Research frontiers in the analysis of coupled biogeochemical cycles

Authors


Abstract

The analysis of coupled biogeochemical cycles (CBCs) addresses the scientific basis for some of today's major environmental problems. Drawing from information presented at a series of sessions on CBCs held at the 2009 Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America and from the research community's expertise, we identify several principal research themes that justify action and investment. Critical areas for research include: coupling of major element cycles to less studied yet equally important trace element cycles; analyzing CBCs across ecosystem boundaries; integrating experimental results into regional- and global-scale models; and expanding the analysis of human interactions with CBCs arising from human population growth, urbanization, and geoengineering. To advance the current understanding of CBCs and to address the environmental challenges of the 21st century, scientists must maintain and synthesize data from existing observational and experimental networks, develop new instrumentation networks, and adopt emerging technologies.

Ancillary