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Local solutions to global phosphorus imbalances: Large-scale modelling underscores the need to reduce phosphorus fertilizer application in rich countries and increase it in poor regions. Yet, the realization of associated economic and environmental benefits will require complementary analyses locally.

Research output: Contribution to Journal/MagazineJournal articlepeer-review

<mark>Journal publication date</mark>1/07/2021
<mark>Journal</mark>Nature Food
Number of pages2
Pages (from-to)459-460
Publication StatusPublished
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Phosphorus has seemed to hide
behind other nutrients in terms of its perceived prominence in driving food
production and maintaining environmental well-being, perhaps because we lack appropriate tools to help spotlight the issues. As a nutrient mined predominantly from the Earth’s mineral apatite where the atmosphere does not play strongly in its natural cycle, phosphate fertilizer use has escalated since 1945, driving agricultural production and keeping it in line with population demand. More recently, concerns have arisen over phosphorus leakage and damage to water quality (fresh and marine) and there has been debate about the longevity of supplies and sustainable phosphorus use, with large regional imbalances1. This complex tension between resource, food production and environmental impact is difficult to manage at the global and regional scales, and new modelling to help address this imbalance
is welcome.