Runoff from land areas amended with poultry (Gallus gallus domesticus) manure can contain elevated concentrations of metals such as Cu, Fe, and Zn. Vegetative filter strips (VFS) can reduce runoff concentrations of animal manure components, but reported studies have typically focused on nutrients and solids rather than metals. This experiment assessed the impact of VFS length (0 to 12 m) on concentrations and mass losses of Cu, Fe, K, Na, Ni, and Zn in runoff from fescuegrass (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.) plots (1.5 m wide × 6 and 12 m long) treated with poultry litter. The runoff was produced from simulated rainfall applied at 50 mm h-1 until 1 h of runoff had occurred. Runoff Ni concentrations were below detection levels in all cases. Concentrations of Cu, Fe, K, Na, and Zn did not differ between litter-treated plot lengths but were significantly (p < 0.001) affected by VFS length, decreasing in an approximately firstorder fashion. Means separation indicated that concentrations of Cu, Fe, K, and Zn did not significantly decrease after a VFS length of 3 m, while Na concentrations decreased up to a VFS length of 6 m. Mass transport of only Cu significantly decreased with increasing VFS, suggesting that VFS removal mechanisms such as adsorption to clay particles might play a larger role with regard to Cu than to Fe, K, Na, and Zn.

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Published in Transactions of the ASAE, v. 40, issue 1, p. 121-127.

© 1997 American Society of Agricultural Engineers

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