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DSSS: Islands as Model Systems for Understanding Soils, Ecosystems, & Human-Environment Interactions

For many years, we have been making use of the Hawaiian Islands as models for understanding how soils and ecosystems develop and function. Results of this research show that the properties of soils exhibit sharp thresholds in both space and time, places where soil properties change abruptly with a small additional change in forcing. We have identified three major thresholds in Hawaiian soils – one associated with the accumulation of carbonate in dry soils, a second associated with the depletion of primary minerals in the rooting zone, and a third associated with iron reduction and phosphorus mobility.


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