Anthropogenic land use and urbanization alter the dynamics and increase the export of dissolved carbon in an urbanized river system

Gu, C., Waldron, S. and Bass, A. M. (2022) Anthropogenic land use and urbanization alter the dynamics and increase the export of dissolved carbon in an urbanized river system. Science of the Total Environment, 846, 157436. (doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2022.157436) (PMID:35863573)

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Greenhouse gas emissions from urban rivers play a crucial role in global carbon (C) cycling, this is tightly linked to dissolved C in rivers but research gaps remain. The effects of urbanization and anthropogenic land-use change on riverine dissolved carbon dynamics were investigated in a temperate river, the River Kelvin in UK. The river was constantly a source of methane (CH4) and carbon dioxide (CO2) to the atmosphere (excess concentration of CH4 ranged from 13 to 4441 nM, and excess concentration of CO2 ranged from 2.6 to 230.6 μM), and dissolved C concentrations show significant spatiotemporal variations (p < 0.05), reflecting a variety of proximal sources and controls. For example, the concentration variation of dissolved CH4 and dissolved CO2 were heavily controlled by the proximity of coal mine infrastructure in the tributary near the river head (~ 2 km) but were more likely controlled by adjacent landfills in the midstream section of the rivers main channel. Concentration and isotopic evidence revealed an important anthropogenic control on the riverine export of CO2 and dissolved organic carbon (DOC). However, dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC) input via groundwater at the catchment scale primarily controlled the dynamics of riverine DIC. Furthermore, the positive relationship between the isotopic composition of DIC and CO2 (r = 0.79, p < 0.01) indicates the DIC pool was at times also significantly influenced by soil respiratory CO2. Both DIC and DOC showed a weak but significant correlation with the proportion of urban/suburban land use, suggesting increased dissolved C export resulting from urbanization. This research elucidates a series of potentially key effects anthropogenic activities and land-use practices can have on riverine C dynamics and highlights the need for future consideration of the direct effects urbanization has on riverine C dynamics.

Item Type:Articles
Additional Information:This work was supported by China Scholarship Council (grant numbers: 201706320315) and University of Glasgow.
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Waldron, Professor Susan and Bass, Dr Adrian and Gu, Dr Chao
Authors: Gu, C., Waldron, S., and Bass, A. M.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
Journal Name:Science of the Total Environment
ISSN (Online):1879-1026
Published Online:18 July 2022
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2022 The Authors
First Published:First published in Science of the Total Environment 846: 157436
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License

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