International phosphorus workshop: diffuse phosphorus loss to surface water bodies—risk assessment, mitigation options, and ecological effects in river basins
Received for publication February 9, 2009. Agriculture is a major source of P to the aquatic environment in many countries. Although efforts have been made to improve the P utilization in agricultural production, which is reflected in modestly declining P surpluses in many countries, increasing agricultural P surpluses are still observed in some countries. The IPW5 Special Submission included in this issue addresses and discusses four key topics that emerged from the workshop: (i) managing agricultural P losses–effectiveness, uncertainties, and costs; (ii) P modeling at different scales; (iii) functioning of riparian buffers; (iv) ecological responses to P loadings and impacts of climate change. Each of these four topics interacts with each other as well as with the four tiers of the P Transfer Continuum (Source, Mobilization, Transport, and Ecological Effects). In this review paper we highlight the main outcomes of the workshop and the special collection of eight papers. Moreover, we identify the main gaps in our knowledge and future research directions on P, which are linked to important issues such as addressing scale effects, improved P models with the ability to quantify uncertainty, the linking of P losses with ecological effects, and climate change.