Dredging has been widely implemented in shallow lakes to reduce internal nitrogen (N) loading. The suspended particulate matter (SPM) coming from polluted rivers usually contains high levels of N and ultimately deposits on the dredged sediment surfaces near the river mouth. To study the influence of the riverine SPM on N exchange across the sediment-water interface (SWI) after dredging, a 360-day experiment was carried out comparing un-dredged and dredged sediments from Lake Chaohu, China. Dredged treatments showed a significant increase (p < 0.01) in total N concentrations in the sediments, while the deposition of SPM had little influence on labile NH4+-N concentrations. In addition, NH4+-N concentrations in pore-water and NH4+-N fluxes were significantly lower in dredged than in un-dredged sediments, despite the deposition of SPM. The oxygen production rates and the oxygen penetration depth in the dredged sediments were both higher than those in the un-dredged sediments. The increase of Nitrospira in dredged sediments was consistent with their decreased NH4+-N concentrations and fluxes across the SWI. Therefore, the oxidizing condition, increased oxygen production/consumption rates and Nitrospira relative abundance across the SWI were believed to be correlated with the low N exchange rates in dredged sediments. Dredging for reducing internal N loading in a river mouth area is therefore feasible, although the influence of the riverine SPM should be taken into account when aiming to achieve a long-term internal N loading reduction.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Oct 1, 2017
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