New source of global nitrogen discovered: Earth's bedrock
by Staff Writers
Washington DC (SPX) Apr 10, 2018
For centuries, the thinking has been that all the nitrogen available for plant growth worldwide comes from the atmosphere. But a new study by National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded researchers at the University of California (UC), Davis, shows that more than a quarter of that nitrogen is derived from the weathering of Earth's bedrock.
The results, published this week in the journal Science, demonstrate that up to 26 percent of the nitrogen in ecosystems is sourced from rocks, with the remaining amount from the atmosphere.
"This research reveals important connections among the atmosphere, the biosphere, and the rocks at Earth's surface," said Richard Yuretich, a program director in NSF's Division of Earth Sciences, which funded the study.
The findings show that rock weathering is a globally significant source of nitrogen to soils and ecosystems, according to co-author and team leader Ben Houlton of UC Davis. "That runs counter to the centuries-long paradigm that has laid the foundation for the environmental sciences," said Houlton.
Geology and carbon sequestration
"Geology might have a huge control over which systems can take up carbon dioxide and which ones can't," Houlton said. "When thinking about carbon sequestration, the geology of the planet can help guide our decisions."
"We show that the paradox of nitrogen is literally 'written in stone,'" said co-author Scott Morford of UC Davis. "There's enough nitrogen in rocks, and it breaks down fast enough, to explain the cases where there has been this mysterious gap."
In previous work, Houlton and Morford analyzed rocks collected from the Klamath Mountains in northern California, and found that the rocks and the surrounding trees contained large amounts of nitrogen.
In the current study, they built on that work, analyzing the entire planet's nitrogen balance; the scientists developed a model to assess rock nitrogen availability on a global scale.
Draining peatlands gives global rise to laughing-gas emissions
Birmingham UK (SPX) Apr 06, 2018
Drained fertile peatlands around the globe are hotspots for the atmospheric emission of laughing-gas - a powerful greenhouse gas called nitrous oxide, which is partly responsible for global warming and destruction of the ozone layer, a new study shows. Research into natural peatlands such as fens, swamps and bogs, as well as drained peatlands, found that either draining wet soils or irrigating well drained soils boosts the emission of nitrous oxide significantly. Led by researchers at the Un ... read more
|The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2024 - Space Media Network. All websites are published in Australia and are solely subject to Australian law and governed by Fair Use principals for news reporting and research purposes. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA news reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. All articles labeled "by Staff Writers" include reports supplied to Space Media Network by industry news wires, PR agencies, corporate press officers and the like. Such articles are individually curated and edited by Space Media Network staff on the basis of the report's information value to our industry and professional readership. Advertising does not imply endorsement, agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) Statement Our advertisers use various cookies and the like to deliver the best ad banner available at one time. All network advertising suppliers have GDPR policies (Legitimate Interest) that conform with EU regulations for data collection. By using our websites you consent to cookie based advertising. If you do not agree with this then you must stop using the websites from May 25, 2018. Privacy Statement. Additional information can be found here at About Us.