Research Topic

Carbon-Nitrogen-Phosphorus Coupling in Forests

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About this Research Topic

Considerable research has been done in identifying the main factors controlling carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycles in terrestrial ecosystems. While the dynamics of C, N and P have been studied individually, less attention has been paid to the coupling of the C-N-P cycles despite the fact that a balance in N and P availability controls plant growth and soil processes. For instance, changes in nutrient availability may strongly affect primary productivity and decomposition processes and alter, in turn, C sequestration in forest ecosystems. Moreover, the limitation of one of these elements may influence the use, the efficiency and/or the turnover of other elements, with potential further consequences on the structure and functions of microbial communities and soil food webs. Although increasing efforts have been conducted over the past years to assess the impact of climate change (e.g., warming, drought…) on biogeochemical cycles through empirical and theoretical approaches, more insights are needed on C-N-P coupling in order to better predict potential changes in ecosystems functioning, and to develop conservation strategies to preserve the sustainability of forest ecosystems in a changing environment.

This Research Topic will feature within Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, and aims to bring together relevant scientific contributions on the effects of changing nutrient availability (fertilization, N fixation, N deposition…), biodiversity loss (tree species, plant functional groups…), climatic factors (water, temperature…), and/or ecosystem evolution on the coupling between C-N-P cycles in forest ecosystems. We seek to identify the interactions among elements at different spatial scales (from the cell to the ecosystem scale) and temporal scales (from the day to the millenial scale), in order to progress our understanding of how C-N-P cycling are (de)coupled in forest ecosystems (tropical, temperate and boreal). We are especially interested in studies that go beyond the measurement and description of C or nutrient cycling, but aim to also study their coupling in order to improve our predictions of above- and belowground processes in forest ecosystems.


Keywords: Biogeochemical cycles, Carbon sequestration, Nutrient limitation, Nitrogen fixation, Phosphorus acquisition, Nutrient cycling, Microbial communities, Soil biota, Stoichiometry, Decomposition, Nitrogen deposition, Enzyme, Soil organic matter


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

Considerable research has been done in identifying the main factors controlling carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) cycles in terrestrial ecosystems. While the dynamics of C, N and P have been studied individually, less attention has been paid to the coupling of the C-N-P cycles despite the fact that a balance in N and P availability controls plant growth and soil processes. For instance, changes in nutrient availability may strongly affect primary productivity and decomposition processes and alter, in turn, C sequestration in forest ecosystems. Moreover, the limitation of one of these elements may influence the use, the efficiency and/or the turnover of other elements, with potential further consequences on the structure and functions of microbial communities and soil food webs. Although increasing efforts have been conducted over the past years to assess the impact of climate change (e.g., warming, drought…) on biogeochemical cycles through empirical and theoretical approaches, more insights are needed on C-N-P coupling in order to better predict potential changes in ecosystems functioning, and to develop conservation strategies to preserve the sustainability of forest ecosystems in a changing environment.

This Research Topic will feature within Frontiers in Forests and Global Change, and aims to bring together relevant scientific contributions on the effects of changing nutrient availability (fertilization, N fixation, N deposition…), biodiversity loss (tree species, plant functional groups…), climatic factors (water, temperature…), and/or ecosystem evolution on the coupling between C-N-P cycles in forest ecosystems. We seek to identify the interactions among elements at different spatial scales (from the cell to the ecosystem scale) and temporal scales (from the day to the millenial scale), in order to progress our understanding of how C-N-P cycling are (de)coupled in forest ecosystems (tropical, temperate and boreal). We are especially interested in studies that go beyond the measurement and description of C or nutrient cycling, but aim to also study their coupling in order to improve our predictions of above- and belowground processes in forest ecosystems.


Keywords: Biogeochemical cycles, Carbon sequestration, Nutrient limitation, Nitrogen fixation, Phosphorus acquisition, Nutrient cycling, Microbial communities, Soil biota, Stoichiometry, Decomposition, Nitrogen deposition, Enzyme, Soil organic matter


Important Note: All contributions to this Research Topic must be within the scope of the section and journal to which they are submitted, as defined in their mission statements. Frontiers reserves the right to guide an out-of-scope manuscript to a more suitable section or journal at any stage of peer review.

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