In addition to climate change, the world is undergoing a number of other changes as a result of human activity. Meeting the food and energy demands of a growing population requires inputs of nitrogen fertilizer, cutting down of forests, altering of land use, and carbon dioxide fertilization. How these changes will affect ecosystem function is a major question that will impact whether or not ecosystems are resilient to such changes and what alterations to biodiversity and species distribution we can expect to see in the future. Understanding ecosystem responses to global change will allow us to implement mitigation strategies that can protect humans and the environment - as many of these changes will have direct impact on human well-being.
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Houlton, B. Z., Boyer, B., Finzi, A., Galloway, J., Leach, A., Liptzin, D., Melillo, J., Rosenstock, T. S., Sobota, D., and Townsend, A. R., The US Nitrogen Synthesis: N-use Efficiency among Economic Sectors and N by Climate Risks Nationwide. In: The Role of Nitrogen in Climate Change and the Impacts of Nitrogen-Climate Interactions...: A Technical Report Submitted to the US National Climate Assessment Ed. Suddick, E.C., Davidson, E.A., Woods Hole Research Center, 149 Woods Hole Road, Falmouth, MA, 02540-1644 USA.(2012)
Finzi, A. C., Austin, A. T., Cleland, E. E., Frey, S., Houlton, B. Z., and Wallenstein, M. D. Alteration of coupled biogeochemical cycles in response to global change in the terrestrial biosphere. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment(2011)