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dc.contributor.authorZerkle, A. L.
dc.contributor.authorMikhail, S.
dc.identifier.citationZerkle , A L & Mikhail , S 2017 , ' The geobiological nitrogen cycle : from microbes to the mantle ' , Geobiology , vol. 15 , no. 13 , pp. 343-352 .
dc.identifier.otherPURE: 248664758
dc.identifier.otherPURE UUID: 5dd1ac7b-17e7-4d4f-b158-69e26bf39185
dc.identifier.otherScopus: 85012083549
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0001-5276-0229/work/37274384
dc.identifier.otherORCID: /0000-0003-2324-1619/work/60427934
dc.identifier.otherWOS: 000399645500001
dc.description.abstractNitrogen forms an integral part of the main building blocks of life, including DNA, RNA, and proteins. N2 is the dominant gas in Earth’s atmosphere, and nitrogen is stored in all of Earth’s geological reservoirs, including the crust, the mantle, and the core. As such, nitrogen geochemistry is fundamental to the evolution of planet Earth and the life it supports. Despite the importance of nitrogen in the Earth system, large gaps remain in our knowledge of how the surface and deep nitrogen cycles have evolved over geologic time. Here we discuss the current understanding (or lack thereof) for how the unique interaction of biological innovation, geodynamics, and mantle petrology has acted to regulate Earth’s nitrogen cycle over geologic timescales. In particular, we explore how temporal variations in the external (biosphere and atmosphere) and internal (crust and mantle) nitrogen cycles could have regulated atmospheric pN2. We consider three potential scenarios for the evolution of the geobiological nitrogen cycle over Earth’s history: two in which atmospheric pN2 has changed unidirectionally (increased or decreased) over geologic time; and one in which pN2 could have taken a dramatic deflection following the Great Oxidation Event. It is impossible to discriminate between these scenarios with the currently available models and datasets. However, we are optimistic that this problem can be solved, following a sustained, open-minded, and multidisciplinary effort between surface and deep Earth communities.
dc.rights© 2017 The Authors. Geobiology Published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.en
dc.subjectGE Environmental Sciencesen
dc.titleThe geobiological nitrogen cycle : from microbes to the mantleen
dc.typeJournal articleen
dc.description.versionPublisher PDFen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.School of Earth & Environmental Sciencesen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.St Andrews Isotope Geochemistryen
dc.contributor.institutionUniversity of St Andrews.St Andrews Centre for Exoplanet Scienceen
dc.description.statusPeer revieweden

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