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SFS Annual Meeting

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NUTRIENT EXPORT PATTERNS TO GROUNDWATER ACROSS LAND USE AND PRECIPITATION GRADIENTS

Groundwater inputs to streams are important to intermittent stream function, and can be a source of nutrients such as nitrogen and phosphorus. The amount of nutrients within groundwater can affect downstream processes, including eutrophication. Field observations across Kansas indicate meaningful impacts of agricultural land use practices on nitrate and phosphate concentrations near the surface of the water table, but these data do not include non-agricultural land uses, and large spatial and temporal variation make it difficult to distinguish the effects of precipitation and land use. We asked whether land use and precipitation affect nutrient export patterns to groundwater, and designed a mesocosm experiment to address this knowledge gap. Soil columns (75 cm long and 30 cm wide) were collected from sites across a precipitation gradient in Kansas with three land uses: agriculture, native prairie, and restored prairie. By analyzing the relative concentrations of inorganic and organic nitrogen and phosphorus in the water after leaching the soil samples in mesocosms with enough rainfall to yield one half the mesocosm volume, we can tell how water quality is affected by land use and precipitation patterns, especially in intermittent streams.

Terrance Loecke (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Kansas, loecke.terry@ku.edu;


Anatole Telegin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Kansas, anatole.telegin@ku.edu;


Benjamin Sikes (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Kansas, ben.sikes@ku.edu;


Amy Burgin (Co-Presenter/Co-Author), University of Kansas, burginam@ku.edu;


Madison Foster (Primary Presenter/Author), University of Kansas, madisonjfoster@gmail.com;