Driving forces of nitrogen flows and nitrogen use efficiency of food systems in seven Chinese cities, 1990 to 2015
Bing Gao, Wei Huang, Lan Wang, Yunfeng Huang, Shengping Ding, Shenghui Cui*
 
2019-Gao B-STONE-Driving forces of nitrogen flows and nitrogen use efficiency of food systems in seven Chinese cities, 1990 to 2015
 
刊物:Science of The Total Environment
DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.136.
The effects of population growth (PG), dietary changes (DC), native rural-to-urban migration (NM), migration from regions distant from the cities (M), and agricultural patterns and practices (AP) on N use in food systems and the food trade, and on apparent and virtual nitrogen (N) and N use efficiencies (NUE), at the city scale, are not well understood. Here we selected seven Chinese cities as the study subjects, analyzed the food trade effects on apparent and virtual N inputs and NUE, and quantified the relative magnitudes of these factors on N inputs to cities’ food systems during 1990–2015, by designing several scenarios. Our results show that food-sink cities are relying more and more on external food and feed, but in 2015 they transferred 33.8–74.9% of their N input for food or feed productions to areas outside their boundaries, and the food trade showed different effects on the virtual N cost of food N consumption. Apparent NUEs of food systems were 33.1–74.9% higher than those calculated from virtual N costs in Beijing, Tianjin, Shanghai, Lanzhou and Xiamen in 2015. But in cities that export large amounts of food and feed—for example, Chongqing and Changchun—apparent NUE was underestimated by 4.0–46.4% relative to virtual NUE. Native PG, DC, NM, M, and AP accounted for 1.2–14.1%, −6.6–30.0%, 0.6–8.2%, −7.7–131.0%, and −43.8–12.8%, respectively, of the increase in virtual N inputs associated with cities’ food systems in 2015, compared to 1990. Our study concludes that M, DC, and AP changes should be considered for mitigating N input in these Chinese cities, and virtual N exports induced by the food trade should also be included if the city is a net food exporter. Selective food trade could help improve the NUE of cities’ food systems, and virtual NUE should be used as an indicator, rather than apparent NUE.
 
Key words:Population growth;Dietary changes;Migration;Food N consumption;Apparent and virtual N;Driving force
 
推荐引用格式:Bing Gao, Wei Huang, Lan Wang, Yunfeng Huang, Shengping Ding, Shenghui Cui*. 2019. Driving forces of nitrogen flows and nitrogen use efficiency of food systems in seven Chinese cities, 1990 to 2015. Science of the Total Environment. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.04.136.