Phosphorus uptake lengths in irrigation laterals are much greater than those observed in natural waterways. Although P uptake lengths decrease with increasing sediment, uptake lengths at highest sediment concentration still exceed 10 km.
Because of the long uptake lengths, dissolved P additions from irrigation runoff will not be greatly reduced prior to re-entry into natural waterways. Since EPCo concentrations of benthic sediments are greater than background DP concentrations in canal waters, remediation strategies relying on P sorption to these sediments will likely be unsuccessful.
Davis, J.C., and G.W. Minshall. 1999. Nitrogen and phosphorus uptake in two Idaho (USA) headwater wilderness streams. Oecologia 119:247-255.
Haggard, B.E., and D.E. Storm. 2003. Effect of leaf litter on phosphorus retention and hydrological properties at a first order stream in northeast Oklahoma, USA. J. Freshwater Ecol. 18:557-565.

Haggard, B.E., D.E. Storm, R.D. Tejral, Y.A. Popova, V.G. Keyworth, and E.H. Stanley. 2001. Stream nutrient retention in three Northeastern Oklahoma agricultural catchments. Trans. ASAE 44:597-605.

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