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Discussion papers | Copyright
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Original research article 04 Jun 2018

Original research article | 04 Jun 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal SOIL (SOIL).

Phosphorus transport in lateral subsurface flow at forested hillslopes

Jakob Sohrt1, Heike Puhlmann2, and Markus Weiler1 Jakob Sohrt et al.
  • 1Chair of Hydrology, Albert-Ludwigs-University of Freiburg, Friedrichstraße 39, 79098 Freiburg, Germany
  • 2Forest Research Institute of Baden-Württemberg, Wonnhaldestr. 4, 79100 Freiburg, Germany

Abstract. This study is concerned with the transport of Phosphorus (P) with lateral subsurface flow in the organic layer and topsoil of three forested headwater sites in Germany. Sampling frequency was set proportional to the incident flow rate in high temporal resolution. With this approach we want to investigate intra-event dynamics of P transport in lateral subsurface flow to establish initial process understanding about this potentially relevant pathway of P loss in forested hillslopes. With the organic layer being an important transfer site in the P cycle of temperate forests, availability and transportability of P in short timescales may reveal details about the overall balance of P in theses ecosystems. Our results demonstrate that P concentrations in lateral flow are highly variable within and in between distinct flow events as well as among our study sites. To determine possible controls of the P transport we constructed multiple linear models of the P concentration in lateral flow as a function of site specific environmental datasets. Site affiliation was responsible for more than half of total explained variability regarding P concentration in lateral flow, followed by flow rate, electric conductivity of subsurface lateral flow

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Short summary
We sampled concentrations of phosphorus (P) in laterally flowing water in the organic layer of three beech forest sites. Sampling frequency was in the range to minutes to ours with the intent of capturing short term variability of this parameter and the underlying mechanisms, which were analyzed with a modeling approach. While site affiliation was found to be a strong influence on P concentrations in lateral flow, some universal effects – like antecedent soil moisture – could also be determined.
We sampled concentrations of phosphorus (P) in laterally flowing water in the organic layer of...