Peer-Reviewed Journal Details
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Bahadori M.;Chen C.;Lewis S.;Rashti M.R.;Cook F.;Parnell A.;Esfandbod M.;Stevens T.
Marine Pollution Bulletin
Tracing the sources of sediment and associated particulate nitrogen from different land uses in the Johnstone River catchment, Wet Tropics, north-eastern Australia
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Fingerprinting Geochemical signatures Mixing models Particulate nitrogen Stable isotope
© 2020 While the ecosystem of the Great Barrier Reef (GBR), north-eastern Australia, is being threatened by the elevated levels of sediments and nutrients discharged from adjacent coastal river systems, the source of these detrimental pollutants are not well understood. Here we used a combined isotopic (δ13C, δ15N) and geochemical (Zn, Pt and S) signatures and stable isotope analysis in R (SIAR) mixing model to estimate the contribution of different land uses to the sediment and associated particulate nitrogen delivered to the Johnstone River. Results showed that rainforest was the largest contributor of suspended and bed sediments in the river estuary (both 33.1%), followed by banana (26.7%, 20.4%), sugarcane (21.5%, 21.4%) and grazing (18.7%, 25.1%). However, bananas and sugarcane land uses had the highest contribution to sediments delivered to the coast per unit of area. This will help land managers to prioritise on-ground activities to improve water quality in the GBR lagoon.
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