Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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Record number 445486
Title Assessing planetary and regional nitrogen boundaries related to food security and adverse environmental impacts
Author(s) Vries, W. de; Kros, J.; Kroeze, C.; Seitzinger, S.P.
Source Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability 5 (2013)3-4. - ISSN 1877-3435 - p. 392 - 402.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cosust.2013.07.004
Department(s) Environmental Systems Analysis Group
Alterra - Sustainable soil management
WIMEK
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2013
Keyword(s) critical loads - climate-change - forest ecosystems - reactive nitrogen - global assessment - european forests - deposition - nutrient - world - consequences
Abstract This paper first describes the concept of, governance interest in, and criticism on planetary boundaries, specifically with respect to the nitrogen (N) cycle. These criticisms are then systematically evaluated. We argue that planetary N boundaries should include both the benefits and adverse impacts of reactive N (Nr) and the spatial variability of Nr impacts. We revise the planetary N boundary by considering the need to: first, avoid adverse impacts of elevated Nr emissions to water, air and soils, and second, feed the world population in an adequate way. The derivation of a planetary N boundary, in terms of anthropogenic fixation of di-nitrogen (N2) is illustrated by first, identification of multiple threat N indicators and setting limits for them; second, back calculating N losses from critical limits for N indicators, while accounting for the spatial variability of these indicators and their exceedance; and third, back calculating N fixation rates from critical N losses. The derivation of the needed planetary N fixation is assessed from the global population, the recommended dietary N consumption per capita and the N use efficiency in the complete chain from N fixation to N consumption. The example applications show that the previously suggested planetary N boundary of 35 Tg N yr-1 is too low in view of needed N fixation and also unnecessary low in view of most environmental impacts.
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