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Nitrogen – Vulnerability

Nitrogen – Vulnerability

Flow chart showing the major elements associated with nutrient management

Click on elements of the flow chart or select from the tabs below

The vulnerability of a wetland to nitrogen is dependent on:

  • light availability—in highly turbid, well shaded or deep water, light is the limiting factor in terms of primary production within the water column (e.g. increased nutrient concentrations will have limited or no effect on primary production). However, in clear, unshaded shallow waters nitrogen generally limits primary production
  • water residence time, flushing rate and dilution factors which all help determine the vulnerability of a wetland to nitorgen. Longer residence times, poor flushing and low dilution result in higher levels of vulnerability as nitrogen is in the system for a longer period and therefore more of it can be taken up by plants and algae which may result in blooms.
  • nitrogen bioavailability and speciation—some nutrients, such as dissolved phosphorus, are more readily available for plant uptake than others.
  • water type??


See the nitrogen conceptual model pages for additional information on nitrogen and how it interacts with, and moves through, different systems.

Last updated: 16 October 2020

This page should be cited as:

Department of Environment, Science and Innovation, Queensland (2020) Nitrogen – Vulnerability, WetlandInfo website, accessed 18 March 2024. Available at:

Queensland Government
WetlandInfo   —   Department of Environment, Science and Innovation