Nitrogen and phosphorus losses from legume-supported cropping

Michael Williams, Valentini Pappa and Robert Rees
Posted: 02.06.2021
The loss of nutrients from agricultural systems is recognized as a major environmental problem, contributing to air pollution and nutrient enrichment in rivers and oceans. The use of legumes within agriculture provides an opportunity to reduce some of these losses in ways which maintain or enhance agricultural productivity. This chapter considers the role of legumes in crop rotations, legumes in intercrops and legume-based green manures in influencing nutrient loss and turnover. Nitrous oxide emissions are particularly important here given that they are the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from many agricultural systems. There are many circumstances in which the use of legume-supported cropping systems can reduce overall nitrous oxide emissions and the biological nitrogen fixation process associated with legumes can replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use.

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Williams, M., Pappa, V. and Rees, R. (2017). Nitrogen and phosphorus losses from legume-supported cropping. In: Murphy-Bokern, D., Stoddard, F. and Watson, C. (Eds.). Legumes in cropping systems. CABI.

  • Michael Williams, Valentini Pappa and Robert Rees
  • 2017
  • The loss of nutrients from agricultural systems is recognized as a major environmental problem, contributing to air pollution and nutrient enrichment in rivers and oceans. The use of legumes within agriculture provides an opportunity to reduce some of these losses in ways which maintain or enhance agricultural productivity. This chapter considers the role of legumes in crop rotations, legumes in intercrops and legume-based green manures in influencing nutrient loss and turnover. Nitrous oxide emissions are particularly important here given that they are the largest contributor to greenhouse gas emissions from many agricultural systems. There are many circumstances in which the use of legume-supported cropping systems can reduce overall nitrous oxide emissions and the biological nitrogen fixation process associated with legumes can replace synthetic nitrogen fertilizer use.


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    Nitrogen and phosphorus losses from legume-supported cropping
  • 2017. Nitrogen and Phosphorus losses from legume-supported cropping. Legume Hub. https://www.legumehub.eu

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Authors: Michael Williams, Valentini Pappa and Robert Rees
Acknowledgement: Legume Futures has received funding from the European Union’s Seventh Programme for research, technological development and demonstration under grant No. 245216.

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