Impacts of Land Use, Fertilizer and Manure Application on the Stream Nutrient Loadings in the Salmon River Watershed, South-Central British Columbia, Canada


Manure and fertilizer applications can increase soil productivity and land economic values, but the controversial result can be a decline of water quality due to the increased nutrient exports from soils to the streams. The impacts of landuse, manure and fertilizer application on nutrient exports from soils to the streams were analyzed using the SWAT (Soil Water Assessment Tool) model for the Salmon River watershed in south-central British Columbia, Canada. The results showed that the animal farms had the highest rates of nutrient exports from soils to the streams and the natural forested lands had the lowest. It was estimated that the whole Salmon River watershed would export approximately 11.52 t·yr-1 of organic nitrogen (ON), 8.05 t·yr-1 of nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), 2.30 t·yr-1 of organic phosphorus (OP) and 1.36 t·yr-1 of soluble reactive phosphorus (SRP) if the whole watershed was covered by natural vegetation without human disturbance. Current landuse changes, by converting natural vegetation lands to agriculture and animal farms and associated manure and fertilizer applications, have in-creased approximately 53.30 t·yr-1 of ON, 9.68 t·yr-1 of NO3-N, 22.69 t·y-1 of OP and 6.23 t·y-1 of SRP exports to the streams in the whole watershed. The SWAT model predicted that a daily 100 kg·ha-1 of fresh manure deposit from grazing cows during grazing season from later spring to later fall could increase 2.57 kg·ha-1·yr-1 of ON, 0.39 kg·ha-1·yr-1 of NO3-N, 2.35 kg·ha-1·yr-1 of OP and 0.48 kg·ha-1·yr-1 of SRP export to the streams. Fertilization could increase 1.57 kg ha-1 yr-1 of ON and 4.02 kg·ha-1·yr-1 of NO3-N export to the streams if 100 kg·ha-1·yr-1 of nitrogen (NH4NO3) fertilizer was applied in spring. Also fertilization could increase 1.18 kg·ha-1·yr-1 of OP and 0.20 kg·ha-1·yr-1 of SRP export to the streams if 100 kg·ha-1 phosphorus (P2O5) fertilizer was applied in spring.

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Z. Zhu, K. Broersma and A. Mazumder, "Impacts of Land Use, Fertilizer and Manure Application on the Stream Nutrient Loadings in the Salmon River Watershed, South-Central British Columbia, Canada," Journal of Environmental Protection, Vol. 3 No. 8A, 2012, pp. 809-822. doi: 10.4236/jep.2012.328096.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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