Quantifying the nitrogen cycle: from farm gate to catchments, groundwater and atmosphere
Nitroen is a fundamental component of DNA, proteins and enzymes, and is essential for life on earth. As the world population continues to grow, nitrogen-based fertilisers will be increasingly relied upon by the agricultural industry to increase crop productivity and sustain global prosperity demands. Overuse of nitrogen fertilisers can lead to adverse effects on nearby ecosystems. Nitrogen compounds (nitrate, ammonia and nitrous oxide) that are lost off-farm are termed indirect emissions. These emissions can occur via leaching to groundwater, surface run-off to river catchments and gaseous losses to the atmosphere.