Agriculture land-use effects on nutrient losses in West Tiaoxi watershed, China


Five types of land use/land covers in the West Tiaoxi watershed of China were studied for nutrient losses in artificial rainstorm runoff. A self-designed rainfall simulator was used. In situ rainfall simulations were used to: (1) compare the concentrations of nitrogen and phosphorous in different land use/land covers and (2) evaluate the flux of nitrogen and phosphorous export from runoff and sediment in various types of land use/land covers. Three duplicated experiments were carried out under rain intensity of 2 mm/min, each lasting 32 minutes on a 3 m2 plot. Characteristics of various species of nitrogen and phosphorous in runoff and sediment were investigated. The results showed that the concentrations of total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorous (TP) were greatest in runoff from mulberry trees and smallest from pine forest. The TN and TP export was mainly from suspended particulate in runoff. TN and TP exports from the top 10 cm layer of five types of land use/land covers were estimated as high as 4.66 to 9.40 g/m2 and 2.57 to 4.89 g/m2, respectively, of which exports through sediment of runoff accounted for more than 90 percent and 97 percent. The rate of TN and TP exports ranged from 2.68 to approximately 14.48 and 0.45 to approximately 4.11 mg/m2/min in runoff; these rates were much lower than those of 100.01 to approximately 172.67 and 72.82 to approximately 135.96 mg/m2/min in the runoff sediment.

Publication Title

Journal of the American Water Resources Association