Saturated Riparian Buffers with Dr. Morgan Davis and Dr. Tyler Groh

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“Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Saturated Riparian Buffers: Are We Trading a Water Quality Problem for an Air Quality Problem?” with Dr. Morgan Davis and Dr. Tyler Groh.

Riparian buffers are areas of perennial vegetation planted around stream banks and other riparian zones to protect against soil erosion and nutrient leaching. However, tile drainage systems—piping laid under fields to keep them from becoming too saturated—are designed to bypass riparian buffers, leading to potentially harmful levels of nutrient leaching. Saturated Riparian Buffers are a relatively new conservation technique that aims to reduce those water quality issues by redirecting excess water back into the soil. However, their installation could potentially lead to increased levels of incomplete denitrification, resulting in excess nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, being released into the atmosphere. Drs. Morgan Davis and Tyler Groh work together to examine saturated buffer design and these potential environmental tradeoffs.

This episode, listen in to find answers to the following questions:

  • What is tile drainage, and how is it installed?
  • How does denitrification work, and why is it a necessary process?
  • In what ways can we attempt to improve saturated riparian buffer design?
  • Is there really a tradeoff in air and water quality when installing saturated riparian buffers?

If you would like more information about this topic, this episode’s paper is available here: https://doi.org/10.2134/jeq2018.03.0127

It will be freely available from 16 August to 30 August, 2019.

If you would like to find transcripts for this episode or sign up for our newsletter, please visit our website: https://fieldlabearth.libsyn.com/

Contact us at podcast@sciencesocieties.org or on Twitter @FieldLabEarth if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for show topics, and if you want more content like this don’t forget to subscribe.

If you would like to reach out to Morgan, you can find him here: morgand@iastate.edu Twitter: @morgandpdavisbgc

If you would like to reach out to Tyler, you can find him here: tgroh@iastate.edu Twitter: @TylerAGroh

Resources

CEU Quiz: http://www.agronomy.org/education/classroom/classes/834

In Situ Denitrification in Saturated Riparian Buffers article by Tyler A. Groh, Morgan P. Davis, et. al.: http://dx.doi.org/10.2134/jeq2018.03.0125

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard for Saturated Buffers: https://www.nrcs.usda.gov/wps/PA_NRCSConsumption/download?cid=nrcseprd1051806&ext=pdf

Transforming Drainage Website: https://transformingdrainage.org/

The Soil and Water Conservation Society website on saturated riparian buffers: https://www.swcs.org/resources/conservation-media-library/saturated-buffer-facts

Environmental Protection Agency’s website on greenhouse gas emissions: https://www.epa.gov/ghgemissions/sources-greenhouse-gas-emissions

Managing Denitrification in Agronomic Systems Community: https://www.agronomy.org/membership/communities/managing-denitrification-in-agronomic-systems

2019 Annual ACS Meeting in San Antonio, Texas: https://www.acsmeetings.org/

2019 Annual Meeting Oral Session for Managing Denitrification in Agronomic Systems: https://scisoc.confex.com/scisoc/2019am/meetingapp.cgi/Session/19300

Intergovernmental panel on climate change: https://www.ipcc.ch/

Field, Lab, Earth is copyrighted to the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America.

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