Books  Sustainable Development  Agriculture & Food 

Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future

  • Discusses the most relevant and current issues related to Phosphorus and its uses, from a variety of disciplines and perspectives
  • A direct continuation of the discussion and ideas shared at the first-ever international meeting on Phosphorus held in the United States
  • Highlights leading dilemmas and opportunities related to sustainable Phosphorus in today's world

By: Karl A Wyant(Editor), Jessica R Corman(Editor), James J Elser(Editor)

271 pages, 55 b/w photos

Oxford University Press USA

Hardback | Aug 2013 | #211797 | ISBN-13: 9780199916832
Availability: Usually dispatched within 6 days Details
NHBS Price: £63.99 $82/€70 approx

About this book

Phosphorus is essential to all life. A critical component of fertilizers, Phosphorus currently has no known substitute in agriculture. Without it, crops cannot grow. With too much of it, waterways are polluted. Across the globe, social, political, and economic pressures are influencing the biogeochemical cycle of phosphorus. A better understanding of this non-renewable resource and its impacts on the environment is critical to conserving our global supply and increasing agricultural productivity. Most of the phosphorus-focused discussion within the academic community is highly fragmented. Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future will bring together the necessary multi-disciplinary perspectives to build a cohesive knowledge base of phosphorus sustainability.

Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future is a direct continuation of processes associated with the first international conference on sustainable phosphorus held in the United States, the Frontiers in Life Sciences: Sustainable Phosphorus Summit, though it is not a book of conference proceedings; rather, Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future is part of an integrated, coordinated process that builds on the momentum of the Summit. The first chapter will introduce the biological and chemical necessity of phosphorus. The subsequent ten chapters will explore different facets of phosphorus sustainability and the role of policy on future global phosphorus supplies. The final chapter will synthesize all of the emerging views contained in Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future, drawing out the leading dilemmas and opportunities for phosphorus sustainability.


Jessica R. Corman, Karl A. Wyant, Lisa Taylor, David Iwaniec, Rebecca Hale

Chapter 1: Introduction to P sustainability
P is for Philosophy and Process
Genevieve S. Metson, Karl A. Wyant, Daniel L. Childers

Chapter 2: The Biology and Ecology of Phosphorus in Biota, Natural Ecosystems, & Agroecosystems
P is for Phosphorus
James J. Elser, William A. Roberts, Philip M. Haygarth

Chapter 3: Global Phosphorus: Geological Sources and Demand-Driven Production
P is for Price
Donald Burt, Marion Dumas, Nathaniel Springer, David A. Vaccari

Chapter 4: Sustainable P in agriculture: Food and fuel
P is for Productivity
Val H. Smith, Cecil W. Forsberg, Roberto A. Gaxiola, Thomas W. Crawford, Jr., Andrew R. Sharpley, Laura Schreeg, Ben Chaffin

Chapter 5: Phosphorus in urban and agricultural landscapes
P is for Preservation
Shelby H. Riskn, Gaston Small, Robert Mikkelsen Genevieve Metson, Anna Bateman, James Cooper, Ola Stedje Hanserud, Philip M. Haygarth, Cecilia Laspoumaderes, Michelle McCrackin, Sonya Remington

Chapter 6: Phosphorus Recovery and Reuse
P is for Processing
Hiroko Yoshida, Kimo van Dijk, Aleksandra Drizo, Steven W. Van Ginkel, Kazuyo Matsubae, Mark Buehrer

Chapter 7: Cultural beliefs, values, and the biogeochemical cycling of P
P is for People
Timothy Crews, James Cotner, Carol McCreary

Chapter 8: How MFA, transdisciplinarity, complex adaptive systems thinking, and education reform are keys to better managing P
P is for Parity
Rebecca Cors, Kazuyo Matsubae, Anita Street

Chapter 9: Future Scenarios for the Sustainable Use of Global Phosphorus Resources
P is for Preferred (p)Futures
Daniel L. Childers, Zachary Caple, Cynthia Carlielle-Marquet, Dana Cordell, Vanda Gerhart, David Iwaniec, Stuart White

Chapter 10: Concluding Remarks: Synthesis and Initial Steps towards a Sustainable Phosphorus Future
P is for Planning
Jessica R. Corman, Karl A. Wyant, James J. Elsner

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James Elser is Professor in the School of Life Sciences at Arizona State University. Karl Wyant and Jessica Corman are graduate students who organized the Frontiers in LifeSciences: Sustainable Phosphorus Summit at Arizona State University.

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