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A GIS-based technique for linking landscape characteristics to non-point source nitrogen export potential: implications for contributing areas management

Author

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  • Diana Mitsova
  • Xinhao Wang

Abstract

A Nitrate-N Leaching Index (NLI) is calculated and the results indicate that nitrogen loss in the study area occurs through both leaching and surface runoff. A non-linear regression model of trapping efficiency was combined with a first order decay model to examine the impact of soil characteristics, slope, vegetative cover, land use and distance to streams on the spatial pattern of non-point source nitrogen inputs to streams. The model evaluates the statistical significance of each landscape factor and provides an easy interpretation of the landscape delivery ratio of nitrogen based on a pixel-based characterisation of the watershed. The model was validated by comparing the distributions of the observed and estimated monthly nitrogen concentrations. The exploratory GIS-based method presented here can improve the understanding of the impact of landscape characteristics on nitrate-nitrogen contributing areas and therefore assist watershed management efforts.

Suggested Citation

  • Diana Mitsova & Xinhao Wang, 2010. "A GIS-based technique for linking landscape characteristics to non-point source nitrogen export potential: implications for contributing areas management," Journal of Environmental Planning and Management, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(7), pages 863-882.
  • Handle: RePEc:taf:jenpmg:v:53:y:2010:i:7:p:863-882
    DOI: 10.1080/09640568.2010.490052
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