News & AnalysisEcology

Ecosystems Say 'Pass the Salt!'

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Science  31 Jan 2014:
Vol. 343, Issue 6170, pp. 472-473
DOI: 10.1126/science.343.6170.472

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In sodium-poor soil, a University of Oklahoma ecologist has found, small amounts of added salt boost invertebrate biomass and increase decomposition—so much so, his latest work suggests, that a lack of salt could have a major impact on the global carbon cycle. Not everyone agrees about its potential effect on the carbon cycle, but through his work he has convinced many of his colleagues that salt is critical to the well-being of an ecosystem.