Riverine nitrogen footprint of agriculture in the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin: do we trade water quality for crop production?

dc.contributor.author Lu, Chaoqun
dc.contributor.author Zhang, Jien
dc.contributor.author Yi, Bo
dc.contributor.author Calderon, Ignacio
dc.contributor.author Feng, Hongli
dc.contributor.author Miao, Ruiqing
dc.contributor.author Hennessy, David
dc.contributor.author Pan, Shufen
dc.contributor.author Tian, Hanqin
dc.contributor.department Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology
dc.contributor.department Economics
dc.date.accessioned 2023-11-14T15:31:48Z
dc.date.available 2023-11-14T15:31:48Z
dc.date.issued 2023-10-31
dc.description.abstract Increasing food and biofuel demands have led to the cascading effects from cropland expansions, raised fertilizer use, to increased riverine nitrogen (N) loads. However, little is known about the current trade-off between riverine N pollution and crop production due to the lack of predictive understanding of ecological processes across the land-aquatic continuum. Here, we propose a riverine N footprint (RNF) concept to quantify how N loads change along with per unit crop production gain. Using data synthesis and a well-calibrated hydro-ecological model, we find that the RNF within the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin peaked at 1.95 g N kg−1 grain during the 1990s, and then shifted from an increasing to a decreasing trend, reaching 0.65 g N kg−1 grain in the 2010s. This implies decoupled responses of crop production and N loads to key agricultural activities approximately after 2000, but this pattern varies considerably among sub-basins. Our study highlights the importance of developing a food–energy–water nexus indicator to examine the region-specific trade-offs between crop production and land-to-aquatic N loads for achieving nutrient mitigation goals while sustaining economic gains.
dc.description.comments This letter is published as Lu, Chaoqun, Jien Zhang, Bo Yi, Ignacio Calderon, Hongli Feng, Ruiqing Miao, David Hennessy, Shufen Pan, and Hanqin Tian. "Riverine nitrogen footprint of agriculture in the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin: do we trade water quality for crop production?." Environmental Research Letters 18, no. 11 (2023): 114043. doi:10.1093/biolre/ioad146. © 2023 The Author(s). Posted with permission.<br/><br/>Original content from this work may be used under the terms of the <a href="https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/" target="_blank">Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 licence</a>. Any further distribution of this work must maintain attribution to the author(s) and the title of the work, journal citation and DOI.
dc.identifier.uri https://dr.lib.iastate.edu/handle/20.500.12876/avVONP6r
dc.language.iso en
dc.publisher IOP Publishing Ltd
dc.source.uri https://doi.org/10.1088/1748-9326/ad0128 *
dc.subject.disciplines DegreeDisciplines::Life Sciences::Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
dc.subject.disciplines DegreeDisciplines::Social and Behavioral Sciences::Agricultural and Resource Economics
dc.subject.disciplines DegreeDisciplines::Social and Behavioral Sciences::Environmental Studies
dc.subject.keywords riverine nitrogen footprint
dc.subject.keywords agricultural management
dc.subject.keywords crop production
dc.subject.keywords nitrogen loading
dc.subject.keywords land use land cover change
dc.subject.keywords crop rotation
dc.subject.keywords Mississippi Atchafalaya River Basin
dc.title Riverine nitrogen footprint of agriculture in the Mississippi–Atchafalaya River Basin: do we trade water quality for crop production?
dc.type Article
dspace.entity.type Publication
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