Nutrient Cycles and Mass Balances

TitleNutrient Cycles and Mass Balances
Publication TypeBook Chapter
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsLikens, GE
Book TitleBiogeochemistry of a Forested Ecosystem
Pagination139 - 161
PublisherSpringer New York
ISBN Number978-1-4614-7809-6, 978-1-4614-7810-2
KeywordsAgriculture, Ecosystems, Forestry, Geography (general), Mineralogy

Chemical elements without a prominent gaseous phase at normal biologic temperature, such as calcium, magnesium, and potassium, have what is referred to as a sedimentary biogeochemical cycle (Odum 1959). That is, flux and cycling are affected primarily by hydrologic factors (including dissolution, erosion, and sedimentation), landslides, vulcanism, and biologic agents. At some places, for example, arid regions, calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium, and phosphorus have relatively large airborne fluxes of particulates, which complicate quantitative measurement of their fluxes and cycles. The presence of a prominent gaseous component in the biogeochemical cycle (e.g., C, N, and S) greatly complicates measurement and analysis at the ecosystem scale, as discussed previously. To illustrate a sedimentary cycle, the average biogeochemical relationships for calcium and potassium at HBEF will be summarized for two pentads: one near the beginning of the long-term record and one nearer the end. The cycle for sulfur will be used to show relationships for an element with a major meteorologic component. “Average” is somewhat misleading in this regard because of the large temporal changes that have occurred since 1963, as discussed in previous chapters. Nevertheless, summarizing and synthesizing long-term data into a conceptual diagram for various nutrients provides new understanding and insights.