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Forest Streamwater Concentrations of Nitrogen and Phosphorus: A Comparison with EPA's Proposed Water Quality Criteria

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To address the problem of excessive nutrients in US waters, the Environmental Protection Agency is developing water quality criteria for four types of waterbodies and 14 ecoregions. In this article we focus on total nitrogen and total phosphorus criteria for rivers and streams. A review of 300 streams draining small forested watersheds finds that nutrient concentrations often exceed EPA's proposed criteria. More detailed nutrient concentration patterns were evaluated for eight unmanaged research forested watersheds, three of which would have failed EPA criteria and been identified as impaired. Finer-scale tools would more precisely reflect water quality patterns and make the nutrient criteria rational, physically achievable, and biologically relevant.
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Keywords: ecology; environmental management; forest; forest management; forest resources; forestry; forestry research; forestry science; natural resource management; natural resources; policy; pollution

Document Type: Miscellaneous

Affiliations: 1: Principal Scientist West Coast Regional Center, National Council for Air and Stream Improvement, Inc., PO Box 458 Corvallis, OR, 97339, [email protected] 2: Professor Department of Forest Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins,

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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  • The Journal of Forestry is the most widely circulated scholarly forestry journal in the world. In print since 1902, the Journal has received several national awards for excellence. The mission of the Journal of Forestry is to advance the profession of forestry by keeping forest management professionals informed about significant developments and ideas in the many facets of forestry: economics, education and communication, entomology and pathology, fire, forest ecology, geospatial technologies, history, international forestry, measurements, policy, recreation, silviculture, social sciences, soils and hydrology, urban and community forestry, utilization and engineering, and wildlife management. The Journal is published bimonthly: January, March, May, July, September, and November.

    2016 Impact Factor: 1.675 (Rank 20/64 in forestry)

    Average time from submission to first decision: 39.6 days*
    June 1, 2016 to Feb. 28, 2017

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