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Environment: The disappearing nutrient

A Correction to this article was published on 25 November 2009

A Correction to this article was published on 21 October 2009

Phosphate-based fertilizers have helped spur agricultural gains in the past century, but the world may soon run out of them. Natasha Gilbert investigates the potential phosphate crisis.

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  1. Rosemarin, A. Down to Earth June, 27-31 (2004)..

  2. USGS Mineral Commodity Summaries: Phosphate Rock (USGS, 2009).

  3. IFDC Global Phosphate Reserves, Resources and Future Production (IFDC, 2008).


  5. Vitousek, P. M. et al. Science 324, 1519-1520 (2009).

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Natasha Gilbert is a reporter based in Nature's London office.

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USGS Minerals report for phosphate with preliminary numbers for 2008 (pdf)

International Center for Soil Fertility & Agricultural Development

International Fertilizer Industry Association

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Gilbert, N. Environment: The disappearing nutrient. Nature 461, 716–718 (2009).

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