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Louise C. Andresen


Department of Earth
Visiting address
Guldhedsgatan 5a
41320 Göteborg
Room number
Postal address
Box 460
40530 Göteborg

About Louise C. Andresen

Soil nutrients are essential for plant growth, and nutrient limitations can be a controlling factor for plant growth response to climate change. Plant growth is in many natural terrestrial ecosystems limited by nitrogen (N) and characterized by strong competition for N between plants and the soil microbial communities. Consequently, ecosystem N availability is an important factor controlling for the carbon (C) uptake in terrestrial ecosystems and therefore also plays a dominant role in controlling the feedback between the biosphere and the atmosphere in a warmer and more CO2 enriched world. Traditionally the dynamics of N are investigated, but phosphorus (P) can also be a limiting nutrient for plants, other organisms and ecosystem processes. It is crucial, for our predictions of climate change responses and feedbacks, to determine if a secondary limitation from P will manifest across ecosystems and soil types. Long term fertilization experiments have been conducted to determine limitations from N and P, with concern for wood production or microbiological aspects. However, terrestrial ecosystems are normally not fertilized but function on the basis of nutrients available from soil organic matter decomposition, input from atmosphere (N2 fixation and deposition) and from mineral weathering. The challenge is now to develop a fast and more detailed method to determine if N or P limitation is present and shifting, in a natural ecosystem, and hereby avoid invasive fertilization experiments as potential supplement to measures of plant nutrient content.

NEW paper in Global Change Biology:

Biomass responses in a temperate European grassland through 17 years of elevated CO2