Navigation Links
ORNL study finds rivers play part in removing nitrogen
Date:3/12/2008

OAK RIDGE, Tenn., March 12, 2008 Tiny organisms play a powerful role in removing nitrate, a form of nitrogen pollution caused by human activity, in streams, according to a study by a team led by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and published in Nature.

In the first phase of the study, which involved 31 aquatic scientists from across the United States, researchers added small amounts of an uncommon non-radioactive isotope of nitrogen to 72 streams across the U.S. and Puerto Rico. Using this tracer, the teams objective was to measure how far downstream the nitrate traveled and how it was removed from water.

We found that the nitrate was filtered from stream water by tiny organisms such as algae, fungi and bacteria, said Patrick Mulholland, lead author of the study and a member of Oak Ridge National Laboratorys Environmental Sciences Division. Mulholland has a joint appointment at the University of Tennessee.

The researchers also found that a considerable amount of nitrate was removed from streams by a bacterially mediated process known as denitrification, which converts nitrate to nitrogen gas. That gas then escapes harmlessly to the atmosphere, Mulholland said.

In the second phase of the study, the scientists developed a model to study nitrate removal from water within river networks. These networks develop as small streams flow into larger streams and rivers.

Our model showed that the entire stream network is important in removing pollution from stream water, Mulholland said. In addition, the effectiveness of streams to remove nitrate was greatest if the streams were not overloaded by pollutants such as fertilizers and wastes from human activities.

The largest removal occurred when nitrate entered small healthy streams and traveled throughout the network before reaching large rivers. The scientists concluded from their research that streams and rivers are effective filters that can help prevent nitrate pollution from reaching lakes and the coastal waters where this type of pollution can cause noxious algal blooms and lead to oxygen depletion and death of fish and shellfish.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ron Walli
wallira@ornl.gov
865-576-0226
DOE/Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Childhood obesity indicates greater risk of school absenteeism, Penn study reveals
2. A study by the MUHC and McGill University opens a new door to understanding cancer
3. Study begins to reveal clues to the cause and progression of sepsis
4. Clones on task serve greater good, evolutionary study shows
5. New study warns limited carbon market puts 20 percent of tropical forest at risk
6. New study examines how rearing environment can alter navigation
7. Study links cat disease to flame retardants in furniture and to pet food
8. New continent and species discovered in Atlantic study
9. Study shows link between alcohol consumption and hiv disease progression
10. Feeling hot, hot, hot: New study suggests ways to control fever-induced seizures
11. Study finds environmental tests help predict hospital-acquired Legionnaires disease risk
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:6/2/2016)... , June 2, 2016 ... Manned Platforms, Unmanned Systems, Physical Infrastructure, Support & Other ... provider visiongain offers comprehensive analysis of the ... this market will generate revenues of $17.98 billion in ... acquired DVTEL Inc, a leader in software and hardware ...
(Date:5/12/2016)... WearablesResearch.com , a brand of Troubadour Research & ... Q1 wave of its quarterly wearables survey. A particular ... a program where they would receive discounts for sharing ... "We were surprised to see that so many ... CEO of Troubadour Research, "primarily because there are segments ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... LONDON , April 26, 2016 ... a product subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: ... to integrate the Onegini mobile security platform with ... http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ) The integration will ... to access and transact across channels. Using this ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:6/24/2016)... ... June 24, 2016 , ... While the majority of commercial spectrophotometers ... 5000 and the 6000i models are higher end machines that use the more unconventional ... spectrophotometer’s light beam from the bottom of the cuvette holder. , FireflySci has ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... CAMBRIDGE, Mass. , June 23, 2016 /PRNewswire/ ... the development of novel compounds designed to target ... compound, napabucasin, has been granted Orphan Drug Designation ... in the treatment of gastric cancer, including gastroesophageal ... cancer stemness inhibitor designed to inhibit cancer stemness ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... , ... June 23, 2016 , ... ... YM (Yeast and Mold) microbial test has received AOAC Research Institute approval 061601. ... microbial tests introduced last year,” stated Bob Salter, Vice President of Regulatory and ...
(Date:6/23/2016)... ... June 23, 2016 , ... Supplyframe, ... of the Supplyframe Design Lab . Located in Pasadena, Calif., the Design ... of how hardware projects are designed, built and brought to market. , The ...
Breaking Biology Technology: