Novel approaches to investigating spatial variability in channel bank total phosphorus at the catchment scale

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Granger, S. J., Harris, P., Upadhayay, H., Sint, H. M., Pulley, S., Stone, M., Krishnappan, B. G. and Collins, A. L. 2021. Novel approaches to investigating spatial variability in channel bank total phosphorus at the catchment scale. Catena. 202 (article), p. 105223. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2021.105223

AuthorsGranger, S. J., Harris, P., Upadhayay, H., Sint, H. M., Pulley, S., Stone, M., Krishnappan, B. G. and Collins, A. L.
Abstract

Phosphorus (P) is often a limiting nutrient that leads to the eutrophication of aquatic systems. While dissolved P forms are the most bioavailable, the form, mobility, transport and fate of P are directly related to its association with fine-grained riverine sediment. Therefore, to implement successful P catchment management strategies it is important to understand the relative contribution of different sediment sources to P loads across the river continuum. While agricultural topsoil and, to a lesser extent, riverbed sediment are important sources of sediment-associated P, channel banks have been shown to be an important sediment source in some catchments. However, comparatively little is known about the P concentration and corresponding spatial variability in channel bank sediment and the associated implications for catchment management. The present study examines the spatial variability of P associated with channel bank profiles within a series of three nested catchments using both non-spatial and spatial statistical methods, where for the latter, a novel spatial approach was used to estimate the spatial averages and variances of P in channel bank sediment along the stream network. Channel bank P concentrations were compared to factors such as catchment scale, stream order, land use, bank exposure and location along the stream network. Concentrations of TP ranged between 129.6 and 1206.9 mg P kg⁻¹ of which the water extractable P (WEP) content ranged from 0.01 to 0.12%. Stream order was found to influence TP concentrations, while land use and catchment scale provided only a moderate influence. This suggested that focussing channel bank sampling strategies at the largest catchment scale would capture key drivers of TP variability provided stream order is sufficiently represented. Whether the bank was had limited vegetation and was exposed and potentially eroding had a slight influence on TP variability in second-order stream banks in the larger of the two nested catchments. However, the slightly lower TP concentrations measured at these sites indicated that banks that are actually eroding may be contributing less TP than the total channel bank TP values measured across the catchments as a whole. The results of an explicitly spatial analysis demonstrated that local channel bank TP averages and TP variances vary along the stream network. Specifically, the most accurate spatial predictor of TP was local TP means with the use of ‘crow flies’ rather than stream network distances. Local TP variances were used to provide optimal designs for future channel bank TP sampling campaigns, given available resources. Throughout, both standard and outlier-resistant statistical analyses were applied to improve interpretation of the study findings.

KeywordsRiverbank sediment ; Stream order; Land use ; Spatial; Sample design; Geographically weighted
Year of Publication2021
JournalCatena
Journal citation202 (article), p. 105223
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2021.105223
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
Funder project or codeS2N - Soil to Nutrition - Work package 3 (WP3) - Sustainable intensification - optimisation at multiple scales
Publisher's version
Publication dates
Online26 Feb 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted30 Jan 2021
PublisherElsevier Science Bv
ISSN0341-8162

Permalink - https://repository.rothamsted.ac.uk/item/98399/novel-approaches-to-investigating-spatial-variability-in-channel-bank-total-phosphorus-at-the-catchment-scale

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