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The impact of agriculture on dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in temperate ecosystems

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal article

Published

Journal publication date1993
JournalChemistry and Ecology
Journal number3
Volume8
Number of pages15
Pages217-231
Original languageEnglish

Abstract

Although most research has focussed on inorganic nutrient forms of nitrate (NO− 3) and phosphorus (PO3 4) in runoff and receiving waters, nitrogen loss from agricultural land can also occur in organic and ammonium-nitrogen form; phosphorus losses, although often dominated by particulate transport, may occur in soluble organic and inorganic form. Furthermore, fluxes between different species may take place during transport from the land to the stream and as a result of in-stream, in-river or in-lake transformations. Knowledge of the spatial and temporal variation in all nitrogen species and phosphorus fractions in a drainage basin is therefore essential if the wider environmental significance of elevated nutrient concentrations in natural waters are to be assessed. This paper reviews recent work on N and P losses from agricultural land and presents some results from two intensive agricultural catchments: Slapton, Devon and the river Windrush catchment in the Cotswolds.

Bibliographic note

The impact of agriculture on dissolved nitrogen and phosphorus cycling in temperate ecosystems