Nutrients limit carbon uptake to slow climate change


This figure illustrates how the potential for plants to remove CO2 from the atmosphere (and transform it into plant biomass) is strongly regulated by nitrogen and phosphorus. Credit: Victor O. Leshyk.

Nitrogen and phosphorus found in soils are limiting the amount of carbon uptake stored in plants and soils, but maps of where this occurs across the globe are lacking.

A Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) scientist and international collaborators have developed a framework for testing nutrient limitations and a benchmark of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) limitation for models to be used for predictions of the terrestrial carbon sink. The research is published in the Feb. 10 edition of Nature Geoscience.
CO2 emissions from human activities play a double effect. On one hand, CO2 causes global warming and on the other, CO2 can stimulate photosynthesis. The increase…



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