Journal of Ecology and Rural Environment ›› 2020, Vol. 36 ›› Issue (1): 62-69.doi: 10.19741/j.issn.1673-4831.2018.0773

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Quantification of Food Nitrogen Footprint in Changshu City Associated With Its Influencing Factors

ZHANG Ya-juan1, WANG Yan-hua1,2, YANG Hao1,2, CAI Zu-cong1,2   

  1. 1. School of Geography Science, Nanjing Normal University, Nanjing 210023, China;
    2. Jiangsu Center for Collaborative Innovation in Geographical Information Resource Development and Application, Nanjing 210023, China
  • Received:2018-11-26 Published:2020-01-17

Abstract: The structure of food consumption is changing gradually with the population growth, economic development and the improvement of residents' living standards. The environmental problems caused by food-source nitrogen consumption shall not be ignored. In present study, Changshu City, a typical county level city in the Yangtze river delta was taken as an example. The field survey and nitrogen-calculator model were applied to analyze the food nitrogen footprint and its influencing factors in the study area during 2000 to 2016. The results show that the per capita food nitrogen footprint of urban residents in Changshu from 2010 to 2016 was 14.68-20.00 kg·person-1·year-1 with the average value of (17.51±1.53) kg·person-1·year-1. While the value from the rural residents ranged between 17.58-24.87 kg·person-1·year-1, averaged at (20.49±2.55) kg·person-1·year-1. For the urban residents, the animal-derived food was dominant (≥ 66.42%) for the food nitrogen footprint. While the rural residents' food nitrogen footprint was mainly from the plant-derived food in 2000 (51.90%) and changed to be animal-derived food in 2016 (62.40%). In 2016, the nitrogen cost in food consumption in Changshu was 7.64 kg·kg-1, 24.65% lower than that in 2000. The value was lower than the national level (9.90 kg·kg-1) while higher than Beijing's level (2.50 kg·kg-1). Food consumption structure, per capita GDP, per capita disposable income and urbanization rate are main factors affecting food nitrogen footprint in Changshu. The results could be beneficial for the urban sustainable development and the improvement of urban and rural ecological environment.

Key words: nitrogen-calculator model, nitrogen footprint, food chain, nitrogen cost, Changshu

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