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Reserves and flows of carbon and nutrients

Carbon enters the ecosystem with plant photosynthesis, travels along the trophic web to other organisms and returns to the atmosphere with their respiration. These flows can vary with environmental conditions and disturbances, and it is necessary to quantify them in order to know if the ecosystem is serving as a source or sink of carbon.

In addition to carbon, other elements such as nitrogen and phosphorus are essential for plant growth and for the general maintenance of life in the ecosystem. In the current context of global change, phosphorus has a role which is increasingly limiting in some Mediterranean ecosystems, and for this reason it is necessary to plan forest management while taking this limitation into account. 

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