We examined changes in stream chemistry following the removal of a 2-m-high dam on Manatawny Creek in southeastern Pennsylvania. Our primary objective was to determine the effect of small dam removal on the concentrations and forms of C, N, and P. Dissolved and particulate constituent concentrations were monitored at sites upstream and downstream of the dam and impoundment. Seasonal changes in alkalinity and N and P concentrations were observed before and after dam removal. However, the proportions of NO3− NO2−, NH4 , and dissolved organic N (DON), and soluble reactive P (SRP) and dissolved organic P (DOP) in the total dissolved pools of N and P did not change seasonally. The dam and dam removal did not influence C, N, or P concentrations and forms (except for NH4 ) in this stream. The lack of significant changes probably was a result of the short hydraulic residence time (<1.5 h at base flow), infrequent temperature stratification, and potential C limitation of bacterial activity in the small impoundment. Our results suggest that alterations in N and P concentrations and forms following dam removal may be site-specific. The characteristics of the dam, watershed, and impoundment (e.g., the amount of wetted streambed, hydraulic residence time, and organic enrichment of sediment and water) probably determine the influence of dam removal on stream water chemistry.
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