Global assessment of nitrogen losses and trade-offs with yields from major crop cultivations

Liu, W., Yang, H., Liu, J., Azevedo, L.B., Wang, X., Xu, Z., Abbaspour, K.C., & Schulin, R. (2016). Global assessment of nitrogen losses and trade-offs with yields from major crop cultivations. Science of The Total Environment 572 526-537. 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2016.08.093.

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Abstract

Agricultural application of reactive nitrogen (N) for fertilization is a cause of massive negative environmental problems on a global scale. However, spatially explicit and crop-specific information on global N losses into the environment and knowledge of trade-offs between N losses and crop yields are largely lacking. We use a crop growth model, Python-based Environmental Policy Integrated Climate (PEPIC), to determine global N losses from three major food crops: maize, rice, and wheat. Simulated total N losses into the environment (including water and atmosphere) are 44 Tg N yr− 1. Two thirds of these, or 29 Tg N yr− 1, are losses to water alone. Rice accounts for the highest N losses, followed by wheat and maize. The N loss intensity (NLI), defined as N losses per unit of yield, is used to address trade-offs between N losses and crop yields. The NLI presents high variation among different countries, indicating diverse N losses to produce the same amount of yields. Simulations of mitigation scenarios indicate that redistributing global N inputs and improving N management could significantly abate N losses and at the same time even increase yields without any additional total N inputs

Item Type: Article
Research Programs: Ecosystems Services and Management (ESM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 25 Aug 2016 06:47
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:41
URI: http://pure.iiasa.ac.at/13766

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