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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Mitigation of Agricultural Runoff in Open-Ditch Ecosystems

Authors
item Strock, J - UNIV OF MINNESOTA
item Anderson, J - UNIV OF MINNESOTA
item Apland, J - UNIV OF MINNESOTA
item Dittrich, M - MN DEPT OF AG
item Magner, J - MPCA ST PAUL MN
item Richardson, W - US GEOLOGICAL SURVEY
item Sadowsky, M - UNIV OF MINNESOTA
item Sands, G - UNIV OF MINNESOTA
item VENTEREA, RODNEY

Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 16, 2003
Publication Date: November 2, 2003
Citation: Strock, J.S., Anderson, J.L., Apland, J.D., Dittrich, M., Magner, J.A., Richardson, W.B., Sadowsky, M.J., Sands, G.R., Venterea, R.T. 2003. Mitigation of agricultural runoff in open-ditch ecosystems. ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts. Abstract No. S06-strock648718-poster.

Technical Abstract: The rate of nitrogen removal in streams and rivers has been shown to decline rapidly with increasing channel size. Headwater streams and open-ditches that directly receive surface and subsurface runoff from agricultural land result in the transport of potentially high loads of contaminants. The objectives of this on going study are to investigate how hydrologic regimes, biological systems and land use influence nitrogen processing, storage, and biological removal within open-ditch systems. Our methods include measurement of physical, chemical, and biological characteristics of open-ditch ecosystems, and evaluation of management strategies in two study areas located in the Cottonwood River Major Watershed in southwestern Minnesota. Denitrification and biological assimilation are two transformation processes that will likely have an effect on reductions in nitrate concentration and load along the length of an open-ditch or stream. Overall we are using a systems approach to managing nitrogen in agricultural landscapes through responsible nitrogen application from all sources, and various strategies to minimize nitrogen losses from agricultural land, including the use of open-ditches. Information on these ecosystems, along with information on nitrogen cycling and transport, and open-ditch management may prove to be applicable to other regions that are similar in terms of agricultural production systems, soils, climate, and topography.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014