Together with colleagues from the UK, we published an article in Frontiers in Environmental Science in which we make a case for a more holistic approach in vegetated filter strip (VFS) research, design, policy, and implementation.
The paper can be downloaded for free at: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fenvs.2022.764333/full
Focussing on phosphorus (P), we describe the downfalls of current approaches and ways for improvement. In a VFS, the amount of incoming P must not exceed the amount of P that the soil can retain and the amount of P that can be removed, e.g., by harvesting the vegetation. This requires comprehensive VFS designs in accordance to actual runoff and erosion patterns and a more flexible positioning in line with local conditions. Designs and evaluations of VFS that match the complexity of the processes involved are crucial for the effective and long-term protection of surface waters.
We hope that this article stimulates a much needed discussion on the potential and limits of state-of-the-art VFS.