Agricultural Ecology Program: Understanding sources and sinks of
nutrients and sediment in the upper Susquehanna River basin
The Chesapeake Bay estuary is suffering from excessive nutrient and sediment inputs. Improving nutrient and erosion controls in the watershed of the Susquehanna River, the largest river entering the Bay, is one way to improve the health of the Bay itself. New York is committed to reduce the impact of its part of the Susquehanna River watershed on the Bay. This project is designed to aid this effort with a better understanding of sources and sinks of nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), and sediments in the New York portion of the Susquehanna River basin.
- Improve estimates of the magnitudes of biogeochemical fluxes of N, P, and sediments from the New York portion of the Susquehanna River basin into the Susquehanna, and ultimately to the impaired Chesapeake Bay;
- Assess controls on nutrient pollution, particularly N, in rural landscapes with a mixture of forested and agricultural land uses
- Evaluate the importance of agricultural sources of nutrient pollution in the context of all sources in the watershed
- Assess the effects of climate variability and climate change on fluxes of N, P, and sediment from the rural landscape
- N is the primary focus, both because it is the primary pollution problem in coastal systems such as Chesapeake Bay, and because sources and sinks of P are better understood. Nonetheless, much can be gained from simultaneous study of the dynamics of N, P, and sediments.
- Expanded agricultural ecology research at the Harford Agricultural Teaching and Research Center
- Expanded atmospheric deposition research at the Connecticut Hill site
- Integrated modeling of nutrient and sediment sources and sinks across spatial scales (watershed, landscape, farm, field, plot, micro-scale)
- Creative field or laboratory studies via grants to Cornell researchers
- Identification and comparison of management options for New York to meet its Chesapeake Bay Program goals
- Insights for sustainable agriculture in the northeastern U.S.
Click here to read the complete proposal (MS Word document)