Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.2 MB)

Title: Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapes

Author: Zhou, X.; Helmers, M.J.; Asbjornsen, H.; Kolka, R.; Tomer, M.D.; Cruse, R.M.;

Date: 2014

Source: Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 69(1): 54-64.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) from agricultural landscapes have been identified as primary sources of excess nutrients in aquatic systems. The main objective of this study was to evaluate the effectiveness of prairie filter strips (PFS) in removing nutrients from cropland runoff in 12 small watersheds in central Iowa. Four treatments with PFS of different spatial coverage and distribution (No-PFS, 10% PFS, 10% PFS with strips, and 20% PFS with strips) were arranged in a balanced incomplete block design across four blocks in 2007. A no-tillage two-year corn (Zea mays L.) -soybean (Glycine max [L.] Merr.) rotation was grown in row-cropped areas beginning in 2007. Runoff was monitored by H flumes, and runoff water samples were collected during the growing seasons to determine concentrations of nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N), total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) through 2011. Overall, the presence of PFS reduced mean annual NO3-N, TN, and TP concentrations by 35%, 73%, and 82%, respectively, and reduced annual NO3-N, TN, and TP losses by 67%, 84%, and 90%, respectively. However, the amount and distribution of PFS had no significant impact on runoff and nutrient yields. The findings suggest that utilization of PFS at the footslope position of annual row crop systems provides an effective approach to reducing nutrient loss in runoff from small agricultural watersheds.

Keywords: nutrient loss, reconstructed prairie, row crop, vegetative filter strips

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.
  • This publication may be available in hard copy. Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
  • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat. During the capture process some typographical errors may occur. Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.



Zhou, X.; Helmers, M.J.; Asbjornsen, H.; Kolka, R.; Tomer, M.D.; Cruse, R.M. 2014. Nutrient removal by prairie filter strips in agricultural landscapes. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 69(1): 54-64.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.