|Title||Some thoughts on the biogeochemical cycling of potassium in terrestrial ecosystems|
|Publication Type||Journal Article|
|Year of Publication||2021|
|Pagination||427 - 432|
Potassium presents a conundrum for biogeochemists. Potassium is cycled wastefully at the plant level, but it appears to be conserved in the nutrient budgets of entire ecosystems, where it sometimes limits net primary productivity. An increasing demand for K fertilizer may accompany the expansion of agriculture into highly weathered tropical soils, where limited supplies of K may control the distribution and productivity of natural vegetation. However, the molar ratios of 4.6 for N/K in herbaceous plants, 17.3 in current global fertilizer applications, and 0.33 in the commodity price of fertilizer suggest that N is vastly overused and K is vastly over-priced in modern agriculture.