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Special Issue "BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance"

A special issue of Water (ISSN 2073-4441).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (20 January 2016)

Special Issue Editors

Guest Editor
Dr. Kelly T. Morgan

Department of Soil and Water Sciences, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida, 2685 SR 29N, Immokalee, FL 34142, USA
E-Mail
Interests: irrigation; nitrogen; phosphorus; nutrient transformations; nutrient use efficiency; water quality; crop modeling
Guest Editor
Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton

Horticultural Sciences Department, Southwest Florida Research and Education Center, University of Florida , 2685 SR 29N, Immokalee, FL 34142, USA
Website | E-Mail
Interests: nutrition; varieties; compost; transplants; and fruit quality

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Water shortages and water-quality problems have been associated world-wide with highly urbanized areas and with intense agricultural, horticultural, and industrial land uses. Most urban consumers are more concerned with water quality than quantity, rating having clean drinking water most important. The application of science based practices to agricultural production is central to environmentally sensitive nutrient and water stewardship. Development, implementation, and performance of best management practices (BMPs) to maintain or improve water quality are critical to the sustainability of current agricultural production systems. Elements of these BMPs include improved soil testing methods, optimizing fertilizer applications (e.g., source, rate, placement, timing, and rate), site-specific irrigation scheduling, and innovative on-site drainage and sediment treatment. Researchers are actively experimenting to determine optimum nutrient and water management practices for specific soil and environmental situations related to production systems. Modelers are utilizing these inputs to simulate biological processes to reduce the potential impact of agriculture on water quality. Extension agents have taught many of these practices in their programs for years but not as a production system. Extension programs utilizing industry support groups to organize commodity specific production education with grower feedback and public information surveys are being developed to bring individual production practices into a coordinated agricultural production system. The goal of this Special Issue is to provide examples of the current best knowledge, to address stakeholder needs, using the right communications tools and strategies, to improve agricultural production system and lower their impact on the environment.

Dr. Kelly T. Morgan
Dr. Monica Ozores-Hampton
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Keywords

  • Best management practices
  • water quality
  • production systems
  • soil testing
  • nutrient recommendations
  • irrigaiton scheduling
  • environmental impact
  • crop modeling

Published Papers (13 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle Performance of an Underground Stormwater Detention Chamber and Comparison with Stormwater Management Ponds
Water 2016, 8(5), 211; doi:10.3390/w8050211
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 29 April 2016 / Accepted: 11 May 2016 / Published: 20 May 2016
PDF Full-text (4739 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The transportation of pollutants from impervious surfaces during runoff events to receiving water bodies is a serious environmental problem. Summer runoff is also heated by impervious surfaces, causing thermal enrichment in receiving water body systems and degradation of coldwater aquatic ecosystems. End-of-pipe stormwater
[...] Read more.
The transportation of pollutants from impervious surfaces during runoff events to receiving water bodies is a serious environmental problem. Summer runoff is also heated by impervious surfaces, causing thermal enrichment in receiving water body systems and degradation of coldwater aquatic ecosystems. End-of-pipe stormwater management facilities that are open to the environment can result in further elevated temperatures due to exposure to solar radiation. Receiving water systems that provide coldwater habitat require cool water temperatures to sustain healthy conditions for cold water flora and fauna (e.g., trout, dace). Underground Stormwater Detention Chambers (USDC) are a technology for the detention and treatment of stormwater runoff that can potentially solve the thermal issues associated with sun-exposed detention facilities while still providing an equivalent level of treatment services for stormwater pollutants. A field study of an USDC located in Southern Ontario was undertaken to characterize its treatment performance and effect on water temperature. The results were: the USDC was found to provide similar levels of stormwater treatment as wet detention ponds. On average, outlet maximum temperatures were 5 °C cooler than inlet maximum temperatures, and outlet water temperatures remained within the thermal regime for coldwater fish habitat throughout the evaluation period. There was little to no stratification of temperature, nor dissolved solids, but stratification of dissolved oxygen was observed mid-winter and into the spring. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Analysis of Best Management Practices Implementation on Water Quality Using the Soil and Water Assessment Tool
Water 2016, 8(4), 145; doi:10.3390/w8040145
Received: 20 January 2016 / Revised: 25 March 2016 / Accepted: 6 April 2016 / Published: 12 April 2016
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (2535 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The formation of hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico can be traced to agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern United States that are artificially drained in order to make the land suitable for agriculture. A number of best management practices (BMPs) have been
[...] Read more.
The formation of hypoxic zone in the Gulf of Mexico can be traced to agricultural watersheds in the Midwestern United States that are artificially drained in order to make the land suitable for agriculture. A number of best management practices (BMPs) have been introduced to improve the water quality in the region but their relative effectivenss of these BMPs in reducing nutrient load has not been properly quantified. In order to determine the BMPs useful for reducing nutrient discharge from a tile drained watershed, a Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model was calibrated and validated for water flow and nitrate load using experimental data from the Little Vermillion River (LVR) watershed in east-central Illinois. Then, the performance of four common BMPs (reduced tillage, cover crop, filter strip and wetlands) were evaluated. For BMPs, the usage of rye as cover crop performed the best in reducing nitrate discharge from the watershed as a single BMP, with an average annual nitrate load reduction of 54.5%. Combining no tillage and rye cover crops had varying results over the period simulated, but the average nitrate reduction was better than using rye cover crops with conventional tillage, with the average annual nitrate discharge decreased by 60.5% (an improvement of 13% over rye only). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Valuing the Potential Benefits of Water Quality Improvements in Watersheds Affected by Non-Point Source Pollution
Water 2016, 8(4), 112; doi:10.3390/w8040112
Received: 21 January 2016 / Revised: 7 March 2016 / Accepted: 11 March 2016 / Published: 23 March 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (1442 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution has been identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “the nation’s largest water quality problem”. Urban development, septic systems, and agricultural operations have been identified as the major sources of diffuse pollution in surface and ground water
[...] Read more.
Nonpoint source (NPS) pollution has been identified by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) as “the nation’s largest water quality problem”. Urban development, septic systems, and agricultural operations have been identified as the major sources of diffuse pollution in surface and ground water bodies. In recent decades, urban and agricultural Best Management Practices (BMP) have been developed in several states to address agricultural water quality and water use impacts, including the reduction of nutrient loads to help meet water quality standards. Compliance with BMPs is associated with some costs to local governments, homeowners, and agricultural operations, but the improvements in water quality associated with BMP adoption are expected to yield significant benefits to society in the form of improved recreational opportunities, navigation, flood control, and ecosystem health. The development of sound policies and decision making processes require balancing the costs of BMP adoption to the agricultural operations with the social benefits to be derived from the improved water quality. In this paper we develop a benefits transfer model to provide estimates of the economic benefits of properly implemented and effective Best Management Practices (BMP) throughout the state of Florida. These benefit estimates can be used in a cost-benefit framework to determine the optimal level of BMP adoption throughout the state of Florida and provide a framework for other regions to estimate the potential benefits of BMP-mediated water quality improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Rice Straw Mulching and No-Tillage Practice in Upland Crop Areas on Nonpoint-Source Pollution Loads Based on HSPF
Water 2016, 8(3), 106; doi:10.3390/w8030106
Received: 18 January 2016 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 8 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
Cited by 2 | PDF Full-text (3082 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
This study evaluates the watershed-scale effects of non-point-source (NPS) pollution loads caused by rice straw mulching and no-tillage applications in upland crop areas using the Hydrological Simulation Program–Fortran (HSPF) model. The study area is the Byulmi-cheon watershed (1.21 km²) of South Korea. Hourly
[...] Read more.
This study evaluates the watershed-scale effects of non-point-source (NPS) pollution loads caused by rice straw mulching and no-tillage applications in upland crop areas using the Hydrological Simulation Program–Fortran (HSPF) model. The study area is the Byulmi-cheon watershed (1.21 km²) of South Korea. Hourly rainfall, discharge and stream water quality data were collected for three years (2011–2013) at the watershed outlet. The HSPF model under conventional (no rice straw mulching or tillage) conditions was calibrated and validated using 20 rainfall events for runoff and 14 rainfall events for stream water quality (sediment, T-N and T-P). The average Nash–Sutcliffe model efficiency value for runoff was 0.61, and determination coefficients for runoff, sediment, total nitrogen (T-N) and total phosphorus (T-P) were 0.70, 0.56, 0.58 and 0.61, respectively. The results of field experiments with slopes of 3% and 8% for radish and sesame cultivation showed decreases in the runoff ratio, sediment, T-N and T-P of 9.0%, 95.9%, 32.6% and 43.5% for rice straw mulching plots and 22.5%, 82.5%, 67.8 and 70.6% for no-tillage plots. The HSPF model parameters soil infiltration capacity (INFILT), soil bulk density (BD), wilting point (WP) and field capacity (FC) were controlled for the upland crop areas during the evaluation of the rice straw mulching and no-tillage effects. The HSPF evaluation using the application of Best Management Practices (BMPs) showed that the watershed runoff ratio, sediment, T-N and T-P values were reduced by 10.4%, 68.7%, 31.6% and 41.3% using rice straw mulching and 21.5%, 83.4%, 51.9% and 60.2% under no-tillage conditions compared with conventional conditions. The land use change scenarios for the baseline (upland crop areas 5%), Scenario 1 (upland crop areas 10%) and Scenario 2 (upland crop areas 30%) were applied in the model. The results of the evaluation show that the proportion of NPS pollution loads increased by a ratio approximately equal to that of the increasing upland crop area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Differing Levels of Forestry Best Management Practices at Stream Crossing Structures Affect Sediment Delivery and Installation Costs
Water 2016, 8(3), 92; doi:10.3390/w8030092
Received: 15 January 2016 / Revised: 23 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 10 March 2016
PDF Full-text (2198 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forestry best management practices (BMPs) are used to reduce sedimentation from forest stream crossings. Three BMP treatments (BMP−, BMP-std, and BMP+) were applied to three forest road stream crossings (bridge, culvert, and ford). BMP− did not meet existing BMP guidelines, BMP-std met standard
[...] Read more.
Forestry best management practices (BMPs) are used to reduce sedimentation from forest stream crossings. Three BMP treatments (BMP−, BMP-std, and BMP+) were applied to three forest road stream crossings (bridge, culvert, and ford). BMP− did not meet existing BMP guidelines, BMP-std met standard recommendations, and BMP+ treatments exceeded recommendations. Following BMP applications, three simulated rainfall intensities (low, medium, and high) were applied in order to evaluate sediment delivery from crossing type and BMP level. During rainfall simulation, sediment concentrations (mg/L) were collected with automated samplers and discharge (L/s) was estimated to calculate total sediment loading. Costs of stream crossings and BMP levels were also quantified. Mean sediment associated with the three stream crossings were 3.38, 1.87, and 0.64 Mg for the BMP−, BMP-std, and BMP+ levels, respectively. Ford, culvert, and bridge crossings produced 13.04, 12.95, and 0.17 Mg of sediment during construction, respectively. BMP enhancement was more critical for sediment control at the culvert and ford crossings than at the bridge. Respective costs for BMP−, BMP-std, and BMP+ levels were $5,368, $5,658, and $5,858 for the bridge; $3,568, $4,166 and $4,595 for the culvert; and $180, $420 and $1,903 for the ford. Costs and sediment values suggest that current standard BMP levels effectively reduce stream sediment while minimizing costs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Implementation of Forestry Best Management Practices on Biomass and Conventional Harvesting Operations in Virginia
Water 2016, 8(3), 89; doi:10.3390/w8030089
Received: 26 January 2016 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 2 March 2016 / Published: 7 March 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (199 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Logging residues are often utilized as a Best Management Practice (BMP) for stabilizing bare soil on forest harvesting operations. As utilization of woody biomass increases, concern has developed regarding availability of residues for implementing BMPs. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) inspects all
[...] Read more.
Logging residues are often utilized as a Best Management Practice (BMP) for stabilizing bare soil on forest harvesting operations. As utilization of woody biomass increases, concern has developed regarding availability of residues for implementing BMPs. The Virginia Department of Forestry (VDOF) inspects all logging operations in Virginia and randomly selects a portion of harvests for more intensive audits. The VDOF BMP audit process intensively evaluates implementation of BMPs in seven categories (84 specific BMPs) on 240 sites per year. This research analyzed three years of audit data (2010–2012) to quantify differences in BMP implementation between biomass and conventional harvesting operations. Among 720 audited tracts, 97 were biomass harvests, with 88 occurring in the Piedmont region. Only the streamside management zone (SMZ) category had significant implementation percentage differences between biomass (83.1%) and conventional harvests (91.4%) (p = 0.0007) in the Piedmont. Specific areas where biomass harvesting operations had lower implementation were generally not related to a lack of residues available for implementing BMPs, but rather were from a lack of appropriate SMZs, overharvesting within SMZs, or inadequate construction of roads, skid trails, and stream crossings. Existing BMP recommendations already address these areas and better implementation would have negated these issues. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Overland Transport of Rotavirus and the Effect of Soil Type and Vegetation
Water 2016, 8(3), 78; doi:10.3390/w8030078
Received: 19 January 2016 / Revised: 18 February 2016 / Accepted: 22 February 2016 / Published: 3 March 2016
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Abstract
Soil and vegetation are two critical factors for controlling the overland transport kinetics of pathogens in a natural environment. With livestock operations moving more towards concentrated animal operations, the need to dispose of a very large amount of manure in a localized area
[...] Read more.
Soil and vegetation are two critical factors for controlling the overland transport kinetics of pathogens in a natural environment. With livestock operations moving more towards concentrated animal operations, the need to dispose of a very large amount of manure in a localized area is becoming increasingly important. Animal manure contains a substantial amount of microbial pathogens, including rotavirus, which may pose a threat of contamination of water resources. This study examined the kinetics of rotavirus in overland transport, with an overall objective of optimizing the design of best management practices, especially vegetative filter strips. The overland transport of rotavirus was studied using three soil types (Catlin silt-loam, Darwin silty-clay, Alvin fine sandy-loam), spanning the entire spectrum of typical Illinois soil textures. A 20-min rainfall event was produced using a small-scale (1.07 m × 0.66 m) laboratory rainfall simulator over a soil box measuring 0.610 m × 0.305 m. Each soil type was tested for rotavirus transport kinetics with bare surface conditions, as well as with Smooth Brome and Fescue vegetative covers. Surface runoff, near-surface runoff, soil cores, and vegetation were each analyzed for infective rotavirus particles using cell-culture infectivity assays. Results show that vegetation reduces the recovery of infective rotavirus particles in surface runoff by an average of 73%, in addition to delaying the time to peak recovery. The vegetation, in general, appeared to decrease the recovery of infective rotavirus particles in surface runoff by impeding surface flow and increasing the potential for infiltration into the soil profile. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Bacteria Removal from Stormwater Runoff Using Tree Filters: A Comparison of a Conventional and an Innovative System
Water 2016, 8(3), 76; doi:10.3390/w8030076
Received: 19 January 2016 / Revised: 15 February 2016 / Accepted: 19 February 2016 / Published: 1 March 2016
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1552 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Non-point source pollution of stormwater contributes high contaminant loads into surface water bodies and poses a threat to the ecosystem, public health and economy. Although (pre)treatment standards have not been introduced at the federal level, Rhode Island (RI) has set minimal contaminant reduction
[...] Read more.
Non-point source pollution of stormwater contributes high contaminant loads into surface water bodies and poses a threat to the ecosystem, public health and economy. Although (pre)treatment standards have not been introduced at the federal level, Rhode Island (RI) has set minimal contaminant reduction standards for stormwater using structural best management practices (BMP). As BMP performance depends highly on geographical location and climate, and the Northeastern United States experiences broad ranges of temperatures throughout the year along with long intermittent periods between precipitation events, stormwater treatment can be challenging. In this field study, two tree filters were evaluated: a conventional unit (CTF) with sand/shale mix as filter media, and a modified tree filter (ITF) with an added layer of red cedar wood chips amended with 3-(trihydroxysilyl)propyldimethyloctadecyl ammonium chloride. Both BMPs were monitored for 346 days primarily for Escherichia coli and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH). Both tree filters met or outperformed RI’s standards for bacteria removal (60%) and TSS (85%), making them a good choice for BMP use in this climate. Total suspended solids, E. coli, PAHs, nitrate, and phosphate removal is higher in ITF. A controlled field scale tracer test using E. coli confirmed these results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Methodology for Selecting Best Management Practices Integrating Multiple Stakeholders and Criteria. Part 1: Methodology
Water 2016, 8(2), 55; doi:10.3390/w8020055
Received: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
PDF Full-text (652 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The implementation of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) could help re-establish the natural hydrological cycle of watersheds after urbanization, with each BMP presenting a different performance across a range of criteria (flood prevention, pollutant removal, etc.). Additionally, conflicting views from the relevant
[...] Read more.
The implementation of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) could help re-establish the natural hydrological cycle of watersheds after urbanization, with each BMP presenting a different performance across a range of criteria (flood prevention, pollutant removal, etc.). Additionally, conflicting views from the relevant stakeholders may arise, resulting in a complex selection process. This paper proposes a methodology for BMP selection based on the application of multi-criteria decision aid (MCDA) methods, integrating multiple stakeholder priorities and BMP combinations. First, in the problem definition, the MCDA methods, relevant criteria and design guidelines are selected. Next, information from the preliminary analysis of the watershed is used to obtain a list of relevant BMPs. The third step comprises the watershed modeling and analysis of the BMP alternatives to obtain performance values across purely objective criteria. Afterwards, a stakeholder analysis based on survey applications is carried out to obtain social performance values and criteria priorities. Then, the MCDA methods are applied to obtain the final BMP rankings. The last step considers the sensitivity analysis and rank comparisons in order to draw the final conclusions and recommendations. Future improvements to the methodology could explore inclusion of multiple objective analysis, and alternative means for obtaining social performance values. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Methodology for Selecting Best Management Practices Integrating Multiple Stakeholders and Criteria. Part 2: Case Study
Water 2016, 8(2), 56; doi:10.3390/w8020056
Received: 16 December 2015 / Accepted: 28 January 2016 / Published: 6 February 2016
PDF Full-text (942 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The selection of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) for mitigating the effects of urbanization on the hydrological cycle could be a complex process due to conflicting stakeholder views, and varying levels of performance of BMPs across a range of criteria (runoff reduction, erosion
[...] Read more.
The selection of stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) for mitigating the effects of urbanization on the hydrological cycle could be a complex process due to conflicting stakeholder views, and varying levels of performance of BMPs across a range of criteria (runoff reduction, erosion control, etc.). Part 1 of this article proposed a methodology based on the application of multi-criteria decision aid (MCDA) methods, which was tested here on a residential stormwater network in the Montreal area. The case study considered green roofs, rain gardens, rain barrels and pervious pavement over a range of economic, social, and water quality and quantity criteria by applying 4 MCDA methods under three different stakeholder views. The results indicated Elimination et Choix Traduisant la Réalité (ELECTRE) III to be the most appropriate method for the methodology, presenting flexibility concerning threshold values, criteria weights, and showing shared top choices across stakeholders (rain gardens, and rain gardens in combination with pervious pavement). The methodology shows potential for more formal applications and research opportunities. Future work may lie in the inclusion of multiple objective optimization, better stakeholder engagement, estimation of economic benefits, water quality modeling, long-term hydrological simulations, and estimating real BMP pollutant removal rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle The Effect of Particle Size Distribution on the Design of Urban Stormwater Control Measures
Water 2016, 8(1), 17; doi:10.3390/w8010017
Received: 20 October 2015 / Revised: 18 December 2015 / Accepted: 31 December 2015 / Published: 6 January 2016
Cited by 5 | PDF Full-text (3028 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
An urban pollutant loading model was used to demonstrate how incorrect assumptions on the particle size distribution (PSD) in urban runoff can alter the design characteristics of stormwater control measures (SCMs) used to remove solids in stormwater. Field-measured PSD, although highly variable, is
[...] Read more.
An urban pollutant loading model was used to demonstrate how incorrect assumptions on the particle size distribution (PSD) in urban runoff can alter the design characteristics of stormwater control measures (SCMs) used to remove solids in stormwater. Field-measured PSD, although highly variable, is generally coarser than the widely-accepted PSD characterized by the Nationwide Urban Runoff Program (NURP). PSDs can be predicted based on environmental surrogate data. There were no appreciable differences in predicted PSD when grouped by season. Model simulations of a wet detention pond and catch basin showed a much smaller surface area is needed to achieve the same level of solids removal using the median value of field-measured PSD as compared to NURP PSD. Therefore, SCMs that used the NURP PSD in the design process could be unnecessarily oversized. The median of measured PSDs, although more site-specific than NURP PSDs, could still misrepresent the efficiency of an SCM because it may not adequately capture the variability of individual runoff events. Future pollutant loading models may account for this variability through regression with environmental surrogates, but until then, without proper site characterization, the adoption of a single PSD to represent all runoff conditions may result in SCMs that are under- or over-sized, rendering them ineffective or unnecessarily costly. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Figures

Open AccessArticle Estimating Costs and Effectiveness of Upgrades in Forestry Best Management Practices for Stream Crossings
Water 2015, 7(12), 6946-6966; doi:10.3390/w7126668
Received: 26 October 2015 / Revised: 20 November 2015 / Accepted: 26 November 2015 / Published: 8 December 2015
Cited by 3 | PDF Full-text (3116 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) are used for protection of water quality at forest stream crossings, yet effects and costs for gradients of BMPs are not well documented. We evaluated forty-two truck road and skid trail stream crossings using three surrogates of BMP
[...] Read more.
Forestry Best Management Practices (BMPs) are used for protection of water quality at forest stream crossings, yet effects and costs for gradients of BMPs are not well documented. We evaluated forty-two truck road and skid trail stream crossings using three surrogates of BMP adequacy: (1) potential erosion rates for stream crossing approaches; (2) adequacy of stream crossing BMPs; and (3) overall BMP rating (BMP−, BMP-standard, and BMP+). Subsequently, BMP upgrades were recommended for enhancing BMP− or BMP-standard stream crossings. Costs for BMP upgrades were estimated using an existing road and skid trail cost method. The majority of truck road stream crossings were culverts, while skid trail stream crossings were primarily portable bridges. Potential erosion estimates, BMP audit scores, and BMP ratings all indicated that skid crossings have lower BMP implementation than truck road crossings. BMP improvements commonly identified for skid trail and truck crossings included addition of cover and water control structures. Improved BMPs at skid trail crossings were less expensive than those at truck road crossings. Current BMP guidelines provide economical and effective techniques for reducing erosion, and BMP upgrades have the potential to reduce erosion rates to similar levels found in undisturbed forests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
Open AccessArticle Agricultural Best Management Practice Abundance and Location does not Influence Stream Ecosystem Function or Water Quality in the Summer Season
Water 2015, 7(12), 6861-6876; doi:10.3390/w7126661
Received: 15 October 2015 / Revised: 20 November 2015 / Accepted: 26 November 2015 / Published: 4 December 2015
Cited by 4 | PDF Full-text (599 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
Best management practices (BMPs) are tools commonly used to mitigate negative impacts of agriculture on water quality; however, the relationship between BMPs and aquatic ecological function is unknown. Our research goal was to determine the association between both stream ecosystem metabolism and water
[...] Read more.
Best management practices (BMPs) are tools commonly used to mitigate negative impacts of agriculture on water quality; however, the relationship between BMPs and aquatic ecological function is unknown. Our research goal was to determine the association between both stream ecosystem metabolism and water quality, and the abundance and location of four different BMPs in agricultural catchments. Dissolved oxygen was measured over a two-week period in mid-June and used to estimate ecosystem metabolism of 13 headwater streams representing a gradient of BMP implementation in Southern Ontario, Canada. Stepwise regression analyses were used to associate stream metabolism and water quality with metrics describing the abundance and location of BMPs within each catchment. Studied streams exhibited rates of metabolism comparable to catchments from other agricultural regions. However, metrics of BMP implementation were not associated with either stream metabolism or water quality. Our results suggest that BMPs in the studied agricultural catchments are not improving water quality or mitigating water quality impacts on stream metabolism during the summer season. We propose that seasonality of catchment hydrology and time lag effects associated with past agricultural land use may be masking the mitigation benefits of BMPs on stream ecosystem conditions during the summer season. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)

Submitted Abstracts

Author: Mike Aust
Affiliation: Virginia Water Resources Research Center, Virginia Tech, 210 Cheatham Hall (0444), Blacksburg, VA 24061, USA; E-Mail: waust@vt.edu
Abstract: Forest stream crossings can provide direct linkages between eroded materials and streams, therefore forestry best management practices (BMPs) have been developed to reduce sediment contributions. Forty-two operational truck road and skid trail stream crossings in the Virginia Piedmont were evaluated using three surrogates of BMP adequacy: 1) potential erosion rates for stream crossing approaches were predicted via the USLE-Forest soil erosion model, 2) adequacy of stream crossing BMPs were evaluated using the Virginia Department of Forestry’s (VDOF) BMP audit questionnaire and 3) BMP ratings were assigned. The third BMP evaluation provided an overall BMP rating (BMP−, BMP-standard, and BMP+) for each crossing. Subsequent to BMP categorization, BMP recommendations were made for enhancing BMPs at crossings with BMP- or BMP standard categories. Potential upgrades were suggested based on the VDOF BMP field guide recommendations for surface cover, water control, road templates, and stream crossing BMPs. Next, costs for the BMP enhancements were estimated using a road and skid trail cost method. The majority of truck road stream crossings were culverts, while skid trail stream crossings were primarily portable bridges. Potential erosion estimates, BMP audit scores, and BMP ratings all indicated that skid crossings have lower BMP implementation than truck road crossings. BMP improvements commonly identified for skid trail and truck crossings included addition of cover and water control structures.  Improved BMPs at skid trail crossings were less expensive than for truck road crossings, largely due to the different recommended cover practices (e.g., slash for skid trails vs. gravel for truck roads). Current BMP guidelines provide economical and effective techniques for reducing erosion and BMP enhancements have the potential to reduce erosion rates to similar levels found in undisturbed forests.

Type of Paper: Article
Title: Agricultural Best Management Practice Abundance and Location Does Not Influence Stream Ecosystem Function or Water Quality in the Summer Season
Author: Nolan J. T. Pearce 1*, Adam G. Yates 1
Affiliation: 1 Western University & Canadian Rivers Institute, Department of Geography 1151 Richmond Street, London ON N6A 5B7 Canada; Emails: npearce7@uwo.ca (Nolan Pearce); adam.yates@uwo.ca (Adam Yates)
Abstract: Best management practices (BMPs) are tools commonly used to mitigate negative impacts of agriculture on water quality; however, the relationship between BMPs and aquatic ecological function is unknown. Our research goal was to determine the association between both stream ecosystem metabolism and water quality, and the abundance and location of four different BMPs in agricultural catchments. Dissolved oxygen was measured over a two-week period in mid-June and used to estimate ecosystem metabolism of 13 headwater streams representing a gradient of BMP implementation in Southern Ontario, Canada. Stepwise regression analyses were used to associate stream metabolism and water quality with metrics describing the abundance and location of BMPs within each catchment. Studied streams exhibited rates of metabolism comparable to catchments from other agricultural regions. However, metrics of BMP implementation were not associated with either stream metabolism or water quality. Our results suggest that BMPs in the studied agricultural catchments are not improving water quality or mitigating water quality impacts on stream metabolism during the summer season. We propose that seasonality of catchment hydrology and time lag effects associated with past agricultural land use may be masking the mitigation benefits of BMPs on stream ecosystem conditions during the summer season.
Keywords: agriculture; best management practices; stream metabolism; water quality; stream ecosystems

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