Nitrogen Surplus Benchmarks for Controlling N Pollution in the Main Cropping Systems of China

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zhang, C., Ju, X., Powlson, D. S., Oenema, O. and Smith, P. 2019. Nitrogen Surplus Benchmarks for Controlling N Pollution in the Main Cropping Systems of China. Environmental Science & Technology. 53 (12), pp. 6678 - 6687.

AuthorsZhang, C., Ju, X., Powlson, D. S., Oenema, O. and Smith, P.
Abstract

Nitrogen (N) surplus is a useful indicator for improving agricultural N management and controlling N pollution. Few studies have developed benchmark values for cropping systems in China, a country with the largest N fertilizer use in the world. We established N surplus benchmarks for 13 main cropping systems, at optimal N management, using results from >4500 on-farm field experiments and a soil surface balance approach. These cropping systems accounted for about 50% of total N fertilizer consumption in Chinese agriculture in 2009. The results showed that N surplus benchmarks for single cropping systems ranged from 40 to 100 kg N ha–1 yr–1 (average 73 kg N ha–1 yr–1), and for double cropping systems from 110 to 190 kg N ha–1 yr–1 (average 160 kg N ha–1 yr–1), roughly twice that of single cropping systems. These N surplus benchmarks may be further refined, following further decreases in N deposition rates and reactive N losses as a result of strict implementation of “4R-nutrient stewardship” and improvements in fertilization techniques and agronomic managements. Our N surplus benchmarks could serve as realistic targets to improve the N management of current conventional practices, and thereby could lay the foundations for a more sustainable N management in China.

Year of Publication2019
JournalEnvironmental Science & Technology
Journal citation53 (12), pp. 6678 - 6687
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1021/acs.est8b06383
Open accessPublished as non-open access
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online24 May 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted24 May 2019
Copyright licensePublisher copyright
PublisherAmerican Chemical Society (ACS)
ISSN0013-936X

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