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ARS Home » Northeast Area » Beltsville, Maryland (BARC) » Beltsville Agricultural Research Center » Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #343127

Research Project: Improving Agroecosystem Services by Measuring, Modeling, and Assessing Conservation Practices

Location: Hydrology and Remote Sensing Laboratory

Title: Assessing climate change impacts on winter cover crop nitrate uptake efficiency on the coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay watershed using the SWAT model

Author
item Lee, S. - University Of Maryland
item Sadeghi, Ali
item Yeo, I.y - University Of Maryland
item Mccarty, Gregory
item Hively, D.w. - U.s. Geological Survey (USGS)
item Lang, M.w. - Fish Wildlife And Parks
item Sharifi, A.s. - U.s. Department Of Agriculture (USDA)

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/8/2017
Publication Date: 7/17/2017
Citation: Lee, S., Sadeghi, A.M., Yeo, I., Mccarty, G.W., Hively, D., Lang, M., Sharifi, A. 2017. Assessing climate change impacts on winter cover crop nitrate uptake efficiency on the coastal plain of the Chesapeake Bay watershed using the SWAT model. Meeting Abstract.[Abstract]. ASABE Annual Meeting Abstracts.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Climate change is expected to exacerbate water quality degradation in the Chesapeake Bay watershed (CBW). Winter cover crops (WCCs) have been widely implemented in this region owing to their high effectiveness at reducing nitrate loads. However, little is known about climate change impacts on the effectiveness of WCCs for reducing nitrate loads. The objective of this study was to assess climate change impacts on WCC nitrate uptake efficiency on the coastal plain of the CBW using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (or SWAT) model. We prepared climate change scenarios using General Circulation Models (GCMs) under three greenhouse emission scenarios (e.g., A1B, A2, and B1). Simulation results showed that prior to WCC implementation, annual nitrate loads increased by 43% (5.3 kg N/ha) under climate change scenarios compared to the baseline scenario. When WCCs were planted under climate change scenarios, annual nitrate loads were reduced by 50% (3.7 kg N/ha) compared to the baseline scenario. During winter seasons, WCCs offered increased reduction of nitrate watershed yield (3.1 kg N/ha) and leaching (10.7 kg N/ha) under climate change conditions. The role of WCCs in reducing nitrate loads should become more pronounced in the future given predicted climate change scenarios.