Atmospheric and Geologic Constraints on the Biogeochemistry of North and South American Temperate Rainforests

  • Lars O. Hedin
  • Eugene D. Hetherington
Part of the Ecological Studies book series (ECOLSTUD, volume 116)


Terrestrial forest ecosystems develop over time within the constraints of element inputs from atmospheric and geologic sources (e.g., Bormann & Likens, 1979; Gorham, Vitousek, & Reiners, 1979; Likens et al., 1977). Atmospheric and geologic inputs can be defined as “external sources”1 of elements because they provide long-term supplies of new nutrients to internal ecosystem pools, such as vegetation, soil organic matter, and soil cation or anion exchange complexes. Such external nutrient supplies can generate constraints on the internal pool sizes and processes (e.g., rates of biomass accretion or hydrologic nutrient loss) of terrestrial ecosystems and may affect rates of recovery after disturbance events (resilience). Here we evaluate the role of external element supplies for temperate rainforests of North and South America. Our focus is on atmospheric and geologic source of elements, which are of direct importance in defining the biogeochemical environment within which plant communities have developed and evolved.


Total Dissolve Solid Base Cation Atmospheric Input High Total Dissolve Solid Geologic Source 
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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lars O. Hedin
  • Eugene D. Hetherington

There are no affiliations available

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