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Sustainability 2015, 7(6), 6684-6705;

GIS Modelling for Site-Specific Nitrogen Fertilization towards Soil Sustainability

Department of Geography and Regional Planning, National Technical University of Athens, 9, Iroon Polytehniou Str., 157 73 Zografou, Greece
Department of Natural Resources Management and Agricultural Engineering, Agricultural University of Athens, 75, Iera Odos Str., Votanikos, 118 55 Athens, Greece
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Marc A. Rosen
Received: 22 January 2015 / Revised: 19 May 2015 / Accepted: 20 May 2015 / Published: 26 May 2015
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture, Food and Wildlife)
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Farmers need to make decisions that in most cases incorporate the concept of prediction and can hardly be revoked. One such decision is the application of fertilizing inputs. During past crop management and decision-making on fertilizing practices, many significant errors have been recorded, which have led and continue to lead to reduced production and environmental burden. The methodology followed in this paper involves the use of GIS, fuzzy logic and expert knowledge, in order to model physical processes associated with nitrogen balance in cultivated ecosystems and to evaluate the capabilities of or limitations on the use of certain fertilizers, based on spatial criteria. An original spatial decision support system was designed, developed and applied in a given study area. The system is composed of two modules (“fertilizing rate” and “fertilizing type”), making use of soil, climate and cultivation practices’ data, as recorded in the area of interest in quantitative or categorical form. The results of the application spatially classify the involved area according to its demand for nitrogen on the basis of the characteristics of each sub-region. The “fertilizing rate” module suggests reduced fertilizing doses of nitrogenous fertilizers compared to those already applied in the area. The system further divides the area into zones where specific types of fertilizers should be applied, giving a certain prescription for the method and time of application. View Full-Text
Keywords: GIS; spatial analysis; site-specific nitrogen fertilization; fuzzy logic GIS; spatial analysis; site-specific nitrogen fertilization; fuzzy logic

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

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Papadopoulos, A.; Kalivas, D.; Hatzichristos, T. GIS Modelling for Site-Specific Nitrogen Fertilization towards Soil Sustainability. Sustainability 2015, 7, 6684-6705.

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