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ARS Home » Northeast Area » University Park, Pennsylvania » Pasture Systems & Watershed Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #314595

Title: Phosphorus fate, management and modeling in artificially drained systems

item Kleinman, Peter
item Smith, Douglas
item Bolster, Carl
item EASTON, ZACHARY - Virginia Polytechnic Institution & State University

Submitted to: Journal of Environmental Quality
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/18/2015
Publication Date: 3/13/2015
Citation: Kleinman, P.J., Smith, D.R., Bolster, C.H., Easton, Z.M. 2015. Phosphorus fate, management and modeling in artificially drained systems. Journal of Environmental Quality. 44:460-466.

Interpretive Summary: Repeated phosphorus loss in agricultural drainage confounds watershed managers, as illustrated by last summer’s phosphorus-induced algal bloom in Lake Erie, which shut down the city of Toledo’s drinking water plant. Researchers reviewed what is understood about how it moves in order to better manage phosphorus losses. This publication establishes the state of the science for those interested in reducing phosphorus loss in agricultural drainage.

Technical Abstract: Phosphorus (P) losses in agricultural drainage waters, both surface and subsurface, are much more common than once recognized and are among the most difficult form of non-point source pollution to mitigate. Major advances have been made in understanding the mechanisms of P transport and in testing alternative approaches to curtailing phosphorus losses in drainage waters. We review the state of the science of P in drainage waters, document the range of field conditions where artificial drainage serves as an important pathway of P loss, describe options for managing P transfers in artificial drainage systems, and review the representation of important processes in computational models. Priority areas of research, management and modeling are identified.