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Figure TS.1 Simplifi ed view of the nitrogen cascade, highlighting the major anthropogenic sources of reactive nitrogen (N r ) from atmospheric di-nitrogen (N 2 ), the main pollutant forms of N r (orange boxes) and nine main environmental concerns (blue boxes). Estimates of anthropogenic N fi xation for the world (Tg /yr for 2005, in black) are compared with estimates for Europe (Tg /yr for 2000, in blue italic). Blue arrows represent intended anthropogenic N r fl ows; all the other arrows 

Figure TS.1 Simplifi ed view of the nitrogen cascade, highlighting the major anthropogenic sources of reactive nitrogen (N r ) from atmospheric di-nitrogen (N 2 ), the main pollutant forms of N r (orange boxes) and nine main environmental concerns (blue boxes). Estimates of anthropogenic N fi xation for the world (Tg /yr for 2005, in black) are compared with estimates for Europe (Tg /yr for 2000, in blue italic). Blue arrows represent intended anthropogenic N r fl ows; all the other arrows 

Contexts in source publication

Context 1
... Atmospheric N r deposition is a signifi cant driver of biodi- versity loss in terrestrial ecosystems. Rates of N r deposition have substantially exceeded critical load thresholds for natural and semi-natural areas since the increase in agriculture-, energy- and transport-related emissions from the 1950s, resulting in a considerable loss of biodiversity in Europe [5.1, 8.2, 20.4]. ...
Context 2
... e most vulnerable habitats are those with species adapted to low nutrient levels or sensitive to acidifi cation, and include grassland, heathland, wetlands and forests [20.3]. First estimates of the overall reduction in biodiversity due to N r depos- ition across Europe have been made ( Figure TS.10 ), while the reductions in N r -sensitive species will be even greater [20.4]. ...
Context 3
... integrated assessment modelling including available technical measures indicates that cost-optimized NO x and NH 3 emis- sions for 2030 are substantially smaller than current reduction plans ( Figure TS.11 ), highlighting the case for further emission reductions [24.6]. 114. ...
Context 4
... an example, because of the low conversion effi ciency of plant to animal products, the pro- duction of animal proteins releases at least seven times more reactive nitrogen into the environment than the production of the same amounts of plant proteins [26.3]. At the same time, many European citizens are increasingly eating more animal products than is necessary for a healthy diet ( Figure TS.12 ). Even a limited reduction of the share of meat and milk in the European diet would substantially aff ect the overall N budget of Europe ( Figure TS.5 ) [23.5, 24.5, 26.3]. ...

Citations

... This lack of relationship is most probably connected to the interannual variability of N 2 O 680 emissions in the strongest scenario and in the second part of the century. Higher NUE are typical for low European latitudes than mid and high latitudes, since yields are generally higher and the N losses lower (Sutton et al., 2011). Improving actual agronomic practices to improve NUE could have several benefits. ...
Preprint
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The knowledge of the effects of climate change on agro-ecosystems is fundamental to identify local actions aimed to maintain productivity and reduce environmental issues. This study investigates the effects of climate perturbation on the European crop and grassland production systems, combining the finding from two biogeochemical models. Accurate and high-resolution management and pedoclimatic data has been employed. Results has been verified for the period 1978–2004 (historical period) and projected until 2099 with two divergent intensities IPPC’s climate projections, RCP4.5 and RCP8. We provided a detailed overview on productivity and the impacts on management (sowing dates, water demand, nitrogen use efficiency). Biogenic GHG budgets (N2O, CH4, CO2) were calculated, including an assessment of their sensitivity to the leading drivers, and the compilation of a net carbon budget over production systems. Results confirmed that a significant reduction of productivity is expected during 2050–2099, caused by the shortening of the length of the plant growing cycle associated to the rising temperatures. This effect was more pronounced for the more pessimistic climate scenario (-13 % for croplands and -7.7 % for grasslands) and for Mediterranean regions, confirming a regionally distributed impact of climate change. Non-CO2 GHG emissions were triggered by rising air temperatures and increased exponentially over the century, being often higher than the CO2 accumulation of the explored agro-ecosystems, which acted as potential C sinks. Emission factor for N2O was 1.82 ± 0.07 % during the historical period, rising up to 2.05 ± 0.11 % for both climate projections. The biomass removal (crop yield, residues exports, mowing and animal intake) converted croplands and grasslands into net C sources (236 ± 107 Tg CO2eq y-1 in the historical period), increasing of more than 20 % during the climate projections. Nonetheless, crop residues demonstrate to be an effective management strategy to overturn the C balance. Although with a marked latitudinal gradient, water demand will double over the next few decades in the European croplands, whereas the benefit in terms of yield will not contribute substantially to balance the C losses due to climate perturbation.
... The situation in Europe is particularly alarming. According to Sutton and Billen (2011), the European Union (EU) produces approximately 10% of all global anthropogenic NR, despite covering only 2% of the world's surface area. Due to such massive releases of NR, the nitrogen content in the European soil, water and air is by now three times higher than it was hundred years ago (UBA, 2018a). ...
Thesis
Agriculture puts major strains on Germany’s aquatic ecosystems because intensive livestock farming and overfertilization contaminate surface and groundwater bodies with nitrates. In order to address this environmental problem, Germany is obliged to implement the Nitrates Directive, a central water protection directive of the European Union. But ever since the adoption of this directive at the Euro-pean level in 1991, German policy-makers have struggled to properly implement it, both time- and content-wise. In June 2018, the European Court of Justice convicted the German government for the second time due to its non-compliance with the Nitrates Directive. This empirical observation forms the starting point of my research. The following thesis investigates why the German political decision-makers have repeatedly failed to produce timely and sufficient pol-icy outputs to comply with the European Nitrates Directives. Existing scientific literature points to the importance of party politics for policy responses to aquatic nitrate contamination. On that account, my thesis traces the German transposition of the Nitrates Directive between 1991 and 2018 with a focus on the policy process within the formal decision-making bodies of the national state, and the political parties operating within these decision-making bodies. In terms of theoretical framework, this research combines insights from cleavage theory, the Punctu-ated Equilibrium Framework and the EU implementation literature. Methodologically, it consists of a case study and analyses a variety of official documents (inter alia accounts of legislative debates, mo-tions, interpellations, bills and court judgments) with the aid of both qualitative and quantitative tech-niques of data analysis. The empirical findings confirm that party politics is key to understanding the policy process underlying the German transposition of the Nitrates Directive. Coupled with European pressure for policy reform, party-political cleavages helped put the nitrate issue onto the political agenda. However, the distribu-tion of policy-making competencies across decision-making bodies and the prevalence of coalition gov-ernments provided both proponents and opponents of strict nitrate policies among the political parties with possibilities to further their preferences. Besides, dissent between different state governments of the German bundesländer, and between environmental and agricultural policy-makers materialized. The policy process was therefore characterized by lengthy and controversial negotiations and trans-lated into policy compromises which fell short of the provisions of the Nitrates Directive.
... Application of manure can also result in reduced runoff and soil erosion (Gilley and Risse, 2000). However, excessive application of manure may result in increased eutrophication problems that can cause considerable environmental pollution ( Eghball et al., 1996;Gilley and Eghball, 1998;Miller et al., 2011;Sutton et al., 2011;Leip et al., 2015). Therefore, careful monitoring of the amount of manure applied each year based on sound nutrient practices should be carried out to avoid long-term environmental risks. ...
... Une fiscalité du carbone favorisant le stockage dans les sols pourrait être étudiée. Des données scientifiques 19 ...
Article
Full-text available
À rebours des tendances prédominantes, certaines exploitations d'élevage ont développé des systèmes de production économes et autonomes en intrants, fondés sur le pâturage de prairies temporaires d'association graminées-légumineuses. Une étude, menée par AgroParisTech, l'Institut de l'élevage et le Réseau agriculture durable, à la demande du ministère de l'Agriculture et de l'Alimentation, a été consacrée à ces exploitations afin d'en caractériser le fonctionnement et les résultats 1. Elle a montré que ces systèmes de production, qui requièrent technicité et bonnes connaissances des agro-écosystèmes, sont plus créateurs de valeur ajoutée que les systèmes où l'alimentation du troupeau repose largement sur le maïs, grâce à une gestion fine des prairies et de la conduite du troupeau au pâturage. Selon les auteurs de l'étude, ils conjuguent résilience économique et performances sociales et écologiques élevées.
... The non-reactive N 2 sink that we identify has implications for understanding the economics, biogeochemistry, and environmental consequences of human N use globally. Recent studies in the European Union (Sutton et al., 2011) and the United states (Sobota et al., 2015) have pointed to heightened human health and environmental risks associated with reactive N spillovers on the environment, with marginal economic damages in the hundreds of billion dollars range each year. Research in China suggests similarly substantial effects of anthropogenic N on air quality and ecosystem functioning (Luo et al., 2014). ...
... Historically, livestock helped to transform inedible materials (grass and waste) into high quality food. However today livestock production systems affect air quality, global climate, soil quality, biodiversity and water quality (Sutton et al 2011bSutton et al , 2011c), by altering the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon. In particular, reactive nitrogen (N r ) plays a key role in several environmental impacts (N r represents all forms of nitrogen other than N 2 , including ammonia (NH 3 ), nitrogen oxides (NO x ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O), and N losses to water bodies). ...
Article
Full-text available
Livestock production systems currently occupy around 28% of the land surface of the European Union (equivalent to 65% of the agricultural land). In conjunction with other human activities, livestock production systems affect water, air and soil quality, global climate and biodiversity, altering the biogeochemical cycles of nitrogen, phosphorus and carbon. Here, we quantify the contribution of European livestock production to these major impacts. For each environmental effect, the contribution of livestock is expressed as shares of the emitted compounds and land used, as compared to the whole agricultural sector. The results show that the livestock sector contributes significantly to agricultural environmental impacts. This contribution is 78% for terrestrial biodiversity loss, 80% for soil acidification and air pollution (ammonia and nitrogen oxides emissions), 81% for global warming, and 73% for water pollution (bothNand P). The agriculture sector itself is one of the major contributors to these environmental impacts, ranging between 12% for global warming and 59% for Nwater quality impact. Significant progress in mitigating these environmental impacts in Europe will only be possible through a combination of technological measures reducing livestock emissions, improved food choices and reduced food waste of European citizens.
... Reactive nitrogen (Nr) is an essential element for plants and animals as a key component of proteins, but excess Nr threatens the quality of air, soil and water (Sutton et al. 2011a, b). Currently, about half of the nitrogen (N) added to farm fields in Europe ends up as pollution to air and water, or as molecular nitrogen (N 2 ) (Sutton et al. 2011b). The main Nr types are ammonia (NH 3 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and nitrogen oxides (NO x ) emissions to the air and leaching and runoff of nitrate (NO 3 − ) and other N compounds to ground and surface water. ...
... This is due mainly to increased use of mineral fertilizer in Europe, in combination with the parallel increase of livestock production and associated import of soybean meal. A large share of the Nr losses in the EU is related to livestock production (Leip et al. 2011a, b;Sutton et al. 2011b). However, the exact distribution of losses between the different food commodity groups has not been properly quantified. ...
... Nitrogen budgets for agriculture in the EU27 A full N budget was calculated for agriculture according to Leip et al. (2011b, c). An N-budget for agriculture represents all major N-flows in the major agricultural sub-pools: livestock production systems, manure management systems, soil cultivation systems, and their links to other pools, in particular human society (consumption, trade) and environment (UNECE 2013;Eurostat 2013). ...
Article
Nitrogen (N) is an essential element for plants and animals. Due to large inputs of mineral fertilizer, crop yields and livestock production in Europe have increased markedly over the last century, but as a consequence losses of reactive N to air, soil and water have intensified as well. Two different models (CAPRI and MITERRA) were used to quantify the N flows in agriculture in the European Union (EU27), at country-level and for EU27 agriculture as a whole, differentiated into 12 main food categories. The results showed that the N footprint, defined as the total N losses to the environment per unit of product, varies widely between different food categories, with substantially higher values for livestock products and the highest values for beef (c. 500 g N/kg beef), as compared to vegetable products. The lowest N footprint of c. 2 g N/kg product was calculated for sugar beet, fruits and vegetables, and potatoes. The losses of reactive N were dominated by N leaching and run-off, and ammonia volatilization, with 0·83 and 0·88 due to consumption of livestock products. The N investment factors, defined as the quantity of new reactive N required to produce one unit of N in the product varied between 1·2 kg N/kg N in product for pulses to 15–20 kg N for beef.
... Increasing the supply of fixed N in the nitrogen cycle has numerous consequences, including increased radiative forcing, stratospheric ozone loss, photochemical smog formation and acid deposition, and productivity increases (in particular, linked to eutrophication) leading to ecosystem simplification (decreased diversity) and biodiversity loss (Socolow 1999; Galloway et al. 2003Galloway et al. , 2004Galloway et al. , 2008Sutton et al. 2011a). Moreover, reactive nitrogen is known to cascade through ecosystems, sequentially contributing to these impacts as it cycles from one form to another ( Galloway et al. 2003Galloway et al. , 2008Sutton et al. 2011a, b). ...
... Increasing the supply of fixed N in the nitrogen cycle has numerous consequences, including increased radiative forcing, stratospheric ozone loss, photochemical smog formation and acid deposition, and productivity increases (in particular, linked to eutrophication) leading to ecosystem simplification (decreased diversity) and biodiversity loss (Socolow 1999; Galloway et al. 2003Galloway et al. , 2004Galloway et al. , 2008Sutton et al. 2011a). Moreover, reactive nitrogen is known to cascade through ecosystems, sequentially contributing to these impacts as it cycles from one form to another ( Galloway et al. 2003Galloway et al. , 2008Sutton et al. 2011a, b). ...
... Due to growing recognition of the magnitude of human dependence on and perturbation of the nitrogen cycle, and attendant potential social, human health and environmental consequences (Socolow 1999;Vitousek et al. 2009;Galloway et al. 2003Galloway et al. , 2004Galloway et al. , 2008Sutton et al. 2011a), research to quantify the magnitude and distribution of reactive nitrogen mobilization, flows in economic systems and losses is increasingly visible. For example, the European Nitrogen Assessment was established "to review current scientific understanding of nitrogen sources, impacts and interactions across Europe, taking account of current policies and the economic costs and benefits, as a basis to inform the development of future policies at local to global scales" ( Sutton et al. 2011b). ...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Anthropogenic perturbation of the nitrogen cycle is attracting increasing attention as both an environmental and societal concern. Here, we provide the rationale and propose methods for independent treatment of anthropogenic mobilization, flows (in product systems) and emissions of fixed nitrogen in process-based environmental life cycle assessment. Methods We propose a simple methodology for aggregating N flows in life cycle assessment (LCA), with supporting characterization factors for all nitrogen-containing compounds on the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development High Production Volume Chemical List for which specific chemical formulae are available, as well as all nitrogen-containing flows in the International Reference Life Cycle Data System. We subsequently apply our method and characterization factors to a life cycle inventory data set representing a subset of the consumption attributable to an average EU-27 consumer and compare the results against previously published estimates for nitrogen emissions at the consumer level that were generated using alternative methods/approaches. Results and discussion We derive a suite of over 2,000 characterization factors for nitrogen-containing compounds. Overall, the results generated by applying our method and characterization factors to the European Commission Basket-of-Products life cycle inventory data set are consistent with those observed from studies having a similar scope but different methodological approach. Conclusions This outcome suggests that anthropogenic mobilization, flows (in product systems) and emissions of fixed nitrogen can, indeed, be systematically inventoried and aggregated in process-based LCA for the purpose of better understanding and managing anthropogenic impacts on the global nitrogen cycle using the methods and characterization factors we propose.
... Nitrogen is an essential nutrient for all living organisms. Beside dinitrogen (N 2 ), being practically inert and constituting 78 % of the earth's atmosphere (Seinfeld and Pandis, 2006 ), the important nitrogen-containing trace species are nitric oxide (NO, also nitrogen monoxide), nitrogen dioxide (NO 2 ), nitric acid (HNO 3 ), ammonia (NH 3 ), and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) (Sutton et al., 2011). The sum of NO and NO 2 , the former emitted by both natural and anthropogenic sources, the latter formed in the atmosphere by oxidation of NO and emitted in small quantities from combustion processes along with NO, is usually designated as NO x . ...
Article
Full-text available
The input and loss of plant available nitrogen (reactive nitrogen: N r) from/to the atmosphere can be an important factor for the productivity of ecosystems and thus for its carbon and greenhouse gas exchange. We present a novel converter for reactive nitrogen (TRANC: Total Reactive Atmospheric Nitrogen Converter), which offers the opportunity to quantify the sum of all airborne reactive nitrogen compounds (∑N r) in high time resolution. The basic concept of the TRANC is the full conversion of all N r to nitrogen monoxide (NO) within two reaction steps. Initially, reduced N r compounds are being oxidised, and oxidised N r compounds are thermally converted to lower oxidation states. Particulate N r is being sublimated and oxidised or reduced afterwards. In a second step, remaining higher nitrogen oxides or those generated in the first step are catalytically converted to NO with carbon monoxide used as reduction gas. The converter is combined with a fast response chemiluminescence detector (CLD) for NO analysis and its performance was tested for the most relevant gaseous and particulate N r species under both laboratory and field conditions. Recovery rates during laboratory tests for NH3 and NO 2 were found to be 95 and 99%, respectively, and 97% when the two gases were combined. In-field longterm stability over an 11-month period was approved by a value of 91% for NO 2. Effective conversion was also found for ammonium and nitrate containing particles. The recovery rate of total ambient N r was tested against the sum of individual measurements of NH 3, HNO 3, HONO, NH 4+, NO 3-, and NO x using a combination of different well-established devices. The results show that the TRANC-CLD system precisely captures fluctuations in ∑N r concentrations and also matches the sum of all individual N r compounds measured by the different single techniques. The TRANC features a specific design with very short distance between the sample air inlet and the place where the thermal and catalytic conversions to NO occur. This assures a short residence time of the sample air inside the instrument, and minimises wall sorption problems of water soluble compounds. The fast response time (e-folding times of 0.30 to 0.35 s were found during concentration step changes) and high accuracy in capturing the dominant N r species enables the converter to be used in an eddy covariance setup. Although a source attribution of specific N r compounds is not possible, the TRANC is a new reliable tool for permanent measurements of the net ∑N r flux between ecosystem and atmosphere at a relatively low maintenance and reasonable cost level allowing for diurnal, seasonal and annual investigations.
... Reactive nitrogen (Nr) is an essential element for plants and animals as a key component of proteins, but excess Nr threatens the quality of air, soil and water (Sutton et al. 2011a, b). Currently, about half of the nitrogen (N) added to farm fields in Europe ends up as pollution to air and water, or as molecular nitrogen (N 2 ) (Sutton et al. 2011b). The main Nr types are ammonia (NH 3 ), nitrous oxide (N 2 O) and nitrogen oxides (NO x ) emissions to the air and leaching and runoff of nitrate (NO 3 − ) and other N compounds to ground and surface water. ...
... This is due mainly to increased use of mineral fertilizer in Europe, in combination with the parallel increase of livestock production and associated import of soybean meal. A large share of the Nr losses in the EU is related to livestock production (Leip et al. 2011a, b;Sutton et al. 2011b). However, the exact distribution of losses between the different food commodity groups has not been properly quantified. ...
... Nitrogen budgets for agriculture in the EU27 A full N budget was calculated for agriculture according to Leip et al. (2011b, c). An N-budget for agriculture represents all major N-flows in the major agricultural sub-pools: livestock production systems, manure management systems, soil cultivation systems, and their links to other pools, in particular human society (consumption, trade) and environment (UNECE 2013;Eurostat 2013). ...
Article
Nitrogen (N) is an essential element for plants and animals. Due to large inputs of mineral fertilizer, crop yields and livestock production in Europe have increased markedly over the last century, but as a consequence losses of reactive N to air, soil and water have intensified as well. Two different models (CAPRI and MITERRA) were used to quantify the N flows in agriculture in the European Union (EU27), at country-level and for EU27 agriculture as a whole, differentiated into 12 main food categories. The results showed that the N footprint, defined as the total N losses to the environment per unit of product, varies widely between different food categories, with substantially higher values for livestock products and the highest values for beef (c. 500 g N/kg beef), as compared to vegetable products. The lowest N footprint of c. 2 g N/kg product was calculated for sugar beet, fruits and vegetables, and potatoes. The losses of reactive N were dominated by N leaching and runoff , and ammonia volatilization, with 0·83 and 0·88 due to consumption of livestock products. The N investment factors, defined as the quantity of new reactive N required to produce one unit of N in the product varied between 1·2 kg N/kg N in product for pulses to 15–20 kg N for beef.