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Journal Articles Advances in Agronomy Year : 2008

Modeling N dynamics to assess environmental impacts of cropped soils

Sylvie Recous
V. Parnaudeau
  • Function : Author
R. Reau
  • Function : Author


Models are useful tools to evaluate environmental impacts associated with nitrogen management in cropping systems and to predict them correctly. The purpose of this chapter was to analyze whether existing models satisfactorily simulate N losses in agroecosystems, require input data that are accessible, and can incorporate agricultural and climatic changes. The literature on 62 nitrogen models was reviewed. Each model was analyzed to identify the processes simulated, the equations used, the time and space scales, the input data and their degree of accessibility, and finally its performance. The review showed that a wide range of formalisms have been developed to model N processes. N losses such as nitrate leaching give better performance than N gas emissions, underlining the need to improve the understanding and modeling of denitrification and volatilization. It also revealed the narrow range of crop families parameterized and validated with field measurements. The main trend in modeling over the last 15 years has been the shift from mechanistic models to functional models, with a simplification of the equations involved and an aggregation of modules according to specific objectives. The more recent models have thus generally been based on specific contexts and cannot be directly extrapolated to other pedoclimatic and crop contexts, yet this is necessary for evaluating scenarios involving changes in land use and management or climatic uncertainties.
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hal-00729886 , version 1 (07-09-2012)



Patrice Cannavo, Sylvie Recous, V. Parnaudeau, R. Reau. Modeling N dynamics to assess environmental impacts of cropped soils. Advances in Agronomy, 2008, 97, pp.131-174. ⟨10.1016/S0065-2113(07)00004-1⟩. ⟨hal-00729886⟩
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