Identifying phosphorus (P) sources, distribution and export from lowland polders is important for P pollution management, however, is challenging due to the high complexity of hydrological and P transport processes in lowland areas. In this study, the spatial pattern and temporal dynamics of P export coefficient (PEC) from all the 2539 polders in Lake Taihu Basin, China were estimated using a coupled P model for describing P dynamics in a polder system. The estimated amount of P export from polders in Lake Taihu Basin during 2013 was 1916.2 t/yr, with a spatially-averaged PEC of 1.8 kg/ha/yr. PEC had peak values (more than 4.0 kg/ha/yr) in the polders near/within the large cities, and was high during the rice-cropping season. Sensitivity analysis based on the coupled P model revealed that the sensitive factors controlling the PEC varied spatially and changed through time. Precipitation and air temperature were the most sensitive factors controlling PEC. Culvert controlling and fertilization were sensitive factors controlling PEC during some periods. This study demonstrated an estimation of PEC from 2539 polders in Lake Taihu Basin, and an identification of sensitive environmental factors affecting PEC. The investigation of polder P export in a watershed scale is helpful for water managers to learn the distribution of P sources, to identify key P sources, and thus to achieve best management practice in controlling P export from lowland areas.
Environmental Pollution – Elsevier
Published: Dec 1, 2017
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