Detection and attribution of nitrogen runoff trend in China's croplands

Detection and attribution of nitrogen runoff trend in China's croplands Reliable detection and attribution of changes in nitrogen (N) runoff from croplands are essential for designing efficient, sustainable N management strategies for future. Despite the recognition that excess N runoff poses a risk of aquatic eutrophication, large-scale, spatially detailed N runoff trends and their drivers remain poorly understood in China. Based on data comprising 535 site-years from 100 sites across China's croplands, we developed a data-driven upscaling model and a new simplified attribution approach to detect and attribute N runoff trends during the period of 1990–2012. Our results show that N runoff has increased by 46% for rice paddy fields and 31% for upland areas since 1990. However, we acknowledge that the upscaling model is subject to large uncertainties (20% and 40% as coefficient of variation of N runoff, respectively). At national scale, increased fertilizer application was identified as the most likely driver of the N runoff trend, while decreased irrigation levels offset to some extent the impact of fertilization increases. In southern China, the increasing trend of upland N runoff can be attributed to the growth in N runoff rates. Our results suggested that increased SOM led to the N runoff rate growth for uplands, but led to a decline for rice paddy fields. In combination, these results imply that improving management approaches for both N fertilizer use and irrigation is urgently required for mitigating agricultural N runoff in China. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Environmental Pollution Elsevier

Detection and attribution of nitrogen runoff trend in China's croplands

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd
ISSN
0269-7491
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.envpol.2017.11.052
Publisher site
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Abstract

Reliable detection and attribution of changes in nitrogen (N) runoff from croplands are essential for designing efficient, sustainable N management strategies for future. Despite the recognition that excess N runoff poses a risk of aquatic eutrophication, large-scale, spatially detailed N runoff trends and their drivers remain poorly understood in China. Based on data comprising 535 site-years from 100 sites across China's croplands, we developed a data-driven upscaling model and a new simplified attribution approach to detect and attribute N runoff trends during the period of 1990–2012. Our results show that N runoff has increased by 46% for rice paddy fields and 31% for upland areas since 1990. However, we acknowledge that the upscaling model is subject to large uncertainties (20% and 40% as coefficient of variation of N runoff, respectively). At national scale, increased fertilizer application was identified as the most likely driver of the N runoff trend, while decreased irrigation levels offset to some extent the impact of fertilization increases. In southern China, the increasing trend of upland N runoff can be attributed to the growth in N runoff rates. Our results suggested that increased SOM led to the N runoff rate growth for uplands, but led to a decline for rice paddy fields. In combination, these results imply that improving management approaches for both N fertilizer use and irrigation is urgently required for mitigating agricultural N runoff in China.

Journal

Environmental PollutionElsevier

Published: Mar 1, 2018

References

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