Author(s): Agren GI, Bosatta E, Agren GI, Bosatta E
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Abstract Nitrogen saturation, in the sense that nitrogen additions to an ecosystem lead to losses of the same order of magnitude, is analyzed as an interplay between a plant subsystem and a soil subsystem. The plant system is defined by its nitrogen productivity, which allows calculations of the maximum amount of nitrogen that can be held in, and the maximum nitrogen flux density that can be utilized by, the plant subsystem. The most important response of the soil subsystem is a change in the microbial nitrogen concentration, from which the nitrogen absorption capacity can be derived. It is shown that of the two subsystems the soil must always saturate first. The time to reach saturation depends strongly on site history in terms of the sources of litter forming the soil organic matter and on the ratio between the external nitrogen inflows and the litter nitrogen flow.
This article was published in Environ Pollut
and referenced in Journal of Biodiversity, Bioprospecting and Development