To investigate the retention efficiency and mechanism of nitrogen of Vegetative filter strips (VFSs) in the Danjiangkou Reservoir area, simulated runoff discharging experiments were carried out in a new-established Bermuda VFS. The results showed that the Bermuda VFS reduced 73.1-86.1 % of surface runoff through infiltration. The outflow rate of runoff increased first and then became stable with time. The concentration reduction rates (CRRs) and load reduction rates (LRRs) of NH3-N increased initially and then decreased with the increase of inflow concentration. The average CRRs and LRRs of NH3-N in three treatments ranged 66.1-90.3 % and 90.0-96.7 %, respectively. The concentration reduction of NH3-N was primarily achieved by soil adsorption. The optimal inflow concentration of NH3-N for the optimum CRR was between 0.65 and 3.52 mg/dm3. The CRRs and LRRs of NO3-N fluctuated between 6.8-14.0 % and 72.0-77.9 % in three treatments. The concentration reduction of NO3-N was primarily achieved by plant uptake and soil microbe assimilation. The optimal inflow concentration of NO3-N for optimum CRR exceeded 6.78 mg/dm3. The CRRs and LRRs of TN increased with the increase of inflow concentrations. The average CRRs in the low, moderate and high treatments reached 9.7, 14.8 and 27.4 %, respectively, and the average LRRs reached 72.1, 74.3 and 81.2 %, respectively. The optimal inflow concentration of TN for optimum CRR exceeded 10.21 mg/dm3. The study showed that Bermuda grass can retain nitrogen in runoff efficiently and should be promoted around the Danjiangkou reservoir.
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