Biotic regulation of the carbon cycle

Carbon is the key element of life. It is present in the environment in organic and inorganic form and both are indispensable for life functioning. E.g., both the organic carbon of soil and the inorganic carbon of the atmosphere (CO2) are crucial for plant growth. Anthropogenic carbon dioxide is also the main global environmental pollutant — the biota should be reacting to this disturbance! So, the biotic regulation should be most easily observable on the example of the carbon cycle. Thus, the biotic regulation research started from carbon. How does the biota keep the ambient carbon concentrations within the life-compatible limits?

Later it was realized that the biotic control of the water cycle provides an even more spectacular opportunity to illustrate the importance of natural ecosystems for the well-being of all life including humans. It is responsible for the presence of fresh water on land and for climate stability. But some key biotic regulation notions (like, e.g., the locally and globally regulated biogens) can be best understood on the example of the carbon cycle.

In this section we will ultimately list all the carbon-related biotic regulation publications in reverse chronological order.

Book chapters (PDF)

V. G. Gorshkov, V. V. Gorshkov, A. M. Makarieva (2000) Biotic Regulation of the Environment: Key Issue of Global Change. Springer-Praxis Series in Environmental Sciences, 367 pp. Praxis: Chichester, Springer: Berlin.
Chapter 5. Ecological principles of biotic regulation
5.1. Ecological limitations on expansion of species; 5.2. Biotic and inorganic fluxes of matter in the biosphere; 5.3. Evolutionary progress and environmental degradation; 5.4. Matter cycles in the biosphere; 5.5. Environmental homeostasis and the biotic interpretation of the Le Chatelier principle; 5.6. Biotic regulation of matter cycles; 5.7. Limiting biogens. Resources: renewable and non-renewable; 5.8. Immigration in the ecological community
Chapter 6. Biotic regulation in action
6.1. The biological pump of atmospheric carbon; 6.2. Changing production of dissolved organic matter in the ocean; 6.3. Global carbon cycle change; 6.4. Historical dynamics of the global change; 6.5. Stopping the global carbon change; 6.6. The water cycle; 6.7. Forest succession: recovery of forest communities after perturbations

V. G. Gorshkov (1995) Physical and Biological Bases of Life Stability. Man. Biota. Environment. Springer: Berlin.
Chapter 4. Stability of the Biosphere's Organization
4.1. Limitations to Expansion and Evolution of Species; 4.2. Closed Matter Cycles in the Biosphere; 4.3. Biological Cycles; 4.4. The Le Chatelier Principle in Natural Biota; 4.5. Biospheric Communities; 4.6. Biological Regulation of Matter Cycles; 4.7. Biological Stability and Limiting Nutrients; 4.8. Productivity and Immigration in the Community; 4.9. The Biological Pump of Atmospheric Carbon; 4.10. Atmospheric Concentration of CO2 and New Production by the Ocean; 4.11. Changing Production of Dissolved Organic Matter in the Ocean; 4.12. Changes in the Global Cycle of Carbon; 4.13. The Water Cycle; 4.14. Competitively Interacting Communities and the Gaia Hypothesis


Gorshkov V.G., Makar'eva A.M. (2002) Changes in the global carbon cycle: Evidence from the measurements of O2/N2 in the atmosphere and CO2 partial pressure at the ocean-atmosphere boundary. Geochemistry International, 40, 472-480. (Translated from Geokhimiya, No. 5, 2002, 526-535.) Abstract. pdf

Gorshkov V.G., Makarieva A.M. (1998) Impact of terrestrial and oceanic biota on the modern carbon and oxygen cycles. Ecological Chemistry, 7, 129-137. Abstract. pdf

Gorshkov V.G., Sherman S.G., Kondratyev K.Ya. (1990) The global carbon cycle change: Le Chatelier principle in the response of biota to changing CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. Il Nuovo Cimento C, 13(5), 801-816. Abstract. pdf

Gorshkov V.G. (1987) Variations in the global content of organic carbon in the oceanic and land biota. Il Nuovo Cimento C, 10(4), 365-380. Abstract. pdf

Gorshkov V.G. (1986) Atmospheric disturbance of the carbon cycle: Impact upon the biosphere. Il Nuovo Cimento C, 9(5), 937-952. Abstract. pdf

Gorshkov V.G., Sherman S.G. (1986) Atmospheric CO2 and destructivity of the land biota: Seasonal variations. Il Nuovo Cimento C, 9(4), 902-917. Abstract. pdf

Gorshkov V.G. (1982) The possible global budget of carbon dioxide. Il Nuovo Cimento C, 5(2), 209-222. Abstract. pdf

Gorshkov V.G. (1979) Possible balance of the carbon cycle. XI Leningrad seminar on cosmophysics, Leningrad, Physico-Technical Institute, p. 224-236. [in Russian] Abstract. pdf