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Global Opportunities to Increase Agricultural Independence Through Phosphorus Recycling
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Number of Authors: 102019 (English)In: Earth's Future, ISSN 1384-5160, E-ISSN 2328-4277, Vol. 7, no 4, p. 370-383Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Food production hinges largely upon access to phosphorus (P) fertilizer. Most fertilizer P used in the global agricultural system comes from mining of nonrenewable phosphate rock deposits located within few countries. However, P contained in livestock manure or urban wastes represents a recyclable source of P. To inform development of P recycling technologies and policies, we examined subnational, national, and global spatial patterns for two intersections of land use affording high P recycling potential: (a) manure-rich cultivated areas and (b) populous cultivated areas. In turn, we examined overlap between P recycling potential and nation-level P fertilizer import dependency. Populous cultivated areas were less abundant globally than manure-rich cultivated areas, reflecting greater segregation between crops and people compared to crops and livestock, especially in the Americas. Based on a global hexagonal grid (290-km(2) grid cell area), disproportionately large shares of subnational hot spots for P recycling potential occurred in India, China, Southeast Asia, Europe, and parts of Africa. Outside of China, most of the remaining manure-rich or pulous cultivated areas occurred within nations that had relatively high imports of P fertilizer (net P import:consumption ratios >= 0.4) or substantial increases in fertilizer demand between the 2000s (2002-2006) and 2010s (2010-2014). Manure-rich cultivated grid cells (those above the 75th percentiles for both manure and cropland extent) represented 12% of the global grid after excluding cropless cells. Annually, the global sum of animal manure P was at least 5 times that contained in human excreta, and among cultivated cells the ratio was frequently higher (median = 8.9). The abundance of potential P recycling hot spots within nations that have depended on fertilizer imports or experienced rising fertilizer demand could prove useful for developing local P sources and maintaining agricultural independence.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. Vol. 7, no 4, p. 370-383
Keywords [en]
phosphorus, manure, fertilizer, waste, trade, phosphate
National Category
Earth and Related Environmental Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-169054DOI: 10.1029/2018EF001097ISI: 000467396900004OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-169054DiVA, id: diva2:1318358
Available from: 2019-05-27 Created: 2019-05-27 Last updated: 2019-05-27Bibliographically approved

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McCrackin, M. L.
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Stockholm University Baltic Sea Centre
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