Discipline: Ecology Environmental and Earth Sciences
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Jacquelyn Martinez - Dodge City Community College
Co-Author(s): Walter Dodds, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas; James Guinnip, Kansas State University, Manhattan, Kansas
Intermittent rivers and streams constitute approximately 30 percent of the global river networks and this proportion could increase due to climate change and anthropogenic land-use. However, there is insufficient research that has been done to understand the natural functioning of streams and their responses to environmental disturbances. Some essential responses can be assessed by observing nutrient cycling within an ecosystem; therefore, allowing insight on factors controlling stream biota and water quality. Prior to the investigation, it was believed that following a drought period, the concentrations of nutrients would have increased. This assumption was based on the idea that during the drought period various forms of organic matter, leaves, plants, animals, would have fallen into the stream bed; the physico-chemical changes that occur in accumulated substrates after rewetting periods would cause pulses of dissolved nutrients being released. A comparative analysis was made by assessing patterns of nutrient concentrations in as grassland stream network (Kings Creek on Konza Prairie Biological Station) before and after flooding to improve understanding of the influence of flood and drought on nutrient availability. This was done by collecting water samples for inorganic nutrients (ammonium and nitrate), as well as other water quality measurements such as pH, dissolved oxygen (DO), and temperature, from various sites on Konza Prairie Biological Station in the Kings Creek stream networks. The water samples were then analyzed to quantify nutrient concentrations. Overall, compared to samples taken immediately following drought in 2018, nitrate levels have either decreased or stayed the same and continue to be relatively constant as water flows downstream, dissolved organic carbon has decreased, and ammonium (except for a few sites) has increased. Furthermore, by assessing the nutrient dynamics at different hydrologic stages, we can identify factors controlling spatial patterns of nutrient concentrations and extrapolate to biotic influences.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): National Science Foundation under grant 1305059; EpSoCR, grant no. OIA- 1656006
Faculty Advisor: Walter Dodds, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: The portion of my research consisted of gathering water samples from various locations within the streams of Konza Prairie Biological Station in Manhattan, KS. During this time temperature, pH levels, conductivity, and DO concentrations were also taken. Samples were then individually measured for ammonium concentrations using a spectrophotometer. Next, patterns within the data were identified.