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Nitrogen on the up over China

Atmospheric nitrogen emissions have increased substantially since the beginning of the industrial revolution, and the resulting deposition of nitrogen can have detrimental effects on human and ecosystem health. But little is known about the magnitude and environmental consequences of nitrogen deposition in today's fastest growing economy, China. This paper reports that average annual bulk deposition of nitrogen increased by 8 kg of nitrogen per hectare from the 1980s to the 2000s. Ammonium is the dominant form of nitrogen in bulk deposition, whereas the rate of increase is largest for nitrate deposition. Nitrogen deposition has also increased plant foliar nitrogen concentrations in semi-natural ecosystems and has elevated crop nitrogen uptake in long-term unfertilized croplands.

Nature 494, 7438 table of contents

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