Improving national mapping of critical source areas of phosphorus and nitrogen losses in Irish agricultural catchments to support policy

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Title: Improving national mapping of critical source areas of phosphorus and nitrogen losses in Irish agricultural catchments to support policy
Authors: Thomas, Ian A.Bruen, MichaelMockler, Eva M.Kelly, EdelMurphy, Paulet al.
Permanent link: http://hdl.handle.net/10197/10823
Date: 3-Jun-2019
Online since: 2019-07-01T13:07:28Z
Abstract: Policymakers, farm advisors and water agencies require up-to-date national maps of critical source areas (CSAs) of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) losses from agricultural land to improve catchment management decisions. The DiffuseTools project aimed to achieve this in Ireland by updating the existing Catchment Characterisation Tool and sub-model NCYCLE_IRL, which predicts environmental losses of N and P from the farm via surface runoff, leaching, denitrification and volatilisation. Updates included (i) using improved national maps of farm-scale source loadings as inputs, (ii) sub-field scale modelling of surface transport risk using soil topographic indices derived from 1 m and 5 m NEXTMap digital elevation models (DEMs), (iii) modelling hydrological disconnectivity from microtopography (HSA Index) and reinfiltration (SCIMAP), (iv) improving the national ditch and stream channel network used by the model by DEM extraction, and (v) using SCIMAP to improve predictions of erosion risk. The improved national source loading maps included mean nationally weighted farm-gate N and P imports (fertilizer, feed and livestock) and balance surpluses (kg/ha) calculated for each stocking rate and soil group (land use potential) category within each sector type (dairy, mixed livestock, suckler cattle, non-suckler cattle, sheep and tillage), using annual Teagasc National Farm Survey data (2008-15). Furthermore, updated national maps of soil P and atmospheric N and P deposition inputs were also used within the national source loading maps to improve model performance. National CSA maps for N and P for each pathway were then produced and evaluated using water quality monitoring data and field observations from the Environmental Protection Agency and Teagasc Agricultural Catchments Programme. These maps will be able to support sustainable intensification by informing farm and catchment management decisions such as where to cost effectively target mitigation measures to reduce environmental losses, where to distribute nutrient surpluses (to non-CSAs in nutrient deficit), and improving functional land management.
Funding Details: Environmental Protection Agency
Type of material: Conference Publication
Keywords: NitrogenPhosphorusLiDARDEMCritical source areaModellingNationalTargetingMitigation measuresAgricultureSustainabilityWater quality
Other versions: https://www.luwq2019.dk/
Language: en
Status of Item: Peer reviewed
Conference Details: LUWQ 2019: International Interdisciplinary Conference on Land Use and Water Quality. Agriculture and the Environment. Aarhus, Denmark, 3-6 June 2019
Appears in Collections:Agriculture and Food Science Research Collection

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