Cole Marci L.

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Cole
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Marci L.
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  • Article
    Macrophytes as indicators of land-derived wastewater : application of a δ15N method in aquatic systems
    (American Geophysical Union, 2005-01-25) Cole, Marci L. ; Kroeger, Kevin D. ; McClelland, James W. ; Valiela, Ivan
    We measured δ15N signatures of macrophytes and particulate organic matter (POM) in six estuaries and three freshwater ponds of Massachusetts to assess whether the signatures could be used as indicators of the magnitude of land-derived nitrogen loads, concentration of dissolved inorganic nitrogen in the water column, and percentage of N loads contributed by wastewater disposal. The study focused specifically on sites on Cape Cod and Nantucket Island, in the northeastern United States. There was no evidence of seasonal changes in δ15N values of macrophytes or POM. The δ15N values of macrophytes and POM increased as water column dissolved inorganic nitrogen concentrations increased. We found that δ15N of macrophytes, but not of POM, increased as N load increased. The δ15N values of macrophytes and groundwater NO3 tracked the percent of wastewater contribution linearly. This research confirms that δ15N values of macrophytes and NO3 can be excellent indicators of anthropogenic N in aquatic systems.
  • Preprint
    Effects of watershed land use on nitrogen concentrations and δ15 Nitrogen in groundwater
    ( 2005-07-18) Cole, Marci L. ; Kroeger, Kevin D. ; McClelland, James W. ; Valiela, Ivan
    Eutrophication is a major agent of change affecting freshwater, estuarine, and marine systems. It is largely driven by transportation of nitrogen from natural and anthropogenic sources. Research is needed to quantify this nitrogen delivery and to link the delivery to specific land-derived sources. In this study we measured nitrogen concentrations and δ15N values in seepage water entering three freshwater ponds and six estuaries on Cape Cod, Massachusetts and assessed how they varied with different types of land use. Nitrate concentrations and δ15N values in groundwater reflected land use in developed and pristine watersheds. In particular, watersheds with larger populations delivered larger nitrate loads with higher δ15N values to receiving waters. The enriched δ15N values confirmed nitrogen loading model results identifying wastewater contributions from septic tanks as the major N source. Furthermore, it was apparent that N coastal sources had a relatively larger impact on the N loads and isotopic signatures than did inland N sources further upstream in the watersheds. This finding suggests that management priorities could focus on coastal sources as a first course of action. This would require management constraints on a much smaller population.