Diffuse pollution swapping in arable agricultural systems

Stevens, Carly and Quinton, John (2009). Diffuse pollution swapping in arable agricultural systems. Critical Reviews in Environmental Science and Technology, 39(6) pp. 478–520.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/10643380801910017


Pollution swapping occurs when a mitigation option introduced to reduce one pollutant results in an increase in a different pollutant. Although the concept of pollution swapping is widely understood, it has received little attention in research and policy design. This study investigated diffuse pollution mitigation options applied in combinable crop systems. They are cover crops, residue management, no-tillage, riparian buffer zones, contour grass strips, and constructed wetlands. A wide range of water and atmospheric pollutants were considered, including nitrogen, phosphorus, carbon, and sulfur. It is clear from this investigation that there is no single mitigation option that will reduce all pollutants.

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