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Water 2016, 8(3), 106; doi:10.3390/w8030106

The Effect of Rice Straw Mulching and No-Tillage Practice in Upland Crop Areas on Nonpoint-Source Pollution Loads Based on HSPF

Department of Civil and Environmental System Engineering, Konkuk University, 120 Neungdong-ro, Gwangjin-gu, Seoul, 143-701, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Kelly T. Morgan
Received: 18 January 2016 / Revised: 29 February 2016 / Accepted: 8 March 2016 / Published: 17 March 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue BMP Development, Implementation, and Performance)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [3082 KB, uploaded 17 March 2016]   |  


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. View Full-Text
Keywords: HSPF watershed modeling; nonpoint source pollution; rice straw mulching; no-tillage; upland crop areas HSPF watershed modeling; nonpoint source pollution; rice straw mulching; no-tillage; upland crop areas

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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. (CC BY 4.0).

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Ahn, S.-R.; Kim, S.-J. 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, 106.

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