BIOGEOCHEMISTRY: SOME OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES FOR THE FUTURE

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Abstract

There are major opportunities for big, important questions to drive biogeochemical research in the future. Some suggestions are presented, such as: what are the controls on N loss and retention in watershed-ecosystems; what are the rates and controls on biological N fixation and denitrification in diverse ecosystems; how does scale (temporal and spatial) control biogeochemical flux and cycling; what controls the apparent and actual weathering rates in terrestrial ecosystems and what is the fate of the weathered products; how can biogeochemical function best be integrated on regional to global scales; and what are the quantitative interrelationships between hydrologic cycles and biogeochemical cycles? Some brief examples and approaches to address such questions, for example, the value of multidisciplinary teams for addressing complicated questions, and the use of sophisticated tools (e.g., stable isotopes, spatial statistics, remote sensing), are presented.

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