EPA Science Inventory

How inhibiting nitrification affects nitrogen cycle and reduces environmental impacts of anthropogenic nitrogen input

Citation:

Qiao, C., L. Liu, S. Hu, J. Compton, T. Greaver, AND Q. Li. How inhibiting nitrification affects nitrogen cycle and reduces environmental impacts of anthropogenic nitrogen input. GLOBAL CHANGE BIOLOGY. Blackwell Publishing, Malden, MA, , 9, (2014).

Description:

We conducted a meta-analysis of 103 nitrification inhibitor (NI) studies, and evaluated how NI application affects crop productivity and other ecosystem services in agricultural systems. Our results showed that, compared to conventional fertilizer practice, applications of NI along with nitrogen (N) fertilizer increased crop nitrogen use efficiency, crop yield, and altered the pathways and the amount of N loss to environment. NI application increased ammonia emission, but reduced nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emission, which led to a reduction of 12.9% of the total N loss. The cost and benefit analysis showed that the economic benefit of reducing N’s environmental impacts offset the cost of NI. NI application could bring additional revenue of $163.72 ha-1 for a maize farm. Taken together, our findings show that NI application may create a win-win scenario that increases agricultural output, while reducing the negative impact on the environment. Policies that encourage NI application would reduce N’s environmental impacts.

Purpose/Objective:

A group from Chinese Academy of Sciences, US EPA-ORD and North Carolina examined the net environmental and economic effects of nitrification inhibitors to reduce nitrate leaching associated with farm fertilizers. They conducted a meta-analysis of studies examining nitrification inhibitors, and found that NI application increased ammonia emission, but reduced nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emission, which led to a reduction of 12.9% of the total N loss. The work indicates that NI application may create a win-win scenario that increases agricultural output and benefits, while reducing the negative impact on the environment.

URLs/Downloads:

https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.12802   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (JOURNAL/PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Completion Date: 01/08/2015
Record Last Revised: 11/22/2017
Record Created: 01/12/2015
Record Released: 01/12/2015
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 304430

Organization:

U.S. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY

OFFICE OF RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT

NATIONAL HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENTAL EFFECTS RESEARCH LABORATORY

WESTERN ECOLOGY DIVISION

FRESHWATER ECOLOGY BRANCH