Massive deposition of calcium carbonate in ambient temperature waters (tufa) can form magnificent tufa landscapes, many of which are designated as protected areas. However, tufa landscapes in many areas are threatened by both local anthropogenic activities and climate change. This study, for the first time, posed the question whether the tufa landscape degradation (characterized by tufa degradation and increased biomass of green algae) in Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve of China is partially caused by regional air pollution and climate warming. The results indicate that wet deposition (including rain and snow) polluted by anthropogenic SO2, NOx, and NH3 emissions dissolves exposed tufa and may considerably reduce tufa deposition rate and even cause tufa dissolution within shallow waters. These effects of wet deposition on tufa enhanced as pH of wet deposition decreased from 8.01 to 5.06. Annual Volume Weighted Mean concentration of reactive nitrogen (including NH4+ and NO3-) in wet deposition (26.1 μmol L-1) was 1.8 times of the corresponding value of runoff (14.8 μmol L-1) and exceeded China's national standard of total nitrogen in runoff for nature reserves (14.3 μmol L-1), indicating a direct nitrogen fertilization effect of wet deposition on green algae. As water temperature is the major limiting factor of algal growth in Jiuzhaigou and temperature in the top layer (0-5 cm) of runoff (depth < 1 m, no canopy coverage of trees and shrubs) was significantly higher at the sites with increased biomass of green algae (p < 0.05), climate warming in this region would favor algal growth. In sum, this study suggests that climate warming and enhanced sulfur and nitrogen deposition have contributed to the current degradation of tufa landscape in Jiuzhaigou, but in order to quantify the contributions, further studies are needed, as many other anthropogenic and natural processes also influence tufa landscape evolution.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2016|
|Titolo:||Are climate warming and enhanced atmospheric deposition of sulfur and nitrogen threatening tufa landscapes in Jiuzhaigou National Nature Reserve, Sichuan, China?|
|Autori:||Qiao, Xue; Du, Jie; Lugli, Stefano; Ren, Jinhai; Xiao, Weiyang; Chen, Pan; Tang, Ya|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.04.073|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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