DARCOF · Research > Darcof II > Nitrogen dynamics, crop production and biodiversity in organic crop rotations

Nitrogen dynamics, crop production and biodiversity in organic crop rotations

The challenge in organic farming is to optimise short-term productivity while maintaining long-term soil fertility, increasing recycling of resources, reducing nutrient losses and increasing natural control of pests and diseases. The organic farming system includes multiple interactions, and holistic research is essential, but often difficult. A way to analyse whole systems is to integrate analytical studies of system components in dynamic simulation models. Such models may generalise results of both short and long-term experiments enabling predictions about new treatments. However, this is only possible if the models are general, reliable and validated against experimental data for whole organic crop rotations.

Three simulation models will be used, namely DAISY, FASSET and the Food Web Model. They supplement each other on important aspects. Therefore, this project has been designed with three major aims:

  1. Expand the models where they do not have sufficient skills.

  2. Validation of the improved models on independent experimental data.

  3. Scenario analyses for different crop rotations.

The idea behind the project is to use simulation models to make predictions on organic farming systems that can help organic farmers. This will assist in design of crop rotations, and help the evaluation of environmental effects such as nitrate leaching, biodiversity and changess in organic matter contents. It is thus expected, that the models in the future will help to improve organic farming, protect the environment, and support the national administration and political system. The models will be useful in future organic farming research, as they can test new hypotheses, or generate new hypotheses, thereby contributing to the focussing of experimental and empirical research.


Project title
I.3 Interactions between nitrogen dynamics, crop production and biodiversity in organic crop rotations analysed by dynamic simulation models (BIOMOD)

Project leader
Jørgen Aagaard Axelsen,
National Environmental Research Centre, Department of Terrestrial Ecology
Postboks 314, 8600 Silkeborg
Phone: +45 89 20 14 38, Fax: +45 89 20 14 13
E-mail: jaa@dmu.dk

Project participants
Jørgen Berntsen, Kristian Thorup-Kristensen, Bjørn M. Pedersen, Jørgen E. Olesen, Ib Sillebak Kristensen and Lars Stouman Jensen, DIAS