The Nutrient Spiraling Concept

J. R. Webster, J. D. Newbold, S. A. Thomas

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


In streams, the coupling of nutrient cycling with downstream transport has been conceptualized as spiraling. Various metrics of nutrient spiraling have been developed, which can be measured by injection of nutrient as a radioactive or stable isotope or estimated from nutrient additions. There have been many studies of stream nutrient spiraling, and most studies involve a combination of field research and computer simulation. Many challenges persist to our understanding of nutrient dynamics in stream, and the spiraling concept provides a powerful tool to advancing this understanding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Inland Waters, Second Edition
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)9780128220412
ISBN (Print)9780128191668
StatePublished - Jan 1 2022
Externally publishedYes


  • Nutrient spiraling
  • Spiraling length
  • Turnover length
  • Uptake length
  • Uptake velocity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Agricultural and Biological Sciences
  • General Environmental Science


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