Nitrogen Removal by River Systems of the Feng River Basin in China


Article Preview

As human activities continue to alter the global nitrogen cycle, the ability to predict the impact of increased nitrogen loading to river systems is becoming more and more important. Nitrogen retention is of particular interest because it is through its combined processes that local and downstream nitrogen concentrations are reduced. To determine the potential for N removed from Feng River network, we used stream chemistry and hydrogeo-morphology data from 17 stream and river sites to estimate NO3-–N removal in Feng River system of China. We used a N removal model to predict NO3-–N input and removal in December of 2011. NO3-–N input ranged from 0.06 to 20 kg km-1d-1in the Feng River system. Cumulative river network NO3-–N input was 446 ton year-1 in dry season in whole water system. NO3N removal based on the model ranged from 0.04 to 4.2 kg km-1d-1 December of 2011 for Feng River. Cumulative river network NO3-–N removal predicted by the model was 58 ton year-1 in dry season. Proportional NO3N removal (PNR) ranged from 0.2 to 0.6 in this time. PNR was negatively correlated with both stream orders.



Edited by:

Z.S. Liu, L.P. Xu, X.D. Liang, Z.H. Wang and H.M. Zhang




J. H. Zhi et al., "Nitrogen Removal by River Systems of the Feng River Basin in China", Advanced Materials Research, Vol. 1015, pp. 631-634, 2014

Online since:

August 2014




* - Corresponding Author

[1] Vitousek P M, Aber J D, Howarth R W, et al. Human alteration of the global nitrogen cycle: sources and consequences [J]. Ecological Applications, 1997, 7: 737–750.


[2] Seitzinger SP, Styles RV, Boyer EW, et al. Nitrogen retention in rivers: model development and application to watershed in the northeastern USA [J]. Biogeochemistry, 2002, 57(58): 199-237.

[3] Palmer M A. Reforming watershed restoration: science in need of application and applications in need of science[J]. Estuar Coasts, 2009, 32: 1–17.


[4] Smith R A, Schwarz G E & Alexander R B. Regional interpretation of water-quality monitoring data. [J]. Water Resources Research, 1997, 33(12): 2781-2798.


[5] Alexander R B, Smith R A & Schwarz G E. Effect of stream channel size on the delivery of nitrogen to the Gulf of Mexico [J]. Nature , 2000, 403: 758-761.

[6] Wollheim WM, Vorosmarty CJ, Peterson BJ, Seitzinger SP, Hopkinson CS. Relationship between river size and nutrient removal[J]. Geophys Res Lett, 2006, 33: L06410.


[7] Mulholland PJ, Helton AJ, Poole GC, et al. Stream denitrification across biomes and its response to anthropogenic nitrate loading [J]. Nature, 2008, 452: 202~206.

[8] Helton A M, Poole G C, Meyer J L, et al. Thinking outside the channel: modeling nitrogen cycling in networked river ecosystems [J]. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 2011, 9: 229-238.

[9] Hill B H, Bolgrien D W. Nitrogen removal by streams and rivers of the Upper Mississippi River basin [J]. Biogeochemistry, 2011, 102: 183-194.