Long-term variations in external phosphorus inputs and riverine phosphorus export in a typical arid and semiarid irrigation watershed

Tiezhu Yan, Pu Zhang, Qingyu Feng, Benyamin Khoshnevisan, Qiaoyu Sun, Huading Shi*


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Excessive phosphorus (P) along with drained water from farmland in the arid and semiarid watersheds when entering into water bodies brings about serious environmental problems in the aquatic ecosystem. It is critical to explore variations in watershed P balance and the relationship between anthropogenic P input and riverine total phosphorus (TP) export in a typical irrigation watersheds. In this study, long-term anthropogenic P variations in Ulansuhai Nur watershed (UNW), a typical irrigation watershed in Yellow River basin, was investigated using a quantitative Net Anthropogenic Phosphorus Input (NAPI) budget model. The results showed that annual NAPI exhibited a significant upward trend with a multi-year average of 2541.6 kg P km−2 yr−1 in the UNW. Hotspots for watershed NAPI were discovered in Linhe and Hangjin Houqi counties. Chemical P fertilizers and livestock breeding were two dominated sources of NAPI. Annual riverine TP export showed a significantly declined trend with a net decrease of 80.6%. The export ratio of watershed NAPI was 0.6%, lower than those reported for other watersheds worldwide. There was a significant positive linear correlation between NAPI and riverine TP export from 2005 to 2009. However, after 2009, riverine TP export exhibited a decreased trend with increasing watershed NAPI, which was attributed to environmental treatment measures. By reconstructing riverine TP export without the impact of pollution treatment measures, annual average reduction amount of riverine TP export from 2009 to 2019 was estimated to be 237.2 ton, 47.2% and 52.8% of which were attributed to the point and nonpoint sources measures. This study not only widens the application scope of NAPI budget method, but also provides useful information of nutrient management and control in the arid and semiarid irrigation watershed.

TidsskriftJournal of Environmental Management
Antal sider8
StatusUdgivet - 15. sep. 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This work was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No. 42077057 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023


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