Decoupling of soil nutrient cycles as a function of aridity in global drylands

Delgado Baquerizo, Manuel and Maestre, Fernando T. and Gallardo, Antonio and Bowker, Mathew A. and Wallenstein, Matthew D. and Quero, Jose L and Ochoa, Victoria and Gozalo, Beatriz and García Gómez, Miguel and Soliveres, Santiago and García Palacios, Pablo and Berdugo, Miguel and Valencia, Enrique and Escolar, Cristina and Arredondo, Tulio and Barraza Zepeda, Claudia and Bran, Donaldo and Carreira, José Antonio and Chaieb, Mohamed and Conceiçao, Abel A. and Derak, Mchich and Eldridge, David J. and Escudero, Adrián and Espinosa, Carlos Ivan and Gaitán, Juan and Gatica, M. Gabriel and Gómez González, Susana and Guzman, Elizabeth and Gutiérrez, Julio R. and Florentino, Adriana and Hepper, Estela and Hernández, Rosa M. and Huber Sannwald, Elisabeth and Jankju, Mohammad and Liu, Jushan and Mau, Rebecca L. and Miriti, Maria and Monerris, Jorge and Naseri, Kamal and Noumi, Zouhaier and Polo, Vicente and Prina, Aníbal and Pucheta, Eduardo and Ramírez, Elizabeth and Ramírez Collantes, David A. and Romao, Roberto L. and Tighe, Matthew and Torres, Duilio and Torres Díaz, Cristian and Ungar, Eugene D. and Val, James and Wamiti, Wanyoike and Wang, Deli and Zaady, Eli (2013). Decoupling of soil nutrient cycles as a function of aridity in global drylands. "Nature", v. 502 (n. 7473); pp. 672-676. ISSN 0028-0836.


Title: Decoupling of soil nutrient cycles as a function of aridity in global drylands
  • Delgado Baquerizo, Manuel
  • Maestre, Fernando T.
  • Gallardo, Antonio
  • Bowker, Mathew A.
  • Wallenstein, Matthew D.
  • Quero, Jose L
  • Ochoa, Victoria
  • Gozalo, Beatriz
  • García Gómez, Miguel
  • Soliveres, Santiago
  • García Palacios, Pablo
  • Berdugo, Miguel
  • Valencia, Enrique
  • Escolar, Cristina
  • Arredondo, Tulio
  • Barraza Zepeda, Claudia
  • Bran, Donaldo
  • Carreira, José Antonio
  • Chaieb, Mohamed
  • Conceiçao, Abel A.
  • Derak, Mchich
  • Eldridge, David J.
  • Escudero, Adrián
  • Espinosa, Carlos Ivan
  • Gaitán, Juan
  • Gatica, M. Gabriel
  • Gómez González, Susana
  • Guzman, Elizabeth
  • Gutiérrez, Julio R.
  • Florentino, Adriana
  • Hepper, Estela
  • Hernández, Rosa M.
  • Huber Sannwald, Elisabeth
  • Jankju, Mohammad
  • Liu, Jushan
  • Mau, Rebecca L.
  • Miriti, Maria
  • Monerris, Jorge
  • Naseri, Kamal
  • Noumi, Zouhaier
  • Polo, Vicente
  • Prina, Aníbal
  • Pucheta, Eduardo
  • Ramírez, Elizabeth
  • Ramírez Collantes, David A.
  • Romao, Roberto L.
  • Tighe, Matthew
  • Torres, Duilio
  • Torres Díaz, Cristian
  • Ungar, Eugene D.
  • Val, James
  • Wamiti, Wanyoike
  • Wang, Deli
  • Zaady, Eli
Item Type: Article
Título de Revista/Publicación: Nature
Date: October 2013
ISSN: 0028-0836
Volume: 502
Freetext Keywords: Climate-change impacts, Biogeochemistry
Faculty: E.T.S.I. Caminos, Canales y Puertos (UPM)
Department: Ingeniería y Morfología del Terreno
Creative Commons Licenses: Recognition - No derivative works - Non commercial

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The biogeochemical cycles of carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are interlinked by primary production, respiration and decomposition in terrestrial ecosystems. It has been suggested that the C, N and P cycles could become uncoupled under rapid climate change because of the different degrees of control exerted on the supply of these elements by biological and geochemical processes. Climatic controls on biogeochemical cycles are particularly relevant in arid, semi-arid and dry sub-humid ecosystems (drylands) because their biological activity is mainly driven by water availability. The increase in aridity predicted for the twenty-first century in many drylands worldwide may therefore threaten the balance between these cycles, differentially affecting the availability of essential nutrients. Here we evaluate how aridity affects the balance between C, N and P in soils collected from 224 dryland sites from all continents except Antarctica. We find a negative effect of aridity on the concentration of soil organic C and total N, but a positive effect on the concentration of inorganic P. Aridity is negatively related to plant cover, which may favour the dominance of physical processes such as rock weathering, a major source of P to ecosystems, over biological processes that provide more C and N, such as litter decomposition. Our findings suggest that any predicted increase in aridity with climate change will probably reduce the concentrations of N and C in global drylands, but increase that of P. These changes would uncouple the C, N and P cycles in drylands and could negatively affect the provision of key services provided by these ecosystems.

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Item ID: 33186
DC Identifier:
OAI Identifier:
DOI: 10.1038/nature12670
Official URL:
Deposited by: Memoria Investigacion
Deposited on: 03 Mar 2015 13:10
Last Modified: 03 Mar 2015 13:10
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