Monitoring of the effects of level fertilizer use on the groundwater quality of the Natura 2000 area Boetelerveld.
The Boetelerveld area in the province of Overijssel, Netherlands, was selected in 2004 as a Natura 2000 area based on 6 habitat types and the presence of great crested newts [Triturus cristatus] and floating water-plantain [Luronium natans]. The 6 habitat types were weakly buffered peat, moist heather, juniper shrubs, grassland with a bit of heather, fen meadows, and pioneer vegetation with beak-sedge [Rhynchospora spp.]. Studies were carried out during 2014-15 to assess leaching of nutrients in agricultural fields to the east of the area. These fields were subjected from 2014 to level fertilizer use, meaning fertilizer applied equalled nutrients lost with harvest. Data were collected on groundwater quality (150-200 cm) and changes in chemcail composition of soil water under the rooting zone (50 cm) in plots with standard and level fertilizer use. The quality of the 6 habitat types was compared to the situation in 2004.