A study involving three CREAF researchers has found that plants with low nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations in their leaves do not reproduce every year to enable them to reproduce on a huge scale in years in which conditions are right. Oaks, holm oaks and beeches are examples of trees that behave in such a way.
The main carbon store in the planet’s soil is peat, a deposit of plant origin found in water-saturated areas called peat bogs or peatlands. In total, peatlands contain over 550 gigatons of carbon in the form of partially decomposed plant matter, representing 42% of all soil carbon worldwide.
Partially managing rivers to make them cleaner only by reducing the amount of phosphorus and phytoplankton, can entail undesirable changes throughout the ecosystem due to a nutrient imbalance. This is the main result of a study by researchers Carles Ibáñez at IRTA and Josep Peñuelas, CSIC researcher at CREAF, which was published by Science.
A CREAF-led European study published in the journal Global Change Biology warns that the drought associated with climate change could reduce soil fauna diversity and slow the decomposition of leaf litter (fallen leaves, twigs, bark, etc.), potentially hindering the recycling of nutrients for plants throughout Europe.
Human-induced increase in nitrogen deposition profoundly alters nitrogen (N) cycling globally. Yet, the ultimate fate of nitrogen deposition on forest ecosystems isn’t fully understood. Rossella Guerrieri, a Marie Skłodowska-Curie fellow in CREAF sheds light on the overlooked leaf microbial transformations of nitrogen deposition and its contribution to N cycling.
Freshwater ecosystems near densely populated areas have levels of phosphorus which are very high and out of balance with nitrogen levels. This has resulted in altered ecosystem functioning, lower water quality, and has made water conservation more difficult.