The long-term impact of urbanization on nitrogen patterns and dynamics in Shanghai, China


Gu, Baojing, Xiaoli DongChanghui PengWeidong LuoJie ChangYing Ge

Journal or Book Title: Environmental pollution

Volume/Issue: 171

Page Number(s): 30-37

Year Published: 2012


Urbanization is an important process that alters the regional and global nitrogen biogeochemistry. In this study, we test how long-term urbanization (1952-2004) affects the nitrogen flows, emissions and drivers in the Greater Shanghai Area (GSA) based on the coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) approach. Results show that: (1) total nitrogen input to the GSA increased from 57.7 to 587.9 Gg N yr(-1) during the period 1952-2004, mainly attributing to fossil fuel combustion (43%), Haber-Bosch nitrogen fixation (31%), and food/feed import (26%); (2) per capita nitrogen input increased from 13.5 to 45.7 kg N yr(-1), while per gross domestic product (GDP) nitrogen input reduced from 22.2 to 0.9 g N per Chinese Yuan, decoupling of nitrogen with GDP; (3) emissions of reactive nitrogen to the environment transformed from agriculture dominated to industry and human living dominated, especially for air pollution. This study provides decision-makers a novel view of nitrogen management.

DOI: 10.1016/j.envpol.2012.07.015

Type of Publication: Journal Article