Influence of legacy phosphorus, land use, and climate change on anthropogenic phosphorus inputs and riverine export dynamics
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A quantitative understanding of riverine phosphorus (P) export in response to changes in anthropogenic P inputs (NAPI), land use and climate is critical for developing effective watershed P control measures. This study indicated that annual riverine TP export for the six catchments of the Yongan River watershed in eastern China increased 4.1–30.3-fold over the 1980–2010 period. Increased riverine TP export resulted from a 61–85 % increase in NAPI and a 2.6–14.6-fold increase in riverine export fraction of NAPI due to 36–43, 30–125, and 65–76 % increases in developed land area (D%), drained agricultural land area (DA%), and storm events, respectively. For the 31-year cumulative record, 1.6–14 % of NAPI was exported by rivers, 40–64 % was stored in the upper 20 cm of agricultural soils, and 30–55 % was retained in other landscape positions. An empirical model that incorporates annual NAPI, precipitation, D%, and DA% accounted for 94 % of the variation in annual riverine TP fluxes across the six catchments and 31 years. The model estimated that NAPI and legacy P contributed 42–92 % and 8–58 % of annual riverine TP flux, respectively. The model forecasts an 8–18 % increase in riverine TP flux by 2030 due to a 4 % increase in precipitation with no changes in NAPI and land use compared to the 2000–2010 baseline condition. Enhanced export of NAPI and legacy P by changes in land use and climate will delay the decrease in riverine P flux in response to NAPI reductions and should be considered in developing and assessing watershed P management strategies.
KeywordsPhosphorus Legacy nutrients Land use Nutrient budget Climate change Eutrophication
We thank the local government for providing data critical for this investigation. This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41371010), Zhejiang Provincial Natural Science Foundation of China (LY13D010002), and Chinese National Key Technology R&D Program (2012BAC17B01).
Conflict of interest
This study has no conflict of interest with any persons or affiliations.
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