Comparing nutrient export from first, second and third order watersheds in the South Carolina Atlantic coastal plain

This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document here.


Monitoring of stream water chemistry in forested watersheds provides information to environmental scientists that relate management operations to hydrologic and biogeochemical processes. We used data for the first order watershed, WS80, and second order watershed, WS79, at Santee Experimental Forest. We also used data from a third order watershed, WS78, to identify the differences in temporal changes of stream water chemistry from 2006 to 2012. Phosphate concentrations for WS80 and WS79 decreased from 2006 to 2012. Most of the nitrogen (N) component was dominated by organic N and the watershed that registered highest organic N also registered highest total N concentration. Phosphate and N concentrations for all watersheds varied with rainfall received in the area. The annual mean pH of all watersheds significantly increased with stream conductivity (p < 0.05). The differences in fluctuations of observed annual stream water nutrient concentrations for all watersheds may provide a basis for nutrient availability for aquatic responses.


  • Citation: Muwamba, Augustine; Amatya, Devendra M.; Trettin, Carl C.; Glover, James B. 2016. Comparing nutrient export from first, second and third order watersheds in the South Carolina Atlantic coastal plain. In: Stringer, Christina E.; Krauss, Ken W.; Latimer, James S., eds.  Headwaters to Estuaries: Advances in watershed Science and management. Proceedings of the Fifth Interagency Conference on Research in the Watersheds. March 2-5, 2015. North Charleston, SC. e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-211. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station: 82-88.

Requesting Print Publications

Publication requests are subject to availability. Fiscal responsibility limits the hardcopies of publications we produce and distribute. Electronic versions of publications may be downloaded, distributed and printed.

Please make any requests at

Publication Notes

  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • Our online publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact the SRS webmaster if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
  • To view this article, download the latest version of Adobe Acrobat Reader.