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Nitrogen Deposition Effects on Dissolved Organic Matter in Forested Watersheds: Implication on Source Water Quality & Water Treatability

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Alex Chow

Clemson University
South Carolina, USA


Fellowship Period: 07.2019-03.2020

I am a professor in Biogeochemistry and Environmental Quality at Clemson University, South Carolina, USA.  My research interests are to investigate the sources, budgets, and chemistry of dissolved organic matter (DOM) in surface water.  I am particularly interested in understanding the influences of watershed perturbation and managements on DOM exports affecting downstream biogeochemical processes and drinking water quality.


Activities within WSL Fellowship

Increased nitrogen (N) deposition because of global emission of oxidized N (NOx) from fossil fuel combustion and reduced N (NH3) from agricultural sources have increased reactive N inputs in forested watersheds.  These climatic and anthropogenic stresses modify the biogeochemical processes and compositions of soil organic matter (SOM) within forested watersheds, affecting the quantity and quality of terrestrial dissolved organic matter (DOM) exports in source waters.  Forested watersheds are critically important to supply clean drinking water.  An increase of N deposition could increase both inorganic and organic N exports to source water, eventually affecting the treatability and the formation of toxic nitrogenous disinfection byproducts in municipal water supplies.  My research at WSL is to understand the dynamics and yields of N exports in source water under the evaluated N deposition.


Cooperation within WSL