Relationships between stream water chemistry and military land use in forested watersheds in Fort Benning, Georgia


Within a military land activity context, relationships between stream water chemistry and watershed land use, topography and vegetation were explored at the Fort Benning Military Installation, Georgia. Water quality parameters, including pH, temperature, conductivity, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total phosphorus, total organic carbon, chloride, and total suspended solids, were routinely measured in seven watersheds from October 2001 to September 2003. Military land use was categorized by the bare ground extent, road network, and designated military zones in each watershed as well as by soil characteristics and forest type. Natural watershed variables, area and soil texture, influenced the stream water pH and total phosphorus, respectively. The stream water total phosphorus, total Kjeldahl nitrogen, total organic carbon, and total suspended solids were well predicted by at least one aspect of military management as an explanatory variable. Stream water total Kjeldahl nitrogen and total organic carbon were negatively correlated with military land extent. While the military land extent did not show significant relationships with either total phosphorus or chloride, the road network used to support military training had significant relationships with both total phosphorus and chloride.


Earth Systems Research Center

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Ecological Indicators



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