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|Title:||Ground water nitrate reduction in giant cane and forest riparian buffer zone|
|Authors:||Schoonover, J. E.|
Williard, K. W. J.
|Abstract:||Ground water contamination by excess nitrate leaching in row-crop fields is an important issue in intensive agricultural areas of the United States and abroad. Giant cane and forest riparian buffer zones were monitored to determine each cover type's ability to reduce ground water nitrate concentrations. Ground water was sampled at varying distances from the field edge to determine an effective width for maximum nitrate attenuation. Ground water samples were analyzed for nitrate concentrations as well as chloride concentrations, which were used as a conservative ion to assess dilution or concentration effects within the riparian zone. Significant nitrate reductions occurred in both the cane and the forest riparian buffer zones within the first 3.3 m, a relatively narrow width. In this first 3.3 m, the cane and forest buffer reduced ground water nitrate levels by 90 percent and 61 percent, respectively. Approximately 40 percent of the observed 99 percent nitrate reduction over the 10 m cane buffer could be attributed to dilution by upwelling ground water. Neither ground water dilution nor concentration was observed in the forest buffer. The ground water nitrate attenuation capabilities of the cane and forest riparian zones were not statistically different. During the spring, both plant assimilation and denitrification were probably important nitrate loss mechanisms, while in the summer nitrate was more likely lost via denitrification since the water table dropped below the rooting zone.|
|Journal Title:||Journal of the American Water Resources Association|
|Appears in Collections:||Hunter Local Land Services|
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