Impact on biosphere

In the Northern Hemisphere winter dust from the Bodélé Depression is transported across the Atlantic Ocean to the Amazon rain forest (South America) [1]. This mineral dust contains of essential minerals (iron and phosphor), which are key plant nutrients and act as fertilizer increasing the primary productivity in the Amazon rain forest [2]. Iron is used to generate enzymes for photosynthesis, phosphor is crucial for respiration, plant growth, transfer and storage of energy (it is also used as a commercial fertilizer). On the whole 6.5 Tg of iron and 0.12 Tg of phosphor are exported to the Amazon every year [2], which compensates the poor rainforest soils.

biosphere in the amazon

Rainforest biosphere; Wikimedia Commons



[1] Y. Ben-Ami, I. Koren, Y. Rudich, P. Artaxo, S.T. Martin, M.O. Andreae; Transport of Saharan dust from the Bodélé Depression to the Amazon Basin: a case study; Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics Discussion 10, p. 4345-4372; 2010

[2] C.S. Bristow, K.A. Hudson-Edwards, A. Chappell; Fertilizing the Amazon and equatorial Atlantic with West African dust; Geophysical Research Letters 37; 2010


Publication list in alphabetical order (including publication from above):

bibliography-biosphere [pdf, 11 kB]





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