Agroforestry and opportunities for improved nitrogen management

Lawson, Gerry; Bealey, William J.; Dupraz, Christian; Skiba, Ute M.. 2020 Agroforestry and opportunities for improved nitrogen management. In: Sutton, Mark A.; Mason, Kate E.; Bleeker, Albert; Hicks, W. Kevin; Masso, Cargele; Raghuram, N.; Reis, Stefan; Bekunda, Mateete, (eds.) Just enough nitrogen: Perspectives on how to get there for regions with too much and too little nitrogen. Switzerland, Springer Nature, 393-417.

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Multi-species systems include herbaceous mixtures (cover cropping, living mulches, intercropping), woody mixtures and herbaceous-woody mixtures, i.e., “agroforestry”. Agroforestry systems have particular potential to improve nitrogen (N) availability to both the tree and herbaceous components, and to increase N-conservation and recycling. This is achieved through the following: (a) deeper and more extensive root distributions, (b) greater root and shoot turnover, (c) N-fixation in either tree or crop roots, (d) facultative mycorrhizal associations, (e) greater interception of light and water resources, (f) improved soil structure and organic matter content, and (g) control of erosion and leaching. Ammonia recapture by tree-foliage from livestock emissions reduces N deposition on nearby sensitive ecosystems, and contributes to reductions in net N2O emissions. Trees, especially if they are not N-fixers, are also likely to reduce soil N2O emissions by drying the soil, increasing soil-aeration, and removing excess nitrate concentrations throughout most of the year. Agroforestry is identified as one of the best options for climate change mitigation and adaptation, but more measurements are required on fluxes of N2O and CH4 from agroforestry systems of different type and age.

Item Type: Publication - Book Section
Digital Object Identifier (DOI):
UKCEH and CEH Sections/Science Areas: Atmospheric Chemistry and Effects (Science Area 2017-)
ISBN: 9783030580643
Additional Information. Not used in RCUK Gateway to Research.: Chapter 27
Additional Keywords: Herbaceous mixtures, Woody mixtures, Agroforestry, Root safety-net, Ammonia recapture, Climate-change mitigation, Climate-smart agriculture
NORA Subject Terms: Ecology and Environment
Atmospheric Sciences
Date made live: 11 Dec 2023 14:15 +0 (UTC)

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