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Contemporary strategies for enhancing nitrogen retention and mitigating nitrous oxide emission in agricultural soils: present and future

Simeng Li () and Gang Chen
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Simeng Li: FAMU-FSU College of Engineering
Gang Chen: FAMU-FSU College of Engineering

Environment, Development and Sustainability: A Multidisciplinary Approach to the Theory and Practice of Sustainable Development, 2020, vol. 22, issue 4, No 1, 2703-2741

Abstract: Abstract The increasing food demand and deteriorating climate change require improvement in current strategies for enhancing nitrogen (N) retention and mitigating nitrous oxide (N2O) emission in agricultural soils. This paper has discussed and compared the mechanisms, effects and affecting factors of major contemporary strategies, including soil amendment with biochar, biological nitrification inhibition (BNI) and applications of synthetic nitrification inhibitor (NI), urease inhibitor (UI), hydrogel and slow-/controlled-release fertilizer (SRF/CRF). Among these strategies, soil amendment with biochar seems to be the most promising, considering its demonstrated effectiveness and sustainable nature. Despite the large number of biochar-relevant studies in the recent years, the data have not been systematically utilized. A database model has been proposed in this review to link the production, properties and performance of biochar and delve into the valuable information scattered in current and future biochar studies. At the same time, the other strategies should also be continuously studied for improvement. NIs and UIs need to be more stable and lasting; hydrogels and SRFs/CRFs have to be more environmentally friendly and economically sound; BNI deserves broader investigations and its future applications can be more widespread. Future studies may also explore strategic combinations of two or more contemporary strategies. More long-term studies should be conducted to improve the evaluation of benefits and flaws of these strategies.

Keywords: Nitrogen retention; Nitrous oxide; Biochar; Urease inhibitor; Nitrification inhibition; Hydrogel; Slow-release fertilizer; Controlled-release fertilizer (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020
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DOI: 10.1007/s10668-019-00327-2

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