Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

A Review of Vegetated Buffer Efficacy

17.02.2010
Scientists analyze the literature to establish relationships between pollutant removal efficacy and key buffer design features.

Agricultural nonpoint source pollution has been listed as one of the leading sources of pollution in rivers and water bodies throughout the world. Environmental regulators and scientists are making concerted efforts to reduce these pollutions using mitigation tools called best management practices (BMPs). As promising and effective BMPs, vegetated buffers are gradually gaining in popularity. However, lack of quantification on their mitigation efficacies limits their implementation in agricultural fields to reduce nonpoint source pollutions.

Scientists at the University of California, Davis, reviewed more than 300 papers, analyzed the data from these studies, and developed statistical models describing the mitigation efficacies of vegetated buffers. Specifically, they established the relationships between buffer pollutant removal efficacy and buffer width, buffer slope, soil, and vegetation types. Results from the study were published in the January-February 2010 issue of Journal of Environmental Quality. Part of the research was presented at the second World Agroforesty Congress in Kenya, August 2009; part of the results will also be presented in San Francisco, CA, at the American Chemical Society 239th National Meeting in March 2010.

Data gathered for the extensive literature review were compiled into a digital database. Theoretical models for removal efficacy were derived and tested against data from the surveyed literature using statistical analyses methods.

The relationship between buffer width and pollutant removal was successfully captured by a model, and buffer slope was shown to be linearly associated with sediment removal efficacy for slopes less than or equal to 10% or negatively for slopes greater than 10%. The effects of vegetation were demonstrated by the results that buffers with trees have higher nitrogen and phosphorus removal efficacy than buffers with grasses or mixtures of grasses and trees. However, soil drainage type did not show a significant effect on pollutant removal. Based on the scientists’ analysis, a 30-m buffer under favorable slope conditions (about 10%) removes more than 85% of all the studied pollutants.

The study reveals the quantitative relationships between mitigation efficacies of vegetated buffers and their width, vegetation type, and slope. The results from this review and data analysis were confirmed by a group of researchers from the USDA in Oklahoma and University of Kenya in Naribo through field experiments.

As Minghua Zhang, one of the authors of the study, notes, “This information could serve as baseline data for setting guidelines for buffer implementation and installation. In addition, estimated parameters could facilitate further investigations on buffer efficacy beyond field scale. The results of this study will assist in future modeling efforts to study the mitigation efficacy of vegetated buffers for reducing pollutants in agricultural runoff at watershed scale.”

The full article is available for no charge for 30 days following the date of this summary. View the abstract at http://jeq.scijournals.org/cgi/content/abstract/39/1/76.

The Journal of Environmental Quality, http://jeq.scijournals.org is a peer-reviewed, international journal of environmental quality in natural and agricultural ecosystems published six times a year by the American Society of Agronomy (ASA), Crop Science Society of America (CSSA), and the Soil Science Society of America (SSSA). The Journal of Environmental Quality covers various aspects of anthropogenic impacts on the environment, including terrestrial, atmospheric, and aquatic systems.

The American Society of Agronomy (ASA) www.agronomy.org, is a scientific society helping its 8,000+ members advance the disciplines and practices of agronomy by supporting professional growth and science policy initiatives, and by providing quality, research-based publications and a variety of member services.

Sara Uttech | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.agronomy.org

Further reports about: Agronomy BMPs Science TV Vegetated efficacy environmental risk pollutant removal

More articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science:

nachricht Cascading use is also beneficial for wood
11.12.2017 | Technische Universität München

nachricht The future of crop engineering
08.12.2017 | Max-Planck-Institut für Biochemie

All articles from Agricultural and Forestry Science >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Long-lived storage of a photonic qubit for worldwide teleportation

MPQ scientists achieve long storage times for photonic quantum bits which break the lower bound for direct teleportation in a global quantum network.

Concerning the development of quantum memories for the realization of global quantum networks, scientists of the Quantum Dynamics Division led by Professor...

Im Focus: Electromagnetic water cloak eliminates drag and wake

Detailed calculations show water cloaks are feasible with today's technology

Researchers have developed a water cloaking concept based on electromagnetic forces that could eliminate an object's wake, greatly reducing its drag while...

Im Focus: Scientists channel graphene to understand filtration and ion transport into cells

Tiny pores at a cell's entryway act as miniature bouncers, letting in some electrically charged atoms--ions--but blocking others. Operating as exquisitely sensitive filters, these "ion channels" play a critical role in biological functions such as muscle contraction and the firing of brain cells.

To rapidly transport the right ions through the cell membrane, the tiny channels rely on a complex interplay between the ions and surrounding molecules,...

Im Focus: Towards data storage at the single molecule level

The miniaturization of the current technology of storage media is hindered by fundamental limits of quantum mechanics. A new approach consists in using so-called spin-crossover molecules as the smallest possible storage unit. Similar to normal hard drives, these special molecules can save information via their magnetic state. A research team from Kiel University has now managed to successfully place a new class of spin-crossover molecules onto a surface and to improve the molecule’s storage capacity. The storage density of conventional hard drives could therefore theoretically be increased by more than one hundred fold. The study has been published in the scientific journal Nano Letters.

Over the past few years, the building blocks of storage media have gotten ever smaller. But further miniaturization of the current technology is hindered by...

Im Focus: Successful Mechanical Testing of Nanowires

With innovative experiments, researchers at the Helmholtz-Zentrums Geesthacht and the Technical University Hamburg unravel why tiny metallic structures are extremely strong

Light-weight and simultaneously strong – porous metallic nanomaterials promise interesting applications as, for instance, for future aeroplanes with enhanced...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

See, understand and experience the work of the future

11.12.2017 | Event News

Innovative strategies to tackle parasitic worms

08.12.2017 | Event News

AKL’18: The opportunities and challenges of digitalization in the laser industry

07.12.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Plasmonic biosensors enable development of new easy-to-use health tests

14.12.2017 | Health and Medicine

New type of smart windows use liquid to switch from clear to reflective

14.12.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

BigH1 -- The key histone for male fertility

14.12.2017 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>