Nitrogen and phosphorus transport as a criterion for soil categorisation
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National Agricultural and Food Centre, Soil Science and Conservation Research Institute, regional work place Prešov, Raymannova 1, 080 01 Prešov, Slovak Republic
University of Prešov, Faculty of Humanities and Natural Sciences, Department of Geography and Regional Development, 17th November Str. 15, 080 01 Prešov, Slovak Republic
Submission date: 2020-02-03
Acceptance date: 2020-05-25
Online publication date: 2020-06-03
Publication date: 2020-06-17
Soil Sci. Ann., 2020, 71(2), 174-181
Water pollution, both surface and underground, by agricultural activity is a relatively serious problem. The pollutants are transported from the soil to the water. The aim of this paper is to evaluate the soil transport function on the basis of present knowledge of soil nutrient (nitrogen and phosphorus) transport and soil and local properties. The west Slovak lowlands, south Slovak basins and east Slovak highlands were selected due to their different climate and soil parameters. Soil nutrient transport was classified as (1) very weak, (2) weak, (3) moderate, (4) strong and (5) very strong. Accordingly, we defined the area of individual categories of soil transport function in agricultural soils in three observed areas in Slovakia. Thus we could determine the origin of the water pollution potential risk. Moreover, this is very important when it comes to observing of the Nitrate Directive as farmers can harmonise nitrogen and phosphorus fertilisation to soil categories. In the case of nitrogen, its transport is very dependent on soil nitrification intensity with nitrogen, and the most fertile soils (on Žitný ostrov) are very susceptible to water pollution. Almost 88% of agricultural soil in this area are in the strong and very strong nitrogen transport categories. On the other hand, only 2.1% of soils in hilly and cold landscapes (Ondavská vrchovina) feature water nitrogen pollution. Phosphorus transport is very strong on the hilly landscape with shallow soils (less than 0.30 m) and/or with gravel high content (Ondavská vrchovina). Especially in these locations, an increase of water body phosphorus content and thus a decrease in water quality (almost 50% of total agricultural soil area) is possible.
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