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Simulating the long term impact of nitrate mitigation scenarios in apilot study basin

Abstract : The agro-hydrological model TNT2 was used to explore for a period of 14 years (1987-2001) the likelyconsequences of mitigation scenarios on nitrate contamination of the stream water in a small agriculturalcatchment. The Best Management Practices (BMPs) historically designed and implemented in 1992 andtwo devised agricultural scenarios (catch crop (CC) implementation and a global reduction of N fertilizer)are evaluated in term of nitrate contamination in the environment. Two of the BMPs consist in imple-menting natural strips of Poplar and rye-grass strips (5 meters large) along stream and ditches and thethird is a delay in the burial of wheat straws (from August to October). Simulations indicated that naturalstrips implementation would lead to a slight decrease of Nitrate Fluxes (NF) in river by respectively 3.3%and 6.6% for rye-grass and poplar strips: a benefit associated to the non fertilization of strips area. Denitri-fication has not been particularly disrupted in such areas. The delay in the burial of wheat straw in autumndecreases annual mineralization rate and annual plant uptake (by respectively 9 and 13 kg N ha−1y−1)but increases denitrification fluxes by 6 kg N ha−1y−1. This would lead to a slight decrease by 6% of NFin stream (equivalent to 3.3 mg NO3−l−1) and an average decrease of the following sunflower yield by27%. The global reduction of fertilization by 10% would decreased NF in stream by 13.8% (equivalent to8 mg NO3−l−1), with a global decrease by 8 kg N ha−1y−1of plant uptake. The cumulative effect of BMPsand CC would have together lead to a decrease of nitrate concentration from 57.5 to 46.6 mg NO3−l−1reaching the UE environmental quality objectives (below 50 mg NO3−l−1). Spring crops yield followingCC would have been penalized and the decrease of NF is balanced by an increase of denitrification fluxesin the environment contributing to release of N2O, a greenhouse gas, into the atmosphere.
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Sylvain Ferrant, Patrick Durand, Eric Justes, Jean-Luc Probst, Jose-Miguel Sanchez-Perez. Simulating the long term impact of nitrate mitigation scenarios in apilot study basin. Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier Masson, 2013, vol. 124, pp. 85-96. ⟨10.1016/j.agwat.2013.03.023⟩. ⟨hal-00821869⟩

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