Efficient and safe nutrient management

Last changed: 08 November 2021
Two people standing in a field, photo.

Nutrients are taken up from the soil by plants and removed from the system via harvested biomass. Unless the soil has a high long-term capacity to replenish available nutrients through weathering, the nutrients must be replaced through fertilisers or soil amendments, or - in the case of nitrogen - by biological nitrogen fixation.

Finding ways to meet the plants´ nutrient demand while safeguarding soil health and adjoining water courses is a vital issue for long-term sustainable agricultural and forestry production. The current ambition of building a circular economy underpins the need to reuse nutrients in by-products from human activities (in agricultural and forest production and in society at large).

Towards enhanced nutrient efficiency

Research in the group is geared towards enhancing plant nutrient supply and nutrient efficiency through combinations of inorganic and organic amendments of on-farm and urban origin as well as commercial fertilisers. In this, we study the plant availability of nutrients and potentially toxic elements in the nutrient sources as well as the effects of amendments and fertilisers on the availability of those native to the soil and soil organisms.

Nutrient dynamics are investigated in many ecosystems

Effects of soil and crop/forest management on the nutrient dynamics are further studied with the aim to improve synchronisation between nutrient availability and plant demand. The studied systems include managed forests, forest plantations, agroforestry systems, grasslands and arable land under temperate and tropical/subtropical climates.


Professor Jon-Petter Gustavsson

Department of Soil and Environment
jon-petter.gustafsson@slu.se, 018-671284