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Nitrogen cycling in pastoral livestock systems in Sub-Saharan Africa: knowns and unknowns

Carbonell, Victoria 1,2; Merbold, Lutz; Díaz-Pinés, Eugenio; Dowling, Thomas P. F.; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus 1,2
1 Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)
2 Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung (IMK), Karlsruher Institut für Technologie (KIT)


Pastoral systems are the dominant livestock production system in arid and semiarid regions of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA). They are often the only form of agriculture that can be practiced due to unfavorable climate and soil fertility levels that prevent crop cultivation. Pastoralism can have negative impacts on the environment, including land degradation, greenhouse gas emissions and other gases to the atmosphere, soil erosion, water pollution and biodiversity loss. Here, we review the current knowledge on nitrogen (N) cycling, storage, and loss pathways, with an emphasis on identification of N emission hotspots. Our review reports a large uncertainty in the amount of N lost as ammonia from excreta and manure storage, as well as N losses via nitrate and DON leaching. We also found that another major N loss pathway (18%), soil N2 emissions, has not yet been measured. In order to summarize the available information, we use a virtual pastoral farm, with characteristics and management practices obtained from a real farm, Kapiti Research Station in Kenya. For outlining N flows at this virtual farm, we used published data, data from global studies, satellite imagery and geographic information system (GIS) tools. ... mehr

Verlagsausgabe §
DOI: 10.5445/IR/1000134296
Veröffentlicht am 23.06.2021
DOI: 10.1002/eap.2368
Zitationen: 7
Zitationen: 7
Cover der Publikation
Zugehörige Institution(en) am KIT Institut für Meteorologie und Klimaforschung – Atmosphärische Umweltforschung (IMK-IFU)
Publikationstyp Zeitschriftenaufsatz
Publikationsmonat/-jahr 09.2021
Sprache Englisch
Identifikator ISSN: 1051-0761, 1939-5582
KITopen-ID: 1000134296
HGF-Programm 12.11.22 (POF IV, LK 01) Managed ecosystems as sources and sinks of GHGs
Erschienen in Ecological Applications
Verlag Ecological Society of America
Band 31
Heft 6
Seiten Art.Nr. e02368
Vorab online veröffentlicht am 03.05.2021
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