Phosphorus in Action

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Phosphorus (P) is a finite resource which is essential for life. It is a limiting nutrient in many ecosystems but also a pollutant which can affect biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems and change the ecology of water bodies. This book collects the latest information on biological processes in soil P cycling, which to date have remained much less understood than physico-chemical processes. The methods section presents spectroscopic techniques and the characterization of microbial P forms, as well as the use of tracers, molecular approaches and modeling of soil-plant systems. The section on processes deals with mycorrhizal symbioses, microbial P solubilization, soil macrofauna, phosphatase enzymes and rhizosphere processes. On the system level, P cycling is examined for grasslands, arctic and alpine soils, forest plantations, tropical forests, and dryland regions. Further, P management with respect to animal production and cropping, and the interactions between global change and P cycling, are treated.