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Anders Ahlström

Anders Ahlström

Senior lecturer

Anders Ahlström

Global patterns of terrestrial nitrogen and phosphorus limitation

Author

  • Enzai Du
  • César Terrer
  • Adam F.A. Pellegrini
  • Anders Ahlström
  • Caspar J. van Lissa
  • Xia Zhao
  • Nan Xia
  • Xinhui Wu
  • Robert B. Jackson

Summary, in English

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) limitation constrains the magnitude of terrestrial carbon uptake in response to elevated carbon dioxide and climate change. However, global maps of nutrient limitation are still lacking. Here we examined global N and P limitation using the ratio of site-averaged leaf N and P resorption efficiencies of the dominant species across 171 sites. We evaluated our predictions using a global database of N- and P-limitation experiments based on nutrient additions at 106 and 53 sites, respectively. Globally, we found a shift from relative P to N limitation for both higher latitudes and precipitation seasonality and lower mean annual temperature, temperature seasonality, mean annual precipitation and soil clay fraction. Excluding cropland, urban and glacial areas, we estimate that 18% of the natural terrestrial land area is significantly limited by N, whereas 43% is relatively P limited. The remaining 39% of the natural terrestrial land area could be co-limited by N and P or weakly limited by either nutrient alone. This work provides both a new framework for testing nutrient limitation and a benchmark of N and P limitation for models to constrain predictions of the terrestrial carbon sink.

Department/s

  • MECW: The Middle East in the Contemporary World
  • Dept of Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science
  • MERGE: ModElling the Regional and Global Earth system
  • BECC: Biodiversity and Ecosystem services in a Changing Climate
  • Centre for Advanced Middle Eastern Studies

Publishing year

2020-03

Language

English

Pages

221-226

Publication/Series

Nature Geoscience

Volume

13

Issue

3

Document type

Journal article

Publisher

Nature Publishing Group

Topic

  • Physical Geography

Status

Published

ISBN/ISSN/Other

  • ISSN: 1752-0894