EDITOR’S NOTE: This press release has been updated from a version published on July 8, 2021 to include a recording of the webinar.
AMES, Iowa — The Iowa Learning Farms conservation webinar held on July 14 at noon will features Billy Beck, assistant professor and extension forestry specialist at Iowa State University. Beck’s research focuses on the impacts that trees, forests and forestry have on water quality and hydrology within agriculturally-dominated Midwestern watersheds.
In the webinar “Are Stream Channel Sediment and Nutrient Sources Masking Upland Conservation Progress?” Beck discusses a recent study of in-channel sediment contributions to phosphorus levels in water.
Noting that there is a growing body of evidence suggesting the stream channel itself may act as a significant source of sediment and nutrients such as phosphorus, Beck has been working to quantify the sources of sediment and phosphorus at the watershed scale.
“Water quality management takes more than in-field and edge-of-field practices – we need to start addressing the stream channel itself,” said Beck. “The stream channel plays a significant role in sediment and nutrient loading, but inflow to the stream and remobilization do not occur in a highly-predictable timeframe.”
Managing nutrient sources in uplands and riparian areas is very important but looking more closely at the stream channel will help obtain a more comprehensive understanding of nutrient and sediment sources and impacts to water quality, he said.
— Ann Staudt, Iowa State University Extension and Outreach
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