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Nitrogen Session at Planet under Pressure

The International Nitrogen Initiative (INI), Global Partnership on Nutrient Management (GPNM) and the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme (IGBP) organized a successful session on Nitrogen: too much of a good thing at the Planet under Pressure conference March 26 in London. About 150 - 200 people visited the session, which covered a scientific and policy context as well as showing the issues from a different regional perspective. The session was followed by a poster session later that day, which was visited by most of the 3000 visitors and included more than 30 posters. The sessions were organized by: Jan Willem Erisman, Louis Bolk Institute; Jim Galloway, University of Virginia; Mercedes Bustamante, Universidade de Brasilia; Eric Davidson, The Woods Hole Research Center; Lex Bouwman, Netherlands Environmental Assessment Institute



  • Nitrogen
    positively contributes to food and energy security.
  • Human activity has doubled the level of Nr in circulation, largely as a result of fertilizer application, fossil-fuel burning and widespread cultivation of N-fixing crops, and increased livestock and manure production.
  • This caused problems on climate change, human health and ecosystem services.
  • A better understanding is an essential component for developing policies to achieve sustainability.


The program was as follows:

Are Reactive Nitrogen Concentrations In Air, Soil And Water Useful Indicators For Too Much Nitrogen?

Mr. K.W. Van der Hoek; RIVM, Bilthoven, The Netherlands


N2 fixation by natural stands of tree and shrub legumes in Botswana: implications for climate change scenario.

Dr. F. Pule-Meulenberg; Prof. F.D. Dakora; Tshwane Uni of Technology, South Africa


Latin America and the modern N cycle: a cross-road.

Prof. M. Bustamante; Prof. A. Austin; Dr. N. Ascarrunz; Dr. M. Forti; Prof. M. Gavito; Universidade de Brasília, Brazil


Overuse of nitrogen: insights from the Chinese experience.

Prof. D.N. Norse; Prof. D.S. Powlson; Prof. F.S. Zhang; Dr. W.F. Zhang; Prof. J.K. Huang; Dr. D.C. Chadwick; Dr. Y.L. Lu; University College London, UK 2Rothamsted research, UK


Analysis of international trade of reactive nitrogen as food and fertilizer.

Ms. A.M. Leach; Prof. J.N. Galloway; Mr. J. Kitzes; Dr. J-W. Erisman; Dr. A. Bleeker; University of Virginia, USA 2University of California, Berkeley, USA


Scenarios of improved agriculture efficiencies and diet modification consistent with representative concentration pathways (RCPs) of nitrous oxide.

Dr. E.A. Davidson; Woods Hole Research Center, USA


Priorities for a new global treaty on nitrogen.

Prof. M.A. Sutton; Prof. O. Oenema; Prof. M. Bekunda; Prof. F.S. Zhang; Prof. D. Fowler; Dr. R. Kilaparti6; Centre for Ecology and Hydrology (CEH), UK


The presentations of this session can be found below.

Bustamente.pdf2.11 MB
Davidson.pdf1.8 MB
Erisman.pdf1.71 MB
Leach.pdf6.99 MB
Powlson.pdf4.29 MB
Pule Meulenberg.pdf479.72 KB
Sutton.pdf4.94 MB
VanderHoek.pdf719.23 KB