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A field methodology for quantifying phosphorus transfer and delivery to streams in first order agricultural catchments

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date28/02/2008
JournalJournal of Hydrology
Journal number3-4
Volume350
Number of pages10
Pages329-338
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

An understanding of the relative importance of different hydrological pathways in phosphorus delivery from land to water is currently constrained by a lack of appropriate methods available to quantify the delivery process. New monitoring tools are needed which will provide a framework for understanding phosphorus (P) transfer and delivery at a range of scales in agricultural catchments. A field methodology incorporating the techniques of event-based, on-site observation and sampling within a flexible, non-plot based structure is described and applied to a first order stream catchment in Southern England, UK. The results show that P transfers to the stream reach monitored were dominated by inputs from one field drain, and that overland flow inputs, despite being directly connected to the stream and containing higher P concentrations (maximum 3708 μg l−1), contributed less to the stream P flux. The processes of P transfer and delivery to the stream were complex, changing both within flow pathways and temporally over an event.