Nitrogen in the Environment

Authored by: Peter M. Groffman

Handbook of Soil Sciences Properties and Processes

Print publication date:  November  2011
Online publication date:  November  2011

Print ISBN: 9781439803059
eBook ISBN: 9781439803066
Adobe ISBN:

10.1201/b11267-47

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Abstract

While N is an extremely valuable and important nutrient within the soils of nearly all ecosystems on the globe (Vitousek and Howarth, 1991), it becomes a highly problematic pollutant once it leaves one ecosystem and moves into another. Given that human alteration of the global N cycle is extreme and dynamic (Galloway et al., 2004, 2008; Schlesinger, 2009), that there are multiple forms of N that can be considered as pollutants, and that there are multiple vectors of transport for these forms of N, it is not surprising that the topic of “N in the environment” is one of the most well studied and controversial in soil and environmental science.

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