Can phosphorus redistribution by animals fertilise Amazonian lowlands?

Corina Buendía1, Axel Kleidon2, Stefano Manzoni3, Björn Reu4, Amilcare Porporato5
1 Ecological Modelling, Bayreuth University
2 Max Planck Institute for Biogeochmestry, Jena, Germany
3 Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Uppsala, Sweden
4 Leipzig University, Leipzig, Germany
5 Duke University, Durham, USA

O 9.3 in Critical unknowns in the cycling of P in forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems

15.07.2014, 16:10-16:30, H20

Amazonian ecosystems are of global importance in terms of climate regulation and biodiversity despite growing on ancient, highly weathered and nutrient depleted soils. Because phosphorus (P) is suggested to be a limited nutrient in many Amazonian ecosystems, their functioning may be potentially vulnerable to alterations of its nutrient cycles. Recently, evidence accumulates that animals may play a major role on nutrient cycles in Amazonia. Here, we want to develop this idea further and show how the spatial redistribution of P from rivers to land, across different ecosystems and between sub-basins mediated by animals may even sustain the Amazonian P cycle. To do so, we introduce a simple mathematical framework, which synthesizes the major processes of the Amazonian P cycle and allows for quantifying their relative contribution to the P budget. With this model and using back of the envelope calculations we demonstrate how animals can affect the P cycle. The findings from our model simulation and calculation exercises stress the importance of Amazonian ecology, such as fish migrations, the characteristics of different ecosystems (i.e. in flooding regime and soil moisture) and the role of different animal foraging strategies for a sustainable P cycling in these ecosystems. 

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last modified 2014-06-19