The Scientific World Journal

The Scientific World Journal / 2001 / Article
Special Issue

Optimizing Nitrogen Management in Food and Energy Production and Environmental Protection: 2nd International Nitrogen Conference 2001

View this Special Issue

Research Article | Open Access

Volume 1 |Article ID 867641 | 7 pages | https://doi.org/10.1100/tsw.2001.98

Multicompartment Ecosystem Mass Balances as a Tool for Understanding and Managing the Biogeochemical Cycles of Human Ecosystems

Academic Editor: Joe Wisniewski

Abstract

Nitrogen remains a ubiquitous pollutant in surface and groundwater throughout the United States, despite 30 years of pollution control efforts. A detailed multicompartment N balance for the Central Arizona-Phoenix ecosystem is used to illustrate how an ecosystem-level approach can be used to develop improved N management strategies. The N balance is used to demonstrate how nitrate in pumped groundwater used for crop irrigation could be used to reduce inputs of commercial fertilizer and decrease N leaching to aquifers. Effectively managing N pollution also will require an understanding of the complex factors that control the N balance, including targeted regulations, individual human behavior, land-use conversion, and other ecosystem management practices that affect the N balance. These sometimes countervailing factors are illustrated with several scenarios of wastewater treatment technology and population growth in the Phoenix area. Management of N eventually must be coupled to management of other elements, notably carbon, phosphorus, and salts. We postulate that an ecosystem framework for pollution management will result in strategies that are more effective, fairer, and less expensive than current approaches.


More related articles

43 Views | 184 Downloads | 1 Citation
 PDF  Download Citation  Citation
 Order printed copiesOrder

Related articles

We are committed to sharing findings related to COVID-19 as quickly and safely as possible. Any author submitting a COVID-19 paper should notify us at help@hindawi.com to ensure their research is fast-tracked and made available on a preprint server as soon as possible. We will be providing unlimited waivers of publication charges for accepted articles related to COVID-19. Sign up here as a reviewer to help fast-track new submissions.