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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Recreating Natural Riparian Buffers in Agroecosystems

Authors
item Schultz, R - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Isenhart, T - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Simpkins, W - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Colletti, J - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Raich, J - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Mickelson, T - IOWA STATE UNIVERSITY
item Cambardella, Cynthia
item Parkin, Timothy

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: November 7, 2003
Publication Date: November 7, 2003
Citation: Schultz, R.C., Isenhart, T., Simpkins, W.W., Colletti, J., Raich, J., Mickelson, T., Cambardella, C.A., Parkin, T.B. 2003. Recreating natural riparian buffers in agroecosystems [CD-ROM]. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Madison, Wisconin.

Technical Abstract: Riparian buffers can effectively reduce non-point source pollution in intensively farmed agroecosystems. Buffers can be designed to address different problems and provide numerous wildlife, economic, and social opportunities in the riparian zone by using different combinations and widths of grasses, forbs, shrubs, and trees. With the proper designs, sediment, and nutrient loads in surface runoff can be reduced by 90%, soil infiltration rates can be increased 5 fold, soil microbial biomass and denitrification rates can be doubled and bird species abundance can be increased 5 times over that in adjacent cropped soils. The hydrogeological environment will determine the potential effectiveness of buffers on groundwater pollutants by providing sufficient residence time and contact with the active rooting zone. Differences in dissolved organic carbon under different buffer plant communities can extend the depth at which microbial activity may affect shallow groundwater pollutants. To develop an effective riparian management system buffers may have to be used in combination with stream bank bioengineering, in-stream boulder weirs or other structures, field tile wetlands and, or controlled riparian grazing. While dramatic visual changes can be seen in as little as 3 to 4 years, buffers may not reach their maximum effectiveness until they are 15 to 20 years of age.

Last Modified: 7/24/2014