Ground Cover Impacts on Sediment and Phosphorus Export from Manured Riparian Pasture
- David M. Butlera,
- Dorcas H. Franklin *b,
- Noah N. Ranellsa,
- Matthew H. Poorec and
- James T. Greena
- a Department of Crop Science, North Carolina State University, Box 7620, Raleigh, NC 27695
b USDA-ARS, J. Phil Campbell Sr. Natural Resource Conservation Center, 1420 Experiment Station Road, Watkinsville, GA 30677
c Department of Animal Science, North Carolina State University, Box 7621, Raleigh, NC 27695
Maintaining pasture ground cover is important in preventing environmental degradation of grasslands and associated riparian areas. The objective of this work was to determine the effect of ground cover on sediment and P export from pastured riparian areas under simulated rainfall events. Plots were established on two sites in the North Carolina Piedmont: a 10% slope with Appling sandy loam soils (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludults) and a 20% slope with Wedowee sandy loam soils (fine, kaolinitic, thermic Typic Kanhapludults), both with mixed tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.)–dallisgrass (Paspalum dilatatum Poir.) vegetation. Existing forage stands were modified to represent a range of ground cover levels: 0, 45, 70, and 95% (bare ground, low, medium, and high cover, respectively), and amended with beef steer (Bos taurus) feces and urine (about 10 kg P ha−1). Mean runoff volume from bare ground was generally twice that observed from low, medium, and high levels of cover, which were similar. For all rainfall events combined, export of dissolved reactive P was greatest (P < 0.1) at bare ground and was reduced 31% at low cover, which did not differ from medium or high cover. Mean total Kjeldahl P export was greater (P < 0.001) from bare ground than from other cover levels. Results indicate that riparian bare areas can contribute substantial sediment (>215 kg ha−1) and P (0.7 kg P ha−1) to surface waters during heavy rainfall, whereas export may be reduced equally well by low cover (45%) as by high cover.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
Copyright © 2006.