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Phosphorus nutrition can hasten plant and microbe growth in arid, high elevation sites: New study of post-glacial environments sheds light on the limits to life on Earth


Glacial retreat in cold, high-altitude ecosystems exposes environments that are extremely sensitive to phosphorus input, new University of Colorado Boulder-led research shows. The finding upends previous ecological assumptions, helps scientists understand plant and microbe responses to climate change and could expand scientists' understanding of the limits to life on Earth.The study, which was recently published in the journal Science Advances, found that even in mountainous terrain above 17,000 feet above sea level, where soils freeze every night of the year, the addition of phosphorus resulted in rapid growth of plants and photosynthetic microbes, allowing them to overcome the chilly, arid climate.

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U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, center, serves lunch to Magdalena Castro, left, and Margot Alvarado, right, at the Bella Vista senior housing in New Haven Monday.U.S. Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro, center, serves lunch to Magdalena Castro, left, and Margot Alvarado ...

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