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Authors: Liao, Wenying
Advisors: Levin, Simon A
Hedin, Lars O
Contributors: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Department
Subjects: Ecology
Issue Date: 2020
Publisher: Princeton, NJ : Princeton University
Abstract: The global nitrogen cycle spans from natural forests to agricultural landscapes, encompassing a multitude of agents, socio-ecological factors, and socio-political dynamics. The complexity of the global nitrogen cycle makes its understanding and prediction under novel environment particularly challenging. This dissertation combines empirical studies and theoretical development to gain mechanistic insights on two key components in the global nitrogen cycle - symbiotic nitrogen fixation in forests and anthropogenic nitrogen use in agriculture – to improve our understanding and predicative power of the global nitrogen cycle. In forests, I focus on understanding the ecology and evolution of symbiotic nitrogen fixation. Chapter II evaluates trait and demographic data to understand the unique trait combination that confers unique competitive advantage in tropical nitrogen-fixing trees. Chapter III develops mechanistic game-theoretic model to understand how climate change, especially changing rainfall patterns, may affect symbiotic nitrogen fixation and the relative competitiveness of symbiotic nitrogen-fixing trees. In agriculture, I focus on creating novel approaches in managing global nitrogen pollution from agriculture while sustaining food production. Chapter IV investigates the role of a coordinated market, using an optimization model, in incentivizing efficient nitrogen use and global trade to reduce nitrogen pollution and ensuring food security. Chapter V develops a game-theoretic framework to evaluate the efficacy of a newly-proposed cooperative food bank to provide risk buffering of yield loss against climatic disasters while incentivizing participants to reduce nitrogen pollution. Chapter VI provides an in-depth policy analysis of the operation and long-term sustainability of the cooperative food bank.
Alternate format: The Mudd Manuscript Library retains one bound copy of each dissertation. Search for these copies in the library's main catalog:
Type of Material: Academic dissertations (Ph.D.)
Language: en
Appears in Collections:Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

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