Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Bulletin
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/22/2004
Publication Date: 8/22/2004
Citation: Kroger, R., Holland, M.M., Moore, M.T., Cooper, C.M. 2004. Nutrient flow-through, deposition and assimilation in agricultural drainage ditches: Implications of pollution for receiving waters [abstract]. Ecological Society of America Bulletin. p. 282.
Technical Abstract: Wetlands, situated at the interface between source and receiving waters, have the potential to mitigate nutrient pollution. Drainage ditches, as integral components of the agricultural landscape, remove surface runoff and act as major conduits of nutrients from agricultural lands to receiving waters. Numerous studies have highlighted the effectiveness of wetlands; however, very little research has gone into investigating the utilization of agricultural landscape features (e.g. drainage ditches) for mitigation of nutrients associated with storm water runoff. This study aims to describe the flow-through, deposition and assimilation of nutrients within drainage ditches under variable hydrological regimes in fields planted to conventional tillage cotton, a major agricultural commodity in the Mississippi Delta. The nutrient dynamics of ditches associated with cotton farmland will be sampled monthly, over a 2 year period, along a longitudinal ditch gradient. Storm events, which generate large amounts of surface runoff with associated particulate and soluble nutrients, will be sampled to determine maximum nutrient runoff rates throughout the year. The treatment data will be compared against a control. The control (converted cotton farmland) will help provide baseline nutrient data, and provide an excellent indication and comparison to nutrient pollutant levels off farmlands. It is hoped that these data will provide an opportunity to use basic surface hydrology models (HEC-HMS) to model water and nutrient flow on an annual basis, incorporating biological and hydrological parameters within different drainage ditches. Simple environmental models will generate outputs for specific agricultural landscapes and ditches.