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Simulation of Nitrogen Dynamics in Soil Using Infocrop Model

Ebrayi, K. N., Pathak, H., Kalra, Naveen, Bhatia, Arti, Jain, Niveta
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2007 v.131 no.1-3 pp. 451-465
climate change, climate models, denitrification, emissions, farms, field experimentation, grain yield, grains, land use, nitrogen, nitrogen fertilizers, nitrous oxide, nutrients, soil, soil nutrient balance, temperature, volatilization, India
Nitrogen is the most widely used fertilizer nutrient, and it is a universally deficient nutrient too, which often severely restricts the growth and yield of crops. To improve N fertilizer management, soil-plant system models can be applied to simulate adequate N supply for both, optimal crop growth and minimal N losses. The likely impact of climate change on the cereal production is of paramount importance in the planning strategies to meet the future growing needs on sustainable grounds. In this scenario models are the effective tools to foresee the probable impacts and for choosing appropriate land use options. The study reported in this thesis, employs field experiments and use of simulation tools to understand the dynamics of soil N balance and relate growth and yield of rice under varying nitrogen inputs. The InfoCrop model was used in this study, which was calibrated with the historic data sets, and subsequently validated with the field experiment conducted at IARI Farm, New Delhi. Simulated results matched well with the observed values in terms of growth and yield of rice and seasonal nitrogen uptake. The components of soil nitrogen balance differed among varying nitrogen level treatments, which was also captured by use of InfoCrop. The model was then taken to climate change impact analysis. The results clearly revealed that when temperature increased, the soil N losses, like denitrification, volatilization, N2O emission increased, whereas grain and biomass yields decreased. The further scope of the study is to validate the study in contrasting agroenvironments.