Date of Award

Summer 8-9-2022

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Department

Geosciences

First Advisor

Dr. Sarah H Ledford

Second Advisor

Dr. Luke Pangle

Abstract

Impervious surfaces prevent infiltration and deliver stormwater directly to streams and rivers. This limits precipitation-soil interactions and reduces the input of terrestrial DOM. Thus, urban streams are dominated DOM generated in situ. Stormwater ponds contain nutrient-rich runoff making them hotspots for primary production, increasing autochthonous DOM concentrations. When beavers construct a dam in a stream, the channel floods, creating a pond that retains water and nutrients. The subsequent inundation of soil and reconnection with the floodplain adds terrestrial carbon to the water. I hypothesized that beaver dams in urban streams introduce a new source of DOM not found in stormwater ponds, increasing allochthonous organic matter concentrations, and altering the quantity and bioavailability of carbon. My results indicate that all stormwater ponds significantly increase the quantity and uptake of DOC, but beaver ponds have the potential to decrease DOC concentration and consumption while significantly increasing the SUVA of a DOM pool.

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