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JEQ Research Highlights

Alum-treated Poultry Litter Greatly Reduces Phosphorus Concentrations in Leachate

 

The buildup of excess phosphorus (P) in the soil resulting from previous applications of poultry litter referred to as “legacy P” is an environmental concern, since it acts as a continuing source of soluble P, which is the form contributing to accelerated eutrophication of waterbodies.

Orthophosphorus Dominates Total P in Tile-drained and Permeable Watersheds

 

Phosphorus loss is a major contributor to stream eutrophication and hypoxia but recognition is growing that P losses can occur through both highly episodic, event-driven transport or more continuous groundwater or tile drainage discharge. The ratio of dissolved phosphorus (also called orthophosphorus [OP]) to total phosphorus (TP) can be used to evaluate these transport pathways. 

 

Integrated Whole-chain Analysis can Reduce Emissions from Livestock Manure

 

Both ammonia and greenhouse gas emissions can be reduced simultaneously during the management of livestock manure. Although manure management is a source of both kinds of emissions, the interactions between them are often ignored when evaluating and recommending emission abatement options.

Nutrient Runoff Decreases Following a Distressed Watershed Implementation

 

Nutrient runoff from agricultural watersheds is one of the largest issues facing water quality today. To address these challenges, an increasing number of best management practices, rules, and approaches are being implemented on a wide scale. However, changes in water quality are often slow to manifest.

Artificial Sweeteners Discovered in Rural Groundwater

 

Septic systems, which treat household wastewater in rural areas, are sources of contaminants, such as nutrients and pharmaceuticals, to groundwater. Scientists are now using one class of these contaminants, artificial sweeteners, to track septic wastewater in groundwater.

Remediation Considerations for Soils Historically-Contaminated with Lead Arsenate

 

Lead arsenate was a commonly-used pesticide in fruit tree orchards from the 1890s to 1940s, and elevated arsenic (As) levels persist in soils where lead arsenate was once applied. Many previous orchards have since been converted to cropland but are now being sold for residential and public use, potentially posing a lingering threat of arsenic-related illnesses to the public.

Dry Period Duration Effects Soil Phosphorus Solubilization

 

Climate projections for the future indicate that the United Kingdom will experience longer dry periods followed by rapid re-wetting, resulting in changes to phosphorus mobilization patterns. This will influence the transfer of phosphorus from land to water, and its associated risks to water quality.

Willow Develops Extensive Root Systems in Acid-Generating Mine Wastes

 

Adequate root development is crucial to decreasing planting stress when woody species are used to remediate degraded mine soils, because roots are in contact with potentially available contaminants in the substrate. However, techniques to improve phytoremediation success rarely take into account root development.

Combining 4R Practices Avoids Pollution Swapping

 

Urea-based fertilizers (urea and UAN) are now the major source of crop nitrogen in North America, primarily because of economics. When urea-based fertilizers are added to soil they are unfortunately susceptible to ammonia volatilization losses to the air during urea hydrolysis. Appreciable loss of fertilizer N can reduce crop yields and degrade air quality.