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Sample records for temperate grassland ecosystem

  1. Net ecosystem productivity of temperate grasslands in northern China: An upscaling study

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Li; Guo, Huadong; Jia, Gensuo; Wylie, Bruce; Gilmanov, Tagir; Howard, Daniel M.; Ji, Lei; Xiao, Jingfeng; Li, Jing; Yuan, Wenping; Zhao, Tianbao; Chen, Shiping; Zhou, Guangsheng; Kato, Tomomichi

    2014-01-01

    Grassland is one of the widespread biome types globally, and plays an important role in the terrestrial carbon cycle. We examined net ecosystem production (NEP) for the temperate grasslands in northern China from 2000 to 2010. We combined flux observations, satellite data, and climate data to develop a piecewise regression model for NEP, and then used the model to map NEP for grasslands in northern China. Over the growing season, the northern China's grassland had a net carbon uptake of 158 ± 25 g C m−2 during 2000–2010 with the mean regional NEP estimate of 126 Tg C. Our results showed generally higher grassland NEP at high latitudes (northeast) than at low latitudes (central and west) because of different grassland types and environmental conditions. In the northeast, which is dominated by meadow steppes, the growing season NEP generally reached 200–300 g C m−2. In the southwest corner of the region, which is partially occupied by alpine meadow systems, the growing season NEP also reached 200–300 g C m−2. In the central part, which is dominated by typical steppe systems, the growing season NEP generally varied in the range of 100–200 g C m−2. The NEP of the northern China's grasslands was highly variable through years, ranging from 129 (2001) to 217 g C m−2 growing season−1 (2010). The large interannual variations of NEP could be attributed to the sensitivity of temperate grasslands to climate changes and extreme climatic events. The droughts in 2000, 2001, and 2006 reduced the carbon uptake over the growing season by 11%, 29%, and 16% relative to the long-term (2000–2010) mean. Over the study period (2000–2010), precipitation was significantly correlated with NEP for the growing season (R2 = 0.35, p-value < 0.1), indicating that water availability is an important stressor for the productivity of the temperate grasslands in semi-arid and arid regions in northern China. We conclude that northern temperate grasslands have the potential to

  2. Components of surface energy balance in a temperate grassland ecosystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Joon; Verma, Shashi B.

    1990-01-01

    Eddy correlation measurements of moisture, heat, and momentum fluxes were made at a tall grassland site in Kansas during the First International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project Field Experiment. The fluxes, stomatal conductance, and leaf water potential of three grass species are reported. The species are big bluestem, indiangrass, and switchgrass. The daily and seasonal variation in the components of the surface energy balance and the aerodynamic and canopy surface conductances for prairie vegetation are examined.

  3. Environmental Controls and Management Effects on Ecosystem Carbon Exchange in Two Grazed Temperate Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ni Choncubhair, O.; Humphreys, J.; Lanigan, G.

    2013-12-01

    Temperate grasslands constitute over 30% of the Earth's naturally-occurring biomes and make an important contribution towards the partial mitigation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by terrestrial ecosystems. Accumulation of carbon (C) in grassland systems predominantly takes place in below-ground repositories, enhanced by the presence of a stable soil environment with low carbon turnover rates, active rhizodeposition and high levels of residue and organic inputs. However, this C sequestration is strongly influenced by soil characteristics and climatic variables. Furthermore, in managed pasture systems, carbon exchange across the soil-atmosphere boundary is additionally affected by management activities, such as biomass removal, grazing events and the deposition or application of organic amendments. These biotic and abiotic factors contribute greatly towards the large uncertainty associated with the carbon balance of grassland ecosystems and demand further analysis. In the present study, the controls and drivers of carbon dynamics in two rotationally-grazed grasslands in Ireland were examined. The sites experience similar temperate climatic regimes but differ in soil texture classification and stocking rate. Eddy covariance measurements of net ecosystem exchange of carbon were complemented by regular assessment of standing biomass, leaf cover, harvest exports and organic amendment inputs. Our study showed that mild weather conditions and an extended growing season sustained net C accumulation at both sites for at least ten months of the year. Despite differing soil drainage characteristics, winter fluxes of net carbon exchange and its component fluxes, gross photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration, were highly comparable between the two sites. Management practices during the active growing season exerted a strong influence on both the direction and the rate of C exchange in the grassland systems, with a strong dependence, however, on the timing and

  4. Nitrogen enrichment weakens ecosystem stability through decreased species asynchrony and population stability in a temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Yunhai; Loreau, Michel; Lü, Xiaotao; He, Nianpeng; Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo

    2016-04-01

    Biodiversity generally promotes ecosystem stability. To assess whether the diversity-stability relationship observed under ambient nitrogen (N) conditions still holds under N enriched conditions, we designed a 6-year field experiment to test whether the magnitude and frequency of N enrichment affects ecosystem stability and its relationship with species diversity in a temperate grassland. Results of this experiment showed that the frequency of N addition had no effect on either the temporal stability of ecosystem and population or the relationship between diversity and stability. Nitrogen addition decreased ecosystem stability significantly through decreases in species asynchrony and population stability. Species richness was positively associated with ecosystem stability, but no significant relationship between diversity and the residuals of ecosystem stability was detected after controlling for the effects of the magnitude of N addition, suggesting collinearity between the effects of N addition and species richness on ecosystem stability, with the former prevailing over the latter. Both population stability and the residuals of population stability after controlling for the effects of the magnitude of N addition were positively associated with ecosystem stability, indicating that the stabilizing effects of component populations were still present after N enrichment. Our study supports the theory predicting that the effects of environmental factors on ecosystem functioning are stronger than those of biodiversity. Understanding such mechanisms is important and urgent to protect biodiversity in mediating ecosystem functioning and services in the face of global changes. PMID:26511538

  5. Uncertainty analysis of a coupled ecosystem response model simulating greenhouse gas fluxes from a temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liebermann, Ralf; Kraft, Philipp; Houska, Tobias; Breuer, Lutz; Müller, Christoph; Kraus, David; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen

    2015-04-01

    Among anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, CO2 is the dominant driver of global climate change. Next to its direct impact on the radiation budget, it also affects the climate system by triggering feedback mechanisms in terrestrial ecosystems. Such mechanisms - like stimulated photosynthesis, increased root exudations and reduced stomatal transpiration - influence both the input and the turnover of carbon and nitrogen compounds in the soil. The stabilization and decomposition of these compounds determines how increasing CO2 concentrations change the terrestrial trace gas emissions, especially CO2, N2O and CH4. To assess the potential reaction of terrestrial greenhouse gas emissions to rising tropospheric CO2 concentration, we make use of a comprehensive ecosystem model integrating known processes and fluxes of the carbon-nitrogen cycle in soil, vegetation and water. We apply a state-of-the-art ecosystem model with measurements from a long term field experiment of CO2 enrichment. The model - a grassland realization of LandscapeDNDC - simulates soil chemistry coupled with plant physiology, microclimate and hydrology. The data - comprising biomass, greenhouse gas emissions, management practices and soil properties - has been attained from a FACE (Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment) experiment running since 1997 on a temperate grassland in Giessen, Germany. Management and soil data, together with weather records, are used to drive the model, while cut biomass as well as CO2 and N2O emissions are used for calibration and validation. Starting with control data from installations without CO2 enhancement, we begin with a GLUE (General Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation) assessment using Latin Hypercube to reduce the range of the model parameters. This is followed by a detailed sensitivity analysis, the application of DREAM-ZS for model calibration, and an estimation of the effect of input uncertainty on the simulation results. Since first results indicate problems with

  6. Evapotranspiration flux partitioning using an Iso-SPAC model in a temperate grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, P.

    2014-12-01

    To partition evapotranspiration (ET) into soil evaporation and vegetation transpiration (T), a new numerical Iso-SPAC (coupled heat, water with isotopic tracer in Soil-Plant-Atmosphere-Continuum) model was developed and applied to a temperate-grassland ecosystem in central Japan. Several models of varying complexity have been tested with the aim of obtaining the close to true value for the isotope composition of leaf water and transpiration flux. The agreement between the model predictions and observations demonstrates that the Iso-SPAC model with a steady-state assumption for transpiration flux can reproduce seasonal variations of all the surface energy balance components,leaf and ground surface temperature as well as isotope data (canopy foliage and ET flux). This good performance was confirmed not only at diurnal timescale but also at seasonal timescale. Thus, although the non-steady-state behavior of isotope budget in a leaf and isotopic diffusion between leaf and stem or root is exactly important, the steady-state assumption is practically acceptable for seasonal timescale as a first order approximation. Sensitivity analysis both in physical flux part and isotope part suggested that T/ET is relatively insensitive to uncertainties/errors in assigned model parameters and measured input variables, which illustrated the partitioning validity. Estimated transpiration fractions using isotope composition in ET flux by Iso-SPAC model and Keeling plot are generally in good agreement, further proving validity of the both approaches. However, Keeling plot approach tended to overestimate the fraction during an early stage of glowing season and a period just after clear cutting. This overestimation is probably due to insufficient fetch and influence of transpiration from upwind forest. Consequently, Iso-SPAC model is more reliable than Keeling plot approach in most cases.The T/ET increased with grass growth, and the sharp reduction caused by clear cutting was well

  7. Soil aggregates stability was an uncertain predictor of ecosystem functioning in a temperate and semiarid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Science-based information is needed to identify indicators of ecosystem health that may then be used to monitor natural resources and guide management decisions. We conducted a local gradient study to elucidate correlative associations between vegetation and multiple soil properties for rangelands ...

  8. Differences in spatial and temporal root lifespan of temperate steppes across Inner Mongolia grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bai, W.-M.; Zhou, M.; Fang, Y.; Zhang, W.-H.

    2015-12-01

    Lifespan of fine roots plays important roles in regulating carbon (C) cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Determination of root lifespan and elucidation of its regulatory mechanism in different plant communities are essential for accurate prediction of C cycling from ecosystem to regional scales. Temperate steppes in Inner Mongolia grasslands have three major types, i.e., Stipa krylovii, Stipa grandis and Stipa breviflora grasslands. There have been no studies to compare the root dynamics among the three types of grasslands. In the present study, we determined root lifespan of the three grasslands using the rhizotron. We found that root lifespan differed substantially among the three types of grasslands within the temperate steppes of Inner Mongolia, such that root lifespan of Stipa breviflora > Stipa grandis > Stipa krylovii grasslands. Root lifespan across the three types of grasslands in the Inner Mongolian temperate steppes displayed a similar temporal pattern, i.e. lifespan of the roots produced in spring and autumn was shortest and longest, respectively, whereas lifespan of summer-produced roots was between that of roots produced in spring and autumn. The spatial and temporal differences in root lifespan across the three types of grasslands were mainly determined by contents of soluble sugars in roots of the dominant species. The differences in root lifespan across the major types of grasslands and different seasons highlight the necessity to take into account these differences in the prediction of C cycling within grassland ecosystem by the simulating model.

  9. Relation of Chlorophyll Fluorescence Sensitive Reflectance Ratios to Carbon Flux Measurements of Montanne Grassland and Norway Spruce Forest Ecosystems in the Temperate Zone

    PubMed Central

    Ač, Alexander; Malenovský, Zbyněk; Urban, Otmar; Hanuš, Jan; Zitová, Martina; Navrátil, Martin; Vráblová, Martina; Olejníčková, Julie; Špunda, Vladimír; Marek, Michal

    2012-01-01

    We explored ability of reflectance vegetation indexes (VIs) related to chlorophyll fluorescence emission (R686/R630, R740/R800) and de-epoxidation state of xanthophyll cycle pigments (PRI, calculated as (R531 − R570)/(R531 − R570)) to track changes in the CO2 assimilation rate and Light Use Efficiency (LUE) in montane grassland and Norway spruce forest ecosystems, both at leaf and also canopy level. VIs were measured at two research plots using a ground-based high spatial/spectral resolution imaging spectroscopy technique. No significant relationship between VIs and leaf light-saturated CO2 assimilation (AMAX) was detected in instantaneous measurements of grassland under steady-state irradiance conditions. Once the temporal dimension and daily irradiance variation were included into the experimental setup, statistically significant changes in VIs related to tested physiological parameters were revealed. ΔPRI and Δ(R686/R630) of grassland plant leaves under dark-to-full sunlight transition in the scale of minutes were significantly related to AMAX (R2 = 0.51). In the daily course, the variation of VIs measured in one-hour intervals correlated well with the variation of Gross Primary Production (GPP), Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), and LUE estimated via the eddy-covariance flux tower. Statistical results were weaker in the case of the grassland ecosystem, with the strongest statistical relation of the index R686/R630 with NEE and GPP. PMID:22701368

  10. Evolution of Grasses and Grassland Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strömberg, Caroline A. E.

    2011-05-01

    The evolution and subsequent ecological expansion of grasses (Poaceae) since the Late Cretaceous have resulted in the establishment of one of Earth's dominant biomes, the temperate and tropical grasslands, at the expense of forests. In the past decades, several new approaches have been applied to the fossil record of grasses to elucidate the patterns and processes of this ecosystem transformation. The data indicate that the development of grassland ecosystems on most continents was a multistage process involving the Paleogene appearance of (C3 and C4) open-habitat grasses, the mid-late Cenozoic spread of C3 grass-dominated habitats, and, finally, the Late Neogene expansion of C4 grasses at tropical-subtropical latitudes. The evolution of herbivores adapted to grasslands did not necessarily coincide with the spread of open-habitat grasses. In addition, the timing of these evolutionary and ecological events varied between regions. Consequently, region-by-region investigations using both direct (plant fossils) and indirect (e.g., stable carbon isotopes, faunas) evidence are required for a full understanding of the tempo and mode of grass and grassland evolution.

  11. Ecosystem services and grasslands in America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Historically, grasslands occupied a large portion of Canada and the USA throughout the Great Plains region east of the Rocky Mountains. Grasslands in the USA are valued for a wide range of ecosystem services, and provide a primary source of forage for grazing livestock. Unfortunately, grasslands a...

  12. Land use history, ecosystem type and species composition drive water use efficiency in annual maize and perennial grasslands in a humid temperate climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gelfand, I.; Abraha, M.; Chen, J.; Shao, C.; Su, Y. J.; Hamilton, S. K.; Robertson, G. P.

    2015-12-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE), carbon gained per unit water lost, is a fundamental plant and ecosystem function that regulates plant productivity, global hydrology and carbon cycles. We examined ecosystem (E) and intrinsic (i) WUEs derived from eddy covariance (EC) measurements and plant carbon isotope discrimination, respectively, to study how WUE is affected by land-use history, ecosystem type, and plants community composition. We measured EWUE and iWUE of three perennial grasslands planted to mixed-prairie, switchgrass and brome grass as compared to a fields planted to corn. Each of studied ecosystems was replicated on two fields with contrasting land-use histories: one field was managed under the USDA Conservation Reserve Program (CRP, planted to bromgrass) and another was in conventional agriculture (AGR) corn/soybean rotation for few decades before start of the experiment. In 2009, all but one CRP field were converted to no-till soybean. In 2010, the converted CRP and AGR fields were planted to mixed-prairie (C3 and C4 grasses), switchgrass (C4 grass), and no-till corn (C4 grass). During 2009-2013, we measured carbon and water exchange over each field using an EC technique and sampled plant tissue for 13C isotopes analysis. Land-use history, ecosystem type, and species composition had large effects on EWUEs. Intrinsic WUE of individual C3 grass species, however, was similar across the study period, despite drought in 2012. Corn and brome grass had the highest and lowest overall mean EWUE, 4.1 and 2.2 g C kg-1 H2O, respectively. Restored prairie on former AGR land had a mean EWUE of 3.0 g C kg-1 H2O, significantly greater than on former CRP land with a EWUE of 2.5 g C kg-1 H2O. Land use history had no effect on interannual variability of EWUE of corn. Prairie and switchgrass established on former CRP land exhibited no change of EWUE, as well. Same ecosystems established on former AGR land, oppositely, increased their WUEs over the study period from ~ 2.5 g C kg-1

  13. Nitrogen acquisition by plants and microorganisms in a temperate grassland

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Qianyuan; Qiao, Na; Xu, Xingliang; Xin, Xiaoping; Han, Jessie Yc; Tian, Yuqiang; Ouyang, Hua; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) limitation is common in most terrestrial ecosystems, often leading to strong competition between microorganisms and plants. The mechanisms of niche differentiation to reduce this competition remain unclear. Short-term 15N experiments with NH4+, NO3−, and glycine were conducted in July, August and September in a temperate grassland to evaluate the chemical, spatial and temporal niche differentiation by competition between plants and microorganisms for N. Microorganisms preferred NH4+ and NO3−, while plants preferred NO3−. Both plants and microorganisms acquired more N in August and September than in July. The soil depth had no significant effects on microbial uptake, but significantly affected plant N uptake. Plants acquired 67% of their N from the 0–5 cm soil layer and 33% from the 5–15 cm layer. The amount of N taken up by microorganisms was at least seven times than plants. Although microorganisms efficiently compete for N with plants, the competition is alleviated through chemical partitioning mainly in deeper soil layer. In the upper soil layer, neither chemical nor temporal niche separation is realized leading to strong competition between plants and microorganisms that modifies N dynamics in grasslands. PMID:26961252

  14. Nitrogen acquisition by plants and microorganisms in a temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    Liu, Qianyuan; Qiao, Na; Xu, Xingliang; Xin, Xiaoping; Han, Jessie Yc; Tian, Yuqiang; Ouyang, Hua; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) limitation is common in most terrestrial ecosystems, often leading to strong competition between microorganisms and plants. The mechanisms of niche differentiation to reduce this competition remain unclear. Short-term (15)N experiments with NH4(+), NO3(-), and glycine were conducted in July, August and September in a temperate grassland to evaluate the chemical, spatial and temporal niche differentiation by competition between plants and microorganisms for N. Microorganisms preferred NH4(+) and NO3(-), while plants preferred NO3(-). Both plants and microorganisms acquired more N in August and September than in July. The soil depth had no significant effects on microbial uptake, but significantly affected plant N uptake. Plants acquired 67% of their N from the 0-5 cm soil layer and 33% from the 5-15 cm layer. The amount of N taken up by microorganisms was at least seven times than plants. Although microorganisms efficiently compete for N with plants, the competition is alleviated through chemical partitioning mainly in deeper soil layer. In the upper soil layer, neither chemical nor temporal niche separation is realized leading to strong competition between plants and microorganisms that modifies N dynamics in grasslands. PMID:26961252

  15. How generalist herbivores exploit belowground plant diversity in temperate grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Wallinger, Corinna; Staudacher, Karin; Schallhart, Nikolaus; Mitterrutzner, Evi; Steiner, Eva-Maria; Juen, Anita; Traugott, Michael

    2014-01-01

    Belowground herbivores impact plant performance, thereby inducing changes in plant community composition, which potentially leads to cascading effects onto higher trophic levels and ecosystem processes and productivity. Among soil-living insects, external root-chewing generalist herbivores have the strongest impact on plants. However, the lack of knowledge on their feeding behaviour under field conditions considerably hampers achieving a comprehensive understanding of how they affect plant communities. Here, we address this gap of knowledge by investigating the feeding behaviour of Agriotes click beetle larvae, which are common generalist external root-chewers in temperate grassland soils. Utilizing diagnostic multiplex PCR to assess the larval diet, we examined the seasonal patterns in feeding activity, putative preferences for specific plant taxa, and whether species identity and larval instar affect food choices of the herbivores. Contrary to our hypothesis, most of the larvae were feeding-active throughout the entire vegetation period, indicating that the grassland plants are subjected to constant belowground feeding pressure. Feeding was selective, with members of Plantaginaceae and Asteraceae being preferred; Apiaceae were avoided. Poaceae, although assumed to be most preferred, had an intermediate position. The food preferences exhibited seasonal changes, indicating a fluctuation in plant traits important for wireworm feeding choice. Species- and instar-specific differences in dietary choice of the Agriotes larvae were small, suggesting that species and larval instars occupy the same trophic niche. According to the current findings, the food choice of these larvae is primarily driven by plant identity, exhibiting seasonal changes. This needs to be considered when analysing soil herbivore–plant interactions. PMID:24188592

  16. [Monitoring nitrogen deposition on temperate grassland in Inner Mongolia].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ju; Kang, Rong-hua; Zhao, Bin; Huang, Yong-mei; Ye, Zhi-xiang; Duan, Lei

    2013-09-01

    Nitrogen deposition on temperate steppe was monitored from November 2011 to October 2012 in Taipusi County, Inner Mongolia. The dry deposition of gaseous nitrogen compounds was calculated based on online-monitored atmospheric concentrations of NH3 and NO2 and dry deposition velocity simulated by CMAQ model. The wet deposition, dry deposition of particle, and throughfall deposition were also estimated by collecting rainfall, dust fall, and throughfall samples and the chemical analysis of NH4+ and NO3-concentrations. Results showed that the total deposition of nitrogen was up to 3.43 g x (m2 x a)(-1), which might be harmful to the ecosystem. The wet deposition accounted for about 44% of the total deposition, while dry deposition of gases and particle accounted for 38% and 18%, respectively. Since the deposition contributed more than wet deposition, a great attention should be paid on dry deposition monitoring. However, the very simple method for total deposition monitoring based on throughfall seemed not suitable for grassland because the monitored throughfall deposition was much lower than the total deposition. In addition, reduced nitrogen (NH4+ and NH3) contributed to 71% of the total deposition, while oxidation nitrogen (NO3- and NO2) was only 29%. Therefore, NH3 emission reduction should be considered as important as nitrogen oxides (NO3x) for controlling nitrogen deposition. PMID:24289004

  17. Seasonal and inter-annual dynamics in the stable oxygen isotope compositions of water pools in a temperate humid grassland ecosystem: results from MIBA sampling and MuSICA modelling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hirl, Regina; Schnyder, Hans; Auerswald, Karl; Vetter, Sylvia; Ostler, Ulrike; Schleip, Inga; Wingate, Lisa; Ogée, Jérôme

    2015-04-01

    The oxygen isotope composition (δ18O) of water in terrestrial ecosystems usually shows strong and dynamic variations within and between the various compartments. These variations originate from changes in the δ18O of water inputs (e.g. rain or water vapour) and from 18O fractionation phenomena in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Investigations of δ18O in ecosystem water pools and of their main drivers can help us understand water relations at plant, canopy or ecosystem scale and interpret δ18O signals in plant and animal tissues as paleo-climate proxies. During the vegetation periods of 2006 to 2012, soil, leaf and stem water as well as atmospheric humidity, rain water and groundwater were sampled at bi-weekly intervals in a temperate humid pasture of the Grünschwaige Grassland Research Station near Munich (Germany). The sampling was performed following standardised MIBA (Moisture Isotopes in the Biosphere and Atmosphere) protocols. Leaf water samples were prepared from a mixture of co-dominant species in the plant community in order to obtain a canopy-scale leaf water δ18O signal. All samples were then analysed for their δ18O compositions. The measured δ18O of leaf, stem and soil water were then compared with the δ18O signatures simulated by the process-based isotope-enabled ecosystem model MuSICA (Multi-layer Simulator of the Interactions between a vegetation Canopy and the Atmosphere). MuSICA integrates current mechanistic understanding of processes in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Hence, the comparison of modelled and measured data allows the identification of gaps in current knowledge and of questions to be tackled in the future. Soil and plant characteristics for model parameterisation were derived from investigations at the experimental site and supplemented by values from the literature. Eddy-covariance measurements of ecosystem CO2 (GPP, NEE) and energy (H, LE) fluxes and soil temperature data were used for model evaluation. The

  18. Balancing Tradeoffs in Ecosystem Functions and Services in Grassland Management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Managed grasslands are increasingly expected to provide ecosystem services beyond the traditional provision of food, feed, and fiber. Grassland systems can provide ecosystem services such as soil conservation, water quality protection, wildlife conservation, pleasing landscapes, soil carbon storage,...

  19. Primary Productivity and Precipitation-Use Efficiency in Temperate Grassland in the Loess Plateau of China

    PubMed Central

    Jia, Xiaoxu; Xie, Baoni; Shao, Ming’an; Zhao, Chunlei

    2015-01-01

    Clarifying spatial variations in aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and precipitation-use efficiency (PUE) of grasslands is critical for effective prediction of the response of terrestrial ecosystem carbon and water cycle to future climate change. Though the combination use of remote sensing products and in situ ANPP measurements, we quantified the effects of climatic [mean annual precipitation (MAP) and precipitation seasonal distribution (PSD)], biotic [leaf area index (LAI)] and abiotic [slope gradient, aspect, soil water storage (SWS) and other soil physical properties] factors on the spatial variations in ANPP and PUE across different grassland types (i.e., meadow steppe, typical steppe and desert steppe) in the Loess Plateau. Based on the study, ANPP increased exponentially with MAP for the entire temperate grassland; suggesting that PUE increased with increasing MAP. Also PSD had a significant effect on ANPP and PUE; where more even PSD favored higher ANPP and PUE. Then MAP, more than PSD, explained spatial variations in typical steppe and desert steppe. However, PSD was the dominant driving factor of spatial variations in ANPP of meadow steppe. This suggested that in terms of spatial variations in ANPP of meadow steppe, change in PSD due to climate change was more important than that in total annual precipitation. LAI explained 78% of spatial PUE in the entire Loess Plateau temperate grassland. As such, LAI was the primary driving factor of spatial variations in PUE. Although the effect of SWS on ANPP and PUE was significant, it was nonetheless less than that of precipitation and vegetation. We therefore concluded that changes in vegetation structure and consequently in LAI and/or altered pattern of seasonal distribution of rainfall due to global climate change could significantly influence ecosystem carbon and water cycle in temperate grasslands. PMID:26295954

  20. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  1. Quantifying the pedo-ecohydrological structure and function of degraded, grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  2. Phenology of Australian temperate grasslands: linking near-surface phenology to C3/C4 community composition

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, C. J.

    2015-12-01

    Vegetation phenology is relatively well-studied in northern hemisphere temperate biomes, but limited research has been conducted on phenological drivers and responses in Australian temperate ecosystems. Australian temperate grasslands represent a broad range of plant communities from exotic pastures to native grasslands, but all are important for food security (livestock grazing) and biodiversity retention. Climate predictions for temperate Australia include higher temperatures, altered rainfall frequency/seasonality, increased drought severity and more regular wildfires. The ecosystem response to these climatic factors is unknown, and the need to improve the monitoring of these highly dynamic grassland systems at a landscape scale is acute. The aim of this research is to use high-frequency phenological data to improve the identification of grassland functional types and ultimately use this to improve the inter-annual monitoring of dynamic grassland systems. We use hourly repeat photography and the Green Chromatic Coordinate vegetation index to characterize the vegetative phenology of several native and exotic grassland communities. Monthly vegetation surveys allow us to correlate plant functional groups with indicator features on the phenology profile. C4-dominated grasslands are characterized by a consistent low greenness during winter, the commencement of greening in late spring/early summer and the retention of green vegetation throughout the summer. Exotic C4 grasslands can be distinguished from native ecosystems by their early-spring flush of annual grasses and forbs prior to the primary greening in late spring/early summer. Native C3 grasslands are more variable in response to rainfall and exhibit multiple greening/browning cycles within the year. They tend to green up earlier in the spring and brown off rapidly in response to high temperatures and low rainfall. Exotic C3 grasslands also green up in early spring but exhibit a more traditional unimodal

  3. Soil Respiration and Organic Carbon Dynamics with Grassland Conversions to Woodlands in Temperate China

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Wei; Zeng, Wenjing; Chen, Weile; Zeng, Hui; Fang, Jingyun

    2013-01-01

    Soils are the largest terrestrial carbon store and soil respiration is the second-largest flux in ecosystem carbon cycling. Across China's temperate region, climatic changes and human activities have frequently caused the transformation of grasslands to woodlands. However, the effect of this transition on soil respiration and soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics remains uncertain in this area. In this study, we measured in situ soil respiration and SOC storage over a two-year period (Jan. 2007–Dec. 2008) from five characteristic vegetation types in a forest-steppe ecotone of temperate China, including grassland (GR), shrubland (SH), as well as in evergreen coniferous (EC), deciduous coniferous (DC) and deciduous broadleaved forest (DB), to evaluate the changes of soil respiration and SOC storage with grassland conversions to diverse types of woodlands. Annual soil respiration increased by 3%, 6%, 14%, and 22% after the conversion from GR to EC, SH, DC, and DB, respectively. The variation in soil respiration among different vegetation types could be well explained by SOC and soil total nitrogen content. Despite higher soil respiration in woodlands, SOC storage and residence time increased in the upper 20 cm of soil. Our results suggest that the differences in soil environmental conditions, especially soil substrate availability, influenced the level of annual soil respiration produced by different vegetation types. Moreover, shifts from grassland to woody plant dominance resulted in increased SOC storage. Given the widespread increase in woody plant abundance caused by climate change and large-scale afforestation programs, the soils are expected to accumulate and store increased amounts of organic carbon in temperate areas of China. PMID:24058408

  4. Soil respiration and organic carbon dynamics with grassland conversions to woodlands in temperate china.

    PubMed

    Wang, Wei; Zeng, Wenjing; Chen, Weile; Zeng, Hui; Fang, Jingyun

    2013-01-01

    Soils are the largest terrestrial carbon store and soil respiration is the second-largest flux in ecosystem carbon cycling. Across China's temperate region, climatic changes and human activities have frequently caused the transformation of grasslands to woodlands. However, the effect of this transition on soil respiration and soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics remains uncertain in this area. In this study, we measured in situ soil respiration and SOC storage over a two-year period (Jan. 2007-Dec. 2008) from five characteristic vegetation types in a forest-steppe ecotone of temperate China, including grassland (GR), shrubland (SH), as well as in evergreen coniferous (EC), deciduous coniferous (DC) and deciduous broadleaved forest (DB), to evaluate the changes of soil respiration and SOC storage with grassland conversions to diverse types of woodlands. Annual soil respiration increased by 3%, 6%, 14%, and 22% after the conversion from GR to EC, SH, DC, and DB, respectively. The variation in soil respiration among different vegetation types could be well explained by SOC and soil total nitrogen content. Despite higher soil respiration in woodlands, SOC storage and residence time increased in the upper 20 cm of soil. Our results suggest that the differences in soil environmental conditions, especially soil substrate availability, influenced the level of annual soil respiration produced by different vegetation types. Moreover, shifts from grassland to woody plant dominance resulted in increased SOC storage. Given the widespread increase in woody plant abundance caused by climate change and large-scale afforestation programs, the soils are expected to accumulate and store increased amounts of organic carbon in temperate areas of China. PMID:24058408

  5. No evidence of complementary water use along a plant species richness gradient in temperate experimental grasslands.

    PubMed

    Bachmann, Dörte; Gockele, Annette; Ravenek, Janneke M; Roscher, Christiane; Strecker, Tanja; Weigelt, Alexandra; Buchmann, Nina

    2015-01-01

    Niche complementarity in resource use has been proposed as a key mechanism to explain the positive effects of increasing plant species richness on ecosystem processes, in particular on primary productivity. Since hardly any information is available for niche complementarity in water use, we tested the effects of plant diversity on spatial and temporal complementarity in water uptake in experimental grasslands by using stable water isotopes. We hypothesized that water uptake from deeper soil depths increases in more diverse compared to low diverse plant species mixtures. We labeled soil water in 8 cm (with 18O) and 28 cm depth (with ²H) three times during the 2011 growing season in 40 temperate grassland communities of varying species richness (2, 4, 8 and 16 species) and functional group number and composition (legumes, grasses, tall herbs, small herbs). Stable isotope analyses of xylem and soil water allowed identifying the preferential depth of water uptake. Higher enrichment in 18O of xylem water than in ²H suggested that the main water uptake was in the upper soil layer. Furthermore, our results revealed no differences in root water uptake among communities with different species richness, different number of functional groups or with time. Thus, our results do not support the hypothesis of increased complementarity in water use in more diverse than in less diverse communities of temperate grassland species. PMID:25587998

  6. Soil Respiration in Semiarid Temperate Grasslands under Various Land Management

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Xiangyang; Schellenberg, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

    Soil respiration, a major component of the global carbon cycle, is significantly influenced by land management practices. Grasslands are potentially a major sink for carbon, but can also be a source. Here, we investigated the potential effect of land management (grazing, clipping, and ungrazed enclosures) on soil respiration in the semiarid grassland of northern China. Our results showed the mean soil respiration was significantly higher under enclosures (2.17μmol.m−2.s−1) and clipping (2.06μmol.m−2.s−1) than under grazing (1.65μmol.m−2.s−1) over the three growing seasons. The high rates of soil respiration under enclosure and clipping were associated with the higher belowground net primary productivity (BNPP). Our analyses indicated that soil respiration was primarily related to BNPP under grazing, to soil water content under clipping. Using structural equation models, we found that soil water content, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and BNPP regulated soil respiration, with soil water content as the predominant factor. Our findings highlight that management-induced changes in abiotic (soil temperature and soil water content) and biotic (ANPP and BNPP) factors regulate soil respiration in the semiarid temperate grassland of northern China. PMID:26808376

  7. Soil Respiration in Semiarid Temperate Grasslands under Various Land Management.

    PubMed

    Wang, Zhen; Ji, Lei; Hou, Xiangyang; Schellenberg, Michael P

    2016-01-01

    Soil respiration, a major component of the global carbon cycle, is significantly influenced by land management practices. Grasslands are potentially a major sink for carbon, but can also be a source. Here, we investigated the potential effect of land management (grazing, clipping, and ungrazed enclosures) on soil respiration in the semiarid grassland of northern China. Our results showed the mean soil respiration was significantly higher under enclosures (2.17 μmol.m(-2).s(-1)) and clipping (2.06 μmol.m(-2).s(-1)) than under grazing (1.65 μmol.m-(2).s(-1)) over the three growing seasons. The high rates of soil respiration under enclosure and clipping were associated with the higher belowground net primary productivity (BNPP). Our analyses indicated that soil respiration was primarily related to BNPP under grazing, to soil water content under clipping. Using structural equation models, we found that soil water content, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) and BNPP regulated soil respiration, with soil water content as the predominant factor. Our findings highlight that management-induced changes in abiotic (soil temperature and soil water content) and biotic (ANPP and BNPP) factors regulate soil respiration in the semiarid temperate grassland of northern China. PMID:26808376

  8. Increasing land-use intensity decreases floral colour diversity of plant communities in temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

    Binkenstein, Julia; Renoult, Julien P; Schaefer, H Martin

    2013-10-01

    To preserve biodiversity and ecosystem functions in a globally changing world it is crucial to understand the effect of land use on ecosystem processes such as pollination. Floral colouration is known to be central in plant-pollinator interactions. To date, it is still unknown whether land use affects the colouration of flowering plant communities. To assess the effect of land use on the diversity and composition of flower colours in temperate grasslands, we collected data on the number of flowering plant species, blossom cover and flower reflectance spectra from 69 plant communities in two German regions, Schwäbische Alb (SA) and Hainich-Dün (HD). We analysed reflectance data of flower colours as they are perceived by honeybees and studied floral colour diversity based upon spectral loci of each flowering plant species in the Maxwell triangle. Before the first mowing, flower colour diversity decreased with increasing land-use intensity in SA, accompanied by a shift of mean flower colours of communities towards an increasing proportion of white blossom cover in both regions. By changing colour characteristics of grasslands, we suggest that increasing land-use intensity can affect the flower visitor fauna in terms of visitor behaviour and diversity. These changes may in turn influence plant reproduction in grassland plant communities. Our results indicate that land use is likely to affect communication processes between plants and flower visitors by altering flower colour traits. PMID:23568710

  9. More than just CO2: Multiple trace gas exchange measurements at a temperate mountain grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohlfahrt, Georg; Hammerle, Albin; Hörtnagl, Lukas; Bamberger, Ines; Hansel, Armin

    2015-04-01

    Ecosystems exchange a large number of different trace gases to/from the atmosphere, however the vast majority of FLUXNET sites quantifies only the fluxes of carbon dioxide and when assessing the carbon or greenhouse gas balance neglect other carbon or greenhouse gas fluxes. This causes an overestimation of the role of carbon dioxid exchange for the ecosystem carbon and greenhouse gas balance, the magnitude of which is largely unconstrained Here we use the eddy covariance method (and variants thereof) with a large variety of analytical methods to quantify the exchange of multiple trace gases to/from a mountain grassland, partly for a time period of over a decade. The monitored trace gas fluxes cover: carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide, carbon monoxide and several volatile organic compounds. The main result of our study is that carbon dioxide is the major contributor to the gaseous carbon and greenhouse gas budget at this temperate mountain grassland, which however may be significantly modulated by other trace gases may, at least during some years. Differences between source and sink periods for the different trace gases and the underlying drivers are discussed and annual budgets, for some compounds covering multiple years up to decades, are presented. We conclude that multiple trace gas flux measurements help to elucidate the importance of the exchange of carbon dioxide for the ecosystem carbon and greenhouse gas budget.

  10. Locally rare species influence grassland ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

    Soliveres, Santiago; Manning, Peter; Prati, Daniel; Gossner, Martin M; Alt, Fabian; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Binkenstein, Julia; Birkhofer, Klaus; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Boch, Steffen; Böhm, Stefan; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Heinze, Johannes; Hölzel, Norbert; Jung, Kirsten; Klaus, Valentin H; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Kleinebecker, Till; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Morris, E Kathryn; Müller, Jörg; Oelmann, Yvonne; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Renner, Swen C; Rillig, Matthias C; Schaefer, H Martin; Schloter, Michael; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Sikorski, Johannes; Socher, Stephanie A; Solly, Emily F; Sonnemann, Ilja; Sorkau, Elisabeth; Steckel, Juliane; Steffan-Dewenter, Ingolf; Stempfhuber, Barbara; Tschapka, Marco; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul; Weiner, Christiane N; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Werner, Michael; Westphal, Catrin; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Wolters, Volkmar; Wubet, Tesfaye; Wurst, Susanne; Fischer, Markus; Allan, Eric

    2016-05-19

    Species diversity promotes the delivery of multiple ecosystem functions (multifunctionality). However, the relative functional importance of rare and common species in driving the biodiversity-multifunctionality relationship remains unknown. We studied the relationship between the diversity of rare and common species (according to their local abundances and across nine different trophic groups), and multifunctionality indices derived from 14 ecosystem functions on 150 grasslands across a land-use intensity (LUI) gradient. The diversity of above- and below-ground rare species had opposite effects, with rare above-ground species being associated with high levels of multifunctionality, probably because their effects on different functions did not trade off against each other. Conversely, common species were only related to average, not high, levels of multifunctionality, and their functional effects declined with LUI. Apart from the community-level effects of diversity, we found significant positive associations between the abundance of individual species and multifunctionality in 6% of the species tested. Species-specific functional effects were best predicted by their response to LUI: species that declined in abundance with land use intensification were those associated with higher levels of multifunctionality. Our results highlight the importance of rare species for ecosystem multifunctionality and help guiding future conservation priorities. PMID:27114572

  11. Disentangling Sources and Sinks of Carbonyl Sulfide in a Temperate Mountain Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohlfahrt, G.; Hammerle, A.; Kitz, F.; Spielmann, F.

    2015-12-01

    Carbonyl sulfide (COS) is the most abundant sulfur-containing trace gas present in the troposphere at concentrations of around 500 ppt. Recent interest in COS by the ecosystem-physiological community has been sparked by the fact that COS co-diffuses into plant leaves pretty much the same way as carbon dioxide (CO2) does, but in contrast to CO2, COS is not known to be emitted by plants. Thus uptake of COS by vegetation has the potential to be used as a tracer for canopy gross photosynthesis, which cannot be measured directly, however represents a key term in the global carbon cycle. The use of COS as a tracer for canopy gross photosynthesis relies on the assumption that other sinks or sources of COS within an ecosystem are negligible, so that the COS exchange is through leaves only. Here we use concurrent COS and CO2 ecosystem-scale eddy covariance and soil chamber flux measurements together with within and above-canopy concentration profiles and an inverse Lagrangian analysis to disentangle sinks and sources of COS in a temperate mountain grassland. Preliminary results from the vegetation period 2015 suggest the soil at this grassland site to present a source of COS during daytime, which is corroborated by the inverse Lagrangian analysis which infers a COS source in the lowermost part of the canopy, while during nighttime the soil COS exchange is close to zero. At the ecosystem-scale a net uptake of COS was observed throughout the day, which in turn suggests (i) a sink for COS in the plant canopy during nighttime and (ii) a larger (compared to the net flux) gross uptake of COS by the plant canopy during daytime. Taken together our results suggest that using COS as a tracer for canopy gross photosynthesis may be less straight forward than previously thought and that further work is required to better understand the ecosystem-scale COS exchange and its drivers.

  12. Estimating carbon dioxide fluxes from temperate mountain grasslands using broad-band vegetation indices

    PubMed Central

    Wohlfahrt, G.; Pilloni, S.; Hörtnagl, L.; Hammerle, A.

    2013-01-01

    The broad-band normalised difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the simple ratio (SR) were calculated from measurements of reflectance of photosynthetically active and short-wave radiation at two temperate mountain grasslands in Austria and related to the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) measured concurrently by means of the eddy covariance method. There was no significant statistical difference between the relationships of midday mean NEE with narrow- and broad-band NDVI and SR, measured during and calculated for that same time window, respectively. The skill of broad-band NDVI and SR in predicting CO2 fluxes was higher for metrics dominated by gross photosynthesis and lowest for ecosystem respiration, with NEE in between. A method based on a simple light response model whose parameters were parameterised based on broad-band NDVI allowed to improve predictions of daily NEE and is suggested to hold promise for filling gaps in the NEE time series. Relationships of CO2 flux metrics with broad-band NDVI and SR however generally differed between the two studied grassland sites indicting an influence of additional factors not yet accounted for. PMID:24339832

  13. The responses of soil respiration to nitrogen addition in a temperate grassland in northern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Qinpu; Gong, Jirui; Zhai, Zhanwei; Pan, Yan; Liu, Min; Xu, Sha; Wang, Yihui; Yang, Lili; Baoyin, Taoge-Tao

    2016-11-01

    Anthropogenic activities have increased nitrogen (N) inputs to grassland ecosystems. Knowledge of the impact of soil N availability on soil respiration (RS) is critical to understand soil carbon balances and their responses to global climate change. A 2-year field experiment was conducted to evaluate the response of RS to soil mineral N in a temperate grassland in northern China. RS, abiotic and biotic factors, and N mineralization were measured in the grassland, at rates of N addition ranging from 0 to 25gNm(-2)yr(-1). Annual and dormant-season RS ranged from 241.34 to 283.64g C m(-2) and from 61.34 to 83.84g C m(-2) respectively. High N application significantly increased RS, possibly due to increased root biomass and increased microbial biomass. High N treatment significantly increased soil NO3-N and inorganic N content compared with the control. The ratio of NO3-N to NH4-N and the N mineralization rate were significantly positively correlated with RS, but NH4-N was not correlated or negatively correlated with RS during the growing season. The temperature sensitivity of RS (Q10) was not significantly affected by N levels, and ranged from 1.90 to 2.20, but decreased marginally significantly at high N. RS outside the growing season is an important component of annual RS, accounting for 25.0 to 29.6% of the total. High N application indirectly stimulated RS by increasing soil NO3-N and net nitrification, thereby eliminating soil N limitations, promoting ecosystem productivity, and increasing soil CO2 efflux. Our results show the importance of distinguishing between NO3-N and NH4-N, as their impact on soil CO2 efflux differed. PMID:27396319

  14. Belowground grassland herbivores are resistant to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations in grassland ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grasslands are considered to be one of the most sensitive ecosystems to rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Moreover, grasslands support large populations of belowground herbivores that consume a major portion of plant biomass. The direct trophic link between herbivores and plants suggests that...

  15. Optimising stocking rate and grazing management to enhance environmental and production outcomes for native temperate grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Badgery, Warwick; Zhang, Yingjun; Huang, Ding; Broadfoot, Kim; Kemp, David; Mitchell, David

    2015-04-01

    Stocking rate and grazing management can be altered to enhance the sustainable production of grasslands but the relative influence of each has not often been determined for native temperate grasslands. Grazing management can range from seasonal rests through to intensive rotational grazing involving >30 paddocks. In large scale grazing, it can be difficult to segregate the influence of grazing pressure from the timing of utilisation. Moreover, relative grazing pressure can change between years as seasonal conditions influence grassland production compared to the relative constant requirements of animals. This paper reports on two studies in temperate native grasslands of northern China and south eastern Australia that examined stocking rate and regionally relevant grazing management strategies. In China, the grazing experiment involved combinations of a rest, moderate or heavy grazing pressure of sheep in spring, then moderate or heavy grazing in summer and autumn. Moderate grazing pressure at 50% of the current district average, resulted in the better balance between maintaining productive and diverse grasslands, a profitable livestock system, and mitigation of greenhouse gases through increased soil carbon, methane uptake by the soil, and efficient methane emissions per unit of weight gain. Spring rests best maintained a desirable grassland composition, but had few other benefits and reduced livestock productivity due to lower feed quality from grazing later in the season. In Australia, the grazing experiment compared continuous grazing to flexible 4- and 20-paddock rotational grazing systems with sheep. Stocking rates were adjusted between systems biannually based on the average herbage mass of the grassland. No treatment degraded the perennial pasture composition, but ground cover was maintained at higher levels in the 20-paddock system even though this treatment had a higher stocking rate. Overall there was little difference in livestock production (e.g. kg

  16. Soil emission and uptake of carbonyl sulfide at a temperate mountain grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kitz, Florian; Hammerle, Albin; Laterza, Tamara; Spielmann, Felix M.; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2016-04-01

    Flux partitioning, i.e. inferring gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration from the measured net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange, is one uncertainty in modelling the carbon cycle and in times where robust models are needed to assess future global changes a persistent problem. A promising new approach is to derive GPP by measuring carbonyl sulfide (COS), the most abundant sulfur-containing trace gas in the atmosphere, with a mean concentration of about 500 pptv in the troposphere. This is possible because COS and CO2 enter the leaf via a similar pathway and are processed by the same enzyme (carbonic anhydrase). A prerequisite to use COS as a proxy for canopy photosynthesis is a robust estimation of COS sources and sinks in an ecosystem. Past studies described soils either as a sink or source, depending on properties like soil temperature and soil water content. The main aim of this study was to quantify the soil COS exchange and its drivers of a temperate mountain grassland in order to aid the use of COS as tracer for canopy CO2 and water vapor exchange. We conducted a field campaign with a Quantum cascade laser at a temperate mountain grassland to estimate the soil COS fluxes under ambient conditions and while simulating a drought. We used self-built fused silica (i.e. light-transparent) soil chambers to avoid COS emissions from built-in materials and to assess the impact of radiation. Vegetation was removed within the chambers, therefor more radiation reached the soil surface compared to natural conditions. This might be the reason for highly positive fluxes during daytime more similar to agricultural study sites. To further investigate this large soil COS source we conducted within canopy concentration measurements near the soil surface and still recorded fluxes confirming the soil as a COS source during daytime. Results from the drought experiment suggested a strong impact of incoming radiation on soil COS fluxes followed by soil

  17. Mapping vegetation cover of grassland ecosystem for desertification monitoring in Hulun Buir of Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qin, Zhihao; Zhu, Yuxia; Li, Wenjuan; Xu, Bin

    2008-10-01

    Grassland ecosystem degradation and desertification has been highly concerned in China for years because such degradation is perceived to directly relate with the occurrence of sandstorms invading into north China. In this study we intend to map the spatial-temporal variation of vegetation cover density from remote sensing data in Hulun Buir, a typical grassland ecosystem with the highest biomass productivity in Inner Mongolia of China. Since NDVI is a good indicator of vegetation, a practical approach had been developed in the study to map the spatial-temporal variation of the vegetation cover. The MODIS satellite data were used for the mapping. Results from our study indicated that the vegetation cover rate had been steadily decreasing in recent years, with relatively high spatial and temporal variation. Our study reveals that the rate on average has a trend of steadily decreasing in recent years. In 2000 the rate was above 80.6% on average, while it decreased to below 76.5% in 2006. Generally the west part of the region had much lower vegetation cover rate than the east part, probably due to the fact that the east part was dominated with forest ecosystem while the west part with fragile grassland. The counties of Xinbaerhuyou Banner and Manzhouli in the west part had the lowest vegetation cover rate among the 13 counties. As to the grassland types, lowland meadow had the highest vegetation cover rate while the temperate meadow and steppe had the lowest, indicating that ecosystem degradation was very serious in the temperate meadow and steppe, which were mainly distributed in the west part of the region. Though many factors might contribute to the decrease of vegetation cover, annual precipitation vibration had very good correspondence with the up-and-down change of vegetation cover in the region. In addition, overgrazing also played an important role in accelerating the degradation under the drought year. Therefore, we were able to conclude that the grassland

  18. Biotic, abiotic and management controls on methanol exchange above a temperate mountain grassland

    PubMed Central

    Hörtnagl, Lukas; Bamberger, Ines; Graus, Martin; Ruuskanen, Taina M.; Schnitzhofer, Ralf; Müller, Markus; Hansel, Armin; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2013-01-01

    Methanol (CH3OH) fluxes were quantified above a managed temperate mountain grassland in the Stubai Valley (Tyrol, Austria) during the growing seasons 2008 and 2009. Half-hourly methanol fluxes were calculated by means of the virtual disjunct eddy covariance (vDEC) method using 3-dimensional wind data from a sonic anemometer and methanol volume mixing ratios measured with a proton-transfer-reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS). During (undisturbed) mature and growing phases methanol fluxes exhibited a clear diurnal cycle with close-to-zero fluxes during nighttime and emissions, up to 10 nmol m−2 s−1, which followed the diurnal course of radiation and air temperature. Management events were found to represent the largest perturbations of methanol exchange at the studied grassland ecosystem: Peak emissions of 144.5 nmol m−2 s−1 were found during/after cutting of the meadow reflecting the wounding of the plant material and subsequent depletion of the leaf internal aqueous methanol pools. After the application of organic fertilizer, elevated methanol emissions of up to 26.7 nmol m−2 s−1 were observed, likely reflecting enhanced microbial activity associated with the applied manure. Simple and multiple linear regression analyses revealed air temperature and radiation as the dominant abiotic controls, jointly explaining 47 % and 70 % of the variability in half-hourly and daily methanol fluxes. In contrast to published leaf-level laboratory studies, the surface conductance and the daily change in the amount of green plant area, used as ecosystem-scale proxies for stomatal conductance and growth, respectively, were found to exert only minor biotic controls on methanol exchange. PMID:24349901

  19. Mechanisms maintaining grassland biodiversity and ecosystem stability

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecologists need to know how particular processes influence biodiversity and ecosystem stability. We demonstrate how data from biodiversity-ecosystem functioning experiments can be used to identify and quantify the classes of mechanisms maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem stability. We predicted...

  20. Ecosystem Carbon Storage in Alpine Grassland on the Qinghai Plateau.

    PubMed

    Liu, Shuli; Zhang, Fawei; Du, Yangong; Guo, Xiaowei; Lin, Li; Li, Yikang; Li, Qian; Cao, Guangmin

    2016-01-01

    The alpine grassland ecosystem can sequester a large quantity of carbon, yet its significance remains controversial owing to large uncertainties in the relative contributions of climate factors and grazing intensity. In this study we surveyed 115 sites to measure ecosystem carbon storage (both biomass and soil) in alpine grassland over the Qinghai Plateau during the peak growing season in 2011 and 2012. Our results revealed three key findings. (1) Total biomass carbon density ranged from 0.04 for alpine steppe to 2.80 kg C m-2 for alpine meadow. Median soil organic carbon (SOC) density was estimated to be 16.43 kg C m-2 in alpine grassland. Total ecosystem carbon density varied across sites and grassland types, from 1.95 to 28.56 kg C m-2. (2) Based on the median estimate, the total carbon storage of alpine grassland on the Qinghai Plateau was 5.14 Pg, of which 94% (4.85 Pg) was soil organic carbon. (3) Overall, we found that ecosystem carbon density was affected by both climate and grazing, but to different extents. Temperature and precipitation interaction significantly affected AGB carbon density in winter pasture, BGB carbon density in alpine meadow, and SOC density in alpine steppe. On the other hand, grazing intensity affected AGB carbon density in summer pasture, SOC density in alpine meadow and ecosystem carbon density in alpine grassland. Our results indicate that grazing intensity was the primary contributing factor controlling carbon storage at the sites tested and should be the primary consideration when accurately estimating the carbon storage in alpine grassland. PMID:27494253

  1. Ecosystem Carbon Storage in Alpine Grassland on the Qinghai Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Liu, Shuli; Zhang, Fawei; Du, Yangong; Guo, Xiaowei; Lin, Li; Li, Yikang; Li, Qian; Cao, Guangmin

    2016-01-01

    The alpine grassland ecosystem can sequester a large quantity of carbon, yet its significance remains controversial owing to large uncertainties in the relative contributions of climate factors and grazing intensity. In this study we surveyed 115 sites to measure ecosystem carbon storage (both biomass and soil) in alpine grassland over the Qinghai Plateau during the peak growing season in 2011 and 2012. Our results revealed three key findings. (1) Total biomass carbon density ranged from 0.04 for alpine steppe to 2.80 kg C m-2 for alpine meadow. Median soil organic carbon (SOC) density was estimated to be 16.43 kg C m-2 in alpine grassland. Total ecosystem carbon density varied across sites and grassland types, from 1.95 to 28.56 kg C m-2. (2) Based on the median estimate, the total carbon storage of alpine grassland on the Qinghai Plateau was 5.14 Pg, of which 94% (4.85 Pg) was soil organic carbon. (3) Overall, we found that ecosystem carbon density was affected by both climate and grazing, but to different extents. Temperature and precipitation interaction significantly affected AGB carbon density in winter pasture, BGB carbon density in alpine meadow, and SOC density in alpine steppe. On the other hand, grazing intensity affected AGB carbon density in summer pasture, SOC density in alpine meadow and ecosystem carbon density in alpine grassland. Our results indicate that grazing intensity was the primary contributing factor controlling carbon storage at the sites tested and should be the primary consideration when accurately estimating the carbon storage in alpine grassland. PMID:27494253

  2. Drought Experiment of a Mongolian Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shinoda, M.; Tsunekawa, A.; Nemoto, M.; Nachinshonhor, G. U.; Nakano, T.; Tamura, K.; Asano, M.; Erdenetsetseg, D.

    2006-12-01

    Recent large-scale climate change including global warming has likely been manifested as frequent and/or intensive drought occurrences in inland, arid Asia such as Mongolia. In order to investigate the response of a Mongolian grassland ecosystem to such a drought, an artificial drought experiment was conducted at Bayan Unjuul (105.95E, 47.04N) in the Mongolian typical steppe region during the growing season of 2005. The climatological (1995-2004) annul precipitation is 172.9mm, concentrated on the summer months of May- August, while the annual mean temperature is 0.1degC, with soil freezing during the winter. This study site is codominated by perennial grasses such as Stipa krylovii, Agropyron cristatum, and Cleistogenes squarrosa and annual forbs such as Artemisia adamsii and Chenopodium album. An area of 300m w300m in size was surrounded by a fence for protecting this area from grazing. The plots inside and outside of the area are referred to as no-grazing (NG) and grazing (G) plots, respectively. In the NG plot, two plots of 30m w30m with drought (D plot) and mowing (M plot) manipulations are allocated in the southwest part of the NG plot. The drought manipulation was conducted using a rainout shelter with a transparent polyethylene roof, open on all sides during the major growing season from late May to early August 2005. The total precipitation of 60.3mm in the annual total of 96.9mm (that is, a severe drought year) was excluded from the D plot. Thus, natural severe drought and artificial very severe drought conditions were produced in this year. To study the vegetation impact on thermal and moisture conditions at the ground surface, the mowing has been carried out on a monthly basis during the growing season. The initial conditions for each plot were examined during the late growing seasons of 2003 and 2004, showing no significant difference in terms of vegetation (above-/below-ground biomass and species diversity) and physical and chemical soil properties

  3. Factors Controlling Decomposition Rates of Fine Root Litter in Temperate Forests and Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solly, E.; Schöning, I.; Trumbore, S.; Michalzik, B.; Schrumpf, M.

    2013-12-01

    Fine root decomposition contributes significantly to biogeochemical cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. Recent studies suggest that root litter is stabilized preferentially compared to shoot litter, contributing in high amounts to soil organic matter. Land use and management may affect root litter decomposition through changes in plant species composition, effects on the decomposer community and differences in soil nutrient availability. We established a large scale root litter decomposition study in three German study regions using a combination of litterbags deployed in forest and grassland sites under different management and soil types. In all three study regions, we compared site-level differences in decomposition by deploying bags containing standardized forest litter in a total of 150 forest plots (50 in each of the three study regions). Bags with standardized grass litter, which had lower lignin content and lignin:N than standardized forest root litter, were similarly distributed across 50 grassland sites in each of the three regions. Standardized fine grass roots decomposed on average faster 23.5 × 6.3% compared to forest roots 11.7 × 4.4% (p < 0.001) when deployed in their respective land use. Fine root decomposition of standardized litter was affected by study region with higher mass losses in northern Germany followed by mass loss rates in central and southern Germany (p < 0.05). Given the standardized litter chemistry, these differences mainly reflect the influence of climate and soil differences between study regions. Within the central German region (Hainich-Dün), we also compared rates of mass loss of root litter collected on-site as part of a second, parallel litterbag deployment to tease apart the influences of litter quality from other factors (such as soil properties and climate) that affect mass loss rates. Despite differences in the initial fine root litter quality, the average mass lost during 12 months for on-site litter was similar to

  4. Warming and elevated CO2 lead to longer growing season in temperate grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Observational data over time suggest that as climate has warmed the growing season has lengthened, although experimental warming shortens early-growing species’ life cycles. Are other plant species living longer? We found that experimental warming in a temperate, semi-arid grassland led to earlier l...

  5. Energy exchange and evapotranspiration over two temperate semi-arid grasslands in North America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The seasonal and interannual variability in surface energy exchange and evapotranspiration (E) of two temperate semi-arid grasslands in southern Arizona, USA were investigated using continuous eddy covariance measurements from 2004 to 2007, including two drought years (2004 and 2005). One of the gra...

  6. Water relations in grassland and desert ecosystems exposed to elevated atmospheric CO2.

    PubMed

    Morgan, J A; Pataki, D E; Körner, C; Clark, H; Del Grosso, S J; Grünzweig, J M; Knapp, A K; Mosier, A R; Newton, P C D; Niklaus, P A; Nippert, J B; Nowak, R S; Parton, W J; Polley, H W; Shaw, M R

    2004-06-01

    Atmospheric CO2 enrichment may stimulate plant growth directly through (1) enhanced photosynthesis or indirectly, through (2) reduced plant water consumption and hence slower soil moisture depletion, or the combination of both. Herein we describe gas exchange, plant biomass and species responses of five native or semi-native temperate and Mediterranean grasslands and three semi-arid systems to CO2 enrichment, with an emphasis on water relations. Increasing CO2 led to decreased leaf conductance for water vapor, improved plant water status, altered seasonal evapotranspiration dynamics, and in most cases, periodic increases in soil water content. The extent, timing and duration of these responses varied among ecosystems, species and years. Across the grasslands of the Kansas tallgrass prairie, Colorado shortgrass steppe and Swiss calcareous grassland, increases in aboveground biomass from CO2 enrichment were relatively greater in dry years. In contrast, CO2-induced aboveground biomass increases in the Texas C3/C4 grassland and the New Zealand pasture seemed little or only marginally influenced by yearly variation in soil water, while plant growth in the Mojave Desert was stimulated by CO2 in a relatively wet year. Mediterranean grasslands sometimes failed to respond to CO2-related increased late-season water, whereas semiarid Negev grassland assemblages profited. Vegetative and reproductive responses to CO2 were highly varied among species and ecosystems, and did not generally follow any predictable pattern in regard to functional groups. Results suggest that the indirect effects of CO2 on plant and soil water relations may contribute substantially to experimentally induced CO2-effects, and also reflect local humidity conditions. For landscape scale predictions, this analysis calls for a clear distinction between biomass responses due to direct CO2 effects on photosynthesis and those indirect CO2 effects via soil moisture as documented here. PMID:15156395

  7. Large Uncertainties in Estimating Grassland Carbon Fluxes: Can Net Ecosystem Production Be Inferred?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cahill, K. N.; Foley, J. A.; Kucharik, C. J.

    2003-12-01

    Despite interest in estimating ecosystem carbon budgets based on easily collected field data, no previous study to our knowledge has compared various methods of estimating total above- and belowground net primary production (NPP) and net ecosystem production (NEP, the annual carbon accumulated by an ecosystem) from commonly measured biomass and soil surface CO2 flux data in grasslands. Here we used field data from two grassland restorations and a row-crop agriculture treatment enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program as a model for an analysis of methodological uncertainty in estimating ecosystem carbon budgets over a short time period. The goal of this study was to investigate how a range of methods for estimating NPP and NEP suggested in the literature might be used to predict ecosystem carbon budgets based on short-term field measurements. We conclude that it is extremely difficult to close the carbon budget of a temperate grassland using flux-based methods that account for plant-derived carbon inputs and soil surface CO2 losses. Current uncertainties in (1) estimating aboveground NPP, (2) determining belowground NPP, and (3) splitting soil respiration into heterotrophic and autotrophic components strongly affect the magnitude, and even the sign, of NEP. A comparison of these estimates, across a treatment of different plant species mixes and land management, cannot reliably distinguish differences in NEP, nor the absolute sign of the overall carbon budget. These uncertainties likely exist in all grassland carbon budget studies using this approach, so conclusions about whether these systems are truly carbon sinks, or how they should be managed to sequester carbon, must be made with extreme care. Longer-term stocks methods, periodically linked to flux-based measurements of individual processes, may be the only way to close the carbon budget in these systems with any reasonable degree of certainty at the present time.

  8. Bifurcation analysis of a forest-grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, Lucia; Spiliotis, Konstantinos G.

    2016-06-01

    The nonlinear analysis of a forest-grassland ecosystem is performed as the main system parameters are changed. The model consists of a couple of nonlinear ordinary differential equations which include dynamically the human perceptions of forest/grassland value. The system displays multiple steady states corresponding to different forest densities as well as periodic regimes characterized by oscillations in time. We performed the bifurcation analysis of the system as the parameter relative to the human opinions influence is changed. We found that the main mechanisms which regulate the transitions occurring between different states or the appearance of new steady and dynamic regimes are transcritical, saddle/node and Hopf bifurcations.

  9. Fine-scale belowground species associations in temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    Frank, Douglas A; Pontes, Alyssa W; Maine, Eleanor M; Fridley, Jason D

    2015-06-01

    Evaluating how belowground processes contribute to plant community dynamics is hampered by limited information on the spatial structure of root communities at the scale that plants interact belowground. In this study, roots were mapped to the nearest one mm and molecularly identified by species on vertical (0-15 cm deep) surfaces of soil blocks excavated from dry and mesic grasslands in Yellowstone National Park (YNP) to examine the spatial relationships among species at the scale that roots interact. Our results indicated that average interspecific root - root distances for the majority of species were within a distance (3 mm) that roots have been shown to compete for resources. Most species placed their roots at random, although low root numbers for many species probably led to overestimating the occurrence of random patterns. According to theory, we expected that most of the remaining species would segregate their root systems to avoid competition. Instead we found that more species aggregated than segregated from others. Based on previous investigations, we hypothesize that species aggregate to increase uptake of water, nitrogen and/or phosphorus made available by neighbouring roots, or as a consequence of a reduction in the pathogenicity of soil biota growing in multispecies mixtures. Our results indicate that YNP grassland root communities are organized as closely interdigitating networks of species that potentially can support strong interactions among many species combinations. Future root research should address the prevalence and functional consequences of species aggregation across plant communities. PMID:25951537

  10. Response of grassland ecosystems to prolonged soil moisture deficit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ross, Morgan A.; Ponce-Campos, Guillermo E.; Barnes, Mallory L.; Hottenstein, John D.; Moran, M. Susan

    2014-05-01

    Soil moisture is commonly used for predictions of plant response and productivity. Climate change is predicted to cause an increase in the frequency and duration of droughts over the next century, which will result in prolonged periods of below-normal soil moisture. This, in turn, is expected to impact regional plant production, erosion and air quality. In fact, the number of consecutive months of soil moisture content below the drought-period mean has recently been linked to regional tree and shrub mortality in the southwest United States. This study investigated the effects of extended periods of below average soil moisture on the response of grassland ANPP to precipitation. Grassland ecosystems were selected for this study because of their ecological sensitivity to precipitation patterns. It has been postulated that the quick ecological response of grasslands to droughts can provide insight to large scale functional responses of regions to predicted climate change. The study sites included 21 grassland biomes throughout arid-to-humid climates in the United States with continuous surface soil moisture records for 2-13 years during the drought period from 2000-2013. Annual net primary production (ANPP) was estimated from the 13-year record of NASA MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index extracted for each site. Prolonged soil moisture deficit was defined as a period of at least 10 consecutive months during which soil moisture was below the drought-period mean. ANPP was monitored before, during and after prolonged soil moisture deficit to quantify shifts in the functional response of grasslands to precipitation, and in some cases, new species assemblages that included invasive species. Preliminary results indicated that when altered climatic conditions on grasslands led to an increase in the duration of soil water deficit, then the precipitation-to-ANPP relation became non-linear. Non-linearity was associated with extreme grassland dieback and changes in the historic

  11. Differences in SOM Decomposition and Temperature Sensitivity among Soil Aggregate Size Classes in a Temperate Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Qing; Wang, Dan; Wen, Xuefa; Yu, Guirui; He, Nianpeng; Wang, Rongfu

    2015-01-01

    The principle of enzyme kinetics suggests that the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition is inversely related to organic carbon (C) quality, i.e., the C quality-temperature (CQT) hypothesis. We tested this hypothesis by performing laboratory incubation experiments with bulk soil, macroaggregates (MA, 250–2000 μm), microaggregates (MI, 53–250 μm), and mineral fractions (MF, <53 μm) collected from an Inner Mongolian temperate grassland. The results showed that temperature and aggregate size significantly affected on SOM decomposition, with notable interactive effects (P<0.0001). For 2 weeks, the decomposition rates of bulk soil and soil aggregates increased with increasing incubation temperature in the following order: MA>MF>bulk soil >MI(P <0.05). The Q10 values were highest for MA, followed (in decreasing order) by bulk soil, MF, and MI. Similarly, the activation energies (Ea) for MA, bulk soil, MF, and MI were 48.47, 33.26, 27.01, and 23.18 KJ mol−1, respectively. The observed significant negative correlations between Q10 and C quality index in bulk soil and soil aggregates (P<0.05) suggested that the CQT hypothesis is applicable to soil aggregates. Cumulative C emission differed significantly among aggregate size classes (P <0.0001), with the largest values occurring in MA (1101 μg g−1), followed by MF (976 μg g−1) and MI (879 μg g−1). These findings suggest that feedback from SOM decomposition in response to changing temperature is closely associated withsoil aggregation and highlights the complex responses of ecosystem C budgets to future warming scenarios. PMID:25692291

  12. Extensive Management Promotes Plant and Microbial Nitrogen Retention in Temperate Grassland

    PubMed Central

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Bloem, Jaap; Quirk, Helen; Stevens, Carly J.; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

    Leaching losses of nitrogen (N) from soil and atmospheric N deposition have led to widespread changes in plant community and microbial community composition, but our knowledge of the factors that determine ecosystem N retention is limited. A common feature of extensively managed, species-rich grasslands is that they have fungal-dominated microbial communities, which might reduce soil N losses and increase ecosystem N retention, which is pivotal for pollution mitigation and sustainable food production. However, the mechanisms that underpin improved N retention in extensively managed, species-rich grasslands are unclear. We combined a landscape-scale field study and glasshouse experiment to test how grassland management affects plant and soil N retention. Specifically, we hypothesised that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands of high conservation value would have lower N loss and greater N retention than intensively managed, species-poor grasslands, and that this would be due to a greater immobilisation of N by a more fungal-dominated microbial community. In the field study, we found that extensively managed, species-rich grasslands had lower N leaching losses. Soil inorganic N availability decreased with increasing abundance of fungi relative to bacteria, although the best predictor of soil N leaching was the C/N ratio of aboveground plant biomass. In the associated glasshouse experiment we found that retention of added 15N was greater in extensively than in intensively managed grasslands, which was attributed to a combination of greater root uptake and microbial immobilisation of 15N in the former, and that microbial immobilisation increased with increasing biomass and abundance of fungi. These findings show that grassland management affects mechanisms of N retention in soil through changes in root and microbial uptake of N. Moreover, they support the notion that microbial communities might be the key to improved N retention through tightening linkages

  13. Climate-driven regime shift of a temperate marine ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Wernberg, Thomas; Bennett, Scott; Babcock, Russell C; de Bettignies, Thibaut; Cure, Katherine; Depczynski, Martial; Dufois, Francois; Fromont, Jane; Fulton, Christopher J; Hovey, Renae K; Harvey, Euan S; Holmes, Thomas H; Kendrick, Gary A; Radford, Ben; Santana-Garcon, Julia; Saunders, Benjamin J; Smale, Dan A; Thomsen, Mads S; Tuckett, Chenae A; Tuya, Fernando; Vanderklift, Mathew A; Wilson, Shaun

    2016-07-01

    Ecosystem reconfigurations arising from climate-driven changes in species distributions are expected to have profound ecological, social, and economic implications. Here we reveal a rapid climate-driven regime shift of Australian temperate reef communities, which lost their defining kelp forests and became dominated by persistent seaweed turfs. After decades of ocean warming, extreme marine heat waves forced a 100-kilometer range contraction of extensive kelp forests and saw temperate species replaced by seaweeds, invertebrates, corals, and fishes characteristic of subtropical and tropical waters. This community-wide tropicalization fundamentally altered key ecological processes, suppressing the recovery of kelp forests. PMID:27387951

  14. Monitoring Change in Temperate Coniferous Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Williams, Darrel (Technical Monitor); Woodcock, Curtis E.

    2004-01-01

    The primary goal of this research was to improve monitoring of temperate forest change using remote sensing. In this context, change includes both clearing of forest due to effects such as fire, logging, or land conversion and forest growth and succession. The Landsat 7 ETM+ proved an extremely valuable research tool in this domain. The Landsat 7 program has generated an extremely valuable transformation in the land remote sensing community by making high quality images available for relatively low cost. In addition, the tremendous improvements in the acquisition strategy greatly improved the overall availability of remote sensing images. I believe that from an historical prespective, the Landsat 7 mission will be considered extremely important as the improved image availability will stimulate the use of multitemporal imagery at resolutions useful for local to regional mapping. Also, Landsat 7 has opened the way to global applications of remote sensing at spatial scales where important surface processes and change can be directly monitored. It has been a wonderful experience to have participated on the Landsat 7 Science Team. The research conducted under this project led to contributions in four general domains: I. Improved understanding of the information content of images as a function of spatial resolution; II. Monitoring Forest Change and Succession; III. Development and Integration of Advanced Analysis Methods; and IV. General support of the remote sensing of forests and environmental change. This report is organized according to these topics. This report does not attempt to provide the complete details of the research conducted with support from this grant. That level of detail is provided in the 16 peer reviewed journal articles, 7 book chapters and 5 conference proceedings papers published as part of this grant. This report attempts to explain how the various publications fit together to improve our understanding of how forests are changing and how to

  15. Acetone and Acetaldehyde Exchange Above a Managed Temperate Mountain Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hörtnagl, L. J.; Bamberger, I.; Graus, M.; Ruuskanen, T.; Schnitzhofer, R.; Hansel, A.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2011-12-01

    measurement campaigns and during undisturbed conditions. The shortcomings in predicting VOC fluxes might be a consequence of missing parameters that were not captured by our meteorological data. The identification and quantification of biochemical cycles associated with soil and plant root processes and the possible influence of insect life cycles on VOC exchange might provide important information during the development and parameterization of VOC models. The total amount of carbon associated with the VOC flux of the two compounds was low: the grassland was a net source of acetaldehyde in both years with emissions of 21.8 mg C m-2 and 10.2 mg C m-2 in 2008 and 2009, respectively, while the meadow was a source of acetone in 2008 with 14.6 mg C m-2 and a sink in 2009 with a cumulative uptake of 5.0 mg C m-2.

  16. Temperate mountain grasslands: a climate-herbivore hypothesis for origins and persistence

    PubMed Central

    Weigl, Peter D; Knowles, Travis W

    2014-01-01

    Temperate montane grasslands and their unique biotas are declining worldwide as they are increasingly being invaded by forests. The origin and persistence of these landscapes have been the focus of such controversy that in many areas their conservation is in doubt. In the USA some biologists have largely dismissed the grass balds of the Southern Appalachians as human artifacts or anomalous and transitory elements of regional geography, worthy of only limited preservation efforts. On the basis of information from biogeography, community ecology, regional history and palaeontology and from consideration of two other montane grassland ecosystems—East Carpathian poloninas and Oregon Coast Range grass balds—we hypothesize that these landscapes are more widespread than was formerly recognized; they are, in many cases, natural and ancient and largely owe their origin and persistence to past climatic extremes and the activities of large mammalian herbivores. PMID:24118866

  17. Water and nitrogen availability co-control ecosystem CO2 exchange in a semiarid temperate steppe

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xiaolin; Tan, Yulian; Li, Ang; Ren, Tingting; Chen, Shiping; Wang, Lixin; Huang, Jianhui

    2015-01-01

    Both water and nitrogen (N) availability have significant effects on ecosystem CO2 exchange (ECE), which includes net ecosystem productivity (NEP), ecosystem respiration (ER) and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP). How water and N availability influence ECE in arid and semiarid grasslands is still uncertain. A manipulative experiment with additions of rainfall, snow and N was conducted to test their effects on ECE in a semiarid temperate steppe of northern China for three consecutive years with contrasting natural precipitation. ECE increased with annual precipitation but approached peak values at different precipitation amount. Water addition, especially summer water addition, had significantly positive effects on ECE in years when the natural precipitation was normal or below normal, but showed trivial effect on GEP when the natural precipitation was above normal as effects on ER and NEP offset one another. Nitrogen addition exerted non-significant or negative effects on ECE when precipitation was low but switched to a positive effect when precipitation was high, indicating N effect triggered by water availability. Our results indicate that both water and N availability control ECE and the effects of future precipitation changes and increasing N deposition will depend on how they can change collaboratively in this semiarid steppe ecosystem. PMID:26494051

  18. Seasonal variability of CH4 and N2O fluxes over a managed temperate mountain grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hoertnagl, Lukas; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2013-04-01

    The quantification of greenhouse gas (GHG) budgets on a global scale is an important step in assessing the effect of anthropogenic and biogenic controls on a future climate. In the past, measurements of CO2 fluxes were conducted over a wide array of ecosystems, leading to a better understanding of its exchange patterns on different time scales and more sophisticated models. However, only few studies quantified the fluxes of the other two major GHG, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), mainly due to expensive sensors and their time-consuming maintenance. In addition, early CH4 and N2O measurements mainly focused on ecosystems with presumably high emissions of CH4 (e.g. wetlands) or N2O (e.g. heavily fertilized crops). In recent years, devices for CH4 and N2O measurements became widely available and more studies are conducted over sites that exert small and often close-to-zero fluxes. Despite recent advances in sensor sensitivity and stability, the quantification of CH4 and N2O exchange rates remains challenging. Here we present measurements of CH4 and N2O exchange rates of a temperate mountain grassland managed as a hay meadow near the village Neustift in the Stubai Valley, Austria, that started in April 2010 by means of the eddy covariance method. The three wind components and the speed of sound were acquired at a time resolution of 20 Hz, while CH4 and N2O mixing ratios were recorded at 2 Hz by a quantum cascade laser absorption spectrometer (QCL-AS). Fluxes of both compounds were calculated using the virtual disjunct eddy covariance method (vDEC). For better comparability fluxes of N2O and CH4 were also converted to g CO2-equivalents and compared to the CO2 exchange at the same site. In addition to exchange rates, challenges regarding the calculation of GHG fluxes at the investigated grassland site will also be discussed. In 2011, deposition of CH4 was recorded on 9 days with average uptake rates of -0.6 nmol m-2 s-1. Peak emissions of up to 12.9 nmol m-2 s-1

  19. Sustaining multiple ecosystem functions in grassland communities requires higher biodiversity.

    PubMed

    Zavaleta, Erika S; Pasari, Jae R; Hulvey, Kristin B; Tilman, G David

    2010-01-26

    Society places value on the multiple functions of ecosystems from soil fertility to erosion control to wildlife-carrying capacity, and these functions are potentially threatened by ongoing biodiversity losses. Recent empirically based models using individual species' traits suggest that higher species richness is required to provide multiple ecosystem functions. However, no study to date has analyzed the observed functionality of communities of interacting species over multiple temporal scales to assess the relationship between biodiversity and multifunctionality. We use data from the longest-running biodiversity-functioning field experiment to date to test how species diversity affects the ability of grassland ecosystems to provide threshold levels of up to eight ecosystem functions simultaneously. Across years and every combination of ecosystem functions, minimum-required species richness consistently increases with the number of functions considered. Moreover, tradeoffs between functions and variability among years prevent any one community type from providing high levels of multiple functions, regardless of its diversity. Sustained multifunctionality, therefore, likely requires both higher species richness than single ecosystem functionality and a diversity of species assemblages across the landscape. PMID:20080690

  20. Biochar application reduces N2O emission in intensively managed temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Felber, R.; Leifeld, J.; Neftel, A.

    2012-04-01

    Biochar, a pyrolysis product of organic residues, is seen as an amendment for agricultural soils to improve soil fertility, sequester CO2 and reduce N2O emissions. Mainly used in highly weathered tropical soils, the interest of using biochar in intensively managed temperate soils is increasing. Our previous laboratory incubations have shown N2O reduction potentials of between 20 and 100% for temperate soils after biochar application (Felber et al., Biogeosciences Discuss, 2012). To assess the effect of biochar application under field conditions, a plot experiment (3 control vs. 3 biochar amended plots of 3x3 m size at a rate of 15 t ha-1) was set up in a temperate intensively managed grassland soil. N2O and CO2 emissions were quasi-continuously measured by static chambers under standard management practice over 8 months. In parallel soil samples were taken monthly from all plots and their N2O and CO2 productions were measured under controlled conditions in the lab. At the beginning of the field measurements (April 2011) cumulative N2O fluxes from biochar amended plots were above those of control plots, but the pattern reversed towards reduced fluxes from biochar plots after 3 months and the reduction reached about 15% by the end of 2011. The biochar effect on reducing N2O emissions in the laboratory was two times that of the field measurements, indicating that results from laboratory experiments are not directly transferable to field conditions. The experiments indicate a substantial N2O emission reduction potential of biochar in temperate grassland fields.

  1. Effects of Water and Nitrogen Addition on Species Turnover in Temperate Grasslands in Northern China

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Zhuwen; Wan, Shiqiang; Ren, Haiyan; Han, Xingguo; Li, Mai-He; Cheng, Weixin; Jiang, Yong

    2012-01-01

    Global nitrogen (N) deposition and climate change have been identified as two of the most important causes of current plant diversity loss. However, temporal patterns of species turnover underlying diversity changes in response to changing precipitation regimes and atmospheric N deposition have received inadequate attention. We carried out a manipulation experiment in a steppe and an old-field in North China from 2005 to 2009, to test the hypothesis that water addition enhances plant species richness through increase in the rate of species gain and decrease in the rate of species loss, while N addition has opposite effects on species changes. Our results showed that water addition increased the rate of species gain in both the steppe and the old field but decreased the rates of species loss and turnover in the old field. In contrast, N addition increased the rates of species loss and turnover in the steppe but decreased the rate of species gain in the old field. The rate of species change was greater in the old field than in the steppe. Water interacted with N to affect species richness and species turnover, indicating that the impacts of N on semi-arid grasslands were largely mediated by water availability. The temporal stability of communities was negatively correlated with rates of species loss and turnover, suggesting that water addition might enhance, but N addition would reduce the compositional stability of grasslands. Experimental results support our initial hypothesis and demonstrate that water and N availabilities differed in the effects on rate of species change in the temperate grasslands, and these effects also depend on grassland types and/or land-use history. Species gain and loss together contribute to the dynamic change of species richness in semi-arid grasslands under future climate change. PMID:22768119

  2. Carbon dioxide budget in a temperature grassland ecosystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Joon; Verma, Shashi B.; Clement, Robert J.

    1992-01-01

    Eddy correlation measurements of CO2 flux made during May-October 1987 and June-August 1989 were employed, in conjunction with simulated data, to examine the net exchange of CO2 in a temperature grassland ecosystem. Simulated estimates of CO2 uptake were used when flux measurements were not available. These estimates were based on daily intercepted photosynthetically active radiation, air temperature, and extractable soil water. Soil CO2 flux and dark respiration of the aerial part of plants were estimated using the relationships developed by Norman et al. (1992) and Polley et al. (1992) at the study site. The results indicate that the CO2 exchange between this ecosystem and the atmosphere is highly variable. The net ecosystem CO2 exchange reached its peak value (12-18 g/sq m d) during the period when the leaf area index was maximum. Drought, a frequent occurrence in this region, can change this ecosystem from a sink to a source for atmospheric CO2. Comparison with data on dry matter indicated that the aboveground biomass accounted for about 45-70 percent of the net carbon uptake, suggesting the importance of the below ground biomass in estimating net primary productivity in this ecosystem.

  3. Biotic, abiotic and management controls on methanol fluxes above a temperate mountain grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hörtnagl, Lukas; Bamberger, Ines; Graus, Martin; Ruuskanen, Taina; Schnitzhofer, Ralf; Müller, Markus; Hansel, Armin; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2010-05-01

    It was previously hypothesised that (i) stomatal conductance and plant growth play a key role in the emission of methanol (Hüve et al. 2007, Niinemets et al. 2004), (ii) methanol fluxes increase with air temperature (Niinemets and Reichstein 2003), and (iii) during cutting (leaf wounding) events and during drying high amounts of methanol are emitted into the atmosphere (Davison et al. 2008). Methanol fluxes were measured above a managed, temperate mountain grassland in Stubai Valley (Tyrol, Austria) during two growing seasons (2008 and 2009). Half-hourly flux values were calculated by means of the disjunct eddy covariance method using 3-dimensional wind-data of a sonic anemometer and mixing ratios of methanol measured with a proton-transfer-reaction-mass-spectrometer (PTR-MS). The surface conductance to water vapour was derived from measured evapotranspiration by inverting the Penman-Monteith combination equation (Wohlfahrt et al., 2009) for dry canopy conditions and used as a proxy for canopyscale stomatal conductance. Methanol fluxes exhibited a clear diurnal cycle with closetozero fluxes during nighttime and emissions, up to 10 nmol m-2 s-1, which followed the diurnal course of radiation and air temperature during daytime. Higher emissions of up to 30 nmol m-2 s-1were observed during cut events and spreading of organic manure. Methanol fluxes showed positive correlations with air temperature, stomatal conductance, and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), confirming previous studies (e.g. Niinemets and Reichstein 2003). All three previously mentioned factors combined together were able to explain 40% of the observed flux variability. The influence of rapid changes in stomatal conductance on methanol fluxes, pointed out in earlier studies at the leaf-level (e.g. Niinemets and Reichstein 2003), could not be confirmed on ecosystem scale, possibly due to within-canopy gradients in stomatal conductance and the fact that fluxes were determined as half

  4. Carbon dioxide exchange in a temperate grassland ecosystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Joon; Verma, Shashi B.

    1990-01-01

    Carbon dioxide exchange was measured, using the eddy correlation technique, over a tallgrass prairie in northeastern Kansas, U.S.A., during a six-month period in 1987. The diurnal patterns of daytime and nocturnal CO2 fluxes are presented on eight selected days. These days were distributed throughout most of the growing season and covered a wide range of meteorological and soil water conditions. The midday CO2 flux reached a maximum of 1.3 mg/sq m (ground area)/s during early July and was near zero during the dry period in late July. The dependence of the daytime carbon dioxide exchange on pertinent controlling variables, particularly photosynthetically active radiation, vapor pressure deficit, and soil water content is discussed. The nocturnal CO2 flux (soil plus plant respiration) averaged -0.4 m sq m (ground area)/s during early July and was about -0.2 mg sq/m during the dry period.

  5. Agricultural impacts on ecosystem functioning in temperate areas of North and South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guerschman, Juan Pablo; Paruelo, José María

    2005-07-01

    Land use has a large impact on ecosystem functioning, though evidences of these impacts at the regional scale are scarce. The objective of this paper was to analyze the impacts of agricultural land use on ecosystem functioning (radiation interception and carbon uptake) in temperate areas of North and South America. From land cover maps generated using high-resolution satellite images we selected sites dominated by row crops (RC), small grain crops (SG), pastures (PA), and rangelands (RA) in the Central Plains of USA and the Pampas of Argentina. These two regions share climatic characteristics and the agricultural conditions (crop types) are also very similar. Both areas were originally dominated by temperate grasslands. In these sites we extracted the temporal series of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from the NOAA satellites for the period 1989-1998 and calculated the mean seasonal NDVI curve for each site. Additionally, we calculated the mean annual NDVI, the maximum NDVI, the date of the year when the max NDVI was recorded and the interannual variability of these three attributes. We compared the mean values of each NDVI-derived attribute between land cover types and between continents. The NDVI seasonal patterns for each land cover type were roughly similar between the Central Plains and the Pampas during the growing season. The largest differences were observed during the winter and spring, when the NDVI of all land cover types in the Central Plains remained at lower values than in the Pampas. This was probably caused by the high annual thermal amplitude in the Central Plains that results in a much more restricted growing season. As a result of these differences in the shape of the NDVI curve, the mean annual NDVI in the Central Plains was lower than in the Pampas for all land cover types but the maximum NDVI did not differ importantly. In both regions, row crops delayed the date of the NDVI peak, small grain crops advanced it and pastures

  6. Leaf area controls on energy partitioning of a temperate mountain grassland

    PubMed Central

    Hammerle, A.; Haslwanter, A.; Tappeiner, U.; Cernusca, A.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2013-01-01

    Using a six year data set of eddy covariance flux measurements of sensible and latent heat, soil heat flux, net radiation, above-ground phytomass and meteorological driving forces energy partitioning was investigated at a temperate mountain grassland managed as a hay meadow in the Stubai Valley (Austria). The main findings of the study were: (i) Energy partitioning was dominated by latent heat, followed by sensible heat and the soil heat flux; (ii) When compared to standard environmental forcings, the amount of green plant matter, which due to three cuts varied considerably during the vegetation period, explained similar, and partially larger, fractions of the variability in energy partitioning; (iii) There were little, if any, indications of water stress effects on energy partitioning, despite reductions in soil water availability in combination with high evaporative demand, e.g. during the summer drought of 2003. PMID:24348583

  7. Relationship of Productivity to Species Richness in the Xinjiang Temperate Grassland

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

    The relationship between species richness (SR) and aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) is still a central and debated issue in community ecology. Previous studies have often emphasized the relationship of alpha diversity (number of species identity) to the mean ANPP with respect to the SR-ANPP relationship while neglecting the contribution of beta diversity (dissimilarity in species composition) to the mean ANPP and to the stability of ANPP (coefficient of ANPP: CV of ANPP). In this study, we used alpha and beta diversity, mean ANPP and the CV of ANPP collected from 159 sites and belonging to three vegetation types in the Xinjiang temperate grassland to first examine their trends along climatic factors and among different vegetation types and then test the relationship among alpha (beta) diversity and mean ANPP and the CV of ANPP. Our results showed that in the Xinjiang temperate grasslands, alpha diversity was positively and linearly correlated with MAP but unimodally correlated with MAT. Meanwhile, beta diversity was unimodally correlated with MAP but linearly correlated with MAT. Relative to desert steppe, meadow steppe and typical steppe had the highest alpha and beta diversity, respectively. Except for ANPP exhibiting a quadratic relationship with MAP, no significant relationship was found among ANPP, the CV of ANPP and climatic factors. ANPP and the CV of ANPP also exhibited no apparent patterns in variation among different vegetation types. Our results further showed that mean ANPP was closely associated with alpha diversity. Both linear and unimodal relationships were detected between alpha diversity and mean ANPP, but their particular form was texture-dependent. Meanwhile, the CV of ANPP was positively correlated with beta diversity. Our results indicated that in addition to incorporating alpha diversity and mean ANPP, incorporating beta diversity and the CV of ANPP could expand our understanding of the SR-ANPP relationship. PMID:27100676

  8. Convergence of potential net ecosystem production among contrasting C3 grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Peichl, Matthias; Sonnentag, Oliver; Wohlfahrt, Georg; Flanagan, Lawrence B.; Baldocchi, Dennis D.; Kiely, Gerard; Galvagno, Marta; Gianelle, Damiano; Marcolla, Barbara; Pio, Casimiro; Migliavacca, Mirco; Jones, Michael B.; Saunders, Matthew

    2013-01-01

    Metabolic theory and body size dependent constraints on biomass production and decomposition suggest that differences in the intrinsic potential net ecosystem production (NEPPOT) should be small among contrasting C3 grasslands and therefore unable to explain the wide range in the annual apparent net ecosystem production (NEPAPP) reported by previous studies. We estimated NEPPOT for nine C3 grasslands under contrasting climate and management regimes using multi-year eddy covariance data. NEPPOT converged within a narrow range suggesting little difference in the net carbon dioxide uptake capacity across C3 grasslands. Our results indicate a unique feature of C3 grasslands compared to other terrestrial ecosystems and suggest a state of stability in NEPPOT due to tightly coupled production and respiration processes. Consequently, the annual NEPAPP of C3 grasslands is primarily a function of seasonal and short-term environmental and management constraints, and therefore especially susceptible to changes in future climate patterns and associated adaptation of management practices. PMID:23346985

  9. Ecosystem Change in California Grasslands: Impacts of Species Invasion

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koteen, L. E.; Harte, J.; Baldocchi, D. D.

    2009-12-01

    Grassland ecosystems of California have undergone dramatic changes, resulting in the almost complete replacement of native perennial grasses by non-native annuals across millions of hectares of grassland habitat. Our research investigates the effects of this community shift on carbon, water and energy cycles at two sites in northern coastal California. Our goal was to understand how changes to California’s grasslands have affected climate through 1. shifting the balance of carbon storage between terrestrial stocks and the atmosphere, and 2. altering the water and energy regimes that heat or cool the earth's surface. To compare the processes that govern material exchange before and after annual grass invasion, we made use of sites where native vegetation is found adjacent to locations that have undergone non-native invasion. In plots of each vegetation type, we monitored whole plant productivity, root and litter decay rates and soil respiration, as well as soil climatic controls on these processes. At one site, we also measured surface albedo and the components of the surface energy balance in each grass community, using the surface renewal method. Although seemingly subtle, the shift in California grassland communities from native perennial to non-native annual grass dominance has had profound consequences for ecosystem biogeochemical, radiative and hydrological cycles. Soil carbon storage was found to be significantly greater in native perennial grass communities. Across both study sites, we found that non-native grass invasion has resulted in the transfer of from 3 to 6 tons of carbon per hectare from the soil to the atmosphere, dependent on site and species. A soil density fractionation and a radiocarbon analysis also revealed the carbon to be more recalcitrant in native grass dominated locations. The primary plant traits that help explain why soil carbon losses follow annual grass invasion are: 1. differences between annual and perennial grasses in above

  10. Extreme weather conditions reduce the CO2 fertilization effect in temperate C3 grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obermeier, Wolfgang; Lehnert, Lukas; Kammann, Claudia; Müller, Christoph; Grünhage, Ludger; Luterbacher, Jürg; Erbs, Martin; Yuan, Naiming; Bendix, Jörg

    2016-04-01

    capacity of temperate C3 grasslands. Because temperate grasslands represent an important part of the Earth's terrestrial surface and therefore the global carbon cycle, atmospheric CO2 concentrations [CO2] might increase faster than currently expected.

  11. Molecular Investigation of the Short-term Sequestration of Natural Abundance 13C -labelled Cow Dung in the Surface Horizons of a Temperate Grassland Soil

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dungait, J.; Bol, R.; Evershed, R. P.

    2004-12-01

    An adequate understanding of the carbon (C) sequestration potential of grasslands requires that the quantity and residence times of C inputs be measured. Herbivore dung is largely comprised of plant cell wall material, a significant source of stable C in intensively grazed temperate grassland ecosystems that contributes to the soil carbon budget. Our work uses compound-specific isotope analysis to identify the pattern of input of dung-derived compounds from natural abundance 13C/-labelled cow dung into the surface horizons of a temperate grassland soil over one year. C4 dung (δ 13C \\-12.6 ‰ ) from maize fed cows was applied to a temperate grassland surface (δ 13C \\-29.95 ‰ ) at IGER-North Wyke (Devon, UK), and dung remains and soil cores beneath the treatments collected at ŧ = 7, 14, 28, 56, 112, 224 and 372 days. Bulk dung carbon present in the 0\\-1 cm and 1\\-5 cm surface horizons of a grassland soil over one year was estimated using Δ 13C between C4 dung and C3 dung, after Bol {\\et al.} (2000). The major biochemical components of dung were quantified using proximate forage fibre analyses, after Goering and Van Soest (1970) and identified using `wet' chemical and GC-MS methods. Plant cell wall polysaccharides and lignin were found to account for up to 67 {%} of dung dry matter. Hydrolysed polysaccharides were prepared as alditol acetates for analyses (after Docherty {\\et al.}, 2001), and a novel application of an off-line pyrolysis method applied to measure lignin-derived phenolic compounds (after Poole & van Bergen, 2002). This paper focuses on major events in the incorporation of dung carbon, estimated using natural abundance 13C&-slash;labelling technique. This revealed a major bulk input of dung carbon after a period of significant rainfall with a consequent decline in bulk soil δ 13C values until the end of the experiment (Dungait {\\et al.}, submitted). Findings will be presented revealing contribution of plant cell wall polysaccharides and

  12. Black carbon in grassland ecosystems of the world

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rodionov, Andrej; Amelung, Wulf; Peinemann, Norman; Haumaier, Ludwig; Zhang, Xudong; Kleber, Markus; Glaser, Bruno; Urusevskaya, Inga; Zech, Wolfgang

    2010-09-01

    Black carbon (BC) is the product of incomplete burning processes and a significant component of the passive soil organic carbon (SOC) pool. The role of BC in the global carbon cycle is still unclear. This study aimed to quantify and characterize BC in major grassland ecosystems of the world. Twenty-eight representative soil profiles (mainly Mollisols) were sampled in the Russian Steppe, the U.S. Great Plains, the Argentinian Pampa, the Manchurian Plains in China, and the Chernozem region in central Germany. Black carbon contents were estimated using benzene polycarboxylic acids (BPCA) as a molecular marker, and indications about the origin of the BC were derived from bulk and compound-specific δ13C analyses and radiocarbon dating of bulk soil organic matter (SOM). Our findings suggest that between 5% and 30% of SOC stocks consist of BC. Maximum BC contributions to SOC frequently were found at deeper parts of the A horizon with 14C ages younger than 7000 years BP; that is, incorporation of C as charred particles accompanied ecosystem development since the mid-Holocene. Most of this BC formed from local vegetation, as indicated by a 13C isotope signature similar to that of bulk SOM. At some sites, also nonlocal sources contributed to soil BC, e.g., fossil fuel BC inputs at the German sites. Black carbon stocks were highest in Chernozems and lowest in Kastanozems. The Russian Steppe and Chinese Manchurian sites stored about 3-4 times more BC (around 3 kg m-2) than did the other sites because of thicker A horizons that were rich in BC. On a global scale, we estimate that steppe ecosystems contain between 4 and 17 Pg BC.

  13. Changes in autumn vegetation dormancy onset date and the climate controls across temperate ecosystems in China from 1982 to 2010.

    PubMed

    Yang, Yuting; Guan, Huade; Shen, Miaogen; Liang, Wei; Jiang, Lei

    2015-02-01

    Vegetation phenology is a sensitive indicator of the dynamic response of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change. In this study, the spatiotemporal pattern of vegetation dormancy onset date (DOD) and its climate controls over temperate China were examined by analysing the satellite-derived normalized difference vegetation index and concurrent climate data from 1982 to 2010. Results show that preseason (May through October) air temperature is the primary climatic control of the DOD spatial pattern across temperate China, whereas preseason cumulative precipitation is dominantly associated with the DOD spatial pattern in relatively cold regions. Temporally, the average DOD over China's temperate ecosystems has delayed by 0.13 days per year during the past three decades. However, the delay trends are not continuous throughout the 29-year period. The DOD experienced the largest delay during the 1980s, but the delay trend slowed down or even reversed during the 1990s and 2000s. Our results also show that interannual variations in DOD are most significantly related with preseason mean temperature in most ecosystems, except for the desert ecosystem for which the variations in DOD are mainly regulated by preseason cumulative precipitation. Moreover, temperature also determines the spatial pattern of temperature sensitivity of DOD, which became significantly lower as temperature increased. On the other hand, the temperature sensitivity of DOD increases with increasing precipitation, especially in relatively dry areas (e.g. temperate grassland). This finding stresses the importance of hydrological control on the response of autumn phenology to changes in temperature, which must be accounted in current temperature-driven phenological models. PMID:25430658

  14. Winter photosynthetic activity of twenty temperate semi-desert sand grassland species.

    PubMed

    Tuba, Zoltán; Csintalan, Zsolt; Szente, Kálmán; Nagy, Zoltán; Fekete, Gábor; Larcher, Walter; Lichtenthaler, Hartmut K

    2008-09-29

    The winter photosynthetic activity (quantified by net CO(2) assimilation rates and chlorophyll (Chl) a fluorescence parameters) of 20 plant species (including two lichens and two mosses) of a Hungarian temperate semi-desert sand grassland was determined on one occasion per year in 1984, 1989 and 1994. Throughout winter, the overwintering green shoots, leaves or thalli were regularly exposed to below zero temperatures at night and daytime temperatures of 0-5 degrees C. In situ tissue temperature varied between -2.1 and +6.9 degrees C and the photosynthetic photon flux density (PPFD) between 137 and 351 micromol m(-2)s(-1). Under these conditions 18 of the grassland species exhibited photosynthetic CO(2) uptake (range: vascular plants ca. 0.2-3.8 micromol m(-2)s(-1), cryptogams 0.3-2.79 micromol kg(-1)s(-1)) and values of 0.9-5.1 of the Chl fluorescence decrease ratio R(Fd). In 1984, Festuca vaginata and Sedum sexangulare had net CO(2) assimilation at leaf temperatures of -0.85 to -1.2 degrees C. In 1989, all species except Cladonia furcata showed net CO(2) assimilation at tissue temperatures of 0 to +3.3 degrees C, with the highest rates observed in Poa bulbosa and F. vaginata. The latter showed a net CO(2) assimilation saturation at a PPFD of 600 micromol m(-2)s(-1) and a temperature optimum between +5 and +18 degrees C. At the 1994 measurements, the photosynthetic rates were higher at higher tissue water contents. The two mosses and lichens had a net photosynthesis (range: 1.1-2.79 micromol CO(2)kg(-1)s(-1)) at 2 degrees C tissue temperature and at 4-5 degrees C air temperature. Ca. 80% of the vascular grassland plant species maintained a positive C-balance during the coldest periods of winter, with photosynthetic rates of 1.5-3.8 micromol CO(2)m(-2)s(-1). In an extremely warm beginning March of the relatively warm winter of 2006/2007, the dicotyledonous plants had much higher CO(2) assimilation rates on a Chl (range 6-14.9 micromol g(-1)Chl s(-1)) and on a dry

  15. Prairie Dog Decline Reduces the Supply of Ecosystem Services and Leads to Desertification of Semiarid Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Martínez-Estévez, Lourdes; Balvanera, Patricia; Pacheco, Jesús; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well – being through the loss of ecosystem services. PMID:24130691

  16. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

    PubMed

    Martínez-Estévez, Lourdes; Balvanera, Patricia; Pacheco, Jesús; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2013-01-01

    Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well - being through the loss of ecosystem services. PMID:24130691

  17. Climate change effects on groundwater dependent temperate forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bierkens, M. F.; Brolsma, R. J.; van Beek, R. L.; van Vliet, M. T.

    2008-12-01

    Models developed to predict the influence of changing climate on ecosystems often concentrate on vegetation in connection with soil moisture, but usually omit groundwater. However in temperate climate zones, groundwater can have a profound effect on the reaction of vegetation to climate change, because it strongly influences the spatio-temporal distribution of soil moisture and therefore water and oxygen stress of vegetation. Here we focus on the qualitative and quantitative effects of climate change on the zonation of vegetation and groundwater dynamics along a hill slope. To study this we developed a fully coupled hydrological-vegetation model, for a groundwater influenced temperate forest ecosystem. The vegetation model is based on the carbon assimilation model of Farquhar et al. (1980) and the extension of Daly et al. (2004), which includes transpiration of vegetation and accounts for the response to low soil moisture content. We modified this model to account for vegetation response to high soil moisture contents due to high groundwater levels, and we extended the model to include light competition, phenology and vegetation growth. To simulate the hydrological system the saturated-unsaturated flow model by van Beek (2002) is used. The coupled model was first compared to measured semi-hourly flux tower data of H2O and CO2, showing good results. Than simulation runs of 1000 years were performed to study the effect of climate change on soil water, groundwater and vegetation. We performed simulation runs with competition between wet and dry adapted species under current conditions and after climate change. Meteorological time series for the 2100 climate (SRESA2) were obtained from downscaling 6 different regional climate model runs from the ENSEMBLES project with a stochastic weather generator (Kilby et al., 2007). Results show that in the zones were the groundwater system is close to the surface, climate change causes large shifts in vegetation zonation of the

  18. Future scenarios of soil water availability at managed grassland ecosystems in the Austrian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hammerle, Albin; Calanca, Pierluigi; Themessl, Matthias; Gobiet, Andreas; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2014-05-01

    Available soil water is a major constraint for numerous ecosystem functions and is likely to be considerably affected by projected shifts in temperature and precipitation. Quantifying likely future changes in soil water content is therefore essential for assessing impacts of climate change on ecosystem functions. We present a data fusion approach addressing changes in soil water content of temperate grasslands in the Austrian Alps under future climate scenarios. We use a simple soil bucket model, characterized by an efficient structure and minimal requirements regarding meteorological inputs (solar radiation, precipitation and air temperature). The model is therefore suitable for the analysis of a wide range of ecological datasets. Model parameter were constrained by up to three different datasets (soil water content, evapotranspiration and snow water equivalent) using a Bayesian inversion scheme. Given a repository of data collected at ten sites in the Eastern Alps as well as a set of downscaled and error corrected (quantile mapping) regional climate scenarios, developed for the years 1961 - 2050 with 5 different regional/global climate models (CNRMRM, AITCCLM, KNMIRACMO, DMIHIRHAM, ETHZCLM) we simulated soil water content conditions under these future climate scenarios. Despite the simple model structure calibrated model runs do show a very good performance at the majority of investigated sites. Results show that if any trend can be found, the investigated ecosystems tend to higher soil water contents on average, associated with a distinct decrease in snow cover duration under future climate conditions. Regardless of these average trends some climate models cause an increasing frequency and a longer duration of extreme dry soil water conditions under future climate scenarios.

  19. Fire regime, not time-since-fire, affects soil fungal community diversity and composition in temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

    Egidi, Eleonora; McMullan-Fisher, Sapphire; Morgan, John W; May, Tom; Zeeman, Ben; Franks, Ashley E

    2016-09-01

    Frequent burning is commonly undertaken to maintain diversity in temperate grasslands of southern Australia. How burning affects below-ground fungal community diversity remains unknown. We show, using a fungal rDNA metabarcoding approach (Illumina MiSeq), that the fungal community composition was influenced by fire regime (frequency) but not time-since-fire. Fungal community composition was resilient to direct fire effects, most likely because grassland fires transfer little heat to the soil. Differences in the fungal community composition due to fire regime was likely due to associated changes that occur in vegetation with recurrent fire, via the break up of obligate symbiotic relationships. However, fire history only partially explains the observed dissimilarity in composition among the soil samples, suggesting a distinctiveness in composition in each grassland site. The importance of considering changes in soil microbe communities when managing vegetation with fire is highlighted. PMID:27528692

  20. Ecosystem services to and from North American arid grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Arid grasslands throughout North America are characterized by low and variable precipitation, nutrient-poor soils, and high spatial and temporal variability in plant production. These grasslands have provided a variety of goods and services, with the provisioning of food and fiber dominating through...

  1. Understanding of Grassland Ecosystems under Climate Change and Economic Development Pressures in the Mongolia Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, J.; Chen, J.; Shan, P.; Pan, X.; Wei, Y.; Wang, M.; Xin, X.

    2011-12-01

    The land use and land cover change, especially in the form of grassland degradation, in the Mongolian Plateau, exhibited a unique spatio-temporal pattern that is a characteristic of a mixed stress from economic development and climate change of the region. The social dimension of the region played a key role in shaping the landscape and land use change, including the cultural clashes with economic development, conflicts between indigenous people and business ventures, and exogenous international influences. Various research projects have been conducted in the region to focus on physical degradation of grasslands and/or on economic development but there is a lack of understanding how the social and economic dimensions interact with grassland ecosystems and changes. In this talk, a synthesis report was made based on the most recent workshop held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, of China, that specifically focused on climate change and grassland ecosystems. The report analyzed the degree of grassland degradation, its climate and social drivers, and coupling nature of economic development and conservation of traditional grassland values. The goal is to fully understand the socio-ecological-economic interactions that together shape the trajectory of the grassland ecosystems in the Mongolia Plateau.

  2. China's grazed temperate grasslands are a net source of atmospheric methane

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Zhi-Ping; Song, Yang; Gulledge, Jay; Yu, Qiang; Liu, Hong-Sheng; Han, Xing-Guo

    A budget for the methane (CH 4) cycle in the Xilin River basin of Inner Mongolia is presented. The annual CH 4 budget in this region depends primarily on the sum of atmospheric CH 4 uptake by upland soils, emission from small wetlands, and emission from grazing ruminants (sheep, goats, and cattle). Flux rates for these processes were averaged over multiple years with differing summer rainfall. Although uplands constitute the vast majority of land area, they consume much less CH 4 per unit area than is emitted by wetlands and ruminants. Atmospheric CH 4 uptake by upland soils was -3.3 and -4.8 kg CH 4 ha -1 y -1 in grazed and ungrazed areas, respectively. Average CH 4 emission was 791.0 kg CH 4 ha -1 y -1 from wetlands and 8.6 kg CH 4 ha -1 y -1 from ruminants. The basin area-weighted average of all three processes was 6.8 kg CH 4 ha -1 y -1, indicating that ruminant production has converted this basin to a net source of atmospheric CH 4. The total CH 4 emission from the Xilin River basin was 7.29 Gg CH 4 y -1. The current grazing intensity is about eightfold higher than that which would result in a net zero CH 4 flux. Since grazing intensity has increased throughout western China, it is likely that ruminant production has converted China's grazed temperate grasslands to a net source of atmospheric CH 4 overall.

  3. Mobility and age of black carbon in two temperate grassland soils revealed by differential scanning calorimetry and radiocarbon dating

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leifeld, Jens; Feng, Xiaojuan; Eglinton, Timothy; Wacker, Lukas

    2015-04-01

    Black carbon (BC) is a natural component of soil organic matter (SOM) and abundant in many ecosystems. Its stability, due to its relative resistance to microbial decomposition, means it plays an important role in soil C sequestration. A recent review suggests that BC may be mobile in soil; hence, its contribution to a stable SOM pool may change over time due to its lateral or vertical reallocation (Rumpel et al. 2014). However, direct evidence of the mobility of BC, particularly with reference to its vertical mobility, is scarce. We studied the amount of BC in two temperate grassland fields (eutric clayey Camibsol,) that were established in 2001 on former cropland. Volumetric soil samples (0-50 cm, 5 cm increments) were taken at 10 spots in each field in 2001, 2006 and 2011. One of the fields was ploughed in 2007 and the sward was re-sown. BC content was measured by differential scanning calorimetry for a total number of c. 500 samples. The mean BC/OC ratio was 0.10 (±0.05) and reached 0.25 in some samples. Radiocarbon measurements from 24 bulk soil samples revealed relatively small 14C contents in 2001 (92±2.7 pMC) which increased over time (2006: 99.0±1.1 pMC; 2011: 99.1±1.1 pMC). Thermal fractionation of BC by DSC revealed calibrated BC ages of 400 to 1000 years (pMC 87-94), suggesting that BC originates from medieval and post-medieval fire clearings. The change in soil signature may have been caused by a preferential transport of old BC down the soil profile, leading to a selective enrichment of younger soil C over time. In line with this interpretation the DSC measurements suggest that in both fields, BC concentrations significantly decreased for most layers between 2001 and 2006. However, between 2006 and 2011, no further vertical reallocation was observed in the continuous grassland, whereas BC contents of the field ploughed in 2007 significantly increased in the top layers. Together, these data suggest that ploughing in 2001 triggered subsequent

  4. Grazing effects on ecosystem CO2 fluxes differ among temperate steppe types in Eurasia.

    PubMed

    Hou, Longyu; Liu, Yan; Du, Jiancai; Wang, Mingya; Wang, Hui; Mao, Peisheng

    2016-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems play a critical role in regulating CO2 fluxes into and out of the Earth's surface. Whereas previous studies have often addressed single fluxes of CO2 separately, few have addressed the relation among and controls of multiple CO2 sub-fluxes simultaneously. In this study, we examined the relation among and controls of individual CO2 fluxes (i.e., GEP, NEP, SR, ER, CR) in three contrasting temperate steppes of north China, as affected by livestock grazing. Our findings show that climatic controls of the seasonal patterns in CO2 fluxes were both individual flux- and steppe type-specific, with significant grazing impacts observed for canopy respiration only. In contrast, climatic controls of the annual patterns were only individual flux-specific, with minor grazing impacts on the individual fluxes. Grazing significantly reduced the mean annual soil respiration rate in the typical and desert steppes, but significantly enhanced both soil and canopy respiration in the meadow steppe. Our study suggests that a reassessment of the role of livestock grazing in regulating GHG exchanges is imperative in future studies. PMID:27363345

  5. Grazing effects on ecosystem CO2 fluxes differ among temperate steppe types in Eurasia

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Longyu; Liu, Yan; Du, Jiancai; Wang, Mingya; Wang, Hui; Mao, Peisheng

    2016-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems play a critical role in regulating CO2 fluxes into and out of the Earth’s surface. Whereas previous studies have often addressed single fluxes of CO2 separately, few have addressed the relation among and controls of multiple CO2 sub-fluxes simultaneously. In this study, we examined the relation among and controls of individual CO2 fluxes (i.e., GEP, NEP, SR, ER, CR) in three contrasting temperate steppes of north China, as affected by livestock grazing. Our findings show that climatic controls of the seasonal patterns in CO2 fluxes were both individual flux- and steppe type-specific, with significant grazing impacts observed for canopy respiration only. In contrast, climatic controls of the annual patterns were only individual flux-specific, with minor grazing impacts on the individual fluxes. Grazing significantly reduced the mean annual soil respiration rate in the typical and desert steppes, but significantly enhanced both soil and canopy respiration in the meadow steppe. Our study suggests that a reassessment of the role of livestock grazing in regulating GHG exchanges is imperative in future studies. PMID:27363345

  6. Species richness and biomass explain spatial turnover in ecosystem functioning across tropical and temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Barnes, Andrew D; Weigelt, Patrick; Jochum, Malte; Ott, David; Hodapp, Dorothee; Haneda, Noor Farikhah; Brose, Ulrich

    2016-05-19

    Predicting ecosystem functioning at large spatial scales rests on our ability to scale up from local plots to landscapes, but this is highly contingent on our understanding of how functioning varies through space. Such an understanding has been hampered by a strong experimental focus of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research restricted to small spatial scales. To address this limitation, we investigate the drivers of spatial variation in multitrophic energy flux-a measure of ecosystem functioning in complex communities-at the landscape scale. We use a structural equation modelling framework based on distance matrices to test how spatial and environmental distances drive variation in community energy flux via four mechanisms: species composition, species richness, niche complementarity and biomass. We found that in both a tropical and a temperate study region, geographical and environmental distance indirectly influence species richness and biomass, with clear evidence that these are the dominant mechanisms explaining variability in community energy flux over spatial and environmental gradients. Our results reveal that species composition and trait variability may become redundant in predicting ecosystem functioning at the landscape scale. Instead, we demonstrate that species richness and total biomass may best predict rates of ecosystem functioning at larger spatial scales. PMID:27114580

  7. Warming and Nitrogen Addition Increase Litter Decomposition in a Temperate Meadow Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Gong, Shiwei; Guo, Rui; Zhang, Tao; Guo, Jixun

    2015-01-01

    Background Litter decomposition greatly influences soil structure, nutrient content and carbon sequestration, but how litter decomposition is affected by climate change is still not well understood. Methodology/Principal Findings A field experiment with increased temperature and nitrogen (N) addition was established in April 2007 to examine the effects of experimental warming, N addition and their interaction on litter decomposition in a temperate meadow steppe in northeastern China. Warming, N addition and warming plus N addition reduced the residual mass of L. chinensis litter by 3.78%, 7.51% and 4.53%, respectively, in 2008 and 2009, and by 4.73%, 24.08% and 16.1%, respectively, in 2010. Warming, N addition and warming plus N addition had no effect on the decomposition of P. communis litter in 2008 or 2009, but reduced the residual litter mass by 5.58%, 15.53% and 5.17%, respectively, in 2010. Warming and N addition reduced the cellulose percentage of L. chinensis and P. communis, specifically in 2010. The lignin percentage of L. chinensis and P. communis was reduced by warming but increased by N addition. The C, N and P contents of L. chinensis and P. communis litter increased with time. Warming and N addition reduced the C content and C:N ratios of L. chinensisand P. communis litter, but increased the N and P contents. Significant interactive effects of warming and N addition on litter decomposition were observed (P<0.01). Conclusion/Significance The litter decomposition rate was highly correlated with soil temperature, soil water content and litter quality. Warming and N addition significantly impacted the litter decomposition rate in the Songnen meadow ecosystem, and the effects of warming and N addition on litter decomposition were also influenced by the quality of litter. These results highlight how climate change could alter grassland ecosystem carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus contents in soil by influencing litter decomposition. PMID:25774776

  8. Alternative states of a semiarid grassland ecosystem: implications for ecosystem services

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Garman, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems can shift between alternative states characterized by persistent differences in structure, function, and capacity to provide ecosystem services valued by society. We examined empirical evidence for alternative states in a semiarid grassland ecosystem where topographic complexity and contrasting management regimes have led to spatial variations in levels of livestock grazing. Using an inventory data set, we found that plots (n = 72) cluster into three groups corresponding to generalized alternative states identified in an a priori conceptual model. One cluster (biocrust) is notable for high coverage of a biological soil crust functional group in addition to vascular plants. Another (grass-bare) lacks biological crust but retains perennial grasses at levels similar to the biocrust cluster. A third (annualized-bare) is dominated by invasive annual plants. Occurrence of grass-bare and annualized-bare conditions in areas where livestock have been excluded for over 30 years demonstrates the persistence of these states. Significant differences among all three clusters were found for percent bare ground, percent total live cover, and functional group richness. Using data for vegetation structure and soil erodibility, we also found large among-cluster differences in average levels of dust emissions predicted by a wind-erosion model. Predicted emissions were highest for the annualized-bare cluster and lowest for the biocrust cluster, which was characterized by zero or minimal emissions even under conditions of extreme wind. Results illustrate potential trade-offs among ecosystem services including livestock production, soil retention, carbon storage, and biodiversity conservation. Improved understanding of these trade-offs may assist ecosystem managers when evaluating alternative management strategies.

  9. Ecosystem scale carbon dioxide balance of two grasslands in Hungary under different weather conditions.

    PubMed

    Pintér, Krisztina; Balogh, J; Nagy, Z

    2010-01-01

    The carbon balance of the sandy pasture (Bugac) and the mountain meadow (Mátra) varied between -171 and 96 gC m(-2) year-1, and -194 and 14 gC m(-2) year(-1), respectively, during the study period (2003-2009). Large part of interannual variability of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was explained by the variation of the annual sum of precipitation in the sandy grassland ecosystem, while this relationship was weaker in the case of the mountain meadow on heavy clay soil. These different responses are largely explained by soil texture characteristics leading to differences in soil water contents available to plants at the two grasslands. The grassland on heavy clay soil was more sensitive to temporal distribution of rainfall for the same reason. The mountain meadow therefore seems to be more vulnerable to droughts, while the sandy grassland is better adapted to water shortage. The precipitation threshold (annual sum), below which the grassland turns into source of carbon dioxide on annual basis, is only 50-80 mm higher than the 10 years average precipitation sum. In extremely dry years (2003, 2007 and 2009), even the sandy grassland ecosystem was not stable enough to maintain its sink character. PMID:21565771

  10. Residence time of carbon substrate for autotrophic respiration of a grassland ecosystem correlates with the carbohydrate status of its vegetation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ostler, Ulrike; Lehmeier, Christoph A.; Schleip, Inga; Schnyder, Hans

    2016-04-01

    Ecosystem respiration is composed of two component fluxes: (1) autotrophic respiration, which comprises respiratory activity of plants and plant-associated microbes that feed on products of recent photosynthetic activity and (2) heterotrophic respiration of microbes that decompose organic matter. The mechanistic link between the availability of carbon (C) substrate for ecosystem respiration and its respiratory activity is not well understood, particularly in grasslands. Here, we explore, how the kinetic features of the supply system feeding autotrophic ecosystem respiration in a temperate humid pasture are related to the content of water-soluble carbohydrates and remobilizable protein (as potential respiratory substrates) in vegetation biomass. During each September 2006, May 2007 and September 2007, we continuously labeled 0.8 m2 pasture plots with 13CO2/12CO2 and observed ecosystem respiration and its tracer content every night during the 14-16 day long labeling periods. We analyzed the tracer kinetics with a pool model, which allowed us to precisely partition ecosystem respiration into its autotrophic and heterotrophic flux components. At the end of a labeling campaign, we harvested aboveground and belowground plant biomass and analyzed its non-structural C contents. Approximately half of ecosystem respiration did not release any significant amount of tracer during the labeling period and was hence characterized as heterotrophic. The other half of ecosystem respiration was autotrophic, with a mean residence time of C in the respiratory substrate pool between 2 and 6 d. Both the rate of autotrophic respiration and the turnover of its substrate supply pool were correlated with plant carbohydrate content, but not with plant protein content. These findings are in agreement with studies in controlled environments that revealed water-soluble carbohydrates as the main substrate and proteins as a marginal substrate for plant respiration under favorable growth conditions

  11. Rapid response of a grassland ecosystem to an experimental manipulation of a keystone rodent and domestic livestock

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Megaherbivores and small burrowing mammals commonly co-exist and play important functional roles in grassland ecosystems worldwide. The interactive effects of these two functional groups of herbivores in shaping the structure and function of grassland ecosystems are poorly understood. In North Ameri...

  12. Oldest Evidence of Toolmaking Hominins in a Grassland-Dominated Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Plummer, Thomas W.; Ditchfield, Peter W.; Bishop, Laura C.; Kingston, John D.; Ferraro, Joseph V.; Braun, David R.; Hertel, Fritz; Potts, Richard

    2009-01-01

    Background Major biological and cultural innovations in late Pliocene hominin evolution are frequently linked to the spread or fluctuating presence of C4 grass in African ecosystems. Whereas the deep sea record of global climatic change provides indirect evidence for an increase in C4 vegetation with a shift towards a cooler, drier and more variable global climatic regime beginning approximately 3 million years ago (Ma), evidence for grassland-dominated ecosystems in continental Africa and hominin activities within such ecosystems have been lacking. Methodology/Principal Findings We report stable isotopic analyses of pedogenic carbonates and ungulate enamel, as well as faunal data from ∼2.0 Ma archeological occurrences at Kanjera South, Kenya. These document repeated hominin activities within a grassland-dominated ecosystem. Conclusions/Significance These data demonstrate what hitherto had been speculated based on indirect evidence: that grassland-dominated ecosystems did in fact exist during the Plio-Pleistocene, and that early Homo was active in open settings. Comparison with other Oldowan occurrences indicates that by 2.0 Ma hominins, almost certainly of the genus Homo, used a broad spectrum of habitats in East Africa, from open grassland to riparian forest. This strongly contrasts with the habitat usage of Australopithecus, and may signal an important shift in hominin landscape usage. PMID:19844568

  13. Economic valuation of plant diversity storage service provided by Brazilian rupestrian grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Resende, F M; Fernandes, G W; Coelho, M S

    2013-11-01

    The rupestrian grassland ecosystems provide various goods and services to society and support a significant amount of biological diversity. Notably the rich plant diversity has high levels of endemism and a variety of uses among the local communities and general society. Despite the socio-ecological importance of these ecosystems, they are subjected to significant anthropogenic pressures. The goal of this study is to perform economic valuation of the plant diversity storage service provided by rupestrian grassland ecosystems to provide grounds for the development of conservation policies and encourage sustainable practices in these ecosystems. Given the intense human disturbances and unique flora, the Serra do Cipó (southern portion of the Espinhaço Range in southeast Brazil) was selected for the study. We estimate the monetary value related to the plant diversity storage service provided by the study area using the maintenance costs of native plants in the living collections of the botanical garden managed by the Zoobotanical Foundation - Belo Horizonte (located 97 km from Serra do Cipó). The plant diversity storage value provided by Serra do Cipó ecosystems is significant, reaching US$25.26 million year-1. This study contributes to the development of perspectives related to the conservation of rupestrian grassland ecosystems as well as others threatened tropical ecosystems with high biodiversity. PMID:24789385

  14. Environmental effects of oil and gas lease sites in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Nasen, Lawrence C; Noble, Bram F; Johnstone, Jill F

    2011-01-01

    The northern Great Plains of Saskatchewan is one of the most significantly modified landscapes in Canada. While the majority of anthropogenic disturbances to Saskatchewan's grasslands are the result of agricultural practices, development of petroleum and natural gas (PNG) resources is of increasing concern for grassland conservation. Although PNG developments require formal assessment and regulatory approval, follow-up and monitoring of the effects of PNG development on grasslands is not common practice. Consequently, the effects of PNG activity on grasslands and the spatial and temporal extent of such impacts are largely unknown. This paper examines the spatial and temporal extent of PNG development infrastructure from 1955 to 2006 in a grassland ecosystem in southwest Saskatchewan. The effects of PNG development on grassland ecology were assessed from measurements of ground cover characteristics, soil properties, and plant community composition at 31 sites in the study area. PNG lease sites were found to have low cover of herbaceous plants, club moss (Lycopodiaceae), litter, and shallow organic (Ah) horizons. Lease sites were also characterized by low diversity of desirable grassland plants and low range health values compared to off-lease reference sites. These impacts were amplified at active and highly productive lease sites. Impacts of PNG development persisted for more than 50 years following well site construction, and extended outward 20 m-25 m beyond the direct physical footprint of PNG well infrastructure. These results have significant implications with regard to the current state of monitoring and follow-up of PNG development, and the cumulative effective of PNG activity on grassland ecosystems over space and time. PMID:20880628

  15. Productivity depends more on the rate than the frequency of N addition in a temperate grassland

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yunhai; Feng, Jinchao; Isbell, Forest; Lü, Xiaotao; Han, Xingguo

    2015-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) is a key limiting resource for aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in diverse terrestrial ecosystems. The relative roles of the rate and frequency (additions yr−1) of N application in stimulating ANPP at both the community- and species-levels are largely unknown. By independently manipulating the rate and frequency of N input, with nine rates (from 0 to 50 g N m−2 year−1) crossed with two frequencies (twice year−1 or monthly) in a temperate steppe of northern China across 2008–2013, we found that N addition increased community ANPP, and had positive, negative, or neutral effects for individual species. There were similar ANPP responses at the community- or species-level when a particular annual amount of N was added either twice year−1 or monthly. The community ANPP was less sensitive to soil ammonium at lower frequency of N addition. ANPP responses to N addition were positively correlated with annual precipitation. Our results suggest that, over a five-year period, there will be similar ANPP responses to a given annual N input that occurs either frequently in small amounts, as from N deposition, or that occur infrequently in larger amounts, as from application of N fertilizers. PMID:26218675

  16. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: biotic control, plant–soil interactions and dispersal limitations

    PubMed Central

    García-Palacios, Pablo; Bowker, Matthew A.; Maestre, Fernando T.; Soliveres, Santiago; Valladares, Fernando; Papadopoulos, Jorge; Escudero, Adrián

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  17. Ecosystem development in roadside grasslands: Biotic control, plant-soil interactions, and dispersal limitations

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  18. Recovery of soil microbial community structure after fire in a sagebrush-grassland ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Recovery of the soil microbial community after fire in a sagebrush-grassland ecosystem was examined using a chronosequence of four sites ranging in time since fire from 3-39 years. The successional stage communities examined included Recent Burn (3 years since fire, ysf), Establishment (7 ysf), Expa...

  19. Contrasting responses of terrestrial ecosystem production to hot temperature extreme regimes between grassland and forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y.; Voigt, M.; Liu, H.

    2015-01-01

    During the past several decades, observational data have shown a faster increase in hot temperature extremes than the change in mean temperature. Increasingly high extreme temperatures are expected to affect terrestrial ecosystem function. The ecological impact of hot extremes on vegetation production, however, remains uncertain across biomes in natural climatic conditions. In this study, we investigated the effects of hot temperature extremes on vegetation production by combining the MODIS enhanced vegetation index (EVI) data set and in situ climatic records during the period 2000 to 2009 from 12 long-term experimental sites across biomes and climate. Our results show that higher mean annual maximum temperatures (Tmax) greatly reduced grassland production, and yet enhanced forest production after removing the effect of precipitation. The relative decrease in vegetation production was 16% for arid grassland and 7% for mesic grassland, and the increase was 5% for forest. We also observed a significantly positive relationship between interannual aboveground net primary production (ANPP) and Tmax for the forest biome (R2 = 0.79, P < 0.001). This line of evidence suggests that hot temperature extremes lead to contrasting ecosystem-level responses of vegetation production between grassland and forest biomes. Given that many terrestrial ecosystem models use average daily temperature as input, predictions of ecosystem production should consider such contrasting responses to increasingly hot temperature extreme regimes associated with climate change.

  20. Contrasting responses of terrestrial ecosystem production to hot temperature extreme regimes between grassland and forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Y.; Voigt, M.; Liu, H.

    2014-04-01

    Observational data during the past several decades show faster increase of hot temperature extremes over land than changes in mean temperature. Towards more extreme temperature is expected to affect terrestrial ecosystem function. However, the ecological impacts of hot extremes on vegetation production remain uncertain across biomes in natural climatic conditions. In this study, we investigated the effects of hot temperature extremes on aboveground net primary production (ANPP) by combining MODIS EVI dataset and in situ climatic records during 2000 to 2009 from 12 long-term experimental sites across biomes and climates. Our results showed that higher mean annual maximum temperatures (Tmax) greatly reduced grassland production, and yet enhanced forest production after removing the effects of precipitation. Relative decreases in ANPP were 16% for arid grassland and 7% for mesic grassland, and the increase were 5% for forest. We also observed a significant positive relationship between interannual ANPP and Tmax for forest biome (R2 = 0.79, P < 0.001). This line of evidence suggests that hot temperature extreme leads to contrasting ecosystem-level response of vegetation production to warming climate between grassland and forest. Given that many terrestrial ecosystem models use average daily temperature as input, predictions of ecosystem production should consider these contrasting responses to more hot temperature extreme regimes associated with climate change.

  1. Understanding the importance wet, unimproved Culm grasslands have for the provision of multiple ecosystem services

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brazier, Richard; Elliot, Mark; Warren, Susan; Puttock, Alan

    2014-05-01

    It is increasingly recognised that catchments must be carefully managed for the provision of multiple, sometimes conflicting ecosystem services. This requires an increased interdisciplinary environmental understanding to inform management policy and practices by government, landowners and stakeholders. The Culm National Character Area (NCA) covers 3,500 square kilometres in South West England with Culm grasslands consisting of wet unimproved, species rich pastures, typically on poorly drained soils. Since the 1960's, policy changes have encouraged the drainage of large areas of land for agricultural improvement and consequently Culm grassland sites have become highly fragmented. There are currently 575 Culm grassland sites in the Culm NCA with a mean area of 7 ha. Traditionally, Culm grasslands have been managed by light grazing and scrub management. Since 2008, Devon Wildlife Trust's Working Wetlands project has been working with farmers and landowners to manage and restore and recreate Culm grasslands. It is part of South West Water's Upstream Thinking initiative and is now augmented by the Northern Devon Nature Improvement Area programme. However, from a hydrological perspective, Culm and similar unimproved grasslands remain poorly understood. In addition to their recognised conservation and biodiversity importance; unimproved grasslands such as Culm are thought to have a high water storage capacity, reducing runoff and therefore flooding during wet periods, whilst slowly releasing and filtering water to help maintain water quality, and base river flows during dry periods. Therefore, if properly understood and managed Culm soils have the potential to play an important role in the management of catchment water resources. Furthermore, Culm grassland soils are thought to have a high potential for the sequestration and storage of carbon, an increasingly valuable ecosystem service. This study aims to increase understanding of the influence Culm grasslands have upon

  2. Tropical freshwater ecosystems have lower bacterial growth efficiency than temperate ones

    PubMed Central

    Amado, André M.; Meirelles-Pereira, Frederico; Vidal, Luciana O.; Sarmento, Hugo; Suhett, Albert L.; Farjalla, Vinicius F.; Cotner, James B.; Roland, Fabio

    2013-01-01

    Current models and observations indicate that bacterial respiration should increase and growth efficiency (BGE) should decrease with increasing temperatures. However, these models and observations are mostly derived from data collected in temperate regions, and the tropics are under-represented. The aim of this work was to compare bacterial metabolism, namely bacterial production (BP) and respiration (BR), bacterial growth efficiency (BGE) and bacterial carbon demand (BCD) between tropical and temperate ecosystems via a literature review and using unpublished data. We hypothesized that (1) tropical ecosystems have higher metabolism than temperate ones and, (2) that BGE is lower in tropical relative to temperate ecosystems. We collected a total of 498 coupled BP and BR observations (Ntotal = 498; Ntemperate = 301; Ntropical = 197), calculated BGE (BP/(BP+BR)) and BCD (BP+BR) for each case and examined patterns using a model II regression analysis and compared each parameter between the two regions using non-parametric Mann–Whitney U test. We observed a significant positive linear regression between BR and BP for the whole dataset, and also for tropical and temperate data separately. We found that BP, BR and BCD were higher in the tropics, but BGE was lower compared to temperate regions. Also, BR rates per BP unit were at least two fold higher in the tropics than in temperate ecosystems. We argue that higher temperature, nutrient limitation, and light exposure all contribute to lower BGE in the tropics, mediated through effects on thermodynamics, substrate stoichiometry, nutrient availability and interactions with photochemically produced compounds. More efforts are needed in this study area in the tropics, but our work indicates that bottom-up (nutrient availability and resource stoichiometry) and top-down (grazer pressure) processes, coupled with thermodynamic constraints, might contribute to the lower BGE in the tropics relative to temperate regions. PMID

  3. Importance of Non-Diffusive Transport for Soil CO2 Efflux in a Temperate Mountain Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roland, Marilyn; Vicca, Sara; Bahn, Michael; Ladreiter-Knauss, Thomas; Schmitt, Michael; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2015-04-01

    A key focus in climate change is on the dynamics and predictions of the soil CO2 efflux (SCE) from terrestrial ecosystems. Limited knowledge of CO2 transport through the soil restricts our understanding of the various biotic and abiotic processes underlying these emissions. Diffusion is often thought to be the main transport mechanism for trace gases in soils, an assumption that is reflected in the increasing popularity of the flux-gradient approach (FGA). Based on Fick's law, the FGA calculates soil CO2 efflux from CO2 concentration profiles, given good estimates of the diffusion coefficient. The latter can be calculated via different commonly used models, and solid-state sensors allow continuous high-frequency measurements of soil CO2 concentrations with minimal disturbance to the soil conditions in a cost-effective way. Fast growing evidence of pressure pumping and advection, makes it impossible to disregard non-diffusive gas transport when evaluating diel and day-to-day dynamics of soil CO2 emissions. We have analyzed combined measurements from solid-state sensors and soil chambers to gain insight in the CO2 transport mechanisms in a grassland site in the Austrian Alps. The FGA-derived efflux underestimated the chamber efflux by 10 to 87% at our site, depending on which model was used for calculation of the diffusion coefficient. We found that the actual transport rates correlated well with irradiation and wind speed, even more when the soil moisture content was below 33%. These findings suggest that bulk soil air transport was enhanced by pressure changes induced by wind shear at the surface and by local heating of the soil surface. Considering the importance of non-diffusive transport processes is a prerequisite when using solid-state CO2 concentration measurements to estimate soil CO2 efflux at any given site.

  4. Importance of nondiffusive transport for soil CO2 efflux in a temperate mountain grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roland, Marilyn; Vicca, Sara; Bahn, Michael; Ladreiter-Knauss, Thomas; Schmitt, Michael; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2015-03-01

    Soil respiration and its biotic and abiotic drivers have been an important research topic in recent years. While the bulk of these efforts has focused on the emission of CO2 from soils, the production and subsequent transport of CO2 from soil to atmosphere received far less attention. However, to understand processes underlying emissions of CO2 from terrestrial ecosystems, both processes need to be fully evaluated. In this study, we tested to what extent the transport of CO2 in a grassland site in the Austrian Alps could be modeled based on the common assumption that diffusion is the main transport mechanism for trace gases in soils. Therefore, we compared the CO2 efflux calculated from the soil CO2 concentration gradient with the CO2 efflux from chamber measurements. We used four commonly used diffusion-driven models for the flux-gradient approach. Models generally underestimated the soil chamber effluxes and their amplitudes, indicating that processes other than diffusion were responsible for the transport of CO2. We further observed that transport rates correlated well with irradiation and, below a soil moisture content of 33%, with wind speed. This suggests that mechanisms such as bulk soil air transport, due to pressure pumping or thermal expansion of soil air due to local surface heating, considerably influence soil CO2 transport at this site. Our results suggest that nondiffusive transport may be an important mechanism influencing diel and day-to-day dynamics of soil CO2 emissions, leading to a significant mismatch (10-87% depending on the model used) between the two approaches at short time scales.

  5. Exogenous N addition enhances the responses of gross primary productivity to individual precipitation events in a temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    Guo, Qun; Hu, Zhong-Min; Li, Sheng-Gong; Yu, Gui-Rui; Sun, Xiao-Min; Li, Ling-Hao; Liang, Nai-Shen; Bai, Wen-Ming

    2016-01-01

    Predicted future shifts in the magnitude and frequency (larger but fewer) of precipitation events and enhanced nitrogen (N) deposition may interact to affect grassland productivity, but the effects of N enrichment on the productivity response to individual precipitation events remain unclear. In this study, we quantified the effects of N addition on the response patterns of gross primary productivity (GPP) to individual precipitation events of different sizes (Psize) in a temperate grassland in China. The results showed that N enrichment significantly increased the time-integrated amount of GPP in response to an individual precipitation event (GPPtotal), and the N-induced stimulation of GPP increased with increasing Psize. N enrichment rarely affected the duration of the GPP response, but it significantly stimulated the maximum absolute GPP response. Higher foliar N content might play an important role in the N-induced stimulation of GPP. GPPtotal in both the N-addition and control treatments increased linearly with Psize with similar Psize intercepts (approximately 5 mm, indicating a similar lower Psize threshold to stimulate the GPP response) but had a steeper slope under N addition. Our work indicates that the projected larger precipitation events will stimulate grassland productivity, and this stimulation might be amplified by increasing N deposition. PMID:27264386

  6. Exogenous N addition enhances the responses of gross primary productivity to individual precipitation events in a temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Guo, Qun; Hu, Zhong-Min; Li, Sheng-Gong; Yu, Gui-Rui; Sun, Xiao-Min; Li, Ling-Hao; Liang, Nai-Shen; Bai, Wen-Ming

    2016-06-01

    Predicted future shifts in the magnitude and frequency (larger but fewer) of precipitation events and enhanced nitrogen (N) deposition may interact to affect grassland productivity, but the effects of N enrichment on the productivity response to individual precipitation events remain unclear. In this study, we quantified the effects of N addition on the response patterns of gross primary productivity (GPP) to individual precipitation events of different sizes (Psize) in a temperate grassland in China. The results showed that N enrichment significantly increased the time-integrated amount of GPP in response to an individual precipitation event (GPPtotal), and the N-induced stimulation of GPP increased with increasing Psize. N enrichment rarely affected the duration of the GPP response, but it significantly stimulated the maximum absolute GPP response. Higher foliar N content might play an important role in the N-induced stimulation of GPP. GPPtotal in both the N-addition and control treatments increased linearly with Psize with similar Psize intercepts (approximately 5 mm, indicating a similar lower Psize threshold to stimulate the GPP response) but had a steeper slope under N addition. Our work indicates that the projected larger precipitation events will stimulate grassland productivity, and this stimulation might be amplified by increasing N deposition.

  7. Exogenous N addition enhances the responses of gross primary productivity to individual precipitation events in a temperate grassland

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Qun; Hu, Zhong-min; Li, Sheng-gong; Yu, Gui-rui; Sun, Xiao-min; Li, Ling-hao; Liang, Nai-shen; Bai, Wen-ming

    2016-01-01

    Predicted future shifts in the magnitude and frequency (larger but fewer) of precipitation events and enhanced nitrogen (N) deposition may interact to affect grassland productivity, but the effects of N enrichment on the productivity response to individual precipitation events remain unclear. In this study, we quantified the effects of N addition on the response patterns of gross primary productivity (GPP) to individual precipitation events of different sizes (Psize) in a temperate grassland in China. The results showed that N enrichment significantly increased the time-integrated amount of GPP in response to an individual precipitation event (GPPtotal), and the N-induced stimulation of GPP increased with increasing Psize. N enrichment rarely affected the duration of the GPP response, but it significantly stimulated the maximum absolute GPP response. Higher foliar N content might play an important role in the N-induced stimulation of GPP. GPPtotal in both the N-addition and control treatments increased linearly with Psize with similar Psize intercepts (approximately 5 mm, indicating a similar lower Psize threshold to stimulate the GPP response) but had a steeper slope under N addition. Our work indicates that the projected larger precipitation events will stimulate grassland productivity, and this stimulation might be amplified by increasing N deposition. PMID:27264386

  8. Comparing three methods of NEE-flux partitioning from the same grassland ecosystem: the 13C, 18O isotope approach and using simulated Ecosystem respiration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Siegwolf, R.; Bantelmann, E.; Saurer, M.; Eugster, W.; Buchmann, N.

    2007-12-01

    As a change in the global climate occurs with increasing temperatures, the Carbon exchange processes of terrestrial ecosystems will change as well. However, it is difficult to quantify the degree to what ecosystem respiration will change relative to the CO2 uptake by photosynthesis. To estimate the carbon sequestration potential of terrestrial vegetation cover it is essential to know both fluxes: ecosystem respiration and the carbon uptake by the vegetation cover. Therefore the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) was measured with the eddy covariance method and separated into assimilation and respiration flux. We applied three different approaches, 1) the conventional method, applying the nighttime relationship between soil temperature and NEE for calculating the respiration flux during the day, 2) the use of stable carbon and 3) oxygen isotopes. We compared the results of the three partitioning exercises for a temperate grassland ecosystem in the pre-Alps of Switzerland for four days in June 2004. The assimilation flux derived with the conventional NEE partitioning approach, was best represented at low PAR and low temperatures, in the morning between 5 and 9 am. With increasing temperature and PAR the assimilation for the whole canopy was underestimated. For partitioning NEE via 18O approach, correlations of temperature and radiation with assimilation and respiration flux were significantly higher for the partitioning approach with 18O than for the 13C NEE partitioning. A sensitivity analysis showed the importance of an accurate determination of the equilibrium term θ between CO2 and leaf water δ18O for the NEE partitioning with 18O. For using 13C to partition NEE, the correct magnitude of the 13C fractionation and for the respiration term is essential. The analysis of the data showed that for low light and low morning temperatures the conventional method delivers reasonably good results. When the temperatures exceeded 21°C the isotope approach provided the

  9. Evaluating Ecosystem Services Provided by Non-Native Species: An Experimental Test in California Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Stein, Claudia; Hallett, Lauren M.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Suding, Katharine N.

    2014-01-01

    The concept of ecosystem services – the benefits that nature provides to human's society – has gained increasing attention over the past decade. Increasing global abiotic and biotic change, including species invasions, is threatening the secure delivery of these ecosystem services. Efficient evaluation methods of ecosystem services are urgently needed to improve our ability to determine management strategies and restoration goals in face of these new emerging ecosystems. Considering a range of multiple ecosystem functions may be a useful way to determine such strategies. We tested this framework experimentally in California grasslands, where large shifts in species composition have occurred since the late 1700's. We compared a suite of ecosystem functions within one historic native and two non-native species assemblages under different grazing intensities to address how different species assemblages vary in provisioning, regulatory and supporting ecosystem services. Forage production was reduced in one non-native assemblage (medusahead). Cultural ecosystem services, such as native species diversity, were inherently lower in both non-native assemblages, whereas most other services were maintained across grazing intensities. All systems provided similar ecosystem services under the highest grazing intensity treatment, which simulated unsustainable grazing intensity. We suggest that applying a more comprehensive ecosystem framework that considers multiple ecosystem services to evaluate new emerging ecosystems is a valuable tool to determine management goals and how to intervene in a changing ecosystem. PMID:25222028

  10. Diversity Promotes Temporal Stability across Levels of Ecosystem Organization in Experimental Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Proulx, Raphaël; Wirth, Christian; Voigt, Winfried; Weigelt, Alexandra; Roscher, Christiane; Attinger, Sabine; Baade, Jussi; Barnard, Romain L.; Buchmann, Nina; Buscot, François; Eisenhauer, Nico; Fischer, Markus; Gleixner, Gerd; Halle, Stefan; Hildebrandt, Anke; Kowalski, Esther; Kuu, Annely; Lange, Markus; Milcu, Alex; Niklaus, Pascal A.; Oelmann, Yvonne; Rosenkranz, Stephan; Sabais, Alexander; Scherber, Christoph; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Scheu, Stefan; Schulze, Ernst-Detlef; Schumacher, Jens; Schwichtenberg, Guido; Soussana, Jean-François; Temperton, Vicky M.; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Schmid, Bernhard

    2010-01-01

    The diversity–stability hypothesis states that current losses of biodiversity can impair the ability of an ecosystem to dampen the effect of environmental perturbations on its functioning. Using data from a long-term and comprehensive biodiversity experiment, we quantified the temporal stability of 42 variables characterizing twelve ecological functions in managed grassland plots varying in plant species richness. We demonstrate that diversity increases stability i) across trophic levels (producer, consumer), ii) at both the system (community, ecosystem) and the component levels (population, functional group, phylogenetic clade), and iii) primarily for aboveground rather than belowground processes. Temporal synchronization across studied variables was mostly unaffected with increasing species richness. This study provides the strongest empirical support so far that diversity promotes stability across different ecological functions and levels of ecosystem organization in grasslands. PMID:20967213

  11. Evaluation of unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) imagery to model vegetation heights in Hulun Buir grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, D.; Xin, X.; Li, Z.

    2015-12-01

    Vertical vegetation structure in grassland ecosystem is needed to assess grassland health and monitor available forage for livestock and wildlife habitat. Traditional ground-based field methods for measuring vegetation heights are time consuming. Most emerging airborne remote sensing techniques capable of measuring surface and vegetation height (e.g., LIDAR) are too expensive to apply at broad scales. Aerial or spaceborne stereo imagery has the cost advantage for mapping height of tall vegetation, such as forest. However, the accuracy and uncertainty of using stereo imagery for modeling heights of short vegetation, such as grass (generally lower than 50cm) needs to be investigated. In this study, 2.5-cm resolution UAV stereo imagery are used to model vegetation heights in Hulun Buir grassland ecosystem. Strong correlations were observed (r > 0.9) between vegetation heights derived from UAV stereo imagery and those field-measured ones at individual and plot level. However, vegetation heights tended to be underestimated in the imagery especially for those areas with high vegetation coverage. The strong correlations between field-collected vegetation heights and metrics derived from UAV stereo imagery suggest that UAV stereo imagery can be used to estimate short vegetation heights such as those in grassland ecosystem. Future work will be needed to verify the extensibility of the methods to other sites and vegetation types.

  12. Soil ecosystem function under native and exotic plant assemblages as alternative states of successional grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spirito, Florencia; Yahdjian, Laura; Tognetti, Pedro M.; Chaneton, Enrique J.

    2014-01-01

    Old fields often become dominated by exotic plants establishing persistent community states. Ecosystem functioning may differ widely between such novel communities and the native-dominated counterparts. We evaluated soil ecosystem attributes in native and exotic (synthetic) grass assemblages established on a newly abandoned field, and in remnants of native grassland in the Inland Pampa, Argentina. We asked whether exotic species alter soil functioning through the quality of the litter they shed or by changing the decomposition environment. Litter decomposition of the exotic dominant Festuca arundinacea in exotic assemblages was faster than that of the native dominant Paspalum quadrifarium in native assemblages and remnant grasslands. Decomposition of a standard litter (Triticum aestivum) was also faster in exotic assemblages than in native assemblages and remnant grasslands. In a common garden, F. arundinacea showed higher decay rates than P. quadrifarium, which reflected the higher N content and lower C:N of the exotic grass litter. Soil respiration rates were higher in the exotic than in the native assemblages and remnant grasslands. Yet there were no significant differences in soil N availability or net N mineralization between exotic and native assemblages. Our results suggest that exotic grass dominance affected ecosystem function by producing a more decomposable leaf litter and by increasing soil decomposer activity. These changes might contribute to the extended dominance of fast-growing exotic grasses during old-field succession. Further, increased organic matter turnover under novel, exotic communities could reduce the carbon storage capacity of the system in the long term.

  13. Leaf and ecosystem response to soil water availability in mountain grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Brilli, Federico; Hörtnagl, Lukas; Hammerle, Albin; Haslwanter, Alois; Hansel, Armin; Loreto, Francesco; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2014-01-01

    Climate change is expected to affect the Alps by increasing the frequency and intensity of summer drought events with negative impacts on ecosystem water resources. The response of CO2 and H2O exchange of a mountain grassland to natural fluctuations of soil water content was evaluated during 2001-2009. In addition, the physiological performance of individual mountain forb and graminoid plant species under progressive soil water shortage was explored in a laboratory drought experiment. During the 9-year study period the natural occurrence of moderately to extremely dry periods did not lead to substantial reductions in net ecosystem CO2 exchange and evapotranspiration. Laboratory drought experiments confirmed that all the surveyed grassland plant species were insensitive to progressive soil drying until very low soil water contents (<0.01 m3 m−3) were reached after several days of drought. In field conditions, such a low threshold was never reached. Re-watering after a short-term drought event (5±1 days) resulted in a fast and complete recovery of the leaf CO2 and H2O gas exchange of the investigated plant species. We conclude that the present-day frequency and intensity of dry periods does not substantially affect the functioning of the investigated grassland ecosystem. During dry periods the observed “water spending” strategy employed by the investigated mountain grassland species is expected to provide a cooling feedback on climate warming, but may have negative consequences for down-stream water users. PMID:24465071

  14. The influence of abiotic controls and management intensity on phosphorus cycling in established grassland and forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alt, F.; Oelmann, Y.; Wilcke, W.

    2011-12-01

    It is commonly assumed that the bioavailability and cycling of phosphorus (P) is mainly controlled by abiotic soil properties including soil pH and the concentrations and reactivities of clay minerals, CaCO3 and Al/Fe oxides In managed ecosystems, kind, timing and duration of P additions and type and amount of harvested biomass are the major input and output fluxes. Our objective was to disentangle the effects of abiotic controls, and type and intensity of management on the P cycle in soils of temperate grasslands and forests of different management intensity in three regions across Germany in the frame of the Biodiversity Exploratories project. The pH value was the most important variable explaining P concentrations and partitioning in soil and changes in pH are the main mechanism how land-use is affecting the P cycle. However, after the influence of pH was accounted for in a sequential statistical approach, land-use intensity, classified according to the extent of annual biomass removal, explained a significant (P < 0.05) part of the variance in the contributions of several P fractions to total P (TP) among all studied regions and land-use types. In grassland soils of highly diverse systems (up to 57 plant species) in one of the study regions, the Schwäbische Alb, a mid-range mountain area on limestone where soils showed a limited variation in pH in the carbonate buffer range, pedogenic Fe oxide concentrations, fertilizer-P application rates, and TP concentrations in soil explained more than half of the variation in bioavailable inorganic (Pi) concentrations extracted with NaHCO3 in soil. Our results demonstrate that mainly soil pH and mineralogical composition, and intensity of management of the managed ecosystems are significant controls of the P cycle determining the size of bioavailable P pool in soil.

  15. Vegetation composition, dynamics, and management of a bracken-grassland and northern-dry forest ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Scott E; Haney, Alan

    2003-06-01

    We investigated differences in vegetation composition and dynamics for two globally rare ecosystems, bracken-grasslands and northern-dry forests of northern Wisconsin. These ecosystems commonly have been viewed as degraded pine barrens. Bracken-grasslands contained a high dominance of exotic species, low native richness, and no obvious prairie species, suggesting logging-era anthropogenic origins. Differences in cover for common plants among ecosystems were examined using Mann-Whitney U tests of equivalence. Cover of all 8 graminoid species, 4 of 5 Ericaceae and Myricaceae species, and 10 of 17 species of forbs were significantly different between ecosystems. Vegetation changes over a 4-year period were examined through detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) and analysis of variance (ANOVA) repeated measures. DCA analyses of community composition failed to detect significant temporal trends within individual management units, although differences were apparent between ecosystems, regardless of sample year. In addition, no apparent patterns could be detected between years when comparing dominant individual species to management history (prescribed fire). This is contrary to what would be expected for a degraded pine barrens and questions the efficacy of using repeated prescribed fire as a management tool in bracken-grasslands. Methods for conservation and restoration of xeric ecosystems of northern Wisconsin have historically relied heavily on single species (e.g., sharp-tailed grouse) wildlife models, without full consideration of other factors. We suggest that stakeholders involved in these restoration projects examine historic processes and reference conditions prior to formulating management goals. Greater attention to the differentiation and individual management needs of pine barrens, northern-dry forests, and bracken-grasslands is needed. PMID:14565700

  16. Grassland and Cropland Net Ecosystem Production of the U.S. Great Plains

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Howard, D. M.; Wylie, B. K.; Ji, L.; Gilmanov, T. G.; Zhang, L.

    2014-12-01

    At observation sites throughout the world, carbon dioxide (CO2) levels and other ecosystem resources are measured by instruments known as flux towers. Although flux towers only measure the surrounding vicinity or spatial footprint of their placement ecosystem, the data recorded at these towers can be up-scaled to much greater levels through the use of comprehensive remote sensing data and advanced computer modeling. The purpose of this study was to develop ecological net ecosystem production (NEP) models capable of producing weekly cropland and grassland NEP maps of the U.S. Great Plains at 250 meter resolution for 2000 - 2008. Separate NEP regression tree models were developed for each land cover type (cropland and grassland) with 15 flux towers supporting the grassland model and 13 towers supporting the cropland model. The NEP regression tree models were established through training based on data from the supporting flux towers, remote sensing data, and other biogeophysical inputs. Map results of this study indicate, as anticipated, grassland ecosystems generally perform as net carbon (C) sinks, absorbing and storing C from the atmosphere, and conversely, croplands generally as net C sources (crop yields were not taken into account), releasing C, in the form of CO2, into the atmosphere. The models were evaluated by implementing a leave-one-out cross validation method, which withholds data form one particular year or site for testing a model developed with the remaining data. The cropland model validation analysis received an average Pearson's correlation coefficient (r) of 0.85 for the yearly validation and an average r = 0.73 for the site withholding. The grassland model validation analysis received an average r = 0.86 for the yearly validation and an average r = 0.83 for the site withholding.

  17. Effects of management of ecosystem carbon pools and fluxes in grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ryals, R.; Silver, W. L.

    2010-12-01

    Grasslands represent a large land-use footprint and have considerable potential to sequester carbon (C) in soil. Climate policies and C markets may provide incentives for land managers to pursue strategies that optimize soil C storage, yet we lack robust understanding of C sequestration in grasslands. Previous research has shown that management approaches such as organic amendments or vertical subsoiling can lead to larger soil C pools. These management approaches can both directly and indirectly affect soil C pools. We used well-replicated field experiments to explore the effects of these management strategies on ecosystem C pools and fluxes in two bioclimatic regions of California (Sierra Foothills Research and Extension Center (SFREC) and Nicasio Ranch). Our treatments included an untreated control, compost amendments, plowed (vertical subsoil), and compost + plow. The experiment was conducted over two years allowing us to compare dry (360 mm) and average (632 mm) rainfall conditions. Carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes were measured weekly using a LI-8100 infrared gas analyzer. Methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes were measured monthly using static flux chambers. Aboveground and belowground biomass were measured at the end of the growing season as an index of net primary productivity (NPP) in the annual plant dominated system. Soil moisture and temperature were measured continuously and averaged on hourly and daily timescales. Soil organic C and N concentrations were measured prior to the application of management treatments and at the ends of each growing season. Soils were collected to a 10 cm depth in year one and at four depth increments (0-10, 10-30, 30-50, and 50-100 cm) in year two. Soil C and N concentrations were converted to content using bulk density values for each plot. During both growing seasons, soil respiration rates were higher in the composted plots and lower in the plowed plots relative to controls at both sites. The effects on C loss via

  18. Land use affects the net ecosystem CO2 exchange and its components in mountain grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Schmitt, M.; Bahn, M.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Tappeiner, U.; Cernusca, A.

    2011-01-01

    Changes in land use and management have been strongly affecting mountain grassland, however, their effects on the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) and its components have not yet been well documented. We analysed chamber-based estimates of NEE, gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R) and light use efficiency (LUE) of six mountain grasslands differing in land use and management, and thus site fertility, for the growing seasons of 2002 to 2008. The main findings of the study are that: (1) land use and management affected seasonal NEE, GPP and R, which all decreased from managed to unmanaged grasslands; (2) these changes were explained by differences in leaf area index (LAI), biomass and leaf-area-independent changes that were likely related to photosynthetic physiology; (3) diurnal variations of NEE were primarily controlled by photosynthetically active photon flux density and soil and air temperature; seasonal variations were associated with changes in LAI; (4) parameters of light response curves were generally closely related to each other, and the ratio of R at a reference temperature/ maximum GPP was nearly constant across the sites; (5) similarly to our study, maximum GPP and R for other grasslands on the globe decreased with decreasing land use intensity, while their ratio remained remarkably constant. We conclude that decreasing intensity of management and, in particular, abandonment of mountain grassland lead to a decrease in NEE and its component processes. While GPP and R are generally closely coupled during most of the growing season, GPP is more immediately and strongly affected by land management (mowing, grazing) and season. This suggests that management and growing season length, as well as their possible future changes, may play an important role for the annual C balance of mountain grassland. PMID:23293657

  19. Carbon storage in Chinese grassland ecosystems: Influence of different integrative methods

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Anna; He, Nianpeng; Yu, Guirui; Wen, Ding; Peng, Shunlei

    2016-01-01

    The accurate estimate of grassland carbon (C) is affected by many factors at the large scale. Here, we used six methods (three spatial interpolation methods and three grassland classification methods) to estimate C storage of Chinese grasslands based on published data from 2004 to 2014, and assessed the uncertainty resulting from different integrative methods. The uncertainty (coefficient of variation, CV, %) of grassland C storage was approximately 4.8% for the six methods tested, which was mainly determined by soil C storage. C density and C storage to the soil layer depth of 100 cm were estimated to be 8.46 ± 0.41 kg C m−2 and 30.98 ± 1.25 Pg C, respectively. Ecosystem C storage was composed of 0.23 ± 0.01 (0.7%) above-ground biomass, 1.38 ± 0.14 (4.5%) below-ground biomass, and 29.37 ± 1.2 (94.8%) Pg C in the 0–100 cm soil layer. Carbon storage calculated by the grassland classification methods (18 grassland types) was closer to the mean value than those calculated by the spatial interpolation methods. Differences in integrative methods may partially explain the high uncertainty in C storage estimates in different studies. This first evaluation demonstrates the importance of multi-methodological approaches to accurately estimate C storage in large-scale terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26883467

  20. Carbon storage in Chinese grassland ecosystems: Influence of different integrative methods.

    PubMed

    Ma, Anna; He, Nianpeng; Yu, Guirui; Wen, Ding; Peng, Shunlei

    2016-01-01

    The accurate estimate of grassland carbon (C) is affected by many factors at the large scale. Here, we used six methods (three spatial interpolation methods and three grassland classification methods) to estimate C storage of Chinese grasslands based on published data from 2004 to 2014, and assessed the uncertainty resulting from different integrative methods. The uncertainty (coefficient of variation, CV, %) of grassland C storage was approximately 4.8% for the six methods tested, which was mainly determined by soil C storage. C density and C storage to the soil layer depth of 100 cm were estimated to be 8.46 ± 0.41 kg C m(-2) and 30.98 ± 1.25 Pg C, respectively. Ecosystem C storage was composed of 0.23 ± 0.01 (0.7%) above-ground biomass, 1.38 ± 0.14 (4.5%) below-ground biomass, and 29.37 ± 1.2 (94.8%) Pg C in the 0-100 cm soil layer. Carbon storage calculated by the grassland classification methods (18 grassland types) was closer to the mean value than those calculated by the spatial interpolation methods. Differences in integrative methods may partially explain the high uncertainty in C storage estimates in different studies. This first evaluation demonstrates the importance of multi-methodological approaches to accurately estimate C storage in large-scale terrestrial ecosystems. PMID:26883467

  1. Carbon storage in Chinese grassland ecosystems: Influence of different integrative methods

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, Anna; He, Nianpeng; Yu, Guirui; Wen, Ding; Peng, Shunlei

    2016-02-01

    The accurate estimate of grassland carbon (C) is affected by many factors at the large scale. Here, we used six methods (three spatial interpolation methods and three grassland classification methods) to estimate C storage of Chinese grasslands based on published data from 2004 to 2014, and assessed the uncertainty resulting from different integrative methods. The uncertainty (coefficient of variation, CV, %) of grassland C storage was approximately 4.8% for the six methods tested, which was mainly determined by soil C storage. C density and C storage to the soil layer depth of 100 cm were estimated to be 8.46 ± 0.41 kg C m-2 and 30.98 ± 1.25 Pg C, respectively. Ecosystem C storage was composed of 0.23 ± 0.01 (0.7%) above-ground biomass, 1.38 ± 0.14 (4.5%) below-ground biomass, and 29.37 ± 1.2 (94.8%) Pg C in the 0-100 cm soil layer. Carbon storage calculated by the grassland classification methods (18 grassland types) was closer to the mean value than those calculated by the spatial interpolation methods. Differences in integrative methods may partially explain the high uncertainty in C storage estimates in different studies. This first evaluation demonstrates the importance of multi-methodological approaches to accurately estimate C storage in large-scale terrestrial ecosystems.

  2. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    PubMed Central

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  3. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China.

    PubMed

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-01-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. PMID:25766381

  4. Asymmetric warming significantly affects net primary production, but not ecosystem carbon balances of forest and grassland ecosystems in northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Su, Hongxin; Feng, Jinchao; Axmacher, Jan C.; Sang, Weiguo

    2015-03-01

    We combine the process-based ecosystem model (Biome-BGC) with climate change-scenarios based on both RegCM3 model outputs and historic observed trends to quantify differential effects of symmetric and asymmetric warming on ecosystem net primary productivity (NPP), heterotrophic respiration (Rh) and net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of six ecosystem types representing different climatic zones of northern China. Analysis of covariance shows that NPP is significant greater at most ecosystems under the various environmental change scenarios once temperature asymmetries are taken into consideration. However, these differences do not lead to significant differences in NEP, which indicates that asymmetry in climate change does not result in significant alterations of the overall carbon balance in the dominating forest or grassland ecosystems. Overall, NPP, Rh and NEP are regulated by highly interrelated effects of increases in temperature and atmospheric CO2 concentrations and precipitation changes, while the magnitude of these effects strongly varies across the six sites. Further studies underpinned by suitable experiments are nonetheless required to further improve the performance of ecosystem models and confirm the validity of these model predictions. This is crucial for a sound understanding of the mechanisms controlling the variability in asymmetric warming effects on ecosystem structure and functioning.

  5. Ecosystem carbon exchange in response to locust outbreaks in a temperate steppe.

    PubMed

    Song, Jian; Wu, Dandan; Shao, Pengshuai; Hui, Dafeng; Wan, Shiqiang

    2015-06-01

    It is predicted that locust outbreaks will occur more frequently under future climate change scenarios, with consequent effects on ecological goods and services. A field manipulative experiment was conducted to examine the responses of gross ecosystem productivity (GEP), net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (ER), and soil respiration (SR) to locust outbreaks in a temperate steppe of northern China from 2010 to 2011. Two processes related to locust outbreaks, natural locust feeding and carcass deposition, were mimicked by clipping 80 % of aboveground biomass and adding locust carcasses, respectively. Ecosystem carbon (C) exchange (i.e., GEP, NEE, ER, and SR) was suppressed by locust feeding in 2010, but stimulated by locust carcass deposition in both years (except SR in 2011). Experimental locust outbreaks (i.e., clipping plus locust carcass addition) decreased GEP and NEE in 2010 whereas they increased GEP, NEE, and ER in 2011, leading to neutral changes in GEP, NEE, and SR across the 2 years. The responses of ecosystem C exchange could have been due to the changes in soil ammonium nitrogen, community cover, and aboveground net primary productivity. Our findings of the transient and neutral changes in ecosystem C cycling under locust outbreaks highlight the importance of resistance, resilience, and stability of the temperate steppe in maintaining reliable ecosystem services, and facilitate the projections of ecosystem functioning in response to natural disturbance and climate change. PMID:25663332

  6. Responses of soil hydrolytic enzymes, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea to nitrogen applications in a temperate grassland in Inner Mongolia.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinyu; Tang, Yuqian; Shi, Yao; He, Nianpeng; Wen, Xuefa; Yu, Qiang; Zheng, Chunyu; Sun, Xiaomin; Qiu, Weiwen

    2016-01-01

    We used a seven-year urea gradient applied field experiment to investigate the effects of nitrogen (N) applications on soil N hydrolytic enzyme activity and ammonia-oxidizing microbial abundance in a typical steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia. The results showed that N additions inhibited the soil N-related hydrolytic enzyme activities, especially in 392 kg N ha(-1 )yr(-1) treatment. As N additions increased, the amoA gene copy ratios of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) to ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) decreased from 1.13 to 0.65. Pearson correlation analysis showed that the AOA gene copies were negatively related with NH4(+)-N content. However, the AOB gene copies were positively correlated with NO3(-)-N content. Moderate N application rates (56-224 kg N ha(-1 )yr(-1)) accompanied by P additions are beneficial to maintaining the abundance of AOB, as opposed to the inhibition of highest N application rate (392 kg N ha(-1 )yr(-1)) on the abundance of AOB. This study suggests that the abundance of AOB and AOA would not decrease unless N applications exceed 224 kg N ha(-1 )yr(-1) in temperate grasslands in Inner Mongolia. PMID:27596731

  7. Responses of soil hydrolytic enzymes, ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea to nitrogen applications in a temperate grassland in Inner Mongolia

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Xinyu; Tang, Yuqian; Shi, Yao; He, Nianpeng; Wen, Xuefa; Yu, Qiang; Zheng, Chunyu; Sun, Xiaomin; Qiu, Weiwen

    2016-01-01

    We used a seven-year urea gradient applied field experiment to investigate the effects of nitrogen (N) applications on soil N hydrolytic enzyme activity and ammonia-oxidizing microbial abundance in a typical steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia. The results showed that N additions inhibited the soil N-related hydrolytic enzyme activities, especially in 392 kg N ha−1 yr−1 treatment. As N additions increased, the amoA gene copy ratios of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) to ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) decreased from 1.13 to 0.65. Pearson correlation analysis showed that the AOA gene copies were negatively related with NH4+-N content. However, the AOB gene copies were positively correlated with NO3−-N content. Moderate N application rates (56–224 kg N ha−1 yr−1) accompanied by P additions are beneficial to maintaining the abundance of AOB, as opposed to the inhibition of highest N application rate (392 kg N ha−1 yr−1) on the abundance of AOB. This study suggests that the abundance of AOB and AOA would not decrease unless N applications exceed 224 kg N ha−1 yr−1 in temperate grasslands in Inner Mongolia. PMID:27596731

  8. Spatial and temporal scaling of beta diversity in grazed temperate grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grazed grasslands contribute greatly to the economy and environment of the northeastern United States, though their ecology has not been extensively studied. Plant community composition was sampled in five to seven fields in each of five grazing farms: two in New York, two in Pennsylvania, and one i...

  9. Land use change in a temperate grassland soil: afforestation effects on chemical properties and their ecological and mineralogical implications.

    PubMed

    Céspedes-Payret, Carlos; Piñeiro, Gustavo; Gutiérrez, Ofelia; Panario, Daniel

    2012-11-01

    The current change in land use of grassland in the temperate region of South America is a process associated with the worldwide expansion of annual crops and afforestation with fast growing exotic species. This last cultivation has particularly been the subject of numerous studies showing its negative effects on soil (acidification, loss of organic matter and base cations, among others). However its effects on the mineral fraction are not yet known, as it is generally considered as one of the slowest responses to changes. This stimulated the present study in order to assess whether the composition of clay minerals could be altered together with some of the physicochemical parameters affected by afforestation. This study compares the mineralogical composition of clays by X-ray diffraction (XRD) in a grassland soil (Argiudolls) under natural coverage and under Eucalyptus grandis cultivation implanted 25 years ago in a sector of the same grassland. The tendency of some physicochemical parameters, common to other studies was also compared. XRD results showed, as a most noticeable difference in A(11) and A(12) subhorizons (~20 cm) under eucalyptus, the fall of the 10Å spectrum minerals (illite-like minerals), which are the main reservoir of K in the soil. Meanwhile, the physicochemical parameters showed significant changes (p<0.01) to highly significant ones under eucalyptus, particularly in these subhorizons, where on average soil organic matter decreased by 43%; K(+) by 34%; Ca(2+) by 44%, while the pH dropped to this level by half a point. Our results show that the exportation of some nutrients is not compensated due to the turnover of organic forestry debris; the process of soil acidification was not directly associated with the redistribution of cations, but with an incipient podzolization process; the loss of potassium together with soil acidification, leads to a drastic change in clay mineralogy, which would be irreversible. PMID:23064181

  10. Effects of nitrogen fertilization on soil N2O emissions and soil respiration in temperate grassland in Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dong, Y.; Qi, Y.; Peng, Q.

    2012-04-01

    Nitrogen addition to soil can play a vital role in influencing nitrogen balance and the losses of soil carbon by respiration in N-deficient terrestrial ecosystems. The aim of this study was to clarify the effects of different levels of nitrogen fertilization (HN:200 kg N ha-1y-1, MN:100 kg N ha-1y-1 and LN:50 kg N ha-1y-1) on soil N2O emissions and soil respiration compared with non-fertilization(CK, 0 kg N ha-1y-1), from July 2007 to September 2008, in temperate grassland in Inner Mongolia, China. Several N fertilizer forms were included(CAN:calcium ammonium nitrate, AS:ammonium sulphate and NS:sodium nitrate) and a static closed chamber method was used as gas fluxes measurement. Our data showed that peak N2O fluxes induced by N treatments were concentrated in short periods (2 to 3 weeks) after fertilization in summer and in soil thawing periods in early spring; there were similarly low N2O fluxes from all treatments in the remaining seasons of the year. The three N levels increased annual N2O emissions significantly(P<0.05) in the order of MN>HN>LN compared with the CK(control) treatment in year 1; in year 2, the elevation of annual N2O emissions was significant (P<0.05) by HN and MN treatments but was insignificant by LN treatments (P>0.05). The three N forms also had strong effects on N2O emissions. Significantly (P<0.05) higher annual N2O emissions were observed in the soils of CAN and AS fertilizer treatments than in the soils of NS fertilizer treatments in both measured years, but the difference between CAN and AS was not significant (P>0.05). Annual N2O emission factors (EF) ranged from 0.060 to 0.298% for different N fertilizer treatments in the two observed years, with an overall EF value of 0.125%. The EF values were by far less than the mean default EF proposed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change(IPCC). Our results also showed that N fertilization did not change the seasonal patterns of soil respiration, which were mainly controlled by soil

  11. Modeling Net Ecosystem Carbon Exchange of Alpine Grasslands with a Satellite-Driven Model

    PubMed Central

    Zhao, Yuping; Zhang, Xianzhou; Fan, Yuzhi; Shi, Peili; He, Yongtao; Yu, Guirui; Li, Yingnian

    2015-01-01

    Estimate of net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems, the balance of gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) has significant importance for studying the regional and global carbon cycles. Using models driven by satellite data and climatic data is a promising approach to estimate NEE at regional scales. For this purpose, we proposed a semi-empirical model to estimate NEE in this study. In our model, the component GPP was estimated with a light response curve of a rectangular hyperbola. The component Reco was estimated with an exponential function of soil temperature. To test the feasibility of applying our model at regional scales, the temporal variations in the model parameters derived from NEE observations in an alpine grassland ecosystem on Tibetan Plateau were investigated. The results indicated that all the inverted parameters exhibit apparent seasonality, which is in accordance with air temperature and canopy phenology. In addition, all the parameters have significant correlations with the remote sensed vegetation indexes or environment temperature. With parameters estimated with these correlations, the model illustrated fair accuracy both in the validation years and at another alpine grassland ecosystem on Tibetan Plateau. Our results also indicated that the model prediction was less accurate in drought years, implying that soil moisture is an important factor affecting the model performance. Incorporating soil water content into the model would be a critical step for the improvement of the model. PMID:25849325

  12. Plant traits as predictor of ecosystem carbon fluxes - a case study across European grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klumpp, Katja; Bahn, Michael; Acosta, Manuel; Altimir, Nuria; Gimeno, Cristina; Jongen, Marjan; Merbold, Lutz; Moors, Eddy; Pinter, Kistina; Darsonville, Olivier

    2015-04-01

    Predicting ecosystem responses to global change has become a major challenge, particularly as terrestrial ecosystems contribute to the mitigation of global climate change through carbon sequestration. Plant traits are major surrogates of ecosystem physiology may thus help to predict carbon (C) fluxes and their consequences for the delivery of ecosystem services (e.g. C sequestration) across climatic gradients and in changing environments. However, linkages between community abundance-weighted means (CWM) of plant functional traits and ecosystem C fluxes have rarely been tested. It is also not known to what degree traits, which are typically measured at a defined point in time, are suitable for predicting annual C fluxes. We analysed the relationships between ecosystem fluxes and community level plant traits for 13 European grasslands under contrasting climate and management regimes, using multiyear eddy covariance data. Plant traits (specific leaf area SLA, leaf dry matter content LDMC, specific root length SLR) were determined at peak biomass. Analyses showed that GPPmax (at maximum radiation) was related to SLA, SRL and LDMC across sites and management, where GPPmax was an excellent indicator for annual GPP. Similar relations were found between for root density (and -diameter) and ecosystem respiration. Ecosystems respiration at GPPmax was also in line with annual respiration, indicating the strong predictive potential of plant community traits. Our study therefore suggests that above- and belowground community level plant traits are well suited surrogates for predicting ecosystem C fluxes at peak biomass and at annual scale.

  13. [Effect of grazing on sandy grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Halin; Zhang, Tonghui; Zhao, Xueyong; Zhou, Ruilian

    2004-03-01

    This experiment was carried out for 5 years in Horqin sandy land, lnner Mongolia, which had 4 treatments: Non-grazing (NG), light grazing (LG), moderate grazing (MG) and over grazing (OG). The results showed that different grazing intensities resulted in different development trend of the pasture ecosystem, of which, the injury of OG on pasture ecosystem was very great. The plant diversity, vegetation coverage, plant height and primary productivity under continuous overgrazing for 5 year were 87.9%, 82.1%, 94.0% and 57.0%, respectively, lower than those in NG. The biomass on the OG pasture was only 2.1% of NG, and the contents of soil clay, C and N as well as the quantities of soil microbes and small animals in OG were respectively 6.0%, 31.9%, 25.0%, 95.0% and 75.9% lower than those in NG, but the soil hardness was raised by 274.0%. Especially, the secondary productivity of the pasture became negative from the third year, and the productive foundation of the pasture ecosystem was completely destroyed. Non-grazing was beneficial to pasture, and enclosure caused an increase in vegetation coverage, plant height and primary productivity. The vegetation coverage, plant height and soil status in LG and MG were not as good as those in NG, but were stable and didn't show worsening trend. Based on the above results, it's considered that on the sandy pasture in the semi-arid area of Inner Mongolia, the rational grass utilization ratio is 45%-50%, and the suitable loading capacity is 3-4 sheep unit.hm-2. PMID:15227991

  14. Watershed and ecosystem responses to invasive grass establishment and dominance across a desert grassland watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamerlynck, E.; Scott, R.; Polyakov, V.; Sugg, Z.; Moran, M. S.; Stone, J.; Nearing, M.

    2012-04-01

    Compared to aridland systems that have undergone rapid change in dominant vegetation growth form, the consequences to watershed and ecosystem processes following a shift in dominance between similar growth forms have not been well-studied. Following a five year drought period, strong summer monsoon rains in 2006 across the USDA-ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed near Tombstone, AZ, were accompanied by widespread native perennial grass mortality, a transient increase in annual forbs, followed by establishment and sustained dominance by the invasive South African bunchgrass, Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana) across a semiarid grassland watershed (Kendall grassland, WS#112). This loss of ecological diversity occurred across a watershed already instrumented for quantifying long-term climate, watershed, hill-slope, and ecosystem-level gas exchange. Salient findings from these data sets were: 1) annual watershed sediment discharge rapidly returned to pre-invasion levels following a large spike in 2006 that accounted for 65% of the total sediment yield summed over 35 years, 2) plot-level experimental runoff studies showed hill-slope sediment yields consistently doubled, as did growing season soil evaporation contributions to ET, and 3) the grassland was a carbon sink during dry conditions under lovegrass dominance. These findings show that while some aspects of watershed and ecosystem function rapidly re-established (i.e. sediment yield and net primary productivity), processes acting at lower spatial and temporal scales have been negatively impacted by lovegrass dominance. We believe these lower-order processes underlie the strong ecological effects associated with Lehmann lovegrass invasion, and may also accelerate landform processes and change the basic ecohydrological characteristics of semi-arid grassland watersheds.

  15. Interannual Variability in Net Ecosystem Exchange in United States Great Plains Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Li; Wylie, Bruce; Ji, Lei; Gilmanov, Tagir; Howard, Danny

    2010-05-01

    The grasslands in the United States Great Plains occupy about 1.5 million km2 and span considerable moisture and temperature gradients. The grasslands are characterized by different photosynthetic pathways, from C3 dominance in the north to C4 dominance in the south. The contributions of grasslands to local and regional carbon budgets remain uncertain due to the lack of carbon flux data for these extensive and diverse grassland ecosystems and local variances in climate variability, land use changes, and varying land management practices. There are limited studies on the seasonal, spatial, and interannual variabilities in carbon exchange as well as responses to climatic change across the Great Plains. Our objective was to quantify how the grassland ecosystems will respond to climate under a variety of environmental conditions. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) was measured at 15 flux towers distributed throughout the Great Plains. These sites represent the wide spatial, ecological, and climatological ranges of grasslands found in this region. We developed a remote sensing-based piecewise regression (PWR) model to estimate grassland carbon fluxes from 2000 to 2008 using flux-tower data and remotely sensed data (250-m resolution) input at 7-day intervals. The model integrated MODIS-derived vegetation indices, weather data, and phenological parameters with the observed NEE data. The correlation coefficient (r) for the independent tests between tower-measured NEE and PWR-estimated NEE were 0.61 to 0.98 for the individual tower sites withheld and 0.81 to 0.92 for the individual years withheld. We mapped 7-day interval NEE at 250-m resolution for the years 2000 to 2008 and evaluated the interannual variability of NEE and its response to climatic variation. NEE varied in space and time across the 9 years (from 0.3 in 2002 to 47.7 g C • m-2 • yr-1 in 2005) with an average annual NEE of 24 ± 14 g C • m-2 • yr-1 and a cumulative flux of 214 g C • m-2. On average, the

  16. Comparison of seasonal soil microbial process in snow-covered temperate ecosystems of northern China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Xinyue; Wang, Wei; Chen, Weile; Zhang, Naili; Zeng, Hui

    2014-01-01

    More than half of the earth's terrestrial surface currently experiences seasonal snow cover and soil frost. Winter compositional and functional investigations in soil microbial community are frequently conducted in alpine tundra and boreal forest ecosystems. However, little information on winter microbial biogeochemistry is known from seasonally snow-covered temperate ecosystems. As decomposer microbes may differ in their ability/strategy to efficiently use soil organic carbon (SOC) within different phases of the year, understanding seasonal microbial process will increase our knowledge of biogeochemical cycling from the aspect of decomposition rates and corresponding nutrient dynamics. In this study, we measured soil microbial biomass, community composition and potential SOC mineralization rates in winter and summer, from six temperate ecosystems in northern China. Our results showed a clear pattern of increased microbial biomass C to nitrogen (N) ratio in most winter soils. Concurrently, a shift in soil microbial community composition occurred with higher fungal to bacterial biomass ratio and gram negative (G-) to gram positive (G+) bacterial biomass ratio in winter than in summer. Furthermore, potential SOC mineralization rate was higher in winter than in summer. Our study demonstrated a distinct transition of microbial community structure and function from winter to summer in temperate snow-covered ecosystems. Microbial N immobilization in winter may not be the major contributor for plant growth in the following spring. PMID:24667929

  17. Effects of repeated fires on ecosystem C and N stocks along a fire induced forest/grassland gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, Chih-Hsin; Chen, Yung-Sheng; Huang, Yu-Hsuan; Chiou, Chyi-Rong; Lin, Chau-Chih; Menyailo, Oleg V.

    2013-03-01

    Repeated fires might have different effect on ecosystem carbon storage than a single fire event, but information on repeated fires and their effects on forest ecosystems and carbon storage is scarce. However, changes in climate, vegetation composition, and human activities are expected to make forests more susceptible to fires that recur with relatively high frequency. In this study, the effects of repeated fires on ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks were examined along a fire-induced forest/grassland gradient wherein the fire events varied from an unburned forest to repeatedly burned grassland. Results from the study show repeated fires drastically decreased ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks along the forest/grassland gradient. The reduction began with the disappearance of living tree biomass, and followed by the loss of soil carbon and nitrogen. Within 4 years of the onset of repeated fires on the unburned forest, the original ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks were reduced by 42% and 21%, respectively. Subsequent fires caused cumulative reductions in ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks by 68% and 44% from the original ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks, respectively. The analyses of carbon budgets calculated by vegetation composition and stable isotopic δ13C values indicate that 84% of forest-derived carbon is lost at grassland, whereas the gain of grass-derived carbon only compensates 18% for this loss. Such significant losses in ecosystem carbon and nitrogen stocks suggest that the effects of repeated fires have substantial impacts on ecosystem and soil carbon and nitrogen cycling.

  18. Potential climate change impacts on temperate forest ecosystem processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Peters, Emily B.; Wythers, Kirk R.; Zhang, Shuxia; Bradford, John B.; Reich, Peter B.

    2013-01-01

    Large changes in atmospheric CO2, temperature and precipitation are predicted by 2100, yet the long-term consequences for carbon, water, and nitrogen cycling in forests are poorly understood. We applied the PnET-CN ecosystem model to compare the long-term effects of changing climate and atmospheric CO2 on productivity, evapotranspiration, runoff, and net nitrogen mineralization in current Great Lakes forest types. We used two statistically downscaled climate projections, PCM B1 (warmer and wetter) and GFDL A1FI (hotter and drier), to represent two potential future climate and atmospheric CO2 scenarios. To separate the effects of climate and CO2, we ran PnET-CN including and excluding the CO2 routine. Our results suggest that, with rising CO2 and without changes in forest type, average regional productivity could increase from 67% to 142%, changes in evapotranspiration could range from –3% to +6%, runoff could increase from 2% to 22%, and net N mineralization could increase 10% to 12%. Ecosystem responses varied geographically and by forest type. Increased productivity was almost entirely driven by CO2 fertilization effects, rather than by temperature or precipitation (model runs holding CO2 constant showed stable or declining productivity). The relative importance of edaphic and climatic spatial drivers of productivity varied over time, suggesting that productivity in Great Lakes forests may switch from being temperature to water limited by the end of the century.

  19. Perennial grasslands enhance biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services in bioenergy landscapes.

    PubMed

    Werling, Ben P; Dickson, Timothy L; Isaacs, Rufus; Gaines, Hannah; Gratton, Claudio; Gross, Katherine L; Liere, Heidi; Malmstrom, Carolyn M; Meehan, Timothy D; Ruan, Leilei; Robertson, Bruce A; Robertson, G Philip; Schmidt, Thomas M; Schrotenboer, Abbie C; Teal, Tracy K; Wilson, Julianna K; Landis, Douglas A

    2014-01-28

    Agriculture is being challenged to provide food, and increasingly fuel, for an expanding global population. Producing bioenergy crops on marginal lands--farmland suboptimal for food crops--could help meet energy goals while minimizing competition with food production. However, the ecological costs and benefits of growing bioenergy feedstocks--primarily annual grain crops--on marginal lands have been questioned. Here we show that perennial bioenergy crops provide an alternative to annual grains that increases biodiversity of multiple taxa and sustain a variety of ecosystem functions, promoting the creation of multifunctional agricultural landscapes. We found that switchgrass and prairie plantings harbored significantly greater plant, methanotrophic bacteria, arthropod, and bird diversity than maize. Although biomass production was greater in maize, all other ecosystem services, including methane consumption, pest suppression, pollination, and conservation of grassland birds, were higher in perennial grasslands. Moreover, we found that the linkage between biodiversity and ecosystem services is dependent not only on the choice of bioenergy crop but also on its location relative to other habitats, with local landscape context as important as crop choice in determining provision of some services. Our study suggests that bioenergy policy that supports coordinated land use can diversify agricultural landscapes and sustain multiple critical ecosystem services. PMID:24474791

  20. Soil biochemical properties of grassland ecosystems under anthropogenic emission of nitrogen compounds

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudrevatykh, Irina; Ivashchenko, Kristina; Ananyeva, Nadezhda

    2016-04-01

    Inflow of pollutants in terrestrial ecosystems nowadays increases dramatically, that might be led to disturbance of natural biogeochemical cycles and landscapes structure. Production of nitrogen fertilizers is one of the air pollution sources, namely by nitrogen compounds (NH4+, NO3-, NO2-). Air pollution by nitrogen compounds of terrestrial ecosystems might be affected on soil biochemical properties, which results increasing mineral nitrogen content in soil, changing soil P/N and Al/Ca ratios, and, finally, the deterioration of soil microbial community functioning. The research is focused on the assessment of anthropogenic emission of nitrogen compounds on soil properties of grassland ecosystems in European Russia. Soil samples (Voronic Chernozem Pachic, upper 10 cm mineral layer, totally 10) were taken from grassland ecosystem: near (5-10 m) nitrogen fertilizer factory (NFF), and far from it (20-30 km, served as a control) in Tula region. In soil samples the NH4+ and NO3- (Kudeyarov's photocolorimetric method), P, Ca, Al (X-ray fluorescence method) contents were measured. Soil microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) was analyzed by substrate-induced respiration method. Soil microbial respiration (MR) was assessed by CO2 rate production. Soil microbial metabolic quotient (qCO2) was calculated as MR/Cmic ratio. Near NFF the soil ammonium and nitrate nitrogen contents were a strongly varied, variation coefficient (CV) was 42 and 86This study was supported by Russian Foundation of Basic Research Grant No. 14-04-00098, 15-44-03220, 15-04-00915.

  1. Following The Money: Characterizing the Dynamics of Microbial Ecosystems and Labile Organic Matter in Grassland Soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Herbert, B. E.; McNeal, K. S.

    2006-12-01

    The dynamics of soil microbial ecosystems and labile fractions of soil organic matter in grasslands have important implications for the response of these critical ecosystems to perturbations. Organic, inorganic and genetic biomarkers in the solid (e.g. lipids, microbial DNA), liquid (e.g. porewater ions) or gaseous phases (e.g. carbon dioxide) have been used to characterize carbon cycling and soil microbial ecology. These proxies are generally limited in the amount of temporal information that they can provide (i.e., solid-phase proxies) or the amount of specific information they can provide about carbon sources or microbial community processes (e.g. inorganic gases). It is the aim of this research to validate the use of soil volatile organic carbon emissions (VOCs) as useful indicators of subsurface microbial community shifts and processes as a function of ecosystem perturbations. We present results of method validation using laboratory microcosm, where VOC metabolites as characterized by gas chromatography and mass spectrometry (GC-MS), were related to other proxies including carbon dioxide (CO2) via infra-red technology, and microbial community shifts as measured by Biolog© and fatty acid methyl ester (FAME) techniques. Experiments with soil collected from grasslands along the coastal margin region in southern Texas were preformed where environmental factors such as soil water content, soil type, and charcoal content are manipulated. Results indicate that over fifty identifiable VOC metabolites are produced from the soils, where many (~15) can be direct indicators of microbial ecology. Principle component analysis (PCA) evidences these trends through similar cluster patterns for the VOC results, the Biolog© results, and FAME. Regression analysis further shows that VOCs are significant (p < 0.05) indicators of microbial stress. Our results are encouraging that characterizing VOCs production in grassland soils are easy to measure, relatively inexpensive method

  2. Characterizing forest fragments in boreal, temperate, and tropical ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Meddens, Arjan J H; Hudak, Andrew T; Evans, Jeffrey S; Gould, William A; González, Grizelle

    2008-12-01

    An increased ability to analyze landscapes in a spatial manner through the use of remote sensing leads to improved capabilities for quantifying human-induced forest fragmentation. Developments of spatially explicit methods in landscape analyses are emerging. In this paper, the image delineation software program eCognition and the spatial pattern analysis program FRAGSTATS were used to quantify patterns of forest fragments on six landscapes across three different climatic regions characterized by different moisture regimes and different influences of human pressure. Our results support the idea that landscapes with higher road and population density are more fragmented; however, there are other, equally influential factors contributing to fragmentation, such as moisture regime, historic land use, and fire dynamics. Our method provided an objective means to characterize landscapes and assess patterns of forest fragments across different forested ecosystems by addressing the limitations of pixel-based classification and incorporating image objects. PMID:19205180

  3. A review of nitrous oxide mitigation by farm nitrogen management in temperate grassland-based agriculture.

    PubMed

    Li, Dejun; Watson, Catherine J; Yan, Ming Jia; Lalor, Stan; Rafique, Rashid; Hyde, Bernard; Lanigan, Gary; Richards, Karl G; Holden, Nicholas M; Humphreys, James

    2013-10-15

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) emission from grassland-based agriculture is an important source of atmospheric N2O. It is hence crucial to explore various solutions including farm nitrogen (N) management to mitigate N2O emissions without sacrificing farm profitability and food supply. This paper reviews major N management practices to lower N2O emission from grassland-based agriculture. Restricted grazing by reducing grazing time is an effective way to decrease N2O emissions from excreta patches. Balancing the protein-to-energy ratios in the diets of ruminants can also decrease N2O emissions from excreta patches. Among the managements of synthetic fertilizer N application, only adjusting fertilizer N rate and slow-released fertilizers are proven to be effective in lowering N2O emissions. Use of bedding materials may increase N2O emissions from animal houses. Manure storage as slurry, manipulating slurry pH to values lower than 6 and storage as solid manure under anaerobic conditions help to reduce N2O emissions during manure storage stage. For manure land application, N2O emissions can be mitigated by reducing manure N inputs to levels that satisfy grass needs. Use of nitrification inhibitors can substantially lower N2O emissions associated with applications of fertilizers and manures and from urine patches. N2O emissions from legume based grasslands are generally lower than fertilizer-based systems. In conclusion, effective measures should be taken at each step during N flow or combined options should be used in order to mitigate N2O emission at the farm level. PMID:23880433

  4. Assessing strategies to reconcile agriculture and bird conservation in the temperate grasslands of South America.

    PubMed

    Dotta, G; Phalan, B; Silva, T W; Green, R; Balmford, A

    2016-06-01

    Globally, agriculture is the greatest source of threat to biodiversity, through both ongoing conversion of natural habitat and intensification of existing farmland. Land sparing and land sharing have been suggested as alternative approaches to reconcile this threat with the need for land to produce food. To examine which approach holds most promise for grassland species, we examined how bird population densities changed with farm yield (production per unit area) in the Campos of Brazil and Uruguay. We obtained information on biodiversity and crop yields from 24 sites that differed in agricultural yield. Density-yield functions were fitted for 121 bird species to describe the response of population densities to increasing farm yield, measured in terms of both food energy and profit. We categorized individual species according to how their population changed across the yield gradient as being positively or negatively affected by farming and according to whether the species' total population size was greater under land-sparing, land-sharing, or an intermediate strategy. Irrespective of the yield, most species were negatively affected by farming. Increasing yields reduced densities of approximately 80% of bird species. We estimated land sparing would result in larger populations than other sorts of strategies for 67% to 70% of negatively affected species, given current production levels, including three threatened species. This suggests that increasing yields in some areas while reducing grazing to low levels elsewhere may be the best option for bird conservation in these grasslands. Implementing such an approach would require conservation and production policies to be explicitly linked to support yield increases in farmed areas and concurrently guarantee that larger areas of lightly grazed natural grasslands are set aside for conservation. PMID:26400720

  5. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate.

    PubMed

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V; Cohen, Erika C; McNulty, Steven G; Aldridge, Heather D; Zhang, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m(-2) yr(-1) (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr(-1) (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr(-1)). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services. PMID:27100360

  6. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    PubMed Central

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V.; Cohen, Erika C.; McNulty, Steven G.; Aldridge, Heather D.; Zhang, Yang

    2016-01-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m−2 yr−1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr−1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr−1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services. PMID:27100360

  7. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Duan, Kai; Sun, Ge; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter V.; Cohen, Erika C.; McNulty, Steven G.; Aldridge, Heather D.; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in ecosystem productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m‑2 yr‑1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr‑1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 °C) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr‑1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  8. Carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorus storage in alpine grassland ecosystems of Tibet: effects of grazing exclusion.

    PubMed

    Lu, Xuyang; Yan, Yan; Sun, Jian; Zhang, Xiaoke; Chen, Youchao; Wang, Xiaodan; Cheng, Genwei

    2015-10-01

    In recent decades, alpine grasslands have been seriously degraded on the Tibetan Plateau and grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely adopted to restore degraded grasslands since 2004. To elucidate how alpine grasslands carbon (C), nitrogen (N), and phosphorus (P) storage responds to this management strategy, three types of alpine grassland in nine counties in Tibet were selected to investigate C, N, and P storage in the environment by comparing free grazing (FG) and grazing exclusion (GE) treatments, which had run for 6-8 years. The results revealed that there were no significant differences in total ecosystem C, N, and P storage, as well as the C, N, and P stored in both total biomass and soil (0-30 cm) fractions between FG and GE grasslands. However, precipitation played a key role in controlling C, N, and P storage and distribution. With grazing exclusion, C and N stored in aboveground biomass significantly increased by 5.7 g m(-2) and 0.1 g m(-2), respectively, whereas the C and P stored in the soil surface layer (0-15 cm) significantly decreased by 862.9 g m(-2) and 13.6 g m(-2), respectively. Furthermore, the storage of the aboveground biomass C, N, and P was positively correlated with vegetation cover and negatively correlated with the biodiversity index, including Pielou evenness index, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, and Simpson dominance index. The storage of soil surface layer C, N, and P was positively correlated with soil silt content and negatively correlated with soil sand content. Our results demonstrated that grazing exclusion had no impact on total C, N, and P storage, as well as C, N, and P in both total biomass and soil (0-30 cm) fractions in the alpine grassland ecosystem. However, grazing exclusion could result in increased aboveground biomass C and N pools and decreased soil surface layer (0-15 cm) C and P pools. PMID:26664694

  9. Beyond arctic and alpine: the influence of winter climate on temperate ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Ladwig, Laura M; Ratajczak, Zak R; Ocheltree, Troy W; Hafich, Katya A; Churchill, Amber C; Frey, Sarah J K; Fuss, Colin B; Kazanski, Clare E; Muñoz, Juan D; Petrie, Matthew D; Reinmann, Andrew B; Smith, Jane G

    2016-02-01

    Winter climate is expected to change under future climate scenarios, yet the majority of winter ecology research is focused in cold-climate ecosystems. In many temperate systems, it is unclear how winter climate relates to biotic responses during the growing season. The objective of this study was to examine how winter weather relates to plant and animal communities in a variety of terrestrial ecosystems ranging from warm deserts to alpine tundra. Specifically, we examined the association between winter weather and plant phenology, plant species richness, consumer abundance, and consumer richness in 11 terrestrial ecosystems associated with the U.S. Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) Network. To varying degrees, winter precipitation and temperature were correlated with all biotic response variables. Bud break was tightly aligned with end of winter temperatures. For half the sites, winter weather was a better predictor of plant species richness than growing season weather. Warmer winters were correlated with lower consumer abundances in both temperate and alpine systems. Our findings suggest winter weather may have a strong influence on biotic activity during the growing season and should be considered in future studies investigating the effects of climate change on both alpine and temperate systems. PMID:27145612

  10. Estimating Daytime Ecosystem Respiration to Improve Estimates of Gross Primary Production of a Temperate Forest

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Jinwei; Wu, Jiabing; Guan, Dexin; Yao, Fuqi; Yuan, Fenghui; Wang, Anzhi; Jin, Changjie

    2014-01-01

    Leaf respiration is an important component of carbon exchange in terrestrial ecosystems, and estimates of leaf respiration directly affect the accuracy of ecosystem carbon budgets. Leaf respiration is inhibited by light; therefore, gross primary production (GPP) will be overestimated if the reduction in leaf respiration by light is ignored. However, few studies have quantified GPP overestimation with respect to the degree of light inhibition in forest ecosystems. To determine the effect of light inhibition of leaf respiration on GPP estimation, we assessed the variation in leaf respiration of seedlings of the dominant tree species in an old mixed temperate forest with different photosynthetically active radiation levels using the Laisk method. Canopy respiration was estimated by combining the effect of light inhibition on leaf respiration of these species with within-canopy radiation. Leaf respiration decreased exponentially with an increase in light intensity. Canopy respiration and GPP were overestimated by approximately 20.4% and 4.6%, respectively, when leaf respiration reduction in light was ignored compared with the values obtained when light inhibition of leaf respiration was considered. This study indicates that accurate estimates of daytime ecosystem respiration are needed for the accurate evaluation of carbon budgets in temperate forests. In addition, this study provides a valuable approach to accurately estimate GPP by considering leaf respiration reduction in light in other ecosystems. PMID:25419844

  11. Increased winter soil temperature variability enhances nitrogen cycling and soil biotic activity in temperate heathland and grassland mesocosms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schuerings, J.; Jentsch, A.; Hammerl, V.; Lenz, K.; Henry, H. A. L.; Malyshev, A. V.; Kreyling, J.

    2014-12-01

    Winter air temperatures are projected to increase in the temperate zone, whereas snow cover is projected to decrease, leading to increased soil temperature variability, and potentially to changes in nutrient cycling. Here, we experimentally evaluated the effects of increased winter soil temperature variability on selected aspects of the N-cycle in mesocosms containing different plant community compositions. The experiment was replicated at two sites, a colder mountainous upland site with high snow accumulation and a warmer and drier lowland site. Increased soil temperature variability enhanced soil biotic activity for both sites during winter, as indicated by 35% higher nitrogen (N) availability in the soil solution, 40% higher belowground decomposition and a 25% increase in the potential activity of the enzyme cellobiohydrolase. The mobilization of N differed between sites, and the 15N signal in leaves was reduced by 31% in response to winter warming pulses, but only at the cold site, with significant reductions occurring for three of four tested plant species at this site. Furthermore, there was a trend of increased N leaching in response to the recurrent winter warming pulses. Overall, projected winter climate change in the temperate zone, with less snow and more variable soil temperatures, appears important for shifts in ecosystem functioning (i.e. nutrient cycling). While the effects of warming pulses on plant N mobilization did not differ among sites, reduced plant 15N incorporation at the colder temperate site suggests that frost damage may reduce plant N uptake in a warmer world, with important implications for nitrogen cycling and nitrogen losses from ecosystems.

  12. Changes in soil microbial biomass and residual indices as ecological indicators of land use change in temperate permanent grassland.

    PubMed

    Murugan, Rajasekaran; Loges, Ralf; Taube, Friedhelm; Sradnick, André; Joergensen, Rainer Georg

    2014-05-01

    The relationship between microbial biomass, residues and their contribution to microbial turnover is important to understand ecosystem C storage. The effects of permanent grassland (100 % ryegrass--PG), conversion to modified grassland (mixture of grass and clover--MG) or maize monoculture (MM) on the dynamics of soil organic C (SOC), microbial biomass, fungal ergosterol and microbial residues (bacterial muramic acid and fungal glucosamine) were investigated. Cattle slurry was applied to quantify the effects of fertilisation on microbial residues and functional diversity of microbial community across land use types. Slurry application significantly increased the stocks of microbial biomass C and S and especially led to a shift in microbial residues towards bacterial tissue. The MM treatment decreased the stocks of SOC, microbial biomass C, N and S and microbial residues compared with the PG and MG treatments at 0-40 cm depth. The MM treatment led to a greater accumulation of saprotrophic fungi, as indicated by the higher ergosterol-to-microbial biomass C ratio and lower microbial biomass C/S ratio compared with the grassland treatments. The absence of a white clover population in the PG treatment caused a greater accumulation of fungal residues (presumably arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which do not contain ergosterol but glucosamine), as indicated by the significantly higher fungal C-to-bacterial C ratio and lower ergosterol-to-microbial biomass C ratio compared with the MG treatment. In addition to these microbial biomass and residual indices, the community level physiological profiles (CLPP) demonstrated distinct differences between the PG and MG treatments, suggesting the potential of these measurements to act as an integrative indicator of soil functioning. PMID:24549746

  13. Divergence of ecosystem services in U.S. National Forests and Grasslands under a changing climate

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Ge; Duan, Kai; Sun, Shanlei; Caldwell, Peter; Cohen, Erika; McNulty, Steven; Zhang, Yang

    2016-04-01

    The 170 National Forests and Grasslands (NFs) in the conterminous United States are public lands that provide important ecosystem services such as clean water and timber supply to the American people. This modeling study investigates the potential impacts of climate change on two key ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield and ecosystem productivity) using the most recent climate projections derived from 20 Global Climate Models (GCMs) of the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5). We find that future climate change may result in a significant reduction in water yield but an increase in forest productivity in NFs. On average, gross ecosystem productivity is projected to increase by 76 ~ 229 g C m-2 yr-1 (8% ~ 24%) while water yield is projected to decrease by 18 ~ 31 mm yr-1 (4% ~ 7%) by 2100 as a result of the combination of increased air temperature (+1.8 ~ +5.2 ℃) and precipitation (+17 ~ +51 mm yr-1). The notable divergence in ecosystem services of water supply and carbon sequestration is expected to intensify under higher greenhouse gas emission and associated climate change in the future, posing greater challenges to managing NFs for both ecosystem services.

  14. Growth response of temperate mountain grasslands to inter-annual variations of snow cover duration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choler, P.

    2015-02-01

    A remote sensing approach is used to examine the direct and indirect effects of snow cover duration and weather conditions on the growth response of mountain grasslands located above the tree line in the French Alps. Time-integrated normalized difference vegetation index (NDVIint), used as a surrogate for aboveground primary productivity, and snow cover duration were derived from a 13 year long time series of the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectro-radiometer (MODIS). A regional-scale meteorological forcing that accounted for topographical effects was provided by the SAFRAN-Crocus-MEPRA model chain. A hierarchical path analysis was developed to analyze the multivariate causal relationships between forcing variables and proxies of primary productivity. Inter-annual variations in primary productivity were primarily governed by year-to-year variations in the length of the snow-free period and to a much lesser extent by temperature and precipitation during the growing season. A prolonged snow cover reduces the number and magnitude of frost events during the initial growth period but this has a negligeable impact on NDVIint as compared to the strong negative effect of a delayed snow melting. The maximum NDVI slightly responded to increased summer precipitation and temperature but the impact on productivity was weak. The period spanning from peak standing biomass to the first snowfall accounted for two thirds of NDVIint and this explained the high sensitivity of NDVIint to autumn temperature and autumn rainfall that control the timing of the first snowfall. The ability of mountain plants to maintain green tissues during the whole snow-free period along with the relatively low responsiveness of peak standing biomass to summer meteorological conditions led to the conclusion that the length of the snow-free period is the primary driver of the inter-annual variations in primary productivity of mountain grasslands.

  15. Growth response of temperate mountain grasslands to inter-annual variations in snow cover duration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choler, P.

    2015-06-01

    A remote sensing approach is used to examine the direct and indirect effects of snow cover duration and weather conditions on the growth response of mountain grasslands located above the tree line in the French Alps. Time-integrated Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVIint), used as a surrogate for aboveground primary productivity, and snow cover duration were derived from a 13-year long time series of the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). A regional-scale meteorological forcing that accounted for topographical effects was provided by the SAFRAN-CROCUS-MEPRA model chain. A hierarchical path analysis was developed to analyze the multivariate causal relationships between forcing variables and proxies of primary productivity. Inter-annual variations in primary productivity were primarily governed by year-to-year variations in the length of the snow-free period and to a much lesser extent by temperature and precipitation during the growing season. A prolonged snow cover reduces the number and magnitude of frost events during the initial growth period but this has a negligible impact on NDVIint as compared to the strong negative effect of a delayed snow melting. The maximum NDVI slightly responded to increased summer precipitation and temperature but the impact on productivity was weak. The period spanning from peak standing biomass to the first snowfall accounted for two-thirds of NDVIint and this explained the high sensitivity of NDVIint to autumn temperature and autumn rainfall that control the timing of the first snowfall. The ability of mountain plants to maintain green tissues during the whole snow-free period along with the relatively low responsiveness of peak standing biomass to summer meteorological conditions led to the conclusion that the length of the snow-free period is the primary driver of the inter-annual variations in primary productivity of mountain grasslands.

  16. The Effects of Warming-Shifted Plant Phenology on Ecosystem Carbon Exchange Are Regulated by Precipitation in a Semi-Arid Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Jianyang; Wan, Shiqiang

    2012-01-01

    Background The longer growing season under climate warming has served as a crucial mechanism for the enhancement of terrestrial carbon (C) sink over the past decades. A better understanding of this mechanism is critical for projection of changes in C cycling of terrestrial ecosystems. Methodology/Principal Findings A 4-year field experiment with day and night warming was conducted to examine the responses of plant phenology and their influences on plant coverage and ecosystem C cycling in a temperate steppe in northern China. Greater phenological responses were observed under night than day warming. Both day and night warming prolonged the growing season by advancing phenology of early-blooming species but without changing that of late-blooming species. However, no warming response of vegetation coverage was found for any of the eight species. The variances in species-level coverage and ecosystem C fluxes under different treatments were positively dependent upon the accumulated precipitation within phenological duration but not the length of phenological duration. Conclusions/Significance These plants' phenology is more sensitive to night than day warming, and the warming effects on ecosystem C exchange via shifting plant phenology could be mediated by precipitation patterns in semi-arid grasslands. PMID:22359660

  17. Vegetation ecology meets ecosystem science: Permanent grasslands as a functional biogeography case study.

    PubMed

    Violle, Cyrille; Choler, Philippe; Borgy, Benjamin; Garnier, Eric; Amiaud, Bernard; Debarros, Guilhem; Diquelou, Sylvain; Gachet, Sophie; Jolivet, Claudy; Kattge, Jens; Lavorel, Sandra; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane; Loranger, Jessy; Mikolajczak, Alexis; Munoz, François; Olivier, Jean; Viovy, Nicolas

    2015-11-15

    The effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning has been widely acknowledged, and the importance of the functional roles of species, as well as their diversity, in the control of ecosystem processes has been emphasised recently. However, bridging biodiversity and ecosystem science to address issues at a biogeographic scale is still in its infancy. Bridging this gap is the primary goal of the emerging field of functional biogeography. While the rise of Big Data has catalysed functional biogeography studies in recent years, comprehensive evidence remains scarce. Here, we present the rationale and the first results of a country-wide initiative focused on the C3 permanent grasslands. We aimed to collate, integrate and process large databases of vegetation relevés, plant traits and environmental layers to provide a country-wide assessment of ecosystem properties and services which can be used to improve regional models of climate and land use changes. We outline the theoretical background, data availability, and ecoinformatics challenges associated with the approach and its feasibility. We provide a case study of upscaling of leaf dry matter content averaged at ecosystem level and country-wide predictions of forage digestibility. Our framework sets milestones for further hypothesis testing in functional biogeography and earth system modelling. PMID:25908020

  18. Modeling and validating tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem in response to {sup 3}H releases

    SciTech Connect

    Le Dizes, S.

    2015-03-15

    In this paper a radioecological model (TOCATTA) for tritium transfer in a grassland ecosystem developed on an hourly time-step basis is proposed and compared with the first data set obtained in the vicinity of the AREVA-NC reprocessing plant of La Hague (France). The TOCATTA model aims at simulating dynamics of tritium transfer in agricultural soil and plant ecosystems exposed to time-varying HTO concentrations in air water vapour and possibly in irrigation and rain water. In the present study, gaseous releases of tritium from the AREVA NC nuclear reprocessing plant in normal operation can be intense and intermittent over a period of less than 24 hours. A first comparison of the model predictions with the field data has shown that TOCATTA should be improved in terms of kinetics of tritium transfer.

  19. Icefield-to-ocean linkages across the northern Pacific coastal temperate rainforest ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    O'Neel, Shad; Hood, Eran; Bidlack, Allison L.; Fleming, Sean W.; Arimitsu, Mayumi L.; Arendt, Anthony; Burgess, Evan W.; Sergeant, Christopher J.; Beaudreau, Anne E.; Timm, Kristin; Hayward, Gregory D.; Reynolds, Joel H.; Pyare, Sanjay

    2015-01-01

    Rates of glacier mass loss in the northern Pacific coastal temperate rainforest (PCTR) are among the highest on Earth, and changes in glacier volume and extent will affect the flow regime and chemistry of coastal rivers, as well as the nearshore marine ecosystem of the Gulf of Alaska. Here we synthesize physical, chemical and biological linkages that characterize the northern PCTR ecosystem, with particular emphasis on the potential impacts of glacier change in the coastal mountain ranges on the surface–water hydrology, biogeochemistry, coastal oceanography and aquatic ecology. We also evaluate the relative importance and interplay between interannual variability and long-term trends in key physical drivers and ecological responses. To advance our knowledge of the northern PCTR, we advocate for cross-disciplinary research bridging the icefield-to-ocean ecosystem that can be paired with long-term scientific records and designed to inform decisionmakers.

  20. Modelling actual, reference and equilibrium evaporation from a temperate wet grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gavin, H.; Agnew, C. A.

    2004-02-01

    Actual and reference evaporation from a wet grassland in Southeast England was studied over the spring and summer of 1999 (March to September) through changes in surface wetness. The Penman-Monteith (using resistance values for reference grass surface), equilibrium evaporation and Priestley-Taylor models were compared with output from the Bowen ratio energy balance (BREB) method. On field visits, inundation of the grazing marsh was mapped and surface soil moisture monitored in a regular grid using a capacitance probe. During the study period, the extent of flooding fell from approximately 10% to 0% and the surface soil moisture declined from over 38% to 15%. Daily averaged Bowen ratios displayed large variation but were below unity, indicating that latent energy flux was the dominant energy sink. The Penman-Monteith and equilibrium evaporation models underestimated during periods of surface inundation and overestimated when no surface water was present. Computed values of the Priestley-Taylor parameter showed daily variability, but was predictable with surface wetness such an average value of = 1.25 characterized periods of inundation, and an average values of = 0.80 represented periods of no surface water. The performance of the models in computing actual evaporation was compared with the BREB using the root-mean-square error and index of agreement. The optimal model was the Priestley-Taylor model.

  1. Native shrub reestablishment in exotic annual grasslands: do ecosystem processes recover?

    PubMed

    Yelenik, S G; Levine, J M

    2010-04-01

    The impacts of exotic plant species on ecosystem processes are well established, motivating numerous efforts to facilitate native-species recovery. Nonetheless, how the return of native species influences ecosystem processes and how these changes feed back to influence the recovery process are poorly understood. We examined these questions in exotic annual grasslands on Santa Cruz Island, California, USA, where the removal of nonnative herbivores has led to the recovery of the native shrubs Artemisia californica and Eriogonum arborescens. To examine the influence of shrub colonization on nutrient cycling, and the mechanisms by which these changes arise, we measured available nitrogen and phosphorus, and quantified nitrogen mineralization and litterfall rates under shrubs and grasses in the field and in experimental monoculture plots. Both native shrubs altered nitrogen cycling as they colonized the grassland, but they did so in opposite directions. Eriogonum depressed nitrogen pools and mineralization rates via large inputs of nitrogen-poor litter. In contrast Artemisia increased nitrogen and phosphorus pools and nitrogen mineralization rates. Last, to determine if shrub effects on soils favor shrubs or grasses, we conducted a nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization experiment in the field. Only the exotic grass was significantly limited by nitrogen. Thus the depressed nitrogen availability associated with Eriogonum colonization is more harmful to exotic grasses than to the native shrub. By contrast, the elevated nitrogen associated with recovering Artemisia favors grasses over the shrub, possibly hindering recovery of the native. Mechanistic studies of the ecosystem ,impacts of native-plant recovery are useful for managers wishing to predict which native species return ecosystem function, and whether such changes feed back to influence native recovery. PMID:20437958

  2. Effects of Simulated Climate Conditions on Phosphorus Cycling in an Annual Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mellett, T.; Paytan, A.; Defforey, D.; Roberts, K.

    2014-12-01

    The Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment is a long-term study of the effects of simulated climate change conditions on an annual grassland ecosystem. The different treatments consist of elevated atmospheric CO2 levels, enhanced nitrate deposition, as well as higher temperatures and precipitation rates. A representative portion of the above ground vegetation from each plot is harvested. The aim of this study is to investigate the effects of different climate conditions on the phosphorus content and phosphorus cycling in terrestrial plants. Since phosphorus only has one stable isotope, the δ18O signature in phosphate is used as a proxy to investigate phosphorus cycling. Although this technique has been successful in determining phosphorous cycling in aquatic systems, only a few studies have used this approach for terrestrial ecosystems. We analyzed the δ18O of the most abundant grass from each of the plots and treatments. The δ18O values of each sample are compared to elemental budgets of carbon, nitrogen, and phosphorous for correlation as well as soil enzyme activities. and the combination of measures are assessed as indicators for phosphorus limitation in each respective treatment site and provide a better understanding of phosphorus cycling in annual grasslands and the potential effects of climate change on phosphorus cycling.

  3. Ground-based grasslands data to support remote sensing and ecosystem modeling of terrestrial primary production

    SciTech Connect

    Olson, R.J.; Turner, R.S.; Scurlock, J.M.O.; Jennings, S.V.

    1995-12-31

    Estimating terrestrial net primary production (NPP) using remote- sensing tools and ecosystem models requires adequate ground-based measurements for calibration, parameterization, and validation. These data needs were strongly endorsed at a recent meeting of ecosystem modelers organized by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme`s (IGBP`s) Data and Information System (DIS) and its Global Analysis, Interpretation, and Modelling (GAIM) Task Force. To meet these needs, a multinational, multiagency project is being coordinated by the IGBP DIS to compile existing NPP data from field sites and to regionalize NPP point estimates to various-sized grid cells. Progress at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on compiling NPP data for grasslands as part of the IGBP DIS data initiative is described. Site data and associated documentation from diverse field studies are being acquired for selected grasslands and are being reviewed for completeness, consistency, and adequacy of documentation, including a description of sampling methods. Data are being compiled in a database with spatial, temporal, and thematic characteristics relevant to remote sensing and global modeling. NPP data are available from the ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for biogeochemical dynamics. The ORNL DAAC is part of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System, of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  4. Ground-based grasslands data to support remote sensing and ecosystem modeling of terrestrial primary production

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Olson, R. J.; Scurlock, J. M. O.; Turner, R. S.; Jennings, S. V.

    1995-01-01

    Estimating terrestrial net primary production (NPP) using remote-sensing tools and ecosystem models requires adequate ground-based measurements for calibration, parameterization, and validation. These data needs were strongly endorsed at a recent meeting of ecosystem modelers organized by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program's (IGBP's) Data and Information System (DIS) and its Global Analysis, Interpretation, and Modelling (GAIM) Task Force. To meet these needs, a multinational, multiagency project is being coordinated by the IGBP DIS to compile existing NPP data from field sites and to regionalize NPP point estimates to various-sized grid cells. Progress at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on compiling NPP data for grasslands as part of the IGBP DIS data initiative is described. Site data and associated documentation from diverse field studies are being acquired for selected grasslands and are being reviewed for completeness, consistency, and adequacy of documentation, including a description of sampling methods. Data are being compiled in a database with spatial, temporal, and thematic characteristics relevant to remote sensing and global modeling. NPP data are available from the ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for biogeochemical dynamics. The ORNL DAAC is part of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System, of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  5. Connecting Soil Organic Carbon and Root Biomass with Land-Use and Vegetation in Temperate Grassland

    PubMed Central

    McGranahan, Devan Allen; Daigh, Aaron L.; Veenstra, Jessica J.; Engle, David M.; Miller, James R.; Debinski, Diane M.

    2014-01-01

    Soils contain much of Earth's terrestrial organic carbon but are sensitive to land-use. Rangelands are important to carbon dynamics and are among ecosystems most widely impacted by land-use. While common practices like grazing, fire, and tillage affect soil properties directly related to soil carbon dynamics, their magnitude and direction of change vary among ecosystems and with intensity of disturbance. We describe variability in soil organic carbon (SOC) and root biomass—sampled from 0–170 cm and 0–100 cm, respectively—in terms of soil properties, land-use history, current management, and plant community composition using linear regression and multivariate ordination. Despite consistency in average values of SOC and root biomass between our data and data from rangelands worldwide, broad ranges in root biomass and SOC in our data suggest these variables are affected by other site-specific factors. Pastures with a recent history of severe grazing had reduced root biomass and greater bulk density. Ordination suggests greater exotic species richness is associated with lower root biomass but the relationship was not apparent when an invasive species of management concern was specifically tested. We discuss how unexplained variability in belowground properties can complicate measurement and prediction of ecosystem processes such as carbon sequestration. PMID:25401142

  6. Connecting soil organic carbon and root biomass with land-use and vegetation in temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    McGranahan, Devan Allen; Daigh, Aaron L; Veenstra, Jessica J; Engle, David M; Miller, James R; Debinski, Diane M

    2014-01-01

    Soils contain much of Earth's terrestrial organic carbon but are sensitive to land-use. Rangelands are important to carbon dynamics and are among ecosystems most widely impacted by land-use. While common practices like grazing, fire, and tillage affect soil properties directly related to soil carbon dynamics, their magnitude and direction of change vary among ecosystems and with intensity of disturbance. We describe variability in soil organic carbon (SOC) and root biomass--sampled from 0-170 cm and 0-100 cm, respectively--in terms of soil properties, land-use history, current management, and plant community composition using linear regression and multivariate ordination. Despite consistency in average values of SOC and root biomass between our data and data from rangelands worldwide, broad ranges in root biomass and SOC in our data suggest these variables are affected by other site-specific factors. Pastures with a recent history of severe grazing had reduced root biomass and greater bulk density. Ordination suggests greater exotic species richness is associated with lower root biomass but the relationship was not apparent when an invasive species of management concern was specifically tested. We discuss how unexplained variability in belowground properties can complicate measurement and prediction of ecosystem processes such as carbon sequestration. PMID:25401142

  7. Biomass production efficiency controlled by management in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Campioli, M.; Vicca, S.; Luyssaert, S.; Bilcke, J.; Ceschia, E.; Chapin, F. S., III; Ciais, P.; Fernández-Martínez, M.; Malhi, Y.; Obersteiner, M.; Olefeldt, D.; Papale, D.; Piao, S. L.; Peñuelas, J.; Sullivan, P. F.; Wang, X.; Zenone, T.; Janssens, I. A.

    2015-11-01

    Plants acquire carbon through photosynthesis to sustain biomass production, autotrophic respiration and production of non-structural compounds for multiple purposes. The fraction of photosynthetic production used for biomass production, the biomass production efficiency, is a key determinant of the conversion of solar energy to biomass. In forest ecosystems, biomass production efficiency was suggested to be related to site fertility. Here we present a database of biomass production efficiency from 131 sites compiled from individual studies using harvest, biometric, eddy covariance, or process-based model estimates of production. The database is global, but dominated by data from Europe and North America. We show that instead of site fertility, ecosystem management is the key factor that controls biomass production efficiency in terrestrial ecosystems. In addition, in natural forests, grasslands, tundra, boreal peatlands and marshes, biomass production efficiency is independent of vegetation, environmental and climatic drivers. This similarity of biomass production efficiency across natural ecosystem types suggests that the ratio of biomass production to gross primary productivity is constant across natural ecosystems. We suggest that plant adaptation results in similar growth efficiency in high- and low-fertility natural systems, but that nutrient influxes under managed conditions favour a shift to carbon investment from the belowground flux of non-structural compounds to aboveground biomass.

  8. How plant functional traits cascade to microbial function and ecosystem services in mountain grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lavorel, S.; Grigulis, K.; Krainer, U.; Legay, N.; Turner, C.; Dumont, M.; Kastl, E.; Arnoldi, C.; Bardgett, R.; Poly, F.; Pommier, T.; Schloter, M.; Tappeiner, U.; Bahn, M.; Clément, J.-C.

    2012-04-01

    1. There is growing evidence that plant functional diversity and microbial communities of soil are tightly coupled, and that this coupling influences a range of ecosystem functions. Moreover, it has been hypothesized that changes in the nature of interactions between plant functional diversity and microbial communities along environmental gradients contributes to variation in the delivery of ecosystem services. Although there is empirical support for such relationships using broad plant and microbial functional classifications, or from studies of plant monocultures, such relationships and their consequences for ecosystem services have not been quantified under complex field conditions with diverse plant communities. 2. We aimed to provide an explicit quantification of how plant and microbial functional properties interplay to determine key ecosystem functions underlying ecosystem services provided by grasslands. At three mountain grassland sites in the French Alps, Austrian Tyrol and northern England, we quantified, along gradients of management intensity, (i) plant functional diversity, (ii) soil microbial community composition and parameters associated with nitrogen cycling, and (iii) key ecosystem processes related to the carbon and nitrogen cycles including aboveground biomass production, standing litter, litter decomposition, soil organic matter and nitrate and ammonium leaching . Considering that plants strongly determine microbial communities, we used a hierarchical approach that considered first direct effects of plant traits and then effects of soil microorganisms on processes, to determine the relative effects of plant and microbial functional parameters on key ecosystem properties. 3. We identified a gradient of relative effects of plant and microbial traits from properties controlled mostly by aboveground processes, such as plant biomass production and standing litter, to properties controlled mostly by microbial processes, such as soil leaching of

  9. Responses of desert, semi-arid grassland and scrub-oak ecosystems to elevated CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Luus, Kristina; Walker, Anthony; de Kauwe, Martin; Hungate, Bruce; Megonigal, J. Patrick; Lu, Meng; Fenstermaker, Lynn; Nowak, Robert; Morgan, Jack; Medlyn, Belinda; Norby, Richard; Zaehle, Sönke

    2014-05-01

    We compared observations from free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments at dry (desert, semi-arid grassland and scrub-oak) sites, to predictions from a suite of ecosystem models with differing complexity, ranging from a parsimonious forest growth model (GDAY) to a comprehensive land surface model (OCN). Dry ecosystems have often been predicted to increase in net primary productivity (NPP) and net C uptake over time in response to elevated CO2 (eCO2) because of increased N fixation, and alleviation of drought-stress due to reduced stomatal conductance. However, experiments at the Nevada Desert FACE (NDFF), the semi-arid prairie grassland FACE (PHACE), and the scrub-oak Kennedy Space Center open-top chamber experiment (KSCO), have revealed that dry ecosystems display a more complex biogeochemical response to eCO2. Insights into the processes determining the responses of dry ecosystems to eCO2 were gained by evaluating model estimates against site data, and by dissecting model responses to eCO2. Site level findings at PHACE indicated that eCO2 enabled more rapid C turnover, resulting in a net ecosystem C loss. Conversely, at PHACE, models such as OCN simulated a decrease in N leaching and an increase in NPP because of eCO2, leading to increased C storage. Leaf cover and NPP at KSCO initially increased with eCO2 before declining due to reduced N fixation and increased N leaching. At NDFF, eCO2 only increased plant growth during one abnormally wet year; in subsequent years, soil crust cyanobacteria decreased in abundance, and gains in biomass were not sustained. In OCN simulations at NDFF, eCO2 increased water-use efficiency and NPP in years with average to above-average precipitation. Through examination of the reasons for discrepancies between observed and modeled ecosystem responses to eCO2, processes determining the biogeochemical responses of dry ecosystems to eCO2 were elucidated.

  10. Plant species richness drives the density and diversity of Collembola in temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabais, Alexander C. W.; Scheu, Stefan; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2011-05-01

    Declining biodiversity is one of the most important aspects of anthropogenic global change phenomena, but the implications of plant species loss for soil decomposers are little understood. We used the experimental grassland community of the Jena Experiment to assess the response of density and diversity of Collembola to varying plant species richness, plant functional group richness and plant functional group identity. We sampled the experimental plots in spring and autumn four years after establishment of the experimental plant communities. Collembola density and diversity significantly increased with plant species and plant functional group richness highlighting the importance of the singular hypothesis for soil invertebrates. Generally, grasses and legumes beneficially affected Collembola density and diversity, whereas effects of small herbs usually were detrimental. These impacts were largely consistent in spring and autumn. By contrast, in the presence of small herbs the density of hemiedaphic Collembola and the diversity of Isotomidae increased in spring whereas they decreased in autumn. Beneficial impacts of plant diversity as well as those of grasses and legumes were likely due to increased root and microbial biomass, and elevated quantity and quality of plant residues serving as food resources for Collembola. By contrast, beneficial impacts of small herbs in spring probably reflect differences in microclimatic conditions, and detrimental effects in autumn likely were due to low quantity and quality of resources. The results point to an intimate relationship between plants and the diversity of belowground biota, even at small spatial scales, contrasting the findings of previous studies. The pronounced response of soil animals in the present study was presumably due to the fact that plant communities had established over several years. As decomposer invertebrates significantly impact plant performance, changes in soil biota density and diversity are likely

  11. Transfer of a cyanobacterial neurotoxin within a temperate aquatic ecosystem suggests pathways for human exposure

    PubMed Central

    Jonasson, Sara; Eriksson, Johan; Berntzon, Lotta; Spáčil, Zdenĕk; Ilag, Leopold L.; Ronnevi, Lars-Olof; Rasmussen, Ulla; Bergman, Birgitta

    2010-01-01

    β-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA), a neurotoxic nonprotein amino acid produced by most cyanobacteria, has been proposed to be the causative agent of devastating neurodegenerative diseases on the island of Guam in the Pacific Ocean. Because cyanobacteria are widespread globally, we hypothesized that BMAA might occur and bioaccumulate in other ecosystems. Here we demonstrate, based on a recently developed extraction and HPLC-MS/MS method and long-term monitoring of BMAA in cyanobacterial populations of a temperate aquatic ecosystem (Baltic Sea, 2007–2008), that BMAA is biosynthesized by cyanobacterial genera dominating the massive surface blooms of this water body. BMAA also was found at higher concentrations in organisms of higher trophic levels that directly or indirectly feed on cyanobacteria, such as zooplankton and various vertebrates (fish) and invertebrates (mussels, oysters). Pelagic and benthic fish species used for human consumption were included. The highest BMAA levels were detected in the muscle and brain of bottom-dwelling fishes. The discovery of regular biosynthesis of the neurotoxin BMAA in a large temperate aquatic ecosystem combined with its possible transfer and bioaccumulation within major food webs, some ending in human consumption, is alarming and requires attention. PMID:20439734

  12. Effects of ploughing on land-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases in a managed temperate grassland in central Scotland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfter, Carole; Drewer, Julia; Anderson, Margaret; Scholtes, Bob; Rees, Bob; Skiba, Ute

    2015-04-01

    Grasslands are important ecosystems covering > 20% and > 30% of EU and Scotland's land area respectively. Management practices such as grazing, fertilisation and ploughing can have significant short- and long-term effects on greenhouse gas exchange. Here we report on two separate ploughing events two years apart in adjacent grasslands under common management. The Easter Bush grassland, located 10 km south of Edinburgh (55° 52'N, 3° 2'W), comprises two fields separated by a fence and is used for grazing by sheep and cattle. The vegetation is predominantly Lolium perenne (> 90%) growing on poorly drained clay loam. The fields receive several applications of mineral fertiliser a year in spring and summer. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon dioxide (CO2) has been monitored continuously by eddy-covariance (EC) since 2002 which has demonstrated that the site is a consistent yet variable sink of atmospheric CO2. The EC system comprises a LI-COR 7000 closed-path analyser and a Gill Instruments Windmaster Pro ultrasonic anemometer mounted atop a 2.5 m mast located along the fence line separating the fields. In addition, fluxes of nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4)and CO2were measured with static chambers installed along transects in each field. Gas samples collected from the chambers were analysed by gas chromatography and fluxes calculated for each 60-minute sampling period. The ploughing events in 2012 and 2014 exhibited multiple similarities in terms of NEE. The light response (i.e. relationship between CO2 flux, and photosynthetically active radiation, PAR) of the NF and SF during the month preceding each ploughing event was of comparable magnitude in both years. Following ploughing, CO2 uptake ceased in the ploughed field for approximately one month and full recovery of the photosynthetic potential was observed after ca. 2 months. During the month following the 2014 ploughing event, the ploughed NF released on average 333 ± 17 mg CO2-C m-2 h-1. In contrast, the

  13. Response of temperate grasslands at different altitudes to simulated summer drought differed but scaled with annual precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilgen, A. K.; Buchmann, N.

    2009-05-01

    Water is an important resource for plant live. Since climate scenarios for Switzerland predict an average reduction of 20% in summer precipitation until 2070, understanding ecosystem responses to water shortage, e.g. in terms of plant productivity, is of major concern. Thus, we tested the effects of simulated summer drought on three managed grasslands along an altitudinal gradient in Switzerland from 2005 to 2007, representing typical management intensities at the respective altitude. We assessed the effects of drought on above- and below-ground productivity, stand structure (LAI and vegetation height) and resource use (carbon and water). Drought responses of community above-ground productivity differed among the three sites but scaled positively with total annual precipitation at the sites (R2=0.85). Annual community above-ground biomass productivity was significantly reduced by summer drought at the alpine site receiving the least amount of annual precipitation, while no significant decrease (rather an increase) was observed at the pre-alpine site receiving highest precipitation amounts in all three years. At the lowland site (intermediate precipitation sums), biomass productivity significantly decreased in response to drought only in the third year, after showing increased abundance of a drought tolerant weed species in the second year. No significant change in below-ground biomass productivity was observed at any of the sites in response to simulated summer drought. However, community carbon isotope ratios increased under drought conditions, indicating an increase in water use efficiency. We conclude that there is no general drought response of Swiss grasslands, but that sites with lower annual precipitation seem to be more vulnerable to summer drought than sites with higher annual precipitation, and thus site-specific adaptation measures will be needed especially in regions with low annual precipitation.

  14. Response of temperate grasslands at different altitudes to simulated summer drought differed but scaled with annual precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilgen, A. K.; Buchmann, N.

    2009-11-01

    Water is an important resource for plant life. Since climate scenarios for Switzerland predict an average reduction of 20% in summer precipitation until 2070, understanding ecosystem responses to water shortage, e.g. in terms of plant productivity, is of major concern. Thus, we tested the effects of simulated summer drought on three managed grasslands along an altitudinal gradient in Switzerland from 2005 to 2007, representing typical management intensities at the respective altitude. We assessed the effects of experimental drought on above- and below-ground productivity, stand structure (LAI and vegetation height) and resource use (carbon and water). Responses of community above-ground productivity to reduced precipitation input differed among the three sites but scaled positively with total annual precipitation at the sites (R2=0.85). Annual community above-ground biomass productivity was significantly reduced by summer drought at the alpine site receiving the least amount of annual precipitation, while no significant decrease (rather an increase) was observed at the pre-alpine site receiving highest precipitation amounts in all three years. At the lowland site (intermediate precipitation sums), biomass productivity significantly decreased in response to drought only in the third year, after showing increased abundance of a drought tolerant weed species in the second year. No significant change in below-ground biomass productivity was observed at any of the sites in response to simulated summer drought. However, vegetation carbon isotope ratios increased under drought conditions, indicating an increase in water use efficiency. We conclude that there is no general drought response of Swiss grasslands, but that sites with lower annual precipitation seem to be more vulnerable to summer drought than sites with higher annual precipitation, and thus site-specific adaptation of management strategies will be needed, especially in regions with low annual precipitation.

  15. Determining the relative importance of climatic drivers on spring phenology in grassland ecosystems of semi-arid areas

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhu, Likai; Meng, Jijun

    2015-02-01

    Understanding climate controls on spring phenology in grassland ecosystems is critically important in predicting the impacts of future climate change on grassland productivity and carbon storage. The third-generation Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS3g) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data were applied to derive the start of the growing season (SOS) from 1982-2010 in grassland ecosystems of Ordos, a typical semi-arid area in China. Then, the conditional Granger causality method was utilized to quantify the directed functional connectivity between key climatic drivers and the SOS. The results show that the asymmetric Gaussian (AG) function is better in reducing noise of NDVI time series than the double logistic (DL) function within our study area. The southeastern Ordos has earlier occurrence and lower variability of the SOS, whereas the northwestern Ordos has later occurrence and higher variability of the SOS. The research also reveals that spring precipitation has stronger causal connectivity with the SOS than other climatic factors over different grassland ecosystem types. There is no statistically significant trend across the study area, while the similar pattern is observed for spring precipitation. Our study highlights the link of spring phenology with different grassland types, and the use of coupling remote sensing and econometric tools. With the dramatic increase in global change research, Granger causality method augurs well for further development and application of time-series modeling of complex social-ecological systems at the intersection of remote sensing and landscape changes.

  16. Determining the relative importance of climatic drivers on spring phenology in grassland ecosystems of semi-arid areas.

    PubMed

    Zhu, Likai; Meng, Jijun

    2015-02-01

    Understanding climate controls on spring phenology in grassland ecosystems is critically important in predicting the impacts of future climate change on grassland productivity and carbon storage. The third-generation Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling System (GIMMS3g) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data were applied to derive the start of the growing season (SOS) from 1982-2010 in grassland ecosystems of Ordos, a typical semi-arid area in China. Then, the conditional Granger causality method was utilized to quantify the directed functional connectivity between key climatic drivers and the SOS. The results show that the asymmetric Gaussian (AG) function is better in reducing noise of NDVI time series than the double logistic (DL) function within our study area. The southeastern Ordos has earlier occurrence and lower variability of the SOS, whereas the northwestern Ordos has later occurrence and higher variability of the SOS. The research also reveals that spring precipitation has stronger causal connectivity with the SOS than other climatic factors over different grassland ecosystem types. There is no statistically significant trend across the study area, while the similar pattern is observed for spring precipitation. Our study highlights the link of spring phenology with different grassland types, and the use of coupling remote sensing and econometric tools. With the dramatic increase in global change research, Granger causality method augurs well for further development and application of time-series modeling of complex social-ecological systems at the intersection of remote sensing and landscape changes. PMID:25487765

  17. Soil hydrological properties regulate grassland ecosystem responses to multifactor global change: A modeling analysis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weng, Ensheng; Luo, Yiqi

    2008-09-01

    We conducted a modeling study to evaluate how soil hydrological properties regulate water and carbon dynamics of grassland ecosystems in response to multifactor global change. We first calibrated a process-based terrestrial ecosystem (TECO) model against data from two experiments with warming and clipping or doubled precipitation in Great Plains. The calibrated model was used to simulate responses of soil moisture, evaporation, transpiration, runoff, net primary production (NPP), ecosystem respiration (Rh), and net ecosystem production (NEP) to changes in precipitation amounts and intensity, increased temperature, and elevated atmospheric [CO2] along a soil texture gradient (sand, sandy loam, loam, silt loam, and clay loam). Soil available water capacity (AWC), which is the difference between field capacity and wilting point, was used as the index to represent soil hydrological properties of the five soil texture types. Simulation results showed that soil AWC altered partitioning of precipitation among runoff, evaporation, and transpiration, and consequently regulated ecosystem responses to global environmental changes. The fractions of precipitation that were used for evaporation and transpiration increased with soil AWC but decreased for runoff. High AWC could greatly buffer water stress during long drought periods, particularly after a large rainfall event. NPP, Rh, and NEP usually increased with AWC under ambient and 50% increased precipitation scenarios. With the halved precipitation amount, NPP, Rh, and NEP only increased from 7% to 7.5% of AWC followed by declines. Warming and CO2 effects on soil moisture, evapotranspiration, and runoff were magnified by soil AWC. Regulatory patterns of AWC on responses of NPP, Rh, and NEP to warming were complex. In general, CO2 effects on NPP, Rh, and NEP increased with soil AWC. Our results indicate that variations in soil texture may be one of the major causes underlying variable responses of ecosystems to global changes

  18. Feedbacks between aeolian processes and ecosystem change in a degraded desert grassland in the southwestern US

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junran

    2015-04-01

    The desert grassland in the southwestern US has undergone dramatic vegetation changes with many areas of grassland becoming shrublands in the last 150 years. A principle manifestation of such a land degradation is the wide distribution of fertile islands in once-homogenous landscapes, which changed soil resource redistributions through the movement of resources from plant interspaces to the area beneath plant canopies. A great deal of work has examined the role of water in nutrient reduction and enforcement of islands of fertility in the semiarid landscapes. However, little is known on the role of wind in the removal or redistribution of soil resources, and further the feedbacks between wind and ecosystem change in this area. In spring 2004, a vegetation removal experiment was established in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, southern New Mexico, where vegetation cover on the experimental plots were manually reduced to various levels to study the entire suite of aeolian processes, including erosion, transport, and deposition in creating and enforcing patchy distribution of vegetation. This experiment has been continually maintained for more than ten years, with the sampling and observation of vegetation cover, soil nutrients, sediment flux, topography, and plant physiology. The experimental results highlighted that the aeolian processes in the Chihuahuan Desert are able to change soil properties and community composition in as short as 3 three years. Further, the removal of grasses by 75% may trigger a very substantial increase of wind erosion and the removal of grass by 50% could cause significant amount of C and N loss due to wind erosion. Last but not least, the change of the spatial distribution of soil C and the micro-topography both point to the fact that aeolian processes contribute substantially to the dynamics of fertile islands in this desert grassland.

  19. Carbon balance of grazed savanna grassland ecosystem in Welgegund, South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Räsänen, Matti; Aurela, Mika; Vakkari, Ville; Beukes, Paul; Van Zyl, Pieter; Josipovic, Micky; Venter, Andrew; Jaars, Kerneels; Siebert, Stefan; Laurila, Tuomas; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Rinne, Janne; Laakso, Lauri

    2016-04-01

    Tropical savannas and grasslands are estimated to contribute significantly to the global primary production of all terrestrial vegetation. It is suggested that semi-arid ecosystems dominate the inter-annual variation of the global land carbon sink. Most of the previous carbon flux measurements of African savannas have focused on the areas around national parks or nature reserves. However, large parts of African savannas and grasslands are used for agriculture or cattle grazing and there is a lack of measurements from these areas. In this study, we present carbon dioxide fluxes measured with the eddy covariance method for three years at a grazed savanna grassland in South Africa. The tree cover around the Welgegund measurement site (26°34'10"S, 26°56'21"E, 1480 m.a.s.l.; www.welgegund.org) was around 15% and it was grazed by cattle and sheep. Weekly monitoring of the measurements produced high quality flux measurements and only 33% of the measured flux values were missing or discarded due to e.g. too small turbulence. The inter-annual variation of yearly carbon balance was high. The carbon balance for the years 2010, 2011 and 2012 were -73, 82 and 167 gC m-2 y-1, respectively. The yearly variation in GPP and respiration followed the changes in precipitation, whereas the yearly variation in NEE was not explained by the changes in annual precipitation, the length of rainy season or peak NDVI. However, the number of days when soil was wet, seems to relate to the annual sum of NEE.

  20. Rapid response of a grassland ecosystem to an experimental manipulation of a keystone rodent and domestic livestock.

    PubMed

    Davidson, Ana D; Ponce, Eduardo; Lightfoot, David C; Fredrickson, Ed L; Brown, James H; Cruzado, Juan; Brantley, Sandra L; Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; List, Rurik; Toledo, David; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2010-11-01

    Megaherbivores and small burrowing mammals commonly coexist and play important functional roles in grassland ecosystems worldwide. The interactive effects of these two functional groups of herbivores in shaping the structure and function of grassland ecosystems are poorly understood. In North America's central grasslands, domestic cattle (Bos taurus) have supplanted bison (Bison bison), and now coexist with prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), a keystone burrowing rodent. Understanding the ecological relationships between cattle and prairie dogs and their independent and interactive effects is essential to understanding the ecology and important conservation issues affecting North American grassland ecosystems. To address these needs, we established a long-term manipulative experiment that separates the independent and interactive effects of prairie dogs and cattle using a 2 x 2 factorial design. Our study is located in the Janos-Casas Grandes region of northwestern Chihuahua, Mexico, which supports one of the largest remaining complexes of black-tailed prairie dogs (C. ludovicianus). Two years of posttreatment data show nearly twofold increases in prairie dog abundance on plots grazed by cattle compared to plots without cattle. This positive effect of cattle on prairie dogs resulted in synergistic impacts when they occurred together. Vegetation height was significantly lower on the plots where both species co-occurred compared to where either or both species was absent. The treatments also significantly affected abundance and composition of other grassland animal species, including grasshoppers and banner-tailed kangaroo rats (Dipodomys spectabilis). Our results demonstrate that two different functional groups of herbivorous mammals, burrowing mammals and domestic cattle, have distinctive and synergistic impacts in shaping the structure and function of grassland ecosystems. PMID:21141180

  1. Productivity, Respiration, and Light-Response Parameters of World Grassland and Agro-Ecosystems Derived from Flux-Tower Measurements

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grasslands and agroecosystems occupy nearly a third of the terrestrial area, but their contribution to the global carbon cycle remains uncertain. We used a set of 316 site-years of net carbon dioxide (CO2)) exchange measurements to quantify gross primary productivity, ecosystem respiration, and lig...

  2. Simulated water fluxes during the growing season in semiarid grassland ecosystems under severe drought conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Na; Liu, Chengyu

    2014-05-01

    To help improve understanding of how changes in climate and land cover affect water fluxes, water budgets, and the structure and function of regional grassland ecosystems, the Grassland Landscape Productivity Model (GLPM) was used to simulate spatiotemporal variation in primary water fluxes. The study area was a semiarid region in Inner Mongolia, China, in 2002, when severe drought was experienced. For Stipa grandis steppe, Leymus chinensis steppe, shrubland, and croplands, the modeled total, daily and monthly averaged, and maximum evapotranspiration during the growing season and the modeled water deficits were similar to those measured in Inner Mongolia under similar precipitation conditions. The modeled temporal variations in daily evaporation rate, transpiration rate, and evapotranspiration rate for the typical steppes also agreed reasonably well with measured trends. The results demonstrate that water fluxes varied in response to spatiotemporal variations in environmental factors and associated changes in the phenological and physiological characteristics of plants. It was also found that transpiration and evapotranspiration (rather than precipitation) were the primary factors controlling differences in water deficit among land cover types. The results also demonstrate that specific phenomena occur under severe drought conditions; these phenomena are considerably different to those occurring under normal or well-watered conditions. The findings of the present study will be useful for evaluating day-scale water fluxes and their relationships with climate change, hydrology, land cover, and vegetation dynamics.

  3. Seasonality of soil moisture mediates responses of ecosystem phenology to elevated CO2 and warming in a semi-arid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Concurrent changes in temperature, atmospheric CO2, and precipitation regimes are altering ecosystems globally, and may be especially important in water-limited ecosystems. Such ecosystems include the semi-arid grasslands of western North America which provide critical ecosystem services, including ...

  4. Niche partitioning in arbuscular mycorrhizal communities in temperate grasslands: a lesson from adjacent serpentine and nonserpentine habitats.

    PubMed

    Kohout, Petr; Doubková, Pavla; Bahram, Mohammad; Suda, Jan; Tedersoo, Leho; Voříšková, Jana; Sudová, Radka

    2015-04-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) represent an important soil microbial group playing a fundamental role in many terrestrial ecosystems. We explored the effects of deterministic (soil characteristics, host plant life stage, neighbouring plant communities) and stochastic processes on AMF colonization, richness and community composition in roots of Knautia arvensis (Dipsacaceae) plants from three serpentine grasslands and adjacent nonserpentine sites. Methodically, the study was based on 454-sequencing of the ITS region of rDNA. In total, we detected 81 molecular taxonomical operational units (MOTUs) belonging to the Glomeromycota. Serpentine character of the site negatively influenced AMF root colonization, similarly as higher Fe concentration. AMF MOTUs richness linearly increased along a pH gradient from 3.5 to 5.8. Contrary, K and Cr soil concentration had a negative influence on AMF MOTUs richness. We also detected a strong relation between neighbouring plant community composition and AMF MOTUs richness. Although spatial distance between the sampled sites (c. 0.3-3 km) contributed to structuring AMF communities in K. arvensis roots, environmental parameters were key factors in this respect. In particular, the composition of AMF communities was shaped by the complex of serpentine conditions, pH and available soil Ni concentration. The composition of AMF communities was also dependent on host plant life stage (vegetative vs. generative). Our study supports the dominance of deterministic factors in structuring AMF communities in heterogeneous environment composed of an edaphic mosaic of serpentine and nonserpentine soils. PMID:25753913

  5. Impacts of N-depostion on biodiversity in a grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S.; Luth, D.

    2003-12-01

    Nitrogen deposition threatens biodiversity in many ecosystems across the globe, and poses a range of scientific and policy challenges. Grassland ecosystems on nutrient-poor serpentine soils provide a model system for understanding local and regional impacts of N-deposition on biodiversity. A population of the threatened Bay checkerspot butterfly crashed from 3500 butterflies in 1997 to likely extinction in 2003. Non-native annual grass crowded out larval hostplants over much of the habitat, primarily driven by nitrogen deposition from tailpipe emissions of NH3 from 100,000 vehicles per day on a roadway bisecting the habitat. NH3 levels (measured with passive monitors) are elevated adjacent to the roadway, but are near background levels 400 m away. Grass cover was higher closer to and downwind of the road, and hostplant cover was inversely related to grass cover. Results from a first-order model show that N-deposition levels adjacent to the roadway are similar (>10 kg-N ha-1 yr-1) to levels downwind of the heavily urbanized Santa Clara Valley (where grass invasions have led to the extinction of large populations via vigorous grass invasions). This local butterfly extinction is unexpected fallout of the adoption of three-way catalytic converters in 1990s. The only known occurrence of an endangered plant, Pentachaeta bellidiflora, exists west of the freeway and may be at long term risk. Invasions of nitrophilous grasses and other weedy species into N-limited grasslands and shrublands appear to be a common response to increased atmospheric deposition in semi-arid areas.

  6. [Differences in soil respiration between cropland and grassland ecosystems and factors influencing soil respiration on the Loess Plateau].

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiao-Gang; Zhang, Yan-Jun; Nan, Ya-Fang; Liu, Qing-Fang; Guo, Sheng-Li

    2013-03-01

    Understanding the effect of land-use change on soil respiration rates becomes critical in predicting soil carbon cycling under conversion of arable into grassland on the Loess Plateau. From July 2010 to December 2011, CO2 efflux from the soil surface was measured between 08:00 to 10:00 am in clear days by a Licor-8100 closed chamber system (Li-COR, Lincoln, NE, US). Also, soil temperature and soil moisture at the 5-cm depth was measured using a Li-Cor thermocouple and a hand-held frequency-domain reflectometer (ML2x, Delta-T Devices Ltd, UK) at each PVC collar, respectively. We found marked differences (P < 0.05) in soil respiration related to different land-use: the mean cropland soil respiration [1.35 micromol x (m2 x s)(-1)] was 24% (P < 0.05) less than the paired grassland soil respiration [1.67 micromol x (m2 x s)(-1)] (P < 0.05) during the period of experiment and the cumulative CO2-C emissions in grassland (856 g x m(-2)) was 23% (P < 0.05) higher than that in cropland (694 g x m(-2)). Soil moisture from 0-5 cm depth was much drier in cropland and significantly different between cropland and grassland except for winter. However, there were no clear relationships between soil moisture and soil respiration. Soil temperature at 5-cm depth was 2.5 degress C higher in grassland during the period of experiment (P < 0.05). Regression of soil temperature vs. soil respiration indicated significant exponential relationships both in grassland and cropland. Besides, there were intrinsic differences in response of soil respiration to temperature between the cropland and grassland ecosystems: grassland and cropland respiration response was significantly different at the alpha = 0.05 level, also expressed by a higher temperature sensitivity of soil respiration (Q10) in cropland (2.30) relative to grassland (1.74). Soil temperature of cropland and grassland can explain 79% of the variation in the soil respiration in grassland, compared to 82% in cropland. Therefore, land

  7. Nighttime dissolution in a temperate coastal ocean ecosystem increases under acidification

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kwiatkowski, Lester; Gaylord, Brian; Hill, Tessa; Hosfelt, Jessica; Kroeker, Kristy J.; Nebuchina, Yana; Ninokawa, Aaron; Russell, Ann D.; Rivest, Emily B.; Sesboüé, Marine; Caldeira, Ken

    2016-03-01

    Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing ocean acidification, lowering seawater aragonite (CaCO3) saturation state (Ωarag), with potentially substantial impacts on marine ecosystems over the 21st Century. Calcifying organisms have exhibited reduced calcification under lower saturation state conditions in aquaria. However, the in situ sensitivity of calcifying ecosystems to future ocean acidification remains unknown. Here we assess the community level sensitivity of calcification to local CO2-induced acidification caused by natural respiration in an unperturbed, biodiverse, temperate intertidal ecosystem. We find that on hourly timescales nighttime community calcification is strongly influenced by Ωarag, with greater net calcium carbonate dissolution under more acidic conditions. Daytime calcification however, is not detectably affected by Ωarag. If the short-term sensitivity of community calcification to Ωarag is representative of the long-term sensitivity to ocean acidification, nighttime dissolution in these intertidal ecosystems could more than double by 2050, with significant ecological and economic consequences.

  8. Nighttime dissolution in a temperate coastal ocean ecosystem increases under acidification.

    PubMed

    Kwiatkowski, Lester; Gaylord, Brian; Hill, Tessa; Hosfelt, Jessica; Kroeker, Kristy J; Nebuchina, Yana; Ninokawa, Aaron; Russell, Ann D; Rivest, Emily B; Sesboüé, Marine; Caldeira, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing ocean acidification, lowering seawater aragonite (CaCO3) saturation state (Ω arag), with potentially substantial impacts on marine ecosystems over the 21(st) Century. Calcifying organisms have exhibited reduced calcification under lower saturation state conditions in aquaria. However, the in situ sensitivity of calcifying ecosystems to future ocean acidification remains unknown. Here we assess the community level sensitivity of calcification to local CO2-induced acidification caused by natural respiration in an unperturbed, biodiverse, temperate intertidal ecosystem. We find that on hourly timescales nighttime community calcification is strongly influenced by Ω arag, with greater net calcium carbonate dissolution under more acidic conditions. Daytime calcification however, is not detectably affected by Ω arag. If the short-term sensitivity of community calcification to Ω arag is representative of the long-term sensitivity to ocean acidification, nighttime dissolution in these intertidal ecosystems could more than double by 2050, with significant ecological and economic consequences. PMID:26987406

  9. Nighttime dissolution in a temperate coastal ocean ecosystem increases under acidification

    PubMed Central

    Kwiatkowski, Lester; Gaylord, Brian; Hill, Tessa; Hosfelt, Jessica; Kroeker, Kristy J.; Nebuchina, Yana; Ninokawa, Aaron; Russell, Ann D.; Rivest, Emily B.; Sesboüé, Marine; Caldeira, Ken

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2) are causing ocean acidification, lowering seawater aragonite (CaCO3) saturation state (Ωarag), with potentially substantial impacts on marine ecosystems over the 21st Century. Calcifying organisms have exhibited reduced calcification under lower saturation state conditions in aquaria. However, the in situ sensitivity of calcifying ecosystems to future ocean acidification remains unknown. Here we assess the community level sensitivity of calcification to local CO2-induced acidification caused by natural respiration in an unperturbed, biodiverse, temperate intertidal ecosystem. We find that on hourly timescales nighttime community calcification is strongly influenced by Ωarag, with greater net calcium carbonate dissolution under more acidic conditions. Daytime calcification however, is not detectably affected by Ωarag. If the short-term sensitivity of community calcification to Ωarag is representative of the long-term sensitivity to ocean acidification, nighttime dissolution in these intertidal ecosystems could more than double by 2050, with significant ecological and economic consequences. PMID:26987406

  10. Field measurements of soil CO2 efflux in Heteropogon contortus dominated grassland of semi-arid eco-system.

    PubMed

    Saraswathi, S Gnaana; Paliwal, Kailash

    2011-05-01

    Seasonal changes in soil respiration (SR), soil temperature (ST) and soil moisture (SM) were compared between a barren land with no vegetation (control) and grassland dominated by Heteropogon contortus (L.) of a semi-arid eco-system during 2005-2006. A statistically significant (p<0.001) seasonal change in SR was observed between the two sites. The variation characteristics of soil CO2 effiux rates were observed during wet periods along precipitation gradients and it was consistently higher in grasslands than in control.A maximum soil CO2 efflux of 13.35 +/- 0.33 micromol m2 s-1 in grassland and 7.33 +/- 0.8 micromol m2 s- in control was observed during rainy season-ll, i.e., from October to December, a minimum of 1.27 +/- 0.2 micromol m-2 s-1 in grassland and 0.67 +/- 0.5 micromol m-2 s-1 in control during summer season, i.e., from March to June. A positive significant relation observed between soil respiration and soil moisture (r2above 0.8) and no significant relation was observed between soil CO2 efflux and soil temperature (r2 below 0.3). In water-limited semi-arid ecosystem, rewetting of the soil due to precipitation events triggered the increased pulses of soil respiration especially in grassland when compared to the barren land. The observed soil respiration rates during summer and after the subsequent precipitation events strongly indicated that the soil water-deficit conditions reduce the efflux both in barren land (control) and in grassland of semi-arid eco-system. PMID:22167946

  11. Elevated carbon dioxide and ozone alter productivity and ecosystem carbon content in northern temperate forests.

    PubMed

    Talhelm, Alan F; Pregitzer, Kurt S; Kubiske, Mark E; Zak, Donald R; Campany, Courtney E; Burton, Andrew J; Dickson, Richard E; Hendrey, George R; Isebrands, J G; Lewin, Keith F; Nagy, John; Karnosky, David F

    2014-08-01

    Three young northern temperate forest communities in the north-central United States were exposed to factorial combinations of elevated carbon dioxide (CO2 ) and tropospheric ozone (O3 ) for 11 years. Here, we report results from an extensive sampling of plant biomass and soil conducted at the conclusion of the experiment that enabled us to estimate ecosystem carbon (C) content and cumulative net primary productivity (NPP). Elevated CO2 enhanced ecosystem C content by 11%, whereas elevated O3 decreased ecosystem C content by 9%. There was little variation in treatment effects on C content across communities and no meaningful interactions between CO2 and O3 . Treatment effects on ecosystem C content resulted primarily from changes in the near-surface mineral soil and tree C, particularly differences in woody tissues. Excluding the mineral soil, cumulative NPP was a strong predictor of ecosystem C content (r(2) = 0.96). Elevated CO2 enhanced cumulative NPP by 39%, a consequence of a 28% increase in canopy nitrogen (N) content (g N m(-2) ) and a 28% increase in N productivity (NPP/canopy N). In contrast, elevated O3 lowered NPP by 10% because of a 21% decrease in canopy N, but did not impact N productivity. Consequently, as the marginal impact of canopy N on NPP (∆NPP/∆N) decreased through time with further canopy development, the O3 effect on NPP dissipated. Within the mineral soil, there was less C in the top 0.1 m of soil under elevated O3 and less soil C from 0.1 to 0.2 m in depth under elevated CO2 . Overall, these results suggest that elevated CO2 may create a sustained increase in NPP, whereas the long-term effect of elevated O3 on NPP will be smaller than expected. However, changes in soil C are not well-understood and limit our ability to predict changes in ecosystem C content. PMID:24604779

  12. Partitioning Ecosystem Respiration Using Stable Carbon Isotopes in a Mixed C3 Annual Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tu, K. P.

    2001-12-01

    The stable carbon isotope ratio (δ 13C) of respired CO2 has been used to partition soil respiration into root and microbial components by exploiting the different δ 13C signals from C3 plants growing in a previously C4 dominated system (Rouchette, Angers and Flanagan 1999). We extend this approach and present data that attempts to partition ecosystem respiration using δ 13C analyses of all of the ecosystem compartments in a mixed C3 annual grassland that has not experienced recent C4 inputs. From December 2000 to February 2001 we measured δ 13C-CO2 respired from leaves, roots and sieved soil collected from a winter-active grassland near Ione, California. Two-source mixing models were used to calculate the contribution of each source to total system respiration by comparing their isotope signals to those from whole ecosystem respiration and soil surface efflux. Isotope ratios were measured on 10mL air samples in septum-capped vials using a Finnigan MAT Delta PlusXL IRMS/Gas Bench II interfaced to an autosampler (after Tu et al. 2001). The vials were filled with sample air in the field using a double-holed needle connected in a closed loop to a LI-6200 IRGA and a bottle containing the isolated samples (leaf, root, sieved soil, etc.). Leaves were clipped at ground level and roots and soil were separated by sieving soil cores. Sample δ 13CO2 signatures were determined by plotting the change in δ 13C against the inverse of CO2 concentration. On average, CO2 respired from sieved soil (-27.4o/oo+/-1.4) was slightly more depleted than that from leaves (-27.2o/oo+/-0.5), but much more depleted than the whole ecosystem (-24.9o/oo+/-0.6), the soil surface efflux (-23.8o/oo+/-0.9), and plant roots (-20.5o/oo+/-0.8). Based on these isotope values, leaf respiration comprised 33% of ecosystem respiration with 36% from roots and 31% from soil microbial respiration. Thus, over two-thirds of ecosystem respiration was autotrophic (plant-based) in origin with roughly one

  13. Ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland in West Africa and its relationship with environmental variability.

    PubMed

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa; Rasmussen, Mads Olander; Huber, Silvia; Mbow, Cheikh; Garcia, Monica; Horion, Stéphanie; Sandholt, Inge; Holm-Rasmussen, Bo; Göttsche, Frank M; Ridler, Marc-Etienne; Olén, Niklas; Lundegard Olsen, Jørgen; Ehammer, Andrea; Madsen, Mathias; Olesen, Folke S; Ardö, Jonas

    2015-01-01

    The Dahra field site in Senegal, West Africa, was established in 2002 to monitor ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland and their responses to climatic and environmental change. This article describes the environment and the ecosystem properties of the site using a unique set of in situ data. The studied variables include hydroclimatic variables, species composition, albedo, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), hyperspectral characteristics (350-1800 nm), surface reflectance anisotropy, brightness temperature, fraction of absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (FAPAR), biomass, vegetation water content, and land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon (NEE) and energy. The Dahra field site experiences a typical Sahelian climate and is covered by coexisting trees (~3% canopy cover) and grass species, characterizing large parts of the Sahel. This makes the site suitable for investigating relationships between ecosystem properties and hydroclimatic variables for semiarid savanna ecosystems of the region. There were strong interannual, seasonal and diurnal dynamics in NEE, with high values of ~-7.5 g C m(-2)  day(-1) during the peak of the growing season. We found neither browning nor greening NDVI trends from 2002 to 2012. Interannual variation in species composition was strongly related to rainfall distribution. NDVI and FAPAR were strongly related to species composition, especially for years dominated by the species Zornia glochidiata. This influence was not observed in interannual variation in biomass and vegetation productivity, thus challenging dryland productivity models based on remote sensing. Surface reflectance anisotropy (350-1800 nm) at the peak of the growing season varied strongly depending on wavelength and viewing angle thereby having implications for the design of remotely sensed spectral vegetation indices covering different wavelength regions. The presented time series of in situ data have great potential for dryland dynamics

  14. Will anticipated future climatic conditions affect belowground C utilization? - Insights into the role of microbial functional groups in a temperate heath/grassland.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Reinsch, Sabine; Michelsen, Anders; Sárossy, Zsuzsa; Egsgaard, Helge; Kappel Schmidt, Inger; Jakobsen, Iver; Ambus, Per

    2013-04-01

    The global terrestrial soil organic matter stock is the biggest terrestrial carbon pool (1500 Pg C) of which about 4 % is turned over annually. Thus, terrestrial ecosystems have the potential to accelerate or diminish atmospheric climate change effects via belowground carbon processes. We investigated the effect of elevated CO2 (510 ppm), prolonged spring/summer droughts and increased temperature (1 ˚C) on belowground carbon allocation and on the recovery of carbon by the soil microbial community. An in-situ 13C-carbon pulse-labeling experiment was carried out in a temperate heath/grassland (Denmark) in May 2011. Recently assimilated 13C-carbon was traced into roots, soil and microbial biomass 1, 2 and 8 days after pulse-labeling. The importance of the microbial community in C utilization was investigated using 13C enrichment patterns in microbial functional groups on the basis of phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs) in roots. Gram-negative and gram-positive bacteria were distinguished from the decomposer groups of actinomycetes (belonging to the group of gram-positive bacteria) and saprophytic fungi. Mycorrhizal fungi specific PLFAs were not detected probably due to limited sample size in combination with restricted sensitivity of the used GC-c-IRMS setup. Climate treatments did not affect 13C allocation into roots, soil and microbial biomass carbon and also the total microbial biomass size stayed unchanged as frequently observed. However, climate treatments changed the composition of the microbial community: elevated CO2 significantly reduced the abundance of gram-negative bacteria (17:0cy) but did not affect the abundance of decomposers. Drought favored the bacterial community whereas increased temperatures showed reduced abundance of gram-negative bacteria (19:0cy) and changed the actinomycetes community (10Me16:0, 10Me18:0). However, not only the microbial community composition was affected by the applied climatic conditions, but also the activity of microbial

  15. Water- and Plant-Mediated Responses of Ecosystem Carbon Fluxes to Warming and Nitrogen Addition on the Songnen Grassland in Northeast China

    PubMed Central

    Jiang, Li; Guo, Rui; Zhu, Tingcheng; Niu, Xuedun; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2012-01-01

    Background Understanding how grasslands are affected by a long-term increase in temperature is crucial to predict the future impact of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. Additionally, it is not clear how the effects of global warming on grassland productivity are going to be altered by increased N deposition and N addition. Methodology/Principal Findings In-situ canopy CO2 exchange rates were measured in a meadow steppe subjected to 4-year warming and nitrogen addition treatments. Warming treatment reduced net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and increased ecosystem respiration (ER); but had no significant impacts on gross ecosystem productivity (GEP). N addition increased NEE, ER and GEP. However, there were no significant interactions between N addition and warming. The variation of NEE during the four experimental years was correlated with soil water content, particularly during early spring, suggesting that water availability is a primary driver of carbon fluxes in the studied semi-arid grassland. Conclusion/Significance Ecosystem carbon fluxes in grassland ecosystems are sensitive to warming and N addition. In the studied water-limited grassland, both warming and N addition influence ecosystem carbon fluxes by affecting water availability, which is the primary driver in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. It remains unknown to what extent the long-term N addition would affect the turn-over of soil organic matter and the C sink size of this grassland. PMID:23028848

  16. Climate change impacts on stream carbon export from coastal temperate rainforest ecosystems in Alaska (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hood, E. W.

    2013-12-01

    Coastal temperate rainforests (CTR) in Alaska contain about 10% of the total carbon in the forests of the conterminous United States. CTR ecosystems span a large environmental gradient that ranges from icefields mantling the Coast Mountains to carbon-rich conifer forests along the coastal margin and within the islands of the Alexander Archipelago in the Gulf of Alaska. Riverine dissolved organic carbon (DOC) export from Alaskan CTR ecosystems, which can exceed 2 Tg C yr-1, is large relative to other northern ecosystems as a result of high rates of specific discharge (~2.5 m yr-1) and an abundance of organic soils found in peatlands and forested wetlands. Runoff from glaciers, which are rapidly thinning and retreating, has also been shown to an important contributor to land-to-ocean fluxes of DOC in this region. Downscaled regional climate models suggest that CTR ecosystems in Alaska will become warmer and wetter in coming decades, with uncertain effects on riverine organic matter (OM) export. Changes in watershed OM export are likely to be driven by changes in both hydrology and the availability of OM in terrestrial source pools. However, the impacts of these climate driven changes will vary with watershed landcover across the continuum from icefields to coastal temperate forests. Expected hydrological perturbations include changes in the timing and magnitude of streamflow associated with shifts in: 1) the extent and duration of seasonal snowcover and 2) the mass balance of glaciers and icefields in the Coast Mountains. The availability of OM for export along hydrologic flowpaths will likely be altered by increased soil temperatures and shifts in water table elevations during the summer/fall runoff season. This will be particularly true for organic carbon export from peatlands in which changes in temperature and oxygen availability can strongly impact rates of organic matter decomposition. This talk will explore how climate-driven changes in hydrology and

  17. Investigating Ecosystem Functional Development Along a Temperate Rainforest Chronosequence Using Stable Isotope Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barbour, M. M.; Hunt, J. E.; Richardson, S. J.; Peltzer, D. A.; Whitehead, D.

    2003-12-01

    Soil chronosequences are valuable systems for investigating ecosystem development by natural substitution of space for time. The Franz Josef chronosequence in New Zealand comprises temperate mixed conifer/hardwood rainforests formed on glacial surfaces of varying age. It is particularly useful as it includes both early build-up and decline phases over a relatively short time period (ca. 120 k years). Along the sequence, soil phosphorus decreases 8-fold, from 778 to 8 mg kg-1 soluble P. In contrast, nitrogen availability increases to peak at about 500 years, due to early successional N2-fixing shrubs, after which it slowly declines. Ecosystem development along the sequence is characterised by marked changes in both plant species richness and tree height, with progression up to 5 k years and retrogression at older sites (ie > 14 k years). The carbon isotope ratio (δ 13CL) of sunlit canopy leaves from three dominant species sampled from within each of six sites, representing the full length of the sequence, decreased from -26.2 to -31.0 per mil with increasing ecosystem age. Independent measurements of photosynthetic capacity confirmed that the decrease was due to declining maximum photosynthetic rate: N2-fixers > early successional angiosperms > late successional angiosperms > late successional conifers. Stable oxygen and nitrogen isotope ratios of canopy leaves are interpreted in terms of stomatal regulation of water loss and changing nitrogen source, respectively. Carbon isotope analysis of CO2 sampled at night at different heights within the canopy allowed estimation of ecosystem discrimination (δ 13CR) using Keeling plots. Similarly to δ 13CL, δ 13CR decreased with increasing soil age, suggesting that in high rainfall environments δ 13CR is a good integrator of ecosystem photosynthetic capacity.

  18. Large interannual variability in net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange of a disturbed temperate peatland.

    PubMed

    Aslan-Sungur, Guler; Lee, Xuhui; Evrendilek, Fatih; Karakaya, Nusret

    2016-06-01

    Peatland ecosystems play an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle as significant C sinks. However, human-induced disturbances can turn these sinks into sources of atmospheric CO2. Long-term measurements are needed to understand seasonal and interannual variability of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and effects of hydrological conditions and their disturbances on C fluxes. Continuous eddy-covariance measurements of NEE were conducted between August 2010 and April 2014 at Yenicaga temperate peatland (Turkey), which was drained for agricultural usage and for peat mining until 2009. Annual NEE during the three full years of measurement indicated that the peatland acted as a CO2 source with large interannual variability, at rates of 246, 244 and 663 g Cm(-2)yr(-1) for 2011, 2012, and 2013 respectively, except for June 2011, and May to July 2012. The emission strengths were comparable to those found for severely disturbed tropical peatlands. The peak CO2 emissions occurred in the dry summer of 2013 when water table level (WTL) was below a threshold value of -60 cm and soil water content (SCW) below a threshold value of 70% by volume. Water availability index was found to have a stronger explanatory power for variations in monthly ecosystem respiration (ER) than the traditional water status indicators (SCW and WTL). Air temperature, evapotranspiration and vapor pressure deficient were the most significant variables strongly correlated with NEE and its component fluxes of gross primary production and ER. PMID:26950633

  19. Direct quantification of long-term rock nitrogen inputs to temperate forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Morford, Scott L; Houlton, Benjamin Z; Dahlgren, Randy A

    2016-01-01

    Sedimentary and metasedimentary rocks contain large reservoirs of fixed nitrogen (N), but questions remain over the importance of rock N weathering inputs in terrestrial ecosystems. Here we provide direct evidence for rock N weathering (i.e., loss of N from rock) in three temperate forest sites residing on a N-rich parent material (820-1050 mg N kg(-1); mica schist) in the Klamath Mountains (northern California and southern Oregon), USA. Our method combines a mass balance model of element addition/ depletion with a procedure for quantifying fixed N in rock minerals, enabling quantification of rock N inputs to bioavailable reservoirs in soil and regolith. Across all sites, -37% to 48% of the initial bedrock N content has undergone long-term weathering in the soil. Combined with regional denudation estimates (sum of physical + chemical erosion), these weathering fractions translate to 1.6-10.7 kg x ha(-1) x yr(-1) of rock N input to these forest ecosystems. These N input fluxes are substantial in light of estimates for atmospheric sources in these sites (4.5-7.0 kg x ha(-1) x yr(-1)). In addition, N depletion from rock minerals was greater than sodium, suggesting active biologically mediated weathering of growth-limiting nutrients compared to nonessential elements. These results point to regional tectonics, biologically mediated weathering effects, and rock N chemistry in shaping the magnitude of rock N inputs to the forest ecosystems examined. PMID:27008775

  20. Using Elemental Budgets to Determine Effects of Simulated Climate Change on Phosphorus Cycling in a Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yoo, S.; Paytan, A.; Mellett, T.

    2013-12-01

    The purpose of the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment is to find out the effects of climate change on a terrestrial grassland ecosystem. The different treatments include increased carbon dioxide, nitrogen deposition, temperature, and precipitation. A portion of the above ground biomass of each plot was harvested, and an abundant species chosen to analyze. The goal of this project was to investigate the effects of climate change on phosphorus cycling in the grassland vegetation. Total phosphorus content of each sample was determined by combustion and acid digestion along with optical emission spectrometry. Total nitrogen and carbon was determined via flash combustion in an isotope ratio mass spectrometer. This information was combined to evaluate the limitation of phosphorus in each treatment and better understand how climate change may affect phosphorus cycling in terrestrial grasslands.

  1. Carbon balance of surfaces vs. ecosystems: advantages of measuring eddy covariance and soil respiration simultaneously in dry grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nagy, Z.; Pintér, K.; Pavelka, M.; Darenová, E.; Balogh, J.

    2011-02-01

    An automated open system for measurement of soil CO2 efflux (Rsc) was developed and calibrated against known fluxes and tested in the field, while measuring soil respiration also by the gradient method (Rsg) at a dry sandy grassland (Bugac, Hungary). Ecosystem respiration (Reco) was measured by the eddy covariance technique. Small chamber size (5 cm in diameter) of the chamber system made it possible to use the chambers also in vegetation gaps, thereby avoiding the necessity of removing shoots, the disturbance of the spatial structure of vegetation and the upper soil layer. Low air flow rates associated with small chamber volume and chamber design allowed the overpressure range to stabilize between 0.05-0.12 Pa. While the correlation between ecosystem and soil CO2 efflux rates as measured by the independent methods was significant, Reco rates were similar or even lower than Rsc in the low flux (up to 2 μmol CO2 m-2 s-1) range, probably due to the larger than assumed storage flux. The gradient method showed both up and downward CO2 fluxes originating from the main rooting zone after rains. Downward fluxes within the soil profile amounted to 15% of the simultaneous upward fluxes and to ~ 7.6% of the total (upward) effluxes during the 3 months study. The upper 5 cm soil layer contributed to ~ 50% of the total soil CO2 efflux. The continuously operated automatic open chamber system and the gradient system makes possible the detection of situations when the eddy system underestimates Reco, gives the lower limit of underestimation (chamber system) and helps in quantifying the downward flux component of soil respiration (gradient method) between the soil layers. These latter (downward) fluxes are expected to seriously affect (1) the Reco vs. temperature response functions and (2) the net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) vs. photon flux density response functions, therefore potentially affecting also the gap filling procedures and to led to a situation (3) when the

  2. The use of Ge/Si ratios to quantify Si transformations in grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Blecker, S. W.; Derry, L. A.; Chadwick, O. A.; Kelly, E. F.

    2005-12-01

    Germanium (Ge) has been shown to behave as a heavy isotope of silicon (Si), enabling the use of Ge/Si ratios as a weathering tracer in terrestrial environments. The two major mechanisms of Ge/Si fractionation in soils result from mineral weathering reactions and biogenic silica formation by plants. The role of plants in Ge fractionation has been deduced from relatively few field studies, and geochemical Ge fractionation data in temperate systems are lacking. The objectives of this research were to quantify biologic Ge fractionation, and to utilize differences in Ge/Si values among the major biogeochemical pools across a grassland bioclimosequence to examine stream water silica provenance. Quantification of biological Ge fractionation was carried out under controlled experimental conditions. Plant phytoliths grown in hydroponic solutions fractionated against Ge (comparing Ge/Sisolution with Ge/Siphytolith) by an average of 82%. Differences in Ge/Si values between roots, stems, and leaves indicate fractionation likely occurs at the root/solution interface. Phytoliths from plants grown in two different soil mediums fractionated against Ge, averaging 44% to 63%, with no clear trends among the species. From the field study, the greater fractionation factor (Kw, where Kw = (Ge/Siclay)/(Ge/Sibedrock)) of the tallgrass (Kw =2.8) vs. shortgrass sites (Kw =1.4) results from the increased weathering intensity across the bioclimosequence. Plant phytoliths exhibit relatively low Ge/Si values (0.15-0.44; x =0.29; n=15), compared to those of the corresponding surface soil water Ge/Si (0.22-0.94; x =0.66; n=6). Stream water Ge/Si values along the grassland climosequence (0.07-1.29, x = 0.34; n = 20) are typical of natural water Ge/Si values. Higher groundwater Ge values (0.42-3.4; x = 1.3; n=16) may represent an increased residence time or contact with minerals of higher Ge/Si ratios. The lack of Ge/Si separation among the major terrestrial pools confounds stream Si provenance

  3. Measured and Simulated Nitrous Oxide Emissions from Ryegrass- and Ryegrass/White Clover-Based Grasslands in a Moist Temperate Climate

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dejun; Lanigan, Gary; Humphreys, James

    2011-01-01

    There is uncertainty about the potential reduction of soil nitrous oxide (N2O) emission when fertilizer nitrogen (FN) is partially or completely replaced by biological N fixation (BNF) in temperate grassland. The objectives of this study were to 1) investigate the changes in N2O emissions when BNF is used to replace FN in permanent grassland, and 2) evaluate the applicability of the process-based model DNDC to simulate N2O emissions from Irish grasslands. Three grazing treatments were: (i) ryegrass (Lolium perenne) grasslands receiving 226 kg FN ha−1 yr−1 (GG+FN), (ii) ryegrass/white clover (Trifolium repens) grasslands receiving 58 kg FN ha−1 yr−1 (GWC+FN) applied in spring, and (iii) ryegrass/white clover grasslands receiving no FN (GWC-FN). Two background treatments, un-grazed swards with ryegrass only (G–B) or ryegrass/white clover (WC–B), did not receive slurry or FN and the herbage was harvested by mowing. There was no significant difference in annual N2O emissions between G–B (2.38±0.12 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (mean±SE)) and WC-B (2.45±0.85 kg N ha−1 yr−1), indicating that N2O emission due to BNF itself and clover residual decomposition from permanent ryegrass/clover grassland was negligible. N2O emissions were 7.82±1.67, 6.35±1.14 and 6.54±1.70 kg N ha−1 yr−1, respectively, from GG+FN, GWC+FN and GWC-FN. N2O fluxes simulated by DNDC agreed well with the measured values with significant correlation between simulated and measured daily fluxes for the three grazing treatments, but the simulation did not agree very well for the background treatments. DNDC overestimated annual emission by 61% for GG+FN, and underestimated by 45% for GWC-FN, but simulated very well for GWC+FN. Both the measured and simulated results supported that there was a clear reduction of N2O emissions when FN was replaced by BNF. PMID:22028829

  4. Quantifying characteristic growth dynamics in a semiarid grassland ecosystem by predicting short-term NDVI phenology from daily rainfall: a simple 4 parameter coupled-reservoir model

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predicting impacts of the magnitude and seasonal timing of rainfall pulses in water-limited grassland ecosystems concerns ecologists, climate scientists, hydrologists, and a variety of stakeholders. This report describes a simple, effective procedure to emulate the seasonal response of grassland bio...

  5. Sessile and mobile components of a benthic ecosystem display mixed trends within a temperate marine reserve.

    PubMed

    Howarth, Leigh M; Pickup, Sarah E; Evans, Lowri E; Cross, Tim J; Hawkins, Julie P; Roberts, Callum M; Stewart, Bryce D

    2015-06-01

    Despite recent efforts to increase the global coverage of marine protected areas (MPAs), studies investigating the effectiveness of marine protected areas within temperate waters remain scarce. Furthermore, out of the few studies published on MPAs in temperate waters, the majority focus on specific ecological or fishery components rather than investigating the ecosystem as a whole. This study therefore investigated the dynamics of both benthic communities and fish populations within a recently established, fully protected marine reserve in Lamlash Bay, Isle of Arran, United Kingdom, over a four year period. A combination of photo and diver surveys revealed live maerl (Phymatolithon calcareum), macroalgae, sponges, hydroids, feather stars and eyelash worms (Myxicola infundibulum) to be significantly more abundant within the marine reserve than on surrounding fishing grounds. Likewise, the overall composition of epifaunal communities in and outside the reserve was significantly different. Both results are consistent with the hypothesis that protecting areas from fishing can encourage seafloor habitats to recover. In addition, the greater abundance of complex habitats within the reserve appeared to providing nursery habitat for juvenile cod (Gadus morhua) and scallops (Pecten maximus and Aequipecten opercularis). In contrast, there was little difference in the abundance of mobile benthic fauna, such as crabs and starfish, between the reserve and outside. Similarly, the use of baited underwater video cameras revealed no difference in the abundance and size of fish between the reserve and outside. Limited recovery of these ecosystem components may be due to the relatively small size (2.67 km(2)) and young age of the reserve (<5 years), both of which might have limited the extent of any benefits afforded to mobile fauna and fish communities. Overall, this study provides evidence that fully protected marine reserves can encourage seafloor habitats to recover, which in

  6. Effects of ocean acidification on temperate coastal marine ecosystems and fisheries in the northeast Pacific.

    PubMed

    Haigh, Rowan; Ianson, Debby; Holt, Carrie A; Neate, Holly E; Edwards, Andrew M

    2015-01-01

    As the oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 they become more acidic, a problem termed ocean acidification (OA). Since this increase in CO2 is occurring rapidly, OA may have profound implications for marine ecosystems. In the temperate northeast Pacific, fisheries play key economic and cultural roles and provide significant employment, especially in rural areas. In British Columbia (BC), sport (recreational) fishing generates more income than commercial fishing (including the expanding aquaculture industry). Salmon (fished recreationally and farmed) and Pacific Halibut are responsible for the majority of fishery-related income. This region naturally has relatively acidic (low pH) waters due to ocean circulation, and so may be particularly vulnerable to OA. We have analyzed available data to provide a current description of the marine ecosystem, focusing on vertical distributions of commercially harvested groups in BC in the context of local carbon and pH conditions. We then evaluated the potential impact of OA on this temperate marine system using currently available studies. Our results highlight significant knowledge gaps. Above trophic levels 2-3 (where most local fishery-income is generated), little is known about the direct impact of OA, and more importantly about the combined impact of multi-stressors, like temperature, that are also changing as our climate changes. There is evidence that OA may have indirect negative impacts on finfish through changes at lower trophic levels and in habitats. In particular, OA may lead to increased fish-killing algal blooms that can affect the lucrative salmon aquaculture industry. On the other hand, some species of locally farmed shellfish have been well-studied and exhibit significant negative direct impacts associated with OA, especially at the larval stage. We summarize the direct and indirect impacts of OA on all groups of marine organisms in this region and provide conclusions, ordered by immediacy and certainty. PMID

  7. Warming and Nitrogen Addition Alter Photosynthetic Pigments, Sugars and Nutrients in a Temperate Meadow Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Tao; Yang, Shaobo; Guo, Rui; Guo, Jixun

    2016-01-01

    Global warming and nitrogen (N) deposition have an important influence on terrestrial ecosystems; however, the influence of warming and N deposition on plant photosynthetic products and nutrient cycling in plants is not well understood. We examined the effects of 3 years of warming and N addition on the plant photosynthetic products, foliar chemistry and stoichiometric ratios of two dominant species, i.e., Leymus chinensis and Phragmites communis, in a temperate meadow in northeastern China. Warming significantly increased the chlorophyll content and soluble sugars in L. chinensis but had no impact on the carotenoid and fructose contents. N addition caused a significant increase in the carotenoid and fructose contents. Warming and N addition had little impact on the photosynthetic products of P. communis. Warming caused significant decreases in the N and phosphorus (P) concentrations and significantly increased the carbon (C):P and N:P ratios of L. chinensis, but not the C concentration or the C:N ratio. N addition significantly increased the N concentration, C:P and N:P ratios, but significantly reduced the C:N ratio of L. chinensis. Warming significantly increased P. communis C and P concentrations, and the C:N and C:P ratios, whereas N addition increased the C, N and P concentrations but had no impact on the stoichiometric variables. This study suggests that both warming and N addition have direct impacts on plant photosynthates and elemental stoichiometry, which may play a vital role in plant-mediated biogeochemical cycling in temperate meadow ecosystems. PMID:27171176

  8. Warming and Nitrogen Addition Alter Photosynthetic Pigments, Sugars and Nutrients in a Temperate Meadow Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Yang, Shaobo; Guo, Rui; Guo, Jixun

    2016-01-01

    Global warming and nitrogen (N) deposition have an important influence on terrestrial ecosystems; however, the influence of warming and N deposition on plant photosynthetic products and nutrient cycling in plants is not well understood. We examined the effects of 3 years of warming and N addition on the plant photosynthetic products, foliar chemistry and stoichiometric ratios of two dominant species, i.e., Leymus chinensis and Phragmites communis, in a temperate meadow in northeastern China. Warming significantly increased the chlorophyll content and soluble sugars in L. chinensis but had no impact on the carotenoid and fructose contents. N addition caused a significant increase in the carotenoid and fructose contents. Warming and N addition had little impact on the photosynthetic products of P. communis. Warming caused significant decreases in the N and phosphorus (P) concentrations and significantly increased the carbon (C):P and N:P ratios of L. chinensis, but not the C concentration or the C:N ratio. N addition significantly increased the N concentration, C:P and N:P ratios, but significantly reduced the C:N ratio of L. chinensis. Warming significantly increased P. communis C and P concentrations, and the C:N and C:P ratios, whereas N addition increased the C, N and P concentrations but had no impact on the stoichiometric variables. This study suggests that both warming and N addition have direct impacts on plant photosynthates and elemental stoichiometry, which may play a vital role in plant-mediated biogeochemical cycling in temperate meadow ecosystems. PMID:27171176

  9. Effects of Ocean Acidification on Temperate Coastal Marine Ecosystems and Fisheries in the Northeast Pacific

    PubMed Central

    Haigh, Rowan; Ianson, Debby; Holt, Carrie A.; Neate, Holly E.; Edwards, Andrew M.

    2015-01-01

    As the oceans absorb anthropogenic CO2 they become more acidic, a problem termed ocean acidification (OA). Since this increase in CO2 is occurring rapidly, OA may have profound implications for marine ecosystems. In the temperate northeast Pacific, fisheries play key economic and cultural roles and provide significant employment, especially in rural areas. In British Columbia (BC), sport (recreational) fishing generates more income than commercial fishing (including the expanding aquaculture industry). Salmon (fished recreationally and farmed) and Pacific Halibut are responsible for the majority of fishery-related income. This region naturally has relatively acidic (low pH) waters due to ocean circulation, and so may be particularly vulnerable to OA. We have analyzed available data to provide a current description of the marine ecosystem, focusing on vertical distributions of commercially harvested groups in BC in the context of local carbon and pH conditions. We then evaluated the potential impact of OA on this temperate marine system using currently available studies. Our results highlight significant knowledge gaps. Above trophic levels 2–3 (where most local fishery-income is generated), little is known about the direct impact of OA, and more importantly about the combined impact of multi-stressors, like temperature, that are also changing as our climate changes. There is evidence that OA may have indirect negative impacts on finfish through changes at lower trophic levels and in habitats. In particular, OA may lead to increased fish-killing algal blooms that can affect the lucrative salmon aquaculture industry. On the other hand, some species of locally farmed shellfish have been well-studied and exhibit significant negative direct impacts associated with OA, especially at the larval stage. We summarize the direct and indirect impacts of OA on all groups of marine organisms in this region and provide conclusions, ordered by immediacy and certainty. PMID

  10. Temporal dynamics of soil aggregates and microbial parameters in permanent and recently established grasslands in the temperate zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Linsler, Deborah; Taube, Friedhelm; Geisseler, Daniel; Joergensen, Rainer Georg; Ludwig, Bernard

    2015-04-01

    While changes over time in soil aggregation or microbial parameters are well studied for arable soils, much less is known about such temporal variations in grassland soils. The objective of the present study was to determine the changes that occur within one year (between October 2010 and October 2011) for water-stable aggregate, microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) and ergosterol (as a proxy for fungal biomass) concentrations of a sandy soil under a permanent and recently established grasslands The analyzed treatments were (i) permanent grassland, (ii) grassland re-established after tillage of previous permanent grassland, and (iii) grassland established on arable land (both in September 2010). Temporal variations were found for the aggregate distribution and ergosterol concentration in the permanent grassland. For instance, the concentration of large macroaggregates (>2000 μm) in the surface soil (0-10 cm) varied strongly, with the highest concentration (mean ± standard error) in October 2011 (666 ± 12 g kg-1) and a 3.2-fold lower concentration in May 2011. An explanation could be less rainfall and decreasing soil moisture contents in May compared to October, which may have decreased the stability of this fraction. A multiple linear regression analysis showed that the large macroaggregate concentration was well described (R2=0.60) by the gravimetric moisture content, the Cmic concentration and the pH. After the tillage event in the grassland and the subsequent grassland renovation, the concentrations of large macroaggregate, Cmic and ergosterol decreased in the surface soil, while no difference was found in the soil profile (0-40 cm). In the first year after the conversion of arable land into grassland, the concentrations of Cmic and ergosterol increased by a factor of 1.4 and 3.3, respectively, in the surface soil layer, while the macroaggregate concentration was not affected. This study indicates that the aggregate dynamic in grassland is not only affected by

  11. Effects of grazing on leaf traits and ecosystem functioning in Inner Mongolia grasslands: scaling from species to community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, S. X.; Ren, H. Y.; Lan, Z. C.; Li, W. H.; Bai, Y. F.

    2009-10-01

    More attention has focused on using some easily measured plant functional traits to predict grazing influence on plant growth and ecosystem functioning. However, there has been much controversy on leaf traits response to grazing, thus more research should be conducted at the species level. Here we investigated the leaf area, leaf mass and specific leaf area (SLA) of 263 species in eight grassland communities along a soil moisture gradient in the Xilin River Basin, a semiarid grassland of northern China, to explore the grazing effects on ecosystem functioning. Results demonstrated that grazing decreased the leaf area and leaf mass in more than 56% of species in the Xilin River Basin, however, responses of SLA to grazing varied widely between species. Grazing increased SLA in 38.4% of species, decreased SLA in 31.3% of species and had no effect on 30.3% of species. Annuals and biennials generally developed high SLA as grazing tolerance traits, while perennial graminoids developed low SLA as grazing avoidance traits. Considering the water ecotypes, the SLA-increased and SLA-unchanged species were dominated by hygrophytes and mesophytes, while the SLA-decreased species were dominated by xerophytes. At the community level, grazing decreased the mean leaf area index (LAI) of six communities by 16.9%, leaf biomass by 35.2% and standing aboveground biomass (SAB) by 35.0% in the Xilin River Basin, indicating that overgrazing greatly decreased the ecosystem functioning in the semi-arid grassland of northern China. Soil properties, especially fielding holding capacity and soil organic carbon and total nitrogen could mediate the negative grazing impacts. The results suggest SLA is a better leaf trait to reveal plant adaptability to grazing. Our findings have practical implications for range management and productivity maintenance in the semiarid grassland, and it is feasible to take some measures such as ameliorating soil water and nutrient availabilities to prevent grassland

  12. Natural disturbance impacts on ecosystem services and biodiversity in temperate and boreal forests.

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

    In many parts of the world forest disturbance regimes have intensified recently, and future climatic changes are expected to amplify this development further in the coming decades. These changes are increasingly challenging the main objectives of forest ecosystem management, which are to provide ecosystem services sustainably to society and maintain the biological diversity of forests. Yet a comprehensive understanding of how disturbances affect these primary goals of ecosystem management is still lacking. We conducted a global literature review on the impact of three of the most important disturbance agents (fire, wind, and bark beetles) on 13 different ecosystem services and three indicators of biodiversity in forests of the boreal, cool- and warm-temperate biomes. Our objectives were to (i) synthesize the effect of natural disturbances on a wide range of possible objectives of forest management, and (ii) investigate standardized effect sizes of disturbance for selected indicators via a quantitative meta-analysis. We screened a total of 1958 disturbance studies published between 1981 and 2013, and reviewed 478 in detail. We first investigated the overall effect of disturbances on individual ecosystem services and indicators of biodiversity by means of independence tests, and subsequently examined the effect size of disturbances on indicators of carbon storage and biodiversity by means of regression analysis. Additionally, we investigated the effect of commonly used approaches of disturbance management, i.e. salvage logging and prescribed burning. We found that disturbance impacts on ecosystem services are generally negative, an effect that was supported for all categories of ecosystem services, i.e. supporting, provisioning, regulating, and cultural services (P < 0.001). Indicators of biodiversity, i.e. species richness, habitat quality and diversity indices, on the other hand were found to be influenced positively by disturbance (P < 0.001). Our analyses thus

  13. The Diversity and Co-occurrence Patterns of N₂-Fixing Communities in a CO₂-Enriched Grassland Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Tu, Qichao; Zhou, Xishu; He, Zhili; Xue, Kai; Wu, Liyou; Reich, Peter; Hobbie, Sarah; Zhou, Jizhong

    2016-04-01

    Diazotrophs are the major organismal group responsible for atmospheric nitrogen (N2) fixation in natural ecosystems. The extensive diversity and structure of N2-fixing communities in grassland ecosystems and their responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 remain to be further explored. Through pyrosequencing of nifH gene amplicons and extraction of nifH genes from shotgun metagenomes, coupled with co-occurrence ecological network analysis approaches, we comprehensively analyzed the diazotrophic community in a grassland ecosystem exposed to elevated CO2 (eCO2) for 12 years. Long-term eCO2 increased the abundance of nifH genes but did not change the overall nifH diversity and diazotrophic community structure. Taxonomic and phylogenetic analysis of amplified nifH sequences suggested a high diversity of nifH genes in the soil ecosystem, the majority belonging to nifH clusters I and II. Co-occurrence ecological network analysis identified different co-occurrence patterns for different groups of diazotrophs, such as Azospirillum/Actinobacteria, Mesorhizobium/Conexibacter, and Bradyrhizobium/Acidobacteria. This indicated a potential attraction of non-N2-fixers by diazotrophs in the soil ecosystem. Interestingly, more complex co-occurrence patterns were found for free-living diazotrophs than commonly known symbiotic diazotrophs, which is consistent with the physical isolation nature of symbiotic diazotrophs from the environment by root nodules. The study provides novel insights into our understanding of the microbial ecology of soil diazotrophs in natural ecosystems. PMID:26280746

  14. Relationships between Plant Diversity and the Abundance and α-Diversity of Predatory Ground Beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a Mature Asian Temperate Forest Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Zou, Yi; Sang, Weiguo; Bai, Fan; Axmacher, Jan Christoph

    2013-01-01

    A positive relationship between plant diversity and both abundance and diversity of predatory arthropods is postulated by the Enemies Hypothesis, a central ecological top-down control hypothesis. It has been supported by experimental studies and investigations of agricultural and grassland ecosystems, while evidence from more complex mature forest ecosystems is limited. Our study was conducted on Changbai Mountain in one of the last remaining large pristine temperate forest environments in China. We used predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) as target taxon to establish the relationship between phytodiversity and their activity abundance and diversity. Results showed that elevation was the only variable included in both models predicting carabid activity abundance and α-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle α-diversity. Within the different forest types, a negative relationship between plant diversity and carabid activity abundance was observed, which stands in direct contrast to the Enemies Hypothesis. Furthermore, plant species density did not predict carabid α-diversity. In addition, the density of herbs, which is commonly believed to influence carabid movement, had little impact on the beetle activity abundance recorded on Changbai Mountain. Our study indicates that in a relatively large and heterogeneous mature forest area, relationships between plant and carabid diversity are driven by variations in environmental factors linked with altitudinal change. In addition, traditional top-down control theories that are suitable in explaining diversity patterns in ecosystems of low diversity appear to play a much less pronounced role in highly complex forest ecosystems. PMID:24376582

  15. Near-neutral carbon dioxide balance at a seminatural, temperate bog ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hurkuck, Miriam; Brümmer, Christian; Kutsch, Werner L.

    2016-02-01

    The majority of peatlands in the temperate zone is subjected to drainage and agricultural land use and have been found to be anthropogenic emission hot spots for greenhouse gases. At the same time, many peatlands receive increased atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition by intensive agricultural practices. Here we provide eddy covariance measurements determining net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange at a protected but moderately drained ombrotrophic bog in Northwestern Germany over three consecutive years. The region is dominated by intensive agricultural land use with total (wet and dry) atmospheric N deposition being about 25 kg N ha-1 yr-1. The investigated peat bog was a small net CO2 sink during all three years ranging from -9 to -73 g C m-2 yr-1. We found temperature- and light-dependent ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross primary production, respectively, but only weak correlations to water table depths despite large interannual and seasonal variability. Significant short-term effects of atmospheric N deposition on CO2 flux components could not be observed, as the primary controlling factors for N deposition and C sequestration, i.e., fertilization of adjacent fields as well as temperature and light availability, respectively, exceeded potential interactions between the two.

  16. Influence of early snowmelt on phenology and ecosystem productivity of an unmanaged mountain grassland of northwestern Italian Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Galvagno, M.; Cremonese, E.; Migliavacca, M.; Morra di Cella, U.; Rossini, M.; Colombo, R.

    2012-04-01

    Mountain regions are expected to be particularly influenced by future climate change with increasing temperature, change in precipitation patterns and duration of snow cover. In particular climate change is foreseen to impact alpine ecosystems by increasing of weather extremes (e.g. heat waves, droughts, exceptional anticipated snowmelt). Although different studies attested the effect of climate change on vegetation phenological shifts, uncertainties exist on the impacts of such shifts on ecosystem processes and hence on the ecosystem-climate feedbacks. High-altitude grasslands are snow-covered for most of the year and act as a net carbon source throughout all the snow period. Little is still known on the effects of spring warming and early snowmelt on annual carbon budget of these alpine ecosystems. Being part of the PhenoAlp project (www.phenoalp.eu) this study evaluated the effect of an exceptional early snowmelt observed in 2011 on the relationship between plant phenology and the ecosystem functioning of an unmanaged grassland of northwestern Italian Alps located at 2160 m asl. The following main questions were addressed: does an early snowmelt date increase the length of the growing season? If so, what is the effect on the productivity of the ecosystem? For this purpose continuous measurements of CO2 exchange across the biosphere/atmosphere interface assessed by means of eddy covariance since summer 2008 were evaluated. In order to analyse the relationship between phenology and ecosystem productivity, we extracted phenological indicators from CO2 flux time-series. Results showed shifts in the phenological indicators considered and a clear effect on the dynamics of the NEE (Net Ecosystem CO2 Exchange) and GPP (Gross Primary Production) time-courses as a consequence of earlier snowmelt. The grassland turned from a source to a sink more than one month in advance compared to previous years. The earlier onset of biological activity was also supported by evaluations

  17. Spatial relationships among soil biota in a contaminated grassland ecosystem at Aberdeen Proving Ground, Maryland

    SciTech Connect

    Kuperman, R.; Williams, G.; Parmelee, R.

    1995-12-31

    Spatial relationships among soil nematodes and soil microorganisms were investigated in a grassland ecosystem contaminated with heavy metals in the US Army`s Aberdeen Proving Ground. The study quantified fungal and bacterial biomass, the abundance of soil protozoa, and nematodes. Geostatistical techniques were used to determine spatial distributions of these parameters and to evaluate various cross-correlations. The cross-correlations among soil biota numbers were analyzed using two methods: a cross general relative semi-variogram and an interactive graphical data representation using geostatistically estimated data distributions. Both the visualization technique and the cross general relative semi-variogram and an interactive graphical data representation using geostatistically estimated data distributions. Both the visualization technique and the cross general relative semi-variogram showed a negative correlation between the abundance of fungivore nematodes and fungal biomass, the abundance of bacterivore nematodes and bacterial biomass, the abundance of omnivore/predator nematodes and numbers of protozoa, and between numbers of protozoa and both fungal and bacterial biomass. The negative cross-correlation between soil biota and metal concentrations showed that soil fungi were particularly sensitive to heavy metal concentrations and can be used for quantitative ecological risk assessment of metal-contaminated soils. This study found that geostatistics are a useful tool for describing and analyzing spatial relationships among components of food webs in the soil community.

  18. Evidence for non-diffusive transport as an important mechanism determining the soil CO2 efflux in a temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Roland, Marilyn; Vicca, Sara; Bahn, Michael; Schmitt, Michael; Janssens, Ivan

    2013-04-01

    Research on soil respiration has largely focused on the emission of CO2 from soils and far less on the production and subsequent transport of CO2 from soil to atmosphere. The limited knowledge of CO2 transport through the soil, restricts our understanding of the various abiotic and biotic processes underlying emissions of CO2 from terrestrial ecosystems. Soil CO2 efflux is most often measured using soil chambers, but since the early 2000s, solid-state CO2 sensors that measure soil CO2 concentrations at different depths, are becoming more popular. From these continuous high-frequency measurements of the CO2 gradient, the flux can easily be calculated in a very cost-efficient way with minimal disturbance of the natural conditions. This so-called flux-gradient method is based on Fick's law, assuming diffusion to be the only transport mechanism. To test to what extend diffusion is indeed the governing transport process, we compared the CO2 efflux from chamber measurements with the CO2 efflux calculated from soil CO2 concentration profiles for a grassland site in the Austrian Alps. The four commonly used models for diffusivity that we tested, all underestimated the soil chamber effluxes and their amplitudes. What is more, we observed that transport rates correlated well with irradiation (PAR) and -below a certain soil moisture content- with wind speed. Indeed, correlation coefficients of the fits of observed transport rate versus PAR were consistently positive, and those of observed transport rate versus wind speed were positive on days that were not extremely wet (soil water content below 33%). Also, we found that the coupling of transport rate and PAR became stronger as wind speed increased. Our results suggest that non-diffusive bulk air transport mechanisms, such as advective mass transport and pressure pumping, could considerably contribute to soil CO2 transport at this site. We therefore emphasize the importance of investigating alternative transport processes

  19. Turnover of Grassland Roots in Mountain Ecosystems Revealed by Their Radiocarbon Signature: Role of Temperature and Management

    PubMed Central

    Leifeld, Jens; Meyer, Stefanie; Budge, Karen; Sebastia, Maria Teresa; Zimmermann, Michael; Fuhrer, Juerg

    2015-01-01

    Root turnover is an important carbon flux component in grassland ecosystems because it replenishes substantial parts of carbon lost from soil via heterotrophic respiration and leaching. Among the various methods to estimate root turnover, the root’s radiocarbon signature has rarely been applied to grassland soils previously, although the value of this approach is known from studies in forest soils. In this paper, we utilize the root’s radiocarbon signatures, at 25 plots, in mountain grasslands of the montane to alpine zone of Europe. We place the results in context of a global data base on root turnover and discuss driving factors. Root turnover rates were similar to those of a subsample of the global data, comprising a similar temperature range, but measured with different approaches, indicating that the radiocarbon method gives reliable, plausible and comparable results. Root turnover rates (0.06–1.0 y-1) scaled significantly and exponentially with mean annual temperatures. Root turnover rates indicated no trend with soil depth. The temperature sensitivity was significantly higher in mountain grassland, compared to the global data set, suggesting additional factors influencing root turnover. Information on management intensity from the 25 plots reveals that root turnover may be accelerated under intensive and moderate management compared to low intensity or semi-natural conditions. Because management intensity, in the studied ecosystems, co-varied with temperature, estimates on root turnover, based on mean annual temperature alone, may be biased. A greater recognition of management as a driver for root dynamics is warranted when effects of climatic change on belowground carbon dynamics are studied in mountain grasslands. PMID:25734640

  20. Satellite-Based Analysis of Evapotranspiration and Water Balance in the Grassland Ecosystems of Dryland East Asia

    PubMed Central

    Xia, Jiangzhou; Liang, Shunlin; Chen, Jiquan; Yuan, Wenping; Liu, Shuguang; Li, Linghao; Cai, Wenwen; Zhang, Li; Fu, Yang; Zhao, Tianbao; Feng, Jinming; Ma, Zhuguo; Ma, Mingguo; Liu, Shaomin; Zhou, Guangsheng; Asanuma, Jun; Chen, Shiping; Du, Mingyuan; Davaa, Gombo; Kato, Tomomichi; Liu, Qiang; Liu, Suhong; Li, Shenggong; Shao, Changliang; Tang, Yanhong; Zhao, Xiang

    2014-01-01

    The regression tree method is used to upscale evapotranspiration (ET) measurements at eddy-covariance (EC) towers to the grassland ecosystems over the Dryland East Asia (DEA). The regression tree model was driven by satellite and meteorology datasets, and explained 82% and 76% of the variations of ET observations in the calibration and validation datasets, respectively. The annual ET estimates ranged from 222.6 to 269.1 mm yr−1 over the DEA region with an average of 245.8 mm yr−1 from 1982 through 2009. Ecosystem ET showed decreased trends over 61% of the DEA region during this period, especially in most regions of Mongolia and eastern Inner Mongolia due to decreased precipitation. The increased ET occurred primarily in the western and southern DEA region. Over the entire study area, water balance (the difference between precipitation and ecosystem ET) decreased substantially during the summer and growing season. Precipitation reduction was an important cause for the severe water deficits. The drying trend occurring in the grassland ecosystems of the DEA region can exert profound impacts on a variety of terrestrial ecosystem processes and functions. PMID:24845063

  1. Relative contribution of soil, management and traits to co-variations of multiple ecosystem properties in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Gos, Pierre; Loucougaray, Grégory; Colace, Marie-Pascale; Arnoldi, Cindy; Gaucherand, Stéphanie; Dumazel, Daphné; Girard, Lucie; Delorme, Sarah; Lavorel, Sandra

    2016-04-01

    Ecological intensification promotes the better use of ecosystem functioning for agricultural production and as a provider of additional regulation and cultural services. We investigated the mechanisms underpinning potential ecological intensification of livestock production in the Vercors mountains (France). We quantified the variations in seven ecosystem properties associated with key ecosystem services: above-ground biomass production at first harvest, fodder digestibility, plant species richness, soil organic matter content, soil carbon content, total microbial biomass and soil bacteria:fungi ratio across 39 grassland plots representing varying management types and intensity. Our analyses confirmed joint effects of management, traits and soil abiotic parameters on variations in ecosystem properties, with the combination of management and traits being most influential. The variations explained by traits were consistent with the leaf economics spectrum model and its implications for ecosystem functioning. The observed independence between ecosystem properties relevant to production (forage biomass, digestibility and nutrient turnover) on the one hand and soil stocks (organic matter, carbon and microbial stocks) on the other hand suggests that an intensification of fodder production might be compatible with the preservation of the soil capital. We highlight that appropriate choices regarding various practices, such as the first date of grazing or mowing being dependent on soil moisture, have important consequences on a number of ecosystem properties relevant for ecosystem services and may influence biodiversity patterns. Such avenues for ecological intensification should be considered as part of further landscape- and farm-scale analyses of the relationships between farm functioning and ecosystem services. PMID:26830292

  2. Ecosystem impacts of compost and manure applications to California grazed grassland soils

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    DeLonge, M. S.; Silver, W. L.

    2012-12-01

    Organic matter amendments, such as compost and manure, are often applied to grasslands to improve soil conditions and enhance net primary productivity. It has been proposed that this land management strategy can sequester carbon (C) in soils and may therefore contribute to climate change mitigation. However, the net mitigation potential of organic amendments depends in part on the ecosystem response following land-application, which is likely to vary with the amendment chemical quality (C, N, C:N). To investigate the differences in ecosystem response to soil amendments of various qualities, we established research plots on three grazed annual grasslands in northern California. The study sites were sampled for soil chemical and physical properties (bulk density, temperature, and moisture), plant community composition, and peak season net primary productivity prior to and following treatment applications. In October 2011, before the rainy season, we applied a thin layer of organic amendments to the study plots. At each site, three replicate plots were treated with fresh manure (1.2 % N, 15.8 % C, C:N = 13.5), three plots were treated with a commercial plant-waste compost (2.4 % N, 26.6 % C, C:N = 11.1), and three plots were left untreated as controls. At one site, 3 additional plots received a thin layer of compost with a lower N concentration and a higher C:N ratio (1.9 % N, 27.4 % C, C:N = 14.5). All plots were sampled for greenhouse gas emissions (N2O, CH4, and CO2, n=3 per plot) using vented chambers shortly after the organic matter was applied, and then intensively following three rain events throughout the rainy season. Results showed that dry amendments were associated with negligible trace gas fluxes, but that these fluxes increased after rain events. Nitrous oxide emissions increased slightly after the first rain event and reached peak levels (approximately 20 ng N cm-1 h-1 for the manure and high N compost only) after three days, following second rain event

  3. Nitorgen Deposition Impacts on a Sensitive Grassland Ecosystem: Conservation, Management, and Restoration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S. B.; Luth, D. C.

    2002-12-01

    Humans have greatly increased the flux of reactive nitrogen in the biosphere, altering many terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. In the San Francisco Bay Area, CA, grasslands on nutrient-poor serpentinitic soils are being invaded by nutrient-demanding introduced annual grasses, driven by dry N-deposition on the order of 10 kg ha-1 yr-1. These grass invasions threaten the rich native biodiversity of the serpentinitic grasslands, including the federally-protected Bay checkerspot butterfly and several endemic plant species. A passive monitoring network for reactive nitrogen gases (NOx, NO2, NH3, HNO3, and O3) has been set up to investigate regional and local N-deposition gradients. The regional gradient extends from clean coastal areas to inland valleys downwind of the highly urbanized Santa Clara Valley, driven by prevailing NW winds. A local gradient extends upwind and downwind of an 8-lane freeway carrying 100,000 cars/day, located in a relatively clean near-coastal area. Plant surveys at the clean-air site bisected by the freeway show greater grass invasion closer to the freeway, but only on the downwind side (controlling for soil depth, the other main factor affecting grass density). Grassed-over areas build up thatch that suppresses native plants. Restoration experiments include mowing, goat grazing, and prescribed fire. Carefully-timed mowing appears to be an effective treatment for small areas. Removal of cuttings removes 5-8 kg-N/ha, the same order of magnitude as the estimated N-inputs from the freeway. Additional NOx and NH3 sources planned for the region include a 600 MW natural gas fired power plant, industrial parks that may eventually draw 20,000 to 50,000 additional cars per day, 25,000 housing units, and associated highway improvements. Mitigation proposals include purchase and long-term management of hundreds of hectares of habitat. Management of the larger areas necessitates continued moderate cattle grazing. Cattle selectively crop nitrogen

  4. Precipitation overrides warming in mediating soil nitrogen pools in an alpine grassland ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau

    PubMed Central

    Lin, Li; Zhu, Biao; Chen, Chengrong; Zhang, Zhenhua; Wang, Qi-Bing; He, Jin-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Soils in the alpine grassland store a large amount of nitrogen (N) due to slow decomposition. However, the decomposition could be affected by climate change, which has profound impacts on soil N cycling. We investigated the changes of soil total N and five labile N stocks in the topsoil, the subsoil and the entire soil profile in response to three years of experimental warming and altered precipitation in a Tibetan alpine grassland. We found that warming significantly increased soil nitrate N stock and decreased microbial biomass N (MBN) stock. Increased precipitation reduced nitrate N, dissolved organic N and amino acid N stocks, but increased MBN stock in the topsoil. No change in soil total N was detected under warming and altered precipitation regimes. Redundancy analysis further revealed that soil moisture (26.3%) overrode soil temperature (10.4%) in explaining the variations of soil N stocks across the treatments. Our results suggest that precipitation exerted stronger influence than warming on soil N pools in this mesic and high-elevation grassland ecosystem. This indicates that the projected rise in future precipitation may lead to a significant loss of dissolved soil N pools by stimulating the biogeochemical processes in this alpine grassland. PMID:27527683

  5. Precipitation overrides warming in mediating soil nitrogen pools in an alpine grassland ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau.

    PubMed

    Lin, Li; Zhu, Biao; Chen, Chengrong; Zhang, Zhenhua; Wang, Qi-Bing; He, Jin-Sheng

    2016-01-01

    Soils in the alpine grassland store a large amount of nitrogen (N) due to slow decomposition. However, the decomposition could be affected by climate change, which has profound impacts on soil N cycling. We investigated the changes of soil total N and five labile N stocks in the topsoil, the subsoil and the entire soil profile in response to three years of experimental warming and altered precipitation in a Tibetan alpine grassland. We found that warming significantly increased soil nitrate N stock and decreased microbial biomass N (MBN) stock. Increased precipitation reduced nitrate N, dissolved organic N and amino acid N stocks, but increased MBN stock in the topsoil. No change in soil total N was detected under warming and altered precipitation regimes. Redundancy analysis further revealed that soil moisture (26.3%) overrode soil temperature (10.4%) in explaining the variations of soil N stocks across the treatments. Our results suggest that precipitation exerted stronger influence than warming on soil N pools in this mesic and high-elevation grassland ecosystem. This indicates that the projected rise in future precipitation may lead to a significant loss of dissolved soil N pools by stimulating the biogeochemical processes in this alpine grassland. PMID:27527683

  6. Role of vegetation in modulating rainfall interception and soil water flux in ecosystems under transition from grassland to woodland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zou, Chris; Will, Rodney; Stebler, Elaine; Qiao, Lei

    2014-05-01

    Vegetation exerts strong control on the hydrological budget by shielding the soil from rainfall through interception and modulating water transmission in the soil by altering soil properties and rooting zone water extraction. Therefore, a change in vegetation alters the water cycle by a combination of a passive, rainfall redistribution mechanism controlled by the physical dimensions of vegetation and active, water extracting processes resulting from physiological attributes of different plants. As a result, the role of vegetation on the water cycle is likely to change where vegetation is under transition such as in the southern Great Plains of USA due to woody plant encroachment. However, it remains largely unknown how this physiognomic transformation from herbaceous cover to woody canopy alters rainfall influx, soil water transmission and efflux from the soil profile and consequently alters historic patterns of runoff and groundwater recharge. This knowledge is critical for both water resource and ecosystem management. We conducted a comprehensive, 5-year study involving direct quantification of throughfall and stemflow for grassland and encroached juniper woodland (Juniperus virginiana), water efflux through transpiration using an improved Granier thermal dissipation method (trees) and ET chamber (grassland), soil moisture storage and dynamics (capacitance probe) and streamflow (small catchment). We calibrated a prevailing hydrological model (SWAT) based on observed data to simulate potential change in runoff and recharge for the Cimarron River basin (study site located within this basin) under various phases of grassland to woodland transition. Our results show that juniper encroachment reduces throughfall reaching the soil surface compared with grassland under moderate grazing. The evergreen junipers transpired water year-round including fall and winter when the warm season grasses were senescent. As a result, soil water content and soil water storage on the

  7. Land use/ land cover and ecosystem functions change in the grassland restoration program areas in China from 2000 to 2010

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Fan, J.

    2015-12-01

    The grassland restoration areas in China, most of which was located in arid and semi-arid areas, are affected by climate change and anthropogenic activities. Using the 3S (RS, GIS, GPS) technologies, quantitative analysis method of landscape patterns and ecological simulation, this study examines the spatiotemporal characteristics of land use/ land cover and ecosystem functions change in the grassland restoration areas in China from 2000 to 2010. We apply two parameters land use transfer matrix and land use dynamic degree to explore the speed and regional differentiation of land use change. We propose vegetation coverage, net primary production (NPP), soil and water conservation capacity to assess the ecosystem functions. This study analyzes the characteristics of landscape patterns at the class and landscape levels and explores the ecological effect of land use pattern and regional ecological processes. The results show that: (1) Grassland and others were the main landscape types in the study area in the past decade. The ecosystem structure was stable. About 0.37% of the total grassland area in 2000 experienced change in land use / land cover types. The area of woodlands, wetlands, farmlands, and built-up areas expanded. The area of others has declined. (2) The dynamic degree of regional land use was less than one percent in the recent ten years. The speed of land use and land cover change was low, and regional differentiation of change between the provinces was small. (3) The matrix of the landscape did not change in the study area. Landscape fragmentation index values decreased progressively; landscape diversity rose continuously; landscape aggregation and continuity decreased slightly; the landscape maintained relative integrity. (4) Ecosystem functions has increased as a whole. The vegetation coverages with significant increase (with a 1.99% yr-1 slope of regression) in the total study area; NPP has a fluctuating and increasing tendency, ranging from 218.23 g

  8. Effects of grazing on ecosystem CO₂ exchange in a meadow grassland on the Tibetan Plateau during the growing season.

    PubMed

    Chen, Ji; Shi, Weiyu; Cao, Junji

    2015-02-01

    Effects of human activity on ecosystem carbon fluxes (e.g., net ecosystem exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (R(eco)), and gross ecosystem exchange (GEE)) are crucial for projecting future uptake of CO2 in terrestrial ecosystems. However, how ecosystem that carbon fluxes respond to grazing exclusion is still under debate. In this study, a field experiment was conducted to study the effects of grazing exclusion on R(eco), NEE, and GEE with three treatments (free-range grazing (FG) and grazing exclusion for 3 and 5 years (GE3 and GE5, respectively)) in a meadow grassland on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results show that grazing exclusion significantly increased NEE by 47.37 and 15.84%, and R eco by 33.14 and 4.29% under GE3 and GE5 plots, respectively, although carbon sinks occurred in all plots during the growing season, with values of 192.11, 283.12, and 222.54 g C m(-2) for FG, GE3, and GE5, respectively. Interestingly, grazing exclusion increased temperature sensitivity (Q10) of R eco with larger increases at the beginning and end of growing season (i.e., May and October, respectively). Soil temperature and soil moisture were key factors on controlling the diurnal and seasonal variations of R(eco), NEE, and GEE, with soil temperature having a stronger influence. Therefore, the combined effects of grazing and temperature suggest that grazing should be taken into consideration in assessing global warming effects on grassland ecosystem CO2 exchange. PMID:25355630

  9. Effects of Grazing on Ecosystem CO2 Exchange in a Meadow Grassland on the Tibetan Plateau During the Growing Season

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Ji; Shi, Weiyu; Cao, Junji

    2015-02-01

    Effects of human activity on ecosystem carbon fluxes (e.g., net ecosystem exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration ( R eco), and gross ecosystem exchange (GEE)) are crucial for projecting future uptake of CO2 in terrestrial ecosystems. However, how ecosystem that carbon fluxes respond to grazing exclusion is still under debate. In this study, a field experiment was conducted to study the effects of grazing exclusion on R eco, NEE, and GEE with three treatments (free-range grazing (FG) and grazing exclusion for 3 and 5 years (GE3 and GE5, respectively)) in a meadow grassland on the Tibetan Plateau. Our results show that grazing exclusion significantly increased NEE by 47.37 and 15.84 %, and R eco by 33.14 and 4.29 % under GE3 and GE5 plots, respectively, although carbon sinks occurred in all plots during the growing season, with values of 192.11, 283.12, and 222.54 g C m-2 for FG, GE3, and GE5, respectively. Interestingly, grazing exclusion increased temperature sensitivity ( Q 10) of R eco with larger increases at the beginning and end of growing season (i.e., May and October, respectively). Soil temperature and soil moisture were key factors on controlling the diurnal and seasonal variations of R eco, NEE, and GEE, with soil temperature having a stronger influence. Therefore, the combined effects of grazing and temperature suggest that grazing should be taken into consideration in assessing global warming effects on grassland ecosystem CO2 exchange.

  10. Drivers of long-term variability in CO2 net ecosystem exchange in a temperate peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfter, C.; Campbell, C.; Dinsmore, K. J.; Drewer, J.; Coyle, M.; Anderson, M.; Skiba, U.; Nemitz, E.; Billett, M. F.; Sutton, M. A.

    2015-03-01

    Land-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) in peatlands exhibits marked seasonal and inter-annual variability, which subsequently affects the carbon (C) sink strength of catchments across multiple temporal scales. Long-term studies are needed to fully capture the natural variability and therefore identify the key hydrometeorological drivers in the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2. Since 2002, NEE has been measured continuously by eddy-covariance at Auchencorth Moss, a temperate lowland peatland in central Scotland. Hence this is one of the longest peatland NEE studies to date. For 11 years, the site was a consistent, yet variable, atmospheric CO2 sink ranging from -5.2 to -135.9 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1 (mean of -64.1 ± 33.6 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1). Inter-annual variability in NEE was positively correlated to the length of the growing season. Mean winter air temperature explained 87% of the inter-annual variability in the sink strength of the following summer, indicating an effect of winter climate on local phenology. Ecosystem respiration (Reco) was enhanced by drought, which also depressed gross primary productivity (GPP). The CO2 uptake rate during the growing season was comparable to three other sites with long-term NEE records; however, the emission rate during the dormant season was significantly higher. To summarise, the NEE of the peatland studied is modulated by two dominant factors: - phenology of the plant community, which is driven by winter air temperature and impacts photosynthetic potential and net CO2 uptake during the growing season (colder winters are linked to lower summer NEE), - water table level, which enhanced soil respiration and decreased GPP during dry spells. Although summer dry spells were sporadic during the study period, the positive effects of the current climatic trend towards milder winters on the site's CO2 sink strength could be offset by changes in precipitation patterns especially during the growing season.

  11. Observations of 14CO2 in ecosystem respiration from a temperate deciduous forest in Northern Wisconsin

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Claire L.; McFarlane, Karis J.; LaFranchi, Brian; Desai, Ankur R.; Miller, John B.; Lehman, Scott J.

    2015-04-01

    The 14CO2 composition of plant and soil respiration can be used to determine the residence time of photosynthetically fixed carbon before it is released back to the atmosphere. To estimate the residence time of actively cycled carbon in a temperate forest, we employed two approaches for estimating the Δ14CO2 of ecosystem respiration (Δ14C-Reco) at the Willow Creek AmeriFlux site in Northern Wisconsin, USA. Our first approach was to construct nighttime Keeling plots from subcanopy profiles of Δ14CO2 and CO2, providing estimates of Δ14C-Reco of 121.7‰ in June and 42.0‰ in August 2012. These measurements are likely dominated by soil fluxes due to proximity to the ground level. Our second approach utilized samples taken over 20 months within the forest canopy and from 396 m above ground level at the nearby LEF NOAA tall tower site (Park Falls, WI). In this canopy-minus-background approach we employed a mixing model described by Miller and Tans (2003) for estimating isotopic sources by subtracting time-varying background conditions. For the period from May 2011 to December 2012 the estimated Δ14C-Reco using the Miller-Tans model was 76.8‰. Together, these Δ14C-Reco values represent mean Reco carbon ages of approximately 1-19 years. We also found that heterotrophic soil-respired Δ 14C at Willow Creek was 5-38‰ higher (i.e., 1-10 years older) than predicted by the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach global biosphere carbon model for the 1 × 1 pixel nearest to the site. This study provides much needed observational constraints of ecosystem carbon residence times, which are a major source of uncertainty in terrestrial carbon cycle models.

  12. Drivers of long-term variability in CO2 net ecosystem exchange in a temperate peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfter, C.; Campbell, C.; Dinsmore, K. J.; Drewer, J.; Coyle, M.; Anderson, M.; Skiba, U.; Nemitz, E.; Billett, M. F.; Sutton, M. A.

    2014-10-01

    Land-atmosphere exchange of carbon dioxide (CO2) in peatlands exhibits marked seasonal and inter-annual variability, which subsequently affects the carbon sink strength of catchments across multiple temporal scales. Long-term studies are needed to fully capture the natural variability and therefore identify the key hydrometeorological drivers in the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2. NEE has been measured continuously by eddy-covariance at Auchencorth Moss, a temperate lowland peatland in central Scotland, since 2002. Hence this is one of the longest peatland NEE studies to date. For 11 yr, the site was a consistent, yet variable, atmospheric CO2 sink ranging from -5.2 to -135.9 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1 (mean of -64.1 ± 33.6 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1). Inter-annual variability in NEE was positively correlated to the length of the growing season. Mean winter air temperature explained 87% of the inter-annual variability in the sink strength of the following summer, indicating a phenological memory-effect. Plant productivity exhibited a marked hysteresis with respect to photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) over the growing season, indicative of two separate growth regimes. Ecosystem respiration (Reco) and gross primary productivity (GPP) were closely correlated (ratio 0.74), suggesting that autotrophic processes were dominant. Whilst the site was wet most of the year (water table depth <5 cm) there were indications that heterotrophic respiration was enhanced by drought, which also depressed GPP. NEE was compared to 5 other peatland sites which have published long-term NEE records. The CO2 uptake rate during the growing season was comparable to 3 other European sites, however the emission rate during the dormant season was significantly higher.

  13. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO{sub 2} increase. Final report, 1984--1995

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1995-12-31

    This document describes the most recent progress made in several areas of the project. Details of individual experiments in the following areas are provided: (1) the impact of soil volume on the physiological acclimation of temperate deciduous trees in elevated CO{sub 2}; (2) growth under elevated CO{sub 2}: the shape as well as the size of pots is important; (3) a survey of growth responses of temperate deciduous trees to elevated CO{sub 2}; (4) a survey of closely related birch species; (5) the response of temperate deciduous tress to CO{sub 2} in variable light and nutrients conditions; (6) elevated CO{sub 2} differentially alters the response of birch and maple seedlings to a moisture gradient; (7) population dynamics; (8) heat shock in elevated CO{sub 2}: is there a change in temperature sensitivity; (9) response of temperate deciduous trees to CO{sub 2} in variable light and nutrient conditions; (10) changes in tree community composition and their consequences to ecosystem productivity; and (11) species diversity and ecosystem response to carbon dioxide fertilization.

  14. Fast-cycling unit of root turnover in perennial herbaceous plants in a cold temperate ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Sun, Kai; Luke McCormack, M.; Li, Le; Ma, Zeqing; Guo, Dali

    2016-01-01

    Roots of perennial plants have both persistent portion and fast-cycling units represented by different levels of branching. In woody species, the distal nonwoody branch orders as a unit are born and die together relatively rapidly (within 1–2 years). However, whether the fast-cycling units also exist in perennial herbs is unknown. We monitored root demography of seven perennial herbs over two years in a cold temperate ecosystem and we classified the largest roots on the root collar or rhizome as basal roots, and associated finer laterals as secondary, tertiary and quaternary roots. Parallel to woody plants in which distal root orders form a fast-cycling module, basal root and its finer laterals also represent a fast-cycling module in herbaceous plants. Within this module, basal roots had a lifespan of 0.5–2 years and represented 62–87% of total root biomass, thus dominating annual root turnover (60%–81% of the total). Moreover, root traits including root length, tissue density, and biomass were useful predictors of root lifespan. We conclude that both herbaceous and woody plants have fast-cycling modular units and future studies identifying the fast-cycling module across plant species should allow better understanding of how root construction and turnover are linked to whole-plant strategies. PMID:26791578

  15. A Transmission Model for the Ecology of an Avian Blood Parasite in a Temperate Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Murdock, Courtney C.; Foufopoulos, Johannes; Simon, Carl P.

    2013-01-01

    Most of our knowledge about avian haemosporidian parasites comes from the Hawaiian archipelago, where recently introduced Plasmodiumrelictum has contributed to the extinction of many endemic avian species. While the ecology of invasive malaria is reasonably understood, the ecology of endemic haemosporidian infection in mainland systems is poorly understood, even though it is the rule rather than the exception. We develop a mathematical model to explore and identify the ecological factors that most influence transmission of the common avian parasite, Leucocytozoonfringillinarum (Apicomplexa). The model was parameterized from White-crowned Sparrow (Zonotrichialeucophrys) and S. silvestre / craigi black fly populations breeding in an alpine ecosystem. We identify and examine the importance of altricial nestlings, the seasonal relapse of infected birds for parasite persistence across breeding seasons, and potential impacts of seasonal changes in black fly emergence on parasite prevalence in a high elevation temperate system. We also use the model to identify and estimate the parameters most influencing transmission dynamics. Our analysis found that relapse of adult birds and young of the year birds were crucial for parasite persistence across multiple seasons. However, distinguishing between nude nestlings and feathered young of the year was unnecessary. Finally, due to model sensitivity to many black fly parameters, parasite prevalence and sparrow recruitment may be most affected by seasonal changes in environmental temperature driving shifts in black fly emergence and gonotrophic cycles. PMID:24073288

  16. Fast-cycling unit of root turnover in perennial herbaceous plants in a cold temperate ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, Kai; Luke McCormack, M.; Li, Le; Ma, Zeqing; Guo, Dali

    2016-01-01

    Roots of perennial plants have both persistent portion and fast-cycling units represented by different levels of branching. In woody species, the distal nonwoody branch orders as a unit are born and die together relatively rapidly (within 1-2 years). However, whether the fast-cycling units also exist in perennial herbs is unknown. We monitored root demography of seven perennial herbs over two years in a cold temperate ecosystem and we classified the largest roots on the root collar or rhizome as basal roots, and associated finer laterals as secondary, tertiary and quaternary roots. Parallel to woody plants in which distal root orders form a fast-cycling module, basal root and its finer laterals also represent a fast-cycling module in herbaceous plants. Within this module, basal roots had a lifespan of 0.5-2 years and represented 62-87% of total root biomass, thus dominating annual root turnover (60%-81% of the total). Moreover, root traits including root length, tissue density, and biomass were useful predictors of root lifespan. We conclude that both herbaceous and woody plants have fast-cycling modular units and future studies identifying the fast-cycling module across plant species should allow better understanding of how root construction and turnover are linked to whole-plant strategies.

  17. Partitioning Evapotranspiration in Semiarid Grassland and Shrubland Ecosystems Using Diurnal Surface Temperature Variation

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Moran, M. Susan; Scott, Russell L.; Keefer, Timothy O.; Paige, Ginger B.; Emmerich, William E.; Cosh, Michael H.; O'Neill, Peggy E.

    2007-01-01

    The encroachment of woody plants in grasslands across the Western U.S. will affect soil water availability by altering the contributions of evaporation (E) and transpiration (T) to total evapotranspiration (ET). To study this phenomenon, a network of flux stations is in place to measure ET in grass- and shrub-dominated ecosystems throughout the Western U.S. A method is described and tested here to partition the daily measurements of ET into E and T based on diurnal surface temperature variations of the soil and standard energy balance theory. The difference between the mid-afternoon and pre-dawn soil surface temperature, termed Apparent Thermal Inertia (I(sub A)), was used to identify days when E was negligible, and thus, ET=T. For other days, a three-step procedure based on energy balance equations was used to estimate Qe contributions of daily E and T to total daily ET. The method was tested at Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed in southeast Arizona based on Bowen ratio estimates of ET and continuous measurements of surface temperature with an infrared thermometer (IRT) from 2004- 2005, and a second dataset of Bowen ratio, IRT and stem-flow gage measurements in 2003. Results showed that reasonable estimates of daily T were obtained for a multi-year period with ease of operation and minimal cost. With known season-long daily T, E and ET, it is possible to determine the soil water availability associated with grass- and shrub-dominated sites and better understand the hydrologic impact of regional woody plant encroachment.

  18. Microbial Enzymatic Response to Reduced Precipitation and Added Nitrogen in a Southern California Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Alster, C. J.; German, D.; Allison, S. D.

    2011-12-01

    Microbial enzymes play a fundamental role in ecosystem processes and nutrient mineralization. Although there have been many studies concluding that global climate change affects plant communities, the effects on microbial communities in leaf litter have been much less studied. We measured extracellular enzyme activities in litter decomposing in plots with either reduced precipitation or increased nitrogen in a grassland ecosystem in Loma Ridge National Landmark in Southern California. We used a reciprocal transplant design to examine the effects of plot treatment, litter origin, and microbial community origin on litter decomposition and extracellular enzyme activity. Our hypothesis was that increased nitrogen would increase activity because nitrogen often limits microbial growth, while decreased precipitation would decrease activity due to lower litter moisture levels. Samples were collected in March 2011 and analyzed for the activities of cellobiohydrolase (CBH), β-glucosidase (BG), α-glucosidase (AG), N-acetyl-β-D-glucosaminidase (NAG), β-xylosidase (BX), acid phosphatase (AP), and leucine aminopeptidase (LAP). None of the factors in the nitrogen manipulation had a significant effect on any of the enzymes, although BG, CBH, and NAG increased marginally significantly in plots with nitrogen addition (p = 0.103, p = 0.082, and p = 0.114, respectively). For the precipitation manipulation, AG, BG, BX, CBH, and NAG significantly increased in plots with reduced precipitation (p = 0.015, p <0.001, p<0.001, and p<0.001, respectively) while LAP significantly decreased (p = 0.002). LAP catalyzes the hydrolysis of polypeptides, so reduced LAP activity could result in lower rates of enzyme turnover in the reduced precipitation treatment. We also observed that AP significantly increased (p = 0.014) in litter originating from reduced precipitation plots, while AG, BX, and LAP significantly decreased (p = 0.011, p = 0.031, and 0.005, respectively). There were no significant

  19. Cell Turnover and Detritus Production in Marine Sponges from Tropical and Temperate Benthic Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Alexander, Brittany E.; Liebrand, Kevin; Osinga, Ronald; van der Geest, Harm G.; Admiraal, Wim; Cleutjens, Jack P. M.; Schutte, Bert; Verheyen, Fons; Ribes, Marta; van Loon, Emiel; de Goeij, Jasper M.

    2014-01-01

    This study describes in vivo cell turnover (the balance between cell proliferation and cell loss) in eight marine sponge species from tropical coral reef, mangrove and temperate Mediterranean reef ecosystems. Cell proliferation was determined through the incorporation of 5-bromo-2′-deoxyuridine (BrdU) and measuring the percentage of BrdU-positive cells after 6 h of continuous labeling (10 h for Chondrosia reniformis). Apoptosis was identified using an antibody against active caspase-3. Cell loss through shedding was studied quantitatively by collecting and weighing sponge-expelled detritus and qualitatively by light microscopy of sponge tissue and detritus. All species investigated displayed substantial cell proliferation, predominantly in the choanoderm, but also in the mesohyl. The majority of coral reef species (five) showed between 16.1±15.9% and 19.0±2.0% choanocyte proliferation (mean±SD) after 6 h and the Mediterranean species, C. reniformis, showed 16.6±3.2% after 10 h BrdU-labeling. Monanchora arbuscula showed lower choanocyte proliferation (8.1±3.7%), whereas the mangrove species Mycale microsigmatosa showed relatively higher levels of choanocyte proliferation (70.5±6.6%). Choanocyte proliferation in Haliclona vansoesti was variable (2.8–73.1%). Apoptosis was negligible and not the primary mechanism of cell loss involved in cell turnover. All species investigated produced significant amounts of detritus (2.5–18% detritus bodyweight−1·d−1) and cell shedding was observed in seven out of eight species. The amount of shed cells observed in histological sections may be related to differences in residence time of detritus within canals. Detritus production could not be directly linked to cell shedding due to the degraded nature of expelled cellular debris. We have demonstrated that under steady-state conditions, cell turnover through cell proliferation and cell shedding are common processes to maintain tissue homeostasis in a variety of sponge

  20. The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts.

    PubMed

    Vergés, Adriana; Steinberg, Peter D; Hay, Mark E; Poore, Alistair G B; Campbell, Alexandra H; Ballesteros, Enric; Heck, Kenneth L; Booth, David J; Coleman, Melinda A; Feary, David A; Figueira, Will; Langlois, Tim; Marzinelli, Ezequiel M; Mizerek, Toni; Mumby, Peter J; Nakamura, Yohei; Roughan, Moninya; van Sebille, Erik; Gupta, Alex Sen; Smale, Dan A; Tomas, Fiona; Wernberg, Thomas; Wilson, Shaun K

    2014-08-22

    Climate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to 'barrens' when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs. PMID:25009065

  1. The tropicalization of temperate marine ecosystems: climate-mediated changes in herbivory and community phase shifts

    PubMed Central

    Vergés, Adriana; Steinberg, Peter D.; Hay, Mark E.; Poore, Alistair G. B.; Campbell, Alexandra H.; Ballesteros, Enric; Heck, Kenneth L.; Booth, David J.; Coleman, Melinda A.; Feary, David A.; Figueira, Will; Langlois, Tim; Marzinelli, Ezequiel M.; Mizerek, Toni; Mumby, Peter J.; Nakamura, Yohei; Roughan, Moninya; van Sebille, Erik; Gupta, Alex Sen; Smale, Dan A.; Tomas, Fiona; Wernberg, Thomas; Wilson, Shaun K.

    2014-01-01

    Climate-driven changes in biotic interactions can profoundly alter ecological communities, particularly when they impact foundation species. In marine systems, changes in herbivory and the consequent loss of dominant habitat forming species can result in dramatic community phase shifts, such as from coral to macroalgal dominance when tropical fish herbivory decreases, and from algal forests to ‘barrens’ when temperate urchin grazing increases. Here, we propose a novel phase-shift away from macroalgal dominance caused by tropical herbivores extending their range into temperate regions. We argue that this phase shift is facilitated by poleward-flowing boundary currents that are creating ocean warming hotspots around the globe, enabling the range expansion of tropical species and increasing their grazing rates in temperate areas. Overgrazing of temperate macroalgae by tropical herbivorous fishes has already occurred in Japan and the Mediterranean. Emerging evidence suggests similar phenomena are occurring in other temperate regions, with increasing occurrence of tropical fishes on temperate reefs. PMID:25009065

  2. Exchange of carbonyl sulfide (COS), a potential tracer of gross primary productivity, between grassland ecosystem components and the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whelan, M.; Rhew, R. C.

    2013-12-01

    Recently, measurements of carbonyl sulfide (COS) exchange have been used as an independent constraint for estimates of gross primary productivity over terrestrial ecosystems and continents. CO2 is both taken up and released by plants, whereas COS is usually only consumed and at a predictable ratio to CO2. Most of the underlying theoretical assumptions of this method have been verified, however the problem of parsing leaf exchange from other terrestrial sources and sinks of COS is still under investigation. In ecosystems that experience distinct periods of growing and senescence, it is possible to assess COS fluxes in situ when no green plants are present and compare to measurements during the growing season. Taking advantage of this seasonal pattern, we have investigated COS exchange from March 2012 to March 2013 in a Mediterranean grassland outside of Santa Cruz, CA, U.S.A (37.0°N, 122°W). Through lab-based incubation experiments, we found that net COS uptake of grassland soil can be reduced by increased soil moisture. We evaluated this claim in the field with monthly field deployments of static flux chambers over the in-tact soil and plant system. In the dry summer, artificial rain amendments caused COS net uptake to decrease, sometimes leading to overall net production to the atmosphere, in agreement with lab experiments. During the wet growing season, water additions caused over 2x increase in COS uptake from the atmosphere. Contrary to what has been previously claimed, soil exchange of COS is not negligible in grassland ecosystems.

  3. Synthesis of Watershed and Ecosystem Responses to Lehmann Lovegrass Invasion in a SE Arizona Desert Grassland Watershed

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hamerlynck, E. P.; Scott, R. L.; Polyakov, V.; Sugg, Z.; Moran, S. M.; Stone, J.; Nearing, M.

    2011-12-01

    Compared to aridland systems that have undergone rapid change in dominant vegetation growth form, the responses of watershed and ecosystem processes to a shift in dominance of similar growth forms have not been well-studied. Following a prolonged drought period (2000-2005) at the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed's Kendall grassland site (WS#112), near Tombstone, AZ, strong summer monsoon rains in 2006 were accompanied by widespread mortality most native perennial grasses, a transient increase in annual forbs, followed by establishment and sustained dominance by a single perennial grass, the invasive bunchgrass, Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana). This loss of ecological diversity occurred across a watershed already instrumented for quantifying long-term climate, watershed, hill-slope, and ecosystem-level gas exchange processes. Salient findings from these data sets were: 1) annual watershed sediment discharge rapidly returned to pre-invasion levels following a large spike in 2006 that accounted for 65% of the total sediment yield summed over 35 years, 2) plot-level experimental runoff studies showed hill-slope sediment yields consistently doubled, as did growing season soil evaporation contributions to ET, and 3) the grassland was a carbon sink during dry conditions under lovegrass dominance. These findings show that while some aspects of overall watershed and ecosystem function were not strongly affected (i.e. sediment yield and net primary productivity), processes acting at lower spatial and temporal scales have been negatively impacted by lovegrass dominance. We believe these lower-order processes underlie the strong ecological effects associated with Lehmann lovegrass invasion, and will also eventually alter landform processes and change the basic ecohydrological characteristics of desert grassland watersheds.

  4. Plant and arthropod community sensitivity to rainfall manipulation but not nitrogen enrichment in a successional grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Lee, Mark A; Manning, Pete; Walker, Catherine S; Power, Sally A

    2014-12-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services including carbon storage, biodiversity preservation and livestock forage production. These ecosystem services will change in the future in response to multiple global environmental changes, including climate change and increased nitrogen inputs. We conducted an experimental study over 3 years in a mesotrophic grassland ecosystem in southern England. We aimed to expose plots to rainfall manipulation that simulated IPCC 4th Assessment projections for 2100 (+15% winter rainfall and -30% summer rainfall) or ambient climate, achieving +15% winter rainfall and -39% summer rainfall in rainfall-manipulated plots. Nitrogen (40 kg ha(-1) year(-1)) was also added to half of the experimental plots in factorial combination. Plant species composition and above ground biomass were not affected by rainfall in the first 2 years and the plant community did not respond to nitrogen enrichment throughout the experiment. In the third year, above-ground plant biomass declined in rainfall-manipulated plots, driven by a decline in the abundances of grass species characteristic of moist soils. Declining plant biomass was also associated with changes to arthropod communities, with lower abundances of plant-feeding Auchenorrhyncha and carnivorous Araneae indicating multi-trophic responses to rainfall manipulation. Plant and arthropod community composition and plant biomass responses to rainfall manipulation were not modified by nitrogen enrichment, which was not expected, but may have resulted from prior nitrogen saturation and/or phosphorus limitation. Overall, our study demonstrates that climate change may in future influence plant productivity and induce multi-trophic responses in grasslands. PMID:25224801

  5. Reduced diurnal temperature range does not change warming impacts on ecosystem carbon balance of Mediterranean grassland mesocosms

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Phillips, Claire L.; Gregg, Jillian W.; Wilson, John K.

    2011-11-01

    Daily minimum temperature (Tmin) has increased faster than daily maximum temperature (Tmax) in many parts of the world, leading to decreases in diurnal temperature range (DTR). Projections suggest these trends are likely to continue in many regions, particularly northern latitudes and in arid regions. Despite wide speculation that asymmetric warming has different impacts on plant and ecosystem production than equal-night-and-day warming, there has been little direct comparison of these scenarios. Reduced DTR has also been widely misinterpreted as a result of night-only warming, when in fact Tmin occurs near dawn, indicating higher morning as well as night temperatures. We reportmore » on the first experiment to examine ecosystem-scale impacts of faster increases in Tmin than Tmax, using precise temperature controls to create realistic diurnal temperature profiles with gradual day-night temperature transitions and elevated early morning as well as night temperatures. Studying a constructed grassland ecosystem containing species native to Oregon, USA, we found the ecosystem lost more carbon at elevated than ambient temperatures, but was unaffected by the 3ºC difference in DTR between symmetric warming (constantly ambient +3.5ºC) and asymmetric warming (dawn Tmin=ambient +5ºC, afternoon Tmax= ambient +2ºC). Reducing DTR had no apparent effect on photosynthesis, likely because temperatures were most different in the morning and late afternoon when light was low. Respiration was also similar in both warming treatments, because respiration temperature sensitivity was not sufficient to respond to the limited temperature differences between asymmetric and symmetric warming. We concluded that changes in daily mean temperatures, rather than changes in Tmin/Tmax, were sufficient for predicting ecosystem carbon fluxes in this reconstructed Mediterranean grassland system.« less

  6. Reduced diurnal temperature range does not change warming impacts on ecosystem carbon balance of Mediterranean grassland mesocosms

    SciTech Connect

    Phillips, Claire L.; Gregg, Jillian W.; Wilson, John K.

    2011-11-01

    Daily minimum temperature (Tmin) has increased faster than daily maximum temperature (Tmax) in many parts of the world, leading to decreases in diurnal temperature range (DTR). Projections suggest these trends are likely to continue in many regions, particularly northern latitudes and in arid regions. Despite wide speculation that asymmetric warming has different impacts on plant and ecosystem production than equal-night-and-day warming, there has been little direct comparison of these scenarios. Reduced DTR has also been widely misinterpreted as a result of night-only warming, when in fact Tmin occurs near dawn, indicating higher morning as well as night temperatures. We report on the first experiment to examine ecosystem-scale impacts of faster increases in Tmin than Tmax, using precise temperature controls to create realistic diurnal temperature profiles with gradual day-night temperature transitions and elevated early morning as well as night temperatures. Studying a constructed grassland ecosystem containing species native to Oregon, USA, we found the ecosystem lost more carbon at elevated than ambient temperatures, but was unaffected by the 3ºC difference in DTR between symmetric warming (constantly ambient +3.5ºC) and asymmetric warming (dawn Tmin=ambient +5ºC, afternoon Tmax= ambient +2ºC). Reducing DTR had no apparent effect on photosynthesis, likely because temperatures were most different in the morning and late afternoon when light was low. Respiration was also similar in both warming treatments, because respiration temperature sensitivity was not sufficient to respond to the limited temperature differences between asymmetric and symmetric warming. We concluded that changes in daily mean temperatures, rather than changes in Tmin/Tmax, were sufficient for predicting ecosystem carbon fluxes in this reconstructed Mediterranean grassland system.

  7. Community Structure and Ecosystem Functioning of Ectomycorrhizal Fungi Across an N Deposition Gradient in Temperate North America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lucas, R. W.; Casper, B. B.

    2006-12-01

    Over the past century, human activities have resulted in a substantial increase in atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition throughout eastern North America, effectively doubling the amount of inorganic nitrogen entering terrestrial ecosystems. Increased atmospheric N deposition has the potential to alter terrestrial plant and microbial communities by increasing available NO3- and NH4+ in forest soil. Ectomycorrhizal fungi, a central member of the soil microbial community, live in association with most tree species of temperate and boreal ecosystems and are important contributors to many ecosystem functions. Previous work in boreal systems suggests that the availability of organic and inorganic nitrogen (N) resources are important contributing factors structuring belowground communities of ectomycorrhizal fungi. We do not yet understand the importance or the implications of changes in the ectomycorrhizal community as measured by effects on forest ecosystems or ecosystem functions such as N cycling or carbon storage. We examined ectomycorrhizal community structure morphologically over a natural atmospheric N deposition gradient across the northeastern United States. We also measured peroxidase, phenol oxidase, and general proteolytic activity, three ecosystem functions in which ectomycorrhizal fungi are involved. Using detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), we found significant differences in ectomycorrhizal communities across the gradient with the first three axes describing 48% of the observed variation. Most community differences are driven by the relative abundance of 17 morphotypes across the gradient. Peroxidase and phenol oxidase activity were both significantly lower (p = 0.0323 and 0.0342 respectively) in areas of high atmospheric N deposition. Our data support the hypothesis that with increased atmospheric N deposition ectomycorrhizal communities shift from those using more organic forms of N to those using more inorganic forms of N. Such changes in the

  8. High prevalence of diffusive uptake of CO2 by macroalgae in a temperate subtidal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Cornwall, Christopher E; Revill, Andrew T; Hurd, Catriona L

    2015-05-01

    Productivity of most macroalgae is not currently considered limited by dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC), as the majority of species have CO2-concentrating mechanisms (CCM) allowing the active uptake of DIC. The alternative, diffusive uptake of CO2 (non-CCM), is considered rare (0-9% of all macroalgal cover in a given ecosystem), and identifying species without CCMs is important in understanding factors controlling inorganic carbon use by eukaryotic algae. CCM activity has higher energetic requirements than diffusive CO2 uptake, therefore when light is low, CCM activity is reduced in favour of diffusive CO2 uptake. We hypothesized that the proportional cover of macroalgae without CCMs (red and green macroalgae) would be low (<10%) across four sites in Tasmania, southern Australia at two depths (4-5 and 12-14 m); the proportion of species lacking CCMs would increase with decreasing depth; the δ(13)C values of macroalgae with CCMs would be more depleted with depth. We found the proportion of non-CCM species ranged from 0 to 90% and included species from all three macroalgal phyla: 81% of red (59 species), 14% of brown (three species) and 29% of green macroalgae (two species). The proportion of non-CCM species increased with depth at three of four sites. 35% of species tested had significantly depleted δ(13)C values at deeper depths. Non-CCM macroalgae are more abundant in some temperate reefs than previously thought. If ocean acidification benefits non-CCM species, the ramifications for subtidal macroalgal assemblages could be larger than previously considered. PMID:25739900

  9. Silica biogeochemical cycle in temperate ecosystems of the Pampean Plain, Argentina

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Osterrieth, Margarita; Borrelli, Natalia; Alvarez, María Fernanda; Fernández Honaine, Mariana

    2015-11-01

    Silicophytoliths were produced in the plant communities of the Pampean Plain during the Quaternary. The biogeochemistry of silicon is scarcely known in continental environments of Argentina. The aim of this work is to present a synthesis of: the plant production and the presence of silicophytoliths in soils with grasses, and its relationship with silica content in soil solution, soil matrix and groundwaters in temperate ecosystems of the Pampean Plain, Argentina. We quantified the content of silicophytoliths in representative grasses and soils of the area. Mineralochemical determinations of the soils' matrix were made. The concentration of silica was determined in soil solution and groundwaters. The silicophytoliths assemblages in plants let to differenciate subfamilies within Poaceae. In soils, silicophytoliths represent 40-5% of the total components, conforming a stock of 59-72 × 103 kg/ha in A horizons. The concentration of SiO2 in soil solution increases with depth (453-1243 μmol/L) in relation with plant communities, their nutritional requirements and root development. The average concentration of silica in groundwaters is 840 umol/L. In the studied soils, inorganic minerals and volcanic shards show no features of weathering. About 10-40% of silicophytoliths were taxonomically unidentified because of their weathering degrees. The matrix of the aggregates is made up by microaggregates composed of carbon and silicon. The weathering of silicophytoliths is a process that contributes to the formation of amorphous silica-rich matrix of the aggregates. So, silicophytoliths could play an important role in the silica cycle being a sink and source of Si in soils and enriching soil solutions and groundwaters.

  10. Identifying grasslands suitable for cellulosic feedstock crops in the Greater Platte River Basin: dynamic modeling of ecosystem performance with 250 m eMODIS

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Gu, Yingxin; Boyte, Stephen P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Tieszen, Larry L.

    2012-01-01

    This study dynamically monitors ecosystem performance (EP) to identify grasslands potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock crops (e.g., switchgrass) within the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB). We computed grassland site potential and EP anomalies using 9-year (2000–2008) time series of 250 m expedited moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer Normalized Difference Vegetation Index data, geophysical and biophysical data, weather and climate data, and EP models. We hypothesize that areas with fairly consistent high grassland productivity (i.e., high grassland site potential) in fair to good range condition (i.e., persistent ecosystem overperformance or normal performance, indicating a lack of severe ecological disturbance) are potentially suitable for cellulosic feedstock crop development. Unproductive (i.e., low grassland site potential) or degraded grasslands (i.e., persistent ecosystem underperformance with poor range condition) are not appropriate for cellulosic feedstock development. Grassland pixels with high or moderate ecosystem site potential and with more than 7 years ecosystem normal performance or overperformance during 2000–2008 are identified as possible regions for future cellulosic feedstock crop development (ca. 68 000 km2 within the GPRB, mostly in the eastern areas). Long-term climate conditions, elevation, soil organic carbon, and yearly seasonal precipitation and temperature are important performance variables to determine the suitable areas in this study. The final map delineating the suitable areas within the GPRB provides a new monitoring and modeling approach that can contribute to decision support tools to help land managers and decision makers make optimal land use decisions regarding cellulosic feedstock crop development and sustainability.

  11. Bromus tectorum invasion alters nitrogen dynamics in an undisturbed arid grassland ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Sperry, L.J.; Belnap, J.; Evans, R.D.

    2006-01-01

    The nonnative annual grass Bromus tectorum has successfully replaced native vegetation in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. Initial introductions accompanied grazing and agriculture, making it difficult to separate the effects of invasion from physical disturbance. This study examined N dynamics in two recently invaded, undisturbed vegetation associations (C3 and C4). The response of these communities was compared to an invaded/disturbed grassland. The invaded/disturbed communities had higher surface NH4+ input in spring, whereas there were no differences for surface input of NO3-. Soil inorganic N was dominated by NH4+, but invaded sites had greater subsurface soil NO3-. Invaded sites had greater total soil N at the surface four years post-invasion in undisturbed communities, but total N was lower in the invaded/disturbed communities. Soil ??15N increased with depth in the noninvaded and recently invaded communities, whereas the invaded/disturbed communities exhibited the opposite pattern. Enriched foliar ??15N values suggest that Bromus assimilated subsurface NO3-, whereas the native grasses were restricted to surface N. A Rayleigh distillation model accurately described decomposition patterns in the noninvaded communities where soil N loss is accompanied by increasing soil ??15N; however, the invaded/disturbed communities exhibited the opposite pattern, suggesting redistribution of N within the soil profile. This study suggests that invasion has altered the mechanisms driving nitrogen dynamics. Bromus litter decomposition and soil NO3- concentrations were greater in the invaded communities during periods of ample precipitation, and NO3- leached from the surface litter, where it was assimilated by Bromus. The primary source of N input in these communities is a biological soil crust that is removed with disturbance, and the lack of N input by the biological soil crust did not balance N loss, resulting in reduced total N in the invaded/disturbed communities

  12. Invasive C4 Perennial Grass Alters Net Ecosystem Exchange in Mixed C3/C4 Savanna Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basham, T. S.; Litvak, M.

    2006-12-01

    The invasion of ecosystems by non-native plants that differ from native plants in physiological characteristics and phenology has the potential to alter ecosystem function. In Texas and other regions of the southern central plains of the United States, the introduced C4 perennial grass, Bothriochloa ischaemum, invades C3/C4 mixed grasslands and savannas, resulting in decreased plant community diversity (Gabbard 2003; Harmoney et al 2004). The objective of this study was to quantify how the conversion of these mixed grass communities to C4 dominated, B. ischaemum monocultures impacts carbon cycling and sequestration. Seasonal measurements of Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) of CO2, leaf level gas exchange and soil respiration were compared between savanna grassland plots composed of either naturally occurring B. ischaemum monocultures or native mixed grasses (n=16). NEE was measured using a closed system chamber that attached to permanently installed stainless steel bases. Temperature, soil moisture, aerial percent species cover and leaf area index were also monitored in plots to explain variability in measured responses. Results showed that NEE differed seasonally between invaded and native plots due to 1) greater leaf surface area per unit ground area in invaded plots, 2) differences in phenological patterns of plant activity and 3) differences in responses to water limitation between invaded and native plots. Cold season and summer drought NEE were driven primarily by belowground respiration in both plot types, however spring uptake activity commenced two months later in invaded plots. This later start in invaded plots was compensated for by greater uptake throughout the growing season and in particular during the drier summer months. Differences in NEE between plot types were not due to differences in soil respiration nor were they due to greater leaf level photosynthetic capabilities of B. ischaemum relative to the dominant native grasses. NEE, soil respiration and

  13. Short-term bioavailability of carbon in soil organic matter fractions of different particle sizes and densities in grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Breulmann, Marc; Masyutenko, Nina Petrovna; Kogut, Boris Maratovich; Schroll, Reiner; Dörfler, Ulrike; Buscot, François; Schulz, Elke

    2014-11-01

    The quality, stability and availability of organic carbon (OC) in soil organic matter (SOM) can vary widely between differently managed ecosystems. Several approaches have been developed for isolating SOM fractions to examine their ecological roles, but links between the bioavailability of the OC of size-density fractions and soil microbial communities have not been previously explored. Thus, in the presented laboratory study we investigated the potential bioavailability of OC and the structure of associated microbial communities in different particle-size and density fractions of SOM. For this we used samples from four grassland ecosystems with contrasting management intensity regimes and two soil types: a Haplic Cambisol and a typical Chernozem. A combined size-density fractionation protocol was applied to separate clay-associated SOM fractions (CF1, <1 μm; CF2, 1-2 μm) from light SOM fractions (LF1, <1.8 g cm(-3); LF2, 1.8-2.0 g cm(-3)). These fractions were used as carbon sources in a respiration experiment to determine their potential bioavailability. Measured CO2-release was used as an index of substrate accessibility and linked to the soil microbial community structure, as determined by phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. Several key factors controlling decomposition processes, and thus the potential bioavailability of OC, were identified: management intensity and the plant community composition of the grasslands (both of which affect the chemical composition and turnover of OC) and specific properties of individual SOM fractions. The PLFA patterns highlighted differences in the composition of microbial communities associated with the examined grasslands, and SOM fractions, providing the first broad insights into their active microbial communities. From observed interactions between abiotic and biotic factors affecting the decomposition of SOM fractions we demonstrate that increasing management intensity could enhance the potential bioavailability of

  14. On the relationship between ecosystem-scale hyperspectral reflectance and CO2 exchange in European mountain grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balzarolo, M.; Vescovo, L.; Hammerle, A.; Gianelle, D.; Papale, D.; Tomelleri, E.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2015-05-01

    In this paper we explore the skill of hyperspectral reflectance measurements and vegetation indices (VIs) derived from these in estimating carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes of grasslands. Hyperspectral reflectance data, CO2 fluxes and biophysical parameters were measured at three grassland sites located in European mountain regions using standardized protocols. The relationships between CO2 fluxes, ecophysiological variables, traditional VIs and VIs derived using all two-band combinations of wavelengths available from the whole hyperspectral data space were analysed. We found that VIs derived from hyperspectral data generally explained a large fraction of the variability in the investigated dependent variables but differed in their ability to estimate midday and daily average CO2 fluxes and various derived ecophysiological parameters. Relationships between VIs and CO2 fluxes and ecophysiological parameters were site-specific, likely due to differences in soils, vegetation parameters and environmental conditions. Chlorophyll and water-content-related VIs explained the largest fraction of variability in most of the dependent variables. Band selection based on a combination of a genetic algorithm with random forests (GA-rF) confirmed that it is difficult to select a universal band region suitable across the investigated ecosystems. Our findings have major implications for upscaling terrestrial CO2 fluxes to larger regions and for remote- and proximal-sensing sampling and analysis strategies and call for more cross-site synthesis studies linking ground-based spectral reflectance with ecosystem-scale CO2 fluxes.

  15. Evidence of physiological decoupling from grassland ecosystem drivers by an encroaching woody shrub.

    PubMed

    Nippert, Jesse B; Ocheltree, Troy W; Orozco, Graciela L; Ratajczak, Zak; Ling, Bohua; Skibbe, Adam M

    2013-01-01

    Shrub encroachment of grasslands is a transformative ecological process by which native woody species increase in cover and frequency and replace the herbaceous community. Mechanisms of encroachment are typically assessed using temporal data or experimental manipulations, with few large spatial assessments of shrub physiology. In a mesic grassland in North America, we measured inter- and intra-annual variability in leaf δ(13)C in Cornus drummondii across a grassland landscape with varying fire frequency, presence of large grazers and topographic variability. This assessment of changes in individual shrub physiology is the largest spatial and temporal assessment recorded to date. Despite a doubling of annual rainfall (in 2008 versus 2011), leaf δ(13)C was statistically similar among and within years from 2008-11 (range of -28 to -27‰). A topography*grazing interaction was present, with higher leaf δ(13)C in locations that typically have more bare soil and higher sensible heat in the growing season (upland topographic positions and grazed grasslands). Leaf δ(13)C from slopes varied among grazing contrasts, with upland and slope leaf δ(13)C more similar in ungrazed locations, while slopes and lowlands were more similar in grazed locations. In 2011, canopy greenness (normalized difference vegetation index - NDVI) was assessed at the centroid of individual shrubs using high-resolution hyperspectral imagery. Canopy greenness was highest mid-summer, likely reflecting temporal periods when C assimilation rates were highest. Similar to patterns seen in leaf δ(13)C, NDVI was highest in locations that typically experience lowest sensible heat (lowlands and ungrazed). The ability of Cornus drummondii to decouple leaf physiological responses from climate variability and fire frequency is a likely contributor to the increase in cover and frequency of this shrub species in mesic grassland and may be generalizable to other grasslands undergoing woody encroachment. PMID

  16. [Effects of desertification on C and N storages in grassland ecosystem on Horqin sandy land].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Ha-lin; Li, Yu-qiang; Zhou, Rui-lian

    2007-11-01

    Sandy grassland is widespread in northern China, where desertification is very common because of overgrazing and estrepement. However, little is known about the effects of desertification on grassland C and N storages in this region. A field survey was conducted on Horqin sandy grassland, and desertification gradients were established to evaluate the effects of desertification on C and N storages in soil, plant, and litter. The results showed that desertification had deep effects on the contents and storages of grassland C and N. The C and N contents and storages in the grassland decreased significantly with increasing desertification degree. Comparing with those in un-desertified grassland, the C and N contents in lightly, moderately, heavily, and severely desertified grasslands decreased by 56.06% and 48.72%, 78.43% and 74.36%, 88.95% and 84.62%, and 91.64% and 84.62% in 0-100 cm soil layer, and by 8.61% and 6.43%, 0.05% and 25.71%, 2.58% and 27.14%, and 8. 61% and 27. 86% in plant components, respectively. Relevantly, the C and N storages decreased by 50.95% and 43.38%, 75.19% and 71.04%, 86.76% and 81.48%, and 91.17% and 83.17% in plant underground components in 0-100 cm soil layer, and by 25.08% and 27.62%, 30.90% and 46.55%, 73.84% and 80.62%, and 90.89% and 87.31% in plant aboveground components, respectively. In 2000, the total area of desertified grassland in Horqin sandy land was 30152. 7 km2, and the C and N loss via desertification reached up to 107.53 and 9.97 Mt, respectively. Correlation analysis indicated that the decrease of soil C and N contents was mainly come from the decreased soil fine particles caused by wind erosion in the process of desertification, and the degradation of soil texture- and nutrient status led finally to the rapid decrease of C and N storages in plant biomass and litter. PMID:18260440

  17. Responses of Plant Community Composition and Biomass Production to Warming and Nitrogen Deposition in a Temperate Meadow Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Song; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2015-01-01

    Climate change has profound influences on plant community composition and ecosystem functions. However, its effects on plant community composition and biomass production are not well understood. A four-year field experiment was conducted to examine the effects of warming, nitrogen (N) addition, and their interactions on plant community composition and biomass production in a temperate meadow ecosystem in northeast China. Experimental warming had no significant effect on plant species richness, evenness, and diversity, while N addition highly reduced the species richness and diversity. Warming tended to reduce the importance value of graminoid species but increased the value of forbs, while N addition had the opposite effect. Warming tended to increase the belowground biomass, but had an opposite tendency to decrease the aboveground biomass. The influences of warming on aboveground production were dependent upon precipitation. Experimental warming had little effect on aboveground biomass in the years with higher precipitation, but significantly suppressed aboveground biomass in dry years. Our results suggest that warming had indirect effects on plant production via its effect on the water availability. Nitrogen addition significantly increased above- and below-ground production, suggesting that N is one of the most important limiting factors determining plant productivity in the studied meadow steppe. Significant interactive effects of warming plus N addition on belowground biomass were also detected. Our observations revealed that environmental changes (warming and N deposition) play significant roles in regulating plant community composition and biomass production in temperate meadow steppe ecosystem in northeast China. PMID:25874975

  18. Impacts of altered rainfall timing and warming in a mesic grassland ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grasslands are highly responsive to inter- and intra-annual variability in precipitation and temperature, which interact to affect soil water dynamics and the plant and soil processes mediated by soil water availability. In the U.S. Central Plains mean temperatures are expected to increase and rain...

  19. Forest Management Type Influences Diversity and Community Composition of Soil Fungi across Temperate Forest Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Goldmann, Kezia; Schöning, Ingo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2015-01-01

    Fungal communities have been shown to be highly sensitive toward shifts in plant diversity and species composition in forest ecosystems. However, little is known about the impact of forest management on fungal diversity and community composition of geographically separated sites. This study examined the effects of four different forest management types on soil fungal communities. These forest management types include age class forests of young managed beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), with beech stands age of approximately 30 years, age class beech stands with an age of approximately 70 years, unmanaged beech stands, and coniferous stands dominated by either pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) or spruce (Picea abies Karst.) which are located in three study sites across Germany. Soil were sampled from 48 study plots and we employed fungal ITS rDNA pyrotag sequencing to assess the soil fungal diversity and community structure. We found that forest management type significantly affects the Shannon diversity of soil fungi and a significant interaction effect of study site and forest management on the fungal operational taxonomic units richness. Consequently distinct fungal communities were detected in the three study sites and within the four forest management types, which were mainly related to the main tree species. Further analysis of the contribution of soil properties revealed that C/N ratio being the most important factor in all the three study sites whereas soil pH was significantly related to the fungal community in two study sites. Functional assignment of the fungal communities indicated that 38% of the observed communities were Ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) and their distribution is significantly influenced by the forest management. Soil pH and C/N ratio were found to be the main drivers of the ECM fungal community composition. Additional fungal community similarity analysis revealed the presence of study site and management type specific ECM genera. This study extends our

  20. Forest Management Type Influences Diversity and Community Composition of Soil Fungi across Temperate Forest Ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Goldmann, Kezia; Schöning, Ingo; Buscot, François; Wubet, Tesfaye

    2015-01-01

    Fungal communities have been shown to be highly sensitive toward shifts in plant diversity and species composition in forest ecosystems. However, little is known about the impact of forest management on fungal diversity and community composition of geographically separated sites. This study examined the effects of four different forest management types on soil fungal communities. These forest management types include age class forests of young managed beech (Fagus sylvatica L.), with beech stands age of approximately 30 years, age class beech stands with an age of approximately 70 years, unmanaged beech stands, and coniferous stands dominated by either pine (Pinus sylvestris L.) or spruce (Picea abies Karst.) which are located in three study sites across Germany. Soil were sampled from 48 study plots and we employed fungal ITS rDNA pyrotag sequencing to assess the soil fungal diversity and community structure. We found that forest management type significantly affects the Shannon diversity of soil fungi and a significant interaction effect of study site and forest management on the fungal operational taxonomic units richness. Consequently distinct fungal communities were detected in the three study sites and within the four forest management types, which were mainly related to the main tree species. Further analysis of the contribution of soil properties revealed that C/N ratio being the most important factor in all the three study sites whereas soil pH was significantly related to the fungal community in two study sites. Functional assignment of the fungal communities indicated that 38% of the observed communities were Ectomycorrhizal fungi (ECM) and their distribution is significantly influenced by the forest management. Soil pH and C/N ratio were found to be the main drivers of the ECM fungal community composition. Additional fungal community similarity analysis revealed the presence of study site and management type specific ECM genera. This study extends our

  1. Local parasite lineage sharing in temperate grassland birds provides clues about potential origins of Galapagos avian Plasmodium.

    PubMed

    Levin, Iris I; Colborn, Rachel E; Kim, Daniel; Perlut, Noah G; Renfrew, Rosalind B; Parker, Patricia G

    2016-02-01

    Oceanic archipelagos are vulnerable to natural introduction of parasites via migratory birds. Our aim was to characterize the geographic origins of two Plasmodium parasite lineages detected in the Galapagos Islands and in North American breeding bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) that regularly stop in Galapagos during migration to their South American overwintering sites. We used samples from a grassland breeding bird assemblage in Nebraska, United States, and parasite DNA sequences from the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, to compare to global data in a DNA sequence registry. Homologous DNA sequences from parasites detected in bobolinks and more sedentary birds (e.g., brown-headed cowbirds Molothrus ater, and other co-occurring bird species resident on the North American breeding grounds) were compared to those recovered in previous studies from global sites. One parasite lineage that matched between Galapagos birds and the migratory bobolink, Plasmodium lineage B, was the most common lineage detected in the global MalAvi database, matching 49 sequences from unique host/site combinations, 41 of which were of South American origin. We did not detect lineage B in brown-headed cowbirds. The other Galapagos-bobolink match, Plasmodium lineage C, was identical to two other sequences from birds sampled in California. We detected a close variant of lineage C in brown-headed cowbirds. Taken together, this pattern suggests that bobolinks became infected with lineage B on the South American end of their migratory range, and with lineage C on the North American breeding grounds. Overall, we detected more parasite lineages in bobolinks than in cowbirds. Galapagos Plasmodium had similar host breadth compared to the non-Galapagos haemosporidian lineages detected in bobolinks, brown-headed cowbirds, and other grassland species. This study highlights the utility of global haemosporidian data in the context of migratory bird-parasite connectivity. It is possible that migratory bobolinks

  2. Plant trait-based models identify direct and indirect effects of climate change on bundles of grassland ecosystem services

    PubMed Central

    Lamarque, Pénélope; Lavorel, Sandra; Mouchet, Maud; Quétier, Fabien

    2014-01-01

    Land use and climate change are primary causes of changes in the supply of ecosystem services (ESs). Although the consequences of climate change on ecosystem properties and associated services are well documented, the cascading impacts of climate change on ESs through changes in land use are largely overlooked. We present a trait-based framework based on an empirical model to elucidate how climate change affects tradeoffs among ESs. Using alternative scenarios for mountain grasslands, we predicted how direct effects of climate change on ecosystems and indirect effects through farmers’ adaptations are likely to affect ES bundles through changes in plant functional properties. ES supply was overall more sensitive to climate than to induced management change, and ES bundles remained stable across scenarios. These responses largely reflected the restricted extent of management change in this constrained system, which was incorporated when scaling up plot level climate and management effects on ecosystem properties to the entire landscape. The trait-based approach revealed how the combination of common driving traits and common responses to changed fertility determined interactions and tradeoffs among ESs. PMID:25225382

  3. Comparison of Carbon Sequestration Rates and Energy Balance of Turf in the Denver Urban Ecosystem and an Adjacent Native Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thienelt, T. S.; Anderson, D. E.; Powell, K. M.

    2011-12-01

    Urban ecosystems are currently characterized by rapid growth, are expected to continually expand and, thus, represent an important driver of land use change. A significant component of urban ecosystems is lawns, potentially the single largest irrigated "crop" in the U.S. Beginning in March of 2011 (ahead of the growing season), eddy covariance measurements of net carbon exchange and evapotranspiration along with energy balance fluxes were conducted for a well-watered, fertilized lawn (rye-bluegrass-mix) in metropolitan Denver and for a nearby tallgrass prairie (big bluestem, switchgrass, cheatgrass, blue grama). Due to the semi-arid climate conditions of the Denver region, differences in management (i.e., irrigation and fertilization) are expected to have a discernible impact on ecosystem productivity and thus on carbon sequestration rates, evapotranspiration, and the sensible and latent heat partitioning of the energy balance. By mid-July, preliminary data indicated that cumulative evapotranspiration was approximately 270 mm and 170 mm for urban and native grasslands, respectively, although cumulative carbon sequestration at that time was similar for both (approximately 40 mg/m2). However, the pattern of carbon exchange differed between the grasslands. Both sites showed daily net uptake of carbon starting in late May, but the urban lawn displayed greater diurnal variability as well as greater uptake rates in general, especially following fertilization in mid-June. In contrast, the trend of carbon uptake at the prairie site was occasionally reversed following strong convective precipitation events, resulting in a temporary net release of carbon. The continuing acquisition of data and investigation of these relations will help us assess the potential impact of urban growth on regional carbon sequestration.

  4. Deriving seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna grasslands from in situ-based hyperspectral reflectance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tagesson, T.; Fensholt, R.; Huber, S.; Horion, S.; Guiro, I.; Ehammer, A.; Ardo, J.

    2015-08-01

    This paper investigates how hyperspectral reflectance (between 350 and 1800 nm) can be used to infer ecosystem properties for a semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa using a unique in situ-based multi-angular data set of hemispherical conical reflectance factor (HCRF) measurements. Relationships between seasonal dynamics in hyperspectral HCRF and ecosystem properties (biomass, gross primary productivity (GPP), light use efficiency (LUE), and fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by vegetation (FAPAR)) were analysed. HCRF data (ρ) were used to study the relationship between normalised difference spectral indices (NDSIs) and the measured ecosystem properties. Finally, the effects of variable sun sensor viewing geometry on different NDSI wavelength combinations were analysed. The wavelengths with the strongest correlation to seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties were shortwave infrared (biomass), the peak absorption band for chlorophyll a and b (at 682 nm) (GPP), the oxygen A band at 761 nm used for estimating chlorophyll fluorescence (GPP and LUE), and blue wavelengths (ρ412) (FAPAR). The NDSI with the strongest correlation to (i) biomass combined red-edge HCRF (ρ705) with green HCRF (ρ587), (ii) GPP combined wavelengths at the peak of green reflection (ρ518, ρ556), (iii) LUE combined red (ρ688) with blue HCRF (ρ436), and (iv) FAPAR combined blue (ρ399) and near-infrared (ρ1295) wavelengths. NDSIs combining near infrared and shortwave infrared were strongly affected by solar zenith angles and sensor viewing geometry, as were many combinations of visible wavelengths. This study provides analyses based upon novel multi-angular hyperspectral data for validation of Earth-observation-based properties of semi-arid ecosystems, as well as insights for designing spectral characteristics of future sensors for ecosystem monitoring.

  5. An automated dynamic chamber system for surface exchange measurement of non-reactive and reactive trace gases of grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pape, L.; Ammann, C.; Nyfeler-Brunner, A.; Spirig, C.; Hens, K.; Meixner, F. X.

    2009-03-01

    We present an automated dynamic chamber system which is optimised for continuous unattended flux measurements of multiple non-reactive and reactive trace gases on grassland ecosystems. Main design features of our system are (a) highly transparent chamber walls consisting of chemically inert material, (b) individual purging flow units for each chamber, and (c) a movable lid for automated opening and closing of the chamber. The purging flow rate was chosen high enough to keep the mean residence time of the chamber air below one minute. This guarantees a proven efficient mixing of the chamber volume and a fast equilibration after lid closing. The dynamic chamber system is able to measure emission as well as deposition fluxes of trace gases. For the latter case, the modification of the turbulent transport by the chamber (compared to undisturbed ambient conditions) is quantitatively described by a bulk resistance concept. Beside a detailed description of the design and functioning of the system, results of field applications at two grassland sites are presented. In the first experiment, fluxes of five trace gases (CO2, H2O, NO, NO2, O3) were measured simultaneously on small grassland plots. It showed that the dynamic chamber system is able to detect the characteristic diurnal cycles with a sufficient temporal resolution. The results also demonstrated the importance of considering the chemical source/sink in the chamber due to gas phase reactions for the reactive compounds of the NO-NO2-O3 triad. In a second field experiment, chamber flux measurements of CO2 and methanol were compared to simultaneous independent eddy covariance flux measurements on the field scale. The fluxes obtained with the two methods showed a very good agreement indicating a minimal disturbance of the chambers on the physiological activity of the enclosed vegetation.

  6. An automated dynamic chamber system for surface exchange measurement of non-reactive and reactive trace gases of grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Pape, L.; Ammann, C.; Nyfeler-Brunner, A.; Spirig, C.; Hens, K.; Meixner, F. X.

    2008-08-01

    We present an automated dynamic chamber system which is optimised for continuous unattended flux measurements of multiple non-reactive and reactive trace gases on grassland ecosystems. Main design features of our system are (a) highly transparent chamber walls consisting of chemically inert material, (b) individual purging flow units for each chamber, and (c) a movable lid for automated opening and closing of the chamber. The purging flow rate was chosen high enough to keep the mean residence time of the chamber air below one minute. This guarantees a proven efficient mixing of the chamber volume and a fast equilibration after lid closing. The dynamic chamber system is able to measure emission as well as deposition fluxes of trace gases. For the latter case, the modification of the turbulent transport by the chamber (compared to undisturbed ambient conditions) is quantitatively described by a bulk resistance concept. Beside a detailed description of the design and functioning of the system, results of field applications at two grassland sites are presented. In the first experiment, fluxes of five trace gases (CO2, H2O, NO, NO2, O3) were measured simultaneously on small grassland plots. It showed that the dynamic chamber system is able to detect the characteristic diurnal cycles with a sufficient temporal resolution. The results also demonstrated the importance of considering the chemical source/sink in the chamber due to gas phase reactions for the reactive compounds of the NO-NO2-O3 triad. In a second field experiment, chamber flux measurements of CO2 and methanol were compared to simultaneous independent eddy covariance flux measurements on the field scale. The fluxes obtained with the two methods showed a very good agreement indicating a minimal disturbance of the chambers on the physiological activity of the enclosed vegetation.

  7. Exploring mobilisation and transport of diffuse substances using multiple sediment and colloid tracers applied to a temperate grassland catchment.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Granger, S.; Hawkins, J.

    2009-04-01

    The mobilisation and transport of diffuse substances from livestock grassland systems to surface water bodies is known to impact aquatic ecology and human health. Diffuse substances include sediment and colloidal material detached from the soil surface and subsurface and colloidal material solubilised by water travelling across and through the soil matrix. Improving understanding of the dominant processes controlling the mobilisation and transport of sediment and colloid associated materials requires the application of established and novel tracing methods. In this study our objective was to link mobilisation from the plot to head water catchment scales by tracing the movement of slurry material delivered to a first order stream through the application of natural and artificial fluorescence and rare earth oxide (REO) tracing techniques. Slurry treated with fluorescent beads or REO's was applied to a hydrologically isolated field within a ~40 ha catchment. Novel natural fluorescence techniques were used to assess the presence of dissolved slurry material through the distinctive signature of samples in drainage waters. The particulate phase of slurry was traced using artificial fluorescent beads manufactured to represent two particulate phases of slurry: organic and mineral. The bead treated slurry was applied homogeneously across the entire field. REO treated slurry was applied in five 1 ha contour zones across the field, each zone receiving slurry labelled with different REOs. Surface drainage was monitored and sampled at a v-notch weir placed at the hydrological outlet of the field and at a trapezoidal flume at the catchment outlet.

  8. Opposing resonses to ecological gradients structure amphibian and reptile communities across a temperate grassland-savanna-forest landscape

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Grundel, Ralph; Beamer, David; Glowacki, Gary A.; Frohnapple, Krystal; Pavlovic, Noel B.

    2014-01-01

    Temperate savannas are threatened across the globe. If we prioritize savanna restoration, we should ask how savanna animal communities differ from communities in related open habitats and forests. We documented distribution of amphibian and reptile species across an open-savanna–forest gradient in the Midwest U.S. to determine how fire history and habitat structure affected herpetofaunal community composition. The transition from open habitats to forests was a transition from higher reptile abundance to higher amphibian abundance and the intermediate savanna landscape supported the most species overall. These differences warn against assuming that amphibian and reptile communities will have similar ecological responses to habitat structure. Richness and abundance also often responded in opposite directions to some habitat characteristics, such as cover of bare ground or litter. Herpetofaunal community species composition changed along a fire gradient from infrequent and recent fires to frequent but less recent fires. Nearby (200-m) wetland cover was relatively unimportant in predicting overall herpetofaunal community composition while fire history and fire-related canopy and ground cover were more important predictors of composition, diversity, and abundance. Increased developed cover was negatively related to richness and abundance. This indicates the importance of fire history and fire related landscape characteristics, and the negative effects of development, in shaping the upland herpetofaunal community along the native grassland–forest continuum.

  9. Denitrification and N2O:N2 production in temperate grasslands: processes, measurements, modelling and mitigating negative impacts.

    PubMed

    Saggar, Surinder; Jha, N; Deslippe, J; Bolan, N S; Luo, J; Giltrap, D L; Kim, D-G; Zaman, M; Tillman, R W

    2013-11-01

    In this review we explore the biotic transformations of nitrogenous compounds that occur during denitrification, and the factors that influence denitrifier populations and enzyme activities, and hence, affect the production of nitrous oxide (N2O) and dinitrogen (N2) in soils. Characteristics of the genes related to denitrification are also presented. Denitrification is discussed with particular emphasis on nitrogen (N) inputs and dynamics within grasslands, and their impacts on the key soil variables and processes regulating denitrification and related gaseous N2O and N2 emissions. Factors affecting denitrification include soil N, carbon (C), pH, temperature, oxygen supply and water content. We understand that the N2O:N2 production ratio responds to the changes in these factors. Increased soil N supply, decreased soil pH, C availability and water content generally increase N2O:N2 ratio. The review also covers approaches to identify and quantify denitrification, including acetylene inhibition, (15)N tracer and direct N2 quantification techniques. We also outline the importance of emerging molecular techniques to assess gene diversity and reveal enzymes that consume N2O during denitrification and the factors affecting their activities and consider a process-based approach that can be used to quantify the N2O:N2 product ratio and N2O emissions with known levels of uncertainty in soils. Finally, we explore strategies to reduce the N2O:N2 product ratio during denitrification to mitigate N2O emissions. Future research needs to focus on evaluating the N2O-reducing ability of the denitrifiers to accelerate the conversion of N2O to N2 and the reduction of N2O:N2 ratio during denitrification. PMID:23260378

  10. On the relationship between ecosystem-scale hyperspectral reflectance and CO2 exchange in European mountain grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Balzarolo, M.; Vescovo, L.; Hammerle, A.; Gianelle, D.; Papale, D.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2014-07-01

    In this paper we explore the use of hyperspectral reflectance measurements and vegetation indices (VIs) derived therefrom in estimating carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes (net ecosystem exchange - NEE; gross primary production - GPP), and some key ecophysiological variables related to NEE and GPP (light use efficiency - ɛ; initial quantum yield - α; and GPP at saturating light - GPPmax) for grasslands. Hyperspectral reflectance data (400-1000 nm), CO2 fluxes and biophysical parameters were measured at three grassland sites located in European mountain regions. The relationships between CO2 fluxes, ecophysiological variables and VIs derived using all two-band combinations of wavelengths available from the whole hyperspectral data space were analysed. We found that hyperspectral VIs generally explained a large fraction of the variability in the investigated dependent variables and that they generally exhibited more skill in estimating midday and daily average GPP and NEE, as well as GPPmax, than α and ɛ. Relationships between VIs and CO2 fluxes and ecophysiological parameters were site-specific, likely due to differences in soils, vegetation parameters and environmental conditions. Chlorophyll and water content related VIs (e.g. CI, NPCI, WI), reflecting seasonal changes in biophysical parameters controlling the photosynthesis process, explained the largest fraction of variability in most of the dependent variables. A limitation of the hyperspectral sensors is that their cost is still high and the use laborious. At the eddy covariance with a limited budget and without technical support, we suggest to use at least dual or four channels low cost sensors in the the following spectral regions: 400-420 nm; 500-530 nm; 750-770 nm; 780-800 nm and 880-900 nm. In addition, our findings have major implications for up-scaling terrestrial CO2 fluxes to larger regions and for remote and proximal sensing sampling and analysis strategies and call for more cross-site synthesis studies

  11. Testing functional trait-based mechanisms underpinning plant responses to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning in grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, S. X.; Li, W. H.; Lan, Z. C.; Ren, H. Y.; Wang, K. B.; Bai, Y. F.

    2014-09-01

    Abundant evidence has shown that grazing alters plant functional traits, ecological strategies, community structure, and ecosystem functioning of grasslands. Few studies, however, have examined how plant responses to grazing are mediated by resource availability and functional group identity. We test functional trait-based mechanisms underlying the responses of different life forms to grazing and linkages to ecosystem functioning along a soil moisture gradient in the Inner Mongolia grassland. A principal component analysis (PCA) based on 9 traits × 276 species matrix showed that the plant size spectrum (i.e., individual biomass), leaf economics spectrum (leaf N content and leaf density), and light competition spectrum (height and stem-leaf biomass ratio) distinguished plant species responses to grazing. The three life forms exhibited differential strategies as indicated by trait responses to grazing. The annuals and biennials adopted grazing-tolerant strategies associated with high growth rate, reflected by high leaf N content and specific leaf area. The perennial grasses exhibited grazing-tolerant strategies associated with great regrowth capacity and high palatability scores, whereas perennial forbs showed grazing-avoidant strategies with short stature and low palatability scores. In addition, the dominant perennial bunchgrasses exhibited mixed tolerance-resistance strategies to grazing and mixed acquisitive-conservative strategies in resource utilization. Grazing increased the relative abundance of perennial forbs with low palatability in the wet and fertile meadow, but it promoted perennial grasses with high palatability in the dry and infertile typical steppe. Our findings suggest that the effects of grazing on plant functional traits are dependent on both the abiotic (e.g., soil moisture) and biotic (e.g., plant functional group identity and composition) factors. Grazing-induced shifts in functional group composition are largely dependent on resource

  12. Linking the Response of Annual Grasslands to Warming and Altered Rainfall Across Scales of Gene Expression, Species, and Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Torn, M. S.; Bernard, S. M.; Castanha, C.; Fischer, M. L.; Hopkins, F. M.; Placella, S. A.; St. Clair, S. B.; Salve, R.; Sudderth, E.; Herman, D.; Ackerly, D.; Firestone, M. K.

    2007-12-01

    Climate change can influence terrestrial ecosystems at multiple biological levels: gene expression, species, and ecosystem. We are studying California grassland mesocosms with seven annual species (five grasses, two forbs) that were started in 2005. In the 2006-2007 growing season, they were exposed to three rainfall treatments (297, 552, and 867 mm y-1) and soil and air temperature (ambient and elevated +4oC) in replicated greenhouses. This presentation will combine plant and ecosystem level results with transcript level analyses associated with key enzymes, such as rubisco and glutamine synthetase (GS). Because rainfall is the dominant climate variable for most processes in this Mediterranean ecosystem, the effect of warming was strongly mediated by rainfall. In fact, we saw significant interactions between temperature and rainfall treatments at all three biological levels. For example, at the ecosystem level, warming led to a decrease in aboveground and total NPP under low rainfall, and an increase under high rainfall. For the dominant species, Avena barbata, warming had no effect under high rainfall, but suppressed Avena NPP in low rainfall. At the same time, warmer, wetter conditions accelerated Avena flowering by almost 15 days. This shift in phenology was presaged by observations at the transcript level. Specifically, in the high temperature, high rainfall treatment, the levels of mRNAs for RbcS and GS2 (encoding the small subunit of rubisco and the chloroplastic isoform of GS, respectively) declined while GS1 (encoding the cytosolic isoform of GS) was upregulated several weeks before heading. The transcript level response (along with soil and plant nitrogen data) indicated the leaf had switched from a carbon and nitrogen sink to a source - consistent with more mature plant function and earlier flowering. Soil CO2 respiration also showed strong rain-by-temperature interactions that were due mainly to changes in root response (respiration and/or exudates

  13. Controls for ecosystem methane exchange are time-scale specifc and shift during the growing season of a temperate fen

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sachs, T.; Koebsch, F.; Jurasinski, G.; Koch, M.; Hofmann, J.; Glatzel, S.

    2014-12-01

    Wetlands are the largest natural sources for atmospheric methane (CH4). In wetlands with permanent shallow inundation, the seasonal variation of CH4 exchange is mainly controlled by temperature and phenology. In addition, ecosystem CH4 exchange varies considerably on smaller temporal scales such as days or weeks. Several single processes that control CH4 emissions on the local soil-plant-atmosphere continuum are well investigated, but their interaction on ecosystem level is not well understood yet. We applied wavelet analysis to a quasi-continuous Eddy Covariance CH4 flux time series to describe the temporal variation of ecosystem CH4 exchange within the growing season of a permanently inundated temperate fen. Moreover, we addressed time scale-specific controls and investigated whether their impact changes during the course of the growing season. On large time scales of two weeks to three months, temperature explained most of the variation in ecosystem CH4 exchange. In general, the temperature in the shallow water column had the largest impact as explanatory variable, however, air temperature and soil temperature became increasingly important as explanatory variables when water level dropped slightly up to June. The diurnal variation of ecosystem CH4 exchange shifted during the course of the growing season: During a short time period at the end of April, plant activity (expressed by canopy photosynthesis) caused a diurnal variation of ecosystem CH4 exchange with peak time around noon. In the following weeks, the daily cycle of convective mixing within the water column (expressed by the water temperature gradient) gradually gained importance and caused high night-time CH4 emissions, thereby levelling off the diurnal CH4 emission pattern. Moreover, shear-induced turbulence caused short-term fluctuations of ecosystem CH4 exchange on time scales up to two hours. Our study highlights the need for multi-scale approaches that consider the non-stationarity of the

  14. Can we use the past as a lens to the future? Using historic events to predict regional grassland and shrubland responses to multi-year drought or wet periods under climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Background/Question/Methods Ecologists are being challenged to predict ecosystem responses under changing climatic conditions. Water availability is the primary driver of ecosystem processes in temperate grasslands and shrublands, but uncertainty in the magnitude and direction of change in precipita...

  15. Nitrogen and carbon cycling in a grassland community ecosystem as affected by elevated atmospheric CO2

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing global atmospheric CO2 concentration has led to concerns regarding its potential effects on terrestrial ecosystem and the long-term storage of C and N in soil. This study examined responses to elevated CO2 in a grass ecosystem invaded with a leguminous shrub Acacia farnesiana (L.) Willd (...

  16. Inter-annual variability of carbon fluxes in temperate forest ecosystems: effects of biotic and abiotic factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, M.; Keenan, T. F.; Hufkens, K.; Munger, J. W.; Bohrer, G.; Brzostek, E. R.; Richardson, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Carbon dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems are influenced by both abiotic and biotic factors. Abiotic factors, such as variation in meteorological conditions, directly drive biophysical and biogeochemical processes; biotic factors, referring to the inherent properties of the ecosystem components, reflect the internal regulating effects including temporal dynamics and memory. The magnitude of the effect of abiotic and biotic factors on forest ecosystem carbon exchange has been suggested to vary at different time scales. In this study, we design and conduct a model-data fusion experiment to investigate the role and relative importance of the biotic and abiotic factors for inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) of temperate deciduous forest ecosystems in the Northeastern US. A process-based model (FöBAAR) is parameterized at four eddy-covariance sites using all available flux and biometric measurements. We conducted a "transplant" modeling experiment, that is, cross- site and parameter simulations with different combinations of site meteorology and parameters. Using wavelet analysis and variance partitioning techniques, analysis of model predictions identifies both spatial variant and spatially invariant parameters. Variability of NEE was primarily modulated by gross primary productivity (GPP), with relative contributions varying from hourly to yearly time scales. The inter-annual variability of GPP and NEE is more regulated by meteorological forcing, but spatial variability in certain model parameters (biotic response) has more substantial effects on the inter-annual variability of ecosystem respiration (Reco) through the effects on carbon pools. Both the biotic and abiotic factors play significant roles in modulating the spatial and temporal variability in terrestrial carbon cycling in the region. Together, our study quantifies the relative importance of both, and calls for better understanding of them to better predict regional CO2

  17. Modeled effect of warming on ecosystem carbon and water dynamics within grassland/old-field ecosystems along a moisture gradient

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    As a consequence of steadily increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in Earth’s atmosphere, average world-wide surface temperature is expected to increase 1.5-6.4°C by the end of the 21st Century. Results from manipulative field experiments and ecosystem modeling indicate that plants and soil...

  18. Climate Extreme Effects on the Chemical Composition of Temperate Grassland Species under Ambient and Elevated CO2: A Comparison of Fructan and Non-Fructan Accumulators

    PubMed Central

    Zinta, Gaurav; Van den Ende, Wim; Janssens, Ivan A.; Asard, Han

    2014-01-01

    Elevated CO2 concentrations and extreme climate events, are two increasing components of the ongoing global climatic change factors, may alter plant chemical composition and thereby their economic and ecological characteristics, e.g. nutritional quality and decomposition rates. To investigate the impact of climate extremes on tissue quality, four temperate grassland species: the fructan accumulating grasses Lolium perenne, Poa pratensis, and the nitrogen (N) fixing legumes Medicago lupulina and Lotus corniculatus were subjected to water deficit at elevated temperature (+3°C), under ambient CO2 (392 ppm) and elevated CO2 (620 ppm). As a general observation, the effects of the climate extreme were larger and more ubiquitous in combination with elevated CO2. The imposed climate extreme increased non-structural carbohydrate and phenolics in all species, whereas it increased lignin in legumes and decreased tannins in grasses. However, there was no significant effect of climate extreme on structural carbohydrates, proteins, lipids and mineral contents and stoichiometric ratios. In combination with elevated CO2, climate extreme elicited larger increases in fructan and sucrose content in the grasses without affecting the total carbohydrate content, while it significantly increased total carbohydrates in legumes. The accumulation of carbohydrates in legumes was accompanied by higher activity of sucrose phosphate synthase, sucrose synthase and ADP-Glc pyrophosphorylase. In the legumes, elevated CO2 in combination with climate extreme reduced protein, phosphorus (P) and magnesium (Mg) contents and the total element:N ratio and it increased phenol, lignin, tannin, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) contents and C:N, C:P and N:P ratios. On the other hand, the tissue composition of the fructan accumulating grasses was not affected at this level, in line with recent views that fructans contribute to cellular homeostasis under stress. It is speculated that quality losses will be less

  19. Nitric oxide emission from arid grassland and shrubland ecosystems in southern New Mexico

    SciTech Connect

    Hartley, A.E.; Schlesinger, W.H. )

    1993-06-01

    Soil nitrogen losses are characteristic of the transition from semi-arid grassland to arid shrubland in the southwestern United States. Nitrogen gas emission from soil microbial activity contributes to the long-term reduction of soil fertility associated with desertification. We investigated nitric Oxide (NO) emission from arid soils in the Jornada Experimental Range, near Las Cruces, New Mexico. During the dry season, mean NO fluxes from coarse-textured soils in a Boutelcua grassland and a Larrea shrubland were similar (0.12 and 0.15 ng NO-N cm[sup [minus]2] hr[sup [minus]1], respectively), and higher than flexes from fine-textured soils in a Flourensia shrubland (0.02 ng NO-N cm[sup [minus]2] hr[sup [minus]1]). In a wetting experiment, mean NO fluxes were higher under shrub canopies of Larrea and Flourensia, reflecting the accumulation of soil organic matter under shrubs in islands of fertility. In the Larrea shrubland, mean NO fluxes were ten times higher under shrubs than between shrubs (12.9 vs. 1.29 ng NO-N cm[sup [minus]2] hr[sup [minus]1]).

  20. Conversion of temperate forests into heaths: Role of ecosystem disturbance and ericaceous plants

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mallik, A. U.

    1995-09-01

    Fire and logging in nutrient-poor temperate forests with certain ericaceous understory plants may convert the forests into heaths. The process of disturbance-induced heath formation is documented by using examples of Calluna in western Europe, Kalmia in Newfoundland, and Gaultheria (salal) in coastal British Columbia. In a cool, temperate climate, rapid vegetative growth of Calluna, Kalmia, and salal following disturbance results in increasing organic accumulation (paludification), nutrient sequestration, soil acidification, and allelochemicals. These are thought to be the main reasons to conifer regeneration failure in disturbed habitats. If continuation in forest is a land-use objective, then temperate forests with an ericaceous understory should not be logged unless effective silvicultural methods are devised to control the ericaceous plants and restore forest regeneration. Preharvest vegetation control may be considered as an option. Failure to control the understory plants may lead to a long-term vegetation shift, from forest to heathland, particularly in nutrient-poor sites. Successful methods of controlling Kalmia and Gaultheria, however, have yet to be developed. While the Kalmia- and Gaultheria- dominated heathlands are undesirable in Canada and the Pacific Northwest, a wide range of Calluna heathlands of western Europe are being conserved as natural and seminatural vegetation.

  1. Relationship between annual canopy photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration in humid-temperate pastures

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Increasing nitrogen fertilization of a mature cool-season pasture increased annual photosynthetic C uptake (GPP) and forage yield but also increased ecosystem respiration (Re), such that net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and soil C sequestration were not affected by the increased fertility. A nine-year s...

  2. Changes in grassland ecosystem function due to extreme rainfall events: implications for responses to climate change

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Climate change driven by increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations is causing measurable changes in precipitation patterns. Most climate change scenarios forecast continuing increases in extreme precipitation patterns for North American terrestrial ecosystems, manifest as larger precipitation event...

  3. Spatial pattern of nitrogen isotopes as an indicator of ecosystem responses to rainfall in semi-arid and arid grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    WANG, C.; Bai, E.; Liu, D.; Fang, T. Y.; Jiang, P.; Han, G. X.

    2013-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential element for plant growth, however, whether it is a limiting factor of plant growth in water-limited areas is still not clear. Here we examined spatial variations of plant and soil stable N isotopes along a 3200 km precipitation gradient and proposed a conceptual model to explain ecosystem responses to increasing precipitation in arid and semi-arid grasslands in China. Soil δ15N increased with increasing MAP in areas with MAP < 200 mm, but decreased in areas with 200 mm < MAP < 500 mm. Variations of foliar δ15N, soil total N, and soil C: N provided further evidence of a threshold at MAP = 200 mm for precipitation effects. Results indicated that soil microbes can be activated by precipitation even when MAP < 200 mm while plant N uptake can only be activated when MAP > 200 mm. In areas with MAP < 200 mm, productivity was limited by water, but not nitrogen, although soil N is low. This study provides fundamental inputs for future process-based modeling of nutrient cycling in arid and semi-arid areas. If future climate change leads to drier climate in dryland, the uncoupled plant and microbial response may cause more N losses and higher ecosystem vulnerability. 3 Soil organic carbon (Soil C, a), total nitrogen (Soil N, b), C/N (c) and δ15N (d) of study sites along a MAP gradient. Relationship between MAP and foliar δ15N (a) and root δ15N (b).

  4. Effects of grazing on leaf traits and ecosystem functioning in Inner Mongolia grasslands: scaling from species to community

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zheng, S. X.; Ren, H. Y.; Lan, Z. C.; Li, W. H.; Wang, K. B.; Bai, Y. F.

    2010-03-01

    Understanding the mechanistic links between environmental drivers, human disturbance, plant functional traits, and ecosystem properties is a fundamental aspect of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research. Recent studies have focused mostly on leaf-level traits or community-level weighted traits to predict species responses to grazing and the consequent change in ecosystem functioning. However, studies of leaf-level traits or community-level weighted traits seldom identify the mechanisms linking grazing impact on leaf traits to ecosystem functioning. Here, using a multi-organization-level approach, we examined the effects of grazing on leaf traits (i.e., leaf area, leaf dry mass and specific leaf area) and ecosystem functioning across six communities of three vegetation types along a soil moisture gradient in the Xilin River Basin of Inner Mongolia grassland, China. Our results showed that the effects of grazing on leaf traits differed substantially when scaling up from leaf-level to species, functional group (i.e., life forms and water ecotype types), and community levels; and they also varied with vegetation type or site conditions. The effects of grazing on leaf traits diminished progressively along the hierarchy of organizational levels in the meadow, whereas the impacts were predominantly negative and the magnitude of the effects increased considerably at higher organizational levels in the typical steppe. Soil water and nutrient availability, functional trade-offs between leaf size and number of leaves per individual, and differentiation in avoidance and tolerance strategies among coexisting species are likely to be responsible for the observed responses of leaf traits to grazing at different levels of organization and among vegetation types. Our findings also demonstrate that, at both the functional group and community levels, standing aboveground biomass increased with leaf area and specific leaf area. Compared with the large changes in leaf traits and

  5. What it takes to invade grassland ecosystems: traits, introduction history and filtering processes

    PubMed Central

    Carboni, Marta; Münkemüller, Tamara; Lavergne, Sébastien; Choler, Philippe; Borgy, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille; Essl, Franz; Roquet, Cristina; Munoz, François; Consortium, DivGrass; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-01-01

    Whether the success of alien species can be explained by their functional or phylogenetic characteristics remains unresolved because of data limitations, scale issues and weak quantifications of success. Using permanent grasslands across France (50,000 vegetation-plots, 2000 species, 130 aliens) and building on the Rabinowitz’ classification to quantify spread, we showed that phylogenetic and functional similarities to natives were the most important correlates of invasion success compared to intrinsic functional characteristics and introduction history. Results contrasted between spatial scales and components of invasion success. Widespread and common aliens were similar to co-occurring natives at coarse scales (indicating environmental filtering), but dissimilar at finer scales (indicating local competition). In contrast, regionally widespread but locally rare aliens showed patterns of competitive exclusion already at coarse scale. Quantifying trait differences between aliens and natives and distinguishing the components of invasion success improved our ability to understand and potentially predict alien spread at multiple scales. PMID:26689431

  6. What it takes to invade grassland ecosystems: traits, introduction history and filtering processes.

    PubMed

    Carboni, Marta; Münkemüller, Tamara; Lavergne, Sébastien; Choler, Philippe; Borgy, Benjamin; Violle, Cyrille; Essl, Franz; Roquet, Cristina; Munoz, François; Thuiller, Wilfried

    2016-03-01

    Whether the success of alien species can be explained by their functional or phylogenetic characteristics remains unresolved because of data limitations, scale issues and weak quantifications of success. Using permanent grasslands across France (50 000 vegetation plots, 2000 species, 130 aliens) and building on the Rabinowitz's classification to quantify spread, we showed that phylogenetic and functional similarities to natives were the most important correlates of invasion success compared to intrinsic functional characteristics and introduction history. Results contrasted between spatial scales and components of invasion success. Widespread and common aliens were similar to co-occurring natives at coarse scales (indicating environmental filtering), but dissimilar at finer scales (indicating local competition). In contrast, regionally widespread but locally rare aliens showed patterns of competitive exclusion already at coarse scale. Quantifying trait differences between aliens and natives and distinguishing the components of invasion success improved our ability to understand and potentially predict alien spread at multiple scales. PMID:26689431

  7. Carbon input control over soil organic matter dynamics in a temperate grassland exposed to elevated CO2 and warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Carrillo, Y.; Pendall, E.; Dijkstra, F. A.; Morgan, J. A.; Newcomb, J. M.

    2010-03-01

    Elevated CO2 generally increases soil C pools. However, greater available C concentrations can potentially stimulate soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition. The effects of climate warming on C storage can also be positive or negative. There is a high degree of uncertainty on the combined effects of climate warming and atmospheric CO2 increase on SOM dynamics and its potential feedbacks to climate change. Semi-arid systems are predicted to show strong ecosystem responses to both factors. Global change factors can have contrasting effects for different SOM pools, thus, to understand the mechanisms underlying the combined effects of multiple factors on soil C storage, effects on individual C pools and their kinetics should be evaluated. We assessed SOM dynamics by conducting long-term laboratory incubations of soils from PHACE (Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment experiment), an elevated CO2 and warming field experiment in semi-arid, native northern mixed grass prairie, Wyoming, USA. We measured total C mineralization and estimated the size of the labile pool and the decomposition rates of the labile and resistant SOM pools. To examine the role of plant inputs on SOM dynamics we measured aboveground biomass, root biomass, and soil dissolved organic C (DOC). Greater aboveground productivity under elevated CO2 translated into enlarged pools of readily available C (measured as total mineralized C, labile C pool and DOC). The effects of warming on the labile C only occurred in the first year of warming suggesting a transient effect of the microbial response to increased temperature. Experimental climate change affected the intrinsic decomposability of both the labile and resistant C pools. Positive relationships of the rate of decomposition of the resistant C with aboveground and belowground biomass and dissolved organic C suggested that plant inputs mediated the response by enhancing the degradability of the resistant C. Our results contribute to a growing body of

  8. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO[sub 2] increase

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1993-01-01

    This report summarizes the second year of research progress. Included are progress reports for the following studies: the responses of temperate forest tree to 3 years of exposure to elevated carbon dioxide, and high and low nutrient and light levels; pot-size limitations in carbon dioxide studies, interactive effects of carbon dioxide and soil moisture availability on tree seedling's tissue water relations, growth, and niche characteristics; individual versus population responses to elevated carbon dioxide levels in two species of annual weeds; and the development of gypsy moth larvae raised on gray and yellow birth foliage grown in ambient and elevated carbon dioxide environments.

  9. Effects of climate change on the delivery of soil-mediated ecosystem services within the primary sector in temperate ecosystems: a review and New Zealand case study.

    PubMed

    Orwin, Kate H; Stevenson, Bryan A; Smaill, Simeon J; Kirschbaum, Miko U F; Dickie, Ian A; Clothier, Brent E; Garrett, Loretta G; van der Weerden, Tony J; Beare, Michael H; Curtin, Denis; de Klein, Cecile A M; Dodd, Michael B; Gentile, Roberta; Hedley, Carolyn; Mullan, Brett; Shepherd, Mark; Wakelin, Steven A; Bell, Nigel; Bowatte, Saman; Davis, Murray R; Dominati, Estelle; O'Callaghan, Maureen; Parfitt, Roger L; Thomas, Steve M

    2015-08-01

    Future human well-being under climate change depends on the ongoing delivery of food, fibre and wood from the land-based primary sector. The ability to deliver these provisioning services depends on soil-based ecosystem services (e.g. carbon, nutrient and water cycling and storage), yet we lack an in-depth understanding of the likely response of soil-based ecosystem services to climate change. We review the current knowledge on this topic for temperate ecosystems, focusing on mechanisms that are likely to underpin differences in climate change responses between four primary sector systems: cropping, intensive grazing, extensive grazing and plantation forestry. We then illustrate how our findings can be applied to assess service delivery under climate change in a specific region, using New Zealand as an example system. Differences in the climate change responses of carbon and nutrient-related services between systems will largely be driven by whether they are reliant on externally added or internally cycled nutrients, the extent to which plant communities could influence responses, and variation in vulnerability to erosion. The ability of soils to regulate water under climate change will mostly be driven by changes in rainfall, but can be influenced by different primary sector systems' vulnerability to soil water repellency and differences in evapotranspiration rates. These changes in regulating services resulted in different potentials for increased biomass production across systems, with intensively managed systems being the most likely to benefit from climate change. Quantitative prediction of net effects of climate change on soil ecosystem services remains a challenge, in part due to knowledge gaps, but also due to the complex interactions between different aspects of climate change. Despite this challenge, it is critical to gain the information required to make such predictions as robust as possible given the fundamental role of soils in supporting human well

  10. Effects of near-future ocean acidification, fishing, and marine protection on a temperate coastal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Cornwall, Christopher E; Eddy, Tyler D

    2015-02-01

    Understanding ecosystem responses to global and local anthropogenic impacts is paramount to predicting future ecosystem states. We used an ecosystem modeling approach to investigate the independent and cumulative effects of fishing, marine protection, and ocean acidification on a coastal ecosystem. To quantify the effects of ocean acidification at the ecosystem level, we used information from the peer-reviewed literature on the effects of ocean acidification. Using an Ecopath with Ecosim ecosystem model for the Wellington south coast, including the Taputeranga Marine Reserve (MR), New Zealand, we predicted ecosystem responses under 4 scenarios: ocean acidification + fishing; ocean acidification + MR (no fishing); no ocean acidification + fishing; no ocean acidification + MR for the year 2050. Fishing had a larger effect on trophic group biomasses and trophic structure than ocean acidification, whereas the effects of ocean acidification were only large in the absence of fishing. Mortality by fishing had large, negative effects on trophic group biomasses. These effects were similar regardless of the presence of ocean acidification. Ocean acidification was predicted to indirectly benefit certain species in the MR scenario. This was because lobster (Jasus edwardsii) only recovered to 58% of the MR biomass in the ocean acidification + MR scenario, a situation that benefited the trophic groups lobsters prey on. Most trophic groups responded antagonistically to the interactive effects of ocean acidification and marine protection (46%; reduced response); however, many groups responded synergistically (33%; amplified response). Conservation and fisheries management strategies need to account for the reduced recovery potential of some exploited species under ocean acidification, nonadditive interactions of multiple factors, and indirect responses of species to ocean acidification caused by declines in calcareous predators. PMID:25354555

  11. Influence of local air pollution on the deposition of peroxyacetyl nitrate to a nutrient-poor natural grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Moravek, A.; Stella, P.; Foken, T.; Trebs, I.

    2015-01-01

    Dry deposition of peroxyacetyl nitrate (PAN) is known to have a phytotoxic impact on plants under photochemical smog conditions, but it may also lead to higher productivity and threaten species richness of vulnerable ecosystems in remote regions. However, underlying mechanisms or controlling factors for PAN deposition are not well understood and studies on dry deposition of PAN are limited. In this study, we investigate the impact of PAN deposition on a nutrient-poor natural grassland ecosystem situated at the edge of an urban and industrialized region in Germany. PAN mixing ratios were measured within a 3.5 months summer to early autumn period. In addition, PAN fluxes were determined with the modified Bowen ratio technique for a selected period. The evaluation of both stomatal and non-stomatal deposition pathways was used to model PAN deposition over the entire summer-autumn period. We found that air masses at the site were influenced by two contrasting pollution regimes, which led to median diurnal PAN mixing ratios ranging between 50 and 300 ppt during unpolluted and between 200 and 600 ppt during polluted episodes. The measured PAN fluxes showed a clear diurnal cycle with maximal deposition fluxes of ~-0.1 nmol m-2 s-1 (corresponding to a deposition velocity of 0.3 cm s-1) during daytime and a significant non-stomatal contribution was found. The ratio of PAN to ozone deposition velocities was found to be ~0.1, which is much larger than assumed by current deposition models. The modelled PAN flux over the entire period revealed that PAN deposition over an entire day was 333 μg m-2 d-1 under unpolluted and 518 μg m-2 d-1 under polluted episodes. Additionally, thermochemical decomposition PAN deposition accounted for 32% under unpolluted episodes and 22% under polluted episodes of the total atmospheric PAN loss. However, the impact of PAN deposition as a nitrogen source to the nutrient-poor grassland was estimated to be only minor, under both unpolluted and

  12. Effects of short term and long term soil warming on ecosystem phenology of a sub-arctic grassland: an NDVI-based approach

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Leblans, Niki; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2014-05-01

    Phenology has been defined as the study of the timing of recurring biological events and the causes of their timing with regard to abiotic and biotic factors. Ecosystem phenology, including the onset of the growing season and its senescence in autumn, plays an important role in the carbon, water and energy exchange between biosphere and atmosphere at higher latitudes. Factors that influence ecosystem phenology can therefore induce important climate-controlling feedback mechanisms. Global surface temperatures have been predicted to increase in the coming decades. Hence, a better understanding of the effect of temperature on ecosystem phenology is essential. Natural geothermal soil temperature gradients in Iceland offer a unique opportunity to study the soil temperature (Ts) dependence of ecosystem phenology and distinguish short-term (transient) warming effects (in recently established Ts gradients) from long-term (permanent) effects (in centuries-old Ts gradients). This research was performed in the framework of an international research project (ForHot; www.forhot.is). ForHot includes two natural grassland areas with gradients in Ts, dominated by Festuca sp., Agrostis sp.. The first warmed area was created in 2008, when an earthquake in S-Iceland caused geothermal systems to be shifted to previously cold soils. The second area is located about 3 km away from this newly warmed grassland. For this area, there are proofs that the natural soil warming has been continuous for at least 300 year. In the present study we focus on Ts elevation gradients of +0 to +10°C. The experiment consists of five transects with five temperature levels (+0,+1,+3,+5 and +10°C) in the two aforementioned grassland ecosystems (n=25 in each grassland). From April until November 2013, weekly measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were taken. In the short-term warmed grassland, the greening of the vegetation was 36 days advanced at +10°C Ts and the date of 50

  13. High-temporal resolution radiocarbon analyses of dissolved organic matter in soils from a mountainous and temperate ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    van der Voort, Tessa Sophia; Graf Pannatier, Elisabeth; McIntyre, Cameron; Hagedorn, Frank; Eglinton, Timothy

    2016-04-01

    A better understanding of the stability and turnover of soil dissolved organic matter (DOM) is key in order to predict the behavior and response of this dynamic carbon pool to climate and land use change. Radiocarbon is increasingly used to determine carbon turnover in carbon cycle studies. However, due to the nature of radiocarbon measurement as well as complexity of in-situ DOM collection, little comprehensive radiocarbon and turnover data is currently available. This project combines a high-resolution temporal DOM sequence for a mountainous (podzol) and temperate (cambisol) forest ecosystem with additional bulk- and fraction-specific soil organic matter analyses. DOM was collected bi-weekly on two sites of the Long-Term Forest Ecosystem Research (LWF) program of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape research (WSL) at four depths, and measured for radiocarbon content. These initial results indicate bi-weekly variation in radiocarbon signatures over the summer season and a strong soil-type dependent pattern in DO14C trend. Overall, these initial radiocarbon results indicate that DOM dynamics are seasonally variable, and thus could potentially be sensitive to future climate change. Furthermore, the DO14C trend helps to better understand the trends as can be seen in the bulk 14C signature of the soil organic matter. Detailed radiocarbon investigations of soil DOM may yield key insights into the complex carbon transport dynamics in different soil systems and their potential behavior under climate change scenarios.

  14. Diverse responses of phenology to global changes in a grassland ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Cleland, Elsa E.; Chiariello, Nona R.; Loarie, Scott R.; Mooney, Harold A.; Field, Christopher B.

    2006-01-01

    Shifting plant phenology (i.e., timing of flowering and other developmental events) in recent decades establishes that species and ecosystems are already responding to global environmental change. Earlier flowering and an extended period of active plant growth across much of the northern hemisphere have been interpreted as responses to warming. However, several kinds of environmental change have the potential to influence the phenology of flowering and primary production. Here, we report shifts in phenology of flowering and canopy greenness (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) in response to four experimentally simulated global changes: warming, elevated CO2, nitrogen (N) deposition, and increased precipitation. Consistent with previous observations, warming accelerated both flowering and greening of the canopy, but phenological responses to the other global change treatments were diverse. Elevated CO2 and N addition delayed flowering in grasses, but slightly accelerated flowering in forbs. The opposing responses of these two important functional groups decreased their phenological complementarity and potentially increased competition for limiting soil resources. At the ecosystem level, timing of canopy greenness mirrored the flowering phenology of the grasses, which dominate primary production in this system. Elevated CO2 delayed greening, whereas N addition dampened the acceleration of greening caused by warming. Increased precipitation had no consistent impacts on phenology. This diversity of phenological changes, between plant functional groups and in response to multiple environmental changes, helps explain the diversity in large-scale observations and indicates that changing temperature is only one of several factors reshaping the seasonality of ecosystem processes. PMID:16954189

  15. Impact of Fire Disturbance on Regional Net Ecosystem Exchange for a Sub-Humid Woodland and Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yao, J.; White, J. D.

    2010-12-01

    Wildland fire is a major disturbance in many ecosystems and increases flux of CO2 and CO to the atmosphere. These emission episodes cause short term atmospheric carbon concentration variation as vegetation and soil processes are perturbed. The Tall Tower Network, developed to monitor regional long-term carbon flux and related-gas in the continental boundary layer by National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), detects these emissions. For this study, we used the CO2 mixing ratio data from the WKT Tall Tower site in Moody, Texas to study the impact of fire disturbance on immediate and long term regional Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) from 2001 to 2009. To detect individual potential fire events, we used products from the MODIS Active Fire Mapping Program to identify point locations of fires and Landsat data to estimate area burned based on spectral indices within the footprint of the Tall Tower. Next, we quantified carbon emission derived from fires by identifying daily NEE variations that exceeded threshold values based on seasonal averages from the Tall Tower data for each major fire event. Carbon emission from fires were also estimated based on total area burned, pre-fire biomass, and fire severity derived from the remote sensing data. We found that that the size and severity of individual fire were highly correlated with the amount of short-term regional NEE variation. Regional NEE showed a short term flux of carbon to the atmosphere following fire disturbance, but reverted to a carbon sink due to the removal of excess fuel load and increased primary productivity. The total fire-derived carbon emission calculated from ground and remote sensing data was slightly more than that estimated from the detected elevated carbon signals by the Tall Tower. This is explained by charcoal formation which remained on site. Wildland fires were expected to increase regional carbon storage by transforming biomass into more decay-resistant charcoal. This study potentially

  16. Integrating Climate and Ecosystem-Response Sciences in Temperate Western North American Mountains: The CIRMOUNT Initiative

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Millar, C. I.; Fagre, D. B.

    2004-12-01

    Mountain regions are uniquely sensitive to changes in climate, vulnerable to climate effects on biotic and physical factors of intense social concern, and serve as critical early-warning systems of climate impacts. Escalating demands on western North American (WNA) mountain ecosystems increasingly stress both natural resources and rural community capacities; changes in mountain systems cascade to issues of national concern. Although WNA has long been a focus for climate- and climate-related environmental research, these efforts remain disciplinary and poorly integrated, hindering interpretation into policy and management. Knowledge is further hampered by lack of standardized climate monitoring stations at high-elevations in WNA. An initiative is emerging as the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains (CIRMOUNT) whose primary goal is to improve knowledge of high-elevation climate systems and to better integrate physical, ecological, and social sciences relevant to climate change, ecosystem response, and natural-resource policy in WNA. CIRMOUNT seeks to focus research on climate variability and ecosystem response (progress in understanding synoptic scale processes) that improves interpretation of linkages between ecosystem functions and human processing (progress in understanding human-environment integration), which in turn would yield applicable information and understanding on key societal issues such as mountains as water towers, biodiversity, carbon forest sinks, and wildland hazards such as fire and forest dieback (progress in understanding ecosystem services and key thresholds). Achieving such integration depends first on implementing a network of high-elevation climate-monitoring stations, and linking these with integrated ecosystem-response studies. Achievements since 2003 include convening the 2004 Mountain Climate Sciences Symposium (1, 2) and several special sessions at technical conferences; initiating a biennial mountain climate

  17. Community Level Offset of Rain Use- and Transpiration Efficiency for a Heavily Grazed Ecosystem in Inner Mongolia Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Ying Z.; Giese, Marcus; Gao, Qiang; Brueck, Holger; Sheng, Lian X.; Yang, Hai J.

    2013-01-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE) is a key indicator to assess ecosystem adaptation to water stress. Rain use efficiency (RUE) is usually used as a proxy for WUE due to lack of transpiration data. Furthermore, RUE based on aboveground primary productivity (RUEANPP) is used to evaluate whole plant water use because root production data is often missing as well. However, it is controversial as to whether RUE is a reliable parameter to elucidate transpiration efficiency (TE), and whether RUEANPP is a suitable proxy for RUE of the whole plant basis. The experiment was conducted at three differently managed sites in the Inner Mongolia steppe: a site fenced since 1979 (UG79), a winter grazing site (WG) and a heavily grazed site (HG). Site HG had consistent lowest RUEANPP and RUE based on total net primary productivity (RUENPP). RUEANPP is a relatively good proxy at sites UG79 and WG, but less reliable for site HG. Similarly, RUEANPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on aboveground net primary productivity (TEANPP) at sites UG79 and WG but not for site HG. However, if total net primary productivity is considered, RUENPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on total net primary productivity (TENPP) for all sites. Although our measurements indicate decreased plant transpiration and consequentially decreasing RUE under heavy grazing, productivity was relatively compensated for with a higher TE. This offset between RUE and TE was even enhanced under water limited conditions and more evident when belowground net primary productivity (BNNP) was included. These findings suggest that BNPP should be considered when studies fucus on WUE of more intensively used grasslands. The consideration of the whole plant perspective and “real” WUE would partially revise our picture of system performance and therefore might affect the discussion on the C-sequestration and resilience potential of ecosystems. PMID:24058632

  18. Influence of land use intensity on the diversity of ammonia oxidizing bacteria and archaea in soils from grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Schloter, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, the influence of the land use intensity on the diversity of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in soils from different grassland ecosystems has been investigated in spring and summer of the season (April and July). Diversity of AOA and AOB was studied by TRFLP fingerprinting of amoA amplicons. The diversity from AOB was low and dominated by a peak that could be assigned to Nitrosospira. The obtained profiles for AOB were very stable and neither influenced by the land use intensity nor by the time point of sampling. In contrast, the obtained patterns for AOA were more complex although one peak that could be assigned to Nitrosopumilus was dominating all profiles independent from the land use intensity and the sampling time point. Overall, the AOA profiles were much more dynamic than those of AOB and responded clearly to the land use intensity. An influence of the sampling time point was again not visible. Whereas AOB profiles were clearly linked to potential nitrification rates in soil, major TRFs from AOA were negatively correlated to DOC and ammonium availability and not related to potential nitrification rates. PMID:24141944

  19. Timing of climate variability and grassland productivity

    PubMed Central

    Craine, Joseph M.; Nippert, Jesse B.; Elmore, Andrew J.; Skibbe, Adam M.; Hutchinson, Stacy L.; Brunsell, Nathaniel A.

    2012-01-01

    Future climates are forecast to include greater precipitation variability and more frequent heat waves, but the degree to which the timing of climate variability impacts ecosystems is uncertain. In a temperate, humid grassland, we examined the seasonal impacts of climate variability on 27 y of grass productivity. Drought and high-intensity precipitation reduced grass productivity only during a 110-d period, whereas high temperatures reduced productivity only during 25 d in July. The effects of drought and heat waves declined over the season and had no detectable impact on grass productivity in August. If these patterns are general across ecosystems, predictions of ecosystem response to climate change will have to account not only for the magnitude of climate variability but also for its timing. PMID:22331914

  20. An Integrated Mercury Monitoring Program for Temperate Estuarine and Marine Ecosystems on the North American Atlantic Coast

    PubMed Central

    Evers, David C.; Mason, Robert P.; Kamman, Neil C.; Chen, Celia Y.; Bogomolni, Andrea L.; Taylor, David L.; Hammerschmidt, Chad R.; Jones, Stephen H.; Burgess, Neil M.; Munney, Kenneth; Parsons, Katharine C.

    2008-01-01

    During the past century, anthropogenic activities have altered the distribution of mercury (Hg) on the earth’s surface. The impacts of such alterations to the natural cycle of Hg can be minimized through coordinated management, policy decisions, and legislative regulations. An ability to quantitatively measure environmental Hg loadings and spatiotemporal trends of their fate in the environment is critical for science-based decision making. Here, we outline a Hg monitoring program for temperate estuarine and marine ecosystems on the Atlantic Coast of North America. This framework follows a similar, previously developed plan for freshwater and terrestrial ecosystems in the United States. Methylmercury (MeHg) is the toxicologically relevant form of Hg, and its ability to bioaccumulate in organisms and biomagnify in food webs depends on numerous biological and physicochemical factors that affect its production, transport, and fate. Therefore, multiple indicators are needed to fully characterize potential changes of Hg loadings in the environment and MeHg bioaccumulation through the different marine food webs. In addition to a description of how to monitor environmental Hg loads for air, sediment, and water, we outline a species-specific matrix of biotic indicators that include shellfish and other invertebrates, fish, birds and mammals. Such a Hg monitoring template is applicable to coastal areas across the Northern Hemisphere and is transferable to arctic and tropical marine ecosystems. We believe that a comprehensive approach provides an ability to best detect spatiotemporal Hg trends for both human and ecological health, and concurrently identify food webs and species at greatest risk to MeHg toxicity. PMID:19294469

  1. Modelling carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems in Western Europe using the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model: evaluation against eddy covariance data.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henrot, Alexandra-Jane; François, Louis; Dury, Marie; Hambuckers, Alain; Jacquemin, Ingrid; Minet, Julien; Tychon, Bernard; Heinesch, Bernard; Horemans, Joanna; Deckmyn, Gaby

    2015-04-01

    Eddy covariance measurements are an essential resource to understand how ecosystem carbon fluxes react in response to climate change, and to help to evaluate and validate the performance of land surface and vegetation models at regional and global scale. In the framework of the MASC project (« Modelling and Assessing Surface Change impacts on Belgian and Western European climate »), vegetation dynamics and carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems simulated by the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) are evaluated and validated by comparison of the model predictions with eddy covariance data. Here carbon fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary productivity (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (RECO)) and evapotranspiration (ET) simulated with the CARAIB model are compared with the fluxes measured at several eddy covariance flux tower sites in Belgium and Western Europe, chosen from the FLUXNET global network (http://fluxnet.ornl.gov/). CARAIB is forced either with surface atmospheric variables derived from the global CRU climatology, or with in situ meteorological data. Several tree (e.g. Pinus sylvestris, Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies) and grass species (e.g. Poaceae, Asteraceae) are simulated, depending on the species encountered on the studied sites. The aim of our work is to assess the model ability to reproduce the daily, seasonal and interannual variablility of carbon fluxes and the carbon dynamics of forest and grassland ecosystems in Belgium and Western Europe.

  2. Ecosystem Phenology from Eddy-covariance Measurements: Spring Photosynthesis in a Cool Temperate Bog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafleur, P.; Moore, T. R.; Poon, D.; Seaquist, J.

    2005-12-01

    The onset and increase of spring photosynthetic flux of carbon dioxide is an important attribute of the carbon budget of northern ecosystems and we used eddy-covariance measurements from March to May over 5 years at the Mer Bleue ombrotrophic bog to establish the important controls. The onset of ecosystem photosynthesis (day-of-year from 86 to 101) was associated with the disappearance on the snow cover and there is evidence that photosynthesis can continue after a thin new snowfall. The growth of photosynthesis during the spring period was partially associated with light (daily photosynthetically active radiation) but primarily with temperature, with the strongest correlation being observed with peat temperature at a depth of 5 and 10 cm, except in one year in which there was a long snow cover. The vegetation comprises mosses, which are able to photosynthesize very early, evergreen shrubs, which appear dependent on soil warming, and deciduous shrubs, which leaf-out only in late spring. We observed changes in shrub leaf colour from brown to green and concomitant increases in foliar nitrogen and chlorophyll concentrations during the spring in this "evergreen" system. We analyzed MODIS images for periods of overlap of tower and satellite data and found a generally strong correlation, though the infrequent satellite measurements were unable to pick out the onset and timing of rapid growth of photosynthesis in this ecosystem.

  3. Forest and grassland ecosystem studies using the advanced solid-state array spectroradiometer

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Irons, James R.; Ranson, K. Jon; Williams, Darrel L.; Irish, Richard R.

    1989-01-01

    The advanced solid-state array spectroradiometer (ASAS) is an airborne, off-nadir pointing imaging spectroradiometer used to acquire bidirectional radiance data for terrestrial targets. As its platform aircraft flies over a target the sensor can image the target through a sequence of at least seven fore-to-aft view directions ranging up to 45 deg on either side of nadir. ASAS acquires data for 29 spectral bands in the visible and near-infrared portions of the spectrum with a resolution of 15 nm. ASAS data were recently acquired for a prairie ecosystem and a northern forest ecosystem. The data demonstrate the combined effects of reflectance anisotropy and increased atmospheric path length on off-nadir observations. One result of these effects is a variation in vegetation indices as a function of view direction. Normalized-difference-vegetation-indices for prairie grass, coniferous, and deciduous canopies varied up to 14 percent, 23 percent, and 6 percent, respectively, relative to nadir as a function of view zenith angle along the solar principal plane.

  4. Use of historical logging patterns to identify disproportionately logged ecosystems within temperate rainforests of southeastern Alaska.

    PubMed

    Albert, David M; Schoen, John W

    2013-08-01

    The forests of southeastern Alaska remain largely intact and contain a substantial proportion of Earth's remaining old-growth temperate rainforest. Nonetheless, industrial-scale logging has occurred since the 1950s within a relatively narrow range of forest types that has never been quantified at a regional scale. We analyzed historical patterns of logging from 1954 through 2004 and compared the relative rates of change among forest types, landform associations, and biogeographic provinces. We found a consistent pattern of disproportionate logging at multiple scales, including large-tree stands and landscapes with contiguous productive old-growth forests. The highest rates of change were among landform associations and biogeographic provinces that originally contained the largest concentrations of productive old growth (i.e., timber volume >46.6 m³/ha). Although only 11.9% of productive old-growth forests have been logged region wide, large-tree stands have been reduced by at least 28.1%, karst forests by 37%, and landscapes with the highest volume of contiguous old growth by 66.5%. Within some island biogeographic provinces, loss of rare forest types may place local viability of species dependent on old growth at risk of extirpation. Examination of historical patterns of change among ecological forest types can facilitate planning for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of forest resources. PMID:23866037

  5. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Grassland Ecosystems of the Central Lithuania: Multi-Criteria Evaluation on a Basis of the ARAS Method

    PubMed Central

    Balezentiene, Ligita; Kusta, Albinas

    2012-01-01

    N2O, CH4, and CO2 are potential greenhouse gas (GHG) contributing to climate change; therefore, solutions have to be sought to reduce their emission from agriculture. This work evaluates GHG emission from grasslands submitted to different mineral fertilizers during vegetation period (June–September) in two experimental sites, namely, seminatural grassland (8 treatments of mineral fertilizers) and cultural pasture (intensively managed) in the Training Farm of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture. Chamber method was applied for evaluation of GHG emissions on the field scale. As a result, soil chemical composition, compactness, temperature, and gravimetric moisture as well as biomass yield of fresh and dry biomass and botanical composition, were assessed during the research. Furthermore, a simulation of multi-criteria assessment of sustainable fertilizers management was carried out on a basis of ARAS method. The multicriteria analysis of different fertilizing regimes was based on a system of environmental and productivity indices. Consequently, agroecosystems of cultural pasture (N180P120K150) and seminatural grassland fertilizing rates N180P120K150 and N60P40K50 were evaluated as the most sustainable alternatives leading to reduction of emissions between biosphere-atmosphere and human-induced biogenic pollution in grassland ecosystems, thus contributing to improvement of countryside environment. PMID:22645463

  6. Whole-Ecosystem Labile Carbon Production in a North Temperate Deciduous Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gough, C. M.; Flower, C. E.; Vogel, C. S.; Dragoni, D.; Curtis, P. S.

    2008-12-01

    Management for forest carbon (C) sequestration requires knowledge of the fate of photosynthetic C. Labile C is an essential intermediary between C assimilation and growth in deciduous forests, accumulating when photosynthetic C supply exceeds demand and later depleting when reallocated to growth during periods of depressed photosynthesis. We developed a new approach that combined meteorological and biometric C cycling data for a mixed deciduous forest in Michigan, USA, to provide novel estimates of whole-ecosystem labile C production (PLC) and reallocation to growth inferred from the temporal imbalance between carbon supply from canopy net C assimilation (Ac) and C demand for net primary production (NPP). We substantiated these estimates with measurements of Populus grandidentata and Quercus rubra wood non-structural carbohydrate (NSC) concentration and mass over two years. Our analysis showed that half of annual Ac was allocated to PLC rather than to immediate growth. Labile C produced during the latter half of summer later supported dormant-season growth and respiration, with 35% of NPP in a given year requiring labile C stored during previous years. Seasonal changes in wood NSC concentration and mass generally corroborated patterns of labile C production and reallocation to growth. We observed a negative relationship between current-year PLC and NPP, indicating that disparities between same-year meteorological and biometric net ecosystem production (NEP) estimates can arise when C assimilated via photosynthesis, a flux incorporated into meteorological NEP estimates, is diverted away from NPP, a flux included in biometric NEP estimates, and instead allocated to PLC. A large, annually recharging pool of labile C also may buffer growth from climate conditions that immediately affect Ac. We conclude that a broader understanding of labile C production and reallocation across ecosystems may be important to interpreting lagged canopy C cycling and growth processes.

  7. Remote sensing of canopy chemistry and nitrogen cycling in temperate forest ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wessman, Carol A.; Aber, John D.; Peterson, David L.; Melillo, Jerry M.

    1988-01-01

    The use of images acquired by the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer, an experimental high-spectral resolution imaging sensor developed by NASA, to estimate the lignin concentration of whole forest canopies in Wisconsin is reported. The observed strong relationship between canopy lignin concentration and nitrogen availability in seven undisturbed forest ecosystems on Blackhawk Island, Wisconsin, suggests that canopy lignin may serve as an index for site nitrogen status. This predictive relationship presents the opportunity to estimate nitrogen-cycling rates across forested landscapes through remote sensing.

  8. The Janos grassland ecosystem: 20 years of synthesis and experimental research revealing new insights for conservation and management

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Janos grasslands are part of the Sky Islands, a unique region of more than 40 isolated mountain ridges surrounded by dry grasslands that straddles the México/Arizona/New Mexico border. It is one of America’s great hotspots for wildlife diversity. It is a transition zone between the Chihuahuan Dese...

  9. Effects of nutrient supply on intrinsic water-use efficiency of temperate semi-natural grassland under rising atmospheric CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, I. H.; MacDonald, A.; Poulton, P.; Auerswald, K.; Schnyder, H.

    2010-12-01

    C3 plants generally increase photosynthesis (A) and decrease stomatal conductance (gs) under elevated CO2 [1]. However, nitrogen limitation has been shown to constrain the response of A [2] and could thus limit the increase in intrinsic water-use efficiency Wi. Stable carbon isotope studies on trees have shown that Wi increased in forests during the last century. Recently we showed that Wi has also increased in nutrient limited grassland ecosystems [3, 4]. We have now examined a 50 year-long record of Wi from community-level carbon isotope discrimination (13Δ) derived from archived hay and herbage samples (Park Grass Continuous Hay Experiment, Rothamsted, England [5]). We tested the hypothesis that plant responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 have resulted in a greater increase in Wi where plants received adequate nutrient inputs, because of the expected stronger increase in A with higher nutrient supply. We examined whether the response to rising CO2 was uniform across fertilizer treatments. Archived samples from five plots on Park Grass with different annual fertilizer applications (1. No N or PK; 2. 48 kg N ha-1, No PK; 3. No N +PK; 4. 48 kg N ha-1 +PK; 5. 96 kg N ha-1 +PK), covering the 1960 - 2009 period, were used. During the study period, atmospheric CO2 concentration increased by 22%. 13Δ was calculated from carbon isotope composition δ13C (= [(Rsample/Rstandard) - 1], with R the 13C/12C ratio in the sample or standard). 13Δ is a proxy of the leaf-level coupling of CO2 and transpiration fluxes, and a measure of Wi, with Wi = A/gs = ca (1 - ci / ca) / 1.6 and ci / ca = (13Δ - a) / (b - a), (a=4.4‰, b=27‰). Linear regression showed significant 13Δ increases: 0.1‰ per 10 ppm CO2 increase on the control (P<0.05), the PK treatment (P<0.001) and the low N, PK treatment (P<0.05). On the low N treatment, the increase was only significant at the 10% level. On the high N, PK treatment 13Δ increased by 0.04‰ per 10 ppm, but this was not significant (P

  10. Impact of climate change on GHG emissions of (pre-) alpine grassland ecosystems under intensive and extensive management - a climate sequence lysimeter study

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kiese, Ralf; Lu, Haiyan; Fu, Jin; Diaz-Pines, Eugenio; Gasche, Rainer; Dannenmann, Michael; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus

    2015-04-01

    Due to cool and moist climatic conditions alpine grassland soils of moderate elevation are rich in soil organic carbon and associated nitrogen. In the framework of an in-situ climate change experiment we test the hypothesis that soil organic carbon and nitrogen are either volatilized (GHG emissions) or leached with seepage water due to increase in temperature. Field investigations are carried out in the (Pre-) Alpine TERENO Observatory covering several research sites (including ICOS sites) in South-Bavaria, Germany. IMK-IFU has installed 36 weighable lysimeters with undisturbed intact grassland soil cores (diameter 1m, depth 1.4m) and is operating them at three sites differing in altitude and thus climatic conditions (850m, 750m, 600m) since 2011. Lysimeters were partly translocated from higher elevation to sites at lower elevation and other soil cores still staying at the sites as controls. In addition to the space for time in-situ climate change approach the total of 36 lysimeters are split into treatments of intensive and extensive grassland management. GHG exchange was measured by manual (850m site) but also with two novel automatic robot chamber systems (750m, 600m) connected to QCLs for simultaneous detection of CO2, N2O, and CH4 concentration changes in chamber headspace. GHG flux monitoring was supplemented by NEE measurements with transparent chambers since 2014. Climate change, generally stimulated plant growth (according to biomass sampling after cutting events) and soil C and N turnover leading to increased soil CO2 emissions and an increased uptake of atmospheric CH4. N2O emission were generally low and slightly increased in spring, summer and autumn but significantly decreased during the winter period under global change conditions, the latter due to lower intensity and frequency of frost-thaw events. The main gaseous nitrogen component emitted from the grassland ecosystems was N2 which also showed a much stronger increase with climate change than N2O

  11. Representing the effects of alpine grassland vegetation cover on the simulation of soil thermal dynamics by ecosystem models applied to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Yi, S.; Li, N.; Xiang, B.; Wang, X.; Ye, B.; McGuire, A.D.

    2013-01-01

    Soil surface temperature is a critical boundary condition for the simulation of soil temperature by environmental models. It is influenced by atmospheric and soil conditions and by vegetation cover. In sophisticated land surface models, it is simulated iteratively by solving surface energy budget equations. In ecosystem, permafrost, and hydrology models, the consideration of soil surface temperature is generally simple. In this study, we developed a methodology for representing the effects of vegetation cover and atmospheric factors on the estimation of soil surface temperature for alpine grassland ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Our approach integrated measurements from meteorological stations with simulations from a sophisticated land surface model to develop an equation set for estimating soil surface temperature. After implementing this equation set into an ecosystem model and evaluating the performance of the ecosystem model in simulating soil temperature at different depths in the soil profile, we applied the model to simulate interactions among vegetation cover, freeze-thaw cycles, and soil erosion to demonstrate potential applications made possible through the implementation of the methodology developed in this study. Results showed that (1) to properly estimate daily soil surface temperature, algorithms should use air temperature, downward solar radiation, and vegetation cover as independent variables; (2) the equation set developed in this study performed better than soil surface temperature algorithms used in other models; and (3) the ecosystem model performed well in simulating soil temperature throughout the soil profile using the equation set developed in this study. Our application of the model indicates that the representation in ecosystem models of the effects of vegetation cover on the simulation of soil thermal dynamics has the potential to substantially improve our understanding of the vulnerability of alpine grassland ecosystems to

  12. The relation between productivity and species diversity in temperate-Arctic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Witman, Jon D; Cusson, Mathieu; Archambault, Philippe; Pershing, Andrew J; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2008-11-01

    Energy variables, such as evapotranspiration, temperature, and productivity explain significant variation in the diversity of many groups of terrestrial plants and animals at local to global scales. Although the ocean represents the largest continuous habitat on earth with a vast spectrum of primary productivity and species richness, little is known about how productivity influences species diversity in marine systems. To search for general relationships between productivity and species richness in the ocean, we analyzed data from three different benthic marine ecosystems (epifaunal communities on subtidal rock walls, on navigation buoys in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Canadian Arctic macrobenthos) across local to continental spatial scales (<20 to >1000 km) using a standardized proxy for productivity, satellite-derived chlorophyll a. Theoretically, the form of the function between productivity and species richness is either monotonically increasing or decreasing, or curvilinear (hump- or U-shaped). We found three negative linear and three hump-shaped relationships between chlorophyll a and species richness out of 10 independent comparisons. Scale dependence was suggested by more prevalent diversity-productivity relationships at smaller (local, landscape) than larger (regional, continental) spatial scales. Differences in the form of the functions were more closely allied with community type than with scale, as negative linear functions were restricted to sessile epifauna while hump-shaped functions occurred in Arctic macrobenthos (mixed epifauna, infauna). In two of the data sets, (St. Lawrence epifauna and Arctic macrobenthos) significant effects of chlorophyll a co-varied with the effects of salinity, suggesting that environmental stress as well as productivity influences diversity in these marine systems. The co-varying effect of salinity may commonly arise in broad-scale studies of productivity and diversity in marine ecosystems when attempting to sample the

  13. Differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types in a temperate forest ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    You, Ye-Ming; Wang, Juan; Sun, Xiao-Lu; Tang, Zuo-Xin; Zhou, Zhi-Yong; Sun, Osbert Jianxin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the controls on soil carbon dynamics is crucial for modeling responses of ecosystem carbon balance to global change, yet few studies provide explicit knowledge on the direct and indirect effects of forest stands on soil carbon via microbial processes. We investigated tree species, soil, and site factors in relation to soil carbon density and mineralization in a temperate forest of central China. We found that soil microbial biomass and community structure, extracellular enzyme activities, and most of the site factors studied varied significantly across contrasting forest types, and that the associations between activities of soil extracellular enzymes and microbial community structure appeared to be weak and inconsistent across forest types, implicating complex mechanisms in the microbial regulation of soil carbon metabolism in relation to tree species. Overall, variations in soil carbon density and mineralization are predominantly accounted for by shared effects of tree species, soil, microclimate, and microbial traits rather than the individual effects of the four categories of factors. Our findings point to differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types and highlight the challenge to incorporate microbial processes for constraining soil carbon dynamics in global carbon cycle models. PMID:26925871

  14. Differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types in a temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, Ye-Ming; Wang, Juan; Sun, Xiao-Lu; Tang, Zuo-Xin; Zhou, Zhi-Yong; Sun, Osbert Jianxin

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the controls on soil carbon dynamics is crucial for modeling responses of ecosystem carbon balance to global change, yet few studies provide explicit knowledge on the direct and indirect effects of forest stands on soil carbon via microbial processes. We investigated tree species, soil, and site factors in relation to soil carbon density and mineralization in a temperate forest of central China. We found that soil microbial biomass and community structure, extracellular enzyme activities, and most of the site factors studied varied significantly across contrasting forest types, and that the associations between activities of soil extracellular enzymes and microbial community structure appeared to be weak and inconsistent across forest types, implicating complex mechanisms in the microbial regulation of soil carbon metabolism in relation to tree species. Overall, variations in soil carbon density and mineralization are predominantly accounted for by shared effects of tree species, soil, microclimate, and microbial traits rather than the individual effects of the four categories of factors. Our findings point to differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types and highlight the challenge to incorporate microbial processes for constraining soil carbon dynamics in global carbon cycle models.

  15. Applicability of the flood-pulse concept in a temperate floodplain river ecosystem: Thermal and temporal components

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schramm, H.L., Jr.; Eggleton, M.A.

    2006-01-01

    Annual growth increments were calculated for blue catfish (Ictalurus furcatus) and flathead catfish (Pylodictis olivaris) from the lower Mississippi River (LMR) to assess hypothesized relationships between fish growth and floodplain inundation as predicted by the Flood-Pulse Concept. Variation in catfish growth increment was high for all age classes of both species, and growth increments were not consistently related to various measures of floodplain inundation. However, relationships became stronger, and usually direct, when water temperature was integrated with area and duration of floodplain inundation. Relationships were significant for four of six age classes for blue catfish, a species known to utilize floodplain habitats. Though similar in direction, relationships were weaker for flathead catfish, which is considered a more riverine species. Our results indicate the Flood-Pulse Concept applies more strongly to temperate floodplain-river ecosystems when thermal aspects of flood pulses are considered. We recommend that future management of the LMR should consider ways to 'recouple' the annual flood and thermal cycles. An adaptive management approach will allow further determination of important processes affecting fisheries production in the LMR. Copyright ?? John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

  16. Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness?

    SciTech Connect

    Seabloom, Eric W.

    2013-08-14

    Invasions have increased the size of regional species pools, but are typically assumed to reduce native diversity. However, global-scale tests of this assumption have been elusive because of the focus on exotic species richness, rather than relative abundance. This is problematic because low invader richness can indicate invasion resistance by the native community or, alternatively, dominance by a single exotic species. Here, we used a globally replicated study to quantify relationships between exotic richness and abundance in grass-dominated ecosystems in 13 countries on six continents, ranging from salt marshes to alpine tundra. We tested effects of human land use, native community diversity, herbivore pressure, and nutrient limitation on exotic plant dominance. Despite its widespread use, exotic richness was a poor proxy for exotic dominance at low exotic richness, because sites that contained few exotic species ranged from relatively pristine (low exotic richness and cover) to almost completely exotic-dominated ones (low exotic richness but high exotic cover). Both exotic cover and richness were predicted by native plant diversity (native grass richness) and land use (distance to cultivation). Although climate was important for predicting both exotic cover and richness, climatic factors predicting cover (precipitation variability) differed from those predicting richness (maximum temperature and mean temperature in the wettest quarter). Herbivory and nutrient limitation did not predict exotic richness or cover. Exotic dominance was greatest in areas with low native grass richness at the site- or regional-scale. Although this could reflect native grass displacement, a lack of biotic resistance is a more likely explanation, given that grasses comprise the most aggressive invaders. These findings underscore the need to move beyond richness as a surrogate for the extent of invasion, because this metric confounds monodominance with invasion resistance. Monitoring

  17. Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness?

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Seabloom, Eric; Borer, Elizabeth; Buckley, Yvonne; Cleland, Elsa E.; Davies, Kendi; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hautier, Yann; Lind, Eric M.; MacDougall, Andrew; Orrock, John L.; Prober, Suzanne M.; Adler, Peter; Alberti, Juan; Anderson, T. Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Biederman, Lori A.; Blumenthal, Dana; Brown, Cynthia S.; Brudvig, Lars A.; Caldeira, Maria; Chu, Cheng-Jin; Crawley, Michael J.; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; D'Antonio, Carla M.; DeCrappeo, Nicole M.; Dickman, Chris R.; Du, Guozhen; Fay, Philip A.; Frater, Paul; Gruner, Daniel S.; Hagenah, Nicole; Hector, Andrew; Helm, Aveliina; Hillebrand, Helmut; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Humphries, Hope C.; Iribarne, Oscar; Jin, Virginia L.; Kay, Adam; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Klein, Julia A.; Knops, Johannes M.H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; Ladwig, Laura M.; Lambrinos; John, G.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Li, Qi; Li, Wei; McCulley, Rebecca; Melbourne, Brett; Mitchell; Charles, E.; Moore, Joslin L.; Morgan, John; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R.; Pärtel, Meelis; Pascual, Jesús; Pyke, David A.; Risch, Anita C.; Salguero-Gómez, Roberto; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schuetz, Martin; Simonsen, Anna; Smith, Melinda; Stevens, Carly; Sullivan, Lauren; Wardle, Glenda M.; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M.; Wragg, Peter D.; Wright, Justin; Yang, Louie

    2013-01-01

    Invasions have increased the size of regional species pools, but are typically assumed to reduce native diversity. However, global-scale tests of this assumption have been elusive because of the focus on exotic species richness, rather than relative abundance. This is problematic because low invader richness can indicate invasion resistance by the native community or, alternatively, dominance by a single exotic species. Here, we used a globally replicated study to quantify relationships between exotic richness and abundance in grass-dominated ecosystems in 13 countries on six continents, ranging from salt marshes to alpine tundra. We tested effects of human land use, native community diversity, herbivore pressure, and nutrient limitation on exotic plant dominance. Despite its widespread use, exotic richness was a poor proxy for exotic dominance at low exotic richness, because sites that contained few exotic species ranged from relatively pristine (low exotic richness and cover) to almost completely exotic-dominated ones (low exotic richness but high exotic cover). Both exotic cover and richness were predicted by native plant diversity (native grass richness) and land use (distance to cultivation). Although climate was important for predicting both exotic cover and richness, climatic factors predicting cover (precipitation variability) differed from those predicting richness (maximum temperature and mean temperature in the wettest quarter). Herbivory and nutrient limitation did not predict exotic richness or cover. Exotic dominance was greatest in areas with low native grass richness at the site- or regional-scale. Although this could reflect native grass displacement, a lack of biotic resistance is a more likely explanation, given that grasses comprise the most aggressive invaders. These findings underscore the need to move beyond richness as a surrogate for the extent of invasion, because this metric confounds monodominance with invasion resistance. Monitoring

  18. A Comparison of Symmetric and Asymmetric Warming Regimes on the Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics of Grassland Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wig, J.; Lajtha, K.; Gregg, J. W.

    2010-12-01

    Global mean temperatures have increased 0.10 to 0.16°C per decade over the last 50 years, and continued increases in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations are expected to cause temperatures to increase by more than 3°C by the middle of the 21st century. While many warming experiments have been performed, most have determined impacts of equal increases in day and night temperatures on production, diversity, or ecosystem carbon dynamics. However, there have been faster increases in daily minimum temperature (Tmin) than daily maximum temperature (Tmax), a phenomenon commonly referred to as asymmetric warming. Photosynthesis and respiration are differentially affected by altered day and night temperatures, and thus the ecological effects of alterations in Tmin could differ from alterations in Tmax. Therefore, it is imperative that we expand our understanding of potential impacts of global warming to include the effects of asymmetrically elevated temperature profiles. To examine the affects of asymmetric vs. symmetric warming, we used Terracosm chambers with planted grassland communities native to Oregon’s Willamette Valley. The warmed chambers are subjected to an average increase of +3.5°C/day, with asymmetrically warmed chambers having an increase of dawn Tmin of +5°C, and an increase of midday Tmax of +2°C; and with symmetrically warmed chambers having a constant increase of +3.5°C. The goals of this project are to assess (1) whether patterns of increased NPP, changes in species composition and altered C, H2O and nutrient cycles shown for symmetric warming are similar in the asymmetric profiles, or whether entirely different patterns emerge unique to the asymmetrically elevated temperature treatments, and (2) whether the impacts of asymmetric and symmetric warming differ for soil C stabilization and destabilization processes. Our data indicate that whole ecosystem carbon balance was negative, with higher respiration than photosynthesis, for both symmetric

  19. The North Wyke Farm Platform, a UK national capability for research into sustainability of temperate agricultural grassland management: progress and developments

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Paul; Dungait, Jennifer; Griffith, Bruce; Shepherd, Anita; Sint, Hadewij; Blackwell, Martin; Cardenas, Laura; Collins, Adrian; Goulding, Keith; Lee, Michael; Orr, Robert

    2015-04-01

    The North Wyke Farm Platform (NWFP) at Rothamsted Research in the South-West of England, is a large, farm-scale experiment for collaborative research, training and knowledge exchange in agro-environmental sciences; with the aim of addressing agricultural productivity and ecosystem responses to different management practices. The 63 ha NWFP site, captures the spatial and/or temporal data necessary to develop a better understanding of the dynamic processes and underlying mechanisms that can be used to model how agricultural grassland systems respond to different management inputs. Here, via beef and sheep production, the underlying principle is to manage each of three farmlets (each consisting of five man-made, hydrologically-isolated sub-catchments) in three contrasting ways: (i) improvement through use of mineral fertilizers; (ii) improvement through use of legumes; and (iii) improvement through innovation. The connectivity between the timing and intensity of the different management operations, together with the transport of nutrients and potential pollutants from the NWFP is evaluated using various data collection and data modelling exercises. The primary data collection strategy involves the use of a ground-based, wireless sensor network, where in each of the fifteen sub-catchments, water characteristics such as flow, turbidity and chemistry are measured at a flume laboratory that captures the sub-catchment's water drainage (via a system of directed French drains). This sensor network also captures: precipitation, soil moisture and soil temperature data for each sub-catchment; greenhouse gas data across key subsets of the fifteen sub-catchments; and meteorological data (other than precipitation) at a single site only (representative of the NWFP site, as a whole). Such high temporal resolution data sets (but with limited spatial resolution) are coupled with a secondary data collection strategy, for high spatial resolution data sets (but with limited temporal

  20. Coarse Woody Debris and Ecosystem Carbon Dynamics in a North Temperate Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gough, C. M.; Vogel, C. S.; Nagal, L.; Kazanski, C.; Flower, C.; Curtis, P. S.

    2006-12-01

    Many aspen-dominated forests in the upper Great Lakes region of North America are past maturity and beginning to decline. As trees senesce in these aging forests, coarse woody debris (CWD) is expected to be increasingly important to the ecosystem carbon (C) balance. We used a biometric approach to quantify C mass and the annual respiratory C loss from CWD and other major ecosystem components for a typical mature deciduous forest in northern lower Michigan, USA. Coarse woody debris mass (2.2 Mg C ha-1) was less than that of soils (104.1 Mg C ha-1) and boles (71.7 Mg C ha-1), but similar to that of leaves (1.8 Mg C ha-1). CWD respiration (RCWD) increased with increasing temperature and water content. Higher RCWD in more decayed wood was due to greater water absorption and, consequently, higher water content rather than to a greater temperature sensitivity of respiration ( Q10). The Q10 of RCWD ranged from 2.20 to 2.57 and varied inconsistently with decay status. Daily RCWD varied seasonally in response to temperature and water content, increasing rapidly following snow melt in early April and peaking at 0.17 g C m-2 d-1 in early June. Daily RCWD in the early growing season (day 130-200) was 13 % greater than during the late growing season (day 201-279) since CWD water content was 69 % higher even though temperature was 1.5°C cooler. Annual CWD respiration (FCWD, 0.21 Mg C ha-1 yr-1) was 12 % of bole respiration, 8 % of leaf respiration, and 2 % of soil respiration. Compared to the 1.53 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 average annual C storage by our forest, FCWD is a small, but substantial flux that is expected to increase over the next several decades. We show how concurrent increases in CWD production and temperature in the near future may temporarily reduce regional forest C storage.

  1. Effects of Forest Age on Soil Fungal Community in a Northern Temperate Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhiguang, Han; Xin, Sui; Mengsha, Li

    2016-09-01

    The polymorphisms of soil fungal rDNA Internal Transcribed Spacer regions were studied in Korean pine forests of various ages (10-100-year-old trees) by means of cloned libraries, and analyzed to determine the effects of the trees' developmental stage on soil fungal community structure. The obtained Shannon diversity index (H) and richness (S) indicated that the diversity of the soil fungal community increased significantly with the development of Korean pines (P < 0.05). In addition, cluster analysis (UPGMA) showed that the soil fungal community variety associated with differently aged Korean pines was higher than 50 %. The soil fungal community diversity correlated significantly with the N content and C/N ratio of the soil (P < 0.05). The results of this study indicate that the age of in Korean pine can affect soil fungal community by altering soil properties, which in turn could affect the nutrient cycling in the forest ecosystem. PMID:27407297

  2. Carbon balance of renovated grasslands: input- or output-driven?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choncubhair, Órlaith Ní; Osborne, Bruce; Lanigan, Gary

    2015-04-01

    Temperate grasslands constitute over 30% of the Earth's naturally-occurring biomes and make an important contribution towards the partial mitigation of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions by terrestrial ecosystems. In permanent temperate grasslands, biomass production and sward quality can deteriorate over time and periodic renovation activities, involving soil tillage and reseeding, are commonly carried out to halt this decline. Long-term cultivation of agricultural land has been associated with soil aggregate degradation and reduced soil carbon storage. However, the impact of these single tillage disturbances on C cycling in grasslands is less clear. This study evaluated gaseous and dissolved organic carbon (DOC) losses following a single tillage event by subjecting grassland lysimeters with contrasting soil drainage characteristics to simulated conventional inversion or minimum tillage. Field-scale CO2 emissions after conventional tillage were also quantified and empirically modelled over short- and medium-term timeframes to delineate the ecosystem response to environmental variables. Soil moisture was the limiting determinant of ecosystem carbon release following conventional tillage. Freshly-tilled soils were associated with reduced water retention and increased sensitivity to soil moisture, which was particularly pronounced following rewetting events. Significantly elevated but ephemeral CO2 effluxes were detected in the hours following inversion ploughing, however tillage disturbance did not generate significantly enhanced C emission rates in the medium term. Equally, DOC losses were not significantly amplified by conventional tillage compared with conservative minimum tillage and were predominantly controlled by soil drainage across tillage regimes. Our results suggest that a net ecosystem source of 120 to 210 g C m-2 over an approximately two-month period was most likely a consequence of reduced productivity and C input rather than enhanced soil CO2

  3. GPP/RE Partitioning of Long-term Network Flux Data as a Tool for Estimating Ecosystem-scale Ecophysiological Parameters of Grasslands and Croplands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmanov, T. G.; Wylie, B. K.; Gu, Y.; Howard, D. M.; Zhang, L.

    2013-12-01

    The physiologically based model of canopy CO2 exchange by Thornly and Johnson (2000) modified to incorporate vapor pressure deficit (VPD) limitation of photosynthesis is a robust tool for partitioning tower network net CO2 exchange data into gross photosynthesis (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (RE) (Gilmanov et al. 2013a, b). In addition to 30-min and daily photosynthesis and respiration values, the procedure generates daily estimates and uncertainties of essential ecosystem-scale parameters such as apparent quantum yield ALPHA, photosynthetic capacity AMAX, convexity of light response THETA, gross ecological light-use efficiency LUE, daytime ecosystem respiration rate RDAY, and nighttime ecosystem respiration rate RNIGHT. These ecosystem-scale parameters are highly demanded by the modeling community and open opportunities for comparison with the rich data of leaf-level estimates of corresponding parameters available from physiological studies of previous decades. Based on the data for 70+ site-years of flux tower measurements at the non-forest sites of the Ameriflux network and the non-affiliated sites, we present results of the comparative analysis and multi-site synthesis of the magnitudes, uncertainties, patterns of seasonal and yearly dynamics, and spatiotemporal distribution of these parameters for grasslands and croplands of the conterminous United States (CONUS). Combining this site-level parameter data set with the rich spatiotemporal data sets of a remotely sensed vegetation index, weather and climate conditions, and site biophysical and geophysical features (phenology, photosynthetically active radiation, and soil water holding capacity) using methods of multivariate analysis (e.g., Cubist regression tree) offers new opportunities for predictive modeling and scaling-up of ecosystem-scale parameters of carbon cycling in grassland and agricultural ecosystems of CONUS (Zhang et al. 2011; Gu et al. 2012). REFERENCES Gilmanov TG, Baker JM, Bernacchi CJ

  4. Site variation in methane oxidation as affected by atmospheric deposition and type of temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brumme, Rainer; Borken, Werner

    1999-06-01

    Factors controlling methane oxidation were analyzed along a soil acidity gradient (pH(H2O) 3.9 to 5.2) under beech and spruce forests in Germany. Mean annual methane oxidation ranged from 0.1 to 2.5 kg CH4 ha-1 yr-1 and was correlated with base saturation (r2 = 0.88), soil pH (r2 = 0.77), total nitrogen (r2 = 0.71), amount of the organic surface horizon (r2 = 0.49) and bulk density of the mineral soil (r2 = 0.43). At lower pHs the formation of an organic surface horizon was promoted. This horizon did not have any methane oxidation capacity and acted like a gas diffusion barrier, which decreased the methane oxidation capacity of the soil. In contrast, on sites at the higher end of the pH range, higher burrowing activity of earthworms increased macroporosity and thereby gas diffusivity and methane oxidation. Gas diffusivity was also affected by litter shape: broad beech leaves reduced methane oxidation more than spruce needles. An increase in methane oxidation of most soil samples following sieving indicates that diffusion is the main limiting factor for methane oxidation. However, this "sieving effect" was less in soils with a pH below 5 than in soils with a pH above 5, which we attribute to a direct effect of soil acidity. We discuss our results using a hierarchical concept for the "short-term" and "long-term" controls on methane oxidation in forest ecosystems.

  5. Seasonality of Ecosystem Respiration and Gross Primary Production as Derived from Fluxnet Measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Falge, E.; Baldocchi, D.; Tenhunen, J.

    2001-12-01

    Differences in the seasonal pattern of assimilatory and respiratory processes are responsible for divergences in seasonal net carbon exchange among ecosystems. Using FLUXNET data (http://www-eosdis.ornl.gov/FLUXNET) we have analyzed seasonal patterns of gross primary productivity (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (RE) of boreal and temperate, deciduous and coniferous forests, mediterranean evergreen systems, rainforest, temperate grasslands, and C3 and C4 crops. Based on generalized seasonal patterns classifications of ecosystems into vegetation functional types can be evaluated for use in global productivity and climate change models. The results of this study contribute to our understanding of respiratory costs of assimilated carbon in various ecosystems. Seasonal variability of GPP and RE increased in the order tropical, Mediterranean, temperate coniferous, temperate deciduous, boreal forests. Together with boreal forests, managed grasslands and crops show the largest seasonal variability. In temperate coniferous forests, seasonal patterns of GPP and RE are in phase, in temperate deciduous and boreal coniferous forests RE was delayed compared to GPP, resulting in the greatest imbalance between respiratory and assimilatory fluxes early in the growing season. Gross primary productivity adjusted for the length of the growing season decreased across functional types in the order C4 crops, and temperate and boreal deciduous forests (7.5-8.3 g C m-2 d-1), temperate conifers, C3 grassland and crops (5.7-6.9 g C m-2 d-1), rainforest and boreal conifers (4.6-4.9 g C m-2 d-1). Annual GPP and NEP decreased across climate zones in the order tropical, temperate, boreal. However, the decrease in NEP was greater than the decrease in GPP, indicating a larger contribution of respiratory (especially heterotrophic) processes in boreal systems.

  6. Grassland/atmosphere response to changing climate: Coupling regional and local scales. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Coughenour, M.B.; Kittel, T.G.F.; Pielke, R.A.; Eastman, J.

    1993-10-01

    The objectives of the study were: to evaluate the response of grassland ecosystems to atmospheric change at regional and site scales, and to develop multiscaled modeling systems to relate ecological and atmospheric models with different spatial and temporal resolutions. A menu-driven shell was developed to facilitate use of models at different temporal scales and to facilitate exchange information between models at different temporal scales. A detailed ecosystem model predicted that C{sub 3} temperate grasslands wig respond more strongly to elevated CO{sub 2} than temperate C{sub 4} grasslands in the short-term while a large positive N-PP response was predicted for a C{sub 4} Kenyan grassland. Long-term climate change scenarios produced either decreases or increases in Colorado plant productivity (NPP) depending on rainfall, but uniform increases in N-PP were predicted in Kenya. Elevated CO{sub 2} is likely to have little effect on ecosystem carbon storage in Colorado while it will increase carbon storage in Kenya. A synoptic climate classification processor (SCP) was developed to evaluate results of GCM climate sensitivity experiments. Roughly 80% agreement was achieved with manual classifications. Comparison of lx and 2xCO{sub 2} GCM Simulations revealed relatively small differences.

  7. Seasonal Belowground Ecosystem and Eco-enzymatic Responses to Soil pH and Phosphorus Availability in Temperate Hardwood Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smemo, K. A.; Deforest, J. L.; Petersen, S. L.; Burke, D.; Hewins, C.; Kluber, L. A.; Kyker, S. R.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheric acid deposition can increase phosphorus (P) limitation in temperate hardwood forests by increasing N availability, and therefore P demand, and/or by decreasing pH and occluding inorganic P. However, only recently have studies demonstrated that P limitation can occur in temperate forests and very little is known about the temporal aspects of P dynamics in acidic forest soils and how seasonal shifts in nutrient availability and demand influence microbial investment in extracellular enzymes. The objectives of this study were to investigate how P availability and soil pH influence seasonal patterns of nutrient cycling and soil microbial activity in hardwood forests that experience chronic acid deposition. We experimentally manipulated soil pH, P, or both for three years and examined soil treatment responses in fall, winter, spring, early summer, and late summer. We found that site (glaciated versus unglaciated) and treatment had the most significant influence on nutrient pools and cycling. In general, nutrient pools were higher in glaciated soils than unglaciated for measured nutrients, including total C and N (2-3 times higher), extractable inorganic nitrogen, and readily available P. Treatment had no impact on total C and N pools in either region, but did affect other measured nutrients such as ammonium, which was greatest in the elevated pH treatment for both sites. As expected, readily available P pools were highest in the elevated P treatments (3 fold increase in both sites), but raising pH decreased available P pools in the glaciated site. Raising soil pH increased both net N mineralization rates and net P mineralization rates, regardless of site. Nitrification responses were complex, but we observed an overall significant nitrification increase under elevated pH, particularly in the growing season. Extracellular enzyme activity showed more seasonal patterns than site and treatment effects, exhibiting significant growing season activity reductions for

  8. Decomposition of Organic Carbon in Fine Soil Particles Is Likely More Sensitive to Warming than in Coarse Particles: An Incubation Study with Temperate Grassland and Forest Soils in Northern China

    PubMed Central

    Ding, Fan; Huang, Yao; Sun, Wenjuan; Jiang, Guangfu; Chen, Yue

    2014-01-01

    It is widely recognized that global warming promotes soil organic carbon (SOC) decomposition, and soils thus emit more CO2 into the atmosphere because of the warming; however, the response of SOC decomposition to this warming in different soil textures is unclear. This lack of knowledge limits our projection of SOC turnover and CO2 emission from soils after future warming. To investigate the CO2 emission from soils with different textures, we conducted a 107-day incubation experiment. The soils were sampled from temperate forest and grassland in northern China. The incubation was conducted over three short-term cycles of changing temperature from 5°C to 30°C, with an interval of 5°C. Our results indicated that CO2 emissions from sand (>50 µm), silt (2–50 µm), and clay (<2 µm) particles increased exponentially with increasing temperature. The sand fractions emitted more CO2 (CO2-C per unit fraction-C) than the silt and clay fractions in both forest and grassland soils. The temperature sensitivity of the CO2 emission from soil particles, which is expressed as Q10, decreased in the order clay>silt>sand. Our study also found that nitrogen availability in the soil facilitated the temperature dependence of SOC decomposition. A further analysis of the incubation data indicated a power-law decrease of Q10 with increasing temperature. Our results suggested that the decomposition of organic carbon in fine-textured soils that are rich in clay or silt could be more sensitive to warming than those in coarse sandy soils and that SOC might be more vulnerable in boreal and temperate regions than in subtropical and tropical regions under future warming. PMID:24736659

  9. Multi-Seasonal Nitrogen Recoveries from Crop Residue in Soil and Crop in a Temperate Agro-Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Hu, Guoqing; Liu, Xiao; He, Hongbo; Zhang, Wei; Xie, Hongtu; Wu, Yeye; Cui, Jiehua; Sun, Ci; Zhang, Xudong

    2015-01-01

    In conservation tillage systems, at least 30% of the soil surface was covered by crop residues which generally contain significant amounts of nitrogen (N). However, little is known about the multi-seasonal recoveries of the N derived from these crop residues in soil-crop systems, notably in northeastern China. In a temperate agro-ecosystem, 15N-labeled maize residue was applied to field surfaces in the 1st year (2009). From the 2nd to 4th year (2010-2012), one treatment halted the application of maize residue, whereas the soil in the second treatment was re-applied with unlabeled maize residue. Crop and soil samples were collected after each harvest, and their 15N enrichments were determined on an isotope ratio mass spectrometer to trace the allocation of N derived from the initially applied maize residue in the soil-crop systems. On average, 8.4% of the maize residue N was recovered in the soil-crop in the 1st year, and the vast majority (61.9%-91.9%) was recovered during subsequent years. Throughout the experiment, the cumulative recovery of the residue N in the crop increased gradually (18.2%-20.9%), but most of the residue N was retained in the soil, notably in the 0-10 cm soil layer. Compared to the single application, the sequential residue application significantly increased the recovery of the residue N in the soil profile (73.8% vs. 40.9%) and remarkably decreased the total and the initially applied residue derived mineral N along the soil profile. Our results suggested that the residue N was actively involved in N cycling, and its release and recovery in crop and soil profile were controlled by the decomposition process. Sequential residue application significantly enhanced the retention and stabilization of the initially applied residue N in the soil and retarded its translocation along the soil profile. PMID:26192436

  10. Soil Warming and Rhizosphere Effects on Root Litter Decomposition at Two Depths in a Mediterranean Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanha, C.; Zhu, B.; Hicks Pries, C.; Torn, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate understanding of soil processes is critical for predicting climate-ecosystem feedbacks. We investigated the effects of soil warming and plant rhizosphere on decomposition of 13C-labeled roots buried at two soil depths at the field lysimeter facilities at Hopland Research and Extension Center, CA. The lysimeters contain soil columns 38-cm in diameter and 48-cm deep (0-15 cm A-horizon and 15-48 cm B-horizon, Laughlin soil) sown with an annual grassland mix. The experimental design includes three treatments: heated, ambient, and unplanted. In February 2014 we added 13C-labeled Avena fatua roots to either 8-12 cm or 38-42 cm. We measured loss of 13C in CO2 from the soil surface and in leachate as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) over two growing seasons. At the end of each growing season we recovered the 13C remaining in the soil. In addition, we monitored plant productivity and soil temperature and moisture. The rates of both soil respiration and DOC losses were greatest in heated and least in unplanted plots, although respiration losses far outweighed leachate losses. Treatment affected timing of decomposition; added root litter was respired earlier in the ambient plots and later in the unplanted plots in both years. The litter addition stimulated native soil respiration in year 1 heated plots. The depth of the litter addition did not have an effect on soil respiration. However, after the first growing season, less added root litter remained in the A than in the B horizon (both in the visible root fraction and in the 2mm soil fraction), indicating lower overall decomposition rates at depth. These results, including 13C recovery following the 2nd growing season and soil microclimate variables, will be used to develop a mechanistic understanding of the impacts of soil warming, the rhizosphere, and soil depth on root decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics, and should improve our predictions of the feedbacks between climate change and carbon cycling

  11. Monitoring of carbon dioxide fluxes in a subalpine grassland ecosystem of the Italian Alps using a multispectral sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakowska, K.; Vescovo, L.; Marcolla, B.; Juszczak, R.; Olejnik, J.; Gianelle, D.

    2014-09-01

    The study investigates the potential of a commercially available proximal sensing system - based on a 16-band multispectral sensor - for monitoring mean midday gross ecosystem production (GEPm) in a subalpine grassland of the Italian Alps equipped with an eddy covariance flux tower. Reflectance observations were collected for 5 consecutive years, characterized by different climatic conditions, together with turbulent carbon dioxide fluxes and their meteorological drivers. Different models based on linear regression (vegetation indices approach) and on multiple regression (reflectance approach) were tested to estimateGEPm from optical data. The overall performance of this relatively low-cost system was positive. Chlorophyll-related indices including the red-edge part of the spectrum in their formulation (red-edge normalized difference vegetation index, NDVIred-edge; chlorophyll index, CIred-edge) were the best predictors of GEPm, explaining most of its variability during the observation period. The use of the reflectance approach did not lead to considerably improved results in estimating GEPm: the adjusted R2 (adjR2) of the model based on linear regression - including all the 5 years - was 0.74, while the adjR2 for the multiple regression model was 0.79. Incorporating mean midday photosynthetically active radiation (PARm) into the model resulted in a general decrease in the accuracy of estimates, highlighting the complexity of the GEPm response to incident radiation. In fact, significantly higher photosynthesis rates were observed under diffuse as regards direct radiation conditions. The models which were observed to perform best were then used to test the potential of optical data for GEPm gap filling. Artificial gaps of three different lengths (1, 3 and 5 observation days) were introduced in the GEPm time series. The values of adjR2 for the three gap-filling scenarios showed that the accuracy of the gap filling slightly decreased with gap length. However, on

  12. Scale-Dependent Effects of Grazing on Plant C: N: P Stoichiometry and Linkages to Ecosystem Functioning in the Inner Mongolia Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Shuxia; Ren, Haiyan; Li, Wenhuai; Lan, Zhichun

    2012-01-01

    Background Livestock grazing is the most prevalent land use of grasslands worldwide. The effects of grazing on plant C, N, P contents and stoichiometry across hierarchical levels, however, have rarely been studied; particularly whether the effects are mediated by resource availability and the underpinning mechanisms remain largely unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a multi-organization-level approach, we examined the effects of grazing on the C, N, and P contents and stoichiometry in plant tissues (leaves and roots) and linkages to ecosystem functioning across three vegetation types (meadow, meadow steppe, and typical steppe) in the Inner Mongolia grassland, China. Our results showed that the effects of grazing on the C, N, and P contents and stoichiometry in leaves and roots differed substantially among vegetation types and across different hierarchical levels (species, functional group, and vegetation type levels). The magnitude of positive effects of grazing on leaf N and P contents increased progressively along the hierarchy of organizational levels in the meadow, whereas its negative effect on leaf N content decreased considerably along hierarchical levels in both the typical and meadow steppes. Grazing increased N and P allocation to aboveground in the meadow, while greater N and P allocation to belowground was found in the typical and meadow steppes. The differences in soil properties, plant trait-based resource use strategies, tolerance or defense strategies to grazing, and shifts in functional group composition are likely to be the key mechanisms for the observed patterns among vegetation types. Conclusions/Significance Our findings suggest that the enhanced vegetation-type-level N contents by grazing and species compensatory feedbacks may be insufficient to prevent widespread declines in primary productivity in the Inner Mongolia grassland. Hence, it is essential to reduce the currently high stocking rates and restore the vast degraded steppes

  13. The impacts of land-use change from grassland to bioenergy Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) willow on the crop and ecosystem greenhouse gas balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Z. M.; Taylor, G.; Alberti, G.; Dondini, M.; Smith, P.

    2014-12-01

    The aim of this research is to better understand the greenhouse gas balance of land-use transition to bioenergy cropping systems in a UK context. Given limited land availability, addressing the food-energy-water nexus remains a challenge, and it is imperative that bioenergy crops are sited appropriately and that competition with food crops is minimised. Initial analyses included an extensive literature review and meta-analysis with a focus on the effects of land-use change to bioenergy on soil carbon and GHGs. This data mining exercise allowed us to understand the current state of the literature and identify key areas of research which needed to be addressed. Significant knowledge gaps were identified, with particular uncertainty around transitions from grasslands and transitions to short rotation forestry. A paired site experiment was established on a commercial SRC willow plantation and grassland to measure soil and ecosystem respiration. Initial results indicate that willow was a net sink for CO2 in comparison to grassland which was a net source of CO2. This provides evidence that the GHG balance of transition to SRC bioenergy willow will potentially result in increased soil carbon, in the long-term. The empirical findings from this study have been combined with modelled estimates for the site to both test and validate the ECOSSE model. Initial comparisons show that the model is able to accurately predict the respiration occurring at the field site, suggesting that it is a valuable approach for up-scaling from point sites such as this to wider geographical areas, and for considering future climate scenarios. The spatial modelling outputs will be used to build a modelling tool for non-specialist users which will determine the GHG and soil carbon effects of changing land to bioenergy for UK. This work is based on the Ecosystem Land Use Modelling & Soil Carbon GHG Flux Trial (ELUM) project, which was commissioned and funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI).

  14. Differences in plant cover and species composition of semiarid grassland communities of Central Mexico and its effects on net ecosystem exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado-Balbuena, J.; Arredondo, J. T.; Loescher, H. W.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Chavez-Aguilar, G.; Luna-Luna, M.; Barretero-Hernandez, R.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in land use across the semiarid grasslands of Northern Mexico have driven a decline of plant cover and alteration of plant species composition. A number of different plant communities have resulted from these changes, however, their implications on the carbon cycle and regional carbon balance are still poorly understood. Here, we examined the effects of plant cover loss and changes in species composition on net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and their biotic and abiotic controls. Five typical plant community types were examined in the semiarid grassland by encasing the entire above-ground ecosystem using the geodesic dome method. Sites included an oat crop (crop), a moderately grazed grassland (moderate grazing), a 28 yr-old grazing exclosure (exclosure), an overgrazed site with low perennial grass cover (overgrazed), and an overgrazed site presenting shrub encroachment (shrub encroachment). For natural vegetation, rates of daytime NEE for sites with a high plant cover (exclosure and moderate grazing) were similar (P>0.05) as compared to sites with low plant cover (overgrazed and shrub encroachment). However, night time NEE (carbon loss) was more than double (P<0.05) for sites with high plant cover compared to sites with low cover, resulting into slight C sinks for the low plant cover sites and neutral or sources for the high plant cover sites on an annual basis. Differences in plant cover and its associated biomass defined the sensitivity to environmental controls. Thus, daytime NEE in low plant cover sites reached light compensation points at lower PPFD values than those from high plant cover sites. Differences in species composition did not influence NEE rates even though there were transient or permanent changes in C3 vs. C4 functional groups.

  15. The effect of renovation of long-term temperate grassland on N2O emissions and N leaching from contrasting soils.

    PubMed

    Krol, D J; Jones, M B; Williams, M; Richards, K G; Bourdin, F; Lanigan, G J

    2016-08-01

    Renovation of long-term grassland is associated with a peak in soil organic N mineralisation which, coupled with diminished plant N uptake can lead to large gaseous and leaching N losses. This study reports on the effect of ploughing and subsequent N fertilisation on the N2O emissions and DON/NO3(-) leaching, and evaluates the impact of ploughing technique on the magnitude and profile of N losses. This study was carried out on isolated grassland lysimeters of three Irish soils representing contrasting drainage properties (well-drained Clonakilty, moderately-drained Elton and poorly-drained Rathangan). Lysimeters were manually ploughed simulating conventional (CT) and minimum tillage (MT) as two treatments. Renovation of grassland increased N2O flux to a maximum of 0.9kgN2O-Nha(-1) from poorly-drained soil over four days after treatment. Although there was no difference between CT and MT in the post-ploughing period, the treatment influenced subsequent N2O after fertiliser applications. Fertilisation remained the major driver of N losses therefore reducing fertilisation rate post-planting to account for N mineralised through grassland renovation could reduce the losses in medium to longer term. Leaching was a significant loss pathway, with the cumulative drainage volume and N leached highly influenced by soil type. Overall, the total N losses (N2O+N leached) were lowest from poorly and moderately draining soil and highest for the well draining soil, reflecting the dominance of leaching on total N losses and the paramount importance of soil properties. PMID:27101460

  16. Super High Resolution Airborne Remote Sensing for Evaluating the Decomposition Function of Ecosystem of Temperate Forest in Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Suzuki, R.; Fadaei, H.; Ishii, R.; Nagai, S.; Okabe, K.; Yamashita, S.; Taki, H.; Honda, Y.; Kajiwara, K.

    2013-12-01

    Forest ecosystem is sustained by nutrients cycle among trees, floor vegetation, litter, and soil etc. One of important driving mechanisms for such nutrients cycle is the decomposition of the fallen trees by fungi, and this process would play an important function in the biogeochemical cycle of the environment. This study challenged to identify the position and size of fallen trees in a temperate forest in Japan based on super high resolution (less than 1cm) visual images taken from a camera aboard a helicopter. Field campaign was carried out on November 29, 2011 at the experimental forest (6 ha, 300m x 200m, 36° 56' 10.5'N, 140° 35' 16.5'E) in Kitaibaraki, Ibaraki, Japan. According to the census survey of the forest, deciduous broad leave trees are dominant. There was almost no leaf in the forest crown on the day of the field campaign, and that brought a high visibility of the floor from the sky. The topography of the forest site is characterized by a small valley with a river flowing north to south at its bottom. An unmanned helicopter (Yamaha RMAX G1) flew over the forest in north-south lines with a speed of 3m/s at height of 30-70m from the ground surface. The interval between adjacent two lines was 20m. A consumer grade camera (Canon EOS Kiss X5 with 55mm lens; 5184 x 3456 pixels) was fixed with the vertically looking down direction on the helicopter. The camera took forest images with 5 seconds interval. The helicopter was also equipped by a laser range finder (LRF) (SkEyesBOX MP-1). Based on the point cloud created by the LRF measurement, 1 x 1m digital elevation model (DEM) of the ground surface was established by finding the lowest point value of the point cloud in each 1 x 1m grid of the forest. The forest was covered by 211 images taken by the camera. Each image was orthorectified by using the DEM and the data of the position and orientations of the helicopter, and then they were mosaicked into one image. Fallen trees with the diameter more than 10cm

  17. Deposition fluxes of terpenes over grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bamberger, I.; HöRtnagl, L.; Ruuskanen, T. M.; Schnitzhofer, R.; Müller, M.; Graus, M.; Karl, T.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Hansel, A.

    2011-07-01

    Eddy covariance flux measurements were carried out for two subsequent vegetation periods above a temperate mountain grassland in an alpine valley using a proton-transfer-reaction-mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) and a PTR time-of-flight-mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF). In 2008 and during the first half of the vegetation period 2009 the volume mixing ratios (VMRs) for the sum of monoterpenes (MTs) were typically well below 1 ppbv and neither MT emission nor deposition was observed. After a hailstorm in July 2009 an order of magnitude higher amount of terpenes was transported to the site from nearby coniferous forests causing elevated VMRs. As a consequence, deposition fluxes of terpenes to the grassland, which continued over a time period of several weeks without significant reemission, were observed. For days without precipitation the deposition occurred at velocities close to the aerodynamic limit. In addition to monoterpene uptake, deposition fluxes of the sum of sesquiterpenes (SQTs) and the sum of oxygenated terpenes (OTs) were detected. Considering an entire growing season for the grassland (i.e., 1 April to 1 November 2009), the cumulative carbon deposition of monoterpenes reached 276 mg C m-2. This is comparable to the net carbon emission of methanol (329 mg C m-2), which is the dominant nonmethane volatile organic compound (VOC) emitted from this site, during the same time period. It is suggested that deposition of monoterpenes to terrestrial ecosystems could play a more significant role in the reactive carbon budget than previously assumed.

  18. Effects of winter temperature and summer drought on net ecosystem exchange of CO2 in a temperate peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Helfter, Carole; Campbell, Claire; Dinsmore, Kerry; Drewer, Julia; Coyle, Mhairi; Anderson, Margaret; Skiba, Ute; Nemitz, Eiko; Billett, Michael; Sutton, Mark

    2014-05-01

    Northern peatlands are one of the most important global sinks of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2); their ability to sequester C is a natural feedback mechanism controlled by climatic variables such as precipitation, temperature, length of growing season and period of snow cover. In the UK it has been predicted that peatlands could become a net source of carbon in response to climate change with climate models predicting a rise in global temperature of ca. 3oC between 1961-1990 and 2100. Land-atmosphere exchange of CO2in peatlands exhibits marked seasonal and inter-annual variations, which have significant short- and long-term effects on carbon sink strength. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 has been measured continuously by eddy-covariance (EC) at Auchencorth Moss (55° 47'32 N, 3° 14'35 W, 267 m a.s.l.), a temperate peatland in central Scotland, since 2002. Auchencorth Moss is a low-lying, ombrotrophic peatland situated ca. 20 km south-west of Edinburgh. Peat depth ranges from 5 m and the site has a mean annual precipitation of 1155 mm. The vegetation present within the flux measurement footprint comprises mixed grass species, heather and substantial areas of moss species (Sphagnum spp. and Polytrichum spp.). The EC system consists of a LiCOR 7000 closed-path infrared gas analyser for the simultaneous measurement of CO2 and water vapour and of a Gill Windmaster Pro ultrasonic anemometer. Over the 10 year period, the site was a consistent yet variable sink of CO2 ranging from -34.1 to -135.9 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1 (mean of -69.1 ± 33.6 g CO2-C m-2 yr-1). Inter-annual variability in NEE was positively correlated to the length of the growing seasons and mean winter air temperature explained 93% of the variability in summertime sink strength, indicating a phenological memory-effect. Plant development and productivity were stunted by colder winters causing a net reduction in the annual carbon sink strength of this peatland where autotrophic processes are thought to be

  19. Response of carbon dioxide emissions to sheep grazing and N application in an alpine grassland - Part 2: Effect of N application

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gong, Y. M.; Mohammat, A.; Liu, X. J.; Li, K. H.; Christie, P.; Fang, F.; Song, W.; Chang, Y. H.; Han, W. X.; Lü, X. T.; Liu, Y. Y.; Hu, Y. K.

    2014-04-01

    Widespread nitrogen (N) enrichment resulting from anthropogenic activities has led to great changes in carbon exchange between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. Grassland is one of the most sensitive ecosystems to N deposition. However, the effect of N deposition on ecosystem respiration (Re) in grasslands has been conducted mainly in temperate grasslands, which are limited largely by water availability, with few studies focused on alpine grasslands that are primarily constrained by low temperatures. Failure to assess the magnitude of the response in Re outside the growing season (NGS) in previous studies also limits our understanding of carbon exchange under N deposition conditions. To address these knowledge gaps we used a combination of static closed chambers and gas chromatography in an alpine grassland from 2010 to 2011 to test the effects of N application on ecosystem respiration (Re) both inside and outside the growing season. There was no significant change in CO2 emissions under N application. Re outside the growing season was at least equivalent to 9.4% of the CO2 fluxes during the growing season (GS). Annual Re was calculated to be 279.0-403.9 g CO2 m-2 yr-1 in Bayinbuluk alpine grasslands. In addition, our results indicate that soil temperature was the dominant abiotic factor regulating variation in Re in the cold and arid environment. Our results suggest that short-term N additions exert no significant effect on CO2 emissions in alpine grassland.

  20. Testing mechanisms of N-enrichment-induced species loss in a semiarid Inner Mongolia grassland: critical thresholds and implications for long-term ecosystem responses.

    PubMed

    Lan, Zhichun; Bai, Yongfei

    2012-11-19

    The increase in nutrient availability as a consequence of elevated nitrogen (N) deposition is an important component of global environmental change. This is likely to substantially affect the functioning and provisioning of ecosystem services by drylands, where water and N are often limited. We tested mechanisms of chronic N-enrichment-induced plant species loss in a 10-year field experiment with six levels of N addition rate. Our findings on a semi-arid grassland in Inner Mongolia demonstrated that: (i) species richness (SR) declined by 16 per cent even at low levels of additional N (1.75 g N m(-2) yr(-1)), and 50-70% species were excluded from plots which received high N input (10.5-28 g N m(-2) yr(-1)); (ii) the responses of SR and above-ground biomass (AGB) to N were greater in wet years than dry years; (iii) N addition increased the inter-annual variations in AGB, reduced the drought resistance of production and hence diminished ecosystem stability; (iv) the critical threshold for chronic N-enrichment-induced reduction in SR differed between common and rare species, and increased over the time of the experiment owing to the loss of the more sensitive species. These results clearly indicate that both abundance and functional trait-based mechanisms operate simultaneously on N-induced species loss. The low initial abundance and low above-ground competitive ability may be attributable to the loss of rare species. However, shift from below-ground competition to above-ground competition and recruitment limitation are likely to be the key mechanisms for the loss of abundant species, with soil acidification being less important. Our results have important implications for understanding the impacts of N deposition and global climatic change (e.g. change in precipitation regimes) on biodiversity and ecosystem services of the Inner Mongolian grassland and beyond. PMID:23045710

  1. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide.

    PubMed

    Prober, Suzanne M; Leff, Jonathan W; Bates, Scott T; Borer, Elizabeth T; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W Stanley; Lind, Eric M; Seabloom, Eric W; Adler, Peter B; Bakker, Jonathan D; Cleland, Elsa E; DeCrappeo, Nicole M; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Kirkman, Kevin P; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J; MacDougall, Andrew S; McCulley, Rebecca L; Mitchell, Charles E; Risch, Anita C; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J; Williams, Ryan J; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground-belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m(2) plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity. PMID:25430889

  2. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prober, Suzanne M.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Bates, Scott T.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Lind, Eric M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Adler, Peter B.; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cleland, Elsa E.; DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Williams, Ryan J.; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground–belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m2 plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity.

  3. Consequences of cool-season drought induced plant mortality to Chihuahuan Desert grassland ecosystem and soil respiration dynamics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of cool-season drought across the arid Southwest US. We quantified net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) in response to interannual seasonal precip...

  4. Elevated CO2 and warming influence ecosystem carbon dynamics and evapotranspiration in a semi-arid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystem carbon dynamics are sensitive to rising CO2 concentrations and warming, but the combined effects of these global change drivers on ecosystem carbon uptake and loss remain a critical uncertainty. Northern mixed grass prairie is expected to be among the most responsive ecosystems to the effe...

  5. Comparison of Ecosystem Respiration Components and Carbon Use Efficiency among Different land Use Patterns of Temperate Steppe in the Northern China Pastoral- farming Ecotone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Yuzhe, L.

    2015-12-01

    ABSTRACTThe rangeland use/management pattern changes such as cultivation and grazing exclusion, can lead to significant influence on vegetation and soil characteristics, which, in turn, brings changes to the microclimate of community. As a consequences, the carbon budget balance between the grassland ecosystem and the atmosphere may altered. Our research indicated that the GEP of cultivated steppe was enhanced significantly, in comparison with adjacent grazed steppes. However, with a significant rise of the respiration of the crops (Ra) and of heterotrophic respiration of the cultivated ecosystem (Rh), the NEP of the steppes cultivated to cropland is significantly lower than that of the grazed or grazing excluded steppes. The respiration of the aboveground part of ecosystem (Rab) and of the underground part (Rb) both contributes to the dramatic increase of the ecosystem respiration (Re) in cultivated steppe. The steppes under three different management types show a significant difference on the underground root biomass, but the difference on the root respiration (Rr) is not significant. This phenomenon is due to the negative exponential relationship between the root-top ratio and the root respiration activity. The communities on the grazed and grazing excluded steppes have a significantly higher carbon fixation efficiency than the steppes cultivated to cropland (wheat fields). The heterotrophic respiration (Rh) of the ecosystem explains to the maximum extent the carbon use efficiency (CUE) of the vegetation (95%). Long term grazing exclusion or cultivation reduces the net photosynthesis ,NEE and CUE of the steppe ecosystem and weakens the carbon sink function of the vegetation, while enhancing the soil respiration CO2 release with different respiration sources composition.

  6. The origin of grasslands in the temperate forest zone of east-central Europe: long-term legacy of climate and human impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuneš, Petr; Svobodová-Svitavská, Helena; Kolář, Jan; Hajnalová, Mária; Abraham, Vojtěch; Macek, Martin; Tkáč, Peter; Szabó, Péter

    2015-05-01

    The post-glacial fate of central European grasslands has stimulated palaeoecological debates for a century. Some argued for the continuous survival of open land, while others claimed that closed forest had developed during the Middle Holocene. The reasons behind stability or changes in the proportion of open land are also unclear. We aim to reconstruct regional vegetation openness and test the effects of climate and human impact on vegetation change throughout the Holocene. We present a newly dated pollen record from north-western fringes of the Pannonian Plain, east-central Europe, and reconstruct Holocene regional vegetation development by the REVEALS model for 27 pollen-equivalent taxa. Estimated vegetation is correlated in the same area with a human activity model based on all available archaeological information and a macrophysical climate model. The palaeovegetation record indicates the continuous presence of open land throughout the Holocene. Grasslands and open woodlands were probably maintained by local arid climatic conditions during the early Holocene delaying the spread of deciduous (oak) forests. Significantly detectable human-made landscape transformation started only after 2000 BC. Our analyses suggest that Neolithic people spread into a landscape that was already open. Humans probably contributed to the spread of oak, and influenced the dynamics of hazel and hornbeam.

  7. The balance between methane emissions and uptake in a pond-grassland ecosystem: Evidence for high temperature-sensitivity of emissions

    SciTech Connect

    Torn, M.S.

    1995-06-01

    Methane emissions and uptake were studied in an annual grassland and in seasonally-flooded soils near a pond in California from 1991 to 1993. The pond margin emitted methane (0-229 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -1}). Uptake by the grasslands averaged -0.7 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -1}, and annual uptake was highly and positively correlated with soil carbon and nitrogen content (R{sup 2} = 0.97; n=5 sites) with no significant effect of sheep grazing. Field experiments were used to determine if emissions and uptake differed in their response to variation in temperature and moisture. Methane production and consumption responded differently to changes in temperature and moisture. Methane emissions were positively correlated with soil temperature, whereas methane uptake was not significantly related to temperature. The effective temperature response for emissions (e.g., Q{sub 10}) from locations with simultaneous production and consumption was much larger than the Q{sub 10} for production alone, a result with widespread implications. A model that incorporates both the differential effect of temperature on emissions and uptake, and the balance of production and consumption, predicts three times more change in global ecosystems emissions in response to warming than does a model that ignores these two features and includes only net methane release.

  8. Differences in plant cover and species composition of semiarid grassland communities of central Mexico and its effects on net ecosystem exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado-Balbuena, J.; Arredondo, J. T.; Loescher, H. W.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Chavez-Aguilar, G.; Luna-Luna, M.; Barretero-Hernandez, R.

    2013-07-01

    Changes in land use across the semiarid grasslands of northern Mexico have driven a decline of plant cover and alteration of plant species composition. A number of different plant communities have resulted from these changes. Their implications, however, on the carbon (C) cycle and regional carbon balance are still poorly understood. Here, we examined the effects of plant cover loss and changes in species composition on net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and their biotic and abiotic controls. NEE was measured in five representative plant community types within a semiarid grassland by temporarily enclosing the entire aboveground ecosystem using a chamber method (i.e., geodesic dome). Sites included an oat crop (crop), a moderately grazed grassland (moderate grazing), a 28 yr-old grazing exclosure (exclosure), an overgrazed site with low perennial grass cover (overgrazed), and an overgrazed site presenting shrub encroachment (shrub encroachment). For natural vegetation, rates of standardized daytime NEE for sites with a high plant cover (exclosure and moderate grazing) were similar (P > 0.05) as compared to sites with low plant cover (overgrazed and shrub encroachment). However, yearly total nighttime NEE (carbon loss) was more than double (P < 0.05) for sites with high plant cover compared to sites with low cover, resulting to slight C sinks for the low plant cover sites, and neutral or sources for the high plant cover sites as accounted by daytime and nighttime NEE annual balance. Differences in plant cover and its associated biomass defined the sensitivity to environmental controls. Thus, daytime NEE in low plant cover sites reached light compensation points at lower photosynthetic photon flux density than those from high plant cover sites. Differences in species composition did not influence NEE rates even though there were transient or permanent changes in C3 vs. C4 functional groups. Our results allowed the detection of the large variability and contribution of

  9. The CROSTVOC project - an integrated approach to study the effect of stress on BVOC exchange between agricultural crops and grassland ecosystems and the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amelynck, Crist; Heinesch, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc; Bachy, Aurélie; Delaplace, Pierre; Digrado, Anthony; du Jardin, Patrick; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Mozaffar, Ahsan; Schoon, Niels

    2015-04-01

    Global changes in atmospheric composition and climate are expected to affect BVOC exchange between terrestrial vegetation and the atmosphere through changes in the drivers of constitutive BVOC emissions and by increases in frequency and intensity of biotic or abiotic stress episodes. Indeed, several studies indicate changes in the emission patterns of constitutive BVOCs and emission of stress-induced BVOCs following heat, drought and oxidative stress, amongst others. Relating changes in BVOC emissions to the occurrence of one or multiple stressors in natural environmental conditions is not straightforward and only few field studies have dealt with it, especially for agricultural crop and grassland ecosystems. The CROSTVOC project aims to contribute in filling this knowledge gap in three ways. Firstly, it aims at performing long-term BVOC emission field measurements from maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), two important crop species on the global scale, and from grassland. This should lead to a better characterization of (mainly oxygenated) BVOC emissions from these understudied ecosystems, allowing a better representation of those emissions in air quality and atmospheric chemistry and transport models. BVOC fluxes are obtained by the Disjunct Eddy Covariance by mass scanning (DEC-MS) technique, using a hs-PTR-MS instrument for BVOC analysis. Secondly, the eddy covariance BVOC flux measurements (especially at the grassland site) will be accompanied by ozone flux, chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthesis and soil moisture measurements, amongst others, to allow linking alterations in BVOC emissions to stress episodes. Simultaneously, automated dynamic enclosures will be deployed in order to detect specific abiotic and biotic stress markers by PTR-MS and identify them unambiguously by GC-MS. Thirdly, the field measurements will be accompanied by laboratory BVOC flux measurements in an environmental chamber in order to better disentangle the responses

  10. Elevated carbon dioxide alters impacts of precipitation pulses on ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration in a semi-arid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Predicting net carbon (C) balance under future global change scenarios requires a comprehensive understanding of photosynthetic (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Re) responses to atmospheric CO2 concentration and water availability. We measured net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE), GPP and Re prior to...

  11. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  12. The effects of climatic and CO[sub 2] changes on grassland storage of soil carbon

    SciTech Connect

    Ojima, D.S.; Parton, W.J. ); Schimel, D.S. ); Scurlock, J.M.O. )

    1993-06-01

    We present results from analysis of the sensitivity of global grassland ecosystems to modified climate. We assess over 30 grassland sites from around the world under two different GCM double CO[sub 2] climates. The results indicate that soil C losses occur in Ar grassland regions (losses range from 1.6 to 8.8% of current soil C levels for the surface 20 cm). The Eurasian grasslands lost the greatest amount of soil C ([approximately]700 g C/m[sub 2]) and the other temperate grasslands lost approximately half this amount. The tropical grasslands and savannas lost the least amount of soil C per unit area (ranging from no change to 130 g C/m[sub 2] losses). Plant production varies according to modifications in rainfall amounts under the altered climate and to altered nitrogen mineralization rates. The two GCM's differed in predictions of rainfall with a doubling of CO[sub 2], and this difference is reflected in plant production. Soil decomposition rates responded most predictably to changes in temperature. CO[sub 2] fertilization effects on soil C loss and plant production tended to reduce the net impact of climate alterations.

  13. Testing the efficiency of temperate benthic biotic indices in assessing the ecological status of a tropical ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Sivadas, Sanitha K; Nagesh, Rahul; Gupta, G V M; Gaonkar, Udaykumar; Mukherjee, Indranil; Ramteke, Darwin; Ingole, Baban S

    2016-05-15

    The objectives of the present study were to evaluate the ecological status of tropical coastal waters using the temperate benthic indices and examine the effect of seasonal variability on the performance of benthic indices. Macrobenthic samples were collected from northwest to southeast coast of India during 2003-2012 and we tested different univariate indices, ecological strategies, indicator species and multimetric indices. AMBI and multimetric indices performed satisfactorily in evaluating the ecological status. Seasonal variability on the biotic indices was observed during the southwest monsoon and fall intermonsoon period due to recruitment. Therefore, we recommended the non-monsoon period (January-May) as a suitable time of the year to use the indices for effective assessment of the Indian coastal waters. Results show that, the temperate benthic indices are efficient in assessing the tropical environmental status. However, complementary use of different indices is suggested for accurate assessment of the environmental status. PMID:27016331

  14. Climate warming increases biodiversity of small rodents by favoring rare or less abundant species in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Guangshun; Liu, Jun; Xu, Lei; Yu, Guirui; He, Honglin; Zhang, Zhibin

    2013-06-01

    Our Earth is facing the challenge of accelerating climate change, which imposes a great threat to biodiversity. Many published studies suggest that climate warming may cause a dramatic decline in biodiversity, especially in colder and drier regions. In this study, we investigated the effects of temperature, precipitation and a normalized difference vegetation index on biodiversity indices of rodent communities in the current or previous year for both detrended and nondetrended data in semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia during 1982-2006. Our results demonstrate that temperature showed predominantly positive effects on the biodiversity of small rodents; precipitation showed both positive and negative effects; a normalized difference vegetation index showed positive effects; and cross-correlation function values between rodent abundance and temperature were negatively correlated with rodent abundance. Our results suggest that recent climate warming increased the biodiversity of small rodents by providing more benefits to population growth of rare or less abundant species than that of more abundant species in Inner Mongolia grassland, which does not support the popular view that global warming would decrease biodiversity in colder and drier regions. We hypothesized that higher temperatures might benefit rare or less abundant species (with smaller populations and more folivorous diets) by reducing the probability of local extinction and/or by increasing herbaceous food resources. PMID:23731812

  15. Assessment of effects of climate change and grazing activity on grassland yield in the Three Rivers Headwaters Region of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    Fan, Jiang-Wen; Shao, Quan-Qin; Liu, Ji-Yuan; Wang, Jun-Bang; Harris, Warwick; Chen, Zhuo-Qi; Zhong, Hua-Ping; Xu, Xin-Liang; Liu, Rong-Gao

    2010-11-01

    Inter-annual dynamics of grassland yield of the Three Rivers Headwaters Region of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China in 1988-2005 was analyzed using the GLO-PEM model, and the herbage supply function was evaluated. The results indicate that while grassland yield in the region showed marked inter-annual fluctuation there was a trend of increased yield over the 18 years of the study. This increase was especially marked for Alpine Desert and Alpine Steppe and in the west of the region. The inter-annual coefficient of variation of productivity increased from the east to the west of the region and from Marsh, Alpine Meadow, Alpine Steppe, Temperate Steppe to Alpine Desert grasslands. Climate change, particularly increased temperatures in the region during the study period, is suggested to be the main cause of increased grassland yield. However, reduced grazing pressure and changes to the seasonal pattern of grazing could also have influenced the grassland yield trend. These findings indicate the importance of understanding the function of the grassland ecosystems in the region and the effect of climate change on them especially in regard to their use to supply forage for animal production. Reduction of grazing pressure, especially during winter, is indicated to be critical for the restoration and sustainable use of grassland ecosystems in the region. PMID:20041346

  16. Dew water isotopic ratios and their relationships to ecosystem water pools and fluxes in a cropland and a grassland in China.

    PubMed

    Wen, Xue-Fa; Lee, Xuhui; Sun, Xiao-Min; Wang, Jian-Lin; Hu, Zhong-Min; Li, Sheng-Gong; Yu, Gui-Rui

    2012-02-01

    Dew formation has the potential to modulate the spatial and temporal variations of isotopic contents of atmospheric water vapor, oxygen and carbon dioxide. The goal of this paper is to improve our understanding of the isotopic interactions between dew water and ecosystem water pools and fluxes through two field experiments in a wheat/maize cropland and in a short steppe grassland in China. Measurements were made during 94 dew events of the D and (18)O compositions of dew, atmospheric vapor, leaf, xylem and soil water, and the whole ecosystem water flux. Our results demonstrate that the equilibrium fractionation played a dominant role over the kinetic fractionation in controlling the dew water isotopic compositions. A significant correlation between the isotopic compositions of leaf water and dew water suggests a large role of top-down exchange with atmospheric vapor controlling the leaf water turnover at night. According to the isotopic labeling, dew water consisted of a downward flux of water vapor from above the canopy (98%) and upward fluxes originated from soil evaporation and transpiration of the leaves in the lower canopy (2%). PMID:21822725

  17. Warmer temperatures stimulate respiration and reduce net ecosystem productivity in a northern Great Plains grassland: Analysis of CO2 exchange in automatic chambers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanagan, L. B.

    2013-12-01

    The interacting effects of altered temperature and precipitation are expected to have significant consequences for ecosystem net carbon storage. Here I report the results of an experiment that evaluated the effects of elevated temperature and altered precipitation on ecosystem CO2 exchange in a northern Great Plains grassland, near Lethbridge, Alberta Canada. Open-top chambers were used to establish an experiment in 2012 with three treatments (control, warmed, warmed plus 50% of normal precipitation input). A smaller experiment with only the two temperature treatments (control and warmed) was conducted in 2013. Continuous half-hourly net CO2 exchange measurements were made using nine automatic chambers during May-October in both years. My objectives were to determine the sensitivity of the ecosystem carbon budget to temperature and moisture manipulations, and to test for direct and indirect effects of the environmental changes on ecosystem CO2 exchange. The experimental manipulations resulted primarily in a significant increase in air temperature in the warmed treatment plots. A cumulative net loss of carbon or negative net ecosystem productivity (NEP) occurred during May through September in the warmed treatment (NEP = -659 g C m-2), while in the control treatment there was a cumulative net gain of carbon (NEP = +50 g C m-2). An eddy covariance system that operated at the site, over a footprint region that was not influenced by the experimental treatments, also showed a net gain of carbon by the ecosystem. The reduced NEP was due to higher plant and soil respiration rates in the warmed treatment that appeared to be caused by a combination of: (i) higher carbon substrate availability indirectly stimulating soil respiration in the warmed relative to the control treatment, and (ii) a strong increase in leaf respiration likely caused by a shift in electron partitioning to the alternative pathway respiration in the warmed treatment, particularly when exposed to high

  18. Grassland degradation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    There are approximately 1.5 million square kilometers of prairie communities (grasslands)in North America, a majority of which are native grasslands. Grasslands serve ecological functions that cannot be replaced by other land uses. Examples of ecological benefits and services include the third lar...

  19. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment. PMID:25643060

  20. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment. PMID:25643060

  1. Interactive Effects of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and Cattle on Shrub Encroachment in a Desert Grassland Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Ana; Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread encroachment of woody plants throughout the semi-arid grasslands in North America has largely resulted from overgrazing by domestic livestock, fire suppression, and loss of native large and small mammalian herbivores. Burrowing-herbivorous mammals, such as prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), help control shrub encroachment through clipping of shrubs and consumption of their seedlings, but little is known about how this important ecological role interacts with and may be influenced by co-existing large herbivores, especially domestic livestock. Here, we established a long-term manipulative experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design to assess the independent and interactive effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) on honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) abundance and structure. We found that, after five years, mesquite abundance was three to five times greater in plots where prairie dogs were removed compared to plots where they occurred together or alone, respectively. While both prairie dogs and cattle reduced mesquite cover, the effect of prairie dogs on reducing mesquite abundance, cover, and height was significantly greater than that by cattle. Surprisingly, cattle grazing enhanced prairie dog abundance, which, in turn, magnified the effects of prairie dogs on mesquite shrubs. Mesquite canopy cover per hectare was three to five times greater where prairie dogs and cattle were absent compared to where they occurred together or by themselves; whereas, cumulative mesquite height was two times lower on sites where prairie dog and cattle occurred together compared to where they occurred alone or where neither occurred. Data from our experimental study demonstrate that prairie dogs and moderate grazing by cattle can suppress mesquite growth, and, when their populations are properly managed, they may interact synergistically to significantly limit mesquite encroachment in desert grasslands. PMID:27144274

  2. Interactive Effects of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and Cattle on Shrub Encroachment in a Desert Grassland Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ponce-Guevara, Eduardo; Davidson, Ana; Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread encroachment of woody plants throughout the semi-arid grasslands in North America has largely resulted from overgrazing by domestic livestock, fire suppression, and loss of native large and small mammalian herbivores. Burrowing-herbivorous mammals, such as prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), help control shrub encroachment through clipping of shrubs and consumption of their seedlings, but little is known about how this important ecological role interacts with and may be influenced by co-existing large herbivores, especially domestic livestock. Here, we established a long-term manipulative experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design to assess the independent and interactive effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) on honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) abundance and structure. We found that, after five years, mesquite abundance was three to five times greater in plots where prairie dogs were removed compared to plots where they occurred together or alone, respectively. While both prairie dogs and cattle reduced mesquite cover, the effect of prairie dogs on reducing mesquite abundance, cover, and height was significantly greater than that by cattle. Surprisingly, cattle grazing enhanced prairie dog abundance, which, in turn, magnified the effects of prairie dogs on mesquite shrubs. Mesquite canopy cover per hectare was three to five times greater where prairie dogs and cattle were absent compared to where they occurred together or by themselves; whereas, cumulative mesquite height was two times lower on sites where prairie dog and cattle occurred together compared to where they occurred alone or where neither occurred. Data from our experimental study demonstrate that prairie dogs and moderate grazing by cattle can suppress mesquite growth, and, when their populations are properly managed, they may interact synergistically to significantly limit mesquite encroachment in desert grasslands. PMID:27144274

  3. Development of simplified ecosystem models for applications in Earth system studies: The Century experience

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parton, William J.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Schimel, David S.; Kittel, Timothy G. F.

    1992-01-01

    During the past decade, a growing need to conduct regional assessments of long-term trends of ecosystem behavior and the technology to meet this need have converged. The Century model is the product of research efforts initially intended to develop a general model of plant-soil ecosystem dynamics for the North American central grasslands. This model is now being used to simulate plant production, nutrient cycling, and soil organic matter dynamics for grassland, crop, forest, and shrub ecosystems in various regions of the world, including temperate and tropical ecosystems. This paper will focus on the philosophical approach used to develop the structure of Century. The steps included were model simplification, parameterization, and testing. In addition, the importance of acquiring regional data bases for model testing and the present regional application of Century in the Great Plains, which focus on regional ecosystem dynamics and the effect of altering environmental conditions, are discussed.

  4. The impacts of land-use change from grassland to bioenergy Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) Willow on the crop and ecosystem greenhouse gas balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Zoe M.; Alberti, Giorgio; Dondini, Marta; Smith, Pete; Taylor, Gail

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this research is to better understand the greenhouse gas balance of land-use transition to bioenergy cropping systems in a UK context. Given limited land availability, addressing the food-energy-water nexus remains a challenge, and it is imperative that bioenergy crops are sited appropriately and that competition with food crops is minimized. Here we present the results of a years' worth of soil and GHG data for a conversion from ex-set aside grassland to short rotation coppice (SRC) willow for bioenergy on a commercial scale. Initial results indicate that willow was a net sink for CO2 in comparison to grassland which was a net source of CO2. This provides evidence that the GHG balance of transitions to SRC bioenergy crops will potentially result in increased soil carbon. The empirical findings from this study have been combined with modelled estimates for the site to both test and validate the ECOSSE model. Initial comparisons show that the model is able to accurately predict the respiration occurring at the field site, suggesting that it is a valuable approach for up-scaling from point sites such as this to wider geographical areas and for considering future climate scenarios. The modelling output will also provide a user-friendly tool for land owners which will determine the GHG and soil carbon effects of changing land to bioenergy for UK. This work is based on the Ecosystem Land Use Modelling & Soil Carbon GHG Flux Trial (ELUM) project, which was commissioned and funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). This work was also jointly funded by the Carbo Biocrop Project.

  5. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO{sub 2} increase. Annual report, 1992--1993

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1993-03-01

    This report summarizes the second year of research progress. Included are progress reports for the following studies: the responses of temperate forest tree to 3 years of exposure to elevated carbon dioxide, and high and low nutrient and light levels; pot-size limitations in carbon dioxide studies, interactive effects of carbon dioxide and soil moisture availability on tree seedling`s tissue water relations, growth, and niche characteristics; individual versus population responses to elevated carbon dioxide levels in two species of annual weeds; and the development of gypsy moth larvae raised on gray and yellow birth foliage grown in ambient and elevated carbon dioxide environments.

  6. Analyzing the degradation sequence of the meadow grassland in Xilin River basin, Inner Mongolia, using multi-temporal landsat TM/ETM+ sensor data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Siqing; Liu, Jiyuan; Zhuang, Dafang; Xiao, Xiangming; Yu, Xinfang; Chen, Hua

    2004-11-01

    Landsat TM/ETM+ sensor data has proven to be a highly effective data source for vegetation and land use classification at both global and regional scales. In this study, based on land cover classification, we conducted computer-aided analysis of degradation sequence of the meadow grassland in Xilin River Basin, Inner Mongolia, using 4 sets of Landsat TM/ETM+ images (WRS 124-39 and 124-30) acquired on Jul.31, 1987, Aug.11, 1991, Sep. 27, 1997 and May 23, 2000, respectively. Primarily, 17 sub-class land cover types were recognized, including 9 grassland types at community level: F. sibiricum steppe, S. baicalensis steppe, A. chinensis + forbs steppe, A. chinensis + bunchgrass steppe, A. chinensis + Ar. frigida steppe, S. grandis + A. chinensis steppe, S. grandis + bunchgrass steppe, S. krylavii steppe, Ar. frigida steppe and 8 non-grassland types: active cropland, harvested cropland, urban area, wetland, desertilized land, saline and alkaline land, cloud, water body + cloud shadow. Then we created thematic maps of the areal change and spatial variation of the meadow grassland in Xilin River Basin, Inner Mongolia. We used Geographical Information System (GIS) tools to create thematic maps of the meadow grassland and then analyzed its degradation sequence (or the evolution route). Driven by overgrazing, the meadow grassland ecosystem in Xilin River Basin, Inner Mongolia had undergone and was undergoing degradation evolution; the evolution route was from meadow grassland (F. sibiricum steppe, S. baicalensis steppe), via temperate grassland (A. lymus + bunchgrass steppe, A. lymus + forbs Steppe, A. lymus + S. grandis steppe, S. grandis + bunchgrass steppe, S. grandis + forbs steppe and A. lymus + Ar. frigida steppe) to desert grassland (S. krylavii steppe and Ar. frigida steppe). Results of this study show that increasing human population and accelerated social-economic development has caused dramatic degradation and fragmentation to the grassland ecosystems in Xilin

  7. Soil-specific C and N responses to changing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in a mesic grassland ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Long-term increases in ecosystem productivity under elevated atmospheric CO2 can be expected only when the increased assimilation of carbon (C) is not limited by soil nutrients, namely nitrogen (N). We examined how changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations affect C and N dynamics in a mesic grasslan...

  8. Shrub encroachment in North American grasslands: Shifts in growth form dominance rapidly alters control of ecosystem carbon inputs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shrub encroachment into grass-dominated biomes is occurring globally due to a variety of anthropogenic activities, but the consequences for carbon (C) inputs, storage and cycling remain unclear. We studied eight North American graminoid-dominated ecosystems invaded by shrubs, from arctic tundra to ...

  9. Non-linear ecosystem response to long-term changes in precipitation and nitrogen availability in a desert grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our objective was to assess ecosystem responses to long-term changes in precipitation and nitrogen availability in the Northern Chihuahuan Desert (NM, USA), using rainfall manipulations (80% reduced PPT, ambient, 80% increased) and fertilization additions (with and without ammonium nitrate) for five...

  10. A CO2 concentration gradient facility for testing CO2 enrichment and soil effects on grassland ecosystem function

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Continuing increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations mandate techniques for examining impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. Most experiments examine only two or a few levels of CO2 concentration and a single soil type, but if CO2 can be varied as a gradient from subambient to superambient concentra...

  11. Cascading effects of artificial light at night: resource-mediated control of herbivores in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W; Cruse, David; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-05-01

    Artificial light at night has a wide range of biological effects on both plants and animals. Here, we review mechanisms by which artificial light at night may restructure ecological communities by modifying the interactions between species. Such mechanisms may be top-down (predator, parasite or grazer controlled), bottom-up (resource-controlled) or involve non-trophic processes, such as pollination, seed dispersal or competition. We present results from an experiment investigating both top-down and bottom-up effects of artificial light at night on the population density of pea aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum in a diverse artificial grassland community in the presence and absence of predators and under low-level light of different spectral composition. We found no evidence for top-down control of A. pisum in this system, but did find evidence for bottom-up effects mediated through the impact of light on flower head density in a leguminous food plant. These results suggest that physiological effects of light on a plant species within a diverse plant community can have detectable demographic effects on a specialist herbivore. PMID:25780243

  12. Cascading effects of artificial light at night: resource-mediated control of herbivores in a grassland ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W.; Cruse, David; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2015-01-01

    Artificial light at night has a wide range of biological effects on both plants and animals. Here, we review mechanisms by which artificial light at night may restructure ecological communities by modifying the interactions between species. Such mechanisms may be top-down (predator, parasite or grazer controlled), bottom-up (resource-controlled) or involve non-trophic processes, such as pollination, seed dispersal or competition. We present results from an experiment investigating both top-down and bottom-up effects of artificial light at night on the population density of pea aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum in a diverse artificial grassland community in the presence and absence of predators and under low-level light of different spectral composition. We found no evidence for top-down control of A. pisum in this system, but did find evidence for bottom-up effects mediated through the impact of light on flower head density in a leguminous food plant. These results suggest that physiological effects of light on a plant species within a diverse plant community can have detectable demographic effects on a specialist herbivore. PMID:25780243

  13. Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Flora in Forest, Grassland and Common Land Ecosystems of Western Chitwan, Nepal

    PubMed Central

    DANGOL, Dharma Raj; MAHARJAN, Keshav Lall

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes changes of species composition and population of flora in space and time in western Chitwan, Nepal. This paper also discusses on the changes in flora due to flood and human activities. To illustrate these changes, we used survey data collected from January to April of 1996, 2000, and 2007 from the Barandabhar forest, National Park forest and the forests along the Narayani River banks, grasslands of National Park and common lands of western Chitwan as a part of longitudinal study on “reciprocal relation of population and the environment”. From these data, density values were calculated to analyze spatial and temporal changes in flora species composition and population. We also noted the changes of top species in time and space in due course of time. If the species and its rank not changed, their densities (population) values of flora species changed. We found that changes in species composition, population, appearance or disappearance of flora from a particular space (research plot) were noted as a result of natural forces or human activities. PMID:25061414

  14. Evapotranspiration and water balance of high-elevation grassland on the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coners, Heinz; Babel, Wolfgang; Willinghöfer, Sandra; Biermann, Tobias; Köhler, Lars; Seeber, Elke; Foken, Thomas; Ma, Yaoming; Yang, Yongping; Miehe, Georg; Leuschner, Christoph

    2016-02-01

    High-elevation grasslands of the Cyperaceae Kobresia pygmaea cover nearly half a million km2 on the Tibetan Plateau. As a consequence of climate change, precipitation patterns in this monsoon-influenced region may change with possible consequences for grassland productivity. Yet, not much is known about the water cycle in this second largest alpine ecosystem of the world. We measured the evapotranspiration of a high-elevation Kobresia pasture system at 4400 m a.s.l. in the south-eastern part of the plateau in two summers using three different approaches, weighable micro-lysimeters, eddy covariance measurements, and water balance modeling with the soil-plant-atmosphere transfer model SEWAB. In good agreement among the three approaches, we found ET rates of 4-6 mm d-1 in moist summer periods (June-August) and ∼2 mm d-1 in dry periods, despite the high elevation and a leaf area index of only ∼1. Measured ET rates were comparable to rates reported from alpine grasslands at 1500-2500 m a.s.l. in temperate mountains, and also matched ET rates of managed lowland grasslands in the temperate zone. At the study site with 430 mm annual precipitation, low summer rainfall reduced ET significantly and infiltration into the subsoil occurred only in moist periods. Our results show that the evapotranspiration of high-elevation grasslands at 4400 m can be as high as in lowland grasslands despite large elevational changes in abiotic and biotic drivers of ET, and periodic water shortage is likely to influence large parts of the Tibetan Kobresia pastures.

  15. Methane fluxes in wetland and forest soils, beaver ponds, and low-order streams of a temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yavitt, J. B.; Lang, G. E.; Sexstone, A. J.

    1990-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine whether temperate wetlands and forests play important roles in the global balances of atmospheric methane. Flux measurements for methane in several different wetland, forest, and open-water (e.g., beaver pond and low-order stream) sites were determined using collection chambers placed over the soil- or water-air interface. All of the sites were located in the Appalachian Mountain region of West Virginia and western Maryland. Between June 1987 and April 1989 the wetland sites acted as small sources of atmospheric methane, with emission rates for methane usually lower than 200 mg CH4/sq m per day; consumption of atmospheric methane in the wetland soils was observed frequently.

  16. Using carbon oxidation state and ecosystem oxidative ratio to understand terrestrial ecosystem response to elevated CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hockaday, W. C.; Masiello, C. A.; Gallagher, M. E.

    2015-12-01

    Here we show that an easily-measured biogeochemical tracer, carbon oxidation state (Cox) can be used to understand ecosystem response to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We briefly review the use of Cox in understanding C sink estimates, and its role in understanding the coupled nature of carbon and oxygen cycles, which derives from its relationship with ecosystem oxidative ratio (OR). The Cox of a carbon pool provides an integrated measure of all processes that create and destroy organic matter (e.g. photosynthesis, respiration, fire) and therefore, can be used to estimate the oxidative ratio (O2/CO2) of biosphere-atmosphere exchange. Our preliminary data suggest that the OR of temperate hardwood forest and grassland ecosystems are influenced by atmospheric CO2 concentration. The variation in ecosystem Cox with atmospheric CO2 concentration suggest that OR is not a conservative property of terrestrial ecosystems on annual or decadal timescales. In the grassland ecosystem, the Cox of plant biomass increased by as much as 50% across a CO2 concentration gradient of 190 ppm, but the response was highly dependent upon soil properties. In the temperate forest, the Cox of the soil C pool increased by 40% after 9 seasons of CO2 enrichment (by 175 ppm). We will discuss our interpretation of Cox as a proxy and its potential use in studies of coupled O2 and CO2 cycling.

  17. Is the Invasive Species Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) (Argentine Stem Weevil) a Threat to New Zealand Natural Grassland Ecosystems?

    PubMed Central

    Barratt, Barbara I. P.; Barton, Diane M.; Philip, Bruce A.; Ferguson, Colin M.; Goldson, Stephen L.

    2016-01-01

    Listronotus bonariensis (Argentine stem weevil) is a stem-boring weevil that has become a major pasture pest in New Zealand, and cool climate turf grass in Australia. This species is also frequently found in native tussock grassland in New Zealand. Laboratory and field trials were established to determine the risk posed to both seedlings and established plants of three native grass species compared to what happens with a common host of this species, hybrid ryegrass (L. perenne X L. multiflorum). Adult weevil feeding damage scores were higher on Poa colensoi and Festuca novae-zelandiae than Chionochloa rigida. Oviposition was lower on P. colensoi than hybrid ryegrass, and no eggs were laid on F. novae-zelandiae. In field trials using the same four species established as spaced plants L. bonariensis laid more eggs per tiller in ryegrass in a low altitude pasture site than in ryegrass in a higher altitude site. No eggs were found on the three native grass species at the tussock sites, and only low numbers were found on other grasses at the low altitude pasture site. Despite this, numbers of adult weevils were extracted from the plants in the field trials. These may have comprised survivors of the original weevils added to the plants, together with new generation weevils that had emerged during the experiment. Irrespective, higher numbers were recovered from the tussock site plants than from those from the pasture site. It was concluded that L. bonariensis is likely to have little overall impact, but a greater impact on native grass seedling survival than on established plants. PMID:27507979

  18. Ecosystem-scale volatile organic compound fluxes during an extreme drought in a broadleaf temperate forest of the Missouri Ozarks (central USA)

    SciTech Connect

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Guenther, Alex; Hosman, Kevin P.; Pallardy, Stephen G.; Gu, Lianhong; Geron, Chris; Harley, Peter; Kim, Saewung

    2015-07-07

    Considerable amounts and varieties of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between vegetation and the surrounding air. These BVOCs play key ecological and atmospheric roles that must be adequately represented for accurately modeling the coupled biosphere–atmosphere–climate earth system. One key uncertainty in existing models is the response of BVOC fluxes to an important global change process: drought. Here, we describe the diurnal and seasonal variation in isoprene, monoterpene, and methanol fluxes from a temperate forest ecosystem before, during, and after an extreme 2012 drought event in the Ozark region of the central USA. BVOC fluxes were dominated by isoprene, which attained high emission rates of up to 35.4 mg m 2 h 1 at midday. Methanol fluxes were characterized by net deposition in the morning, changing to a net emission flux through the rest of the daylight hours. Net flux of CO2 reached its seasonal maximum approximately a month earlier than isoprenoid fluxes, which highlights the differential response of photosynthesis and isoprenoid emissions to progressing drought conditions. Nevertheless, both processes were strongly suppressed under extreme drought, although isoprene fluxes remained relatively high compared to reported fluxes from other ecosystems. Methanol exchange was less affected by drought throughout the season, confirming the complex processes driving biogenic methanol fluxes. The fraction of daytime (7–17 h) assimilated carbon released back to the atmosphere combining the three BVOCs measured was 2% of gross primary productivity (GPP) and 4.9% of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on average for our whole measurement campaign, while exceeding 5% of GPP and 10% of NEE just before the strongest drought phase. In conclusion, the MEGANv2.1 model correctly predicted diurnal variations in fluxes driven mainly by light and temperature, although further research is needed to address model BVOC fluxes during drought

  19. Ecosystem-scale volatile organic compound fluxes during an extreme drought in a broadleaf temperate forest of the Missouri Ozarks (central USA)

    DOE PAGESBeta

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Guenther, Alex; Hosman, Kevin P.; Pallardy, Stephen G.; Gu, Lianhong; Geron, Chris; Harley, Peter; Kim, Saewung

    2015-07-07

    Considerable amounts and varieties of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between vegetation and the surrounding air. These BVOCs play key ecological and atmospheric roles that must be adequately represented for accurately modeling the coupled biosphere–atmosphere–climate earth system. One key uncertainty in existing models is the response of BVOC fluxes to an important global change process: drought. Here, we describe the diurnal and seasonal variation in isoprene, monoterpene, and methanol fluxes from a temperate forest ecosystem before, during, and after an extreme 2012 drought event in the Ozark region of the central USA. BVOC fluxes were dominated by isoprene,more » which attained high emission rates of up to 35.4 mg m 2 h 1 at midday. Methanol fluxes were characterized by net deposition in the morning, changing to a net emission flux through the rest of the daylight hours. Net flux of CO2 reached its seasonal maximum approximately a month earlier than isoprenoid fluxes, which highlights the differential response of photosynthesis and isoprenoid emissions to progressing drought conditions. Nevertheless, both processes were strongly suppressed under extreme drought, although isoprene fluxes remained relatively high compared to reported fluxes from other ecosystems. Methanol exchange was less affected by drought throughout the season, confirming the complex processes driving biogenic methanol fluxes. The fraction of daytime (7–17 h) assimilated carbon released back to the atmosphere combining the three BVOCs measured was 2% of gross primary productivity (GPP) and 4.9% of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on average for our whole measurement campaign, while exceeding 5% of GPP and 10% of NEE just before the strongest drought phase. In conclusion, the MEGANv2.1 model correctly predicted diurnal variations in fluxes driven mainly by light and temperature, although further research is needed to address model BVOC fluxes during drought events.« less

  20. Ecosystem-scale volatile organic compound fluxes during an extreme drought in a broadleaf temperate forest of the Missouri Ozarks (central USA).

    PubMed

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Guenther, Alex; Hosman, Kevin P; Pallardy, Stephen G; Gu, Lianhong; Geron, Chris; Harley, Peter; Kim, Saewung

    2015-10-01

    Considerable amounts and varieties of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between vegetation and the surrounding air. These BVOCs play key ecological and atmospheric roles that must be adequately represented for accurately modeling the coupled biosphere-atmosphere-climate earth system. One key uncertainty in existing models is the response of BVOC fluxes to an important global change process: drought. We describe the diurnal and seasonal variation in isoprene, monoterpene, and methanol fluxes from a temperate forest ecosystem before, during, and after an extreme 2012 drought event in the Ozark region of the central USA. BVOC fluxes were dominated by isoprene, which attained high emission rates of up to 35.4 mg m(-2)  h(-1) at midday. Methanol fluxes were characterized by net deposition in the morning, changing to a net emission flux through the rest of the daylight hours. Net flux of CO2 reached its seasonal maximum approximately a month earlier than isoprenoid fluxes, which highlights the differential response of photosynthesis and isoprenoid emissions to progressing drought conditions. Nevertheless, both processes were strongly suppressed under extreme drought, although isoprene fluxes remained relatively high compared to reported fluxes from other ecosystems. Methanol exchange was less affected by drought throughout the season, confirming the complex processes driving biogenic methanol fluxes. The fraction of daytime (7-17 h) assimilated carbon released back to the atmosphere combining the three BVOCs measured was 2% of gross primary productivity (GPP) and 4.9% of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on average for our whole measurement campaign, while exceeding 5% of GPP and 10% of NEE just before the strongest drought phase. The meganv2.1 model correctly predicted diurnal variations in fluxes driven mainly by light and temperature, although further research is needed to address model BVOC fluxes during drought events. PMID:25980459

  1. Dom Export from Coastal Temperate Bog Forest Watersheds to Marine Ecosystems: Improving Understanding of Watershed Processes and Terrestrial-Marine Linkages on the Central Coast of British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliver, A. A.; Giesbrecht, I.; Tank, S. E.; Hunt, B. P.; Lertzman, K. P.

    2014-12-01

    The coastal temperate bog forests of British Columbia, Canada, export high amounts of dissolved organic matter (DOM) relative to the global average. Little is known about the factors influencing the quantity and quality of DOM exported from these forests or the role of this terrestrially-derived DOM in near-shore marine ecosystems. The objectives of this study are to better understand patterns and controls of DOM being exported from bog forest watersheds and its potential role in near-shore marine ecosystems. In 2013, the Kwakshua Watershed Ecosystems Study at Hakai Beach Institute (Calvert Island, BC) began year-round routine collection and analysis of DOM, nutrients, and environmental variables (e.g. conductivity, pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen) of freshwater grab samples from the outlets of seven watersheds draining directly to the ocean, as well as near-shore marine samples adjacent to freshwater outflows. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) varied across watersheds (mean= 11.45 mg L-1, sd± 4.22) and fluctuated synchronously with seasons and storm events. In general, higher DOC was associated with lower specific UV absorbance (SUVA254; mean= 4.59 L mg-1 m-1, sd± 0.55). The relationship between DOC and SUVA254 differed between watersheds, suggesting exports in DOM are regulated by individual watershed attributes (e.g. landscape classification, flow paths) as well as precipitation. We are using LiDAR and other remote sensing data to examine watershed controls on DOC export. At near-shore marine sites, coupled CTD (Conductivity Temperature Depth) and optical measures (e.g. spectral slopes, slope ratios (SR), EEMs), showed a clear freshwater DOM signature within the system following rainfall events. Ongoing work will explore the relationship between bog forest watershed attributes and DOM flux and composition, with implications for further studies on biogeochemical cycling, carbon budgets, marine food webs, and climate change.

  2. Ecosystem-scale volatile organic compound fluxes during an extreme drought in a broadleaf temperate forest of the Missouri Ozarks (central USA)

    SciTech Connect

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Guenther, Alex B.; Hosman, Kevin P.; Pallardy, Stephen G.; Gu, Lianhong; Geron, Chris; Harley, Peter; Kim, Saewung

    2015-07-07

    Considerable amounts and varieties of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between vegeta-tion and the surrounding air. These BVOCs play key ecological and atmospheric roles that must be adequately repre-sented for accurately modeling the coupled biosphere–atmosphere–climate earth system. One key uncertainty in existing models is the response of BVOC fluxes to an important global change process: drought. We describe the diur-nal and seasonal variation in isoprene, monoterpene, and methanol fluxes from a temperate forest ecosystem before, during, and after an extreme 2012 drought event in the Ozark region of the central USA. BVOC fluxes were domi-nated by isoprene, which attained high emission rates of up to 35.4 mg m-2h-1 at midday. Methanol fluxes were characterized by net deposition in the morning, changing to a net emission flux through the rest of the daylight hours. Net flux of CO2 reached its seasonal maximum approximately a month earlier than isoprenoid fluxes, which high-lights the differential response of photosynthesis and isoprenoid emissions to progressing drought conditions. Never-theless, both processes were strongly suppressed under extreme drought, although isoprene fluxes remained relatively high compared to reported fluxes from other ecosystems. Methanol exchange was less affected by drought throughout the season, conflrming the complex processes driving biogenic methanol fluxes. The fraction of daytime (7–17 h) assimilated carbon released back to the atmosphere combining the three BVOCs measured was 2% of gross primary productivity (GPP) and 4.9% of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on average for our whole measurement cam-paign, while exceeding 5% of GPP and 10% of NEE just before the strongest drought phase. The MEGANv2.1 model correctly predicted diurnal variations in fluxes driven mainly by light and temperature, although further research is needed to address model BVOC fluxes

  3. Spatial and temporal dynamics of biotic and abiotic features of temperate coastal ecosystems as revealed by a combination of ecological indicators

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grangeré, K.; Lefebvre, S.; Blin, J.-L.

    2012-08-01

    Coastal ecosystems exhibit complex spatio-temporal patterns due to their position at the interface between land and sea. This is particularly the case of temperate ecosystems where exploitation of coastal resources (fisheries and aquaculture) and intensive agricultural use of watersheds further complicate our understanding of their dynamics. The aim of the present study was to unravel the spatio-temporal dynamics of contrasted megatidal coastal ecosystems located at the same regional scale (i.e. under the same regional climate), but under different kinds of human pressure. Two kinds of ecological indicators were assessed over a period of four years at 11 locations along the coast of the Cotentin peninsula (Normandy, France). A first set of hydrobiological variables (dissolved nutrients, Chl a, temperature, salinity, etc.) was measured fortnightly in the water column. These data were analysed by principal components analysis (PCA). A second set of variables were the carbon and nitrogen stable isotope ratios of the adductor muscles of cultured Crassostrea gigas introduced every year to typify the bentho-pelagic coupling at each location. Food sources were also investigated using a mixing model with data on the isotopic composition of the food sources obtained previously. To identify which environmental variables played a significant role in determining the oyster diet, the contributions of oyster food sources were combined with environmental variables in a canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). Isotopic values of adductor muscles varied significantly between -20.12‰ and -16.79‰ for δ13C and between 8.28‰ and 11.87‰ for δ15N. The PCA distinguished two groups of coastal ecosystems that differed in their coastal hydrology, nutrient inputs, and the size of their respective watershed, irrespective of the year. In each zone, different spatial patterns in the measured variables were observed depending on the year showing that local impacts differed temporally

  4. Increasing diurnal and seasonal amplitudes in carbon and water fluxes after conversion from arable to grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vetter, S. H.; Auerswald, K.; Bernhofer, C.

    2012-04-01

    Land-use change is a topical scientific and political issue due to its potential to affect atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations. Conversion of arable land to permanent grassland has been proposed as a strategy to sequester atmospheric CO2 into soil organic matter. In this context, eddy covariance measurements were recorded over grazed grassland at a site in the temperate region of southern Germany (annual precipitation 775 mm, annual temperature 9°C) from 2002 to 2008. The site had been arable farm land for decades but from 2000 it became grassland grazed by cattle (Bos taurus). Over the study period the total ecosystem respiration (TER), gross primary production (GPP) and evapotranspiration (ET) increased during the growing season and, therefore, in annual totals (by about 80%, 85%, and 33%, respectively, during seven-year period). A similar trend could not be found for net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon in the daily to annual sums, but was evident in the separated day and night fluxes of NEE. There was no trend in the meteorological conditions (temperature, precipitation) causing the trends. The main effect of the land use change was not a change in C sequestration but an increase in temperature sensitivity; in grassland the C distribution within the soil is closer to the surface than in arable systems, which causes the daily and yearly variations in C balance to increase.

  5. Greenhouse gas exchange in grasslands: impacts of climate, intensity of management and other factors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smith, K. A.

    2003-04-01

    Grasslands occupy some 40% of the terrestrial land surface. They are generally categorised as natural (occurring mainly in those regions where the rainfall is too low to support forest ecosystems), semi-natural (where management, mainly by grazing, has changed the vegetation composition), and artificial (where forests have been cleared to create new pasture land). The soils of the natural and semi-natural grasslands constitute a large reservoir of carbon, and make a substantial contribution to the soil sink for atmospheric CH_4. The conversion of much of the natural temperate grassland to arable agriculture, e.g. in North America and Europe, resulted in a considerable decrease in soil organic carbon, and its release to the atmosphere as CO_2 has made a substantial contribution to the total atmospheric concentration of this gas. The associated increase in cycling of soil N (released from the organic matter) will have contributed to N_2O emissions, and land disturbance and fertilisation has resulted in a depletion of the soil CH_4 sink. Conversion of tropical forests to pastures has also been a major source of CO_2, and these pastures show elevated emissions of N_2O for some years after conversion. Seasonally flooded tropical grasslands are a significant source of CH_4 emissions. Consideration of grassland ecosystems in their entirety, in relation to GHG exchange, necessitates the inclusion of CH_4 production by fauna - domesticated livestock and wild herbivores, as well as some species of termites - in the overall assessment. Stocking rates on pasture land have increased, and the total CH_4 emissions likewise. The relationship between animal production and CH_4 emissions is dependent on the nutritional quality of the vegetation, as well as on animal numbers. In both temperate and tropical regions, increased N inputs as synthetic fertilisers and manures (and increased N deposition) are producing possibly a more-than-linear response in terms of emissions of N_2O. In

  6. Predicting Ecosystem-scale CO2 Fluxes and Vegetation Biophysical Parameters of a Subalpine Grassland with Continuous Canopy Hyperspectral Reflectance Measurements.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakowska, K.; Vescovo, L.; Marcolla, B.; Cavagna, M.; Zampedri, R.; Gianelle, D.

    2015-12-01

    in grassland ecosystem and further upscaling of the observations.

  7. Algal biomass and primary production within a temperate zone sandstone

    SciTech Connect

    Bell, R.A.; Sommerfeld, M.R. )

    1987-02-01

    The use of dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) to extract chlorophyll a and {sup 14}C-labelled photosynthate from endolithic algae of sparsely vegetated, cold temperate grasslands on the Colorado Plateau in Arizona has yielded the first estimates of biomass and photosynthesis for this unusual community. These subsurface microorganisms are found widespread in exposed Coconino Sandstone, a predominant formation in this cold temperate region. The endolithic community in Coconino Sandstone, composed primarily of coccoid blue-green and coccoid/sarcinoid green algae, yielded a biomass value (as chlorophyll a content) of 87 mg m{sup {minus}2} rock surface area and a photosynthetic rate of 0.37 mg CO{sub 2} dm{sup {minus}2} hr{sup {minus}1} or 0.48 mg CO{sub 2} mg{sup {minus}1} chl a hr{sup {minus}1}. The endolithic algal community contributes moderate biomass (5-10%) and substantial photosynthesis (20-80%) to the sparse grassland ecosystem.

  8. Unexpected sensitivity of the annual net ecosystem exchange to the high frequency loss corrections in a grazed grassland site in Belgium

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mamadou, Ossenatou; Gourlez de la Motte, Louis; De Ligne, Anne; Bernard, Heineisch; Aubinet, Marc

    2016-04-01

    Although widely used to measure CO2 and other gas fluxes, the eddy covariance technique still needs methodological improvements. This research focuses on the high frequency loss corrections, which are especially important when using a closed-path infrared gas analyzer. We compared three approaches to implement these corrections for CO2 fluxes and evaluated their impact on the carbon balance at the Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory (DTO), an intensively grazed grassland site in Belgium. The carbon balance at DTO is also the object of a separate analysis (Gourlez de la Motte et al., Geophysical Research Abstract, Vol. 18, EGU2016-6813-1, 2016). In the first approach, the computation of correction factors was based on the measured sensible heat cospectra ('local' cospectra), whereas the other two were based on theoretical models (Kaimal et al., 1972). The correction approaches were validated by comparing the nighttime eddy covariance CO2 fluxes corrected with each approach and in situ soil respiration measurements. We found that the local cospectra differed from the Kaimal theoretical shape, although the site could not be considered 'difficult' (i.e., fairly flat, homogeneous, low vegetation, sufficient measurement height), appearing less peaked in the inertial subrange. This difference greatly affected the correction factor, especially for night fluxes. Night fluxes measured by eddy covariance were found to be in good agreement with in situ soil respiration measurements when corrected with local cospectra and to be overestimated when corrected with Kaimal cospectra. As the difference between correction factors was larger in stable than unstable conditions, this acts as a selective systematic error and has an important impact on annual fluxes. On the basis of a 4-year average, at DTO, the errors reach 71-150 g C m-2 y-1 for net ecosystem exchange (NEE), 280-562 g C m-2 y-1 for total ecosystem respiration (TER) and 209-412 g C m-2 y-1 for gross primary productivity (GPP

  9. Comparison of net ecosystem carbon exchange estimation in a mixed temperate forest using field eddy covariance and MODIS data.

    PubMed

    Wang, Yuandong; Tang, Xuguang; Yu, Lianfang; Hou, Xiyong; Munger, J William

    2016-01-01

    Quantification of net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) between the atmosphere and vegetation is of great importance for regional and global studies of carbon balance. The eddy covariance technique can quantify carbon budgets and the effects of environmental controls for many forest types across the continent but it only provides integrated CO2 flux measurements within tower footprints and need to be scaled up to large areas in combination with remote sensing observations. In this study we compare a multiple-linear regression (MR) model which relates enhanced vegetation index and land surface temperature derived from the moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS), and photosynthetically active radiation with the site-level NEE, for estimating carbon flux exchange between the ecosystem and the environment at the deciduous-dominated Harvard Forest to three other methods proposed in the literature. Six years (2001-2006) of eddy covariance and MODIS data are used and results show that the MR model has the best performance for both training (2001-2004, R (2) = 0.84, RMSE = 1.33 g Cm(-2) day(-1)) and validation (2005-2006, R (2) = 0.76, RMSE = 1.54 g Cm(-2) day(-1)) datasets comparing to the other ones. It provides the potential to estimate carbon flux exchange across different ecosystems at various time intervals for scaling up plot-level NEE of CO2 to large spatial areas. PMID:27186455

  10. Nitrogen limitation of net primary productivity in terrestrial ecosystems is globally distributed.

    PubMed

    LeBauer, David S; Treseder, Kathleen K

    2008-02-01

    Our meta-analysis of 126 nitrogen addition experiments evaluated nitrogen (N) limitation of net primary production (NPP) in terrestrial ecosystems. We tested the hypothesis that N limitation is widespread among biomes and influenced by geography and climate. We used the response ratio (R approximately equal ANPP(N)/ANPP(ctrl)) of aboveground plant growth in fertilized to control plots and found that most ecosystems are nitrogen limited with an average 29% growth response to nitrogen (i.e., R = 1.29). The response ratio was significant within temperate forests (R = 1.19), tropical forests (R = 1.60), temperate grasslands (R = 1.53), tropical grasslands (R = 1.26), wetlands (R = 1.16), and tundra (R = 1.35), but not deserts. Eight tropical forest studies had been conducted on very young volcanic soils in Hawaii, and this subgroup was strongly N limited (R = 2.13), which resulted in a negative correlation between forest R and latitude. The degree of N limitation in the remainder of the tropical forest studies (R = 1.20) was comparable to that of temperate forests, and when the young Hawaiian subgroup was excluded, forest R did not vary with latitude. Grassland response increased with latitude, but was independent of temperature and precipitation. These results suggest that the global N and C cycles interact strongly and that geography can mediate ecosystem response to N within certain biome types. PMID:18409427

  11. The isotopic signature of ecosystem respiration and Eddy Covariance measurements of stable CO2 isotopologues in a temperate beech forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braden-Behrens, Jelka; Knohl, Alexander; Jost, Hans-Jürg

    2016-04-01

    Analyzing the isotopic composition of CO2 fluxes has provided valuable insights into ecosystem gas exchange. Stable isotopes in CO2 have been used for example to analyze different influencing factors of ecosystem respiration and to partition CO2 fluxes into assimilation and respiration e.g. by directly measuring the isotopic composition of CO2 net fluxes on ecosystem scale. During a three month measurement campaign in autumn 2015, we measured the isotopic composition of CO2 in nine different heights using a new, easy-to-use Isotope Ratio Infrared Spectrometer (IRIS) Delta Ray (Thermo Scientific, Bremen) developed for high precision measurements of 13C and 18O in CO2with automatic calibration. Based on a Keeling Plot approach we calculated the isotopic signal of ecosystem respiration in 13C as well as in 18O. Additionally, we performed high frequency (4 Hz) measurements of the isotopic composition of CO2 in 35 m height using a quantum cascade laser based spectrometer (QCLAS, Aerodyne Research) with thermoelectrically cooled detectors. The Delta Ray Analyzer had a cell turnover time of approximately 12s and high temporal stability of a target measurement under field conditions as well as high precision. The minimum of its Allan variance was 0.02‰ for 13δC and 0.03‰ for 18δO with averaging times of app. 290s. The high frequency QCLAS was used to perform 4Hz measurements and showed maximum precision for averaging periods of app. 90s with an Allan Deviation of 0.04‰ for 13δC and 0.06‰ for 18δO. The measured isotopic signal of respired CO2 showed large seasonal variability with nighttime values (taken between 22h and 2h) ranging from -25 to -38‰ for 13δC and from -7.7 to -48.7 ‰ for 18δO. For both δ-values we find large day-to-day variability that exceeds the error of the underlying linear regression. We also show to which extent the two different laser spectrometers which were calibrated completely independently give consistent results and test the

  12. Carbon and nitrogen dynamics in native Leymus chinensis grasslands along a 1000 km longitudinal transect in northeast China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, L.; Guo, C.; Yuan, S.; Wang, R.

    2014-08-01

    The unprecedented variations in global precipitation regime could profoundly impact terrestrial ecosystem structure and function, with consequent feedback to climatic change. However, little is known about complexity in precipitation effects on grassland ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) processes at regional scales. We investigated the patterns of shoot and root biomass, litter mass, soil C and N content, microbial community composition and C and N mineralization at 18 sites along a 1000 km precipitation gradient in native Leymus chinensis grasslands of northeastern China. The results show that, with increasing mean annual precipitation (MAP), the biomass of total plant, shoot and litter gradually increased while root biomass remained nearly constant along the gradient. Surprisingly, both soil C and N mineralization rates showed quadratic relationships with MAP, likely due to the relative changes in temperature, soil arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biomass and N availability. Although soil total C and N content presented sustained increases with water availability, heavy fractions of C and N content reached stable and saturated phases in mesic sites. Overall, ecosystem C and N sequestration enhanced with water availability in terms of C and N storage in shoot, root, litter, and soil along the precipitation gradient. It was concluded from the current study that regional precipitation regime and the indirect effects of precipitation on changes in soil properties and microbial communities would strongly influence on ecosystem C and N dynamics. The temperate grasslands of northeastern China could be utilized as significant ecosystem C and N sinks in the context of mitigating climate change.

  13. Effects of Increased Nitrogen Deposition and Precipitation on Seed and Seedling Production of Potentilla tanacetifolia in a Temperate Steppe Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yang; Yang, Haijun; Xia, Jianyang; Zhang, Wenhao; Wan, Shiqiang; Li, Linghao

    2011-01-01

    Background The responses of plant seeds and seedlings to changing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition and precipitation regimes determine plant population dynamics and community composition under global change. Methodology/Principal Findings In a temperate steppe in northern China, seeds of P. tanacetifolia were collected from a field-based experiment with N addition and increased precipitation to measure changes in their traits (production, mass, germination). Seedlings germinated from those seeds were grown in a greenhouse to examine the effects of improved N and water availability in maternal and offspring environments on seedling growth. Maternal N-addition stimulated seed production, but it suppressed seed mass, germination rate and seedling biomass of P. tanacetifolia. Maternal N-addition also enhanced responses of seedlings to N and water addition in the offspring environment. Maternal increased-precipitation stimulated seed production, but it had no effect on seed mass and germination rate. Maternal increased-precipitation enhanced seedling growth when grown under similar conditions, whereas seedling responses to offspring N- and water-addition were suppressed by maternal increased-precipitation. Both offspring N-addition and increased-precipitation stimulated growth of seedlings germinated from seeds collected from the maternal control environment without either N or water addition. Our observations indicate that both maternal and offspring environments can influence seedling growth of P. tanacetifolia with consequent impacts on the future population dynamics of this species in the study area. Conclusion/Significance The findings highlight the importance of the maternal effects on seed and seedling production as well as responses of offspring to changing environmental drivers in mechanistic understanding and projecting of plant population dynamics under global change. PMID:22194863

  14. Comprehensive ecosystem model-experiment synthesis using multiple datasets at two temperate forest free-air CO2 enrichment experiments: model performance and compensating biases

    SciTech Connect

    Walker, Anthony P; Hanson, Paul J; DeKauwe, Martin G; Medlyn, Belinda; Zaehle, S; Asao, Shinichi; Dietze, Michael; Hickler, Thomas; Huntinford, Chris; Iversen, Colleen M; Jain, Atul; Lomas, Mark; Luo, Yiqi; McCarthy, Heather R; Parton, William; Prentice, I. Collin; Thornton, Peter E; Wang, Shusen; Wang, Yingping; Warlind, David; Weng, Ensheng; Warren, Jeffrey; Woodward, F. Ian; Oren, Ram; Norby, Richard J

    2014-01-01

    Free Air CO2 Enrichment (FACE) experiments provide a remarkable wealth of data to test the sensitivities of terrestrial ecosystem models (TEMs). In this study, a broad set of 11 TEMs were compared to 22 years of data from two contrasting FACE experiments in temperate forests of the south eastern US the evergreen Duke Forest and the deciduous Oak Ridge forest. We evaluated the models' ability to reproduce observed net primary productivity (NPP), transpiration and Leaf Area index (LAI) in ambient CO2 treatments. Encouragingly, many models simulated annual NPP and transpiration within observed uncertainty. Daily transpiration model errors were often related to errors in leaf area phenology and peak LAI. Our analysis demonstrates that the simulation of LAI often drives the simulation of transpiration and hence there is a need to adopt the most appropriate of hypothesis driven methods to simulate and predict LAI. Of the three competing hypotheses determining peak LAI (1) optimisation to maximise carbon export, (2) increasing SLA with canopy depth and (3) the pipe model the pipe model produced LAI closest to the observations. Modelled phenology was either prescribed or based on broader empirical calibrations to climate. In some cases, simulation accuracy was achieved through compensating biases in component variables. For example, NPP accuracy was sometimes achieved with counter-balancing biases in nitrogen use efficiency and nitrogen uptake. Combined analysis of parallel measurements aides the identification of offsetting biases; without which over-confidence in model abilities to predict ecosystem function may emerge, potentially leading to erroneous predictions of change under future climates.

  15. Recovery of coastal ecosystems after large tsunamis in various climatic zones - review of cases from tropical, temperate and polar zones (Invited)

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Szczucinski, W.

    2013-12-01

    Large tsunamis cause significant changes in coastal ecosystems. They include modifications in shoreline position, sediment erosion and deposition, new initial soil formation, salination of soils and waters, removal of vegetation, as well as direct impact on humans and infrastructure. The processes and rate of coastal zone recovery from large tsunamis has been little studied but during the last decade a noteworthy progress has been made. This study focus on comparison of recovery processes in various climatic zones, namely in monsoonal-tropical, temperate and polar zone. It is based on own observation and monitoring in areas affected by 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami in Thailand, 2011 Tohoku-oki tsunami in Japan and 2000 Paatuut landslide-generated tsunami in Vaigat Strait (west Greenland), as well as on review of published studies from those areas. The particular focus is on physical and biological recoveries of beaches, recovery of coastal vegetation, new soil formation in eroded areas and those covered by tsunami deposits, marine salt removal from soils, surface- and groundwater, as well as landscape adjustment after the tsunamis. The beach zone - typically the most tsunami-eroded zone, has been recovered already within weeks to months and has been observed to be in the pre-tsunami equilibrium stage within one year in all the climate zones, except for sediment-starved environments. The existing data on beach ecosystems point also to relatively fast recovery of meio- and macrofauna (within weeks to several months). The recovery of coastal vegetation depends on the rate of salt removal from soils or on the rate of soil formation in case of its erosion or burial by tsunami deposits. The salt removal have been observed to depend mainly on precipitation and effective water drainage. In tropical climate with seasonal rainfall of more 3000 mm the salt removal was fast, however, in temperate climate with lower precipitation and flat topography the salinities still exceeded

  16. Evaluation of grassland dynamics in the northern-tibet plateau of china using remote sensing and climate data

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhang, Jiahua; Yao, Fengmei; Zheng, Lingyun; Yang, Limin

    2007-01-01

    The grassland ecosystem in the Northern-Tibet Plateau (NTP) of China is very sensitive to weather and climate conditions of the region. In this study, we investigate the spatial and temporal variations of the grassland ecosystem in the NTP using the NOAA/AVHRR ten-day maximum NDVI composite data of 1981-2001. The relationships among Vegetation Peak-Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (VP-NDVI) and climate variables were quantified for six counties within the NTP. The notable and uneven alterations of the grassland in response to variation of climate and human impact in the NTP were revealed. Over the last two decades of the 20th century, the maximum greenness of the grassland has exhibited high increase, slight increase, no-change, slight decrease and high decrease, each occupies 0.27%, 8.71%, 77.27%, 13.06% and 0.69% of the total area of the NTP, respectively. A remarkable increase (decrease) in VP-NDVI occurred in the central-eastern (eastern) NTP whereas little change was observed in the western and northwestern NTP. A strong negative relationship between VP-NDVI and ET 0 was found in sub-frigid, semi-arid and frigid- arid regions of the NTP (i.e., Nakchu, Shantsa, Palgon and Amdo counties), suggesting that the ETo is one limiting factor affecting grassland degradation. In the temperate-humid, sub-frigid and sub-humid regions of the NTP (Chali and Sokshan counties), a significant inverse correlation between VP-NDVI and population indicates that human activities have adversely affected the grassland condition as was previously reported in the literature. Results from this research suggest that the alteration and degradation of the grassland in the lower altitude of the NTP over the last two decades of the 20th century are likely caused by variations of climate and anthropogenic activities. ?? 2007 by MDPI.

  17. Evaluation of Grassland Dynamics in the Northern-Tibet Plateau of China Using Remote Sensing and Climate Data

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Jiahua; Yao, Fengmei; Zheng, Lingyun; Yang, Limin

    2007-01-01

    The grassland ecosystem in the Northern-Tibet Plateau (NTP) of China is very sensitive to weather and climate conditions of the region. In this study, we investigate the spatial and temporal variations of the grassland ecosystem in the NTP using the NOAA/AVHRR ten-day maximum NDVI composite data of 1981-2001. The relationships among Vegetation Peak-Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (VP-NDVI) and climate variables were quantified for six counties within the NTP. The notable and uneven alterations of the grassland in response to variation of climate and human impact in the NTP were revealed. Over the last two decades of the 20th century, the maximum greenness of the grassland has exhibited high increase, slight increase, no-change, slight decrease and high decrease, each occupies 0.27%, 8.71%, 77.27%, 13.06% and 0.69% of the total area of the NTP, respectively. A remarkable increase (decrease) in VP-NDVI occurred in the central-eastern (eastern) NTP whereas little change was observed in the western and northwestern NTP. A strong negative relationship between VP-NDVI and ET0 was found in sub-frigid, semi-arid and frigid- arid regions of the NTP (i.e., Nakchu, Shantsa, Palgon and Amdo counties), suggesting that the ET0 is one limiting factor affecting grassland degradation. In the temperate-humid, sub-frigid and sub-humid regions of the NTP (Chali and Sokshan counties), a significant inverse correlation between VP-NDVI and population indicates that human activities have adversely affected the grassland condition as was previously reported in the literature. Results from this research suggest that the alteration and degradation of the grassland in the lower altitude of the NTP over the last two decades of the 20th century are likely caused by variations of climate and anthropogenic activities.

  18. Biometric and Eddy-Covariance Based Estimates of Ecosystem Carbon Exchange in an Age-Sequence of Temperate Pine Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Peichl, M.; Arain, M. A.; Brodeur, J. J.; Khomik, M.

    2009-05-01

    We determined and compared annual carbon (C) exchanges from biometric and eddy-covariance (EC) measurements in an age-sequence (6-, 19-, 34-, 69-years old) of managed pine (Pinus strobus L.) forests in southern Ontario from 2005-2007. The biometric approach determined annual above- and belowground tree biomass production from site-specific allometric biomass equations depending on either tree diameter at breast height (DBH) only (method B1) or on DBH with tree height as additional variable (method B2). In addition, detritus production and heterotrophic soil respiration were determined. Data from continuous closed- path measurements at the oldest site and from a roving open-path system among the three younger sites provided EC-based estimates of C exchanges (method EC). The contribution of individual net primary productivity (NPP) components varied considerably with stand age, suggesting different dominant fluxes and uncertainty levels occurring at various forest development stages. All methods produced similar patterns for inter-annual variations with highest (lowest) C fluxes in 2006 (2005). While on an annual basis, differences between methods ranged from ± 4-67% for estimates of annual net ecosystem productivity (NEP), the differences were within ± 15% when averaged over three years, except for the 34-year old stand. Mean annual NEP was estimated by the biometric method B1 (B2) as 1 (N.A.), 394 (634), 134 (265), and 124 (272) g C m-2 y-1 compared to 47, 724, 408, and 119 g C m-2 y-1 by the EC method for the 6-, 19-, 34-, 69-years old stands, respectively. The biometric method B1 agreed best with the EC estimates in the youngest and the oldest stand, but estimated considerably lower productivity rates than the EC method in the two middle-age stands in which method B2 showed a better agreement with method EC by accounting for the vigorous height growth in these stands. Thus, our comparison study shows that the use of inadequate allometric equations may

  19. Increasing aridity, temperature and soil pH induce soil C-N-P imbalance in grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Jiao, Feng; Shi, Xin-Rong; Han, Feng-Peng; Yuan, Zhi-You

    2016-01-01

    Due to the different degrees of controls exerted by biological and geochemical processes, climate changes are suggested to uncouple biogeochemical C, N and P cycles, influencing biomass accumulation, decomposition and storage in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the possible extent of such disruption in grassland ecosystems remains unclear, especially in China’s steppes which have undergone rapid climate changes with increasing drought and warming predicted moving forward in these dryland ecosystems. Here, we assess how soil C-N-P stoichiometry is affected by climatic change along a 3500-km temperate climate transect in Inner Mongolia, China. Our results reveal that the soil from more arid and warmer sites are associated with lower soil organic C, total N and P. The ratios of both soil C:P and N:P decrease, but soil C:N increases with increasing aridity and temperature, indicating the predicted decreases in precipitation and warming for most of the temperate grassland region could lead to a soil C-N-P decoupling that may reduce plant growth and production in arid ecosystems. Soil pH, mainly reflecting long-term climate change in our sites, also contributes to the changing soil C-N-P stoichiometry, indicating the collective influences of climate and soil type on the shape of soil C-N-P balance. PMID:26792069

  20. Increasing aridity, temperature and soil pH induce soil C-N-P imbalance in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Jiao, Feng; Shi, Xin-Rong; Han, Feng-Peng; Yuan, Zhi-You

    2016-01-01

    Due to the different degrees of controls exerted by biological and geochemical processes, climate changes are suggested to uncouple biogeochemical C, N and P cycles, influencing biomass accumulation, decomposition and storage in terrestrial ecosystems. However, the possible extent of such disruption in grassland ecosystems remains unclear, especially in China's steppes which have undergone rapid climate changes with increasing drought and warming predicted moving forward in these dryland ecosystems. Here, we assess how soil C-N-P stoichiometry is affected by climatic change along a 3500-km temperate climate transect in Inner Mongolia, China. Our results reveal that the soil from more arid and warmer sites are associated with lower soil organic C, total N and P. The ratios of both soil C:P and N:P decrease, but soil C:N increases with increasing aridity and temperature, indicating the predicted decreases in precipitation and warming for most of the temperate grassland region could lead to a soil C-N-P decoupling that may reduce plant growth and production in arid ecosystems. Soil pH, mainly reflecting long-term climate change in our sites, also contributes to the changing soil C-N-P stoichiometry, indicating the collective influences of climate and soil type on the shape of soil C-N-P balance. PMID:26792069

  1. Trace Gas and Carbon Sequestration Dynamics in Temperate Croplands and Successional Ecosystems: A Full-Cost Accounting

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Robertson, G. P.; McSwiney, C. P.

    2003-12-01

    Agriculture is responsible for 21-25% of the global anthropic CO2 flux, 55-60% of the anthropic CH4 flux, and 65-80% of the anthopic flux of N2O. A number of CO2 stabilization strategies target agricultural production practices, and the potential for simultaneously abating fluxes of the non-CO2 greenhouse gases is substantial. But so is the potential for creating greenhouse gas (GHG) liabilities, the unintentional increase in one or more GHGs by activities that mitigate another. Whole-system accounting provides a means for including all GHG-contributing processes in the same cropping system analysis in order to illuminate major liabilities and synergies. We contrast a field crop system in the upper U.S. midwest with unmanaged successional ecosystems in the same landscape, and provide evidence that N2O flux - the major contributor to radiative forcing in row-crop systems - can be abated with little loss of crop productivity.

  2. Biological soil crusts are the main contributor to winter soil respiration in a temperate desert ecosystem of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, M. Z.

    2012-04-01

    Aims Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a key biotic component of desert ecosystems worldwide. However, most studies carried out to date on carbon (fluxes) in these ecosystems, such as soil respiration (RS), have neglected them. Also, winter RS is reported to be a significant component of annual carbon budget in other ecosystems, however, we have less knowledge about winter RS of BSCs in winter and its contribution to carbon cycle in desert regions. Therefore, the specific objectives of this study were to: (i) quantify the effects of different BSCs types (moss crust, algae crust, physical crust) on the winter RS; (ii) explore relationships of RS against soil temperature and water content for different BSCs, and (iii) assess the relative contribution of BSCs to the annual amount of C released by RS at desert ecosystem level. Methods Site Description The study sites are located at the southeast fringe of the Tengger Desert in the Shapotou region of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region [37°32'N and 105°02'E, at 1340 m above mean sea level (a.m.s.l.)], western China. The mean daily temperature in January is -6.9°C , while it is 24.3°C in July. The mean annual precipitation is 186 mm, approximately 80% of which falls between May and September. The annual potential evaporation is 2800 mm. The landscape of the Shapotou region is characterized by large and dense reticulate barchans chains of sand dunes that migrate south-eastward at a velocity of 3-6 m per year. The soil is loose, infertile and mobile and can thus be classified as orthic sierozem and Aeolian sandy soil. Additionally, the soil has a consistent gravimetric water content that ranges from 3 to 4%. The groundwater in the study area is too deep (>60 m) to support large areas of the native vegetation cover; therefore, precipitation is usually the only source of freshwater. The predominant native plants are Hedysarum scoparium Fisch. and Agriophyllum squarrosum Moq., Psammochloa cillosa Bor, which scattered

  3. Observed and modeled ecosystem isoprene fluxes from an oak-dominated temperate forest and the influence of drought stress

    SciTech Connect

    Potosnak, M.; LeStourgeon, Lauren; Pallardy, Stephen G.; Hosman, Kevin P.; Gu, Lianghong; Karl, Thomas; Geron, Chris; Guenther, Alex B.

    2014-02-19

    Ecosystem fluxes of isoprene emission were measured during the majority of the 2011 growing season at the University of Missouri's Baskett Wildlife Research and Education Area in centralMissouri, USA (38.7° N, 92.2° W). This broadleaf deciduous forest is typical of forests common in theOzarks region of the central United States. The goal of the isoprene flux measurements was to test ourunderstanding of the controls on isoprene emission from the hourly to the seasonal timescale using a state-of-the-art emission model, MEGAN (Model of Emissions of Gases and Aerosols from Nature). Isoprene emission rates were very high from the forest with a maximum of 50.9 mg m-2 hr-1 (208 nmol m-2 s-1), which to our knowledge exceeds all other reports of canopy-scale isoprene emission. The fluxes showed a clear dependence on the previous temperature and light regimes which was successfully captured by the existing algorithms in MEGAN. During a period of drought, MEGAN was unable to reproduce the time-dependent response of isoprene emission to water stress. Overall, the performance of MEGAN was robust and could explain 87% of the observed variance in the measured fluxes, but the response of isoprene emission to drought stress is a major source of uncertainty.

  4. Biological soil crusts are the main contributor to winter soil respiration in a temperate desert ecosystem of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    He, M. Z.

    2012-04-01

    Aims Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are a key biotic component of desert ecosystems worldwide. However, most studies carried out to date on carbon (fluxes) in these ecosystems, such as soil respiration (RS), have neglected them. Also, winter RS is reported to be a significant component of annual carbon budget in other ecosystems, however, we have less knowledge about winter RS of BSCs in winter and its contribution to carbon cycle in desert regions. Therefore, the specific objectives of this study were to: (i) quantify the effects of different BSCs types (moss crust, algae crust, physical crust) on the winter RS; (ii) explore relationships of RS against soil temperature and water content for different BSCs, and (iii) assess the relative contribution of BSCs to the annual amount of C released by RS at desert ecosystem level. Methods Site Description The study sites are located at the southeast fringe of the Tengger Desert in the Shapotou region of the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region [37°32'N and 105°02'E, at 1340 m above mean sea level (a.m.s.l.)], western China. The mean daily temperature in January is -6.9°C , while it is 24.3°C in July. The mean annual precipitation is 186 mm, approximately 80% of which falls between May and September. The annual potential evaporation is 2800 mm. The landscape of the Shapotou region is characterized by large and dense reticulate barchans chains of sand dunes that migrate south-eastward at a velocity of 3-6 m per year. The soil is loose, infertile and mobile and can thus be classified as orthic sierozem and Aeolian sandy soil. Additionally, the soil has a consistent gravimetric water content that ranges from 3 to 4%. The groundwater in the study area is too deep (>60 m) to support large areas of the native vegetation cover; therefore, precipitation is usually the only source of freshwater. The predominant native plants are Hedysarum scoparium Fisch. and Agriophyllum squarrosum Moq., Psammochloa cillosa Bor, which scattered

  5. Community assembly of biological soil crusts of different successional stages in a temperate sand ecosystem, as assessed by direct determination and enrichment techniques.

    PubMed

    Langhans, Tanja Margrit; Storm, Christian; Schwabe, Angelika

    2009-08-01

    In temperate regions, biological soil crusts (BSCs: complex communities of cyanobacteria, eukaryotic algae, bryophytes, and lichens) are not well investigated regarding community structure and diversity. Furthermore, studies on succession are rare. For that reason, the community assembly of crusts representing two successional stages (initial, 5 years old; and stable, >20 years old) were analyzed in an inland sand ecosystem in Germany in a plot-based approach (2 x 18 plots, each 20 x 20 cm). Two different methods were used to record the cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae in these communities comprehensively: determination directly out of the soil and enrichment culture techniques. Additionally, lichens, bryophytes, and phanerogams were determined. We examine four hypotheses: (1) A combination of direct determination and enrichment culture technique is necessary to detect cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae comprehensively. In total, 45 species of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae were detected in the study area with both techniques, including 26 eukaryotic algae and 19 cyanobacteria species. With both determination techniques, 22 identical taxa were detected (11 eukaryotic algae and 11 cyanobacteria). Thirteen taxa were only found by direct determination, and ten taxa were only found in enrichment cultures. Hence, the hypothesis is supported. Additionally, five lichen species (three genera), five bryophyte species (five genera), and 24 vascular plant species occurred. (2) There is a clear difference between the floristic structure of initial and stable crusts. The different successional stages are clearly separated by detrended correspondence analysis, showing a distinct structure of the community assembly in each stage. In the initial crusts, Klebsormidium flaccidum, Klebsormidium cf. klebsii, and Stichococcus bacillaris were important indicator species, whereas the stable crusts are especially characterized by Tortella inclinata. (3) The biodiversity of BSC taxa

  6. Effects of cloud optical thickness on net ecosystem exchange in a Northern U.S. temperate forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Cheng, S. J.; Steiner, A. L.; Nadelhoffer, K.; Bohrer, G.; Curtis, P.

    2011-12-01

    Surface observations show that since the 1950s, the amount of cloud cover has increased over the United States. Changes in cloud properties could affect the degree to which forests act as carbon sinks, since clouds influence the amount and quality of light that reaches and penetrates forest canopies. Canopy photosynthesis can be higher under cloudy conditions than under clear skies because scattered, diffuse light can penetrate deeper into canopies and reach leaves that would otherwise be light-limited. As forests undergo canopy structural modifications during succession, cloud impacts on forest carbon storage may change. Most studies related to this topic use measured sunlight at the Earth's surface as a proxy for cloud cover. To determine a more precise relationship between cloud conditions and forest carbon storage, cloud optical thickness values from 2000-2010 were retrieved from NASA's Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). These values are used to evaluate the amount of radiation extinguished by clouds and its impact on net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary production (GPP) and respiration in a regionally representative forest equipped with an Ameriflux eddy co-variance tower at the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS). Comparisons of the Ameriflux site with the UMBS Forest Accelerated Succession ExperimenT (FASET) allow testing of how later successional forests may respond to cloud conditions. In the FASET experiment, more than 6,700 early successional aspen and birch trees (~35% leaf area index) were stem-girdled to create a later-successional forest. NEE, GPP and respiration relationships measured by the FASET tower are compared to those seen at the Ameriflux site. The interaction between cloud optical thickness and other environmental factors, such as air temperature and soil moisture, is also examined to determine which conditions result in stronger effects of clouds on forest processes.

  7. Phytoplankton Diversity and Community Composition along the Estuarine Gradient of a Temperate Macrotidal Ecosystem: Combined Morphological and Molecular Approaches

    PubMed Central

    Bazin, Pauline; Jouenne, Fabien; Friedl, Thomas; Deton-Cabanillas, Anne-Flore; Le Roy, Bertrand; Véron, Benoît

    2014-01-01

    Microscopical and molecular analyses were used to investigate the diversity and spatial community structure of spring phytoplankton all along the estuarine gradient in a macrotidal ecosystem, the Baie des Veys (eastern English Channel). Taxa distribution at high tide in the water column appeared to be mainly driven by the tidal force which superimposed on the natural salinity gradient, resulting in a two-layer flow within the channel. Lowest taxa richness and abundance were found in the bay where Teleaulax-like cryptophytes dominated. A shift in species composition occurred towards the mouth of the river, with the diatom Asterionellopsis glacialis dramatically accumulating in the bottom waters of the upstream brackish reach. Small thalassiosiroid diatoms dominated the upper layer river community, where taxa richness was higher. Through the construction of partial 18S rDNA clone libraries, the microeukaryotic diversity was further explored for three samples selected along the surface salinity gradient (freshwater - brackish - marine). Clone libraries revealed a high diversity among heterotrophic and/or small-sized protists which were undetected by microscopy. Among them, a rich variety of Chrysophyceae and other lineages (e.g. novel marine stramenopiles) are reported here for the first time in this transition area. However, conventional microscopy remains more efficient in revealing the high diversity of phototrophic taxa, low in abundances but morphologically distinct, that is overlooked by the molecular approach. The differences between microscopical and molecular analyses and their limitations are discussed here, pointing out the complementarities of both approaches, for a thorough phytoplankton community description. PMID:24718653

  8. Legacy effects of grassland management on soil carbon to depth.

    PubMed

    Ward, Susan E; Smart, Simon M; Quirk, Helen; Tallowin, Jerry R B; Mortimer, Simon R; Shiel, Robert S; Wilby, Andrew; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-08-01

    The importance of managing land to optimize carbon sequestration for climate change mitigation is widely recognized, with grasslands being identified as having the potential to sequester additional carbon. However, most soil carbon inventories only consider surface soils, and most large-scale surveys group ecosystems into broad habitats without considering management intensity. Consequently, little is known about the quantity of deep soil carbon and its sensitivity to management. From a nationwide survey of grassland soils to 1 m depth, we show that carbon in grassland soils is vulnerable to management and that these management effects can be detected to considerable depth down the soil profile, albeit at decreasing significance with depth. Carbon concentrations in soil decreased as management intensity increased, but greatest soil carbon stocks (accounting for bulk density differences), were at intermediate levels of management. Our study also highlights the considerable amounts of carbon in subsurface soil below 30 cm, which is missed by standard carbon inventories. We estimate grassland soil carbon in Great Britain to be 2097 Tg C to a depth of 1 m, with ~60% of this carbon being below 30 cm. Total stocks of soil carbon (t ha(-1) ) to 1 m depth were 10.7% greater at intermediate relative to intensive management, which equates to 10.1 t ha(-1) in surface soils (0-30 cm), and 13.7 t ha(-1) in soils from 30 to 100 cm depth. Our findings highlight the existence of substantial carbon stocks at depth in grassland soils that are sensitive to management. This is of high relevance globally, given the extent of land cover and large stocks of carbon held in temperate managed grasslands. Our findings have implications for the future management of grasslands for carbon storage and climate mitigation, and for global carbon models which do not currently account for changes in soil carbon to depth with management. PMID:26854892

  9. Grassland agriculture

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agriculture in grassland environments is facing multiple stresses from: shifting demographics, declining and fragmented agricultural landscapes, declining environmental quality, variable and changing climate, volatile and increasing energy costs, marginal economic returns, and globalization. Degrad...

  10. Grazing effects on carbon fluxes in a northern China grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grazing is a widespread use of grasslands in northern China, but if stocking rate exceeds grassland carrying capacity, degradation and desertification can occur. As a result, grazing management is critical and can play a significant role in driving C sink and source activity in grassland ecosystems...

  11. Ecosystem Greenhouse Gas Fluxes Respond Directly to Weather Not Climate: A Case Study on the Relationship of Global Atmospheric Circulation, Foehn Frequency, and Winter Weather to Northern Alps Regional Grassland Phenology and Carbon Cycling

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Desai, A. R.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Zeeman, M. J.; Katata, G.; Mauder, M.; Schmid, H. P. E.

    2014-12-01

    The impact of climate change on regional ecosystem structure and biogeochemical cycling has two important aspects that require better elaboration to improve projections of these effects. The first is that ecosystems don't respond directly to climate, but indirectly via frequency and occurrence of weather systems, which are driven by climatic shifts in global circulation and radiative processes. The second is that many responses of ecosystems to these weather patterns and extremes are lagged in time. Here, we examine these aspects for northern Alpine grasslands. Long-term eddy covariance flux tower and phenology observations in Austria and Germany and biophysical models reveal a strong influence of winter air temperature, snowfall, and snowmelt frequency on winter grass mortality and spring grassland carbon uptake. Further, the mode of climate variability that drives winter air temperature and snow depth patterns is primarily the frequency of strong regional southerly Foehn flow that promotes warm, dry conditions in winter. Finally, we demonstrate that much of the interannual variance in Foehn frequency and southerly flow is driven by statistics and climatic trends of 500 hPa pressure patterns in Greenland, part of the Arctic Oscillation. However, a few years, including the unusually warm and dry winter of 2013-2014 appear to have secondary, possibly local thermotopographic circulation factors that promoted its weather conditions regionally, which also included primarily cool and wet conditions in northern Europe and the southern Alps. These findings demonstrate that the regional response of ecosystems to climate change is modulated by how large-scale circulation patterns influence local meteorology and topographic flows both during and outside the growing season and provides a framework for future assessment and climate model improvements of linkages of climate change, weather patterns, and ecosystem responses.

  12. Investigating Ecosystem Pattern and Process Across a Land-Sea Gradient: A New Coastal Margin Observatory in the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Giesbrecht, I.; Lertzman, K. P.; Oliver, A. A.; Tank, S. E.; Floyd, B. C.; Frazer, G. W.; Hunt, B. P.; Kellogg, C.; Heger, T.; Levy-Booth, D.; Mohn, W. H.; Hallam, S. J.; Keeling, P.; Sanborn, P.; Brunsting, R.; D'Amore, D. V.

    2015-12-01

    Terrestrial organic matter exported from coastal watersheds influences marine ecosystems and carbon budgets across the globe, yet much is unknown about the fundamental processes of land-sea carbon cycling or system response to climate change. On two outer-coast islands near the center of the Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest (PCTR), the Hakai Institute has established a coastal margin observatory to examine the flux of terrestrial organic matter from land to sea - the origins, pathways, processes and marine consequences - in the context of long-term environmental change. The outer-coast PCTR is characterized by an ocean-moderated climate, subdued terrain, extensive wetlands and lower forest productivity than the mountainous mainland coast. Here we give an overview of, and initial results from, a new long-term multi-disciplinary investigation of processes that link PCTR watersheds with the carbon balance and food web of northeastern subarctic Pacific coastal waters. Beginning in 2013, we established year-round sampling and a sensor network to quantify - at high temporal resolution - the amount and character of terrestrial exports from seven focal watersheds on Calvert and Hecate Islands, British Columbia. Early results show that freshwater dissolved organic carbon concentrations are high on average, fluctuate temporally and vary spatially across watersheds. A real-time hydrological sensor network shows rapid responses of stream stages and soil water tables to rainfall inputs. Carbon export can vary greatly with stream discharge in these flashy systems. We use paired marine monitoring stations at stream outlets to concurrently track ocean conditions and to trace terrestrial organic matter. Across a larger set of watersheds, we examine the role of catchment topography, hydrology and composition in controlling biogeochemical exports. On land, we use airborne LiDAR data to evaluate landscape controls on vegetation height - a proxy for forest productivity and biomass

  13. Protection of Grasslands in East Asia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Qi, Jiaguo; Groisman, Pavel; Xin, Xiaoping

    2013-10-01

    An international workshop was held to examine ways to preserve the ecological values of grassland ecosystems while maximizing the economic development benefits to the local population. Experts on grassland ecosystems from Australia, China, Mongolia, the United Kingdom, and the United States presented the latest research and regional programs for sustainable management, while local scientists highlighted detailed field experiments, their findings, and future research plans. The participation of major stakeholders and representatives of local governments allowed for a transdisciplinary assessment.

  14. The Effects of Restoration Age and Prescribed Burns on Grassland Ant Community Structure.

    PubMed

    Menke, Sean B; Gaulke, Emilee; Hamel, Allison; Vachter, Nicole

    2015-10-01

    North American grassland environments are endangered as a result of degradation and conversion for agriculture and housing. Efforts to manage and restore grasslands have traditionally focused on monitoring plant communities to determine restoration success, but the incorporation of animal communities may provide important benchmarks of ecosystem function and restoration. Ants play many roles in maintaining ecosystem health in temperate grasslands, but relatively little is known about how ant communities respond to restoration. We studied the role that restoration age and prescribed burns have on ant communities in two types of Illinois grasslands, prairies and savannas, and identify indicator species of restoration success. Grassland environments included remnants and restorations that varied in age from newly restored sites, to sites that have been under restoration for >15 yr. We demonstrate that prairie and savanna ant communities are distinct, but respond to restoration in a similar manner. Three distinct prairie ant assemblages were identified based on the age of restoration of a site-sites <3 yr old, sites that have been under restoration >5 yr, and remnant prairies. Four distinct savanna ant assemblages were identified based on the age of restoration of a site-sites <3 yr old, sites 5-15 yr old, sites >15 yr old, and remnant savanna environments. After accounting for restoration age, time since last burn in both prairie and savannas does not explain community composition or species richness. Several ant species in both prairies and savannas have predictable changes in incidence that indicate their suitability for use as indicator species. PMID:26314012

  15. Feasibility of using an alternative larval host and host plants to establish Cotesia flavipes (Hymenoptera: Braconidae) in the temperate Louisiana sugarcane ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Although successfully introduced and established in sugarcane fields around the world, attempts to establish Cotesia flavipes (Cameron) (Hymenoptera: Bracondiae) in the temperate sugarcane fields of Louisiana as a parasitoid of the sugarcane borer, Diatraea saccharalis (F.) (Lepidoptera: Crambidae) ...

  16. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming

    PubMed Central

    Debouk, Haifa; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i) how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii) whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland) in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland). The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM) for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM) than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i) the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii) the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short-term warming

  17. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    PubMed

    Debouk, Haifa; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i) how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii) whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland) in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland). The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM) for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM) than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i) the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii) the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short-term warming

  18. Impacts of Diffuse Radiation on Light Use Efficiency across Terrestrial Ecosystems Based on Eddy Covariance Observation in China

    PubMed Central

    Huang, Kun; Wang, Shaoqiang; Zhou, Lei; Wang, Huimin; Zhang, Junhui; Yan, Junhua; Zhao, Liang; Wang, Yanfen; Shi, Peili

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem light use efficiency (LUE) is a key factor of production models for gross primary production (GPP) predictions. Previous studies revealed that ecosystem LUE could be significantly enhanced by an increase on diffuse radiation. Under large spatial heterogeneity and increasing annual diffuse radiation in China, eddy covariance flux data at 6 sites across different ecosystems from 2003 to 2007 were used to investigate the impacts of diffuse radiation indicated by the cloudiness index (CI) on ecosystem LUE in grassland and forest ecosystems. Our results showed that the ecosystem LUE at the six sites was significantly correlated with the cloudiness variation (0.24≤R2≤0.85), especially at the Changbaishan temperate forest ecosystem (R2 = 0.85). Meanwhile, the CI values appeared more frequently between 0.8 and 1.0 in two subtropical forest ecosystems (Qianyanzhou and Dinghushan) and were much larger than those in temperate ecosystems. Besides, cloudiness thresholds which were favorable for enhancing ecosystem carbon sequestration existed at the three forest sites, respectively. Our research confirmed that the ecosystem LUE at the six sites in China was positively responsive to the diffuse radiation, and the cloudiness index could be used as an environmental regulator for LUE modeling in regional GPP prediction. PMID:25393629

  19. Tree species richness promotes productivity in temperate forests through strong complementarity between species.

    PubMed

    Morin, Xavier; Fahse, Lorenz; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Bugmann, Harald

    2011-12-01

    Understanding the link between biodiversity and ecosystem functioning (BEF) is pivotal in the context of global biodiversity loss. Yet, long-term effects have been explored only weakly, especially for forests, and no clear evidence has been found regarding the underlying mechanisms. We explore the long-term relationship between diversity and productivity using a forest succession model. Extensive simulations show that tree species richness promotes productivity in European temperate forests across a large climatic gradient, mostly through strong complementarity between species. We show that this biodiversity effect emerges because increasing species richness promotes higher diversity in shade tolerance and growth ability, which results in forests responding faster to small-scale mortality events. Our study generalises results from short-term experiments in grasslands to forest ecosystems and demonstrates that competition for light alone induces a positive effect of biodiversity on productivity, thus providing a new angle for explaining BEF relationships. PMID:21955682

  20. Gross primary production variability associated with meteorology, physiology, leaf area, and water supply in contrasting woodland and grassland semiarid riparian ecosystems

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Understanding ecosystem-atmosphere carbon exchanges in dryland environments has been more challenging than in mesic environments, likely due to more pronounced nonlinear responses of ecosystem processes to environmental variation. To better understand diurnal to interannual variation in gross primar...

  1. [Impact of the Beijing and Tianjin Sand Source Control Project on the grassland soil organic carbon storage: a case study of Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia, China].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Liang-Xia; Fan, Jiang-Wen; Zhang, Wen-Yan; Tang, Feng-Pei

    2014-02-01

    Understanding the impacts of eco-construction project on grassland soil carbon storage is crucial to assess the effectiveness of the project and its role in carbon cycling of the grassland ecosystems. Using IPCC carbon budget inventory method, this paper analyzed the influence of Beijing and Tianjin Sand Source Control Project (BTSSCP) on the grassland soil carbon storage between 2000 and 2006 in Xilingol League, Inner Mongolia, and evaluated the time needed to reach the maximal soil carbon density for three management practices (i. e. , sown pasture, aerial sowing pasture, and grazing exclosure). Results showed that the BTSSCP significantly increased soil carbon storage, with a carbon sequestration of 59.26 x 10(4) t C from 2000 to 2006. The rate and effectiveness of soil carbon sequestration varied significantly with management practices, with the highest rate in sown pasture (0.25 t C x hm(-2) x a(-1)) while a greater benefit of soil carbon sequestration in the grazing exclosure (63 million yuan). Compared with other grassland vegetations, lowland meadow and temperate meadow steppe both had higher carbon sequestration rates of 0.14 t C x hm(-2) x a(-1). Long time would be needed to reach the maximum soil carbon density in grassland under the three practices, yet shorter for sown pasture with average of 57.75 years. PMID:24830235

  2. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hu, Z. W.; Zhang, S.; Yu, X. Y.; Wang, X. S.

    2014-03-01

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved.

  3. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    PubMed

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands. PMID:27164912

  4. Simulated heat waves affected alpine grassland only in combination with drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    De Boeck, Hans J.; Bassin, Seraina; Verlinden, Maya; Zeiter, Michaela; Hiltbrunner, Erika

    2016-04-01

    The Alpine region is warming fast, leading to an increase in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. Currently, it is unclear whether alpine ecosystems are sensitive or resistant to such extremes. In an experiment carried out in the Swiss Alps, we subjected Swiss alpine grassland communities to heat waves with varying intensity (5-10 °C warming) by transplanting monoliths to four different elevations (2440-660 m a.s.l.) for 17 days. Half of the monoliths were regularly irrigated while the other half were deprived of irrigation to additionally induce a drought at each site. We found that heat waves had no significant short-term impacts on fluorescence (Fv/Fm, a stress indicator), senescence and aboveground productivity if irrigation was provided. However, when heat waves coincided with drought, plants showed clear signs of stress, resulting in vegetation browning and reduced phytomass production. This likely resulted from direct drought effects, but also, as measurements of stomatal conductance and canopy temperatures suggest, from increased high-temperature stress as water scarcity decreased heat mitigation through transpiration. The immediate responses to heat waves (with or without droughts) recorded in these alpine grasslands were similar to those observed in the more extensively studied grasslands from temperate climates. Climate extreme impacts may differ in the longer run, however, because the short growing season in alpine environments likely constrains recovery.

  5. Simulated heat waves affected alpine grassland only in combination with drought.

    PubMed

    De Boeck, Hans J; Bassin, Seraina; Verlinden, Maya; Zeiter, Michaela; Hiltbrunner, Erika

    2016-01-01

    The Alpine region is warming fast, and concurrently, the frequency and intensity of climate extremes are increasing. It is currently unclear whether alpine ecosystems are sensitive or resistant to such extremes. We subjected Swiss alpine grassland communities to heat waves with varying intensity by transplanting monoliths to four different elevations (2440-660 m above sea level) for 17 d. Half of these were regularly irrigated while the other half were deprived of irrigation to additionally induce a drought at each site. Heat waves had no significant impacts on fluorescence (Fv /Fm , a stress indicator), senescence and aboveground productivity if irrigation was provided. However, when heat waves coincided with drought, the plants showed clear signs of stress, resulting in vegetation browning and reduced phytomass production. This likely resulted from direct drought effects, but also, as measurements of stomatal conductance and canopy temperatures suggest, from increased high-temperature stress as water scarcity decreased heat mitigation through transpiration. The immediate responses to heat waves (with or without droughts) recorded in these alpine grasslands were similar to those observed in the more extensively studied grasslands from temperate climates. Responses following climate extremes may differ in alpine environments, however, because the short growing season likely constrains recovery. PMID:26267066

  6. Carbon storage potential in size-density fractions from semi-natural grassland ecosystems with different productivities over varying soil depths.

    PubMed

    Breulmann, Marc; Boettger, Tatjana; Buscot, François; Gruendling, Ralf; Schulz, Elke

    2016-03-01

    Researchers have increasingly recognised a profound need for more information on SOC stocks in the soil and the factors governing their stability and dynamics. Many questions still remain unanswered about the interplay between changes in plant communities and the extent to which changes in aboveground productivity affect the carbon dynamics in soils through changes in its quantity and quality. Therefore, the main aim of this research was to examine the SOC accumulation potential of semi-natural grasslands of different productivities and determine the distribution of SOM fractions over varying soil depth intervals (0-10, 10-20, 20-30 30-50 50-80 and 80+cm). SOM fractionation was considered as a relative measure of stability to separate SOM associated with clay minerals from SOM of specific light densities less than 2 g cm(-3) (size-density fractionation). Two clay-associated fractions (CF1, <1 μm; and CF2, 1-2 μm) and two light fractions (LF1, <1.8 g cm(-3); and LF2, 1.8-2.0 g cm(-3)) were separated. The stability of these fractions was characterised by their carbon hot water extractability (CHWE) and stable carbon isotope composition. In the semi-natural grasslands studied, most OC was stored in the top 30 cm, where turnover is rapid. Effects of low productivity grasslands became only significantly apparent when fractional OC contributions of total SOM was considered (CF1 and LF1). In deeper soil depths OC was largely attributed to the CF1 fraction of low productivity grasslands. We suggest that the majority of OM in deeper soil depth intervals is microbially-derived, as evidenced by decreasing C/N ratios and decreasing δ(13)C