This will help land managers to prioritise on-ground activities to improve water quality in the GBR lagoon.

Item ID: 63997
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Fingerprinting, Mixing models, Particulate nitrogen, Stable isotope, Geochemical signatures
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
Funders: National Environmental Science Programme (NESP), Griffith University, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority (GBRMPA)
Projects and Grants: NESP 2.1.5
Date Deposited: 05 Aug 2020 07:37
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4104 Environmental management > 410404 Environmental management @ 100%
SEO Codes: 18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1806 Terrestrial systems and management > 180601 Assessment and management of terrestrial ecosystems @ 50%
18 ENVIRONMENTAL MANAGEMENT > 1805 Marine systems and management > 180505 Measurement and assessment of marine water quality and condition @ 50%
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