The transport characteristics of phosphorus in soil and the assessment of its environmental risk have become hot topics in the environmental and agricultural fields. The Sanjiang Plain is an important grain production base in China, and it is characterised by serious land use change caused by large-scale agricultural exploitation. Agricultural inputs and tillage management have destroyed the soil nutrient balance formed over long-term conditions. There are few studies on non-point source phosphorus pollution in the Sanjiang Plain, which is the largest swampy low plain in a mid-high-latitude region in China. Most studies have focused on the water quality of rivers in marsh areas, or the export mechanism of phosphorus from specific land uses. They were conducted using experimental methods or empirical models, and need further development towards mechanism models and the macro-scale. The question is how to find a way to couple processes in phosphorus cycling and a distributed hydrological model considering local hydrological features. In this study, we report an attempt to use a distributed phosphorus transport model to analyse non-point source total phosphorus pollution from different land uses and soil types on the Sanjiang Plain. The total phosphorus concentration generally shows an annually increasing trend in the study area. The total phosphorus load intensity is heterogeneous in different land use types and different soil types. The average total phosphorus load intensity of different land use types can be ranked in descending order from paddy field, dry land, wetlands, grassland, and forestland. The average total phosphorus load intensity of different soil types can be ranked in descending order: paddy soil, bog soil, planosol, meadow soil, black soil, and dark brown earth. The dry land and paddy fields account for the majority of total phosphorus load in the study area. This is mainly caused by extensive use of phosphate fertilizer on the cultivated land. This has important implications for future agricultural management and non-point source control in this agricultural area of the mid-high latitude region.
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