Determining the main contributing factors to nutrient concentration in rivers in arid northwest China using partial least squares structural equation modeling

Weiwei WANG, Fei ZHANG, Qi ZHAO, Changjiang LIU, Chi Yung JIM, Verner Carl JOHNSON, Mou Leong TAN

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

12 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Understanding the main driving factors of oasis river nutrients in arid areas is important to identify the sources of water pollution and protect water resources. Twenty-seven sub-watersheds were selected in the lower oasis irrigated agricultural reaches of the Kaidu River watershed in arid Northwest China, divided into the site, riparian, and catchment buffer zones. Data on four sets of explanatory variables (topographic, soil, meteorological elements, and land use types) were collected. The relationships between explanatory variables and response variables (total phosphorus, TP and total nitrogen, TN) were analyzed by redundancy analysis (RDA). Partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) was used to quantify the relationship between explanatory as well as response variables and fit the path relationship among factors. The results showed that there were significant differences in the TP and TN concentrations at each sampling point. The catchment buffer exhibited the best explanatory power of the relationship between explanatory and response variables based on PLS-SEM. The effects of various land use types, meteorological elements (ME), soil, and topography in the catchment buffer were responsible for 54.3% of TP changes and for 68.5% of TN changes. Land use types, ME and soil were the main factors driving TP and TN changes, accounting for 95.56% and 94.84% of the total effects, respectively. The study provides a reference for river nutrients management in arid oases with irrigated agriculture and a scientific and targeted basis to mitigate water pollution and eutrophication of rivers in arid lands. Copyright © 2023 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Original languageEnglish
Article number118249
JournalJournal of Environmental Management
Volume343
Early online dateMay 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2023

Citation

Wang, W., Zhang, F., Zhao, Q., Liu, C., Jim, C. Y., Johnson, V. C., & Tan, M. L. (2023). Determining the main contributing factors to nutrient concentration in rivers in arid northwest China using partial least squares structural equation modeling. Journal of Environmental Management, 343, Article 118249. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jenvman.2023.118249

Keywords

  • Arid climate
  • Buffer zone
  • Nutrients
  • Driving factors
  • PLS-SEM

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