A Systems Approach to an Analysis of the Terrestrial Nitrogen Cycle

Fred J. Endelman
Melvin L. Northup
Dennis R. Keeney
James R. Boyle
Richard R. Hughes

DOI: 10.2190/LDMN-1KB1-9U56-E77C


In an interdisciplinary study, a new methodology for analysis of environmental systems is being applied to the terrestrial nitrogen cycle. It has already resulted in an informative, qualitative description of this complicated system and its components. With this system definition, we plan to develop a mathematical simulation of the dynamics of the nitrogen cycle in both forested and agricultural ecosystems. Initial results from on-going experimental and modeling studies in soil chemistry and soil physics have been encouraging. A critical evaluation of the final simulation model, using field data obtained from an extensive system monitoring program, will be a rigorous test of the feasibility and merit of the proposed systems method.

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