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Hotspots represent the ephemeral introduction of nutrients into an environment, and occur in both the modern and geologic past. The annual deposition of deciduous leaves in temperate forests, tree falls, animal excrement, and vertebrate carcass deposition all result in the pulsed introduction of nutrients to an ecosystem. Hotspots are critical for providing limiting nutrients, including nitrogen and carbon, to be incorporated into soil microbial biomass and plant biomass. For vertebrate ­carcasses, following the release of labile compounds from soft tissues, bones are often left behind, and provide a more recalcitrant reservoir of organic carbon and nitrogen, phosphorus, calcium, and,...

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