Phosphorus loss from agricultural catchments: pathways and implications for management

Penny J Johnes, R. Hodgkinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


The contribution non-point P sources make to the total P loading on water bodies in agricultural catchments has not been fully appreciated. Using data derived from plot scale experimental studies, and modelling approaches developed to simulate system behaviour under differing management scenarios, a fuller understanding of the processes controlling P export and transformations along non-point transport pathways can be achieved. One modelling approach which has been successfully applied to large UK catchments (50-350km2 in area) is applied here to a small, 1.5 km2 experimental catchment. The importance of scaling is discussed in the context of how such approaches can extrapolate the results from plot-scale experimental studies to full catchment scale. However, the scope of such models is limited, since they do not at present directly simulate the processes controlling P transport and transformation dynamics. As such, they can only simulate total P export on an annual basis, and are not capable of prediction over shorter time scales. The need for development of process-based models to help answer these questions, and for more comprehensive UK experimental studies is highlighted as a pre-requisite for the development of suitable and sustainable management strategies to reduce non-point P loading on water bodies in agricultural catchments.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-185
JournalSoil Use and Management
Publication statusPublished - 1998


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