Evaluating the success of phosphorus management from field to watershed

Andrew N. Sharpley, Peter J.A. Kleinman, Philip Jordan, Lars Bergström, Arthur L. Allen

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

124 Scopus citations


Studies have demonstrated some P loss reduction following implementation of remedial strategies at field scales. However, there has been little coordinated evaluation of best management practices (BMPs) on a watershed scale to show where, when, and which work most effectively. Thus, it is still difficult to answer with a degree of certainty, critical questions such as, how long before we see a response and where would we expect to observe the greatest or least response? In cases where field and watershed scales are monitored, it is not uncommon for trends in P loss to be disconnected. We review case studies demonstrating that potential causes of the disconnect varies, from competing sources of P at watershed scales that are not reflected in field monitoring to an abundance of sinks at watershed scales that buffer field sources. To be successful, P-based mitigation strategies need to occur iteratively, involve stakeholder driven programs, and address the inherent complexity of all P sources within watersheds.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1981-1988
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Environmental Quality
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Environmental Engineering
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Waste Management and Disposal
  • Pollution
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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