Nitrogen is one of the key elements needed for plant growth. Nitrogen loss occurs when substantial amounts of nitrogen are removed from the ecosystem by growing plants and animals and then not replaced. Deserts lack many organisms that are known as Nitrogen Fixators, that capture nitrogen from the atmosphere and other sources and convert it into nitrogen that is usable by plants for growth. Without nitrogen, it is harder for plants to grow which contributes to the barren landscape. Wetlands however, are high in nitrogen. The abundance of water allows for many nitrogen fixing organisms the thrive in these areas, making the biodiversity hot spots because of all the avialable nitrogen.
The major connection between nitrogen loss and climate change is that, as hot, dry places get hotter and dryer, the nitrogen comes out of the soil in the form of gas, leaving the soil depleted of its nitrogen nutrient. This is why nitrogen loss has had a big impact on arid environments. Nitrogen loss has been a problem in places like Iowa as well, but not because it is arid but instead because a lot of rain can cause loss for other reasons, like runoff.
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