Application of MUSLE for the prediction of phosphorus losses

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Soil erosion in forestlands affects not only land productivity but also the water body down stream. The Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) has been applied broadly for the prediction of soil loss from upland fields. However, there are few reports concerning the prediction of nutrient (P) losses based on the USLE and its versions. The present study was conducted to evaluate the applicability of the deterministic model Modified Universal Soil Loss Equation (MUSLE) to estimation of phosphorus losses in the Kojor forest watershed, northern Iran. The model was tested and calibrated using accurate continuous P loss data collected during seven storm events in 2008. Results of the original model simulations for storm-wise P loss did not match the observed data, while the revised version of the model could imitate the observed values well. The results of the study approved the efficient application of the revised MUSLE in estimating storm-wise P losses in the study area with a high level of agreement of beyond 93%, an acceptable estimation error of some 35%.

Keywords: Iran, Kojor forest watershed, MUSLE, nutrient loss, soil erosion

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