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Hydro-climatic controls explain variations in catchment-scale nitrogen use efficiency

Scaini, Anna and Zamora, David and Livsey, John and Lyon, Steve W. and Bommarco, Riccardo and Weih, Martin and Jaramillo, Fernando and Manzoni, Stefano (2020). Hydro-climatic controls explain variations in catchment-scale nitrogen use efficiency. Environmental Research Letters. 15 , 094006 , 1-9
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Abstract

The efficiency of fertilizer conversion to harvestable products is often low in annual crops such that large amounts of nutrients are lost from fields with negative consequences for the environment. Focusing on nitrogen (N) use efficiency (NUE: the ratio of N in harvested products over the sum of all N inputs), we propose that hydrological controls can explain variations in NUE, because water mediates both the uptake of N by plants and N leaching. We assess these controls at the catchment scale, at which the water balance can be constrained by precipitation and runoff data and NUE can be quantified with census data. With this approach we test the hypotheses that a higher evaporative ratio (ET/P: the ratio of evapotranspiration over precipitation) increases N retention, thereby increasing NUE both across catchments at a given time and through time. With data from 73 catchments in the United States, encompassing a wide range of pedoclimatic conditions for the period 1988-2007, we apply a linear mixed effect model to test the effect of ET/P on NUE. Supporting our hypotheses, ET/P was positively related to NUE, and NUE increased through time. Moreover, we found an interaction between ET/P and time, such that the ET/P effect on NUE decreased in the period 1998-2007. We conclude that climatic changes that increase ET/P without negatively affecting yields, will increase N retention in the examined catchments.

Authors/Creators:Scaini, Anna and Zamora, David and Livsey, John and Lyon, Steve W. and Bommarco, Riccardo and Weih, Martin and Jaramillo, Fernando and Manzoni, Stefano
Title:Hydro-climatic controls explain variations in catchment-scale nitrogen use efficiency
Year of publishing :2020
Volume:15
Article number:094006
Number of Pages:9
Publisher:IOP Publishing Ltd
ISSN:1748-9326
Language:English
Publication Type:Journal article
Article category:Scientific peer reviewed
Version:Published version
Copyright:Creative Commons: Attribution 4.0
Full Text Status:Public
Subjects:(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 4 Agricultural Sciences > 405 Other Agricultural Sciences > Environmental Sciences related to Agriculture and Land-use
(A) Swedish standard research categories 2011 > 1 Natural sciences > 105 Earth and Related Environmental Sciences > Climate Research
Keywords:nitrogen use efficiency, evaporative ratio, agriculture, evapotranspiration, precipitation, fertilization, catchment scale
URN:NBN:urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107769
Permanent URL:
http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:slu:epsilon-p-107769
Additional ID:
Type of IDID
DOI10.1088/1748-9326/ab9691
Web of Science (WoS)000563495400001
ID Code:17559
Faculty:NJ - Fakulteten för naturresurser och jordbruksvetenskap
Department:(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Crop Production Ecology
(NL, NJ) > Dept. of Ecology
(S) > Dept. of Ecology
Deposited By: SLUpub Connector
Deposited On:21 Sep 2020 08:45
Metadata Last Modified:21 Sep 2020 10:46

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