Nitrogen and phosphor in rocks and transfer to ecosystems

  • Louise C. Andresen (Chair)
  • Benjamin Z. Houlton (Invited speaker)
  • Pierre Cartigny (Invited speaker)
  • Matthias Konrad-Schmolke (Speaker)
  • Thomas Zack (Speaker)
  • Akselsson, C. (Speaker)
  • Lin Yu (Speaker)
  • Per Erik Karlsson (Speaker)
  • Wallander, H. (Speaker)
  • Nicholas Rosenstock (Speaker)
  • Tobias Rütting (Speaker)

Activity: Participating in or organising an eventOrganisation of workshop/ seminar/ course


Rock nitrogen (N) is becoming a dynamic new area of research that connects biological and geological disciplines, both over deep to modern time periods, with important implications for Earth’s climate system. The planetary N cycle, which started with the evolution of biological N2 fixation c. 3.5 billion years ago, resulted in substantial quantities of fixed N burial, and 20 % of all of Earth’s N is stored in rock today. The crystal-chemical control on incorporated N and P in rock minerals mirror rock mineral derived nutrients that may become available at plant and mycorrhizal foraging. We discussed the concepts connecting nutrient (N and P) limitation of plants and ecosystems and the role of weathering rate (ForSAFE model) and nitrogen ‘mineralization’ rates (Ntrace model).

The workshop developed these research questions, we have proposed a session to enlighten this at the next Goldschmidt conference (2017) in Paris; 1. How can we constrain the bioavailability and weathering of rock N through models and geochemical proxies? 2. Can rock N constitute a missing pool that potentially enhances the carbon sink in vegetation globally? 3. Will climate change accelerate weathering rates? 4. What organisms (plants, bacteria, fungi, mycorrhiza) can directly attack minerals and relic organic N to gain N? 5. Can regional (lateral) and global (vertical) rock N content, δ15N signature, transport rates and isotope fractionation inform models? 6. In what way are tectonic, subduction and long term transfer to the crust relevant for contemporary N cycling?

10.00 Professor Ben Houlton, Director of the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment: ‘Convergent evidence for widespread rock nitrogen sources in Earth’s surface environment’
11.00 Professor Pierre Cartigny, Director of Research, CNRS, Equipe de Géochimie des Isotopes Stable, IPG-Paris: ‘The nitrogen content of the continental crust - more than biological nitrogen fixation and some implications for the Archean atmosphere.’
13.00 in the room 'Atlanten', Geovetarcentrum
• Matthias Konrad-Schmolke, University of Gothenburg ‘Quantification of the N cycling at convergent plate boundaries to yield quantitative constraints on the long term global N budget’
• Thomas Zack, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Gothenburg. ‘Crystal-chemical control on the incorporation of N and P in minerals’
• Cecilia Akselsson, Lund University: ‘Ecosystem model ForSAFE Nitrogen, base cations and Phosphor’
• Lin Yu, Lund University ‘Role of weathering in forest phosphorus cycle: indications from ForSAFE model’
• Per Erik Karlsson, IVL, Swedish Environmental Research Institute, ‘Nitrogen deposition to Norway spruce forests in Sweden’
• Håkan Wallander, Lund University ‘Transition from N to P limitation in Norway spruce forests’
• Nicholas Rosenstock, Lund University ‘The interplay between nutrient limitation and plant and mycorrhizal foraging for mineral derived nutrients’
• Tobias Rütting, University of Gothenburg: ‘The short term cycle of nitrogen –traced by 15N’

Discussion is open, Moderator: Louise C. Andresen
Period2016 Oct 102016 Oct 11
Event typeWorkshop
LocationGöteborg, SwedenShow on map