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Applied and Environmental Soil Science
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 838254, 7 pages
Research Article

Modeling Phosphorus Capture by Plants Growing in a Multispecies Riparian Buffer

1College of Natural Resources and Environment, Virginia Tech, 324 Cheatham Hall, Blacksburg, VA 24060, USA
2National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment, USDA-Agricultural Research Service, 2110 University Boulevard, Ames, IA 50011, USA

Received 17 February 2012; Accepted 20 May 2012

Academic Editor: Artemi Cerda

Copyright © 2012 J. M. Kelly and J. L. Kovar. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


The NST 3.0 mechanistic nutrient uptake model was used to explore P uptake to a depth of 120 cm over a 126 d growing season in simulated buffer communities composed of mixtures of cottonwood (Populus deltoids Bartr.), switchgrass (Panicum virgatum L.), and smooth brome (Bromus inermis Leyss). Model estimates of P uptake from pure stands of smooth brome and cottonwood were 18.9 and 24.5 kg ha−1, respectively. Uptake estimates for mixed stands of trees and grasses were intermediate to pure stands. A single factor sensitivity analysis of parameters used to calculate P uptake for each cover type indicated that , k, , and were consistently the most responsive to changes ranging from −50% to +100%. Model exploration of P uptake as a function of soil depth interval indicated that uptake was highest in the 0–30 cm intervals, with values ranging from 85% of total for cottonwood to 56% for switchgrass.