BETTER LIVING THROUGH BIOGEOCHEMISTRY

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Abstract

During the past 50 years, biogeochemistry has emerged as the premier scientific discipline to examine human impacts on the global environment. Important advances have derived from the synthesis of biogeochemical cycles at the global level, from the recognition that biochemical stoichiometry constrains the composition of living tissue, and from large-scale experiments that address the response of whole ecosystems to human impact. Future work will further pursue these avenues, with frequent use of modern, molecular methods to ascertain the role of individual species and species diversity in ecosystem function. Biogeochemists will increasingly need to translate the important results of their work to help formulate effective environmental policy.

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