Gridded soil surface nitrogen surplus on grazing and agricultural land: Impact of land use maps

Kaltenegger, K. ORCID:, Erb, K.-H., Matej, S., & Winiwarter, W. ORCID: (2021). Gridded soil surface nitrogen surplus on grazing and agricultural land: Impact of land use maps. Environmental Research Communications 3 (5) e055003. 10.1088/2515-7620/abedd8.

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Excess N application on agricultural land greatly impacts the environment in multiple ways, driven by population growth and improving quality of human diets. Therefore, it is essential to quantify the sources of the emissions of N compounds and their determinants (e.g. biological N fixation (BNF), mineral fertilizer, manure N and N deposition) to develop adequate mitigation measures. Here we aim at comprehensively mapping and quantifying N fluxes on agricultural land to analyze these sources on different scales. As underlying grazing land maps used for such calculations are fairly different in terms of methodology and definition and thus spatial extent and pattern, we investigate how this diversity in grazing land maps affects quantification of N indicators. We compared three different global grazing land maps and analyzed the propagation of differences to discrepancies in N indicators calculated from them. We discovered that (i) area differences propagated to high discrepancies in N surplus mostly in Asia, and to a minor extent also in Europe and Northern Africa. (ii) BNF constitutes an important translator for differences on grazing land to N indicators, while also being a source of further uncertainty, which warrants further scrutiny. (iii) A more inclusive definition of grazing land results in overall less N surplus given the larger areas included but allows to provide a more comprehensive estimate of the influence of human activity on the N cycle. This study is the first to provide an in-depth analysis of the effect of grazing land and agricultural land area differences on various N budget terms and N indicator calculation, highlighting opportunities for further research, and the importance of a comprehensive accounting of N surplus when using an inclusive definition of grazing land.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Grazing; Land-use; Nitrogen; Nitrogen surplus; Nitrogen use efficiency
Research Programs: Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE)
Energy, Climate, and Environment (ECE) > Pollution Management (PM)
Depositing User: Luke Kirwan
Date Deposited: 14 Jun 2021 08:57
Last Modified: 27 Aug 2021 17:34

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