Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems

, Volume 107, Issue 2, pp 247–264 | Cite as

Provincial potassium balance of farmland in China between 1980 and 2010

  • Yingxia Liu
  • Jingyi Yang
  • Wentian He
  • Jinchuan Ma
  • Qiang Gao
  • Qiuliang Lei
  • Ping He
  • Haiyan Wu
  • Sami Ullah
  • Fuqiang Yang
Original Article


Great changes have been happened over the past 30 years in chemical fertilizer input in China, and thus a gross potassium (K) budget model established to evaluate the variation of farmland K balance for China in 1980 and 2010 at the national scale is important. Results indicated that total K input in 1980 was 6.8 million tonnes, in which chemical fertilizer, organic manure and other sources accounted for 5.6, 77.5 and 16.9% respectively. Total K input in 2010 was 21.6 million tonnes, in which chemical fertilizer, organic manure and other sources accounted for 43.5, 50.4 and 6.1% respectively. Total K output in 1980 was 8.1 million tonnes, in which crops removal and loss accounted for 98.2 and 1.8% respectively. Total K output in 2010 was 19.1 million tonnes, in which crops removal and loss accounted for 99.2 and 0.8%, respectively. Similar to K input, the spatial distribution of K output differed greatly. Total K deficit was 1.3 million tonnes, and the range of K balance in each province was −86.7 to 53.6 kg K2O ha−1 in 1980. Compared with that, total K surplus was 2.5 million tonnes and the range of K balance in each province was −43.0 to 256.6 kg K2O ha−1 in 2010. Chemical fertilizer K application over the past 30 years makes the great changes in average K balance from deficit to surplus in general; however, the great spatial variation in K balance drives urgent need for site-specific K nutrient management.


Potassium balance Chemical fertilizer Organic manure Potassium use efficiency Crops removal 







































Potassium use efficiency




The middle and lower reaches of the Yangtze River




North central




Inner Mongolia



































This research was supported by the National Key Research and Development Plan (2016YFD0200101), the National Basic Research program of China (973 program) (2013CB127405), National Natural Science Foundation of China (Nos. 31471942 and 31272243), International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) and CAAS-IPNI Joint Lab for Plant Nutrition Innovation Research.

Supplementary material

10705_2017_9833_MOESM1_ESM.xlsx (31 kb)
Supplementary material 1 (XLSX 31 kb)


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Yingxia Liu
    • 1
  • Jingyi Yang
    • 2
  • Wentian He
    • 3
  • Jinchuan Ma
    • 3
  • Qiang Gao
    • 1
  • Qiuliang Lei
    • 3
  • Ping He
    • 3
    • 4
  • Haiyan Wu
    • 5
  • Sami Ullah
    • 3
  • Fuqiang Yang
    • 3
  1. 1.College of Resources and EnvironmentJilin Agricultural UniversityChangchunPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.Horrow Research and Development CentreAgriculture and Agri-Food CanadaHarrowCanada
  3. 3.Institute of Agricultural Resources and Regional PlanningChinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS)BeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  4. 4.International Plant Nutrition Institute (IPNI) China ProgramCAAS-IPNI Joint Lab for Plant Nutrition Innovation ResearchBeijingPeople’s Republic of China
  5. 5.Environment and Resources CenterJilin Academy of Agricultural SciencesChangchunPeople’s Republic of China

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