Biogeochemistry is the study of how chemical elements flow through living systems and their physical environments. It investigates the factors that influence cycles of key elements such as carbon, nitrogen and phosphorous.


Latest Research and Reviews

  • Research | | open

    Mechanisms controlling soil carbon storage and feedbacks to the climate system remain poorly constrained. Here, the authors show that anaerobic microsites stabilize soil carbon by shifting microbial metabolism to less efficient anaerobic respiration and protecting reduced organic compounds from decomposition.

    • Marco Keiluweit
    • , Tom Wanzek
    • , Markus Kleber
    • , Peter Nico
    •  & Scott Fendorf
  • Research | | open

    Some bacteria can use inorganic phosphite and hypophosphite as sources of inorganic phosphorus. Here, the authors report crystal structures of the periplasmic proteins that bind these reduced phosphorus species and show that a P-H…π interaction between the ligand and binding site determines their specificity.

    • Claudine Bisson
    • , Nathan B. P. Adams
    • , Ben Stevenson
    • , Amanda A. Brindley
    • , Despo Polyviou
    • , Thomas S. Bibby
    • , Patrick J. Baker
    • , C. Neil Hunter
    •  & Andrew Hitchcock
  • Research | | open

    The magnitude of organic carbon burial in lakes and reservoirs is poorly constrained. Here, using a compilation of modern data from the literature and statistical modeling, the authors estimate a global yearly organic carbon burial of 0.15 Pg C in inland waters, of which 40% is stored in reservoirs.

    • Raquel Mendonça
    • , Roger A. Müller
    • , David Clow
    • , Charles Verpoorter
    • , Peter Raymond
    • , Lars J. Tranvik
    •  & Sebastian Sobek
  • Research | | open

    The terrestrial carbon cycle is strongly influenced by El Niño/Southern Oscillation (ENSO), but how this relationship will change in future is not clear. Here the authors use state-of-the-art models to show that the sensitivity of the carbon cycle to ENSO will increase under future climate change.

    • Jin-Soo Kim
    • , Jong-Seong Kug
    •  & Su-Jong Jeong
  • Research | | open

    The impacts of climate change on natural methane (CH4) emissions via ebullition are unclear. Here, using published and experimental multi-seasonal CH4 ebullition data, the authors find a strong relationship between CH4 ebullition and temperature across a wide range of freshwater ecosystems globally.

    • Ralf C. H. Aben
    • , Nathan Barros
    • , Ellen van Donk
    • , Thijs Frenken
    • , Sabine Hilt
    • , Garabet Kazanjian
    • , Leon P. M. Lamers
    • , Edwin T. H. M. Peeters
    • , Jan G. M. Roelofs
    • , Lisette N. de Senerpont Domis
    • , Susanne Stephan
    • , Mandy Velthuis
    • , Dedmer B. Van de Waal
    • , Martin Wik
    • , Brett F. Thornton
    • , Jeremy Wilkinson
    • , Tonya DelSontro
    •  & Sarian Kosten

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Rising oxygen levels may have facilitated the Great Ordovician Biodiversification Event according to a reconstruction of atmospheric oxygen concentrations.

    • Alycia L. Stigall
  • News and Views |

    Microbial activity in the sea results in a loss of bioavailable nitrogen. It emerges that the climate phenomenon called the El Niño–Southern Oscillation has a surprisingly large effect on the size of this loss.

    • Katja Fennel
    Nature 551, 305–306
  • Comments and Opinion |

    The Paris Agreement has increased the incentive to verify reported anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions with independent Earth system observations. Reliable verification requires a step change in our understanding of carbon cycle variability.

    • Glen P. Peters
    • , Corinne Le Quéré
    • , Robbie M. Andrew
    • , Josep G. Canadell
    • , Pierre Friedlingstein
    • , Tatiana Ilyina
    • , Robert B. Jackson
    • , Fortunat Joos
    • , Jan Ivar Korsbakken
    • , Galen A. McKinley
    • , Stephen Sitch
    •  & Pieter Tans
  • Editorial |

    The world's inland waters are under siege. A system-level view of watersheds is needed to inform both our scientific understanding and management decisions for these precious resources.