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Phosphorus is a critical element in the biosphere, limiting biological productivity and thus modulating the global carbon cycle and climate. Fluxes of the global phosphorus cycle remain poorly constrained. The prehuman reactive phosphorus flux, to the ocean is estimated to range from 0.7—4.8 x 1012g/yr. Uncertainty in the reactive phosphorus flux hinges primarily on the uncertain fate of phosphate adsorbed to iron oxyhydroxide particles which are estimated to constitute 50% or more of the chemically weathered-phosphorus river flux.

Most reactive phosphorus is initially removed from seawater by burial of organic matter and by scavenging onto iron-manganese oxide...

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