Title
Global patterns and substrate-based mechanisms of the terrestrial nitrogen cycleGlobal patterns and substrate-based mechanisms of the terrestrial nitrogen cycle
Author
Faculty/Department
Faculty of Sciences. Biology
Research group
Plant and Vegetation Ecology (PLECO)
Publication type
article
Publication
Oxford,
Subject
Biology
Source (journal)
Ecology letters. - Oxford, 1998, currens
Volume/pages
(2016), p. 1-13
ISSN
1461-023X
1461-0248
Carrier
E
Target language
English (eng)
Full text (Publishers DOI)
Affiliation
University of Antwerp
Abstract
Nitrogen (N) deposition is impacting the services that ecosystems provide to humanity. However, the mechanisms determining impacts on the N cycle are not fully understood. To explore the mechanistic underpinnings of N impacts on N cycle processes, we reviewed and synthesised recent progress in ecosystem N research through empirical studies, conceptual analysis and model simulations. Experimental and observational studies have revealed that the stimulation of plant N uptake and soil retention generally diminishes as N loading increases, while dissolved and gaseous losses of N occur at low N availability but increase exponentially and become the dominant fate of N at high loading rates. The original N saturation hypothesis emphasises sequential N saturation from plant uptake to soil retention before N losses occur. However, biogeochemical models that simulate simultaneous competition for soil N substrates by multiple processes match the observed patterns of N losses better than models based on sequential competition. To enable better prediction of terrestrial N cycle responses to N loading, we recommend that future research identifies the response functions of different N processes to substrate availability using manipulative experiments, and incorporates the measured N saturation response functions into conceptual, theoretical and quantitative analyses.
Full text (open access)
https://repository.uantwerpen.be/docman/irua/3dd620/131440.pdf
Handle