Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Land management policy shift influenced seasonal variation of erosion-induced nitrogen and phosphorus outputs from intensive agricultural catchment

Lu, Zhaoyang, Yu, Hanqing, Adu-Gyamfi, Joseph, Wang, Hongyu, Chappell, Adrian ORCID:, Oshunsanya, Suarau Odutola, Liu, Wenxiang, Xue, Tingting and Heng, Lee 2024. Land management policy shift influenced seasonal variation of erosion-induced nitrogen and phosphorus outputs from intensive agricultural catchment. Science of the Total Environment 918 , 170590. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2024.170590
Item availability restricted.

[thumbnail of 1-s2.0-S0048969724007289-main.pdf] PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Restricted to Repository staff only until 29 January 2025 due to copyright restrictions.

Download (1MB)


A shift in policy to intensive agricultural production and land management often leads to excessive fertilizer application and accelerated erosion with consequent detrimental effects to water bodies. We investigated the impact of that shift by quantifying the spatial and temporal change in sediment sources and associated total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) pollutants output loads in an intensive agricultural catchment in North China across one year (November 2021–November 2022). We describe the implications of this work for intensive agriculture elsewhere in China and other countries. Seasonal sediment source apportionment was estimated at the catchment outlet using Berillium-7 (7Be) combined with compound-specific stable isotope (CSSI) signatures from sources and sediments. Diagnostic ‘fingerprints’ in MixSIAR were used to discriminate sediment sources between forest and crop farmland converted from forest (F + C(F)), crop farmland (C), and vegetable farmland (V). Our study identified F + C(F) as the dominant sediment source (mean 55.24 ± 2.91 %), intermediate on V (mean 30.06 ± 2.20 %), and least on C (mean 14.70 ± 2.13 %). Sedimentation ranged from 37.98 ± 3.02 to 89.60 ± 12.68 t·ha−1·event−1 and coincided with shifted land use policy and rainfall distribution. The TN and TP in sediment were both mainly derived from F + C(F) (averaged 22.27 ± 4.26 t·event−1 and 11.62 ± 2.28 t·event−1) and least from V (averaged 1.63 ± 0.29 and 2.09 ± 0.33 t·event−1). Despite being a significant sediment source, V contributed little sediment TN and TP input for eutrophication. Our findings imply that F + C(F) are diffuse sources of catchment pollution over the short term. These results describe the successful use of CSSI and 7Be to cost-effectively quantify the seasonal variation of sediment TN and TP loads from land-use-specific sources in the catchment under shifting land management policy in China with potential for use elsewhere. These findings enable soil conservation strategies and land management practices optimized for implementing targeted pollutant abatement initiatives in intensive agriculture in China and elsewhere.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Earth and Environmental Sciences
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0048-9697
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 9 February 2024
Date of Acceptance: 29 January 2024
Last Modified: 16 Feb 2024 06:03

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics