Symbiotic nitrogen fixation and the delivery of multiple ecosystem services: a global change perspective

D. A. Fornara

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    2 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    A key challenge facing humanity in the coming decades will be ensuring food supply to a growing human population without compromising the sustainability of many agro-ecosystems worldwide. Although agricultural soils remain firmly at the foundation of human life-support systems, human domination of terrestrial ecosystems over the last century has greatly affected their long-term sustainability as well as reducing soil biological diversity. This has mainly occurred through widespread land-use changes and through the chronic deposition of biologically available nutrients, such as nitrogen (N) and phosphorous (P). Here I argue that a better understanding of the ecological role of symbiotic N-fixers could help in developing more sustainable multifunctional agro-ecosystems. N-fixers are beneficial for the delivery of multiple ecosystem services such as greater primary productivity (i.e. increased crop yields), increased soil carbon (C) and N sequestration, and higher soil biological diversity. Understanding the ecological mechanisms responsible for the provision of these ecosystem services may also be critical for reducing the global-warming potential of many agricultural practices worldwide.
    LanguageEnglish
    Pages1-8
    JournalCAB Reviews: Perspectives in Agriculture, Veterinary Science, Nutrition and Natural Resources
    Volume6
    Publication statusPublished - 28 Sep 2011

    Fingerprint

    nitrogen fixation
    ecosystem service
    global change
    sustainability
    ecosystem
    agricultural practice
    food supply
    soil carbon
    terrestrial ecosystem
    agricultural soil
    crop yield
    land use change
    global warming
    soil
    productivity
    nutrient
    nitrogen
    human population

    Cite this

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