N fluxes in an agricultural catchment under monsoon climate: A budget approach at different scales

Janine Kettering, Ji Hyung Park, Steve Lindner, Bora Lee, John Tenhunen, Yakov Kuzyakov

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

37 Scopus citations


The purpose of this study was to develop options for a more sustainable catchment management, resulting in a reduction of agricultural non-point pollution of water resources in South Korean agricultural catchments. Therefore, an N budget analysis was conducted, which related N inputs into soil under intensive agriculture to N outputs at both field and catchment scale in a mountainous catchment in South Korea. The N budget of all investigated crops was positive, with total N inputs exceeding N outputs by 2.8 times. Radish showed the highest N uptake efficiency (43-45%), whereas rice showed the lowest with 24-30%. At the catchment scale, agriculture contributed over 90% to the maximum N surplus (473. Mg). Rice and radish, with over 100. Mg. N surplus each, contributed the largest part. Comparing these results to the N export in the catchment outlet, it was found that N leaching and surface runoff were the dominant loss pathways, leading to a seasonal inorganic N export of 329. Mg. Because fertilizer N was the major N input (>50%) for all crop types except soybean, its reduction was identified as the major scope of action for N savings at the field and catchment scale. The currently observed trend of land use change from annual to perennial crops additionally assists the reduction of N surplus but shows only a spatially limited applicability for the future. Further measures like split applications, application timing to match crop needs and cover crops during the fallow complement the attempt.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-111
Number of pages11
JournalAgriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
StatePublished - 15 Oct 2012


  • Catchment scale
  • Dryland crops
  • N export
  • N surplus
  • N use efficiency
  • Rice paddy


Dive into the research topics of 'N fluxes in an agricultural catchment under monsoon climate: A budget approach at different scales'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this