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Volume 86 Issue 50 | p. 30 | Concentrates
Issue Date: December 15, 2008

Molybdenum Limits Nitrogen Fixation

Biogeochemists have discovered that molybdenum, not phosphorus as previously thought, is the limiting nutrient in tropical soils
Department: Science & Technology

Biogeochemists have discovered that molybdenum, not phosphorus as previously thought, is the limiting nutrient that dictates the rate of bacterial nitrogen fixation in tropical soils (Nat. Geoscience, DOI: 10.1038/ngeo366). The finding is an important development for the study of global biogeochemical cycles, the scientists say, because molybdenum-limited nitrogen fixation could constrain plant growth and hence carbon dioxide uptake by plants, a major sink for atmospheric CO2 in the tropics. Nitrogen fixation is the biological conversion . . .

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