Role of Forests in Major Element Cycles: Carbon, Sulfur, and Nitrogen

  • William H. Smith
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)


Despite the fundamental and enormous importance of carbon, sulfur, and nitrogen to the biota, our appreciation of the cycling, residence, and flux of these elements among various ecosystems, oceans, and the atmosphere is incomplete. Despite our deficiencies, efforts are being made to refine our understanding of major element cycles and to more accurately estimate global budgets. This is especially important for those interested in air pollution, as compounds containing these elements are extremely significant air contaminants under certain circumstances. Forest ecosystems, because of their extensive distributions and their varied functions, play important roles in global element cycles. The imprecision of our estimates of global nutrient budgets is large and inconclusive conclusive, and predictions based on them must be qualified and cautious.


Nitrous Oxide Forest Soil Hydrogen Sulfide Nitrogen Oxide Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide 
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© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • William H. Smith
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Forestry and Environmental StudiesYale UniversityNew HavenUSA

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