Role of stormflow in reducing N retention in a suburban forested watershed, western Japan

Masaaki Chiwa, Ryoko Maruno, Jun'Ichiro Ide, Takeaki Miyano, Naoko Higashi, Kyoichi Otsuki

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Citations (Scopus)


To evaluate the role of stormflow in reducing N retention in forested watersheds, we investigated the inorganic N budget of a Japanese suburban forested watershed for 4 years where the proportion of direct flow to precipitation is considerably high (mean is 33%; range is 25-42%). Soil net N mineralization and net nitrification were also measured at middle and lower positions of a slope within the watershed to evaluate nitrate (NO 3-) pool size. Annual mean N deposition via throughfall plus stemflow was 15.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1 (13.6-17.1 kg N ha-1 yr-1), which exceeded the threshold value to potentially induce N leaching from forested watersheds. Net nitrification at the middle position was comparable with the lower position. This suggests that the NO3- rich area is large, which could be partly caused by comparable soil moisture conditions with the lower position due to rising groundwater levels during storm events. Annual mean N export was 10.4 kg N ha-1 yr-1 (7.8-12.5 kg N ha-1 yr-1), and subsequent N retention was distinctly low 33% (12-53%). Stormflow accounted for more than 80% of total annual N export. Furthermore, N retention was lower (12 and 27%) in years with higher proportions of direct flow than in years with lower proportions (36 and 53%). Therefore, stormflow is a significant factor in reducing N retention in forested watersheds. The effect of stormflow observation on the comparison of N budgets in other watersheds with different climate and/or hydrologic conditions is discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article numberG02004
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2010

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Geophysics
  • Forestry
  • Oceanography
  • Aquatic Science
  • Ecology
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Geochemistry and Petrology
  • Earth-Surface Processes
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Earth and Planetary Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Space and Planetary Science
  • Palaeontology


Dive into the research topics of 'Role of stormflow in reducing N retention in a suburban forested watershed, western Japan'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this