Net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs (NANI) into the Yangtze River basin and the relationship with riverine nitrogen export
This study investigated net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs (NANI, including atmospheric nitrogen deposition, nitrogenous fertilizer use, net nitrogen import in food and feed, and agricultural nitrogen fixation) and the associated relationship with riverine dissolved inorganic nitrogen (DIN) export in the Yangtze River basin during the 1980–2012 period. The total NANI in the Yangtze River basin has increased by more than twofold over the past three decades (3537.0 ± 615.3 to 8176.6 ± 1442.1 kg N km2 yr1). The application of chemical fertilizer was the largest component of NANI in the basin (51.1%), followed by net nitrogen import in food and feed (26.0%), atmospheric nitrogen deposition (13.2%), and agricultural nitrogen fixation (9.7%). A regression analysis showed that the riverine DIN export was strongly correlated with NANI and the annual water discharge (R2 = 0.90, p < 0.01). NANI in the Yangtze River basin was estimated to contribute 37–66% to the riverine DIN export. We also forecasted future variations in NANI and riverine DIN export for the years 2013 to 2030, based on possible future changes in human activities and the climate. This work provides a quantitative understanding of NANI in the Yangtze River basin and its effects on riverine DIN export and helps to develop integrated watershed nitrogen management strategies.
Net anthropogenic nitrogen inputs (NANI) in different subcatchments of the Yangtze River basin presented in a GIS map.
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