Do Randomly Placed Riparian Conservation Land-Uses Improve Stream Water Quality in Iowa, USA?
George N. Zaimes1,2, Richard C. Schultz3
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1Department of Forestry and Management of Natural Resources, University of Kavala Institute of Technology (UKIT),
1 km Mikrohoriou, Drama, 66100 Greece
2School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Arizona,
325 Bio Sciences East, P.O. Box 210043, Tucson, 85721 Arizona, USA
3Department of Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa, USA
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2011;20(4):1083-1092
To improve stream water quality in the United States, government programs subsidize farmers to establish riparian conservation land-uses in agricultural landscapes. This study compared sediment and phosphorus water concentrations from stream reaches adjacent to riparian forest buffers, grass filters, row-cropped fields, pastures with cattle fenced out of the stream, and continuous, rotational and intensive rotational pastures in Iowa. In some cases agricultural land-uses had significantly higher sediment and phosphorus concentrations, while in others the conservation land-uses were higher. The few significant differences between conservation and agricultural land-uses suggest that the random placement of conservation land-uses is an inefficient way to improve water quality.
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