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Research article - Peer-reviewed, 2011

Modelling uncertainty for nitrate leaching and nitrous oxide emissions based on a Swedish field experiment with organic crop rotation

Nylinder, Josefine; Stenberg, Maria; Jansson, Per-Erik; Klemedtsson, Asa Kasimir; Weslien, Per; Klemedtsson, Leif


High uncertainties are common in detailed quantification of the N budget of agricultural cropping systems. The process-based CoupModel, integrated with the parameter calibration method known as Generalized likelihood uncertainty estimation (GLUE), was used here to define parameter values and estimate an N budget based on experimental data from an organic farming experiment in south-west Sweden. Data on nitrate (NO(3)(-)) leaching and nitrous oxide (N(2)O) emissions were used as a basis for quantifying N budget pools. A complete N budget with uncertainties associated with the different components of the N cycle compartments for two different fields (B2 and B4) is presented. Simulated N(2)O emissions contributed 1-2% of total N output, which corresponded to 7% and 8.7% of total N leaching for B2 and B4, respectively. Measured N(2)O emissions contributed 3.5% and 10.3% of total N leaching from B2 and B4, respectively. Simulated N inputs (deposition, plant N fixation and fertilisation) and outputs (emissions, leaching and harvest) showed a relatively small range of uncertainty, while the differences in N storage in the soil exhibited a larger range of uncertainty. One-fifth of the GLUE-calibrated parameters had a significant impact on simulated NO(3)(-) leaching and/or N(2)O emissions data. Emissions of N(2)O were strongly associated with the nitrification process. The high degree of equifinality indicated that a simpler model could be calibrated to the same field data. (C) 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.


Agriculture; N budget; N(2) fixation; soil; CoupModel; Calibration; Uncertainty estimations

Published in

Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment
2011, volume: 141, number: 1-2, pages: 167-183
Publisher: Elsevier Masson

Authors' information

Nylinder, Josefine
University of Gothenburg
Stenberg, Maria
Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Department of Soil and Environment
Stenberg, Maria
The Rural Economy and Agricultural Societies
Jansson, Per-Erik
Royal Institute of Technology (KTH)
Kasimir Klemedtsson, Åsa
University of Gothenburg
Weslien, Per
University of Gothenburg
Klemedtsson, Leif
University of Gothenburg

UKÄ Subject classification

Agricultural Science

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