Call for Papers: Special Issue “Use of 15N tracers to study nitrogen flows in agro-ecosystems: transformation, losses and plant uptake”

This special issue welcomes review and research papers, including modelling studies and short communications, on 15N tracer studies on nitrogen flows in agro-ecosystems. Guest editors: Clemens Scheer and Tobias Rütting. Submissions close on 28 February 2022.

Nutrient Cycling in Agroecosystems is seeking submissions for a Special Issue on 15N tracer studies on nitrogen flows in agro-ecosystems. All manuscripts will be peer-reviewed by 2-3 independent reviewers and handled by the Guest Editors, in collaboration with the Journal’s Editors-in-Chief. Papers accepted for publication in the Special Issue will be available online soon after acceptance, and before inclusion in the Special Issue.

Nitrogen fertilization is a prerequisite to sustain crop yields, but this often goes hand in hand with N losses that cause damage to the environment and an economic loss to farmers. Currently, less than 50% of the fertilizer added to croplands is converted into harvested products and reactive N compounds are lost to the environment causing serious environmental impacts, including eutrophication, biodiversity loss, human health problems and perturbations of the climate system. How to reduce global use of reactive N to stay within environmental limits while meeting an increasing demand for food, feed, fuel and fibre is one of the most important challenges for humanity in this century and requires substantial improvements in N use efficiency (NUE) of global cropping systems. However, this is challenged by the need of quantitative understanding of current levels of NUE, N transformations and loss pathways, and their biophysical control.

For 80 years, researchers have used the stable isotope 15N as a tracer to study N dynamics in soils and plant N use. This methodology remains widely used today and is still one of the most powerful tools to study N flows in ecosystems, including determination of NUE, N losses via denitrification and biological N2 fixation.

This special issue considers manuscripts using 15N tracers to study cycling and flows of N in agroecosystems, including natural abundance studies that focus on the use of the isotope. Studies should typically include multi-year field observations, but this special issue also welcomes contribution of shorter field observations and studies in controlled environment, as long as they contribute to the understanding of N cycling and flows on a field-scale. Together, the papers in this special issue will contribute to advancing our mechanistic understanding of N cycling and help to decrease N losses and improve NUE of cropping systems.

Important Submission Information
To submit a manuscript for this special issue, authors should follow the steps below:

a.   Authors submit their paper through the following website

b.   In “Additional information”, authors must select that the article is part of a Special Issue and select the Special Issue title: “SI: Use of 15N tracers to study nitrogen flows”.