Nitrogen in the Environment: Sources, Problems and Management book cover

Nitrogen in the Environment: Sources, Problems and Management

Nitrogen in the Environment: Sources, Problems, and Management is the first volume to provide a holistic perspective and comprehensive treatment of nitrogen from field, to ecosystem, to treatment of urban and rural drinking water supplies, while also including a historical overview, human health impacts and policy considerations. It provides a worldwide perspective on nitrogen and agriculture.

Nitrogen is one of the most critical elements required in agricultural systems for the production of crops for feed, food and fiber. The ever-increasing world population requires increasing use of nitrogen in agriculture to supply human needs for dietary protein. Worldwide demand for nitrogen will increase as a direct response to increasing population. Strategies and perspectives are considered to improve nitrogen-use efficiency. Issues of nitrogen in crop and human nutrition, and transport and transformations along the continuum from farm field to ground water, watersheds, streams, rivers, and coastal marine environments are discussed. Described are aerial transport of nitrogen from livestock and agricultural systems and the potential for deposition and impacts. The current status of nitrogen in the environment in selected terrestrial and coastal environments and crop and forest ecosystems and development of emerging technologies to minimize nitrogen impacts on the environment are addressed. The nitrogen cycle provides a framework for assessing broad scale or even global strategies to improve nitrogen use efficiency. Growing human populations are the driving force that requires increased nitrogen inputs. These increasing inputs into the food-production system directly result in increased livestock and human-excretory nitrogen contribution into the environment.

The scope of this book is diverse, covering a range of topics and issues from furthering our understanding of nitrogen in the environment to policy considerations at both farm and national scales.

Researchers, educators, policy-makers and industry interested in developing a more comprehensive understanding of the sources, problems and management of nitrogen in the environment, will find this book of interest.


Published: December 2001

Imprint: Elsevier

ISBN: 978-0-444-50486-9


  • a resource for researchers concerned with maintaining a current perspective on N related issues outside their own areas of focus, or for practitioners of ecosystem management needing a compact reference on a wide range of potential environmental impacts of N, this book is a valuable resource.
    W.N. Harris, Ecological Engineering


  • About the Editors. List of Contributors. Section 1: Background and Importance of Nitrogen.1. The nitrogen cycle, historical perspective, and current and potential future concerns (D.R. Keeney, J.L. Hatfield). 2. Nitrogen transformation and transport processes (R.F. Follett). 3. Importance and effect of nitrogen on crop quality and health (J.M. Blumenthal, et al.). 4. Utilization and metabolism of nitrogen by humans (J.R. Follett, R.F. Follett). Section 2: Water Quality.5. Nitrate losses to surface water through subsurface, tile drainage (G.W. Randall, M.J. Goss). 6. Nitrogen in groundwater associated with agricultural systems (M.R. Burkart, J.D. Stoner). 7. The importance and role of watersheds in the transport of nitrogen (T.J. Sauer, et al.). 8. Nitrogen transport and fate in European streams, rivers, lakes and wetlands (B. Kronvang, et al.). 9. Nitrogen effects on coastal marine ecosystems (J.R. Kelly). Section 3: Atmospheric Effects.10. Gaseous nitrogen emissions from livestock farming systems (O. Oenema, et al.). 11. Exchange of gaseous nitrogen compounds between terrestrial systems and the atmosphere (A.R. Mosier). 12. The impacts of nitrogen deposition on forest ecosystems (K.J. Nadelhoffer). Section 4: Emerging Prediction and Management Technologies.13. On-farm technologies and practices to improve nitrogen use efficiency (N.R. Kitchen, K.W.T. Goulding). 14. Developing software for livestock manure and nutrient management in the USA (P.J. Hess, B.C. Joern, J.A. Lory). 15. Field techniques for modeling nitrogen management (M.J. Shaffer, J.A. Delgado). 16. Simulated effects of land use, soil texture, and precipitation on N gas emissions using DAYCENT (S.J. Del Grosso, et al.). 17. Remediation of drinking water for rural populations (W.J. Hunter). 18. Remediation at the water treatment plant (L.D. McMullen). Section 5: Economic and Policy Issues.19. Nitrogen management by producers: A multiple scale perspective (P.J. Nowak, et al.). 20. New policy directions (A.P. Manale). Appendix. Abbreviations. Units of Measure. Index.


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