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Modeling phosphorus losses from soils amended with cattle manures and chemical fertilizers

Zhaozhi Wang, T.Q. Zhang, C.S. Tan, P. Vadas, Z.M. Qi, C. Wellen
Science of the total environment 2018 v.639 pp. 580-587
Environmental Policy Integrated Climate Model, cattle manure, clay loam soils, fertilizer application, growing season, liquids, losses from soil, melting, mineral fertilizers, model validation, phosphorus, prediction, runoff, snowmelt, statistical analysis
While applied manure/fertilizer is an important source of P loss in surface runoff, few models simulate the direct transfer of phosphorus (P) from soil-surface-applied manure/fertilizer to surface runoff. The SurPhos model was tested with 2008–2010 growing season daily surface runoff data from clay loam experimental plots subject to different manure/fertilizer applications. Model performance was evaluated on the basis of the coefficient of determination (R²), Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency (NSE), percent bias (PBIAS), and the ratio of the root mean square error to the standard deviation of observed values (RSR). The model offered an acceptable performance in simulating soil labile P dynamics (R² = 0.75, NSE = 0.55, PBIAS = 10.43%, and RSR = 0.67) and dissolved reactive P (DRP) loss in surface runoff (R² ≥ 0.74 and NSE ≥ 0.69) for both solid and liquid cattle manure, as well as inorganic fertilizer. Simulated direct P loss in surface runoff from solid and liquid cattle manure accounted for 39% and 40% of total growing season DRP losses in surface runoff. To compensate for the unavailability of daily surface runoff observations under snow melt condition, the whole four years' (2008–2011) daily surface runoff predicted by EPIC (Environmental Policy Integrated Climate) was used as SurPhos input. The accuracy of simulated DRP loss in surface runoff under the different manure/fertilizer treatments was acceptable (R² ≥ 0.55 and NSE ≥ 0.50). For the solid cattle manure treatment, of all annual DRP losses, 19% were derived directly from the manure. Beyond offering a reliable prediction of manure/fertilizer P loss in surface runoff, SurPhos quantified different sources of DRP loss and dynamic labile P in soil, allowing a better critical assessment of different P management measures' effectiveness in mitigating DRP losses.