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Water Res. 2009 Sep;43(17):4316-26. doi: 10.1016/j.watres.2009.06.032. Epub 2009 Jun 24.

Impacts of climate change on phosphorus loading from a grassland catchment: implications for future management.

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  • 1Centre for the Environment, School of Natural Sciences, Trinity College Dublin, Dublin, Ireland. eleanor.jennings@dkit.ie

Abstract

Dynamic modelling was used to quantify the impact of projected climate change, and potential changes in population and land use, on phosphorus (P) export from a sub-catchment in SW Ireland using the Generalised Watershed Loading Functions (GWLF) model. Overall the results indicated that the increase in annual total phosphorus loads attributable to climate change was greater than that from either population or land use change, and therefore that future climate variability will pose an increasingly significant threat to the successful long-term implementation of catchment management initiatives. The seasonal pattern in projected P export mirrored changes in streamflow, with higher rates between January and April and lower rates in summer. The potential reduction in export in summer was, however, negated when increases in population were included in simulations. A change in the slurry spreading period from that stipulated in national regulations to the months between April and September could potentially mitigate against future increases in dissolved P export in spring. The results indicate that projected changes in climate should be included when undertaking modelling exercises in support of decision making for catchment management plans.

PMID:
19646731
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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