Title: Climate Change Affects Farm Nitrogen Loss - A Swiss Case Study with a Dynamic Farm Model
Citation: AGRICULTURAL SYSTEMS vol. 93 p. 191-214
Publication Year: 2007
JRC N°: JRC33526
URI: http://publications.jrc.ec.europa.eu/repository/handle/JRC33526
Type: Articles in periodicals and books
Abstract: The response of arable crops and grasslands to climatic changes and increasing CO2 concentration has implications for the operation of farms, in particular for the management of resources such as nitrogen. A simple dynamic farm model (Stella model and CH-Farm) was used to analyze the shift in the ratio of N lost via leaching, denitrification and volatilization to N exported with products from dairy or arable production(here defined as relative N loss). The model was run for two types of farms typical of Swiss conditions. Growth parameters for two sequentially grown crops (winter wheat and maize) and grass were determined with the process-oriented models Pasture Simulation Model (PaSim) and CropSyst, respectively. CH-Farm was forced with two assumptions about the transient change in temperature and precipitation, and with or without CO2 effects. Relative N loss for the baseline was around 1.33 for the dairy type farm and around 1.05 for the arable-type farm and increased progressively over the 100-year simulation period, with the largest shift in response to the dry/hot scenario. Soil N pools decreased with all scenarios, but at different rates. CO2 fertilization alleviated the effect of climate change due to increased productivity and N fixation in plants. Adjustment of the growth parameters to progressively increasing temperatures reduced the difference between farm types and positively affected relative N losses mainly through increased productivity and reduced fallow periods between crops. The results suggest that the impact of climate change on relative farm-level N loss depends on physiological adjustments to climatic scenarios, whereas the distribution of land between dairy and arable crop production is less important, and that simple cultivar adjustments can help to mitigate negative effects of climate change on farm-level N use.
JRC Directorate:Sustainable Resources

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