Chapter

Bio-Economic Models applied to Agricultural Systems

pp 109-123

Date:

Agri-Environmental Nitrogen Indicators for EU27

  • A. LeipAffiliated withEuropean Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability Email author 
  • , F. WeissAffiliated withEuropean Commission, Joint Research Centre, Institute for Environment and Sustainability
  • , W. BritzAffiliated withInstitute for Food & Resource Economics, University Bonn

Abstract

Nitrogen is a key element to ensure modern agriculture’s output, sustaining global food, feed, fibre and now bio-energy production. But it also accounts also for, or at least contributes to, key environmental problems that challenge the well functioning of today’s societies (Sutton et al. 2011). One molecule of nitrogen can contribute to one or many environmental problems, including eutrophication, groundwater pollution via leaching and run-off of nitrates and organic nitrogen, climate change via N2O emissions, acidification via ammonia emissions and may affect human health via ozone formation or biodiversity via nitrogen deposition on natural areas. This multiple impact of nitrogen is often referred to as the “nitrogen cascade” (Galloway et al. 2003).