Skip to navigation Skip to content

Phosphorus biogeochemistry in riparian buffer strips

Management to mitigate pollutant swapping

Buffer strips are useful for mitigating diffuse pollution. As riparian buffers perform their role in sediment trapping, P accumulates with no loss mechanism (as in wetland denitrification for N). Compiled data from buffer retention studies shows limited efficiencies for P trapping and negative budgets (that is, leaching) for dissolved P. So buffer soils can become a near stream source of bioavailable P.

Figure 1: Engineered buffer strip

Figure 1 (above) and 2 (below): Engineered buffer strip

Figure 2: Engineered buffer strip

We realised that vegetation management (for example, cut and removal) present one of few long term P sinks for buffers. In terms of making buffers pay for themselves and become more acceptable we can economise on this by using plant lines selected for greater P uptake targeted to the P forms we observe in buffer soils. We are now encouraging buffers for biomass for economic returns and as a means of P recycling.

Publications

  • Stutter, M.I., Langan, S.J. and Lumsdon, D.G. 2009. Environmental Science and Technology 43, 1858-1863.
  • Stutter, M.I., Chardon, W.J. and Kronvang, B. 2012. Journal of Environmental Quality 41, 297-303.

Research

Areas of Interest


Printed from /research/phosphorus-biogeochemistry-riparian-buffer-strips on 12/12/18 04:12:01 PM

The James Hutton Research Institute is the result of the merger in April 2011 of MLURI and SCRI. This merger formed a new powerhouse for research into food, land use, and climate change.