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dc.contributor.authorMurphy, Paul N. C.
dc.contributor.authorMellander, Per-Erik
dc.contributor.authorMelland, A. R.
dc.contributor.authorBuckley, Cathal
dc.contributor.authorShore, Mairead
dc.contributor.authorShortle, Ger
dc.contributor.authorWall, David
dc.contributor.authorTreacy, Mark
dc.contributor.authorShine, Oliver
dc.contributor.authorMechan, Sarah
dc.contributor.authorJordan, Philip
dc.identifier.citationMurphy, P., Mellander, P., Melland, A., Buckley, C., Shore, M., Shortle, G., Wall, D., Treacy, M., Shine, O., Mechan, S. and Jordan, P. Variable response to phosphorus mitigation measures across the nutrient transfer continuum in a dairy grassland catchment. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment, 2015, 207, 192-202. doi:
dc.description.abstractPhosphorus (P) loss from soils to water can be a major pressure on freshwater quality and dairy farming, with higher animal stocking rates, may lead to potentially greater nutrient source pressures. In many countries with intensive agriculture, regulation of P management aims to minimise these losses. This study examined the P transfer continuum, from source to impact, in a dairy-dominated, highly stocked, grassland catchment with free-draining soils over three years. The aim was to measure the effects of P source management and regulation on P transfer across the nutrient transfer continuum and subsequent water quality and agro-economic impacts. Reduced P source pressure was indicated by: (a) lower average farm-gate P balances (2.4 kg ha−1 yr−1), higher P use efficiencies (89%) and lower inorganic fertilizer P use (5.2 kg ha−1 yr−1) relative to previous studies; (b) almost no recorded P application during the winter closed period, when applications were prohibited, to avoid incidental transfers; and (c) decreased proportions of soils with excessive P concentrations (32–24%). Concurrently, production and profitability remained comparable with the top 10% of dairy farmers nationally with milk outputs of 14,585 l ha−1, and gross margins of € 3130 ha−1. Whilst there was some indication of a response in P delivery in surface water with declines in quick flow and interflow pathway P concentrations during the winter closed period for P application, delayed baseflows in the wetter third year resulted in elevated P concentrations for long durations and there were no clear trends of improving stream biological quality. This suggests a variable response to policy measures between P source pressure and delivery/impact where the strength of any observable trend is greater closer to the source end of the nutrient transfer continuum and a time lag occurs at the other end. Policy monitoring and assessment efforts will need to be cognisant of this.en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseriesAgriculture, Ecosystems & Environment;Vol. 207
dc.rightsAttribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 United States*
dc.subjectPhosphorus lossen_US
dc.subjectNutrient transfer continuumen_US
dc.subjectWater qualityen_US
dc.subjectMitigation measuresen_US
dc.subjectNutrient managementen_US
dc.subjectAgricultural catchmenten_US
dc.subjectComparative economicsen_US
dc.titleVariable response to phosphorus mitigation measures across the nutrient transfer continuum in a dairy grassland catchmenten_US
dc.contributor.sponsorDepartment of Agriculture, Food and Marineen_US

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