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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract - SOIL & WATER MANAGEMENT & CONSERVATION

Source Water Effects on Runoff Amount and Phosphorus Concentration under Simulated Rainfall


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 74 No. 2, p. 612-618
    Received: Apr 23, 2009

    * Corresponding author(s): lgbundy@wisc.edu
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  1. Nancy L. Bohl Bormanna,
  2. Christopher A. Baxterb,
  3. Todd W. Andraskic,
  4. Laura W. Goodc and
  5. Larry G. Bundy *c
  1. a The Maschhoffs, 2827 8th Ave South, Fort Dodge, IA 50501
    b School of Agriculture, Univ. of Wisconsin, Platteville, WI 53818
    c Dep. of Soil Science, Univ. of Wisconsin, 1525 Observatory Dr., Madison, WI 53706


Frequently, well water is used instead of rainwater to perform rainfall simulations to study P and soil loss in cropping systems. This study was conducted to determine whether the source water used in simulated rainfall studies affects runoff amount and P and sediment concentrations. Rainfall simulation and natural runoff studies were conducted in a corn (Zea mays L.) and alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) field on a Tama silt loam (fine-silty, mixed, superactive, mesic Typic Argiudoll) in spring and fall 2004. No significant differences in runoff composition were found between the well and deionized (DI) source waters in the spring rainfall simulation study in corn. The fall rain simulation in alfalfa showed significantly higher runoff volumes and dissolved reactive P (DRP) concentrations with DI water than with well water. Soil water-extractable P (WEP) measurements showed that rain and DI water extracted similar amounts of P, while well water extracted less P. Using the same source waters in WEP procedures and in rainfall simulations yielded good relationships (r 2 = 0.73) between simulated rain runoff DRP and soil WEP concentrations. Natural runoff DRP concentrations measured in the same field treatments as those used in the simulated rainfall studies were much greater than those found in simulated rainfall runoff, but the relative field treatment effects on runoff P concentrations were the same. These results emphasize that simulated rainfall data can provide a relative comparison of treatment effects on runoff composition, but results from simulated rainfall experiments are not likely to duplicate natural runoff composition, regardless of the source water used.

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