Staff Publications

Staff Publications

  • external user (warningwarning)
  • Log in as
  • language uk
  • About

    '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.

    We have a manual that explains all the features 

Record number 553959
Title Plant trait-based approaches to improve nitrogen cycling in agroecosystems
Author(s) Abalos, Diego; Groenigen, Jan Willem van; Philippot, Laurent; Lubbers, Ingrid M.; Deyn, Gerlinde B. De
Source Journal of Applied Ecology (2019). - ISSN 0021-8901
Department(s) Soil Biology
Soil Geography and Landscape
Publication type Refereed Article in a scientific journal
Publication year 2019
Keyword(s) agroecosystems - fertilizer - functional traits - nitrogen cycling - nitrogen losses - plant mixtures - plant traits - plant–soil interactions

Intensive agriculture is dominated by monocultures of high-yielding plants that receive large applications of nitrogen (N) fertilizers to boost plant productivity. However, these systems have low N use efficiency (NUE) as fertilized plants generally take up less than half of the N applied. A large fraction of the remainder N is susceptible to be lost from the agroecosystem generating a cascade of environmental and socio-economic problems. Climate change and projected global increases in fertilizer use pose further risks to N losses and yield stability. We review and translate concepts from ecology in natural systems to demonstrate that NUE in intensive agroecosystems can be strongly increased by fine-tuning the traits of the plant communities to the levels of N fertilization intensity. We present key plant traits of importance for N-cycling (architectural, morphological and physiological traits, as well as symbiotic associations and exudation patterns); discuss ecological (with soil fauna and N-cycling microbial communities) and agronomic interactions of this approach; propose interdisciplinary methodologies for future research ranging from pot to global scales; and highlight possible solutions leading to an optimal balance between N fertilizer use and productivity. Synthesis and applications. By showing the strong links between plant traits and nitrogen (N) cycling, our work opens possibilities to test ecologically informed hypotheses across gradients of soil fertility and N fertilizer management intensity, setting a research agenda for the coming years. Accordingly, the choice of plant species based on their functional traits will play a central role for the development of modern and productive agroecosystems that retain and use N more efficiently.

There are no comments yet. You can post the first one!
Post a comment
Please log in to use this service. Login as Wageningen University & Research user or guest user in upper right hand corner of this page.