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Journal of Environmental Quality Abstract - SURFACE WATER QUALITY

Phosphorus Transfer in Runoff Following Application of Fertilizer, Manure, and Sewage Sludge


This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 30 No. 1, p. 180-188
    Received: Nov 30, 1999

    * Corresponding author(s): paul.withers@adas.co.uk
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  1. Paul J.A. Withers *a,
  2. Stephen D. Clayb and
  3. Victor G. Breezec
  1. a ADAS Bridgets, Martyr Worthy, Winchester SO21 1AP, UK
    b Severn Trent Water Limited, Process Engineering, Alpha House, Warwick Technology Park, Heathcote Road, Warwick CV34 6DA, UK
    c ADAS Rosemaund, Preston Wynne, Hereford HR1 3PG, UK


Phosphorus (P) transfer in surface runoff from field plots receiving either no P, triplesuperphoshate (TSP), liquid cattle manure (LCS), liquid anaerobically digested sludge (LDS), or dewatered sludge cake (DSC) was compared over a 2-yr period. Dissolved inorganic P concentrations in runoff increased from 0.1 to 0.2 mg L−1 on control and sludge-treated plots to 3.8 and 6.5 mg L−1 following application of LCS and TSP, respectively, to a cereal crop in spring. When incorporated into the soil in autumn, runoff dissolved P concentrations were typically <0.5 mg L−1 across all plots, and particulate P remained the dominant P form. When surface-applied in autumn to a consolidated seedbed, direct loss of LCS and LDS increased both runoff volume and P transfers, but release of dissolved P occurred only from LCS. The largest P concentrations (>70 mg L−1) were recorded following TSP application without any increase in runoff volume, while application of bulky DSC significantly reduced total P transfers by 70% compared with the control due to a reduced runoff volume. Treatment effects in each monitoring period were most pronounced in the first runoff event. Differences in the release of P from the different P sources were related to the amounts of P extracted by either water or sodium bicarbonate in the order TSP > LCS > LDS > DSC. The results suggest there is a lower risk of P transfer in land runoff following application of sludge compared with other agricultural P amendments at similar P rates.

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Copyright © 2001. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, Soil Science SocietyPublished in J. Environ. Qual.30:180–188.