Inderscience Publishers

The nitrogen balance for Catalan agriculture soils and livestock sectors

A comprehensive assessment of nitrogen metabolism in Catalonia (NE region of Spain) has been performed by the method of Substance Flow Analysis (SFA). Being agriculture soils and livestock sectors where the human food production stands, this paper is focused in the analysis of nitrogen dynamics in these sectors. Groundwater contamination, nitrogen accumulation in transition reservoirs (landfills, forest) and significant exports to the Mediterranean Sea, have been identified as the main associated environmental impacts. The study gives proof that Catalonia is a net receiver of nitrogen without a strategic evaluation behind the management of the N microsystem in Catalonia. This study is a good backup for the planning of such a management plan.

Keywords: environmental planning, livestock, material balance, nitrogen balance, SFA, substance flow analysis, Catalan agriculture, Spain, soil, environmental impact, groundwater contamination, transition reservoirs, landfill

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