Screening risk areas for sediment and phosphorus losses to improve placement of mitigation measures
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Identification of vulnerable arable areas to phosphorus (P) losses is needed to effectively implement mitigation measures. Indicators for source (soil test P, STP), potential mobilization by erosion (soil dispersion), and transport (unit-stream power length-slope, LS) risks were used to screen the vulnerability to suspended solids (SS) and P losses in two contrasting catchments regarding topography, soil textural distribution, and STP. Soils in the first catchment ranged from loamy sand to clay loam, while clay soils were dominant in the second catchment. Long-term SS and total P losses were higher in the second catchment in spite of significantly lower topsoil STP. A higher proportion of areas in the second catchment were identified with higher risk due to the significantly higher risk of overland flow generation (LS) and a significantly higher mobilization risk in the soil dispersion laboratory tests. A simple screening method was presented to improve the placement of mitigation measures.
KeywordsErosion Critical source areas Phosphorus Risk screening
This study was funded by the Swedish Farmers’ Foundation for Agricultural Research, which is gratefully acknowledged. Monitoring of the catchments has been financed by the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency and the assessment of catchment E23 by a research project funded by Formas. Thanks to Anuschka Heeb at the County Administration of Östergötland, who is the local coordinator for the advisory program “Focus on Phosphorus”. Thanks to Lovisa Stjernman Forsberg and Stefan Andersson for helping with data regarding synoptic sampling and sub-catchment delineation.
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