Groundwater nitrate response to sustainable nitrogen management

Birgitte Hansen, Lærke Thorling, Jörg Schullehner, Mette Termansen, Tommy Dalgaard

Publikation: Bidrag til tidsskriftArtikelForskningpeer review

113 Citationer (Scopus)

Abstrakt

Throughout the world, nitrogen (N) losses from intensive agricultural production may end up as undesirably high concentrations of nitrate in groundwater with a long-term impact on groundwater quality. This has human and environmental health consequences, due to the use of groundwater as a drinking water resource, and causes eutrophication of groundwater-dependent ecosystems such as wetlands, rivers and near-coastal areas. At national scale, the measured nitrate concentrations and trends in Danish oxic groundwater in the last 70 years correlate well with the annual agricultural N surpluses. We also show that the N use efficiency of agriculture is related to the groundwater nitrate concentrations. We demonstrate an inverted U-shape of annual nitrate concentrations as a function of economic growth from 1948 to 2014. Our analyses evidence a clear trend of a reversal at the beginning of the 1980s towards a more sustainable agricultural N management. This appears to be primarily driven by societal demand for groundwater protection linked to economic prosperity and an increased environmental awareness. However, the environmental and human health thresholds are still exceeded in many locations. Groundwater protection is of fundamental global importance, and this calls for further development of environmentally and economically sustainable N management in agriculture worldwide.

OriginalsprogEngelsk
Artikelnummer8566
Antal sider12
TidsskriftScientific Reports
Vol/bind7
DOI
StatusUdgivet - 1 dec. 2017

Programområde

  • Programområde 2: Vandressourcer

Fingeraftryk

Dyk ned i forskningsemnerne om 'Groundwater nitrate response to sustainable nitrogen management'. Sammen danner de et unikt fingeraftryk.

Citationsformater