Extended statistical entropy analysis for the evaluation of nitrogen budgets in Austria|
Sobańtka, A.P.; Thaler, S.; Zessner, M. & Rechberger, H.
Extended statistical entropy analysis (eSEA) is
used to evaluate the nitrogen (N) budgets of two Austrian
catchments, the Wulka and the Ybbs, and of entire Austria.
The eSEA quantifies the extent of N dispersion in the
environment. The results from the eSEA are compared to
the corresponding N use efficiencies (NUEs). Application
of the eSEA reveals that the Ybbs catchment, compared to
the Wulka catchment leads to a greater extent of N dispersion,
primarily as a result of increased losses of N
compounds to the atmosphere and in leachates to the
groundwater. The NUE in the Wulka catchment, at 63 %,
is substantially higher than that in the Ybbs catchment, at
43 %, and confirms a more efficient N use in Wulka.
Furthermore, it is shown that the adoption of a healthy,
balanced diet, as defined by the German Nutrition Society,
changes the N budget of Austria in a way that significantly
reduces the dispersion of N. Decreased N losses to the
atmosphere and to the groundwater are primarily responsible
for this result. The national NUE of Austria responds
only moderately to the adoption of such a diet increasing
from 48 to 53 % and leads to statistically insignificant
results if the uncertainty of the input data is taken into
account. This study demonstrates the effectiveness of
eSEA for the evaluation of N budgets in agricultural
regions and suggests that statistical entropy can serve as a
reliable agri-environmental indicator to support decisions
regarding nutrient management.
Agri-environmental indicators; Emissions from agriculture; Evaluation methods; Nitrogen budgets; Optimized nutrition; Statistical entropy