Effects of antecedent rain history on particulate phosphorus loss from a small forested watershed of Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa)

Jun'ichiro Ide, Hirokazu Haga, Masaaki Chiwa, Kyoichi Otsuki

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35 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to clarify the effects of antecedent rain history on particulate phosphorus (PP) loss in a small mountainous watershed covered primarily with a plantation forest of Japanese cypress (Chamaecyparis obtusa). We analyzed stream discharge and PP concentration at 15-60 min intervals during 24 h in eight rain events with different discharge levels. The PP concentration versus stream discharge (PPC-Q) relationships exhibited clockwise hysteresis loops for each of the eight events monitored. Discharge could explain changes in PP concentration on the falling but not rising limb of the hydrograph. On the rising limb, a positive relationship between the rate of changes in discharge (dQ/dt) and the PP load (dL/dt) was found for each event. This indicates that a large amount of PP is strongly pulsed at times of rapidly increased discharge. These results suggest that dQ/dt is the driving force behind PP supply and the primary control on the clockwise hysteresis loop of PPC-Q relationship. There was a strong negative correlation between the antecedent precipitation index and the slope of the dL/dt versus dQ/dt relationship. This shows that a rapid increase in PP load occurs even with slight increases in discharge as antecedent moisture conditions become drier. The soil water repellency and rapid runoff response following dry conditions support that soil desiccation increases the PP supply associated with soil erosion via overland flow. Therefore, we concluded that the antecedent rain history affects the mobility of PP via soil desiccation. The findings of this study will fill gaps in our understanding of temporal variations in released fine sediment and associated PP as reported in previous studies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)322-335
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - May 15 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Water Science and Technology


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