Skip to main content
Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2021

Carbon, Nutrients and Methylmercury in Water from Small Catchments Affected by Various Forest Management Operations

Klavina, Zane; Bardule, Arta; Eklof, Karin; Bitenieks, Kriss; Klavins, Ivars; Libiete, Zane;

Abstract

Forest management activities in boreal and hemiboreal environments have been found to increase the concentration of carbon, nutrients, and methylmercury (MeHg) in runoff water, thus contributing to environmental quality issues. We evaluated carbon, nutrient, and MeHg concentrations in water at eight small, forested catchments on organic soils in Latvia, subject to ditch cleaning and beaver dam removal. These management-induced disturbances were classified into a major, minor, or no disturbance classes. The concentrations of dissolved organic carbon and total nitrogen were elevated in disturbed catchments (both major and minor) compared to the catchments with no disturbance. The concentrations of MeHg in the water displayed a clear seasonal variation with higher concentrations in spring and summer, but there were no significant differences in MeHg concentrations between catchments with major, minor, and no disturbances. However, the higher concentrations of SO42- in the disturbed catchments compared to those undisturbed may promote MeHg formation if the conditions become more reduced further downstream. While most former studies of forest management effects on water quality have focused on forest harvest, our research contributes to the currently rather scarce pool of data on the impact of less-studied management operations, such as ditch cleaning and beaver dam removal, on carbon, nutrient, and MeHg concentrations in runoff water.

Keywords

carbon; nutrients; methylmercury; drainage ditches; forest land; organic soils

Published in

Forests

2021, volume: 12, number: 9, article number: 1278
Publisher: MDPI

Authors' information

Klavina, Zane
University of Latvia
Bārdule, Arta
Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava"
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Aquatic Sciences and Assessment
Bitenieks, Kriss
Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava
Klavins, Ivars
University of Latvia
Lībiete, Zane
Latvian State Forest Research Institute "Silava"

UKÄ Subject classification

Forest Science

Publication Identifiers

DOI: https://doi.org/10.3390/f12091278

URI (permanent link to this page)

https://res.slu.se/id/publ/113858