Abstracts

Factors associated with fate and cycling of nitrogen species in agricultural drainage ditches with implementation of low-grade weirs

Author(s): Faust, D.; Kröger, R.

The overall objective of this study is to examine factors that may affect the fate and cycling of nitrogen species in agricultural drainage ditches with low-grade weirs installed. Emphasis will be on factors and processes that remove nitrogen from these ecosystems. Particular attention will be paid to factors that have been demonstrated to affect denitrification, as this process results in permanent removal of nitrogen from ecosystems. Three factors that have consistently been implicated in affecting denitrification are nitrate concentration, organic carbon availability, and oxidation-reduction potential. These three factors are the focus under of three specific objective to evaluate effects of these factors on nitrate removal and denitrification potential in sediment pore and overlying water in agricultural drainage ditches. Specific objectives are: 1) Water and sediment samples obtained from ditches at Spruill Farm (Belzoni, MS) will be used in laboratory experiments to determine if organic carbon availability is limiting denitrification potential and whether dissolved or particulate organic carbon is more suitable for denitrification; 2) Results from laboratory experiments will inform conditions used for simulated storm events in experimental v-ditch systems at Mississippi State University's South Farm Aquaculture Facility; 3) Effects of nitrate concentrations, organic carbon availability, and oxidation-reduction potential of sediment pore water and overlying water on nitrogen removal in agricultural drainage ditches at Spruill Farm will then be examined. In addition to best management practices already in use, results from these studies will allow for recommendations to enhance nitrogen removal in agricultural drainage ditch systems.

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