Soil functional responses to excess nitrogen inputs at global scale

M. Adams, P. Ineson, D. Binkley, G. Cadisch, N. Tokuchi, M. Scholes, K. Hicks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


There is little evidence that nitrogen (N) cycling in the highly weathered, low-phosphorus (P), acidic soils found in Southern Hemisphere continents will differ greatly from that in North America and Europe. Evidence from the 'south' shows: the similarity in forms and temporal patterns in losses of N from different land uses; that the C:N ratios of the forest floor/litter layer from different continents are strongly predictive of a range of processes on a global scale; that generalizations based on Northern Hemisphere experience of the impact of N additions to 'P-limited' ecosystems are likely to fail for southern ecosystems where anatomical and physiological adaptation of native plants to low-P soils makes questionable the concept of 'P-limitation'; that the greatest threats in the 'south' are probably changes in land use that may greatly increase N inputs and turnover; that localized increases in N inputs produce similar effects to those seen in the 'north'.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-536
Number of pages7
JournalAMBIO: A Journal of the Human Environment
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004

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