Agricultural nutrient budgets in Europe: data, methods, and indicators
Doktorsavhandling, 2020

Agricultural production systems feed humanity but also cause a range of adverse environmental effects, including climate change, loss of biodiversity, and pollution of air and water. A main cause of these effects is the emissions of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) that occur as a side effect of nutrient cycling in agriculture. One of the things that is needed to mitigate N and P pollution is a quantitative understanding of N and P flows in agricultural systems. A common tool for this is the nutrient budget. A nutrient budget quantifies inputs and outputs of nutrients in a system and can be used to understand how the system functions as well as to calculate quantitative environmental indicators for farms, regions, or products.

This thesis aims to explore and expand the limits of how agricultural N and P budgets can be used to support environmental research and decision-making, focusing on European agriculture. To this end, the thesis looks into two broad research questions: (1) What are the limits to the accuracy and level of detail that can be attained in N and P budgets of European agricultural systems? (2) How are present and proposed uses of agricultural N and P budgets and derived indicators limited by (a) the inherent property that agricultural nutrient budgets do not account for environmental impacts, and (b) by uncertainties and lack of data in the estimation of nutrient budgets?

This thesis builds on five appended research papers that explore various aspects of data sources, uncertainties, and possible uses of N and P budgets in Europe. International and national data sources are scrutinized and used to estimate N and P budgets. Novel ways to combine existing data sources are explored. The use of nutrient budgets with various system boundaries, with different degrees of spatial resolution, and in different time periods is discussed, emphasizing that the best approach is not only a question of data supply but also of intended audience and purpose.

Europe

EU

indicators

agriculture

nutrient balance

environment

nitrogen

nutrient budget

phosphorus

Room ED, Hörsalsvägen 11. Limited number of seats. Please email rasmus.einarsson [at] chalmers.se to reserve a seat or receive password for Zoom meeting.
Opponent: Wilfried Winiwarter, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria

Författare

Rasmus Einarsson

Chalmers, Rymd-, geo- och miljövetenskap, Fysisk resursteori, Fysisk resursteori 2

Nitrogen flows on organic and conventional dairy farms: a comparison of three indicators

Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems,; (2018)p. 1-14

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Is the nitrogen footprint fit for purpose? An assessment of models and proposed uses

Journal of Environmental Management,; Vol. 240(2019)p. 198-208

Artikel i vetenskaplig tidskrift

Einarsson, R., Sanz-Cobena, A., Aguilera, E., Billen, G., Garnier, J., van Grinsven, H. J. M., Lassaletta, L. Crop production and nitrogen use in European cropland and grassland 1961-2013

Drivkrafter

Hållbar utveckling

Ämneskategorier

Lantbruksvetenskap, skogsbruk och fiske

Miljövetenskap

ISBN

978-91-7905-367-3

Doktorsavhandlingar vid Chalmers tekniska högskola. Ny serie: 4834

Utgivare

Chalmers tekniska högskola

Room ED, Hörsalsvägen 11. Limited number of seats. Please email rasmus.einarsson [at] chalmers.se to reserve a seat or receive password for Zoom meeting.

Online

Opponent: Wilfried Winiwarter, International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, Austria

Mer information

Senast uppdaterat

2020-09-09