The utility of giant cane as a riparian buffer species in southern Illinois agricultural landscapes
Source: Agroforestry Systems, Volume 80, Number 1, September 2010 , pp. 97-107(11)
Abstract:Across the U.S., multiple species of riparian vegetation have proven to be effective filters of sediment and nutrients in agricultural watersheds. Research at Southern Illinois University Carbondale has focused on giant cane [Arundinaria gigantea (Walt.) Muhl.] as a potential candidate to incorporate into riparian buffer designs. In 2001, an exploratory study (i.e., Phase I) monitored nutrient and sediment concentrations from surface runoff and groundwater in the Cypress Creek watershed, while two subsequent studies (i.e., Phase II) focused on groundwater quality and added additional riparian buffer plots in the Big Creek and Cache River Watersheds. The primary objective of this research was to compare nutrient attenuation in groundwater of native giant cane and forest riparian buffers. Results from phase I showed significant nutrient reductions in groundwater over short distances in both the giant cane (~3.0 m) and forest buffers (~6.0 m), thus additional wells were installed at 1.5 and 12.0 m for the second phase. Groundwater NO3 −-N was significantly reduced by 90% in the initial 3.0 m of the giant cane buffer, where plant assimilation and microbial denitrification were likely key NO3 −-N removal mechanisms. Phase II showed significant reductions in groundwater NO3 −-N beneath the forest buffers, whereas little change occurred below the giant cane buffers. However, NO3 −-N concentrations beneath giant cane buffers were 3 times less than those observed beneath the forest buffers. Follow-up studies are being conducted on the transport of E. coli through vegetated buffers, and efforts have been expanded to the watershed-scale.
Document Type: Research article
Affiliations: 1: Department of Forestry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL, USA, Email: email@example.com 2: Department of Forestry, Southern Illinois University Carbondale, Carbondale, IL, USA
Publication date: 2010-09-01