Solution scenarios and the effect of top down versus bottom up N mitigation measures – Experiences from the Danish Nitrogen Assessment

Tommy Dalgaard1, Steen Brock2, Christen D. Børgesen1, Morten Graversgaard1, Birgitte Hansen3, Berit Hasler4, Ole Hertel4, Nicholas John Hutchings1, Brian Jacobsen5, Lars Stoumann Jensen6, Chris Kjeldsen1, Jørgen E Olesen1, Jan K Schjørring6, Torben Sigsgaard7, Peter Stubkjær Andersen8, Mette Termansen4, Henrik Vejre8, Mette Vestergaard Odgaard1, Wim de Vries9, and Irene A Wiborg10

1 Department of Agroecology, Aarhus University, Blichers Allé 20, DK-8830 Tjele, Denmark. 

2 Aarhus University, Dept. of Culture and Society. Jens Chr. Skous Vej 7, DK-8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

3 Geological Survey of Denmark & Greenland – GEUS. Lyseng Allé 1, DK-8270 Højbjerg, Denmark.

4 Aarhus University, Dept. of Environmental Sciences, Frederiksborgvej 399, DK-4000 Roskilde, Denmark.

5 University of Copenhagen, Dept. of Food and Resource Economics. Rolighedsvej 25, DK-1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

6 University of Copenhagen, Dept. of Plant and Environmental Sciences. Thorvaldsensvej 40, DK-1871 Frederiksberg C, Denmark.

7 Aarhus University, Dept. of Public Health, Bartholin Allé 2, 8000 Aarhus C, Denmark.

8 University of Copenhagen, Dept. Geosciences and Natural Resource Management. Rolighedsvej 23, DK-1858 Frb. C, Denmark.

9 Wageningen University, Alterra. Droevendaalsesteeg 4, 6708PB Wageningen, The Netherlands.

10 SEGES, Knowledge Centre for Agriculture. Agro Food Park 20, DK-8200 Aarhus N, Denmark.


This paper presents methods and preliminary results developed within The Danish Nitrogen Research Alliance ( This include solution scenarios to meet the N loss reduction goals set by the EU Water Framework Directive, The National Emissions Ceilings Directive, and the paradigm shifting, new 2016 Danish N action plan. Compared to the previous series of action plans 1985-2016, the new action plan shifts from input to output based regulation introduces geographically targeted measures on top of the existing general regulation, with more room for green growth via an intensified use of N and increased economic benefits from production as long as the defined environmental targets are met. We argue that this opens up for new bottom up methods to be developed for locally adapted solutions to the N pollution reduction challenge, top down measures to further increase N use efficiency.