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Impacts of climate change on bioelemental stocks and flows and feedbacks on ecosystems and crops – ELEMENTAL CLIMATE

20th national competition for scientific and technical research

Climate Change and Renewable Energy

Senior Researcher : Josep Peñuelas Reixach

Research Centre or Institution : Centro de Investigación Ecológica y Aplicaciones Forestales. Barcelona


Warming and drought strongly change stocks and flows of all bioelements. Furthermore, the availabilities of C from rising atmospheric levels of carbon dioxide and of N from various human-induced inputs to ecosystems are continuously increasing, but these increases are not paralleled by similar increases in other earth-bond elements such as P or K. The inexorable change in the stoichiometry of C and N relative to P and K, but also among the other bioelements, Ca, Mg, S,… has no equivalent in Earth’s history. The global implications of the increasing changes in bioelemental fluxes and stocks remain a virtually unexplored research field but are highly relevant to life, the Earth system, and society. These changes have great implications in biosphere and human life quality with multiple feed-backs on climate change because bioelements are crucial determinants of the structure and function of living organisms and ecosystem, and food production and quality, but have never been studied in an integrated manner.

We 1) identify and quantify the changes driven by climate change in elementomes in environments (soil and water), organisms, ecosystems and agroecosystems, 2) identify and quantify the unknown feed-back effects of these biogeochemical changes on climate change mainly throughout its impacts on the elemental composition, structure and functioning of organisms, communities, ecosystems, and 3) identify, codify and quantify the profound but uncertain effects of these biogeochemical and stoichiometric environmental changes on food security.

We integrate observations, experimentation, theory and modelling at different temporal and spatial scales to evaluate, predict, and provide possible solutions to the anthropogenic imbalances in elementomes and their effects on climate and food security. The results obtained already in the project are outstanding. 


Scientific Production
Magazine Articles 10
Communications at national conferences 2
Communications at international conferences 20


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