Assessment of the influences of climate variability on nitrogen leaching rate into groundwater

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Abstract

This article presents preliminary model results of climate change impact on biogeochemical processes in soil. With the use of DNDC (DeNitrification-DeComposition) model, a simulation with climate data over seventy years period (1947-2016) from central part of Slovenia has been carried out. Amongst assessed sources of variability, time variability has been estimated to around 10% of the total annual nitrogen leaching. In some cases, a statistically significant downward trend was observed with a 5 kg reduction in nitrogen per hectare in seventy years period. This study represents the first quantitative assessment of nitrogen leaching variability due to precipitation and air temperature variability in three representative soil profiles in the central Slovenia. It offers a starting point for future regional research for the purpose of farming practice optimization, especially in catchment areas of major regional water resources in Slovenia.

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