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Article

Response of Nitrogen Losses to Excessive Nitrogen Fertilizer Application in Intensive Greenhouse Vegetable Production

by 1,2, 1,2,* and 1
1
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Sustainability 2019, 11(6), 1513; https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061513
Received: 19 February 2019 / Revised: 5 March 2019 / Accepted: 7 March 2019 / Published: 13 March 2019
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Excessive nitrogen fertilizer application in greenhouse vegetable production (GVP) is of scientific and public concern because of its significance to international environmental sustainability. We conducted a meta-analysis using 1174 paired observations from 69 publications on the effects of nitrogen fertilizer application and reducing nitrogen fertilizer application on the nitrogen losses on a broad scale. We found that the increase in nitrogen loss is much higher than that in production gain caused by excessive application of nitrogen fertilizer: nitrate leaching (+187.5%), ammonium leaching (+28.1%), total nitrogen leaching (+217.0%), nitrous oxide emission (+202.0%), ammonia emission (+176.4%), nitric oxide emission (+543.3%), yield (+35.7%) and nitrogen uptake (+24.5%). Environmental variables respond nonlinearly to nitrogen fertilizer application, with severe nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emission when the application rate exceeds 570 kg N/ha and 733 kg/N, respectively. The effect of nitrogen fertilizer on yield growth decreases when the application rate exceeds 302 kg N/ha. Appropriate reduction in nitrogen fertilizer application rate substantially mitigates the environmental cost, for example, decreasing nitrate leaching (−32.4%), ammonium leaching (−6.5%), total nitrogen leaching (−37.3%), ammonia emission (−28.4%), nitrous oxide emission (−38.6%) and nitric oxide emission (−8.0%), while it has no significant effect on the nitrogen uptake and yield. View Full-Text
Keywords: environmental pollution; nitrate leaching; nitrous oxide emission; threshold; meta-analysis environmental pollution; nitrate leaching; nitrous oxide emission; threshold; meta-analysis
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MDPI and ACS Style

Zhao, H.; Li, X.; Jiang, Y. Response of Nitrogen Losses to Excessive Nitrogen Fertilizer Application in Intensive Greenhouse Vegetable Production. Sustainability 2019, 11, 1513. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061513

AMA Style

Zhao H, Li X, Jiang Y. Response of Nitrogen Losses to Excessive Nitrogen Fertilizer Application in Intensive Greenhouse Vegetable Production. Sustainability. 2019; 11(6):1513. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061513

Chicago/Turabian Style

Zhao, Hui, Xuyong Li, and Yan Jiang. 2019. "Response of Nitrogen Losses to Excessive Nitrogen Fertilizer Application in Intensive Greenhouse Vegetable Production" Sustainability 11, no. 6: 1513. https://doi.org/10.3390/su11061513

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