Bioavailability of Macro and Micronutrients Across Global Topsoils: Main Drivers and Global Change Impacts

Raúl Ochoa-Hueso* (Corresponding author), Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Anita C. Risch, Louise Ashton, David Augustine, Nicolas Bélanger, Scott Bridgham, Andrea J. Britton, Viktor J. Bruckman, J. Julio Camarero, Gerard Cornelissen, John A. Crawford, Feike A. Dijkstra, Amanda Diochon, Stevan Earl, James Edgerley, Howard Epstein, Andrew Felton, Julien Fortier, Daniel GagnonKen Greer, Hannah M. Griffiths, Caroline Halde, Hans Martin Hanslin, Lorna I. Harris, Jeremy A. Hartsock, Paul Hendrickson, Knut Anders Hovstad, Jia Hu, Arun D. Jani, Kelcy Kent, Deirdre Kerdraon-Byrne, Sat Darshan S. Khalsa, Derrick Y.F. Lai, France Lambert, Jalene M. LaMontagne, Stéphanie Lavergne, Beth A. Lawrence, Kim Littke, Abigail C. Leeper, Mark A. Licht, Mark A. Liebig, Joshua S. Lynn, Janet E. Maclean, Vegard Martinsen, Marshall D. McDaniel, Anne C.S. McIntosh, Jessica R. Miesel, Jim Miller, Michael J. Mulvaney, Gerardo Moreno, Laura Newstead, Robin J. Pakeman, Jan Pergl, Bradley D. Pinno, Juan Piñeiro, Kathleen Quigley, Troy M. Radtke, Paul Reed, Víctor Rolo, Jennifer Rudgers, P. Michael Rutherford, Emma J. Sayer, Lilia Serrano-Grijalva, Maria Strack, Nicole Sukdeo, Andy F.S. Taylor, Benoit Truax, Leonard J.S. Tsuji, Natasja van Gestel, Brenda M. Vaness, Kevin Van Sundert, Michaela Vítková, Robert Weigel, Meaghan J. Wilton, Yuriko Yano, Ewing Teen, Eric Bremer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journal/periodicalArticleScientificpeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Understanding the chemical composition of our planet's crust was one of the biggest questions of the 20th century. More than 100 years later, we are still far from understanding the global patterns in the bioavailability and spatial coupling of elements in topsoils worldwide, despite their importance for the productivity and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Here, we measured the bioavailability and coupling of thirteen macro- and micronutrients and phytotoxic elements in topsoils (3–8 cm) from a range of terrestrial ecosystems across all continents (∼10,000 observations) and in response to global change manipulations (∼5,000 observations). For this, we incubated between 1 and 4 pairs of anionic and cationic exchange membranes per site for a mean period of 53 days. The most bioavailable elements (Ca, Mg, and K) were also amongst the most abundant in the crust. Patterns of bioavailability were biome-dependent and controlled by soil properties such as pH, organic matter content and texture, plant cover, and climate. However, global change simulations resulted in important alterations in the bioavailability of elements. Elements were highly coupled, and coupling was predictable by the atomic properties of elements, particularly mass, mass to charge ratio, and second ionization energy. Deviations from the predictable coupling-atomic mass relationship were attributed to global change and agriculture. Our work illustrates the tight links between the bioavailability and coupling of topsoil elements and environmental context, human activities, and atomic properties of elements, thus deeply enhancing our integrated understanding of the biogeochemical connections that underlie the productivity and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems in a changing world.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere2022GB007680
Number of pages14
JournalGlobal Biogeochemical Cycles
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023


  • atomic properties
  • bioavailability
  • coupling
  • environmental context
  • nutrients
  • soil


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    Ochoa-Hueso, R. (Creator), Delgado-Baquerizo, M. (Creator), Risch, A. C. (Creator), Ashton, L. A. (Creator), Augustine, D. (Creator), Bélanger, N. (Creator), Bridgham, S. (Creator), Britton, A. J. (Creator), Bruckman, V. J. (Creator), Camarero, J. J. (Creator), Cornelissen, G. (Creator), Crawford, J. A. (Creator), Dijkstra, F. A. (Creator), Diochon, A. (Creator), Earl, S. (Creator), Edgerley, J. (Creator), Epstein, H. (Creator), Felton, A. (Creator), Fortier, J. (Creator), Gagnon, D. (Creator), Greer, K. (Creator), Griffiths, H. M. (Creator), Halde, C. (Creator), Hanslin, H. M. (Creator), Harris, L. I. (Creator), Hartsock, J. A. (Creator), Hendrickson, P. (Creator), Hovstad, K. A. (Creator), Hu, J. (Creator), Jani, A. D. (Creator), Kent, K. (Creator), Kerdraon-Byrne, D. (Creator), Khalsa, S. D. S. (Creator), Lai, D. Y. F. (Creator), Lambert, F. (Creator), LaMontagne, J. M. (Creator), Lavergne, S. (Creator), Lawrence, B. A. (Creator), Littke, K. (Creator), Leeper, A. C. (Creator), Licht, M. A. (Creator), Liebig, M. A. (Creator), Lynn, J. S. (Creator), Maclean, J. E. (Creator), Martinsen, V. (Creator), McDaniel, M. D. (Creator), McIntosh, A. C. S. (Creator), Miesel, J. R. (Creator), Miller, J. (Creator), Mulvaney, M. J. (Creator), Moreno, G. (Creator), Newstead, L. (Creator), Pakeman, R. J. (Creator), Pergl, J. (Creator), Pinno, B. D. (Creator), Piñeiro, J. (Creator), Quigley, K. (Creator), Radtke, T. M. (Creator), Reed, P. (Creator), Rolo, V. (Creator), Rudgers, J. (Creator), Rutherford, P. M. (Creator), Sayer, E. J. (Creator), Serrano, L. (Creator), Strack, M. (Creator), Sukdeo, N. (Creator), Taylor, A. F. S. (Creator), Truax, B. (Creator), Tsuji, L. J. S. (Creator), van Gestel, N. (Creator), Vaness, B. M. (Creator), Van Sundert, K. (Creator), Vítková, M. (Creator), Weigel, R. (Creator), Wilton, M. J. (Creator), Yano, Y. (Creator), Teen, E. (Creator) & Bremer, E. (Creator), Figshare, 25 Apr 2023


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