Environmental impact of rice production based on nitrogen fertilizer use

  • Mandana Tayefeh
  • Seyyed Mustafa Sadeghi
  • Seyyed Ali Noorhosseini
  • Jacopo Bacenetti
  • Christos A. Damalas
Research Article
  • 64 Downloads

Abstract

While essential to food production, nitrogen (N) fertilizers in agricultural ecosystems are also important sources of environmental pollution nationally and globally. The environmental impact of three N fertilization levels (30, 60, and 90 kg ha−1) plus a non-N control (0 kg ha−1) in growing three rice cultivars (cv. Hashemi, cv. Alikazemi, and cv. Khazar) were assessed for 2 years in northern Iran, with the methodology of the life cycle assessment (LCA). The impact categories evaluated in this study were global warming, acidification, terrestrial eutrophication, and depletion of fossil, phosphate, and potassium resources. Over cultivars, no use of N fertilizer provided the lowest grain yield (2194 kg ha−1), whereas the N rates of 60 and 90 kg ha−1 increased grain yield by 52.9 and 66.9%, respectively. Over N rates, cv. Khazar produced the highest grain yield (3415 kg ha−1) and cv. Hashemi the lowest (2663 kg ha−1). On-farm (foreground) emissions were higher than off-farm (background) emissions in most impact categories. The maximum value of environmental index (1.33) was observed for cv. Hashemi with 90 kg N ha−1, while the minimum value (0.38) was observed for cv. Khazar without N fertilization. Moreover, cv. Khazar showed the lowest resource depletion index (0.44) with 90 kg N ha−1, whereas cv. Hashemi with no use of N showed the maximum value (0.96). Over cultivars, high N rates imposed drastic impact to the categories acidification and terrestrial eutrophication. However, selection of high-yielding cultivars significantly alleviated the impact to most categories. Fertilization that enables optimal yields, in accordance with the nutrient requirements of crops, ensures the most efficient land use and sustainable rice production.

Keywords

Eutrophication Depletion of resources Global warming LCA Rice production 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mandana Tayefeh
    • 1
  • Seyyed Mustafa Sadeghi
    • 1
  • Seyyed Ali Noorhosseini
    • 2
  • Jacopo Bacenetti
    • 3
  • Christos A. Damalas
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Agriculture, Lahijan BranchIslamic Azad UniversityLahijanIran
  2. 2.Young Researchers and Elite Club, Rasht BranchIslamic Azad UniversityRashtIran
  3. 3.Department of Environmental Science and PolicyUniversity of MilanMilanItaly
  4. 4.Department of Agricultural DevelopmentDemocritus University of ThraceOrestiadaGreece

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