Document Detail

Phosphorus: a limiting nutrient for humanity?
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22465489     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Phosphorus is a chemical element that is essential to life because of its role in numerous key molecules, including DNA and RNA; indeed, organisms require large amounts of P to grow rapidly. However, the supply of P from the environment is often limiting to production, including to crops. Thus, large amounts of P are mined annually to produce fertilizer that is applied in support of the 'Green Revolution.' However, much of this fertilizer eventually ends up in rivers, lakes and oceans where it causes costly eutrophication. Furthermore, given increasing human population, expanding meat consumption, and proliferating bioenergy pressures, concerns have recently been raised about the long-term geological, economic, and geopolitical viability of mined P for fertilizer production. Together, these issues highlight the non-sustainable nature of current human P use. To achieve P sustainability, farms need to become more efficient in how they use P while society as a whole must develop technologies and practices to recycle P from the food chain. Such large-scale changes will probably require a radical restructuring of the entire food system, highlighting the need for prompt but sustained action.
James J Elser
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Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-3-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current opinion in biotechnology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1879-0429     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Mar 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-4-2     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  9100492     Medline TA:  Curr Opin Biotechnol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ 85287-4501, USA.
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