Articles | Volume 1, issue 1
SOIL, 1, 381–397, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-1-381-2015

Special issue: An introduction to SOIL

SOIL, 1, 381–397, 2015
https://doi.org/10.5194/soil-1-381-2015

Review article 21 Apr 2015

Review article | 21 Apr 2015

A new synthesis for terrestrial nitrogen inputs

B. Z. Houlton and S. L. Morford

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Short summary
Nitrogen is necessary for life; this element is found in all DNA and protein molecules on Earth. Nitrogen also regulates the CO2 uptake capacity of land ecosystems, with important consequences for climate change. Here we provide evidence for a new source of nitrogen that is found in many of the rock materials on which natural ecosystems form. The idea that rocks are a widely distributed source of nitrogen challenges the standard paradigm of botany, soil, and ecosystem science.