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Phosphorus: a limiting nutrient for humanity?

Paper ID Volume ID Publish Year Pages File Format Full-Text
15842 42474 2012 6 PDF Available
Title
Phosphorus: a limiting nutrient for humanity?
Abstract

Phosphorus is a chemical element that is essential to life because of its role in numerous key molecules, including DNA and RNA; indeed, organisms require large amounts of P to grow rapidly. However, the supply of P from the environment is often limiting to production, including to crops. Thus, large amounts of P are mined annually to produce fertilizer that is applied in support of the ‘Green Revolution.’ However, much of this fertilizer eventually ends up in rivers, lakes and oceans where it causes costly eutrophication. Furthermore, given increasing human population, expanding meat consumption, and proliferating bioenergy pressures, concerns have recently been raised about the long-term geological, economic, and geopolitical viability of mined P for fertilizer production. Together, these issues highlight the non-sustainable nature of current human P use. To achieve P sustainability, farms need to become more efficient in how they use P while society as a whole must develop technologies and practices to recycle P from the food chain. Such large-scale changes will probably require a radical restructuring of the entire food system, highlighting the need for prompt but sustained action.

Graphical abstractFigure optionsDownload full-size imageDownload high-quality image (82 K)Download as PowerPoint slideHighlights► P is essential to build key molecules, such as RNA needed for rapid growth. ► P is often limiting to productivity in ecosystems, including to crops. ► Large amounts of P are mined annually to make fertilizer to produce food. ► Current P use is unsustainable owing to ecosystem impacts and uncertainties about fertilizer production. ► A food system redesign to combine P-efficient crops with P recycling is needed.

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Publisher
Database: Elsevier - ScienceDirect
Journal: Current Opinion in Biotechnology - Volume 23, Issue 6, December 2012, Pages 833–838
Authors
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Subjects
Physical Sciences and Engineering Chemical Engineering Bioengineering
Get Full-Text Now
Don't Miss Today's Special Offer
Price was $35.95
You save - $31
Price after discount Only $4.95
100% Money Back Guarantee
Full-text PDF Download
Online Support
Any Questions? feel free to contact us