Nitrogen Export from an Agriculture Watershed in the Taihu Lake Area, China
- Cite this article as:
- Gao, C., Zhu, J., Zhu, J. et al. Environmental Geochemistry and Health (2004) 26: 199. doi:10.1023/B:EGAH.0000039582.68882.7f
- 228 Downloads
Temporal changes in nitrogen concentrations and stream discharge, as well as sediment and nitrogen losses from erosion plots with different land uses, were studied in an agricultural watershed in the Taihu Lake area in eastern China. The highest overland runoff loads and nitrogen losses were measured under the upland at a convergent footslope. Much higher runoff, sediment and nitrogen losses were observed under upland cropping and vegetable fields than that under chestnut orchard and bamboo forest. Sediment associated nitrogen losses accounted for 8–43.5% of total nitrogen export via overland runoff. N lost in dissolved inorganic nitrogen forms (NO3−-N + NH4+-N) accounted for less than 50% of total water associated nitrogen export. Agricultural practices and weather-driven fluctuation in discharge were main reasons for the temporal variations in nutrient losses via stream discharge. Significant correlation between the total nitrogen concentration and stream discharge load was observed. Simple regression models could give satisfactory results for prediction of the total nitrogen concentrations in stream water and can be used for better quantifying nitrogen losses from arable land. Nitrogen losses from the studied watershed via stream discharge during rice season in the year 2002 were estimated to be 10.5 kg N/ha using these simple models.