Washington: As dry lands of the world become drier, levels of nutrients in the soil are likely to be affected, a new research has revealed.
According to the study, their imbalance could affect the lives of one-fifth of the world`s population.
That includes people living in Arizona, who may be in for a dustier future.
The findings details how soil changes may occur and discusses the implications.
Co-author Matthew Bowker, assistant professor of forest soils and ecosystem ecology at Northern Arizona University, was involved with the project since 2009.
Bowker explained that most of the 17 nutrients that plants need to grow to their potential are soil resources, such as nitrogen and phosphorus.
The statistical model he helped develop for the study suggests that as the climate becomes more arid, nitrogen will decrease and phosphorus will increase.
"Both are essential for plant growth, and both are typical components of fertilizer, but both need to be around in the right quantities for plant growth to proceed most efficiently," Bowker said.
The study is published in the journal Nature.