Showing results for: Phosphorus
The planetary boundaries concept provides a theoretical upper limit on human activity which the planet is able to sustain without major perturbation to the current ‘Earth system’. Previously, nine planetary boundaries (PBs) have been proposed and recently Steffen et al. (2015) have updated these boundary definitions and assessed the current state of the position of human activity with respect to each boundary. In this article, researchers from a number of food, climate change, agricultural and environmental research institutions around the world build on this work by assessing the impact of agriculture on each PB status, based on a detailed literature review of the available research.
In this post in the Conversation, crop scientist Matthew Wallenstein, Associate Professor and Director at the Innovation Center for Sustainable Agriculture, Colorado State University, discusses the potential of natural microbes to improve agriculture and make it more sustainable.
This report discusses how less protein in food and fewer phosphorus compounds added to food products could reduce the eutrophication of the sea. Below is a summary of the research by two of the report’s authors, Anders Grimvall and Eva-Lotta Sundblad from the Swedish Institute for the Marine Environment.
This paper published in Nature Plants finds that if tropical farming intensifies, major additions of phosphorus to soils will be needed
In this study, researchers from the Netherlands and Italy investigate the long-term (past and future) changes in phosphorus (P) budgets in grasslands used for grazing and in connection with croplands. The authors recognise a lack in the literature of studies characterising the P cycle in relation to grasslands and croplands, and - as grass-dependent livestock demand is increasing – they seek to address this lack of understanding.
The journal Ambio has a special issue devoted to minimised phosphorus losses from agriculture. The papers cover topics such as: the need for stewardship to tackle global phosphorus inefficiency in Europe; past, present, and future use of phosphorus in Chinese agriculture and its influence on phosphorus losses; and modelling of critical source areas for erosion and phosphorus losses.
This updated version further develops the Planetary Boundaries concept, which was first published in 2009. In their original outline of the concept the authors identified nine key global processes and systems that regulate the stability and resilience of the Earth System – the interactions of land, ocean, atmosphere and life that together provide conditions upon which our societies depend. They argued that if these natural processes are disrupted beyond a certain ‘boundary’ point, the consequences could be irreversible and lead to abrupt environmental change, making life on earth very hard for humans.
A growing imbalance between phosphorus and nitrogen fertilizer use in Africa could lead to crop yield reductions of nearly 30% by 2050, according to a new study from researchers at the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA).
Science Daily summarises the findings of a paper which reports on recent successful attempts to transgenically breed a pig that utilises phosphorous more efficiently. The pigs have genetically modified salivary glands, which help them digest phosphorus in feedstuffs, thereby reducing phosphorus pollution in the environment.
A report commissioned by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has been published , focusing on the environmental problems caused by nitrogen, phosphorous and other nutrient flows and identifying the actions that could be taken to reduce excessive nutrient use. The research was led by Mark Sutton at the UK’s Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and carried out by 50 exports from 14 countries.
A study conducted by researchers at McGill University, Canada, and published in the journal Environmental Research Letters, shows that changing diets have accounted for a 38% increase in the world’s per capita ‘phosphorous footprint’ between 1961 and 2007. Researchers analyzed annual country-specific diet composition data to calculate the amount of phosphorous applied to food crops. Their findings indicate that a sustainable supply of the essential mineral is in question.
The Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) and the International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) have published a ‘key messages’ statement for Rio+20. The document highlights the problems caused by excessive nutrient use on the one hand, and insufficient use on the other, and identifies nine key actions as being central to improving nutrient use efficiency, thereby improving food and energy production while reducing N and P losses that pollute our environment.
FCRN mailing list member Ken Giller is one of the authors of this paper on phosphorous which finds that average global phosphorous needs in 2050 will be less than previous estimates assume due to the presence of residual phosphorous in soils (from historical applications). The implication of this is that the global phosphate supply will last longer than hitherto expected.