A Review of Ongoing Advancements in Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) for Nitrous Oxide (N2o) Modeling
Crops can uptake only a fraction of nitrogen from nitrogenous fertilizer, while losing the remainder through volatilization, leaching, immobilization and emissions from soils. The emissions of nitrogen in the form of nitrous oxide (N2O) have a strong potency for global warming and depletion of stratospheric ozone. N2O gets released due to nitrification and denitrification processes, which are aided by different environmental, management and soil variables. In recent years, researchers have
... ed on understanding and simulating the N2O emission processes from agricultural farms and/or watersheds by using process-based models like Daily CENTURY (DAYCENT), Denitrification-Decomposition (DNDC) and Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT). While the former two have been predominantly used in understanding the science of N2O emission and its execution within the model structure, as visible from a multitude of research articles summarizing their strengths and limitations, the later one is relatively unexplored. The SWAT is a promising candidate for modeling N2O emission, as it includes variables and processes that are widely reported in the literature as controlling N2O fluxes from soil, including nitrification and denitrification. SWAT also includes three-dimensional lateral movement of water within the soil, like in real-world conditions, unlike the two-dimensional biogeochemical models mentioned above. This article aims to summarize the N2O emission processes, variables affecting N2O emission and recent advances in N2O emission modeling techniques in SWAT, while discussing their applications, strengths, limitations and further recommendations.