Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.


Drivers of decoupling in drylands

A study reveals that increasing aridity alters the balance of carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus in dryland soils, providing insight into how global climate change will affect soil fertility and ecosystem services. See Letter p.672

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.

Figure 1: Aridity causes elemental cycles to decouple.


  1. 1

    McGill, W. B. & Cole, C. V. Geoderma 26, 267–286 (1981).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Walker, T. W. & Syers, J. K. Geoderma 15, 1–19 (1976).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Peltzer, D. A. et al. Ecol. Monogr. 80, 509–529 (2010).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Delgado-Baquerizo, M. et al. Nature 502, 672–676 (2013).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Vitousek, P. M. Nutrient Cycling and Limitation: Hawai'i as a Model System (Princeton Univ. Press, 2002).

    Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Wardle, D. A., Walker, L. R. & Bardgett, R. D. Science 305, 509–513 (2004).

    ADS  CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    McKenzie, N., Jacquier, D., Isbell, R. & Brown, K. Australian Soils and Landscapes (CSIRO Publishing, 2004).

    Book  Google Scholar 

  8. 8

    Selmants, P. C. & Hart, S. C. Glob. Biogeochem. Cycles 22, GB1021 (2008).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

  9. 9

    Porder, S. & Chadwick, O. E. Ecology 90, 623–636 (2009).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  10. 10

    Dai, A. Nature Clim. Change 3, 52–58 (2013).

    ADS  Article  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Corresponding author

Correspondence to David A. Wardle.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Wardle, D. Drivers of decoupling in drylands. Nature 502, 628–629 (2013).

Download citation

Further reading


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing