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First Author: XING Li

Reducing biogeochemical flows (e.g., reactive nitrogen [Nr]) is essential for a sustainable food system. Previous studies lack tailored strategies for Nr reduction in smaller-scale agricultural production. We developed a framework coupling material flow analysis and system dynamics modeling to establish a pathway for Nr reduction. We applied this framework to Fujian, southeast China, a mountainous and coastal province with fragmented small-scale agricultural and large-scale aquaculture production. Crops, livestock, and aquaculture accounted for 44.03%, 31.11%, and 23.69%, respectively, of Nr input in 2019. Thus, crop and livestock production accounted for approximately 70% of total Nr emissions. Only 8.66% of the total Nr inputs were recycled from livestock to cropland, and the Nr use efficiency of all three food categories was less than 20%. A balanced diet among residents increased (by 15.5%) Nr emissions, whereas minimized food loss and waste partially neutralized (reduced by 17.9%) the increase in Nr emission from dietary changes. By contrast, recycling kitchen waste, manure, and straw would eliminate 39.5% of the regional-food-system Nr emissions. We conclude that a circular agricultural system with Nr recycling is effective to reduce Nr input and emissions through more unified crop and livestock production in montane and coastal regions of Fujian.

Contact the author: LIN Tao,HU Yuanchao
Page Number: 106726
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PubYear: January 2023
Volume: 188
Publication Name: Resources, Conservation and Recycling
The full text link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.resconrec.2022.106726