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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2018

Targeting critical source areas for phosphorus losses: Evaluation with soil testing, farmers’ assessment and modelling

Djodjic, Faruk; Elmquist, Helena; Collentine, Dennis


Diffuse phosphorus (P) losses from arable land need to be reduced in a cost-efficient way, taking into account their temporal and spatial variability. This study, based on 16 farms across southern Sweden, examined possibilities for identifying critical source areas for P losses based on the combined results of high-resolution erosion modelling, independent risk assessments by farmers, soil survey and SWOT analysis performed by farmers. Statistically significant differences in dissolved P release were found between soil P test classes in the studied area, whereas soil textural classes and not P content governed potential mobilisation of soil particles and unreactive P. Spatial comparison of problem areas identified by farmers and modelled features showed that the modelled erosion pathways intersected 109 in a total of 128 (85%) observed problem areas. The study demonstrates the value in involving farmers in the identification of critical source areas in order to select and support implementation of effective countermeasures.


Eutrophication; Farm; High-resolution; Phosphorus; Site-specific; Targeting

Published in

AMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
2018, Volume: 47, number: 1, pages: 45-56