Because it includes depth and velocity in its calculation, vf standardizes SW for discharge and so is best suited to comparisons across stream ecosystems (Davis and Minshall 1999, Webster and Valett 2006). By combining vf and nutrient concentrations in streamwater, the amount of inorganic nutrient immobilized by the streambed per unit of time can be expressed as an areal uptake, U, in the units mass per area per time, as:

Uptake velocity quantifies the benthic demand for a nutrient in relation to its supply.

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