Scientists from Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)-funded North Wyke Research have found for the first time that the rate at which a dried soil is rewetted impacts on the amount of phosphorus lost from the soil into surface water and subsequently into the surrounding environment.
Dr Martin Blackwell who is one of the project leaders said: "Our preliminary results show that despite best efforts, the changing climate may limit our ability to mitigate phosphorus losses at certain times of the year, especially summer.
"This is really worrying because high phosphorus concentrations in surface waters can lead to harmful algal blooms which can be toxic, cause lack of oxygen during their decay and disrupt food webs. This can also affect the quality of water for drinking and result in the closure of recreational water sport facilities."
Under laboratory conditions Dr Blackwell and his team re-wet dried samples of UK grassland soil over different time periods, ranging from two hours to 24 hours using the same quantity of water. The leachate – water that has washed through the soil – was then analysed for phosphorus. The study showed that the rate at which a dried soil is rewetted affects the concentration and forms of phosphorus lost in leachate which could potentially contaminate surface water bodies (e.g. rivers and lakes).
The current research looked at only one soil type so it is not yet known whether other soil types would react in the same way. This is what Dr Blackwell and his team will look at next.
Commenting on the findings, Prof Douglas Kell BBSRC Chief Executive said: "If we are to ensure safe and sufficient food and water supplies in the future then we must be absolutely clear on the challenges that a changing climate presents us. Having this information now means that we can be prepared to deal with the consequences of altered rainfall patterns at a local, national and international level to secure harvests, and protect water supplies."
Tracey Jewitt | EurekAlert!
Further reports about: > BBSRC > Biological Science > Biological Sciences Research > Crop growth > Fertility of Soils > algal bloom > changing climate > contaminate surface water bodies > drinking water > harmful algal blooms > mitigate phosphorus > phosphorus lost > recreational water sport facilities > recreational water sports > soil type > surface water > water supplies
Molecular evolution: How the building blocks of life may form in space
26.04.2018 | American Institute of Physics
Multifunctional bacterial microswimmer able to deliver cargo and destroy itself
26.04.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Intelligente Systeme
Magnetic resonance imaging, or MRI, is a widely used medical tool for taking pictures of the insides of our body. One way to make MRI scans easier to read is...
At the Hannover Messe 2018, the Bundesanstalt für Materialforschung und-prüfung (BAM) will show how, in the future, astronauts could produce their own tools or spare parts in zero gravity using 3D printing. This will reduce, weight and transport costs for space missions. Visitors can experience the innovative additive manufacturing process live at the fair.
Powder-based additive manufacturing in zero gravity is the name of the project in which a component is produced by applying metallic powder layers and then...
Physicists at the Laboratory for Attosecond Physics, which is jointly run by Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität and the Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics, have developed a high-power laser system that generates ultrashort pulses of light covering a large share of the mid-infrared spectrum. The researchers envisage a wide range of applications for the technology – in the early diagnosis of cancer, for instance.
Molecules are the building blocks of life. Like all other organisms, we are made of them. They control our biorhythm, and they can also reflect our state of...
University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.
Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.
Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.
Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...
13.04.2018 | Event News
12.04.2018 | Event News
09.04.2018 | Event News
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering
26.04.2018 | Life Sciences
26.04.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering