Accounting for agricultural activities such as P fertilization in regional models of heavy metal accumulation provides suitable sustainable management strategies to reduce nutrient surpluses and metal inputs in agricultural soils. Using the balance model PROTERRA-S, we assessed the phosphorus ( P), cadmium (Cd) and zinc (Zn) flux balances in agricultural soils of a rural region in Switzerland for different farm types and crop types. The P requirements of crops on arable farms were mainly supplied by commercial fertilizers and sewage sludge, while on animal husbandry farms P fertilizer demands were met by animal manure alone. Metal accumulation in soil was very different between the balance units. Estimated net Cd fluxes ranged between 1.0 and 2.3 g ha(-1) yr(-1) for arable farm types, 0.6 and 2.0 g ha(-1) yr(-1) for dairy and mixed farm types, and 9.1 and 17.8 g ha(-1) yr(-1) for animal husbandry farm types. Largest net Zn fluxes of 17.9 - 39.8 kg ha(-1) yr(-1) were estimated for animal husbandry farms, whereas for arable farm types net Zn fluxes of 101 - 260 g ha(-1) yr(-1) and for dairy and mixed farm types of 349 - 3360 g ha(-1) yr(-1) were found. The results indicate that P management is a primary factor determining the variation of these net Cd and net Zn fluxes. The latter were highly sensitive to the Zn/P concentration ratio in animal manure, atmospheric deposition and crop concentrations. Variation of net Cd fluxes resulted mainly from uncertainty in crop concentrations, atmospheric deposition, leaching parameters and uncertainty in Cd/P concentration ratio of commercial fertilizers. In addition, element balances were sensitive to empirical assumptions on fertilization strategy of farmers, such as the partitioning of manure between balance units.
- cadmium accumulation