A modeling study on mitigation of N2O emissions and NO3 leaching at different agricultural sites across Europe using LandscapeDNDC

Molina-Herrera, Saúl; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen; Kraus, David; Agustin, Jürgen; Magliulo, Vincenzo; Tallec, Tiphaine; Ceschia, Eric; Ammann, Christof; Loubet, Benjamin; Skiba, Ute; Jones, Stephanie; Brümmer, Christian; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Kiese, Ralf. 2016 A modeling study on mitigation of N2O emissions and NO3 leaching at different agricultural sites across Europe using LandscapeDNDC. Science of the Total Environment, 553. 128-140.

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The identification of site-specific agricultural management practices in order to maximize yield while minimizing environmental nitrogen losses remains in the center of environmental pollution research. Here, we used the biogeochemical model LandscapeDNDC to explore different agricultural practices with regard to their potential to reduce soil N2O emissions and NO3 leaching while maintaining yields. In a first step, the model was tested against observations of N2O emissions, NO3 leaching, soil micrometeorology as well as crop growth for eight European cropland and grassland sites. Across sites, LandscapeDNDC predicts very well mean N2O emissions (r2 = 0.99) and simulates the magnitude and general temporal dynamics of soil inorganic nitrogen pools. For the assessment of site-specific mitigation potentials of environmental nitrogen losses a Monte Carlo optimization technique considering different agricultural management options (i.e., timing of planting, harvest and fertilization, amount of applied fertilizer as well as residue management) was used. The identified optimized field management practices reduce N2O emissions and NO3 leaching from croplands on average by 21% and 31%, respectively. Likewise, average reductions of 55% for N2O emissions and 16% for NO3 leaching are estimated for grasslands. For mitigating environmental loss - while maintaining yield levels - it was most important to reduce fertilizer application rates by in average 10%. Our analyses indicate that yield scaled N2O emissions and NO3 leaching indicate possible improvements of nitrogen use efficiencies in European farming systems. Moreover, the applied optimization approach can be used also in a prognostic way to predict optimal timings and fertilization options (rates and splitting) upon accurate weather forecasts combined with the knowledge of modeled soil nutrient availability and plant nitrogen demand.

Item Type: Publication - Article
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Dise
ISSN: 0048-9697
Additional Keywords: landscapeDNDC, N2O emission, NO3 leaching, mitigation, agricultural management, optimization
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Agriculture and Soil Science
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 30 Aug 2016 14:22 +0 (UTC)

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