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photo: iStockphoto/Brytta

The Global Nitrogen Cycle

The International Nitrogen Initiative (INI) FTI began its activities in early 2003 and has been jointly sponsored by SCOPE and IGBP. The overall goal of the INI was to optimize nitrogen’s beneficial role in sustainable food production, and minimize nitrogen’s negative effects on human health and the environment resulting from food and energy production.

The INI has established regional centers in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin American and North America. The regional Centers were very active in 2005, holding a number of workshops and meetings around INI-related activities (January in Kampala; May in Brasilia, November in Germany, December in Uganda) while the INI European Nitrogen Center was granted EU funds for two projects to coordinate research and projects on N issues in Europe. Examples of INI activities in 2005 include (1) co-sponsoring the Second Inter-American Nitrogen Network workshop held in May in Brasília, Brazil, (2) a number of contributions to relevant activities under the auspices of UNEP, FAO and the Convention on Biological Biodiversity, (3) a series of publications on denitrification across terrestrial, freshwater and marine systems, and papers on nitrogen cycling issues in the Americas. In the future, INI will organize the IV International Nitrogen Conference in October 2007 in Brazil, the first one entirely under the auspices of INI, to be hosted by the INI Latin American Nitrogen Center. The FTI was successfully terminated in 2005 and is now contained within AIMES in the IGBP structure while developing into a successful large international Initiative initiative.

SC Contact: Mary Scholes
Organiser: James N. Galloway, Chair of INI
International Nitrogen Initiative

A selection of INI Products

Bekunda M, Galloway J, Syers K. 2004. Background, current status and the African context of the International Nitrogen Initiative. Presentation at the Symposium on Improving Human Welfare and Environmental Conservation by Empowering Farmers to Combat Soil Fertility Degradation. Yaoundé, Cameroon. May 17 – 21, 2004

Erisman JW. 2004. The Nanjing Declaration on management of reactive nitrogen. BioScience 54, 286-287.

Galloway J., Bekunda M., Syers K, and Mosier A. 2003. The International Nitrogen Initiative and its Relevance to Africa. Plenary Lecture, Sixth African Crop Science Conference, Nairobi, Kenya, 12-17 October, 2003.

Galloway JN, FJ Dentener, DG Capone, EW Boyer, RW Howarth, SP Seitzinger, GP Asner, C Cleveland, P Green, E Holland, DM Karl, AF Michaels, JH Porter, A Townsend and C Vörösmarty. 2004. Nitrogen Cycles: Past, Present and Future. Biogeochemistry 70 (2): 153-226.

Galloway JN, Sahagian D. "A coordinated approach to investigating human perturbations to the nitrogen cycle." Poster presentation at American Geophysical Union Meeting, December 2003, San Francisco, California, USA.

Galloway, J.N. , M. Bekunda, Z. Cai, J.W. Erisman, J. Freney, R.W. Howarth, L.A. Martinelli, M.C. Scholes, S.P. Seitzinger 2004. Preliminary Assessment of "Changes in the Global Nitrogen Cycle as a Result of Anthropogenic Influences. Prepared by the International Nitrogen Initiative Steering Committee for Presentation at the 3rd INI Conference, October 12-16, 2004, Nanjing, China.

Green, PA, Vorosmarty, CJ, Meybeck, M, Galloway JN, Peterson BJ, Boyer EW 2004. Pre-industrial and contemporary fluxes of nitrogen through rivers: a global assessment based on typology. Biogeochemistry 68 (1): 71-105.

Martinelli LA, Howarth RW (eds). 2004. Nitrogen fluxes and processes: a comparison between temperate and tropical systems in the Americas. Kluwer (In preparation).

Mosier AR, Syers JK, Freney JR. (eds). 2004. SCOPE 65, Agriculture and the Nitrogen Cycle: Assessing the Impacts of Fertilizer Use on Food Production and the Environment. Island Press (In press).

Syers, K., Bekunda, M., Galloway, J. and Mosier, A. "The International Nitrogen Initiative and its Relevance to Africa”. Invited plenary presentation by K. Syers at Sixth Conference of the African Crop Science Society, 12-17 October, 2003, Nairobi, Kenya.

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