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P provides the backbone of nucleic acids it is

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between N and photosynthesis is particularly strong. P provides the backbone of nucleic acids; it is fundamental to synthesis and growth in cells and organisms.
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Nutrient Limitation The supply of N and P most often constrains plant productivity in ecosystems terrestrial, aquatic, and marine - as demonstrated by fertilizer experiments in natural systems, and by the widespread and increasing use of N and P fertilizers in agriculture. Animal growth is also frequently protein (N)-limited. Other elements may limit growth as well Ca, Mg, K, and in animals Na are important resources for organisms, and K in particular is #3 in abundance (after N and P) as an agricultural fertilizer
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Geophysical Context Ecosystems include physical processes as well as biological communities. To understand how terrestrial biota obtain nutrient elements, we have to understand that the most important elements have different sources and dynamics; in terrestrial systems, these can be summarized: Element Source Mobility Abundance in the Ocean Nitrogen Atmosphere High Low Phosphorus Rocks Low Low Cations Rocks High High *by “ cations ” I mean calcium, magnesium, potassium
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In the Hawaiian Islands, land surfaces are created by volcanic eruption and go through what we call “ecological succession” as plants, animals, and microbes arrive and grow and soils develop
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What element(s) limit production? Over the first few thousands of years, the volcanic rock dissolves relatively rapidly and releases elements. Later (some hundreds of thousands of years later), nitrogen has accumulated from the atmosphere and all of the rock within reach of plant roots has broken down, leaving an
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P provides the backbone of nucleic acids it is fundamental...

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