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Nutrient Cycling
 
Jarrah forest soils are naturally low in nutrients, and it is therefore critical to rapidly re-establish nutrient cycles in rehabilitated mined areas. Nutrient cycling is an integrated set of processes that involves the transfer of energy and nutrients within an ecosystem. In a sustainable ecosystem the nutrient demands of the vegetation are principally met by recycling the nutrients within the system.
 
Research spanning two decades has focused on litter accumulation and decomposition, re-establishment of nitrogen and phosphorus pools in the ecosystem, and the effect of burning on the nutrient status of rehabilitated areas. Future research will focus on soil processes rather than just nutrient pools, and investigate soil microbial communities in more detail.
 
A range of research papers written by Alcoa research scientists and university partners have reported results of nutrient cycling related studies in the rehabilitated mined areas. 
 


nutrient cycle

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In the jarrah forest nutrients are constantly recycled through the ecosystem.