Type: Chapter

Advances in understanding the nitrogen cycle in crop production

Author David Pilbeam

University of Leeds

Publication date:

17 February 2020

ID: 9781786766472

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Nitrogen is the element that is taken up from the soil by plants in the largest amounts, so understanding the worldwide nitrogen cycle is imperative if we are to make agriculture more sustainable. This chapter discusses current research into the stages of the nitrogen cycle giving rise to these inputs and losses, in the context of maximising the inputs and minimising the outputs. The chapter offers examples for conventional and organic farming, with particular reference to wheat crops. Finally, the chapter looks ahead to the effects of climate change and looks ahead to future research trends in this area.

Table of contents

1 Introduction
2 Inputs of nitrogen to agricultural ecosystems
3 Uptake of nitrogen by plants
4 Losses of nitrogen from agricultural ecosystems
5 Overall consideration of nitrogen supply and loss
6 Case study: the nitrogen cycle in wheat crops
7 Future trends and conclusion
8 Where to look for further information
9 References