Accumulation of nitrogen in the snowpack of urban parks and its connection to dog activities.

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http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202009304153
Title: Accumulation of nitrogen in the snowpack of urban parks and its connection to dog activities.
Author: Azam, Gausul
Other contributor: Helsingin yliopisto, Bio- ja ympäristötieteellinen tiedekunta
University of Helsinki, Faculty of Biological and Environmental Sciences
Helsingfors universitet, Bio- och miljövetenskapliga fakulteten
Publisher: Helsingin yliopisto
Date: 2020
Language: eng
URI: http://urn.fi/URN:NBN:fi:hulib-202009304153
http://hdl.handle.net/10138/319770
Thesis level: master's thesis
Degree program: Ympäristömuutoksen ja globaalin kestävyyden maisteriohjelma
Master's Programme in Environmental Change and Global Sustainability
Magisterprogrammet i miljöförändringar och global hållbarhet
Specialisation: Ympäristömuutos
Environmental Change
Miljöförändring
Abstract: Dog activities (urination and defecation) can be a source of nitrogen accumulation in the snowpack of urban parks. Urban parks are commonly visited by urban residents and excessive buildup of nitrogen in snowpack can be a health concern. This accumulation of nitrogen in snowpack may wash away during spring with the runoff of melting snow, which can cause the eutrophication and deterioration of lake ecosystems. In this study, I investigated the concentration of some nitrogen-related compounds along with a few physical parameters in the snowpack of urban parks and compared these between areas with high dog activities and areas with no dog activities. I hypothesized that, nitrogen concentrations will be higher in areas with high dog activities, like snowpack beside paths than in areas with no dog activities. The study was performed in 10 parks of two cities in Finland; Helsinki and Lahti. In these parks, samples were collected from snowpack immediately next to walking paths (path edge), and in control areas 8 m away from these paths, where dogs were unlikely to visit. Samples were collected from February to April of 2019. The concentration nitrogen from snow samples of both parts of parks were compared. The study showed that, the concentration of most nitrogen species, e.g. Total Nitrogen (TN), ammonium (NH4+), Total Organic Nitrogen (TON), and electrical conductivity followed a similar pattern of having higher values in snow from path edges where dog activities were the highest. However, the concentration of NO3 – and pH values were both slightly lower in the path edge samples compared to control areas undisturbed by dogs, but differences were not statistically significant. Information from this study can be useful for understanding the connection between dog activities and nitrogen build up in snowpack of urban parks, and can also be helpful for designing urban parks by considering environmental and health effects of nitrogen accumulation in the snow from dog activities. My findings can also be useful to urban waterbody related studies, e.g. eutrophication, and the accumulation of nutrients in lakes.
Subject: Nitrogen
Urban Park
snowpack
dogs


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