Coupled steroid and phosphorus leaching from cattle slurry at lysimeter scale
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CitationAmber Manley, Adrian L. Collins, Adrian Joynes, Per-Erik Mellander, Phil Jordan, Coupled steroid and phosphorus leaching from cattle slurry at lysimeter scale, Journal of Contaminant Hydrology, Volume 247, 2022, 103979, ISSN 0169-7722, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jconhyd.2022.103979.
AbstractWater quality degradation can be caused by excessive agricultural nutrient transfers from fertilised soils exposed to wet weather. Mitigation measures within the EU Nitrates Directive aim to reduce this pressure by including ‘closed’ fertiliser spreading periods during wet months. For organic fertilisers such as slurry and manure, this closed period requires sufficient on-farm winter storage and good weather conditions to relieve storage at the end of the period. Therefore, robust scientific evidence is needed to support the measure. Incidental nutrient transfers of recently applied organic fertilisers in wet weather can also be complicated by synchronous transfers from residual soil stores and tracing is required for risk assessments. The combination of nutrient monitoring and biomarker analyses may aid this and one such biomarker suite is faecal steroids. Accordingly, this study investigated the persistence of steroids and their association with phosphorus during leaching episodes. The focus was on the coupled behaviour of steroids and total phosphorus (TP) concentrations in sub-surface hydrological pathways. Cattle slurry was applied to monolith lysimeters either side of a closed period and concentrations of both steroids and TP were monitored in the leachate. The study showed no significant effect of the treatment (average p = 0.17), though tracer concentrations did significantly change over time (average p = 0.001). While the steroidal concentration ratio was validated for herbivorous faecal pollution in the leachate, there was a weak positive correlation between the steroids and TP. Further investigation at more natural scales (hillslope/catchment) is required to confirm tracer behaviours/correlations and to compliment this sub-surface pathway study.
FunderWalsh Fellowship; Soil to Nutrition strategic programme under Project 3
Grant Number2016115; BBS/E/C/000I0330
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