Diffuse phosphorus (P) export from agricultural land to surface waters is a significant environmental problem. It is critical to determine the natural background P losses from diffuse sources, but their identification and quantification is difficult. In this study, three headwater catchments with differing land use (arable, pasture and forest) were monitored for 3 years to quantify exports of dissolved (<0.45 µm) reactive P and total dissolved P. Mean total P exports from the arable catchment ranged between 0.08 and 0.28 kg ha−1 year−1. Compared with the reference condition (forest), arable land and pasture exported up to 11-fold more dissolved P. The contribution of dissolved (<0.45 µm) unreactive P was low to negligible in every catchment. Agricultural practices can exert large pressures on surface waters that are controlled by hydrological factors. Adapting policy to cope with these factors is needed for lowering these pressures in the future.
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
- Dissolved P
- Headwater catchment
- Land use