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Net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs to watersheds and riverine N export to coastal waters: a brief overview
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2012 (English)In: Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, ISSN 1877-3435, Vol. 4, no 2, 203-211 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In recent years, watershed-scale nutrient accounting methods have been developed which provide a simple yet powerful approach to estimate major anthropogenic sources of nutrients to terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. For nitrogen (N), 'anthropogenic sources' include fertilizer, atmospheric N deposition, N fixation by plants (e.g. legumes), and the net import or export of N in human food and livestock feed, and are collectively referred to as Net Anthropogenic Nitrogen Inputs (NANI). Since the development of industrial N-fixing processes early in the 20th century, anthropogenic N inputs have grown to dominate the global N cycle, and have become the main sources of N in most watersheds affected by humans. It is now clear that riverine N transport from human-influenced watersheds to coastal waters is strongly related to NANI, as well as to hydroclimatic variables (precipitation, discharge, temperature) that can affect the amount of N retained in or removed from watersheds. Potential implications for increased N load from NANI include increased eutrophication, loss of species diversity and habitat, and growth of hypoxic areas ('dead zones') in coastal waters.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2012. Vol. 4, no 2, 203-211 p.
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Environmental Sciences
URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-80078DOI: 10.1016/j.cosust.2012.03.004ISI: 000304734500007OAI: diva2:555992


Available from: 2012-09-23 Created: 2012-09-12 Last updated: 2012-09-23Bibliographically approved

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Humborg, Christoph
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Stockholm Resilience Centre
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