Aarhus University Seal / Aarhus Universitets segl

Nitrogen removal and greenhouse gas fluxes from integrated buffer zones treating agricultural drainage water

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskrift/Konferencebidrag i tidsskrift /Bidrag til avisTidsskriftartikelForskningpeer review

Integrated buffer zones (IBZ) are novel mitigation measures designed to decrease the loading of nitrogen (N) transported by subsurface drainage systems from agricultural fields to streams. In IBZ, drainage water flows into a pond with free water surface followed by an inundated, vegetated filterbed. This design provides an environment favorable for denitrification and thus a decrease in nitrate concentration is expected as water flow through the IBZ. However, due to the establishment of anaerobic conditions, there is a risk for increasing emissions of the greenhouse gases nitrous oxide (N2O) and methane (CH4). In this year-long study, we evaluated the N removal efficiency along with the risk of N2O and CH4 emissions from two pilot-scale IBZs (IBZ1 and 2). The two IBZs had very different yearly removal efficiencies, amounting to 29% and 71% of the total N load at IBZ1 and 2, respectively. This was probably due to differences in infiltration rates to the filterbed, which was 22% and 81% of the incoming water at IBZ1 and 2, respectively. The site (IBZ2) with the highest removal efficiency was a net N2O sink, while 0.9% of the removed nitrate was emitted as N2O at IBZ1. Both IBZs were net sources of CH4 but with different pathways of emission. In IBZ1 CH4 was mainly lost directly to the atmosphere, while waterborne losses dominated in IBZ2. In conclusion, the IBZs were effective in removing N three years after establishment, and although the IBZs acted as greenhouse gas sources, especially due to CH4, the emissions were comparable to those of natural wetlands and other drainage transport mitigation measures.

TidsskriftScience of the total Environment
Antal sider12
StatusUdgivet - jun. 2021

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
This paper is a contribution from the Nordic Centre of Excellence BIOWATER, funded by Nordforsk under project number 82263.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021 The Authors

Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.

Se relationer på Aarhus Universitet Citationsformater

ID: 212233484