Selected Publications

* Corresponding author; † These authors contributed equally to this work; # Student or postdoc supervised by Zhang

G Yao#, X Zhang*, F Taheripour, EA Davidson (accepted), The Environmental Consequences of China’s Trade Retaliation on the US Agriculture – Implications on Agriculture Sustainability, Nature Food.

X Zhang*, T Zou#†, L Lassaletta†, N Mueller, MD Lisk, C Lu, R Conant, J Gerber, H Tian, T Bruulsema, W Zhang, K Nishina, B Bodirsky, A Popp, L Bouwman, A Beusen, D Leclere, P Canadell, R Jackson, F Tubiello, EA Davidson* (2021). Quantification of global and national nitrogen budgets for crop production, Nature Food. doi: 10.1038/s43016-021-00318-5

C Ren, S Jin, Y Wu, B Zhang, D Kanter, B Wu, X Xi, X Zhang, D Chen, J Xu, B Gu (2021). Fertilizer overuse in Chinese smallholders due to lack of fixed inputs. Journal of Environmental Management. doi: 1016/j.jenvman.2021.112913

Z Quan#, X Zhang*, Y Fang, EA Davidson (2021). Different quantification approaches for nitrogen use efficiency lead to divergent estimates with varying advantages, Nature Food. doi: 1038/s43016-021-00263-3 (Read the full article here)

Z Quan#, X Zhang*, F Zhu, S Li, X Zhao, X Chen, LM Zhang, JZ He, W Wei, Y Fang (2021). Fates and use efficiency of nitrogen fertilizer in maize cropping systems and their responses to technologies and management practices: a global analysis on field 15N tracer studies, Earth’s Future. doi:10.1029/2020EF001514

GS Metson, A Chaudhary, X Zhang, B Houlton, A Oita, N Raghuram, QD Read, L Bouwman, H Tian, A Uwizeye, AJ Eagle (2021). Nitrogen and the food system. One Earth. Jan 22; 4(1):3-7. doi:1016/j.oneear.2020.12.018

R Chowdhury#, X Zhang* (2021) Phosphorus use efficiency in the agricultural system: A comprehensive assessment through the review of national scale substance flow analyses, Ecological Indicators, 121, p.107172. doi:1016/j.ecolind.2020.107172

Z Quan, X Zhang*, Y Fang (2020) The undefined N source might be overestimated by 15N tracer trials, Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/gcb.15371

X Zhang, EA Davidson, T Zou, L Lassaletta, Z Quan, T Li, W Zhang (2020) Centennial Challenges: Quantifying nutrient budgets to inform sustainable nutrient management. Global Biogeochemical Cycles, 34, e2018GB006060. doi:10.1029/2018GB006060

R Prudhomme, T Brunelle, P Dumas, AL Moing, X Zhang (2020) Assessing the impact of increased legume production in Europe on global agricultural emissions. Regional Environmental Change 20 (3):1-13. doi:10.1007/s10113-020-01651-4

GC Hurtt, LP Chini, R Sahajpal, SE Frolking, J Fisk, B Bodirsky, KV Calvin, S Fujimori, K Goldewijk, T Hasegawa, P Havlik, A Heinimann, F Humpenöder, JO Kaplan, T Krisztin, DM Lawrence, P Lawrence, O Mertz, A Popp, K Riahi, E Stehfest, D van Vuuren, L de Waal, X Zhang (2020) Harmonization of global land-use scenarios for the period 850-2100 (LUH2) for CMIP6, Geoscientific Model Development. doi:10.5194/gmd-2019-360

Z Quan, S Li, X Zhang, F Zhu, P Li, R Sheng, X Chen, LM Zhang, JZ He, W Wei, Y Fang (2020) Fertilizer nitrogen use efficiency and fates in maize cropping systems across China: Field 15N tracer studies. Soil and Tillage Research 197:104498.

DR Kanter, W Winiwarter, B Bodirsky, L Bouwman, E Boyer, S Buckle, J Compton, T Dalgaard, W Vries, D Leclere, A Leip, C Müller, A Popp, N Raghuram, S Rao, M Sutton, H Tian, H Westhoek, X Zhang, M Zurek (2020). A framework for nitrogen futures in the shared socioeconomic pathways, Global Environmental Change, 61:102029

T li†, X Zhang†, H Gao, B Li, H Wang, Q Yan, M Ollenburger, W Zhang (2019) Searching for optimal nitrogen management practices according to ecological and socioeconomic conditions. Journal of Cleaner Production. doi: 10.1016/j.jclepro.2019.118295

G Huang, G Yao, J Zhao, MD Lisk, C Yu, X Zhang* (2019) The environmental and socioeconomic trade-offs of importing crops to meet domestic food demand in China. Environmental Research Letters. doi: 10.1088/1748-9326/ab3c10

BN Sulman, E Shevliakova, ER Brzostek, SN Kivlin, S Malyshev, DNL Menge, Xin Zhang (2019) Diverse mycorrhizal associations enhance terrestrial C storage in a global model, Global Biogeochemical Cycles. doi: 10.1029/2018GB005973

W Peng, F Wagner, MV Ramana, H Zhai, MJ Small, C Dalin, X Zhang, DL Mauzerall (2018) Managing China’s coal power plants to address multiple environmental objectives, Nature Sustainability, 1(11): 693-701. link

X Zhang (2017) A plan for efficient use of nitrogen fertilizers, Nature, 543:322-323. link

D Kanter, X Zhang, DL Mauzerall, S Malyshev, E Shevliakova (2016) The importance of climate change and nitrogen use efficiency for future nitrous oxide emissions from agriculture, Environmental Research Letters.  link

J Ranganathan, D Vennard, R Waite, B Lipinski, T Searchinger, P Dumas, A Forslund, H Guyomard, S Manceron, E Marajo-Petitzon, C Le Mouël, P Havlik, M Herrero, X Zhang, S Wirsenius, F Ramos, X Yan, M Phillips and R Mungkung (2016) Shifting Diets for a Sustainable Food Future, Working Paper, Installment 11 of Creating a Sustainable Food Future. Washington, DC: World Resources Institute. Accessible at

X Zhang, EA Davidson, DL Mauzerall, TD Searchinger, P Dumas, Y Shen (2015) Managing Nitrogen for Sustainable Development, Nature, 528:51-59, doi: 10.1038/nature15743. link

X Zhang, DL Mauzerall, EA Davidson, DR Kanter, RH Cai (2015) The economic and environmental consequences of implementing nitrogen-efficient technologies and management practices in agriculture, Journal of Environmental Quality, doi:10.2134/jeq2014.03.0129.

X Zhang, XH Lee, TJ Griffis, JM Baker, W Xiao (2014) Estimating regional greenhouse gas fluxes: An uncertainty analysis of planetary boundary layer techniques and bottom-up inventories, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 14: 10705–10719, doi:10.5194/acp-14-10705-2014.

DR Kanter, X Zhang, DL Mauzerall (2014) Reducing nitrogen pollution while decreasing farmers’ costs and increasing fertilizer industry profits, Journal of Environmental Quality, doi:10.2134/jeq2014.04.0173.

M Kang, C Kanno, M Reid, X Zhang, DL Mauzerall, M Celia, Y Chen, TC Onstott (2014) Direct measurements of methane emissions from abandoned oil and gas wells in Pennsylvania, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi:10.1073/pnas.1408315111.

X Zhang, XH Lee, TJ Griffis, JM Baker, M Erickson, J Fasbinder, W Xiao, N Hu (2014) Quantifying nitrous oxide fluxes on multiple spatial scales in the Upper Midwest, USA, International Journal of Biometeorology, doi:10.1007/s00484-014-0842-4.

RH Cai, X Zhang, DR Kanter (2014) The impact of crop price on nitrous oxide emissions: A dynamic programming approach, An Agricultural & Applied Economics Association (AAEA) selected paper accepted for presentation at AAEA Annual Meeting, Minneapolis, MN, July 27-29, 2014. preprint

X Zhang, XH Lee, TJ Griffis, JM Baker, MD Erickson, W Xiao, N Hu (2013) The influence of plants on atmospheric methane in an agriculture-dominated landscape, International Journal of Biometeorology, doi: 10.1007/s00484-013-0662-y.

X Zhang (2013) Improving regional-scale greenhouse gas inventories in an agriculture-dominated landscape using a multi-scale approach. PhD Dissertation, Yale University. preprint

TJ Griffis, XH Lee, JM Baker, MP Russelle, X Zhang, R Venterea, DB Millet (2013) Reconciling the differences between top-down and bottom-up estimates of nitrous oxide emissions for the US Corn Belt, Global biogeochemical cycles, doi: 10.1002/gbc.20066.

X Zhang, Y Zhao, MS Ashton, XH Lee (2012) Measuring carbon in forests, in Managing Forest Carbon in a Changing Climate (M. Ashton, M. L. Tyrrell, D Spalding, B Gentry eds), Springer, New York, 139-144.

TJ Griffis, XH Lee, JM Baker, K Billmark, N Schultz, MD Erickson, X Zhang, J Fassbinder, W Xiao, N Hu (2011) Oxygen isotope composition of evapotranspiration and its relation to C4 photosynthetic discrimination, Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences, 116, G01035. DOI: 10.1029/2010JG001514

TJ Griffis, SD Sargent, XH Lee, JM Baker, J Greene, MD Erickson, X Zhang, K Billmark, N Schultz, W Xiao, N Hu (2010) Determining the oxygen isotope composition of evapotranspiration with eddy covariance, Boundary-Layer Meteorology, 137(2):307-326. reprint

JC Chan, X Zhang (2009) Air Pollution Status and Challenges Ahead in the Greater Pearl River Delta Region, in Lectures on China’s Environment, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies Publication Series Report Number 20. reprint

Working papers

X Zhang, EA Davidson, Sustainable Nitrogen Management Index (SNMI). link



Global map of Nitrogen fertilizer input rate for year 2015: Nfer_15arcmins_2015