Impact of P inputs on source-sink P dynamics of sediment along an agricultural ditch network
Healy, Mark G.
Christianson, Laura E.
Thornton, S. F.
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Ezzati, Golnaz, Fenton, Owen, Healy, Mark G., Christianson, Laura E., Feyereisen, Gary, Thornton, S. F., Chen, Qing, Fan, Bingqian, Ding, J., Daly, Karen. (2020). Impact of P inputs on source-sink P dynamics of sediment along an agricultural ditch network. Journal of Environmental Management, 257, 109988. doi: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2019.109988
Phosphorus (P) loss from intensive dairy farms is a pressure on water quality in agricultural catchments. At farm scale, P sources can enter in-field drains and open ditches, resulting in transfer along ditch networks and delivery into nearby streams. Open ditches could be a potential location for P mitigation if the right location was identified, depending on P sources entering the ditch and the source-sink dynamics at the sediment-water interface. The objective of this study was to identify the right location along a ditch to mitigate P losses on an intensive dairy farm. High spatial resolution grab samples for water quality, along with sediment and bankside samples, were collected along an open ditch network to characterise the P dynamics within the ditch. Phosphorus inputs to the ditch adversely affected water quality, and a step change in P concentrations (increase in mean dissolved reactive phosphorus (DRP) from 0.054 to 0.228 mg L-1) midway along the section of the ditch sampled, signalled the influence of a point source entering the ditch. Phosphorus inputs altered sediment P sorption properties as P accumulated along the length of the ditch. Accumulation of bankside and sediment labile extractable P, Mehlich 3 P (M3P) (from 13 to 97 mg kg-1) resulted in a decrease in P binding energies (k) to
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