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Welcome to the web home for Field, Lab, Earth, the podcast from the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America. The podcast all about past and present advances in agronomic, crop, soil, and environmental sciences, our show features timely interviews with our authors about research in these fields.

Field, Lab, Earth releases on the third Friday of each month in addition to the occasional bonus episode. If you enjoy our show, please be sure to tell your friends and rate and review. If you have a topic, author, or paper you would like featured or have other feedback, please contact us on Twitter @fieldlabearth or use the email icon below. You can join our newsletter to receive notifications about new episodes and related resources here.

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Aug 16, 2019

“Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Saturated Riparian Buffers: Are We Trading a Water Quality Problem for an Air Quality Problem?” with Dr. Morgan Davis and Dr. Tyler Groh.

Riparian buffers are areas of perennial vegetation planted around stream banks and other riparian zones to protect against soil erosion and nutrient leaching. However, tile drainage systems—piping laid under fields to keep them from becoming too saturated—are designed to bypass riparian buffers, leading to potentially harmful levels of nutrient leaching. Saturated Riparian Buffers are a relatively new conservation technique that aims to reduce those water quality issues by redirecting excess water back into the soil. However, their installation could potentially lead to increased levels of incomplete denitrification, resulting in excess nitrous oxide, a potent greenhouse gas, being released into the atmosphere. Drs. Morgan Davis and Tyler Groh work together to examine saturated buffer design and these potential environmental tradeoffs.

This episode, listen in to find answers to the following questions:

  • What is tile drainage, and how is it installed?
  • How does denitrification work, and why is it a necessary process?
  • In what ways can we attempt to improve saturated riparian buffer design?
  • Is there really a tradeoff in air and water quality when installing saturated riparian buffers?

If you would like more information about this topic, this episode’s paper is available here: 

It will be freely available from 16 August to 30 August, 2019.

If you would like to find transcripts for this episode or sign up for our newsletter, please visit our website:

Contact us at or on Twitter @FieldLabEarth if you have comments, questions, or suggestions for show topics, and if you want more content like this don’t forget to subscribe.

If you would like to reach out to Morgan, you can find him here:
Twitter: @morgandpdavisbgc

If you would like to reach out to Tyler, you can find him here:
Twitter: @TylerAGroh


CEU Quiz: 

In Situ Denitrification in Saturated Riparian Buffers article by Tyler A. Groh, Morgan P. Davis, et. al.:

NRCS Conservation Practice Standard for Saturated Buffers:

Transforming Drainage Website:

The Soil and Water Conservation Society website on saturated riparian buffers:

Environmental Protection Agency’s website on greenhouse gas emissions:

Managing Denitrification in Agronomic Systems Community:

2019 Annual ACS Meeting in San Antonio, Texas:

2019 Annual Meeting Oral Session for Managing Denitrification in Agronomic Systems:

Intergovernmental panel on climate change:

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