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This article in JEQ

  1. Vol. 33 No. 4, p. 1403-1412
    Received: Oct 27, 2002

    * Corresponding author(s): zym2003@hzcnc.com
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Potential Loss of Phosphorus from a Rice Field in Taihu Lake Basin

  1. ZhiJian Zhang,
  2. YinMei Zhu *,
  3. PeiYong Guo and
  4. GuangSheng Liu
  1. Environmental Technology Center, College of Environmental and Resource Sciences, Zhejiang University, Kuanxian 268, Hangzhou, Zhejiang 310029, P.R. China


Nonpoint-source pollution by phosphorus (P) poses a threat to waters in the Taihu Lake basin in China. The potential transfer of P in rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields through surface drainage and subsurface flow was investigated under simulated conventional irrigation–drainage management. Surface drainage events were conducted to avoid overflow across the plots after heavy rainfall and for rice harvest, at which time P losses were also investigated. This study was conducted in 2001 in a long-term rice field experiment. The experimental plots were treated with 0, 26, or 52 kg P ha−1 as superphosphate or 26 kg P ha−1 with equal parts of P supplied as superphosphate and pig manure. Phosphorus concentrations and loads in field floodwater on plots receiving P rapidly declined in a nonlinear manner before the first drainage, three weeks after fertilizer application. The combined application of fertilizer and manure P resulted in higher P transfer potential in field floodwater than with fertilizer P alone one week after P application. Phosphorus concentrations in interflow water sampled by Teflon suction cups inserted at a depth of 150 to 200 mm gradually increased within two weeks after P application, then declined. The concentration of P in interflow water was related to soil P buildup from long-term P application, as well as recently applied P. The 26 kg P ha−1 treatment (the conventional P rate in this region) resulted in a loss of 0.74 kg total phosphorus (TP) ha−1 and a drainage-weighted average concentration of 0.25 mg TP L−1 from the three surface drainage events. Results indicate that avoiding overflow drainage after P input and extending the time between P application and drainage may reduce P losses from rice paddies.

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