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Environmental Science Seminar Series – Dr. Rachel Mason – TRU Newsroom

Title: Evidence, causes, and consequences of a global decline in available nitrogen

Speaker: Dr. Rachel Mason – Assistant Research Scientist, National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center (University of Maryland)

Abstract: Nitrogen (N) is both necessary for life and potentially harmful to it, so the amount and distribution of reactive forms of nitrogen around the world is an important matter. While N is often viewed as a pollutant (think fertilizer runoff and ocean dead zones), there are reasons to expect that rising atmospheric CO2 and a warming climate will render N less accessible as a nutrient for plants and micro-organisms. In this talk I will summarize the evidence, from sources ranging from pollen chemistry to satellite imaging to spectroscopy of cattle manure, that N is indeed becoming less available in ecosystems to which it  is not being added through human activities. N is a vital component of protein in plants, so I will also outline how lower N availability may contribute to insect population declines and locust swarms, affect the livelihoods of grazing livestock producers, and put humans at risk of nutritional deficiencies.

Click this link to join event: https://bcnet.bluejeans.com/648705700

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