Journal cover Journal topic
Biogeosciences An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
Journal topic
Volume 12, issue 18
Biogeosciences, 12, 5365–5369, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-5365-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.
Biogeosciences, 12, 5365–5369, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/bg-12-5365-2015
© Author(s) 2015. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 License.

Peer-reviewed comment 17 Sep 2015

Peer-reviewed comment | 17 Sep 2015

Comment on "Solute-specific scaling of inorganic nitrogen and phosphorus uptake in streams" by Hall et al. (2013)

R. González-Pinzón1, J. Mortensen1, and D. Van Horn2 R. González-Pinzón et al.
  • 1Department of Civil Engineering, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA
  • 2Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87131, USA

Abstract. Hall et al. (2013) presented a synthesis on 969 nutrient tracer experiments conducted primarily in headwater streams (generally < fourth-order streams), with discharges < 200 L s−1 for ~90 % of the experiments, and used a scaling method to test the hypothesis that nutrient demand is constant with increasing stream size (i.e., along a river continuum). In this comment we present a reanalysis of a subset of the data used by Hall et al. (2013) and propose that their correlations between nutrient uptake lengths of ecologically important solutes and specific discharge are inadvertently spurious. Therefore, the conclusions derived from such correlations are debatable. We conclude the comment by highlighting some of the uncertainties associated with using modeling frameworks for scaling nutrient uptake in stream ecosystems.

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Short summary
Hall et al. (2013) presented a synthesis of 969 nutrient tracer experiments and used a scaling method to test the hypothesis that nutrient demand is constant with increasing stream size. In this comment we present a reanalysis of a subset of the data used by Hall et al. (2013) and propose that their correlations between nutrient uptake lengths and specific discharge are inadvertently spurious. Therefore, the conclusions derived from such correlations are debatable.
Hall et al. (2013) presented a synthesis of 969 nutrient tracer experiments and used a scaling...
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