Phosphorus and Global Change

  • Holm Tiessen
  • Maria Victoria Ballester
  • Ignacio Salcedo
Part of the Soil Biology book series (SOILBIOL, volume 26)


Phosphorus (P) is both an agent of global change, with P loads increasing in most global environments due to the loss of mined phosphate from agricultural, industrial, and urban environments, and is affected by global change processes such as land degradation or the need for P in biofuel production. P plays a fundamental role in food security and, because the only source for new P inputs to agriculture are phosphate rock deposits, P is a strategic, limited resource. Increasing the food supply for a growing world population requires additional P while sources are slowly being depleted. Sustainability of food, fiber, and fuel demands efforts towards maximizing the efficient use of this nutrient and defining priorities for its use. However, P is being used in production systems in such a way that large amounts of P leak into down-stream ecosystems. The negative effects of eutrophication are well known and occur now at a global scale. P use will have to be accompanied by greater efforts towards re-use, recycling, and strategic targeted applications.


Soil Erosion Arable Land Biofuel Production Phosphate Rock Soybean Production 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Berlin Heidelberg 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Holm Tiessen
    • 1
  • Maria Victoria Ballester
    • 2
  • Ignacio Salcedo
    • 3
  1. 1.Inter-American Institute for Global Change ResearchSão José dos CamposBrasil
  2. 2.Centro de Energia Nuclear na AgriculturaUniversidade de São PauloPiracicabaBrasil
  3. 3.Departamento de Energia Nuclear, Ignacio SalcedoUniversidade Federal de Pernambuco, Centro de TecnologiaRecifeBrasil

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