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Ecosystem Succession and Nutrient Retention: A Hypothesis

Peter M. Vitousek and William A. Reiners
BioScience
Vol. 25, No. 6 (Jun., 1975), pp. 376-381
DOI: 10.2307/1297148
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1297148
Page Count: 6
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Ecosystem Succession and Nutrient Retention: A Hypothesis
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Abstract

A hypothesis is presented for the regulation of elemental losses from terrestrial ecosystems. Losses of elements are controlled by the net increment of biomass growth and the elemental composition of this net increment. According to this hypothesis, loss rates are highest in early succession and in steady state ecosystems.

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