The Effects of Riparian Buffer Strips on the Concentrations of Phosphorus in Aquatic Systems in Relation to Land Management Practices
This study examined the effects of riparian buffers on the concentrations of soluble reactive P (SRP) in water and available P in sediment samples collected along Washington Creek, a moderately degraded stream typical of agricultural landscapes (AG) in Southern Ontario. Although the concentrations of SRP in water samples were much lower (i.e., < 0.001 ppm) than the federal-provincial water quality objectives for streams (i.e., 0.03 ppm), the concentrations of SRP in the water samples collected from plots adjacent to the AG without riparian buffers were significantly higher than those from areas covered with vegetated buffers. The concentrations of available P in the sediments collected from the plots influenced by AG were significantly higher than those with riparian buffers, which was up to 5.2 mg P kg-1 sediment. This study showed the accumulation of available P in the sediments was correlated with SRP concentrations in Washington Creek.