Nutrient Cycling in Wetlands
Wetlands play important roles in nutrient cycling, transforming and changing the mobility and biological availability of growth-promoting and, when in deficit, growth-limiting chemical substances. Nutrient cycling is a supporting ecosystem services. The supporting services are perhaps the most overlooked of all ecosystem services, relating largely to processes within ecosystems – also including soil formation, habitat for wildlife, photosynthetic productivity and oxygen generation, and water recycling – that though not directly consumed are fundamental for the resilience of ecosystems and their capacity to produce other, more directly consumed services.
Enrichment of ecosystems by mined phosphorus, remobilizing phosphorus sequestered by long-term processes, is a pernicious problem resulting in eutrophication of water and soils. Agriculture is a major source of diffuse nutrient pollution globally, representing a particular hazard to wetlands and their ecosystem services. However, wetland systems are effective at attenuating phosphorus, and this supporting service may potentially be exploited not merely to reduce nutrient loads from wastewater and diffuse run-off but also for nutrient recovery.
KeywordsNutrient Cycling Phosphorus Nitrogen Silicon Supporting service Eutrophication Nitrification Denitrification
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