Residual phosphorus in runoff from successional forest on abandoned agricultural land: 2. Hydrological and soluble reactive P Budgets

Abstract

Residual P from historical farm practices hasbeen linked to elevated soluble reactivephosphorus (SRP) transport in runoff from afield study site in the Catskills Mountains,New York, U.S.A., with a P source assay indicatingthat successional forest floor biomass was themajor contributor to runoff SRP. In thispaper, we assemble hydrological and SRP budgetsthat indicate net SRP loss of 0.123 kgha−1 yr−1 occurs from the site(composed of 0.044 kg ha−1 yr−1precipitation input, with 0.143 kg ha−1yr−1 and 0.024 kg ha−1 yr−1losses in runoff and groundwater,respectively). These findings contrast withconservative P cycling reported for undisturbedforests. Coupled hydrological and SRP data areanalyzed suggesting that catchment ambient andequilibrium SRP concentrations corresponding togroundwater and long-term average runoffconcentrations are in the range capable ofcontributing to eutrophication of receivingwaters. A physically based variable sourcearea hydrological model is tested to simulateSRP export using deterministic concentrations. The three-layer model (surface runoff, shallowlateral flow, and groundwater) is parameterizedusing spatially distributed data fromadditional P source assays and fieldhydrological monitoring for the site. Differences in simulated and observed outflowand SRP export are partially explained byforest evapotranspiration and frozen soilprocesses. The field data, SRP budgets andsimulations show that sufficient residual Ppools exist to prolong net SRP loss rates untilecosystem processes re-establish moreconservative P cycling.

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Scott, C.A., Walter, M.F. Residual phosphorus in runoff from successional forest on abandoned agricultural land: 2. Hydrological and soluble reactive P Budgets. Biogeochemistry 55, 311–325 (2001). https://doi.org/10.1023/A:1011840116540

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  • forest succession
  • hydrology
  • modeling
  • phosphorus