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Shibata, H., J.N. Galloway, A.M. Leach, L.R. Cattaneo, L. Cattell Noll, J.W. Erisman, B. Gu, X. Liang, K. Hayashi, L. Ma, T. Dalgaard, M. Graversgaard, D. Chen, K. Nansai, J. Shindo, K. Matsubae, A. Oita, M. Su, S. Mishima and A. Bleeker. 2016. Nitrogen footprints: Regional realities and options to reduce nitrogen loss to the environment. Ambio. 06 September 2016.


DOI: 10.1007/s13280-016-0815-4

Type of document: Journal Article

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More information on authors/freelancers connected to LBI :
Prof J. W. Erisman, PhD


Language of document: English

Title in English: Nitrogen footprints: Regional realities and options to reduce nitrogen loss to the environment

Abstract / summary in English:

Nitrogen (N) management presents a sustainability dilemma: N is strongly linked to energy and food production, but excess reactive N causes environmental pollution. The N footprint is an indicator that quantifies reactive N losses to the environment from consumption and production of food and the use of energy. The average per capita N footprint (calculated using the N-Calculator methodology) of ten countries varies from 15 to 47 kg N capita−1 year−1. The major cause of the difference is the protein consumption rates and food production N losses. The food sector dominates all countries’ N footprints. Global connections via trade significantly affect the N footprint in countries that rely on imported foods and feeds. The authors present N footprint reduction strategies (e.g., improve N use efficiency, increase N recycling, reduce food waste, shift dietary choices) and identify knowledge gaps (e.g., the N footprint from nonfood goods and soil N process).


Keywords in English: Nitrogen cycle, Nitrogen effects, Nitrogen footprint, Nitrogen use efficiency
Nitrogen footprints: Regional realities and options to reduce nitrogen loss to the environment