Nutrient thresholds to protect water quality and coral reefs

Houk, Peter, Comeros-Raynal, Mia, Lawrence, Alice, Sudek, Mareike, Vaeoso, Motusaga, McGuire, Kim, and Regis, Josephine (2020) Nutrient thresholds to protect water quality and coral reefs. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 159. 111451.

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Abstract

Establishing nutrient thresholds to protect coral reefs is difficult because water quality is dynamic and shifts with many environmental factors. We examined the contribution of natural and human factors in predicting water quality at the base of 34 streams on a high tropical Pacific island. Mixed regression models revealed that rainfall, sea-surface temperature, and windspeed were fixed factors predicting dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) concentrations at the base of all watersheds. In contrast, human influences were captured as random components of variation associated with site-based differences. The novel modeling approach using temporal and spatial data provided daily-loading simulations that were used to evaluate exceedance criteria, defined as the percent of time each watershed exceeded a suite of DIN thresholds. Exceedance criteria were considered alongside biological data to recommend a 0.1 to 0.15 mg l−1 benchmark to protect coastal water quality and coral reefs surrounding Tutuila, American Samoa.

Item ID: 66694
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1879-3363
Keywords: Coral reefs, Dissolved inorganic nitrogen, Mixed-regression modeling, Total maximum daily loads, Water-quality standards
Copyright Information: © 2020 Elsevier Ltd.
Funders: U.S.A. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
Projects and Grants: EPA Region 9 Wetland Program Development Grant.
Date Deposited: 04 May 2021 23:10
FoR Codes: 41 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES > 4105 Pollution and contamination > 410504 Surface water quality processes and contaminated sediment assessment @ 70%
31 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 3103 Ecology > 310305 Marine and estuarine ecology (incl. marine ichthyology) @ 30%
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