Integrated biogeochemical modelling of nitrogen load from anthropogenic and natural sources in Japan

Bin He, Taikan Oki, Shinjiro Kanae, Goro Mouri, Ken Kodama, Daisuke Komori, Shinta Seto

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22 Citations (Scopus)


This study proposed an integrated biogeochemical modelling of nitrogen loads from anthropogenic and natural sources in Japan. Firstly, the nitrogen load (NL) from different sources such as crop, livestock, industrial plant, urban and rural resident was calculated by using datasets of fertilizer utilization, population distribution, land use map, and social census. Then, the nitrate leaching from soil layers in farmland, grassland and natural conditions was calculated by using a terrestrial nitrogen cycle model (TNCM). The Total Runoff Integrating Pathways (TRIP) was used to transport nitrogen from natural and anthropogenic sources through river channels, as well as collect and route nitrogen to the river mouths. The forcing meteorological and hydrological data is a 30-year (1976-2005) dataset for Japan which were obtained by the land surface model, Minimal Advanced Treatments of Surface Interaction and Runoff (MATSIRO). For the model validation, we collected total nitrogen (TN) concentration data from 59 rivers in Japan. As a comparison result, calculated TN concentration values were in good agreement with the observed ones, which shows the reliability of the proposed model. Finally, the TN loads from point and nonpoint sources were summarized and evaluated for 59 river basins in Japan. The proposed modelling framework can be used as a tool for quantitative evaluation of nitrogen load in terrestrial ecosystems at a national scale. The connection to land use and climate data provides a possibility to use this model for analysis of climate change and land use change impacts on hydrology and water quality.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2325-2334
Number of pages10
JournalEcological Modelling
Issue number18
Publication statusPublished - 2009 Sept 24


  • Anthropogenic and natural sources
  • Nitrogen load
  • Terrestrial ecosystem
  • Water pollution


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