1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
Vegetated edge-of-field flow in floodplain ecosystems can reduce runoff related contaminants. This project seeks to better understand and measure the efficiency of contaminant removal by constructed wetlands, vegetated ditches, and other low-cost management practices needed to improve water quality. These biologically-focused experiments will also further define ecosystem impairment from agriculture and measure the positive effects of potential best management practices.
1b.Approach (from AD-416):
Investigators will cooperate on edge-of-field studies in semi-aquatic and aquatic drainage systems to facilitate ARS efforts in improving the quality of runoff water from agriculture. In an effort to better manage water by edge-of-field practices, specific studies will measure standard WQ parameters and state-of-the-art invertebrate toxicity in controlled experiments for current use insecticides and agriculturally-applied nutrients.
Research on the use of vegetated agricultural drainage ditches and controlled drainage (weirs) for mitigation of nitrogen and phosphorus continues at Arkansas State University’s Agricultural Research Facility. To complement the Water Quality and Ecology Research Unit's new research project, vegetated ditch systems will be used to study the effects of maintenance (mowing) on nutrient mitigation. These experiments build on studies conducted from 2008-2011 on nutrient mitigation in vegetated ditches with and without controlled drainage scenarios.
Studies this year, in addition to those conducted in 2010 included additional scientific investigations into ditch metabolism by ASU Ph.D. candidate, who is under the direction of principal investigator. The Ph.D. candidate also serves as a doctoral scholar with the Southern Regional Education Board.