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Article

Grass–Legume Forage Systems Effect on Phosphorus Removal from a Grassland Historically Irrigated with Reclaimed Wastewater

1
Department of Natural Resources & Environmental Science, University of Nevada, Reno, 1664 N. Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89557, USA
2
Department of Agriculture, Veterinary & Rangeland Sciences, University of Nevada, Reno, 1664 N. Virginia Street, Reno, NV 89557, USA
3
Extension, College of Agriculture, Biotechnology & Natural Resources, University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, 111 Sheckler Road, Fallon, NV 89406, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2020, 12(6), 2256; https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062256
Received: 21 February 2020 / Revised: 9 March 2020 / Accepted: 11 March 2020 / Published: 13 March 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
The utilization of reclaimed wastewater is a suitable and sustainable approach to agriculture production in water-scarce regions. However, even though the wastewater is treated to reduce nutrient concentration such as phosphorus, the 10,600 to 14,006 m3 of water applied ha−1 year−1 on grass and alfalfa hay crops in Nevada can lead to soil phosphorus buildup over an extended period. This study evaluated the effectiveness of forage systems (FS) of monoculture grass, monoculture legume, and their mixtures on herbage accumulation, tissue phosphorus concentration, and quantity of phosphorus removed from a grassland under wastewater irrigation. The study was carried out at the Main Station Field laboratory in Reno, Nevada, USA. A total of 23 FS using tall fescue (Schedonorus arundinaceus (Schreb.) Dumort), alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.), red clover (Trifolium pratense L.) and white clover (Trifolium repens L.) in monocultures or grass–legume mixtures (25:75, 50:50, and 75:25) based on seeding rate were used. The response variables were herbage accumulation (HA), tissue phosphorus concentration, and phosphorus removal. Forage systems means were considered different P ≤ 0.05. Herbage accumulation, tissue phosphorus concentration, and phosphorus removal differed among FS and year. Herbage accumulation was similar for the grass monocultures (10.5 Mg ha−1; SE = 1.1) and the majority of the grass–legume mixtures (9.0 Mg ha−1; SE = 1.1) but both systems had greater HA than legumes monoculture (4.3 Mg ha−1; SE = 1.1). The legume monocultures of alfalfa and white clover had the greatest phosphorus concentrations (10.9 g kg−1 dry matter; SE = 0.44) among all FS. Total phosphorus removed was least among legume monocultures (34.0 kg P ha−1; SE = 6.2) in this study and generally similar for grass monocultures (67.4 kg P ha−1; SE = 6.2) and grass–legume mixtures of 75:25 (61.7 kg P ha−1; SE = 6.2). Based on the response variables, agronomic, and environmental considerations a grass–legume mixture that includes 75:25 or even a 50:50 seeding rate ratio will be suitable options for phosphorus removal from phosphorus enriched grasslands in semiarid ecosystems that utilized wastewater for irrigation. View Full-Text
Keywords: alfalfa; amelioration; environmental protection; herbage accumulation; phosphorus removal; phytoremediation; red clover; tall fescue; tissue phosphorus concentration; white clover alfalfa; amelioration; environmental protection; herbage accumulation; phosphorus removal; phytoremediation; red clover; tall fescue; tissue phosphorus concentration; white clover
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MDPI and ACS Style

Mclennon, E.; Solomon, J.K.Q.; Davison, J. Grass–Legume Forage Systems Effect on Phosphorus Removal from a Grassland Historically Irrigated with Reclaimed Wastewater. Sustainability 2020, 12, 2256. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062256

AMA Style

Mclennon E, Solomon JKQ, Davison J. Grass–Legume Forage Systems Effect on Phosphorus Removal from a Grassland Historically Irrigated with Reclaimed Wastewater. Sustainability. 2020; 12(6):2256. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062256

Chicago/Turabian Style

Mclennon, Everald, Juan K. Q. Solomon, and Jason Davison. 2020. "Grass–Legume Forage Systems Effect on Phosphorus Removal from a Grassland Historically Irrigated with Reclaimed Wastewater" Sustainability 12, no. 6: 2256. https://doi.org/10.3390/su12062256

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