Limited knowledge about how nitrogen (N) dynamics are affected by climate change, weather variability, and crop management is a major barrier to improving the productivity and environmental performance of soybean-based cropping systems. To fill this knowledge gap, we created a systems understanding of agroecosystem N dynamics and quantified the impact of controllable (management) and uncontrollable (weather, climate) factors on N fluxes and soybean yields. We performed a simulation experiment across 10 soybean production environments in the United States using the Agricultural Production Systems sIMulator (APSIM) model and future climate projections from five global circulation models. Climate change (2020–2080) increased N mineralization (24%) and N2O emissions (19%) but decreased N fixation (32%), seed N (20%), and yields (19%). Soil and crop management practices altered N fluxes at a similar magnitude as climate change but in many different directions, revealing opportunities to improve soybean systems’ performance. Among many practices explored, we identified two solutions with great potential: improved residue management (short-term) and water management (long-term). Inter-annual weather variability and management practices affected soybean yield less than N fluxes, which creates opportunities to manage N fluxes without compromising yields, especially in regions with adequate to excess soil moisture. This work provides actionable results (tradeoffs, synergies, directions) to inform decision-making for adapting crop management in a changing climate to improve soybean production systems.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Frontiers in Plant Science|
|State||Published - Apr 27 2022|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was mainly funded by the United Soybean Board (2020-152-0104), Environmental Defense Fund, FFAR (#534264; improving the simulation of soil moisture and crop yields in the United States Corn Belt), the Plant Sciences Institute of Iowa State University, Iowa Soybean Association and USDA Hatch project (IOW10480), the South Dakota Soybean Research and Promotional Council.
Copyright © 2022 Elli, Ciampitti, Castellano, Purcell, Naeve, Grassini, La Menza, Moro Rosso, de Borja Reis, Kovács and Archontoulis.
- N balance
- NO emissions
- biological N fixation
- climate change
- soil N mineralization
- soybean yield
- weather variability
PubMed: MeSH publication types
- Journal Article