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Hydrology and Earth System Sciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/hessd-12-449-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/hessd-12-449-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

  13 Jan 2015

13 Jan 2015

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This preprint was under review for the journal HESS but the revision was not accepted.

Inverse isolation of dissolved inorganic nitrogen yield for individual land-uses from mosaic land-use patterns within a watershed

Y.-T. Shih1, T.-Y. Lee2, J.-C. Huang1, S.-J. Kao3, K.-K. Liu4, and F.-J. Chang5 Y.-T. Shih et al.
  • 1Department of Geography, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 2Department of Geography, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan
  • 3State Key Laboratory of Marine Environmental Science, Xiamen University, Xiamen, China
  • 4Institute of Hydrological and Oceanic Sciences, National Central University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
  • 5Department of Bioenvironmental Systems Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan

Abstract. This study combines the observed riverine DIN (dissolved inorganic nitrogen) export and the controlling factors (land-use, population and discharge) to inversely estimate the effective DIN yield factors for individual land-use and DIN per capita loading. A total of 16 sub-catchments, with different land-use compositions on the Danshui River of Taiwan, were used in this study. Observed riverine DIN concentrations and yields varied from 20–450 μM and 400–10 000 kg N km−2 yr−1 corresponding to the increase of urbanization gradient (e.g. building and population). Meanwhile, the transport behaviors changed from hydrological enhancement to dilution with increasing urbanization as well. Our method shows that the DIN yield factors, independent of discharge, are 12.7, 63.9, and 1381.0 μM, for forest, agriculture, and building, respectively, which equals to 444.5, 2236.5, 48 335 kg N km−2 yr−1 at the given annual runoff of 2500 mm. The agriculture DIN yield only accounts for 10% of fertilizer application indicating the complicated N cascade and possible over fertilization. The DIN per capita loading (~0.49 kg N capita−1 yr−1) which is lower than the documented human N emission (1.6–5.5 kg N capita−1 yr−1) can be regarded as an effective export coefficient after treatment or retention. A conducted scenario experiment supports the observations demonstrating the capability for assessment. We therefore, can extrapolate all possible combinations of land-use, discharge, and population density for evaluation. This can provide a strong basis for watershed management and supplementary estimation for regional to global study.

Y.-T. Shih et al.

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Y.-T. Shih et al.

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Short summary
This study combines the observed riverine DIN (dissolved inorganic nitrogen) export and the controlling factors (land-use, population and discharge) to inversely estimate the effective DIN yield factors for individual land-use and per capita loading. Those estimated DIN yield factors can extrapolate all possible combinations of land-use, discharge, and population density, demonstrating the capability for scenario assessment.
This study combines the observed riverine DIN (dissolved inorganic nitrogen) export and the...
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