Current Regulating and Supporting Services: Nutrient Cycles

Wilcke, Wolfgang; Boy, Jens; Hamer, Ute; Potthast, Karin; Rollenbeck, Rütger; Valarezo, Carlos (2013). Current Regulating and Supporting Services: Nutrient Cycles. In: Bendix, Jörg; Beck, Erwin; Bräuning, Achim; Makeschin, Franz; Mosandl, Reinhard; Scheu, Stefan; Wilcke, Wolfgang (eds.) Ecosystem Services, Biodiversity and Environmental Change in a Tropical Mountain Ecosystem of South Ecuador. Ecological Studies: Vol. 221 (pp. 141-151). Heidelberg: Springer 10.1007/978-3-642-38137-9_11

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The study forest regulates nutrient cycles as a supporting ecosystem service mainly via retention in the biosphere and the soil organic layer. How tight the nutrient cycles are depends on environmental conditions. In this chapter, we focus on the roles of (1) deposition from the atmosphere, (2) soil moisture regime, and (3) conversion to pasture in the nutrient cycle. Between 1998 and 2010, there were a seasonal deposition of salpetric acid, an episodic deposition of Ca and Mg from Sahara dusts, and a continuous increase in reactive N inputs related to Amazonian forest fires, the El Niño Southern Oscillation cycle, and the economic development, respectively. Simultaneously, soils became increasingly drier enhancing nutrient release by mineralization. An increasing number of rain storms could considerably increase the export of N and base metals (K, Ca, Mg) via fast surface-near lateral transport in soil. Land-use change from forest to pasture introduces alkaline ashes and grass-derived organic matter. The resulting increases in soil pH and nutrient and substrate supply increase nutrient cycling rates because of enhanced microbial activity.

Item Type:

Book Section (Book Chapter)


08 Faculty of Science > Institute of Geography

UniBE Contributor:

Wilcke, Wolfgang


900 History > 910 Geography & travel




Ecological Studies






Monika Wälti-Stampfli

Date Deposited:

20 Aug 2014 17:01

Last Modified:

07 Jan 2015 10:01

Publisher DOI:





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