Nevin Manimala Statistics

Using a Multi-isotope Approach and Isotope Mixing Models to Trace and Quantify Phosphorus Sources in the Tuojiang River, Southwest China

Environ Sci Technol. 2023 Mar 15. doi: 10.1021/acs.est.2c07216. Online ahead of print.


Identifying phosphorus (P) sources is critical for solving eutrophication and controlling P in aquatic environments. Phosphate oxygen isotopes (δ18Op) have been used to trace P sources. However, the application of this method has been greatly restricted due to δ18OP values from the potential source having wide and overlapping ranges. In this research, P sources were traced by combining δ18Op with multiple stable isotopes of nitrogen (δ15N), hydrogen (δD), and dissolved inorganic carbon (δ13C). Then, a Bayesian-based Stable Isotope Analysis in R (SIAR) model and IsoSource model were used to estimate the proportional contributions of the potential sources in the Tuojiang River. δ18Op was not in equilibrium with ambient water, and statistically significant differences in the δ18Op values were found between the potential sources, indicating that δ18Op can be used to trace the P sources. δ15N, δD, and δ13C could assist δ18Op in identifying the main sources of P. The SIAR and IsoSource models suggested that industrial and domestic sewage was the largest contributor, followed by phosphate rock and phosphogypsum and agricultural sewage. The uncertainty of the calculation results of the SIAR model was lower than that of the IsoSource model. These findings provide new insights into tracing P sources using multiple stable isotopes in watersheds.

PMID:36920429 | DOI:10.1021/acs.est.2c07216

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