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Nitrogen Loading in Coastal Water Bodies: An Atmospheric Perspective

Nitrogen Loading in Coastal Water Bodies: An Atmospheric Perspective


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Published by the American Geophysical Union as part of the Coastal and Estuarine Studies, Volume 57.

Every time it rains, biologically active nitrogen compounds are transferred from the air to whatever surface lies underneath; what a farmer once called "the poor man's fertilizer." In fact, nitrogen containing compounds are transferred between surface and atmosphere even when it is not raining. That this atmospheric nitrogen deposition impacts on the environment is a scientifically accepted fact, established during the acid rain debates led by the National Acid Precipitation Assessment Program. The extent to which this deposition contributes to the decline of coastal waters around the United States due to over fertilization, however, is still under debate. In response to and as a continuation of this debate is the current work before you: the first attempt to consistently and comprehensively estimate the relative contribution of atmospherically delivered nitrogen to the total amount of nitrogen entering coastal estuaries around the United States.

Richard A. Valigura  vii

An Introduction to the First Assessmenot f Nitrogen Loads to US Estuaries with an Atmospheric Perspective
Richard A. Valigura  1

Atmospheric D eposition o f Nitrogen in Coastal W aters: Biogeochemicai and Ecological Implications
Hans W. Paerl, Walter R. Boynton, Robin L. Dennis, Charles T. Driscoll, Holly S. Greening, James N. Kremer, Nancy N. Rabalais, and Sybil P. Seitzinger  11

Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition to Coastal Estuaries and Their Watersheds
Tilden Meyers, Joseph Sickles, Robin Dennis, Kristina Russell, James Galloway, and Thomas Church 53

Contribution of Atmospheric Deposition to the Total Nitrogen Loads to Thirty-four Estuaries on the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts of the United States
Mark S. Castro, Charles T. Driscoll, Thomas E. Jordan, Wlliam G. Reay, Walter R. Boynton, Sybil P. Seitzinger, Rende V . Styles, and Dave E. Cable 77

A Comparison of Independent N-loading Estimates for U.S. Estuaries
R. E. Turner, D. Stanley, D. Brock, J. Pennock and N. N. Rabalais 107

Atmospheric Nitrogen Flux From the Watersheds of Major Estuaries of the United States: An Application of the SPARROW Watershed Model
Richard B. Alexander, Richard A. Smith, Gregory E. Schwartz, Stephen D. Preston, John W. Brakebill, Raghavan Srinivasan, and Percy A. Pacheco  119

Uncertainties in Individual Estuary N-loading Assessments
D. A. Brock  171

Contributions of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition to U.S. Estuaries: Summary and Conclusions
Paul E. Stacey, Holly S. Greening, James N. Kremer, David Peterson, and David A. Tomasko  187

An Annotated Summary of Nitrogen Loading to US Estuaries
D. Stanley 227