A comparison of disaggregated nitrogen budgets for Danish agriculture using Europe-wide and national approaches

Johannes Kros1, Nicholas Hutchings2, Inge Toft Kristensen2, Ib Sillebak Kristensen2, Christen Duus Børgesen2, Jan Cees Voogd1, Tommy Dalgaard and Wim de Vries1,3

1 Alterra Wageningen University and Research Centre, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands, www.wageningenur.nl, hans.kros@wur.nl

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

3 Environmental Systems Analysis Group, Wageningen University, PO Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen, the Netherlands


Spatially detailed information on nitrogen (N) budgets is relevant for the identification of regions N pollution needs to be reduced. However, the availability of consistent reliable data is generally lacking. Therefore most models applied in Europe use national or even European scale data as model input. To gain insight in the reduction in uncertainty that could be achieved by using higher resolution input data, spatially disaggregated agricultural N budgets for Denmark for the period 2000-2010 were generated by the European scale model Integrator, being fed with high spatial resolution national data for Denmark (Integrator-DK) and compared with results obtained by using the default data (Integrator-EU). Here we focus on the year 2010, for which the quality of the regional Danish input data was considered best. Results show that clear differences exists for the national budgets calculated by both versions of the model but comparison with an independently derived Danish national budget appeared to be better with Integrator-EU results. However, the spatial distribution of manure distribution and N losses from Integrator-DK are closer to the observed distributions than those from Integrator-EU.