Agronomy and Horticulture Department

 

Title

Manure Phosphorus and Surface Water Protection I: Basic Concepts of Soil and Water P

Date of this Version

2005

Document Type

Article

Citation

Plant and Soil Sciences eLibrary (PASSeL) Lesson

A contribution of the University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension, Journal Series 1047

Comments

Copyright © 2005 Charles Wortmann, David Tarkalson, and Deana Namuth. Used by permission.

JNRLSE approved 2006

This project was supported in part by the National Research Initiative Competitive Grants CAP project 2011-68002-30029 from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture, administered by the University of California-Davis and by the National Science Foundation (NSF), Division of Undergraduate Education, National SMETE Digital Library Program, Award #0938034, administered by the University of Nebraska. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the USDA or NSF.

Development of this lesson was supported, in part, by a University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension grant. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this publication are those of the authors.

Abstract

This lesson focuses on the process of eutrophication; the relationship between land application of manure and soil phosphorus (P) dynamics on P delivery to surface waters; and on the P dynamics in water bodies that result in increased P available to aquatic vegetation.

Overview

Rivers, lakes and other fresh water bodies need some aquatic vegetation to support fish and other aquatic life. Excessive growth of aquatic vegetation, however, is harmful to aquatic life because it leads to depletion of oxygen, reduction of light transmission and water clarity, and increased production of algal toxins. The progressive deterioration of water quality through over-stimulation of aquatic vegetation is called eutrophication. Phosphorus (P) is often the most limiting nutrient to the growth of vegetation in freshwater bodies; therefore, an increase in P levels can cause excessive growth of aquatic vegetation, leading to eutrophication.

This lesson addresses agricultural P management, P dynamics in water bodies, and how these interact. The lesson focuses on the process of eutrophication, the relationship of land application of manure and soil P dynamics on P delivery to surface waters, and on the P dynamics in water bodies that result in increased P available to aquatic vegetation. It is written to target the educational needs of upper-level undergraduate students and graduate students, and the continuing education of professionals in advising, planning and regulating for improved land resource management.

Objectives

Upon completing this lesson, a student should have gained an understanding of this subject to the level that he/she will be able to understand and explain to others, in concise terms, the following concepts:

  1. The forms of P available to plants.
  2. The process of eutrophication of surface waters.
  3. The role of P in eutrophication of surface waters.
  4. The value and problems of manure P applied to agricultural land.
  5. The basic relationships between soil P and the delivery of P to surface waters.
  6. The four forms of P in surface waters and the basic dynamics of each form.

Modules:

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