Journal of Mountain Science

, Volume 5, Issue 2, pp 130–139 | Cite as

Evaluation of nitrogen cycling associated with agricultural production and environmental load in a mountain region, in Hokkaido, Japan

  • Lei LiangEmail author
  • Datian Jin
  • Ning Hu


This study examined the nitrogen cycling associated with agricultural production and environmental load in central Hokkaido. The nitrogen (N) budget analysis model offers a new set of tools for evaluating N cycling in agro-ecosystems. The cycling index (CI) is a useful tool for estimating optimal N flows in farmlands. The fertilization index (FI) is a useful indicator for characterizing the N flows related to farms. Using these parameters, we analyzed all farm systems to estimate the optimal N cycling for minimizing N pollution in groundwater and maximizing agricultural production in mountain regions of Japan. The results showed that the critical N application rate (chemical fertilizer + manure) was 143.3 kg N ha−1 y−1. The critical inter-system input (chemical fertilizer N, imported food and feed N, and natural supplied N) was 169.2 kg N ha−1y−1.


Cycling index mountain agro-ecosystem N cycling N load N management Hokkaido Japan 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. AFFRCS, MAFF (Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries Research Council Secretariate, Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries). 1995. Standard Tables of Feed Composition in Japan (in Japanese). Central Association of Livestock Industry, Tokyo. Pp.10–205.Google Scholar
  2. Barry, D. A. J., Goorahoo, D. and Goss, M. J. 1993. Estimation of nitrate concentrations in groundwater using a whole farm nitrogen budget. J. Environ. Qual. 22:767–775.Google Scholar
  3. Bleken, M.A, Bakken, L.R. 1997. The anthropogenic nitrogen cycle in Norway in Romstad E., Simonsen J. and Vatn A. (Eds.) Controlling Mineral Emission in European Agriculture. CAB International. 2:27–40.Google Scholar
  4. Bouwman, A.F., Lee D.S., Asman, W.A.H., Dentener, F.J., Van der Hoek, K.W. and Olivier, J.G.J. 1997. A global high-resolution emission inventory for ammonia. Global Biogeochem. Cycl. 11:561–587.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Chang, C. and Entz, T. 1996. Nitrate leaching losses under repeated cattle feedlot manure applications in southern Alberta. J. Environ. Qual. 25:145–153.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Finn, J. T. 1980. Flow analysis of models of the Hubbard Brook ecosystem. Ecology. 61:562–571.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Goss, M.J. and Goorahoo, D. 1995. Nitrate contamination of groundwater: Measurement and prediction. Fert. Res. 42:331–338.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Kashiwabara T. 1987. Precipitation of Hokkaido from flowing quantity of river. Agricultural Weather of Hokkaido. 39:14–30.Google Scholar
  9. Matsumoto N. 1997. Study on nitrogen flow in rural area in attention to organic material management to maintain ideal nitrogen cycling. Ph.D. Thesis, Hokkaido Univ. Japan. 209–213. (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  10. Matsumoto N. and Hakamata T. 1992. Evaluation of organic material flow in Toride city. Journal of the Japanese Agricultural Systems Society 8:14–23. (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  11. Matsumoto N., Satoh K., Hakamata T. and Miwa E. 1992. Evaluation of organic material flow in rural areas (part 1): Change in organic material flow in the Ushiku Lake basin, Japan. J. Soil Sci. Plant Nutr. 63: 415–421. (In Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  12. Mikasa City Office. 2002. Statistics Reports for the Mikasa City. Mikasa City, Mikasa. Pp.28–86.Google Scholar
  13. Noguchi I., Kato T., Matsumoto Y. and Araki K. (1988). Study of rainwater in Hokkaido (part 2): Dissolved components in rainwater. Rep. Hokkaido Res. Inst. Environ. Pollut. 15:39–51. (In Japanese with English summary)Google Scholar
  14. Pain, B.F., Phillips, V.R., Clarkson, C.R., Klarenbeek, J.V. 1989. Loss of nitrogen through ammonia volatilization during and following the application of pig or cattle slurry to grassland. J. Sci. Food Agric. 47:1–12.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. RCSTA. 1982. Resources Council, Science and Technology Agency, 1982. Standard Tables of Food Composition in Japan 4 th ed., Report of Resources Survey Committee, Science and Technology Agency, Vol. 87. Printing Bureau, Ministry of Finance, Tokyo. Pp. 37–291 (In Japanese)Google Scholar
  16. Roy, R. N., Misra, R. V., and Montanez, A. 2002. Decreasing reliance on mineral Nitrogen-yet more food. AMBIO 31: 177–183.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Vasconcellos, M., Mackinson, S., Sloman, K. and Pauly, D. 1997. The stability of tropic mass-balance models of marine ecosystems: a comparative analysis. Ecol. Model. 100:125–134.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. WHO. 1998. Guidelines for Drinking-water Quality. Volume 1 Recommendations. 2nd ed. World Health Organization, Geneva.Google Scholar
  19. Woil, K.P., Nagumo, T., Hatano, R. (2002). Evaluating impact of land use and N budgets on stram water quality in Hokkaido, Japan. Nurt. Cycl. Agroecosyst. 63:175–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Zebarth, B.J., Hii, B., Liebscher, H., Chipperfield, K., Paul, J.W., Grove, G., Szeto, S.Y. 1998. Agricultural land use practices and nitrate contamination in the Abbotsford Aquifer, British Columbia, Canada. Agricult. Ecosyst. Environ. 69: 99–112.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Zebarth, B.J., Paul, J.W., Kleeck, R.V. 1999. The effect of nitrogen management in agricultural production on water and air quality: Evaluation on a regional scale. Agric. Econ. and Environ. 72: 35–52.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Science Press, Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, CAS and Springer-Verlag GmbH 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of EnvironmentLiaoning UniversityShenyangChina

Personalised recommendations