Geology 230

Groundwater/ Surface Water Interaction

California State University, Sacramento

Week 6:

Phosphorus cycling



Upon completion of this unit students should be able to:

  • Discuss the components of the phophorus cycle.

  • Identify sources of phosphorus in natural systems.

  • Distinguish between biotic and abiotic phosphorus retention.

  • Trace the effects of stream flow on phosphorus mobility and exchange.


Reading Assignments:

1) Jones and Mulholland:  pp. 221-233.


2) Klotz, R. L., 1985, Factors controlling phosphorus limitation in stream sediments: Limnology and Oceanography, v. 30, pp. 543-553.




3) Wetzel, R. G., 2001, Phosphorus budgets (chaper 13), in, Limnology Lake and River Ecosystems, Academic Press, San Francisco, pp. 242-253.








Tim's summary of Jones and Mulholland, pp. 221-233:


Phosphorus in streams


Jay:  Klotz Article question:


This paper focuses on food as a limiting factor for stream production. It mentions that nutrient enrichment may enhance trophic processes that support the production of undesirable organisms. What else might anthropogenic nutrient enrichment cause?


Klotz article summary


Chuck:  Wetzel article question:


How does the solubility of Fe influence the phosphorus redox reactions?  As a result, explain how sulfur and iron trapping influences the concentration of phosphorus in the hypolimnion at overturn in a lake.



Wetzel summary