Task 1.1.4

Task 1.1.4:  Relating of Level & Effect Indicators to budget indicators

Task Output 1.1.4: Guidance Doc. on relating Level & Effect indicators to budget indicators

While there is substantial emerging interest in new kinds of nitrogen indicators, such as based on NUE and nitrogen balances, there is an ongoing need to relate the different kinds of available indicators.  Other kinds of indicators on different scales (farm, nature area, city, river, region, country) include N emissions, concentrations of N components in water and air, deposition of N components, N inputs from agricultural soruces including fertilizer and biological nitrogen fixation, ecooystem response indicators such as species changes, and productivity indicators (e.g. food produced, estimated damage due to N pollution, estimated health threat and ecosytem threat etc).

As Towards INMS seeks to build the bridges between the different benefits and threats of nitrogen management it becomes even more important to be able to understand and predict the relationships between the different indicator types. For example, will a proposed management strategy show improvements in performance for some outcomes but not all?  When will improvements in NUE lead to improvements in environmental quality, but are there some situations where this would not be the case? Can indicators be harmonized across different agricultural systems to provide meaningful comparisons? To address these issues, the activity will work on preparing a guidance document focused on non-specialist audiences (governments, land managers, stakeholders) that clarifies the distinct purpose of the different nitrogen indicator types, and illustrates examples of how they relate to each other.  To establish the relationships it is expected that it may be necessary to consider the outcomes of particular scenarios, which will be conducted in cooperation with Activity 2.4.