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Journal of Environmental Quality : Just Published


Accepted, edited articles are published here after author proofing to provide rapid publication and better access to the newest research in the Journal of Environmental Quality. Articles are compiled into bimonthly issues at dl.sciencesocieties.org/publications/jeq, which include the complete archive. Citation | Articles posted here are considered published and may be cited by the doi.

Maguire, R.O., P.J. A. Kleinman, C.J. Dell, D.B. Beegle, R.C. Brandt, J.M. McGrath, and Q.M. Ketterings. 2011. Manure application technology in reduced tillage and forage systems: A review. J. Environ. Qual. doi: 10.2134/jeq2009.0228

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Current issue: J. Environ. Qual. 44(4)


    • Nicholson N. Jeke, Francis Zvomuya, Nazim Cicek, Lisette Ross and Pascal Badiou
      Biomass, Nutrient, and Trace Element Accumulation and Partitioning in Cattail ( Typha latifolia L.) during Wetland Phytoremediation of Municipal Biosolids

      Biomass and contaminant accumulation and partitioning in plants determine the harvest stage for optimum contaminant uptake during phytoremediation of municipal biosolids. This wetland microcosm bioassay characterized accumulation and partitioning of biomass, nutrients (N and P), and trace elements (Zn, Cu, Cr, and Cd) in cattail (Typha latifolia L.) in a growth room. Four cattail seedlings were transplanted into each 20-L plastic pail containing 3.9 kg (dry wt.) biosolids from an end-of-life municipal lagoon. A 10-cm-deep water column was maintained above the 12-cm-thick biosolids layer. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Wetland system using cattail can remove contaminants from biosolids.
      • Wetland-based phytoremediation is more effective with two harvests than one harvest.
      • Phytoextraction is optimized if plants are harvested at maximum aboveground contaminant accumulation.

      Published: July 17, 2015


    • Robert S. Dungan and April B. Leytem
      Detection of Purple Sulfur Bacteria in Purple and Non-purple Dairy Wastewaters

      The presence of purple bacteria in manure storage lagoons is often associated with reduced odors. In this study, our objectives were to determine the occurrence of purple sulfur bacteria (PSB) in seven dairy wastewater lagoons and to identify possible linkages between wastewater properties and purple blooms. Community DNA was extracted from composited wastewater samples, and a conservative 16S rRNA gene sequence within Chromatiaceae and pufM genes found in both purple sulfur and nonsulfur bacteria was amplified. Analysis of the genes indicated that all of the lagoons contained sequences that were 92 to 97% similar with Thiocapsa roseopersicina. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • PSB are often associated with reduced odors from livestock lagoons.
      • PSB were found in both purple and non-purple dairy wastewaters.
      • All dairy lagoons contained gene sequences similar to that of Thiocapsa roseopersicina.
      • It may be possible to stimulate the growth of PSB in non-purple ponds without inoculation.

      Published: July 31, 2015


    • Louise R.M. Barthod, Kui Liu, David A. Lobb, Philip N. Owens, Núria Martínez-Carreras, Alexander J. Koiter, Ellen L. Petticrew, Gregory K. McCullough, Cenwei Liu and Leticia Gaspar
      Selecting Color-based Tracers and Classifying Sediment Sources in the Assessment of Sediment Dynamics Using Sediment Source Fingerprinting

      The use of sediment color as a fingerprint property to determine sediment sources is an emerging technique that can provide a rapid and inexpensive means of investigating sediment sources. The present study aims to test the feasibility of color fingerprint properties to apportion sediment sources within the South Tobacco Creek Watershed (74 km2) in Manitoba, Canada. Suspended sediment from 2009 to 2011 at six monitoring stations and potential source samples along the main stem of the creek were collected. Reflectance spectra of sediments and source materials were quantified using a diffuse reflectance spectrometry, and 16 color coefficients were derived from several color space models. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Defining sources and testing the behavior of tracers are critical for sediment source apportionment.
      • The predominant sources of river sediment varied at different reaches of the study creek.
      • Integrating color and conventional fingerprinting techniques likely improves source apportionment.
      • Color fingerprinting is a promising, cost-effective technique for sediment source ascription.

      Published: July 24, 2015

    • M. D. Sunohara, N. Gottschall, G. Wilkes, E. Craiovan, E. Topp, Z. Que, O. Seidou, S.K. Frey and D. R. Lapen
      Long-Term Observations of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Export in Paired-Agricultural Watersheds under Controlled and Conventional Tile Drainage

      Controlled tile drainage (CTD) regulates water and nutrient export from tile drainage systems. Observations of the effects of CTD imposed en masse at watershed scales are needed to determine the effect on downstream receptors. A paired-watershed approach was used to evaluate the effect of field-to-field CTD at the watershed scale on fluxes and flow-weighted mean concentrations (FWMCs) of N and P during multiple growing seasons. One watershed (467-ha catchment area) was under CTD management (treatment [CTD] watershed); the other (250-ha catchment area) had freely draining or uncontrolled tile drainage (UCTD) (reference [UCTD] watershed). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Paired watershed study evaluates conventional and control drainage impacts at watershed scale.
      • Controlled tile drainage imposed en masse at watershed scales reduces stream, nitrate, ammonium, and dissolved reactive P fluxes during the growing season.
      • Total P fluxes in stream were shown to reduce and increase depending on location in watershed.

      Published: July 24, 2015


    • Guixiang Quan, Chuntao Yin, Tianming Chen and Jinlong Yan
      Degradation of Herbicide Mesotrione in Three Soils with Differing Physicochemical Properties from China

      The movement and fate of herbicides in soils under various environmental factors are important in evaluating their mobility and ecological impact. The effects of sterilization, solarization, and soil physicochemical properties on the degradation of herbicide mesotrione in three soils from China were evaluated using laboratory incubation method, and the degradation kinetics were also simulated using pseudo first-order reaction model. The calculated half-lives (t1/2) of mesotrione were found to be 3.78- to 5.24-fold increased in sterilized soils than nonsterilized soils, which indicated that the degradation of mesotrione was strongly affected by soil microbial activity. A certain role of promoting degradation effect of natural light was found, and the t1/2 values appeared to be only 7.90, 15.89, and 25.29 d−1 in the surface of paddy soil, sandy loess, and silt clay loam, respectively. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Mesotrione degraded fastest in nonsterilized paddy soil with half-life ∼8.53 d.
      • Degradation of mesotrione was strongly affected by soil microbial activity.
      • Degradation rate constant was highly correlated with soil pH value and organic matter content.
      • Promoting degradation effect of solar light was found.

      Published: July 24, 2015


    • Aaron L. M. Daigh, Xiaobo Zhou, Matthew J. Helmers, Carl H. Pederson, Robert Horton, Meghann Jarchow and Matt Liebman
      Subsurface Drainage Nitrate and Total Reactive Phosphorus Losses in Bioenergy-Based Prairies and Corn Systems

      We compare subsurface-drainage NO3–N and total reactive phosphorus (TRP) concentrations and yields of select bioenergy cropping systems and their rotational phases. Cropping systems evaluated were grain-harvested corn–soybean rotations, grain- and stover-harvested continuous corn systems with and without a cover crop, and annually harvested reconstructed prairies with and without the addition of N fertilizer in an Iowa field. Drainage was monitored when soils were unfrozen during 2010 through 2013. The corn–soybean rotations without residue removal and continuous corn with residue removal produced similar mean annual flow-weighted NO3–N concentrations, ranging from 6 to 18.5 mg N L−1 during the 4-yr study. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Bioenergy prairies limited NO3–N losses in subsurface drainage even when N fertilizer was applied.
      • Bioenergy continuous corn with cover crop can supply feedstocks while minimizing NO3–N losses.
      • Drainage TRP concentrations in bioenergy systems need evaluation in areas with high P losses.

      Published: July 31, 2015


    • Tricia Coakley, Gail M. Brion and Alan E. Fryar
      Prevalence of and Relationship between Two Human-Associated DNA Biomarkers for Bacteroidales in an Urban Watershed

      Human-associated fecal biomarkers offer potent tools for the detection and control of human fecal pollution in watersheds. In some cases, the probability of false-negative findings may call for using a less specific biomarker that is present in higher quantities as long as it can be related to the more specific indicator. The objective of this study is to investigate the relationship between two previously published human-associated biomarkers for Bacteroidales bacteria in an urban watershed influenced by human fecal pollution and to determine if the less specific marker may be used to identify the locations of broken or leaking sewer lines. Samples were collected from 19 stream locations on 10 dates. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • The HuBac biomarker is linearly correlated to the more specific qHF183 biomarker.
      • Determine location, rather than identify an unknown source, with a more sensitive biomarker.
      • HuBac and qHF183 may be used in urban watershed studies.
      • A more sensitive marker is preferred when “less than” values are problematic in modeling.

      Published: July 31, 2015


    • Ronald W. Harvey, David W. Metge, Denis R. LeBlanc, Jen Underwood, George R. Aiken, Kenna Butler, Timothy D. McCobb and Jay Jasperse
      Importance of the Colmation Layer in the Transport and Removal of Cyanobacteria, Viruses, and Dissolved Organic Carbon during Natural Lake-Bank Filtration

      This study focused on the importance of the colmation layer in the removal of cyanobacteria, viruses, and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) during natural bank filtration. Injection-and-recovery studies were performed at two shallow (0.5 m deep), sandy, near-shore sites at the southern end of Ashumet Pond, a waste-impacted, kettle pond on Cape Cod, MA, that is subject to periodic blooms of cyanobacteria and continuously recharges a sole-source drinking-water aquifer. The experiment involved assessing the transport behaviors of bromide (conservative tracer), Synechococcus sp. IU625 (cyanobacterium, 2.6 ± 0.2 µm), AS-1 (tailed cyanophage, 110 nm long), MS2 (coliphage, 26 nm diameter), and carboxylate-modified microspheres (1.7 µm diameter) introduced to the colmation layer using a bag-and-barrel (Lee-type) seepage meter. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • More than 98% of cyanobacteria, coliphages, and viruses being tracked were removed in the colmation layer.
      • Modified Lee-type seepage meters are useful for conducting colloid transport studies at the bottom of lakes.
      • 44% of the pond dissolved organic C transported into the aquifer was removed within the colmation layer.
      • Transport through the colmation layer resulted in a substantive change in dissolved organic C character.

      Published: July 31, 2015

    • Ivan Morales, José A. Amador and Thomas Boving
      Bacteria Transport in a Soil-Based Wastewater Treatment System under Simulated Operational and Climate Change Conditions

      Bacteria removal efficiencies in a conventional soil-based wastewater treatment system (OWTS) have been modeled to elucidate the fate and transport of E. coli bacteria under environmental and operational conditions that might be expected under changing climatic conditions. The HYDRUS 2D/3D software was used to model the impact of changing precipitation patterns, bacteria concentrations, hydraulic loading rates (HLRs), and higher subsurface temperatures at different depths and soil textures. Modeled effects of bacteria concentration shows that greater depth of treatment was required in coarser soils than in fine-textured ones to remove E. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Retention of E. coli was modeled in a conventional onsite wastewater treatment.
      • The model was run under varied operational and climate changing conditions.
      • Lower hydraulic loading rate values removed more E. coli due to unsaturated conditions.
      • Precipitation and warmer soil temperatures affect E. coli removal in the soil.
      • Higher soil temperatures increased E. coli die-off rates and system performance.

      Published: July 24, 2015

    • Jack Schijven, Julia Derx, Ana Maria de Roda Husman, Alfred Paul Blaschke and Andreas H. Farnleitner
      QMRAcatch: Microbial Quality Simulation of Water Resources including Infection Risk Assessment

      Given the complex hydrologic dynamics of water catchments and conflicts between nature protection and public water supply, models may help to understand catchment dynamics and evaluate contamination scenarios and may support best environmental practices and water safety management. A catchment model can be an educative tool for investigating water quality and for communication between parties with different interests in the catchment. This article introduces an interactive computational tool, QMRAcatch, that was developed to simulate concentrations in water resources of Escherichia coli, a human-associated Bacteroidetes microbial source tracking (MST) marker, enterovirus, norovirus, Campylobacter, and Cryptosporidium as target microorganisms and viruses (TMVs). The model domain encompasses a main river with wastewater discharges and a floodplain with a floodplain river. (continued)

      Published: June 5, 2015

    • Ryan A. Blaustein, Yakov A. Pachepsky, Daniel R. Shelton and Robert L. Hill
      Release and Removal of Microorganisms from Land-Deposited Animal Waste and Animal Manures: A Review of Data and Models

      Microbial pathogens present a leading cause of impairment to rivers, bays, and estuaries in the United States, and agriculture is often viewed as the major contributor to such contamination. Microbial indicators and pathogens are released from land-applied animal manure during precipitation and irrigation events and are carried in overland and subsurface flow that can reach and contaminate surface waters and ground water used for human recreation and food production. Simulating the release and removal of manure-borne pathogens and indicator microorganisms is an essential component of microbial fate and transport modeling regarding food safety and water quality. Although microbial release controls the quantities of available pathogens and indicators that move toward human exposure, a literature review on this topic is lacking. (continued)

      Published: May 27, 2015


    • Nele Delbecque and Ann Verdoodt
      Spatial Patterns of Heavy Metal Contamination by Urbanization

      Spatial analysis of heavy metals (HMs) is an important step toward developing predictive models of urban HM contamination. This study assessed the spatial distribution of the enrichment of eight HMs (As, Cd, Cr, Cu, Hg, Ni, Pb, and Zn) in the city of Ghent, Belgium. A database with soil HM concentrations measured at 2194 point observations was collected from the Public Waste Agency of Flanders. The degree of anthropogenic HM enrichment was quantified using an urban pollution index (PI). (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Urban pollution index maps reveal anthropogenic soil heavy metal (HM) enrichment.
      • In Ghent, soil HM enrichment is generally most pronounced for Ni, Cu, Pb, and Zn.
      • In Ghent, soil HM enrichment by As, Cd, Cr, and Hg is on average low.
      • Spatial patterns of HM enrichment reflect historical industrial contamination.
      • Time since development and land use relate to HM enrichment.

      Published: July 24, 2015

    • Sally Brown, Amber Corfman, Katrina Mendry, Kate Kurtz and Fritz Grothkopp
      Stormwater Bioretention Systems: Testing the Phosphorus Saturation Index and Compost Feedstocks as Predictive Tools for System Performance

      A replicated column trial was conducted to evaluate the potential for the phosphorus saturation index (PSI) to predict P movement in bioretention soil mixtures (BSMs). The impact of compost feedstock on BSM performance was also evaluated. Three composts (biosolids/yard, yard/food waste, and manure/sawdust) were each brought to PSI values of 0.1, 0.5, and 1.0 through the addition of Fe-based water treatment residuals (WTRs) to lower the PSI and P salts to increase the PSI. A synthetic stormwater solution was used for 12 leaching events. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Phosphorus saturation index predicts phosphorus movement in bioretention systems.
      • Compost feedstocks are not a good predictor of bioretention performance.
      • All bioretention mixtures had high copper removal.
      • Plant response varied by phosphorus saturation index and compost type.

      Published: July 17, 2015

    • Giada Brandani, Marco Napoli, Luciano Massetti, Martina Petralli and Simone Orlandini
      Urban Soil: Assessing Ground Cover Impact on Surface Temperature and Thermal Comfort

      The urban population growth, together with the contemporary deindustrialization of metropolitan areas, has resulted in a large amount of available land with new possible uses. It is well known that urban green areas provide several benefits in the surrounding environment, such as the improvement of thermal comfort conditions for the population during summer heat waves. The purpose of this study is to provide useful information on thermal regimes of urban soils to urban planners to be used during an urban transformation to mitigate surface temperatures and improve human thermal comfort. Field measurements of solar radiation, surface temperature (Ts), air temperature (Tair), relative humidity, and wind speed were collected on four types of urban soils and pavements in the city of Florence during summer 2014. (continued)

      Published: May 27, 2015

    • Sara C. Koropchak, W. Lee Daniels, Abbey Wick, G. Richard Whittecar and Nick Haus
      Beneficial Use of Dredge Materials for Soil Reconstruction and Development of Dredge Screening Protocols

      Upland placement of dredge sediments has the potential to provide beneficial reuse of suitable sediments for agricultural uses or urban soil reconstruction. However, the use of many dredge materials is limited by contaminants, and most established screening protocols focus on limiting major contaminants such as heavy metals and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons and generally ignore fundamental agronomic parameters. Since 2001, we have placed over 450,000 m3 of Potomac River fresh water dredge materials and 250,000 m3 of saline materials from various locations into monitored confined upland facilities in Charles City, VA, and documented their conversion to agricultural uses. Groundwater and soil quality monitoring has indicated no adverse effects from material placement and outstanding agricultural productivity for the freshwater materials. (continued)

      Published: May 15, 2015

    • Arjun K. Venkatesan, Abdul-Hakeem M. Hamdan, Vanessa M. Chavez, Jasmine D. Brown and Rolf U. Halden
      Mass Balance Model for Sustainable Phosphorus Recovery in a US Wastewater Treatment Plant

      In response to limited phosphorus (P) reserves worldwide, several countries have demonstrated the prospect of recovering significant amounts of P from wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs). This technique uses enhanced biological P removal (EBPR) to concentrate P in sludge followed by chemical precipitation of P as struvite, a usable phosphate mineral. The present study models the feasibility of this enhanced removal and recovery technique in a WWTP in Arizona with design parameters typical of infrastructure in the United States. A mass balance was performed for existing treatment processes and modifications proposed to estimate the quantity of P that could be recovered under current and future flow conditions. (continued)

      Published: March 27, 2015


    • E. C. Denman, P. B. May and G. M. Moore
      The Potential Role of Urban Forests in Removing Nutrients from Stormwater

      Biofiltration systems can be used to improve the quality of stormwater by treating runoff using plants grown in a moderately permeable soil. Most biofilters use herbaceous species, but in highly urbanized locations, such as streets, trees may be a more suitable vegetation. Biofilters that use urban woody vegetation are less studied. This experiment investigated the use of four street tree species [Eucalyptus polyanthemos Schauer, Lophostemon confertus (R. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Street trees reduced N and P concentrations compared with unplanted profiles.
      • Street trees receiving stormwater generally grew larger.
      • Differences between tree species in nutrient removal performance were not large.
      • It is relatively easy to reduce P in leachate, while nitrogen is more difficult.
      • Organic matter addition to biofiltration soils is not recommended.

      Published: July 27, 2015

    • J. Deak Sjöman, A. Hirons and H. Sjöman
      Branch Area Index of Solitary Trees: Understanding Its Significance in Regulating Ecosystem Services

      The chief aim of this study was to investigate how different species of solitary trees in temperate urban areas vary in their branch structure during winter by assessing branch area indices (BAIs). The BAI data showed significant differences (P < 0.0001) between species and genotypes. The lowest mean BAI in the dataset was for Gingko biloba L., which had a BAI of 0.27. Pinus strobus L. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Branch density and architectural make up of solitaire trees differ in winter.
      • Branch area indices vary significantly between species and genotypes of trees.
      • Different branch area indices will influence mean radiant temperature and wind speed in a complex urban setting.
      • The results are discussed with regards to the design of urban green space.

      Published: July 24, 2015

    • Paloma Cariñanos, Cristiano Adinolfi, Consuelo Díaz de la Guardia, Concepción De Linares and Manuel Casares-Porcel
      Characterization of Allergen Emission Sources in Urban Areas

      Pollen released by urban flora—a major contributor to airborne allergen content during the pollen season—has a considerable adverse impact on human health. Using aerobiological techniques to sample and characterize airborne biological particulate matter (BPM), we can identify the main species contributing to the pollen spectrum and chart variations in counts and overall pollen dynamics throughout the year. However, given the exponential increase in the number of pollen allergy sufferers in built-up areas, new strategies are required to improve the biological quality of urban air. This paper reports on a novel characterization of the potential allergenicity of the tree species most commonly used as ornamentals in Mediterranean cities. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Pollen emissions by urban flora are the chief source of airborne allergens.
      • A novel characterization of the potential allergenicity of urban trees is presented.
      • Wind-pollinated species are associated with higher allergenicity values.
      • Assigning an allergenic value to each tree species will help to improve air quality.

      Published: July 17, 2015

    • Bryant C. Scharenbroch, Justin Morgenroth and Brian Maule
      Tree Species Suitability to Bioswales and Impact on the Urban Water Budget

      Water movement between soil and the atmosphere is restricted by hardscapes in the urban environment. Some green infrastructure is intended to increase infiltration and storage of water, thus decreasing runoff and discharge of urban stormwater. Bioswales are a critical component of a water-sensitive urban design (or a low-impact urban design), and incorporation of trees into these green infrastructural components is believed to be a novel way to return stored water to the atmosphere via transpiration. This research was conducted in The Morton Arboretum’s main parking lot, which is one of the first and largest green infrastructure installations in the midwestern United States. (continued)

      Published: June 12, 2015

    • Ruzana Sanusia, Denise Johnstone, Peter May and Stephen J. Livesley
      Street Orientation and Side of the Street Greatly Influence the Microclimatic Benefits Street Trees Can Provide in Summer

      Maintaining human thermal comfort (HTC) is essential for pedestrians because people outside can be more susceptible to heat stress and heat stroke. Modification of street microclimates using tree canopy cover can provide important benefits to pedestrians, but how beneficial and under what circumstances is not clear. On sunny summer days, microclimatic measures were made in residential streets with low and high percentages of tree canopy cover in Melbourne, Australia. Streets with east-west (E-W) and streets with north-south (N-S) orientation were repeatedly measured for air temperature, relative humidity, wind speed, solar radiation, and mean radiant temperature on both sides of the street between early morning and midafternoon. (continued)

      Published: June 5, 2015


    • Natasha Bell, Richard A. C. Cooke, Todd Olsen, Mark B. David and Robert Hudson
      Characterizing the Performance of Denitrifying Bioreactors during Simulated Subsurface Drainage Events

      The need to mitigate nitrate export from corn and soybean fields with subsurface (tile) drainage systems, a major environmental issue in the midwestern United States, has made the efficacy of field-edge, subsurface bioreactors an active subject of research. This study of three such bioreactors located on the University of Illinois South Farms during their first 6 mo of operation (July–Dec. 2012) focused on the interactions of seasonal temperature changes and hydraulic retention times (HRTs), which were subject to experimental manipulation. Changes in nitrate, phosphate, oxygen, and dissolved organic carbon were monitored in influent and effluent to assess the benefits and the potential harmful effects of bioreactors for nearby aquatic ecosystems. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Bioreactors successfully reduced nitrate loads from drainage tiles.
      • Nitrate removal rate was independent of hydraulic residence time.
      • Initially high DRP and DO were reduced after a month of operation.
      • Temperature and residence time explained 85% of the variance in N load reduction.
      • Temperature and residence time explained 66% of the variance in N removal rate.

      Published: July 24, 2015


    • Marco Napoli, Stefano Cecchi, Camillo A. Zanchi and Simone Orlandini
      Leaching of Glyphosate and Aminomethylphosphonic Acid through Silty Clay Soil Columns under Outdoor Conditions

      Glyphosate [N-(phosphono-methyl)-glycine] is the main herbicide used in the Chianti vineyards. Considering the pollution risk of the water table and that the vineyard tile drain may deliver this pollutant into nearby streams, the objective of the present study was to estimate the leaching losses of glyphosate under natural rainfall conditions in a silty clay soil in the Chianti area. The leaching of glyphosate and its metabolite (aminomethylphosphonic acid [AMPA]) through soils was studied in 1-m-deep soil columns under outdoor conditions over a 3-yr period. Glyphosate was detected in the leachates for up to 26 d after treatments at concentrations ranging between 0.5 and 13.5 μg L−1. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Leaching of glyphosate and AMPA was assessed in 1-m soil columns.
      • Glyphosate and AMPA may be transported in leachates through 100 cm of silty clay soil profile.
      • About 0.82%, on average, of the total glyphosate applied was recovered in soil and leachate.

      Published: July 31, 2015


    • J. G. Murnane, R. B. Brennan, M. G. Healy and O. Fenton
      Use of Zeolite with Alum and Polyaluminum Chloride Amendments to Mitigate Runoff Losses of Phosphorus, Nitrogen, and Suspended Solids from Agricultural Wastes Applied to Grassed Soils

      Diffuse pollutant losses containing phosphorus (P), nitrogen (N), and suspended solids (SS) can occur when agricultural wastes are applied to soil. This study aimed to mitigate P, N, and SS losses in runoff from grassed soils, onto which three types of agricultural wastes (dairy slurry, pig slurry, and dairy-soiled water [DSW]), were applied by combining amendments of either zeolite and polyaluminum chloride (PAC) with dairy and pig slurries or zeolite and alum with DSW. Four treatments were investigated in rainfall simulation studies: (i) control soil, (ii) agricultural wastes, (iii) dairy and pig slurries amended with PAC and DSW amended with alum, and (iv) dairy and pig slurries amended with zeolite and PAC and DSW amended with zeolite and alum. Our data showed that combined amendments of zeolite and PAC applied to dairy and pig slurries reduced total P (TP) in runoff by 87 and 81%, respectively, compared with unamended slurries. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • Surface runoff studies have mainly focused on mitigation of one contaminant.
      • This paper optimizes mitigation of two contaminants by optimizing amendments.
      • Zeolite and chemical mixtures increased N and P removal from agricultural waste.
      • More N and P were removed from zeolite and chemical mixtures than chemicals only.
      • Zeolite and chemical mixtures improved suspended solids removal from dairy soiled water runoff.

      Published: July 24, 2015


    • Julia G. Lazar, Kelly Addy, Arthur J. Gold, Peter M. Groffman, Richard A. McKinney and Dorothy Q. Kellogg
      Beaver Ponds: Resurgent Nitrogen Sinks for Rural Watersheds in the Northeastern United States

      Beaver-created ponds and dams, on the rise in the northeastern United States, reshape headwater stream networks from extensive, free-flowing reaches to complexes of ponds, wetlands, and connecting streams. We examined seasonal and annual rates of nitrate transformations in three beaver ponds in Rhode Island under enriched nitrate-nitrogen (N) conditions through the use of 15N mass balance techniques on soil core mesocosm incubations. We recovered approximately 93% of the nitrate N from our mesocosm incubations. Of the added nitrate N, 22 to 39% was transformed during the course of the incubation. (continued)

      Core Ideas:
      • In rural watersheds of southern New England with high N loading, denitrification from beaver ponds may remove 5–45% of watershed nitrate-N loading.
      • Beaver ponds represent a relatively new, substantial sink for watershed N if current beaver populations persist.
      • Denitrification had the highest rates of nitrate transformation in our beaver pond study, with N2 as the dominant product.

      Published: July 24, 2015

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