Articles | Volume 1, issue 1
SOIL, 1, 381–397, 2015

Special issue: An introduction to SOIL

SOIL, 1, 381–397, 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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Cited articles

Aandahl, A. R.: The characterization of slope positions and their influence on the total nitrogen content of a few virgin soils of western Iowa, Soil Sci. Soc. Am. Proc., 13, 449–454, 1948.
Aber, J. D., Nadelhoffer, K. D., Steudler, P., and Melillo, J. M.: Nitrogen saturation in northern forest ecosystems, BioScience, 39, 378–386, 1989.
Amundson, R. and Jenny, H.: The place of humans in the state factor theory of ecosystems and their soils, Soil Sci., 151, 99–109, 1991.
Amundson, R., Austin, A. T., Schuur, E. A. G., Yoo, K., Matzek, V., Kendall, C., Uebersax, A., Brenner, D., and Baisden, W. T.: Global patterns of the isotopic composition of soil and plant nitrogen, Global Biogeochem. Cy., 17, 1031,, 2003.
Amundson, R., Richter, D. D., Humphreys, G. S., Jobbagy, E. G., and Gaillardet, J.: Coupling between biota and earth materials in the Critical Zone, Elements, 3, 327–332,, 2007.
Special issue
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.