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Disturbance and element interactions

Disturbance and element interactions

This paper discusses the disturbances within and between ecosystems that result in element redistribution involving element transport in the biosphere, hydrosphere, lithosphere and atmosphere. It also discusses the disturbances (e.g. floods/landslides and vulcanism/dust storms) that redistribute and mobilize element in ratios that frequently differ from ecosystem stoichiometries, influence biogeochemical interactions on large spatial and temporal scales, and create long-lasting biological and biogeochemical legacies (e.g. widespread occurrence of N limitation of net primary production in terrestrial ecosystems). Tabulated data are given showing the effects of fire disturbance on element redistribution for a tropical forest under plantation management, for Mediterranean scrub forests, and for pine and Eucalyptus forests. The consequences (negative and positive feedback within ecosystem) of element redistribution are also presented. In addition, the limitations of disturbance assessment, learned views and challenges for the future are given.

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