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Connecting Seasonal Riparian Buffer Metrics and Nitrogen Concentrations in a Pulse-Driven Agricultural System
Christensen, J., M. Nash, J. Compton, J. Wigington, AND S. Griffith. Connecting Seasonal Riparian Buffer Metrics and Nitrogen Concentrations in a Pulse-Driven Agricultural System. Presented at SFS (Society for Freshwater Science) Meeting, Milwaukee, WI, May 17 - 21, 2015.
Statistical analysis of seasonal influence of stream expansion on riparian buffers and nitrogen concentrations in watersheds to be used for water quality management and buffer management
Riparian buffers have been well studied as best management practices for nutrient reduction at field scales yet their effectiveness for bettering water quality at watershed scales has been difficult to determine. Seasonal dynamics of the stream network are often overlooked when evaluating the use of riparian buffers in water quality management. In the Willamette Valley, OR, seasonal precipitation results in surface flows within agricultural fields that carry pulses of nutrients past riparian buffers and into streams and rivers. We present seasonal spatially-explicit metrics and statistically relate them to seasonal nitrogen concentrations. Field data, LiDAR data and soils data are used to estimate seasonal stream extents for the Calapooia River Watershed, OR. Flow-weighted metrics of buffered agriculture are calculated and we attempt to use statistical models that use information theory and model averaging to provide seasonal watershed estimations of nitrogen removal and losses through riparian buffers in the watershed. Findings from the seasonal statistical analysis will be presented and their implications for water quality and buffer management will be discussed.