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This paper contrasts the natural and anthropogenic controls on the conversion of unreactive N 2 to more reactive forms of nitrogen (Nr). A variety of data sets are used to construct global N budgets for 1860 and the early 1990s and to make projections for the global N budget in 2050. Regional N budgets for Asia, North America, and other major regions for(More)
Issues in Ecology is designed to report, in language understandable by non-scientists, the consensus of a panel of scientific experts on issues relevant to the environment. Issues in Ecology is supported by the Pew Scholars in Conservation Biology program and by the Ecological Society of America. It is published at irregular intervals, as reports are(More)
Nitrogen is a key element controlling the species composition, diversity, dynamics, and functioning of many terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems. Many of the original plant species living in these ecosystems are adapted to, and function optimally in, soils and solutions with low levels of available nitrogen. The growth and dynamics of herbivore(More)
We evaluate the greenhouse gas footprint of natural gas obtained by high-volume hydraulic fracturing from shale formations, focusing on methane emissions. Natural gas is composed largely of methane, and 3.6% to 7.9% of the methane from shale-gas production escapes to the atmosphere in venting and leaks over the lifetime of a well. These methane emissions(More)
During the next 50 years, which is likely to be the final period of rapid agricultural expansion, demand for food by a wealthier and 50% larger global population will be a major driver of global environmental change. Should past dependences of the global environmental impacts of agriculture on human population and consumption continue, 10(9) hectares of(More)
Numerous freshwater ecosystems, dense concentrations of humans along the eastern seaboard, extensive forests and a history of intensive land use distinguish the New England/Mid-Atlantic Region. Human population densities are forecast to increase in portions of the region at the same time that climate is expected to be changing. Consequently, the effects of(More)
The use of a combination of the stable isotopes of sulfur, carbon, and nitrogen allows the flow of organic matter and trophic relations in salt marshes and estuaries to be traced while eliminating many ambiguities that accompany the use of a single isotopic tracer. Salt-marsh grasses take up the isotopically light sulfides formed during sulfate reduction,(More)
Initial understanding of the links between nutrients and aquatic productivity originated in Europe in the early 1900s, and our knowledge base has expanded greatly during the past 40 yr. This explosion of eutrophication-related research has made it unequivocally clear that a comprehensive strategy to prevent excessive amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus from(More)