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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 sequester carbon, but the capacity of carbon sequestration depends on grassland types and environmental conditions. Extreme climate events like drought can significantly reduce the net carbon uptake of grasslands.

  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 intensity of the management effect. Harvest-induced reductions in productivity and net C uptake were generally greater than grazing-induced shifts, however the effects were at times mediated by environmental conditions. Our research highlighted the complex nature of the investigated grasslands resulting from the heterogeneous footprint induced by rotational grazing, grass harvesting and intensive management practices. Further work will focus on the applicability of different gap-filling methodologies for capturing the temporal and spatial variability observed. The potential of vegetation indices as a means of tracking sward development will also be investigated, with the aim of improving our understanding of the impact of vegetation dynamics on measured ecosystem carbon fluxes.

  4. Summertime elemental mercury exchange of temperate grasslands on an ecosystem-scale

    PubMed Central

    Fritsche, J.; Wohlfahrt, G.; Ammann, C.; Zeeman, M.; Hammerle, A.; Obrist, D.; Alewell, C.

    2013-01-01

    In order to estimate the air-surface mercury exchange of grasslands in temperate climate regions, fluxes of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM) were measured at two sites in Switzerland and one in Austria during summer 2006. Two classic micrometeorological methods (aerodynamic and modified Bowen ratio) have been applied to estimate net GEM exchange rates and to determine the response of the GEM flux to changes in environmental conditions (e.g. heavy rain, summer ozone) on an ecosystem-scale. Both methods proved to be appropriate to estimate fluxes on time scales of a few hours and longer. Average dry deposition rates up to 4.3 ng m?2 h?1 and mean deposition velocities up to 0.10 cm s?1 were measured, which indicates that during the active vegetation period temperate grasslands are a small net sink for atmospheric mercury. With increasing ozone concentrations depletion of GEM was observed, but could not be quantified from the flux signal. Night-time deposition fluxes of GEM were measured and seem to be the result of mercury co-deposition with condensing water. Effects of grass cuts could also be observed, but were of minor magnitude. PMID:24348525

  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 the correct representation of the seasonal cycle of soil moisture and N2O emissions, our model is soon to be augmented with a more elaborate sub model for hydrology. Subsequent steps include the comparison of simulations and measurements under 20% elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and the integration of a Farquhar-type sub model for photosynthesis.

  6. Seasonal and inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of a temperate mountain grassland: effects of climate and management

    PubMed Central

    Wohlfahrt, Georg; Hammerle, Albin; Haslwanter, Alois; Bahn, Michael; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Cernusca, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    The role and relative importance of climate and cutting for the seasonal and inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO2 (NEE) of a temperate mountain grassland was investigated. Eddy covariance CO2 flux data and associated measurements of the green area index and the major environmental driving forces acquired during 2001-2006 at the study site Neustift (Austria) were analyzed. Driven by three cutting events per year which kept the investigated grassland in a stage of vigorous growth, the seasonal variability of NEE was primarily modulated by gross primary productivity (GPP). The role of environmental parameters in modulating the seasonal variability of NEE was obscured by the strong response of GPP to changes in the amount of green area, as well as the cutting-mediated decoupling of phenological development and the seasonal course of climate drivers. None of the climate and management metrics examined was able to explain the inter-annual variability of annual NEE. This is thought to result from (1) a high covariance between GPP and ecosystem respiration (Reco) at the annual time scale which results in a comparatively small inter-annual variation of NEE, (2) compensating effects between carbon exchange during and outside the management period, and (3) changes in the biotic response to rather than the climate variables per se. GPP was more important in modulating inter-annual variations in NEE in spring and before the first and second cut, while Reco explained a larger fraction of the inter-annual variability of NEE during the remaining, in particular the post-cut, periods. PMID:24383047

  7. Grazing Management of Temperate Grasslands and Fallows

    E-print Network

    Roder, Walter

    2002-01-01

    stream_source_info JBS_07_02.pdf.txt stream_content_type text/plain stream_size 28532 Content-Encoding UTF-8 stream_name JBS_07_02.pdf.txt Content-Type text/plain; charset=UTF-8 44 GRAZING MANAGEMENT OF TEMPERATE GRASSLAND... these definitions, temperate pasture can include any kind of land used for grazing. When referring to registered grassland or tsamdro, only the term tsamdrog is used. Where possible, the term pasture is replaced with more specific or more appropriate terms...

  8. 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

    A?, Alexander; Malenovský, Zbyn?k; Urban, Otmar; Hanuš, Jan; Zitová, Martina; Navrátil, Martin; Vráblová, Martina; Olejní?ková, 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. ?PRI and ?(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

  9. Net ecosystem exchange of grassland in contrasting wet and dry years

    E-print Network

    Oren, Ram

    Net ecosystem exchange of grassland in contrasting wet and dry years Vesna Jaksic a , Gerard Kiely 2006 Abstract Temperate grasslands represent about 32% of the earth's land area and cover approximately grassland site in southern Ireland for 2 years. Rainfall in 2002 and 2003 was 1785 and 1185 mm, respectively

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-01

    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

  12. 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 (?18O) of water in terrestrial ecosystems usually shows strong and dynamic variations within and between the various compartments. These variations originate from changes in the ?18O of water inputs (e.g. rain or water vapour) and from 18O fractionation phenomena in the soil-plant-atmosphere continuum. Investigations of ?18O in ecosystem water pools and of their main drivers can help us understand water relations at plant, canopy or ecosystem scale and interpret ?18O 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 ?18O signal. All samples were then analysed for their ?18O compositions. The measured ?18O of leaf, stem and soil water were then compared with the ?18O 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 comparison of measured and predicted ecosystem fluxes showed that the model captured the main features of the diurnal cycles of GPP, NEE, LE and H, as well as the soil temperature dynamics. In this presentation I will present the main results of this model-data comparison, as well as results from a model sensitivity analysis performed over a range of soil, plant and meteorological parameters to evaluate the relative importance of each parameter on the ?18O signatures of the various water pools.

  13. 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,...

  14. 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

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

    PubMed

    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

  16. China's grazed temperate grasslands are a net source of atmospheric methane Zhi-Ping Wang a

    E-print Network

    Yu, Qiang

    China's grazed temperate grasslands are a net source of atmospheric methane Zhi-Ping Wang a , Yang that ruminant production has converted China's grazed temperate grasslands to a net source of atmospheric CH4 warming potential about 25-fold greater than that of CO2 over 100 years (IPCC, 2007). Upland grassland

  17. 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 the environmental setting or wider climatic conditions that the grasslands experience. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the relatively stable ecosystem state that has prevailed in the 'pristine' grasslands studied, is in fact very fragile and may be easily altered, either by anthropogenic forcing, due to land management or by 'semi-natural' processes, related to climate change or changes in the incidence of wildfires (for example). Once structurally altered, it is also shown that positive feedbacks will occur to accelerate the loss of critical resources (topsoil and nutrients) from the ecosystem, in particular in drylands, resulting in widespread land degradation that cannot be reversed. In the temperate grasslands studied, it is shown that anthropogenic intervention may halt or even to some degree reverse the degradation of the soil-vegetation-water continuum. However, such 'landscape restoration' approaches are costly and require long-term management commitment if they are to succeed. degrade these critical ecosystems further. Finally, analysis of water, sediment and nutrient fluxes from this range of grasslands also demonstrates how critical ecosystem services that grasslands can provide; including soil water storage to buffer downstream flooding, soil carbon storage and enhanced biodiversity are reduced, often to the point where restoration of the original (pristine) landscape function is impossible. To conclude, discussion is made of how we can learn across grass landscapes globally, to ensure that those ecosystems that might be restored to build resilient landscapes under future climates are well understood and that future efforts to manage grasslands for increased food production do not degrade these critical ecosystems further.

  18. 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 the environmental setting or wider climatic conditions that the grasslands experience. Furthermore, it is demonstrated that the relatively stable ecosystem state that has prevailed in the 'pristine' grasslands studied, is in fact very fragile and may be easily altered, either by anthropogenic forcing, due to land management or by 'semi-natural' processes, related to climate change or changes in the incidence of wildfires (for example). Once structurally altered, it is also shown that positive feedbacks will occur to accelerate the loss of critical resources (topsoil and nutrients) from the ecosystem, in particular in drylands, resulting in widespread land degradation that cannot be reversed. In the temperate grasslands studied, it is shown that anthropogenic intervention may halt or even to some degree reverse the degradation of the soil-vegetation-water continuum. However, such 'landscape restoration' approaches are costly and require long-term management commitment if they are to succeed. Finally, analysis of water, sediment and nutrient fluxes from this range of grasslands also demonstrates how critical ecosystem services that grasslands can provide; including soil water storage to buffer downstream flooding, soil carbon storage and enhanced biodiversity are reduced, often to the point where restoration of the original (pristine) landscape function is impossible. To conclude, discussion is made of how we can learn across grass landscapes globally, to ensure that those ecosystems that might be restored to build resilient landscapes under future climates are well understood and that future efforts to manage grasslands for increased food production do not degrade these critical ecosystems further.

  19. 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

  20. 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

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

    PubMed

    Weigl, Peter D; Knowles, Travis W

    2014-05-01

    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

  2. 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

  3. No Evidence of Complementary Water Use along a Plant Species Richness Gradient in Temperate Experimental Grasslands

    PubMed Central

    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

  4. 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

  5. THE EFFECTS OF PRECIPITATION AND CLIPPING ON CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN TEMPERATE GRASSLANDS

    E-print Network

    Gosselin, Louis A.

    THE EFFECTS OF PRECIPITATION AND CLIPPING ON CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN TEMPERATE GRASSLANDS By ANNA Konstantinovna Sapozhnikova, 2012 Thesis Supervisor: Professor Lauchlan Fraser ABSTRACT Grasslands are a small. Grasslands not only provide habitat for a wide variety of species, but they also provide a significant forage

  6. COMMUNITY ECOLOGY -ORIGINAL RESEARCH Complex facilitation and competition in a temperate grassland

    E-print Network

    Thomas, David D.

    COMMUNITY ECOLOGY - ORIGINAL RESEARCH Complex facilitation and competition in a temperate grassland 2012 Ó Springer-Verlag 2012 Abstract Encroachment of woody vegetation into grasslands is a widespread composition in these grasslands. Keywords Biodiversity Á Global change Á Ontogeny Á Stress Á Woody

  7. Ecosystem carbon stocks and their changes in China's grasslands.

    PubMed

    Fang, JingYun; Yang, YuanHe; Ma, WenHong; Mohammat, Anwar; Shen, HaiHua

    2010-07-01

    The knowledge of carbon (C) stock and its dynamics is crucial for understanding the role of grassland ecosystems in China's terrestrial C cycle. To date, a comprehensive assessment on C balance in China's grasslands is still lacking. By reviewing published literature, this study aims to evaluate ecosystem C stocks (both vegetation biomass and soil organic C) and their changes in China's grasslands. Our results are summarized as follows: (1) biomass C density (C stock per area) of China's grasslands differed greatly among previous studies, ranging from 215.8 to 348.1 g C m(-2) with an average of 300.2 g C m(-2). Likewise, soil C density also varied greatly between 8.5 and 15.1 kg C m(-2). In total, ecosystem C stock in China's grasslands was estimated at 29.1 Pg C. (2) Both the magnitude and direction of ecosystem C changes in China's grasslands differed greatly among previous studies. According to recent reports, neither biomass nor soil C stock in China's grasslands showed a significant change during the past 20 years, indicating that grassland ecosystems are C neutral. (3) Spatial patterns and temporal dynamics of grassland biomass were closely correlated with precipitation, while changes in soil C stocks exhibited close associations with soil moisture and soil texture. Human activities, such as livestock grazing and fencing could also affect ecosystem C dynamics in China's grasslands. PMID:20697865

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

    E-print Network

    Thomas, David D.

    Sustaining multiple ecosystem functions in grassland communities requires higher biodiversity Erika by ongoing biodiversity losses. Recent empirically based models using individual species' traits sug- gest.Weusedatafromthelongest-running biodiversity-functioning field experiment to date totest how species diversity affects the ability of grassland

  9. 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 lamb/ha), because individual animal performance was greater for continuous grazing than higher intensity grazing systems (4-Paddock and 20-Paddock). Differences in SOC, CO2 flux and erosion were determined by landscape position rather than grazing treatment. To remove the confounding influences of stocking rate and grazing management, the Ausfarm biophysical model, calibrated to the experimental treatments, examined the interaction between grazing management and stocking rates. Ground cover and profitability were similar between grazing systems at lower stocking rates (3 ewes per ha), but continuous grazing had higher profitability and lower ground cover above the optimum stocking rate of 4 ewes per ha. The findings of these two studies suggest that optimising stocking rate is more important than grazing management for a sustainable and profitable grazing system. Grazing management can further enhance environmental outcomes for an optimal stocking rate, but the findings from the Chinese study particularly highlight the need to look at multiple ecosystem services, when optimising systems. The Australian study also suggests the optimum stocking rate is dependent on the intensity of grazing management. Further work is required to understand the influence of landscape on grassland production and how stocking rates and grazing management can be sustainably optimised for different landscape areas to utilise this variation more effectively.

  10. Land surface memory effects on dust emission in a Mongolian temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nandintsetseg, Banzragch; Shinoda, Masato

    2015-03-01

    Aeolian processes in temperate grasslands are unique in that the plant growth-decay cycle, soil moisture/snowpack dynamics, and induced grazing interactively affect seasonal and interannual variations of dust emission. This study uses process-based ecosystem model DAYCENT and unique saltation flux measurements to (1) identify primary land surface factors that control dust emission with soil moisture and vegetation components (live grasses, standing dead grasses, and litter) in a Mongolian grassland and (2) test the dead-leaf hypothesis proposed by previous observational studies that correlates plant biomass in summer and dust events the following spring. In general, the DAYCENT model realistically simulates seasonal and interannual variations of the vegetation components and soil moisture that were captured by field observations during 2003-2010. Then, the land surface components are correlated with measured daily saltation flux in the springs of 2008-2009 and the frequency of monthly dusty days during March-June 2002-2010. Results show that dust emission had a similar amplitude of significant correlation with wind speed and a combination of all land surface components, which demonstrates a memory of the preceding year. The memory analysis reveals that vegetation and soil moisture anomalies during spring dust emission are significantly autocorrelated with the preceding year's (autumn) corresponding anomalies, which were controlled by rainfall during a given summer. Most importantly, of the vegetation components, the standing dead grasses had the strongest memory and simultaneous correlation with spring dust emission, suggesting the validity of the dead-leaf hypothesis.

  11. Acetaldehyde exchange above a managed temperate mountain grassland

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    An overview of acetaldehyde exchange above a managed temperate mountain grassland in Austria over four growing seasons is presented. The meadow acted as a net source of acetaldehyde in all four years, emitting between 7 and 28 mg C m?2 over the whole growing period. The cutting of the meadow resulted in huge acetaldehyde emission bursts on the day of harvesting or one day later. During undisturbed conditions, both uptake and emission fluxes were recorded. The bidirectional nature of acetaldehyde fluxes was also reflected by clear diurnal cycles during certain time periods, indicating strong deposition processes before the 1st cut and emission towards the end of the growing season. The analysis of acetaldehyde compensation points revealed a complex relationship between ambient acetaldehyde mixing ratios and respective fluxes, significantly influenced by multiple environmental parameters and variable throughout the year. As a major finding of this study, we identified both a positive and negative correlation between concentration and flux on a daily scale, where soil temperature and soil water content were the most significant factors in determining the direction of the slope. In turn, this bidirectional relationship on a daily scale resulted in compensation points between 0.40 ppbv and 0.54 ppbv, which could be well explained by collected ancillary data. We conclude that in order to model acetaldehyde fluxes at the site in Neustift on a daily scale over longer time periods, it is crucial to know the type of relationship, i.e. the direction of the slope, between mixing ratios and fluxes on a given day. PMID:24363666

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-09-01

    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 three-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.

  13. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-09-01

    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

  15. 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...

  16. 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. Comprehensive observations including meteorological, vegetation, and soil elements for each plot have been made to examine two hypothetical processes of how the vegetation-soil system responds to the drought; that is, positive or negative feedback to atmosphere.

  17. 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 that of standardized root material for respective grasslands and forests. The main predictors of fine root decomposition for on-site litter in the HAI forest sites were the roots' initial lignin:N ratios followed by soil moisture and soil temperature. In addition to these factors, soil C:N ratios influenced on-site litter decomposition in the HAI grasslands. While in forests the lignin:N seems to be mainly related to the type and abundance of tree species, in grasslands it appears to be influenced by land management, especially fertilization, which acts to lower lignin:N ratios. These results, together with previous results showing the standing root biomass is made of older C on average in forests compared to grasslands, confirm that grasslands are cycling C faster belowground than forests in temperate regions.

  18. Phytolith assemblages and opal concentrations from modern soils differentiate temperate grasslands of controlled composition on

    E-print Network

    Thomas, David D.

    Phytolith assemblages and opal concentrations from modern soils differentiate temperate grasslands on their silica record in topsoil in a controlled experiment. The differences in total biogenic opal concentration reserved. 1. Introduction Phytoliths are silica (opal) microfossils produced in tissues of higher plants

  19. Selective grazing modifies previously anticipated responses of plant community composition to elevated CO(2) in a temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    Newton, Paul C D; Lieffering, Mark; Parsons, Anthony J; Brock, Shona C; Theobald, Phillip W; Hunt, Chris L; Luo, Dongwen; Hovenden, Mark J

    2014-01-01

    Our limited understanding of terrestrial ecosystem responses to elevated CO2 is a major constraint on predicting the impacts of climate change. A change in botanical composition has been identified as a key factor in the CO2 response with profound implications for ecosystem services such as plant production and soil carbon storage. In temperate grasslands, there is a strong consensus that elevated CO2 will result in a greater physiological stimulus to growth in legumes and to a lesser extent forbs, compared with C3 grasses, and the presumption this will lead in turn to a greater proportion of these functional groups in the plant community. However, this view is based on data mainly collected in experiments of three or less years in duration and not in experiments where defoliation has been by grazing animals. Grazing is, however, the most common management of grasslands and known in itself to influence botanical composition. In a long-term Free Air Carbon Dioxide Enrichment (FACE) experiment in a temperate grassland managed with grazing animals (sheep), we found the response to elevated CO2 in plant community composition in the first 5 years was consistent with the expectation of increased proportions of legumes and forbs. However, in the longer term, these differences diminished so that the proportions of grasses, legumes and forbs were the same under both ambient and elevated CO2 . Analysis of vegetation before and after each grazing event showed there was a sustained disproportionately greater removal ('apparent selection') of legumes and forbs by the grazing animals. This bias in removal was greater under elevated CO2 than ambient CO2 . This is consistent with sustained faster growth rates of legumes and forbs under elevated CO2 being countered by selective defoliation, and so leading to little difference in community composition. PMID:23828718

  20. Ecosystem Carbon Storage Across the GrasslandForest Transition

    E-print Network

    Malhi, Yadvinder

    Ecosystem Carbon Storage Across the Grassland­Forest Transition in the High Andes of Manu National San Antonio Abad, Cusco, Peru ABSTRACT Improved management of carbon storage by ter- restrial biomes has significant value for mitigating climate change. The carbon value of such manage- ment has

  1. Nutrient amendments in a temperate grassland have greater negative impacts on early season and exotic plant species

    E-print Network

    Mitchell, Randall J.

    of nutrient amendments varied significantly over the growing season. Fertilization reduced species richness in cumulative species richness (all species detected during the growing season) between fertilizedNutrient amendments in a temperate grassland have greater negative impacts on early season

  2. Recurrent winter warming pulses enhance 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.

    2014-06-01

    Winter air temperatures are projected to increase in the temperate zone, whereas snow cover is projected to decrease, leading to more extreme soil temperature variability, and potentially to changes in nutrient cycling. Therefore, we applied six winter warming pulses by infra-red heating lamps and surface heating wires in a field experiment over one winter in temperate heathland and grassland mesocosms. The experiment was replicated at two sites, a colder mountainous upland site with high snow accumulation and a warmer and dryer lowland site. Winter warming pulses 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 activity of the enzyme cellobiohydrolase. The mobilization of N differed between sites, and the incorporation of 15N into 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 performance in a warmer world, with important implications for nitrogen cycling and nitrogen losses from ecosystems.

  3. Ecosystem Respiration in a Cool Temperate Bog Depends on Peat

    E-print Network

    Roulet, Nigel T.

    Ecosystem Respiration in a Cool Temperate Bog Depends on Peat Temperature But Not Water Table P controls for a large ombrotrophic bog near Ottawa, Canada, we analyzed ER from measurements of nighttime position in this peatland is primarily a function of the bog being relatively dry, with water table varying

  4. Sustainable management of insect herbivores in grassland ecosystems: New perspectives in grasshopper control

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grasshoppers are insect herbivores commonly found in grassland ecosystems worldwide. They are important components of biodiversity, contribute significantly to grassland function, and periodically exhibit large-scale outbreaks. Under outbreak conditions, they can be important competitors with verteb...

  5. 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

  6. 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 between plants and microbes and reducing N availability. PMID:23227252

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. 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 monitor forest change with remote sensing. There were no new inventions that resulted from this grant.

  10. 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 were found in October, about 10 days after the 3rd cutting of the meadow. First results showed cumulative fluxes amounting to a net emission of CH4, corresponding to 58.6 g CO2-equivalents m-2 in 2011. N2O showed net deposition fluxes on 38 days and maximum uptake rates of -0.3 nmol m-2 s-1 during 7 consecutive days with nitrogen uptake in April 2011. Peak emissions of more than 1.2 nmol m-2 s-1 were observed at the end of November, about one month after fertilization. In total, the meadow was a source of N2O (118.9 g CO2-equivalents m-2). In comparison, cumulative fluxes of CO2 in 2011 resulted in a net uptake of -70.4 g CO2 m-2. Distinct diurnal cycles could be observed for N2O, e.g. in April with peak uptake rates of more than -0.7 nmol m-2 s-1 around noon, or in August with peak midday emissions of around 0.8 nmol m-2 s-1. Diurnal cycles of CH4 were less pronounced and more error-prone due to spikes in methane mixing ratios and fluxes, but nevertheless showed a tendency of methane release during the day, around noon up to 10.1 nmol m-2 s-1 in September.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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-hourly averages. As methanol is produced in expanding cell walls, the change in the measured green area index (?GAI) was used as a proxy for plant growth. However ?GAI was poorly correlated with methanol fluxes, possible explanations will be discussed. References: Davison, B., Brunner, A., Amman, C., Spirig, C., Jocher, M., Neftel, A. Cut-induced VOC emissions from agricultural grasslands. Plant Biol. 10, 76-85, 2008. Harley, P., Greenberg, J., Niinemets, Ü., and Guenther, A..: Environmental controls over methanol emission from leaves. Biogeosciences, 4, 1083-1099, 2007. Hüve, K., Christ, M., Kleist, E., Uerlings, R., Niinemets, Ü., Walter, A. and Wildt, J.: Simultaneous growth and emission measurements demonstrate an interactive control of methanol release by leaf expansion and stomata. doi:10.1093/jxb/erm038, Journal of Experimental Botany, 2007. Niinemets, Ü. and Reichstein, M.: Controls on the emission of plant volatiles through stomata: A sensitivity analysis. J. Geophys. Res., 108, 4211, doi:10.1029/2002JD002626, 2003. Niinemets, Ü., Loreto, F. and Reichstein, M.: Physiological and physicochemical controls on foliar volatile organic compound emissions. Trends in Plant Science,9, 2004. Wohlfahrt G., Haslwanter A., Hörtnagl L., Jasoni R.L., Fenstermaker L.F., Arnone J.A. III, Hammerle A. (2009) On the consequences of the energy imbalance for calculating surface conductance to water vapour. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149, 15561559.

  14. Soil respiration flux in northern coastal temperate rainforest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amore, David; Nay, S. Mark; Edwards, Richard; Valentine, David; Hood, Eran

    2010-05-01

    Forest carbon budgets are of increasing concern because of their linkages with changing climate. The potential source strength of northern forested ecosystems is of great interest due to the large carbon stock of these systems, especially the extensive peatlands. Where very few long-term measurements of soil carbon cycles have been made, such as the North Pacific coastal temperate margin, peatlands have potentially large but largely unknown source strengths, particularly through soil respiration. The easily and widely measured factors that influence the metabolism of plants and microorganisms in soils, such as temperature, moisture and substrate quality, must be coupled with a network of plot-scale measurements of soil respiration fluxes in this region in order to produce reasonable models of soil respiration flux across gradients of climate, vegetation and soil types. We designed a study to address this issue and measured soil respiration across a hydrologic gradient to quantify the influence of soil temperature and moisture on the magnitude and seasonality of carbon fluxes in the coastal temperate rainforest biome. Replicated study sites were established in three common ecosystem types (peatlands, forested wetlands, and upland forest) within three coastal watersheds. In total, nine sites of the three ecosystem types were measured at monthly intervals during the snow-free period between May and November for two years. Soil respiration fluxes during the six-month measurement period were used to construct a respiration flux model for each landscape type. Soil respiration fluxes followed the seasonal temperature pattern in all ecosystem types and also varied with soil saturation as well in uplands. Temperature dependent models of soil respiration flux were best fit to intermediate drainage conditions in forested wetlands and explained up to 85% of the variation in this ecosystem type. Modeled soil respiration estimates were better at low temperatures with high water tables and increased in variability with increasing temperature and lower water tables, confirming an interaction with soil moisture.Despite this variability, we were able to predict soil respiration rates within 10% of the actual flux using temperature-dependent models. The soil respiration models we developed will be used to calibrate larger scale estimates of soil respiration flux and populate global change models to reduce the uncertainty in outcomes of ecosystem response to global change in the north pacific coastal temperate rainforest.

  15. Soil respiration flux in northern coastal temperate rainforest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    D'Amore, D. V.; Nay, S. M.; Edwards, R.; Valentine, D. W.; Hood, E. W.

    2009-12-01

    Forest carbon budgets are of increasing concern because of their linkages with changing climate. The potential source strength of northern forested ecosystems is of great interest due to the large carbon stock of these systems, especially the extensive peatlands. Where very few long-term measurements of soil carbon cycles have been made, such as the North Pacific coastal temperate margin, peatlands have potentially large but largely unknown source strengths, particularly through soil respiration. The easily and widely measured factors that influence the metabolism of plants and microorganisms in soils, such as temperature, moisture and substrate quality, must be coupled with a network of plot-scale measurements of soil respiration fluxes in this region in order to produce reasonable models of soil respiration flux across gradients of climate, vegetation and soil types. We designed a study to address this issue and measured soil respiration across a hydrologic gradient to quantify the influence of soil temperature and moisture on the magnitude and seasonality of carbon fluxes in the coastal temperate rainforest biome. Replicated study sites were established in three common ecosystem types (peatlands, forested wetlands, and upland forest) within three coastal watersheds. In total, nine sites of the three ecosystem types were measured at monthly intervals during the snow-free period between May and November for two years. Soil respiration fluxes during the six-month measurement period were used to construct a respiration flux model for each landscape type. Soil respiration fluxes followed the seasonal temperature pattern in all ecosystem types and also varied with soil saturation as well in uplands. Temperature dependent models of soil respiration flux were best fit to intermediate drainage conditions in forested wetlands and explained up to 85% of the variation in this ecosystem type. Modeled soil respiration estimates were better at low temperatures with high water tables and increased in variability with increasing temperature and lower water tables, confirming an interaction with soil moisture.Despite this variability, we were able to predict soil respiration rates within 10% of the actual flux using temperature-dependent models. The soil respiration model s we developed will be used to calibrate larger scale estimates of soil respiration flux and populate global change models to reduce the uncertainty in outcomes of ecosystem response to global change in the north pacific coastal temperate rainforest.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. rizona's grassland ecosystems are an integral part of the regional ecology, and they provide important social and economic values

    E-print Network

    A rizona's grassland ecosystems are an integral part of the regional ecology, and they provide European migrants arrived, grasslands covered about one-third of the area that is now Arizona. Significant to understand how valuable native grasslands ecosystems are to society. Resources will be required to conserve

  20. 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 (? 13C \\-12.6 ‰ ) from maize fed cows was applied to a temperate grassland surface (? 13C \\-29.95 ‰ ) at IGER-North Wyke (Devon, UK), and dung remains and soil cores beneath the treatments collected at ? = 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 ? 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 ? 13C values until the end of the experiment (Dungait {\\et al.}, submitted). Findings will be presented revealing contribution of plant cell wall polysaccharides and lignin to these bulk ? 13C values, and their potential for sequestration considered. References: Bol, R., Amelung, W., Friedrich, C. Ostle, N. (2000). Tracing dung-derived carbon in temperate grassland using 13C natural abundance measurements. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 32, 1337-1343. Goering and Van Soest (1970). Forage fibre analysis (apparatus, reagents, procedures and some applications). In: USDA-ARS Agricultural Handbook, 379. U. S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. Docherty, G., Jones, V. and Evershed, R.P. (2001). Practical and theoretical considerations in the gas chromatography/combustion/isotope ratio mass spectrometry ? 13C analysis of small polyfunctional compounds. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 15, 730-738. Poole, I. & van Bergen, P. F. (2002). Carbon isotope ratio analysis of organic moieties from fossil mummified wood: establishing optimum conditions for off-line pyrolysis extraction using gas chromatography/mass spectrometry. Rapid Communications in Mass Spectrometry, 16, 1976-1981. Dungait, J. A. J., Bol, R. and Evershed, R.P. (submitted). The Fate of Dung Carbon in Temperate Grassland Soil: 1. Preliminary Findings Based on Bulk Stable Carbon Isotope Determinations. Isotopes in Health and Environmental Studies

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. Nitrogen deposition and reduction of terrestrial biodiversity: evidence from temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

    Dise, Nancy B; Stevens, Carly J

    2005-09-01

    Biodiversity is thought to be essential for ecosystem stability, function and long-term sustainability. Since nitrogen is the limiting nutrient for plant growth in many terrestrial ecosystems, reactive nitrogen has the potential to reduce the diversity of terrestrial vegetation and associated biota through favouring species adapted to quickly exploiting available nutrients. Although the potential has long been recognised, only recently has enough evidence come together to show beyond reasonable doubt that these changes are already occurring. Linked together, experimental, regional/empirical, and time-series research provide a powerful argument that enhanced deposition of reactive nitrogen across Great Britain, and potentially the rest of Europe, has resulted in a significant and ongoing decline in grassland species richness and diversity. PMID:20549428

  4. Nitrogen deposition and reduction of terrestrial biodiversity: evidence from temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

    Dise, Nancy B; Stevens, Carly J

    2005-12-01

    Biodiversity is thought to be essential for ecosystem stability, function and long-term sustainability. Since nitrogen is the limiting nutrient for plant growth in many terrestrial ecosystems, reactive nitrogen has the potential to reduce the diversity of terrestrial vegetation and associated biota through favouring species adapted to quickly exploiting available nutrients. Although the potential has long been recognised, only recently has enough evidence come together to show beyond reasonable doubt that these changes are already occurring. Linked together, experimental, regional/empirical, and time-series research provide a powerful argument that enhanced deposition of reactive nitrogen across Great Britain, and potentially the rest of Europe, has resulted in a significant and ongoing decline in grassland species richness and diversity. PMID:16512195

  5. 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 ?13C 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.

  6. 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 downwards movement of BC, a process which ceased after a few years. Repeated ploughing lifted up some of the BC from deeper layers and this material will probably be transported downwards in the future. Rumpel, C. et al. (2014) Movement of biochar in the environment. In: Lehmann, J. (Ed.): Biochar for the Environment, accepted.

  7. Long term CO2 enrichment in a temperate grassland increases soil respiration during late autumn and winter

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keidel, Lisa; Moser, Gerald; Kammann, Claudia; Grünhage, Ludger; Müller, Christoph

    2014-05-01

    Soil respiration of terrestrial ecosystems, a major component in the global carbon cycle may comprise a potential positive feedback to elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations. However, analyses reflecting seasonal variability of soil CO2 fluxes under long term CO2 enrichment including winter soil respiration are rare. At the Giessen free-air CO2 enrichment in a temperate grassland (Gi-FACE), adding +20% to the ambient CO2 concentration since 1998, we analyzed the seasonal dynamics of soil respiration including dormant seasons. We defined five seasons, with respect to management practices and phenological cycles. For a period of three years (2008-2010), we performed weekly measurements of soil respiration with an LI-8100 soil CO2 efflux survey chamber from four vegetation-free subplots per FACE or control plot and tested for a CO2 effect within the defined seasons. The results revealed a pronounced and repeated increase of soil respiration during winter dormancy. However, during spring and summer season, characterized by strong above- and below-ground plant growth, no significant change in soil respiration was observed at the Gi-FACE under elevated CO2. This suggests (i) that measuring soil respiration only during the vegetative growth period in CO2 enrichment experiments may underestimate the true soil-respiratory CO2 loss (i.e. overestimate the C sequestered), (ii) that additional C assimilated by plants during the growing period, getting transferred below-ground until autumn, will quickly be lost again via enhanced heterotrophic respiration during the off-season, driving the increased winter soil respiration under elevated CO2.

  8. 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...

  9. Drought impacts on ecosystem functions of the U.S. National Forests and Grasslands: Part I evaluation of a water and carbon balance model

    E-print Network

    Xiao, Jingfeng

    Drought impacts on ecosystem functions of the U.S. National Forests and Grasslands: Part I 2015 Keywords: Evapotranspiration Gross primary productivity National Forests and Grasslands Water importance for developing climate change adaptation strategies for National Forests and Grasslands (NFs

  10. 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.

  11. Soil moisture variations and ecosystem-scale fluxes of water and carbon in semiarid grassland and shrubland

    E-print Network

    Small, Eric

    Soil moisture variations and ecosystem-scale fluxes of water and carbon in semiarid grassland and ecologic processes in semiarid grassland and shrubland, as it influences evapotranspiration, respiration, and assimilation. In support, we present three years of data (2002­2004) collected from a semiarid grassland

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. Interannual and seasonal variability of CH4 and N2O exchange over a temperate mountain grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hörtnagl, L. J.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2012-12-01

    The quantification and understanding of the greenhouse gas (GHG) exchange between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere is crucial when trying to assess the effect of anthropogenic and biogenic controls on a future climate. Using the eddy covariance method, fluxes of CO2 have been measured over a wide array of ecosystems, while measurements of the other two major GHG, methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O), were only conducted by few groups due to expensive scalar sensors and their time-consuming maintenance. These first measurments mainly focused on ecosystems that were believed to represent significant sources for CH4 (e.g. wetlands) or N2O (e.g. heavily fertilized crops). With CH4 and N2O measurement devices now being widely available, more measurements are made over sites that are characterized by relatively small and often close-to-zero fluxes, and despite recent advances in sensor sensitivity and stability, the quantification of these two GHG remains challenging. Here we report on the CO2, CH4 and N2O exchange measured over 2 years at a temperate mountain grassland managed as a hay meadow near the village Neustift in the Stubai Valley, Austria, by means of the eddy covariance method. The three wind components, the speed of sound and the CO2 mole densities were acquired at a time resolution of 20 Hz and used to calculate true eddy covariance CO2 fluxes. CH4 and N2O mixing ratios were recorded at 2 Hz by a quantum cascade laser absorption spectrometer (QCL-AS), resulting in a disjunct time series when compared to the 20 Hz wind data. Fluxes of both compounds were then calculated using the virtual disjunct eddy covariance method (vDEC). Mixing ratios of CH4 and N2O were then corrected for the cross-talk effect of water as described in earlier studies. The net ecosystem exchange of CO2 at the study site is monitored continously since 2001, while the measurement of CH4 and N2O fluxes started in April 2010. During the vegetation period, typical concentration values for CH4 and N2O were around 2.0 and 0.3 ppm, respectively, exhibiting distinct diurnal cycles. Emission and uptake could be observed for both compounds, and exchange rates showed a clear diurnal cycle during certain time periods. During the day, relatively large amounts of methane were emitted in September 2011, with peak emission rates of 24.9 nmol m-2 s-1 around noon, while relatively strong emissions of nitrous oxide could be observed in August 2011 (0.9 nmol m-2 s-1). However, during calm and stable nighttime conditions, mixing ratios of both compounds were often erratic with distinct spikes and high ambient concentration values, which propagated into the flux calculations and resulted in similarly erratic exchange rates, making further despiking necessary. The drivers of of CH4 and N2O exchange patterns during undisturbed conditions and the effect of management events like harvesting and the spreading of manure are investigated and set in relation to previously published studies on this matter.

  15. 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

  16. Ecosystem Carbon Storage Across the GrasslandForest Transition

    E-print Network

    Silman, Miles R.

    has significant value for mitigating climate change. The carbon value of such manage- ment has carbon stocks and high sensitivity to human and climate change pressure--the puna grassland­cloud forest study sites to the study region with remote sensing observations from Landsat. The carbon sequestration

  17. 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:23801986

  18. 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-successional stages, (2) increasing BSC cover in areas under strong erosion risk, to avoid soil loss, and (3) enhancing soil microbial functional diversity in resource-limited areas, to enhance soil C and N accumulation. ?? 2011 by the Ecological Society of America.

  19. 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-successional stages, 2) increase BSC cover in areas under strong erosion risk, to avoid soil loss, and 3) enhance soil microbial functional diversity in resource-limited areas, to enhance soil C and N accumulation. PMID:22073661

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

    E-print Network

    Isaacs, Rufus

    food, and increasingly fuel, for an expanding global population. Producing bioenergy crops on marginalPerennial grasslands enhance biodiversity and multiple ecosystem services in bioenergy landscapes, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI 48824; b Great Lakes Bioenergy Research Center, US Department

  1. Ecosystem response to rainfall variability and warming in a mesic grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland ecosystems are strongly responsive to climatic variability, and many fundamental aspects of their structure and function are tied to spatial and temporal variation in precipitation. The pulsed nature of precipitation inputs- short periods of rainfall separated by longer periods during whic...

  2. 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.

  3. 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...

  4. Geography 5: People and the Earth's Ecosystems TR 9:30 to 10:45 AM

    E-print Network

    People and Forests Plants & People Temperate Forest: Use and Management UCLA Botanical Garden Tropical Ecosystems World and it's Ecosystems Temperate: Tundra, Boreal Forest, Temperate Forests, Grasslands Tropical: Deserts, Savanna, Dry Forests, Tropical Forests Read: Chapter 1, 2, 3 Week 2: Oct. 11 & 13 People

  5. Geography 5: People and the Earth's Ecosystems TR 8:00 to 9:15

    E-print Network

    Plants & People Temperate Forest: Use and Management UCLA Botanical Garden Tropical Forests: Use's Ecosystems Ecosystems Temperate: Tundra, Boreal Forest, Temperate Forests, Grasslands Tropical: Deserts, Savanna, Dry Forests, Tropical Forests Read: Chapter 1, 2, 3. Week 2: Oct. 12 & 14 Population & Resources

  6. Geography 5: People and the Earth's Ecosystems TR 2:00 to 3:15 PM

    E-print Network

    Temperate Forest: Use and Management UCLA Botanical Garden Tropical Forests: Use and Management Read Ecosystems World and it's Ecosystems Temperate: Tundra, Boreal Forest, Temperate Forests, Grasslands Tropical: Deserts, Savanna, Dry Forests, Tropical Forests Read: Chapter 1, 2, 3 Week 2: People and Population

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

    PubMed

    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

  8. 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

  9. Does Plant Diversity Affect Carbon and Water-Use Efficiency in Grasslands? Evidence from a Biodiversity and Ecosystem Functioning Experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Temperton, V. M.; Buchmann, N.; Steinbeiß, S.; Gleixner, G.; Schulze, D.

    2004-12-01

    In view of rapid species loss on a global scale it is imperative that we shed more light on how this loss of diversity will affect the functioning and functions of ecosystems. Previous research on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning has shown that plant biodiversity often has a positive relationship to net primary productivity (NPP), and/or net ecosystem productivity (NEP), particularly in temperate grassland systems (Hector et al 2002). One of the big ensuing questions is whether plant diversity also affects nutrient cycling and biogeochemical cycles in ecosystems. A more detailed look at the dynamics of carbon and water-use changes caused by plant diversity has only recently occurred (Caldeira et al 2001) but there is still much work to be done in this area. A large-scale grassland experiment entitled "The Jena Experiment" was started in spring 2002 in Germany in order to investigate the effect of plant diversity on ecosystem functioning, focussing mainly on element cycling and trophic interactions. Out of a total species pool of 60 species mixtures of 1 to 16 species and one to four functional groups were randomly selected and seeded as newly established communities on 82 plots of 20 x 20 m. The four functional groups consist of grasses, small and tall herbs, and legume species. With the use of natural abundance stable isotope ratios (?13C and ? 15N) in aboveground plant material, the relationship between plant diversity (both functional and species-driven) and productivity, water-use efficiency and nitrogen cycling was investigated. Results so far, show increased above-ground productivity with increasing species diversity as well as with increasing functional diversity of plants in a system. At community level, both carbon and nitrogen concentrations as well as ?13C in plants remained similar across the diversity gradient. In contrast we found a decrease in ? 15N values with increasing plant diversity. This suggests that bigger total carbon pools in more diverse systems can be attributed only to higher biomass, whereas some form of fractionation of ? 15N seems to be occurring during N uptake or in the soil in the most species-rich systems. Soil carbon also did not tend to respond to plant diversity levels. At the whole system scale there was no evidence for changes in water-use efficiency over the diversity gradient. Implications for the functioning of future grassland systems with reduced diversity will be discussed. References Caldeira, M. C., R. J. Ryel, et al. (2001) Mechanisms of positive biodiversity-production relationships: insights provided by delta C-13 analysis in experimental Mediterranean grassland plots. Ecology Letters 4(5): 439-443. Hector, A., E. Bazeley-White, et al. (2002). Overyielding in grassland communities: testing the sampling effect hypothesis with replicated biodiversity experiments. Ecology Letters 5(4): 502-511.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Drought impacts on ecosystem functions of the U.S. National Forests and Grasslands: Part II assessment results and management implications

    E-print Network

    Xiao, Jingfeng

    Drought impacts on ecosystem functions of the U.S. National Forests and Grasslands: Part II June 2015 Keywords: Droughts Ecosystem productivity National Forests and Grasslands Water yield a b s t r a c t The 781,000 km2 (193 million acre) United States National Forests and Grasslands system (NF

  16. The legacy of harvest and fire on ecosystem carbon storage in a north temperate forest

    E-print Network

    Gough, Christopher M.

    and fire in a mixed deciduous forest chronosequence in northern lower Michigan, USA. Study plots rangedThe legacy of harvest and fire on ecosystem carbon storage in a north temperate forest C H R I University, Fort Collins, CO 80526, USA Abstract Forest harvesting and wildfire were widespread in the upper

  17. 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

  18. 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 soil respiration were stronger in the first year, with compost soils experiencing a 21 ± 1 % greater cumulative loss at SFREC and 16 ± 3 % more at Nicasio. The second year showed a similar trend, but with a lower magnitude loss. Aboveground NPP responded positively to compost additions and negatively to plowing at both sites. At SFREC, we measured 58 % more ANPP in composted relative to control plots in year one (369 vs 230 g C/m2) and 56 % more in year two (327 vs 209 g C/m2). Aboveground NPP on plowed plots was 129 g C/m2 in year one, and 185 g C/m2 in year two. Plowed soils also showed a significant decline in soil C and N concentrations (C= 2.67 ± 0.13%, N = 0.20 ± 0.01%). Compost additions increased soil C and N concentrations (C= 3.92 ± 0.29%, N = 0.32 ± 0.02%) relative to control soils (C= 3.52 ± 0.20%, N = 0.27 ± 0.07%). Throughout the experiment, we did not detect significant treatment differences in CH4 or N2O fluxes, nor did we detect significant differences at any individual sampling point. These results suggest that compost addition can lead to an increase in ecosystem C storage, with a small offset from elevated soil respiration.

  19. Effects of mowing on N2O emission from a temperate grassland in Inner Mongolia, Northern China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, L.; Wang, Q.; Laanbroek, H. J.; Wang, C.; Guo, D.; Li, L.

    2013-12-01

    Grazing and mowing are two common practices for grassland management. Mowing is now recommended as an alternative to traditional grazing for grassland conservation in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Many studies have revealed that both mowing and grazing may alter ecosystem properties in various ways. However, little attention has been paid to the effect of mowing on trace gas emissions, especially on N2O flux. In this study, we conducted an experiment to investigate the effects of mowing on N2O fluxes from a semiarid grassland in Inner Mongolia. The mowing experiment, which started in 2003, comprised four mowing intensity treatments, i.e. mowing heights at 2, 5, 10 and 15 cm above the soil surface, respectively, and a control of non-mowing, with five replicates. Gas fluxes were measured through a closed static chamber technique during the growing seasons (usually from May to September, depending on local climate at the time) of 2008 and 2009, respectively. Our results showed that mowing decreased N2O emissions, above-ground biomass and total litter production. N2O emissions were greater in May and June than in other sampling periods, regardless of treatments. A co-relationship analysis suggested that variations in seasonal N2O fluxes were mainly driven by variations in soil moisture and microbial biomass nitrogen, except in July and August. In July and August, above-ground plant biomass and soil total nitrogen became the major drivers of N2O fluxes under the soil temperatures between 16 °C and 18 °C. Overall, our study indicated that the introduction of mowing as a management practice might decrease N2O emissions in grasslands, and both mowing height and soil properties affected the magnitude of the reduction. Our findings imply that grasslands, along with proper management practices, can be a N2O sink mitigating the rise of N2O in the atmosphere.

  20. 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

  1. Trajectories of grassland ecosystem change in response to experimental manipulations of precipitation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knapp, Alan; Smith, Melinda; Collins, Scott; Blair, John; Briggs, John

    2010-05-01

    Understanding and predicting the dynamics of ecological systems has always been central to Ecology. Today, ecologists recognize that in addition to natural and human-caused disturbances, a fundamentally different type of ecosystem change is being driven by the combined and cumulative effects of anthropogenic activities affecting earth's climate and biogeochemical cycles. This type of change is historically unprecedented in magnitude, and as a consequence, such alterations are leading to trajectories of change in ecological responses that differ radically from those observed in the past. Through both short- and long-term experiments, we have been trying to better understand the mechanisms and consequences of ecological change in grassland ecosystems likely to result from changes in precipitation regimes. We have manipulated a key resource for most grasslands (water) and modulators of water availability (temperature) in field experiments that vary from 1-17 years in duration, and used even longer-term monitoring data from the Konza Prairie LTER program to assess how grassland communities and ecosystems will respond to changes in water availability. Trajectories of change in aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in sites subjected to 17 years of soil water augmentation were strongly non-linear with a marked increase in the stimulation of ANPP after year 8 (from 25% to 65%). Lags in alterations in grassland community composition are posited to be responsible for the form of this trajectory of change. In contrast, responses in ANPP to chronic increases in soil moisture variability appear to have decreased over a 10-yr period of manipulation, although the net effects of more variable precipitation inputs were to reduce ANPP, alter the genetic structure of the dominant grass species, increase soil nitrogen availability and reduce soil respiration. The loss of sensitivity to increased resource variability was not reflected in adjacent plots where precipitation was manipulated for only a single year. And when similar short-term experimental manipulations of precipitation variability were conducted in more arid grasslands, responses in ANPP were opposite those in mesic grassland. This suggests that grassland responses to alterations in precipitation inputs may vary dramatically depending on the long-term hydrologic regime.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. Comparison of Seasonal Soil Microbial Process in Snow-Covered Temperate Ecosystems of Northern China

    PubMed Central

    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

  6. 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 ?13C 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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, and useful proxies of subsurface microbial ecosystems and the dynamics of labile carbon in these systems.

  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. Ecosystem Scale Fluxes of Water and Carbon in Semiarid Grassland and Shrubland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kurc, S. A.; Small, E. E.

    2003-12-01

    To understand how woody encroachment into grassland influences water and carbon cycling in semiarid environments, we measure ecosystem-scale water and carbon fluxes and identify factors that control variability of the fluxes. Flux measurements are made using both the Bowen ratio and eddy covariance methods, accompanied by measurements of soil moisture and radiation. We present data from both a grassland site and a shrubland site, situated within 2 km of each other at the Sevilleta LTER site in central NM. The study includes data from three summer monsoon seasons, the time of year when rainfall and evapotranspiration (ET) are greatest and both grasses and shrubs are active. Midday available energy is higher at the grassland than at the shrubland by about 20 percent, or 80 Wm-2. At both sites, evaporative fraction (EF, the fraction of available energy partitioned to latent heating) is strongly correlated with surface soil moisture. However, the sensitivity of EF to surface soil moisture is about 30 percent lower at the grassland site. The differences in available energy and EF offset each other, yielding (1) remarkably similar time series of ET and (2) an identical relationship between ET and water content at the two sites. Decreases in soil moisture, EF, and ET are rapid at both sites, about 2-3 days. In contrast, variability in net ecosystem exchange of carbon has both a fast and slow response component. Short bursts of respiration occur after most rainfall events, whereas periods of net assimilation last for several weeks but only follow intervals with substantial rainfall.

  12. Geography 5: People and the Earth's Ecosystems TR 2:00 to 3:15 PM

    E-print Network

    and Forests Plants & People Temperate Forest: Use and Management UCLA Botanical Garden Tropical Forests: Use of Geography No Labs Week 1: Ecosystems Visualizing the World Temperate: Tundra, Boreal Forest, Temperate Forests, Grasslands Tropical: Deserts, Savanna, Dry Forests, Tropical Forests Read: Chapter 1, 6 Week 2

  13. 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.

  14. Response of Soil Respiration to a Subambient to Elevated CO2 Gradient in Grassland Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hui, D.; Fay, P. A.; Procter, A.; Johnson, H. B.; Polley, H. W.; Jackson, R. B.

    2006-12-01

    Despite the importance of soil respiration responses to atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) for the global carbon cycle and climate change, the relationship between soil respiration and [CO2] has not been well developed, mainly because previous studies included few CO2 levels. We designed a unique Lysimeter CO2 Gradient experimental facility (LYCOG) at the Grassland, Soil & Water Research Laboratory in Temple, Texas to study the effects of subambient to elevated [CO2] on grassland ecosystems. Eighty intact soil monoliths (1m X 1m X 1.5m) representing 3 soil series, Austin (Udorthentic Haplustolls, a mollisol), Bastrop (Udic Paleustalfs, a sandy loam alfisol) and Houston Black (Udic Haplusterts, a vertisol) were vegetated by transplanting 8 native perennial prairie species (5 grasses and 3 forbes) and linearly arranged to be exposed to a 200-560 ppm CO2 gradient. The CO2 treatments started in May, 2006 as part of a long-term experiment. Soil respiration (Re) was measured on April 4, June 26, and August 2, 2006 together with soil temperature and soil water content to 15 cm depth. Diurnal changes of soil respiration were measured on August 2, 2006 at four [CO2]. No significant relationship of soil respiration with [CO2] was found on June 26, but soil respiration increased linearly with [CO2] on August 2 (Re=3.23+0.0062[CO2], r2=0.54, p<0.01). Across all CO2 treatments, Bastrop soil had the highest soil respiration rate (6.21± 0.48 ? mol CO2 m-2 s-1) and Houston soil had the lowest value (4.97± 0.41 ? mol CO2 m-2 s-1). Soil respiration increased with soil moisture, but decreased at greater soil temperature. Similar diurnal changes were observed on the three soils, with the maximum soil respiration occurring during early morning. Soil respiration at different times during a day was consistently lower at 250 ppm CO2 treatment than at ambient and elevated [CO2]. Our preliminary data demonstrated a linear increase in CO2 emission in grassland ecosystems with [CO2] increase. Considering plant photosynthesis also increases linearly with [CO2] in the grassland, relative changes in the slopes of photosynthesis and respiration with [CO2] could determine whether grassland ecosystems are a carbon sink or source in a future high CO2 world.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  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 ?18O 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 ?18O of the most abundant grass from each of the plots and treatments. The ?18O 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

    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.

  4. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

    Jonasson, Sara; Eriksson, Johan; Berntzon, Lotta; Spá?il, Zden?k; Ilag, Leopold L.; Ronnevi, Lars-Olof; Rasmussen, Ulla; Bergman, Birgitta

    2010-01-01

    ?-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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 SF net uptake during the same period was -79 ± 19 mg CO2-C m-2 h-1. Ploughing caused a net release of carbon of 183 g CO2-C m-2 during the month following ploughing, thus turning the grassland into a potent CO2 source. Chamber measurements of CH4 and N2O exhibited high spatial variability in 2012 and no statistical difference could be established between fields and treatments. CH4 fluxes were high in both fields after ploughing which was presumably linked to air temperature. N2O fluxes in the ploughed SF reached on average 100 ?g N2O-N m-2 h-1 29 days after ploughing which corresponded to ca. 20 times the background level recorded at the site. Fluxes of N2O were however considerably larger in 2014, peaking at 2570 ?g N2O-N m-2 h-1 29 days after ploughing. Contrarily to 2012, substantial and statistically significant CH4 emissions were recorded in 2014 in the ploughed field. Whilst spatial variability was high in both years it can nevertheless be concluded that ploughing had substantial adverse short term effects on emissions and that environmental conditions greatly impacted the magnitude of CH4 and N2O fluxes.

  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 to have major feedbacks on plant community productivity and composition.

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Plant community composition promotes multiple ecosystem functions in grassland at low and high soil fertility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Deyn, Gerlinde; Ostle, Nick; Bardgett, Richard

    2010-05-01

    It is well known that plant species richness can enhance primary productivity through complementarity in resource use by component plant species. Fewer studies have explored the role of plant species diversity and composition for the delivery of other ecosystem services than primary production and its dependency on resource availability. In this study we investigated how carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stocks in vegetation, soil and soil microbes, the loss of C and N from soil through leaching and ecosystem exchange rates of CO2 are affected by the composition and richness of grassland plant communities and soil fertility. We used two soils of contrasting fertility in which we planted plant communities using a pool of six plant species from one of three functional groups (legumes, forbs and C3 grasses). The levels of plant species richness were one, two, three or six species and were composed of one, two or three functional groups. Soil fertility stimulated pools of C and N in shoots and roots, and the soil microbial biomass, but also increased significantly with increased plant functional group and plant species richness. Moreover, plant diversity suppressed N and water loss via soil leaching. We also found changes in the C and N content in soil, but these were not related to the richness of plant species or functional groups. The changes in soil were rather specifically due to the abundance of the legumes. The leaching of water and N was related negative to plant species richness but also specifically to the abundance of the forb species. Our findings show that the relation between plant community composition and storage of C and N in vegetation is not directly reflected in the changes in C and N storage in soil. These soil based storage functions, and the leaching of N from soil, appeared to be most strongly related to different key plant species. Together these results indicate that the maintenance of plant diversity is important to sustain the multiple functions grasslands provide.

  16. 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; Vo?íšková, 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

  17. Distribution of trace element pollutants in a contaminated grassland ecosystem established on metalliferous fluorspar tailings. 1: lead.

    PubMed

    Andrews, S M; Johnson, M S; Cooke, J A

    1989-01-01

    Concentrations of lead in vegetation, invertebrates and small mammals in a grassland ecosystem evolved from a mine waste revegetation scheme indicated the high concentration of lead in the original tailings. Lead levels in invertebrates reflected dietary concentrations and feeding strategy, a pattern also true of the indigenous small mammals. Total body and tissue concentrations of lead in the herbivorous Microtus agrestis L. (field vole) and insectivorous Sorex araneus L. (common shrew) were significantly higher in the contaminated grassland than in an uncontaminated area, but concentration ratios (body:diet) were less than unity and there was no evidence of age-dependent accumulation of lead. PMID:15092440

  18. Ecosystem Respiration in an Undisturbed, Old-Growth, Temperate Rain Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hunt, J. E.; Walcroft, A. S.; McSeveny, T. M.; Rogers, G. N.; Whitehead, D.

    2008-12-01

    Old-growth forests are usually close to carbon neutral, and climate change may push them towards becoming net carbon sources. Ecosystem carbon exchange and its component fluxes, were measured in a temperate rainforest in South Westland, New Zealand. The forest, which receives over 3 m of rain a year, is dominated by 400 year-old podocarp trees, and is on a low nutrient, acidic, peat soil. Nighttime respiration measurements using eddy covariance were problematic due to katabatic induced CO2 drainage flows near the ground and low turbulence. Instead of the friction velocity filtering technique, we used the maximum eddy flux within a few hours of sunset to derive a function relating nighttime ecosystem respiration to soil temperature. The function was then used to calculate respiration for the nighttime periods. Soil respiration was measured at regular intervals during the growing season. Soil temperature was regulated by incoming radiation and changes in the soil heat capacity. The water table was typically only 160 mm below the ground surface. Soil respiration (mean = 2.9 ?mol m-2 s-1) increased strongly with both an increase in soil temperature and an increase in the depth to the water table, and accounted for approximately 50% of ecosystem respiration. Changes in the water table depth caused by altered rainfall regime, evaporation and drainage are likely to have a significant effect on the soil respiration rate and carbon balance of this old-growth forest. Foliage and stem respiration were also measured and integrated to the canopy scale using a model. The model was then used to decompose ecosystem respiration measurements into its components. A combination of measured and modelled data indicates that the ecosystem is a net source for carbon (-0.34 kg C m&-2 yr-1).

  19. Geographical and interannual variability in biomass partitioning in grassland ecosystems: a synthesis of field data.

    PubMed

    Hui, Dafeng; Jackson, Robert B

    2006-01-01

    Biomass partitioning is an important variable in terrestrial ecosystem carbon modeling. However, geographical and interannual variability in f(BNPP), defined as the fraction of belowground net primary productivity (BNPP) to total NPP, and its relationship with climatic variables, have not been explored. Here we addressed these issues by synthesizing 94 site-year field biomass data at 12 grassland sites around the world from a global NPP database and from the literature. Results showed that f(BNPP) varied from 0.40 to 0.86 across 12 sites. In general, savanna and humid savanna ecosystems had smaller f(BNPP) but larger interannual variability in f(BNPP), and cold desert steppes had larger f(BNPP) but smaller interannual variability. While mean f(BNPP) at a site decreased significantly with increasing mean annual temperature and precipitation across sites, no consistent temporal response of f(BNPP) with annual temperature and precipitation was found within sites. Based on these results, both geographical variability in f(BNPP) and the divergent responses of f(BNPP) with climatic variables at geographical and temporal scales should be considered in global C modeling. PMID:16390421

  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. Relationships between Plant Diversity and the Abundance and ?-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 ?-diversity. Shrub diversity was negatively and herb diversity positively correlated with beetle abundance, while shrub diversity was positively correlated with beetle ?-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 ?-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

  2. 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:25671596

  3. 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:25671596

  4. 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 turn, can create a number of benefits that flow back to other species, including those of commercial importance. PMID:25863362

  5. 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. The data suggest that stream water Si is not derived entirely from ground water and that biogenic sources are plausible.

  6. 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

  7. 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 ?m) 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 management but also by environmental conditions. The fungal biomass seems to be more sensitive to changes in environmental conditions or grassland management than the microbial biomass because the variations for the ergosterol concentrations were stronger than those for the Cmic concentrations.

  8. Influence of ozone pollution and climate variability on net primary productivity and carbon storage in China's grassland ecosystems from 1961 to 2000.

    PubMed

    Ren, Wei; Tian, Hanqin; Chen, Guangsheng; Liu, Mingliang; Zhang, Chi; Chappelka, Arthur H; Pan, Shufen

    2007-10-01

    Our simulations with the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM) indicate that the combined effect of ozone, climate, carbon dioxide and land use have caused China's grasslands to act as a weak carbon sink during 1961-2000. This combined effect on national grassland net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon storage was small, but changes in annual NPP and total carbon storage across China's grasslands showed substantial spatial variation, with the maximum total carbon uptake reduction of more than 400gm(-2) in some places of northeastern China. The grasslands in the central northeastern China were more sensitive and vulnerable to elevated ozone pollution than other regions. The combined effect excluding ozone could potentially lead to an increase of 14Tg C in annual NPP and 0.11Pg C in total carbon storage for the same time period. This implies that improvement in air quality could significantly increase productivity and carbon storage in China's grassland ecosystems. PMID:17618716

  9. 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

  10. Satellite-based analysis of evapotranspiration and water balance in the grassland ecosystems of Dryland East Asia.

    PubMed

    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

  11. 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

  12. Turnover of grassland roots in mountain ecosystems revealed by their radiocarbon signature: role of temperature and management.

    PubMed

    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

  13. Impacts of diurnal temperature range on ecosystem carbon balance: an experimental test in grassland mesocosms

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, C. L.; Gregg, J. W.; Wilson, J. K.; Pangle, L. A.; Bailey, D.

    2009-12-01

    Although extensive research has determined ecosystem responses to equal increases in day and night temperatures, current temperature increases have generally been asymmetrical, with increases in minimum temperature (Tmin) exceeding increases in maximum temperature (Tmax), or vice versa, depending on location. We conducted an ecosystem warming experiment in a perennial grassland to determine the effects of asymmetrically elevated diel temperature profiles using precision climate-controlled sunlit environmental chambers. Asymmetrically warmed chambers (+5/+2°C, Tmin/Tmax) were compared with symmetrically warmed (+3.5°C continuously) and control chambers (ambient). We tested three alternative hypotheses comparing the carbon balance under symmetric (SYM) and asymmetric (ASYM) warming: H1) SYM < ASYM, due either to a shorter growing season in the SYM treatment from lower Tmin, or to higher respiratory costs from higher Tmax; H2) SYM > ASYM, because warmer nights in the ASYM treatment increase respiration more then photosynthesis, reducing plant growth; H3) SYM = ASYM, due to a combination of effects. Results from the third growing season support H3, that carbon balance is the same under the two elevated diel temperature profiles. During the early part of the growing season, asymmetric warming resulted in higher nighttime respiratory losses than symmetric warming, but these greater loses were compensated by increased early morning photosynthesis. As a result, carbon balance was not different in the two warming treatments at daily time steps. Furthermore, declines in soil moisture over the growing season may have important modulating impacts on the temperature sensitivity of carbon fluxes. As soils dried, carbon fluxes became less sensitive to diel temperature fluctuations, and more similar in the symmetric and asymmetric treatments.

  14. 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.

  15. Ecosystem carbon exchange over a warm-temperate mixed plantation in the lithoid hilly area of the North China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Xiaojuan; Meng, Ping; Zhang, Jinsong; Li, Jun; Zheng, Ning; Huang, Hui

    2012-03-01

    In recent decades, forest area in China increased rapidly by afforestation and reforestation, especially in its temperate parts. However, lack of information on carbon exchange in temperate plantations in China reduced the accuracy of estimation on regional carbon budget. In this study, CO2 flux was measured using the eddy covariance method over a broadleaf dominant mixed plantation in the lithoid hilly area of the North China. The results showed that annual maximum photosynthetic capacity (Amax) varied from 0.81 to 1.22 mg CO2 m-2 s-1 and annual initial light use efficiency (?) from 0.014 to 0.026. Net CO2 uptake was depressed when vapor pressure deficit (VPD) was more than 2.5 kPa. Annual temperature sensitivity coefficient (Q10) for ecosystem respiration, ranged from 1.84 to 2.35, was negatively correlated with base ecosystem respiration (R0) (P < 0.05). Annual R0 decreased but Q10 increased evidently when winter drought occurred. From 2006 to 2010, annual net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE), Gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Rec) were -355 ± 34, 1196 ± 21 and 841 ± 43 g C m-2 yr-1, respectively. The warm-temperate mixed plantation in the lithoid hilly area of the North China was a strong carbon sink of the atmosphere, which was usually weaken when spring drought happened.

  16. 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. The emissions from the high N compost declined more quickly than the manure emissions during the dry-up period. The low N compost exhibited the lowest peak emissions (< 5 ng N cm-1 h-1). Nitrous oxide emissions for all amendments quickly declined and were negligible on both wet and dry days sampled during mid-rainy season. These results suggest that trace gas emissions may not strongly offset the mitigation potential for organic matter amendments. However, differences in the amendment type and quality can influence the offset magnitude. These findings will be presented within the context of other key ecosystem characteristics, such as plant community composition, net primary productivity, and soil conditions.

  17. 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-rich annual grasses, and remove N from the system, while redistributing N within the system as feces and urine. This case study highlights the complexities of habitat management in the face of N-deposition and invasive species.

  18. 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 encroached catchment were generally lower than on the grassland catchment, especially proceeding the seasons of peak rainfall in spring and fall. Frequency and magnitude of streamflow events was observed to be substantially reduced in the encroached catchment. Model simulation suggests that conversion of all existing grassland to juniper in the Cimarron River basin will increase overall water efflux through evapotranspiration sufficient to substantially reduce water yield for streamflow. Rapid transformation of mesic grasslands to a woodland state with juniper encroachment, if not confined, has the potential to reduce soil water, streamflow and flow duration of ephemeral streams. Slowing the expansion of woody encroachment into grasslands might be considered as a land-based strategy to sustain or even augment streamflow and groundwater recharge to meet the increase in water demand under increasing climate variability and population growth in the southern Great Plains of USA

  19. 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.

  20. Effects of grazing on ecosystem CO? 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

  1. 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.

  2. Use of Eddy Covariance Data to Calibrate the PhotoCent Model for Grassland and Forest Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Del Grosso, S.; Parton, W. J.; Straube, J.; Asao, S.

    2012-12-01

    Eddy Covariance data sets have been used to calibrate the photosynthesis version of the DayCent ecosystem model (PhotoCent). Data simulation techniques were used to determine the parameters in the photosynthesis submodel for deciduous and coniferous forests, and arid and humid grasslands. A comparison of the seasonal patterns of gross primary production (GPP) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) for grassland and forest sites showed that maximum NEE and GPP values were observed in the spring (May and June) with NEE and GPP declining until the end of the growing season at different rates for the different biomes. The model results and observed daily GPP and NEE data sets suggest the major factor which controls this seasonal pattern is the decline in maximum photosynthesis rate during the growing season. This analysis suggests that grasslands, coniferous forests and deciduous forests have biome specific patterns in the rate of decline of maximum photosynthesis rates which are supported by observed field data showing similar declines in maximum photosynthesis rates. A comparison of model simulated GPP, NEE and respiration (RESP) rates with observed data shows that the observed biome specific seasonal patterns in these variables are well represented by the PhotoCent model. A comparison of observed vs. simulated daily GPP, NEE , and RESP shows that GPP has the highest correlation with observed data (r2 ranging from 0.70 to 0.90), and somewhat lower correlations for NEE and RESP (0.5 to 0.7).

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 ?14CO2 of ecosystem respiration (?14C-Reco) at the Willow Creek AmeriFlux site in Northern Wisconsin, USA. Our first approach was to construct nighttime Keeling plots from subcanopy profiles of ?14CO2 and CO2, providing estimates of ?14C-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 ?14C-Reco using the Miller-Tans model was 76.8‰. Together, these ?14C-Reco values represent mean Reco carbon ages of approximately 1-19 years. We also found that heterotrophic soil-respired ? 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.

  6. Interactions and feedbacks of a temperate lake ecosystem in NE Germany

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Simard, Sonia; Blume, Theresa; Heidbüchel, Ingo; Heinrich, Ingo; Dreibrodt, Janek; Güntner, Andreas; Helle, Gerhard

    2015-04-01

    Soil water availability is a major driver of plant productivity and a limiting factor in several environments. As much as water has a foremost influence on plant growth, the vegetation itself has an important influence on the landscape hydrology leading to feedbacks between ecological processes and the hydrological cycle. A natural experimental design was set up in NE Germany in a temperate lake ecosystem where major shifts in groundwater and lake levels have been observed in the last decades. The location is characterized by a precipitation regime below 600 mm annually. Soil moisture profiles, matrix potential, piezometers, dendrometers and sapflow sensors, as well as standard climate stations providing high temporal resolution information were installed in sites with different soil water content. Several sites in the surroundings of lake Hinnensee, NE Germany, are currently closely monitored to gain a better understanding of the dynamics of water use of three main European tree species (Pinus sylvestris, Quercus petreae and Fagus sylvatica), its impact on forest productivity and the influence on the landscape hydrology. We discuss how the dynamics varies in time and under different environmental conditions, as well as possible processes that might govern these variations.

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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 species from different ecosystems. Cell turnover is hypothesized to be the main underlying mechanism producing sponge-derived detritus, a major trophic resource transferred through sponges in benthic ecosystems, such as coral reefs. PMID:25289641

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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 ectomycorrhizal community could have important consequences on ecosystem functioning in temperate forest systems.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ?(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 ?(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

  17. 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 ?mol/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.

  18. Analysis of Light Use Efficiency and Co2 Flux Capacity of Temperate and Boreal Ecosystems: Does Temperature Matter ?

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kergoat, L.; Lafont, S.; Arneth, A.; Dedieu, G.

    The development of dense networks of CO2 flux measurements sites offers unique opportunities to develop or to validate concepts and models of ecosystem carbon cy- cle and large-scale ecology. Among such concepts, ecosystem Light-Use Efficiency (LUE) has been successfully used by many models, and is the basis of all remote- sensing driven models.We present an analysis of LUE and maximum instantaneous CO2 flux exchange (FCO2max) over temperate and boreal ecosystems. We show that LUE is highly variable. However, LUE and FCO2max are very well correlated with annual mean temperature. This is an important result for modelling studies. We discuss this relationship with a focus on the role of nitrogen leaf content, nitrogen availability, plant functional types and regional scale heterogeneitiy. Lastly, we put these results in a remote sensing perspective and discuss to what extent these different drivers of LUE can be monitored from space.

  19. 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. Bromus produced a positive feedback loop by leaching NO3- from decomposing Bromus litter to subsurface soil layers, accessing that deep-soil N pool with deep roots and returning that N to the surface as biomass and subsequent litter. Lack of new inputs combined with continued loss will result in lower total soil N, evidenced by the lower total soil N in the invaded/disturbed communities. ?? 2006 by the Ecological Society of America.

  20. 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.

    2014-03-01

    The study investigates the potential of a multispectral sensor for monitoring mean midday gross ecosystem production (GEPm) in a dynamic subalpine grassland ecosystem of the Italian Alps equipped with an eddy covariance flux tower. Reflectance observations were collected for five consecutive years by means of a multispectral radiometer system. Spectral vegetation indices were calculated from reflectance measurements at particular wavelengths. Different models based on linear regression and on multiple regression were developed to estimate GEPm. Chlorophyll-related indices including red-edge part of the spectrum in their formulation were the best predictors of GEPm, explaining most of its variability during the five consecutive years of observations characterized by different climatic conditions. Integrating mean midday photosynthetically active radiation into the model resulted in a general decrease in the accuracy of estimates. Also, the use of the reflectance approach instead of the VIs approach did not lead to considerably improved results in estimating GEPm.

  1. 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 biomass accumulation were limited by temperature and soil moisture in both native and invaded plots; however, invaded areas were less sensitive to both higher temperatures and lower soil moisture. Preliminary modeling results suggest that from January-August 2006, invaded grasslands stored approximately one third more carbon than native grasslands, making them 20% less of a carbon source than native plots during this year of record high temperatures and drought. Gabbard, BL. 2003. The Population Dynamics and Distribution of the Exotic Grass,Bothriochloa ischaemum, PhD Dissertation, University of Texas, Austin, TX Harmoney et al. 2004. Herbicide Effects on Established Yellow Old World Bluestem (Bothriochloa ischaemum). Weed Technology 18:545 550

  2. 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 ?m; CF2, 1-2 ?m) 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 OC, not only in the active and intermediate SOM pools, but also in the passive pool. PMID:25112822

  3. 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.

  4. 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 knowledge on the impact of forest management type on general and ectomycorrhizal fungal diversity and community structure in temperate forests. High plasticity across management types but also study site specific spatial distribution revealed new insights in the ECM fungal distribution patterns. PMID:26635766

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. The effects of global climate change on the species composition and ecosystem function in the central grasslands

    SciTech Connect

    Falkner, M.B.; Ojima, D.S.; Parton, W.J.

    1995-06-01

    Alterations to the Earth`s environment are projected to be of an amplitude not experienced in the recent biological history. How ecosystems will respond to these changes is a matter of great uncertainty. Using the ecosystem model CENTURY, we evaluated the responses of five grass species, common to the Central Grasslands Region to changing climates. The altered climates used in this simulation, based on CCC GCM outputs, were 2.5 - 4{degrees}C increase in mean annual temperature and a 1% increase in mean annual precipitation with significant variation in seasonal distribution. The species included Agrostis scabra (C{sub 3} grass), Agropyron repens (C{sub 3} grass), Poa pratensis (C{sub 3} grass), Schizachyrium scoparium (C{sub 4} grass), and Andropogon gerardii (C{sub 4} grass). Soil carbon decreased for all five species under the modified climate scenario. Annual production varied among species. Agropyron repens showed a slight increase, A. scabra showed a slight decrease, while the two C{sub 4} species, S. scoparium and A. gerardii, and the C{sub 3} invasive grass Poa pratensis showed larger increases in annual production. The increased annual production of P. pratensis under the modified climate scenario may indicate the potential for this species to further expand its range. What impact a range expansion of P. pratensis will have on ecosystem function and overall species composition is unclear.

  10. Understanding coupled climatic and ecosystem responses to global climate change in the Central Grasslands

    SciTech Connect

    Falkner, M.B.; Detling, J.; Ojima, D.; Pielke, R.A.; Stohlgren, T.J. ); Kittel, T.G.F. UCAR, Boulder, CO ); Lenihan, J.; Neilson, R. ); Reiners, W. )

    1993-06-01

    A long-term National Park Service research program to assess the potential effect of global climate change on the Central Grasslands Biogeographic Area is underway. The program consists of two integrated projects: Projecting climate and vegetation change at regional to landscape scales; and Predicting the effect of global change on vegetation in park landscapes at the plot to landscape scales. Together, these integrated field and modeling studies establish a means to validate mesoscale and landscape vegetation models, a central goal of the NPS Global Change Research Program. Vegetation life form modeling suggests that under climate change scenarios the distribution of grassland vegetation zones will undergo major shifts. Results indicate that climate change impacts that reduce water availability will more severely depress productivity of C[sub 3] grass communities relative to C[sub 4] grass communities.

  11. 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 underlying processes to adequately describe the complexity of ecosystem CH4 exchange. Moreover, we show that CH4 release processes such as convective mixing of the water column which have been mainly considered for aquatic ecosystems might also be of importance in shallowly flooded terrestrial ecosystems.

  12. Distribution of trace element pollutants in a contaminated grassland ecosystem established on metalliferous fluorspar tailings. 2: Zinc.

    PubMed

    Andrews, S M; Johnson, M S; Cooke, J A

    1989-01-01

    Concentrations of zinc in vegetation, invertebrates and small mammals in a grassland ecosystem derived from a mine waste vegetation scheme indicated the high concentration of zinc in the original tailings. However, the considerable differences in soil and vegetation zinc concentrations between the tailings and an uncontaminated site were not reflected in the invertebrate and small mammal communities. Invertebrate zinc levels and total body concentrations in Microtus agrestis L. (field vole) and Sorex araneus L. (common shrew) suggested a notable buffering of zinc absorption and tissue accumulation in the presence of substantially elevated dietary zinc. In the small mammals the skeleton appeared to function as the major storage site for zinc, possibly contributing to homeostasis in the soft tissues. PMID:15092405

  13. 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 exchanges.

  14. 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) rather than in microbial respiration. Overall, the pervasive rain-by-temperature interactions mean that it may be very difficult to predict the effect of warming alone, without accounting for changes in precipitation (in our Mediterranean system). While predictions of warming of 3-6°C in the next 100 years are fairly certain, changes in precipitation are much more uncertain, with some forecasts drier and others wetter for a given location. We suggest that uncertainty about future precipitation and the interacting influences of temperature and moisture on ecosystems are currently key limitations in predicting ecosystem response to climate change, particularly in Mediterranean ecosystems such as the one studied here.

  15. 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 availability, particularly water availability.

  16. GRAZING IMPACTS ON ECOSYSTEM CARBON STORAGE ALONG A PRECIPITATION GRADIANT IN GREAT PLAINS GRASSLANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Livestock grazing is the most prevalent land use in rangelands, and has the potential to alter carbon (C) storage through grazing-induced changes in ecosystem structure and function. We assessed the impact of long-term moderate livestock grazing on ecosystem C-storage along an east-west precipitatio...

  17. 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 (...

  18. 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...

  19. Photosynthetic recovery of foliage after wind disturbance activates ecosystem CO2 uptake in cool temperate forests of northern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toda, Motomu; Kolari, Pasi; Nakai, Taro; Kodama, Yuji; Shibata, Hideaki; Yoshida, Toshiya; Uemura, Shigeru; Sumida, Akihiro; Kato, Kyoko; Ono, Kiyomi; Hara, Toshihiko

    2011-06-01

    The effects of wind disturbance on forest dynamics and ecosystem CO2 exchange were examined in cool temperate forests of northern Japan during 2004-2008 using eddy covariance (EC) measurements. One site was a young, even-aged, monoculture, deciduous forest; the other was an uneven-aged mixed forest of evergreen and deciduous overstory tree species, including some over 200 years old. On 8 September 2004, a strong typhoon struck the forests, after which leaf and branch amounts decreased in young growth forest, but foliage showed little change in old growth forest. By 2006, foliage at the young-growth forest had recovered to the 2004 pretyphoon state. Average daily accumulated gross primary production (GPPd), terrestrial ecosystem respiration (TERd), and net ecosystem exchange (NEEd) were assessed for six growth stages annually. After the typhoon, large increases in GPPd were found during the growing stage of overstory tree species with high photosynthetic rates compared to that before the typhoon. Pronounced increases in GPPd and corresponding large reductions in NEEd were detected at the young-growth forest, indicating that NEEd was largely regulated by GPPd throughout the growing stages. Although EC measurements contain uncertainty, our continuous EC measurements revealed that interannual variability in meteorological variables and structural changes in foliage have only small impacts on GPP and NEE, while photosynthetic recovery of foliage from typhoon damage has high potential to increase GPP and enhance NEE as compared with those under nondamage conditions.

  20. 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...

  1. 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 prominent in grasses (fructan accumulators) than legumes under climate extreme and its combination with elevated CO2 conditions. PMID:24670435

  2. Metagenomic insights into the evolution, function, and complexity of the planktonic microbial community of Lake Lanier, a temperate freshwater ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Oh, Seungdae; Caro-Quintero, Alejandro; Tsementzi, Despina; DeLeon-Rodriguez, Natasha; Luo, Chengwei; Poretsky, Rachel; Konstantinidis, Konstantinos T

    2011-09-01

    Lake Lanier is an important freshwater lake for the southeast United States, as it represents the main source of drinking water for the Atlanta metropolitan area and is popular for recreational activities. Temperate freshwater lakes such as Lake Lanier are underrepresented among the growing number of environmental metagenomic data sets, and little is known about how functional gene content in freshwater communities relates to that of other ecosystems. To better characterize the gene content and variability of this freshwater planktonic microbial community, we sequenced several samples obtained around a strong summer storm event and during the fall water mixing using a random whole-genome shotgun (WGS) approach. Comparative metagenomics revealed that the gene content was relatively stable over time and more related to that of another freshwater lake and the surface ocean than to soil. However, the phylogenetic diversity of Lake Lanier communities was distinct from that of soil and marine communities. We identified several important genomic adaptations that account for these findings, such as the use of potassium (as opposed to sodium) osmoregulators by freshwater organisms and differences in the community average genome size. We show that the lake community is predominantly composed of sequence-discrete populations and describe a simple method to assess community complexity based on population richness and evenness and to determine the sequencing effort required to cover diversity in a sample. This study provides the first comprehensive analysis of the genetic diversity and metabolic potential of a temperate planktonic freshwater community and advances approaches for comparative metagenomics. PMID:21764968

  3. 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...

  4. Trace gas and particulate emissions from biomass burning in temperate ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Cofer, Wesley R., III; Levine, Joel S.; Winstead, Edward L.; Stocks, Brian J.

    1991-01-01

    Emissions measured from fires in graminoid wetlands, Mediterranean chaparrals, and boreal forests, suggest that such ecosystemic parameters as fuel size influence combustion emissions in ways that are broadly predictable. The degree of predictability is most noticeable when wetland fire-related results are compared with boreal forest emissions; the inorganic fraction of the particulate emissions is close in composition irrespective of the ecosystem. It is found that both aerosol and trace gas emissions are influenced by the phase of combustion.

  5. 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-being. PMID:25891785

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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% greening was advanced by 23 days at +5°C and by 32 days at +10°C Ts. However, no difference in the date of maximum greening or in the onset of senescence occurred. In contrast, in the long-term warmed grassland, the start of the growing season was not affected by Ts and the 50% greening point occurred only 10 days earlier at +5°C and 15 days earlier at +10°C Ts. However, the timing of maximum greening was advanced by 19 days at +5°C and even by 32 days at +10°C Ts. Again, the onset of senescence did not change with Ts. Significant Ts effects on ecosystem phenology of subarctic grasslands only occurred at warming of 5°C or higher. This study also demonstrates that short-term Ts effects on ecosystem phenology are not necessarily good predictors for long-term changes in sub-arctic grasslands. In the short-term (5 years warming), soil warming induced an early onset of the growing season, which was later compensated by faster greening on colder soils, so that maximum greenness was reached simultaneously irrespective of Ts. In contrast, the long-term Ts warming did not induce earlier onset of the growing season, but it led to faster greening on warm soils, which again led to an advance in timing of maximum greenness. This difference between short- and long-term responses in phenology might be caused by either phenotypic plasticity (acclimation) or by a genetic selection (evolution) of the grass populations where the warming has been ongoing for centuries. Such processes are at present not included in modelling predictions of climate change responses of natural ecosystems, but may offer important negative feedback mechanisms to warming which will reduce its effects.

  9. 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 ?g m-2 d-1 under unpolluted and 518 ?g 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 polluted episodes.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-08-01

    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 lead 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 ?g m-2 d-1 under unpolluted and 518 ?g m-2 d-1 under polluted episodes. Besides, 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 polluted episodes.

  11. Grazing alters ecosystem functioning and C:N:P stoichiometry of grasslands along a regional

    E-print Network

    Wu, Jianguo "Jingle"

    . The Eurasian steppe has long been subject to grazing by domestic ungulates at high levels, resulting), covering three community types: meadow steppe, typical steppe and desert steppe. 3. Long-term grazing has dramatically altered the C, N and P pools and stoichiometry of steppe ecosystems along the CMT. Grazing reduced

  12. COMMUNITY AND ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY Rapid Inventory of the Ant Assemblage in a Temperate Hardwood

    E-print Network

    Gotelli, Nicholas J.

    and examine the long-term impact of oak loss at the Black Rock Forest that 38Ð58 ant species are likely to occur at Black Rock Forest. Loss of oak from these forests may favor are routinely used as indi- cators of ecological change and ecosystem dynamics (Majer 1983, Andersen 1990, 1997

  13. 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

  14. 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 research symposium (MTNCLIM), the first to be held in spring 2005; developing a strategy for climate-monitoring in WNA; installing and networking high-elevation (>3000m) climate-monitoring stations; and completing three target regions (Glacier National Park, MT; Sierra Nevada and White Mountains, CA) of the international GLORIA (Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine Environments) plant-monitoring project, the first in WNA. CIRMOUNT emphasizes integration at the regional scale in WNA, collaborating with and complementing projects such as the Western Mountain Initiative, whose mandate is more targeted than CIRMOUNT's, and global programs such as GLORIA and the international Mountain Research Initiative. Achievement of continuing success in WNA hinges on the capacity to secure long-term funding and institutional investment. (1) See associated URL for paper and poster pdfs (2) Discussing the future of western U.S. mountains, climate change, and ecosystems. EOS 31 August 2004, 85(35), p. 329

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Photosynthetic Carbon Isotope Discrimination Increases with Elevated CO2 in a Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zelikova, T. J.; Pendall, E.; Williams, D. G.; LeCain, D. R.

    2014-12-01

    Paleoecological reconstructions and land-surface ecosystem models assume that as atmospheric CO2 changes, photosynthetic carbon isotope discrimination and the ratio of leaf internal to ambient CO2 concentration (ci/ca) remains unchanged, but this assumption has rarely been tested. Atmospheric CO2 concentrations are expected to rise to at least 600ppm by the end of the 21st century, with global temperatures and precipitation regimes concurrently changing and interacting to influence plant photosynthetic gas exchange. In the PHACE (Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment) experiment, we examined the influence of elevated CO2, warming, and summer irrigation on carbon isotope discrimination among C3 and C4 graminoid and dicot species to understand species and ecosystem responses to over 7 years of experimental climate change. Carbon isotope discrimination increased for all species when exposed to elevated CO2, but this effect did not emerge until the third year of the experiment. In addition, though species inherently differed in their carbon isotope discrimination, their ranking remained stable under elevated CO2. Quantifying the relative importance of factors that influence plant carbon isotope discrimination can guide our understanding of how individual plant species, plant communities, and ecosystems may react to global change. Evidence that plant carbon isotope discrimination shifts with changes in atmospheric CO2 and temperature has important implications for interpretation of the paleo record from archival organic materials and for modeling carbon cycling processes in future environments.

  18. Components of ecosystem evaporation in a temperate coniferous rainforest, with canopy transpiration scaled using sapwood density.

    PubMed

    Barbour, M M; Hunt, J E; Walcroft, A S; Rogers, G N D; McSeveny, T M; Whitehead, D

    2005-02-01

    Here we develop and test a method to scale sap velocity measurements from individual trees to canopy transpiration (E(c)) in a low-productivity, old-growth rainforest dominated by the conifer Dacrydium cupressinum. Further, E(c) as a component of the ecosystem water balance is quantified in relation to forest floor evaporation rates and measurements of ecosystem evaporation using eddy covariance (E(eco)) in conditions when the canopy was dry and partly wet. Thermal dissipation probes were used to measure sap velocity of individual trees, and scaled to transpiration at the canopy level by dividing trees into classes based on sapwood density and canopy position (sheltered or exposed). When compared with ecosystem eddy covariance measurements, E(c) accounted for 51% of E(eco) on dry days, and 22% of E(eco) on wet days. Low transpiration rates, and significant contributions to E(eco) from wet canopy evaporation and understorey transpiration (35%) and forest floor evaporation (25%), were attributable to the unique characteristics of the forest: in particular, high rainfall, low leaf area index, low stomatal conductance and low productivity associated with severe nutrient limitation. PMID:15720665

  19. Evaluation of Ecohydrologic Model Parsimony at Local and Regional Scales in a Semiarid Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Istanbulluoglu, E.; Wang, T.; Wedin, D.

    2010-12-01

    In this paper we aim to develop an ecohydrology model with low number of parameters that can capture regional ecohydrological dynamics, including soil moisture, seasonality of live and dead biomass, and root-zone water balance. Such a simplified and efficient ecohydrology model would be most useful for landscape evolution modeling studies, model experiments to examine the emergent properties of vegetation on the landscape, and to develop data assimilation strategies for soil moisture and vegetation states. For this purpose, we couple a zero-dimensional land surface model based on a vertically-averaged representation of soil moisture in the root-zone, with vegetation dynamics providing the evolution of live and dead vegetation biomass through time. Five variants of the model, each with certain combinations of different model time steps (daily versus interstorm), representations of potential evapotranspiration, and a factor for water use efficiency (WUE) are defined and compared against observations in a grassland site located in the Sand Hills region of Nebraska, USA. Observations include field measurements of soil moisture, and live and dead biomass, as well as MODIS-derived LAI. Results show that the simplest model configuration using a constant WUE term, representing potential evapotranspiration from a cosine function, and operating on inter-storm model time step can capture the vegetation dynamics nearly as good as daily model simulations with variable WUE. Application of the model at the regional reveals the model sensitivity to a senescence parameter that control the decay of live aboveground vegetation, and the dependence of this parameter to regional variations in annual precipitation.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Photosynthetic recovery of foliage after wind disturbance activates ecosystem CO2 uptake in cool-temperate forests in northern Japan

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Toda, M.; Kolari, P.; Nakai, T.; Hara, T.

    2010-12-01

    The effects of wind disturbance on forest dynamics and ecosystem CO2 exchange were examined in cool-temperate forests of northern Japan during 2004-2008 using eddy covariance (EC) measurements. One site was a young, even-aged, monoculture, deciduous forest (YGF); the other was an uneven-aged mixed forest of evergreen and deciduous overstory tree species, including some over 200 years old (TGF). On 8 September 2004, a strong typhoon struck the forests, after which leaf and branch amounts decreased in YGF, but foliage showed little change in TGF. By 2006, foliage at YGF had recovered to the 2004 pre-typhoon state. Average daily accumulated GPP (GPPd), terrestrial ecosystem respiration (TERd), and net ecosystem exchange (NEEd) were assessed for six growth stages annually. After the typhoon, large increases in GPPd were found during the growing stage of overstory tree species with high photosynthetic rates compared to that before the typhoon. Pronounced increases in GPPd and corresponding large reductions in NEEd were detected at YGF, indicating that NEEd was largely regulated by GPPd throughout the growing stages. Although EC measurements contain uncertainty, our continuous EC measurements revealed that annual variability in meteorological variables and structural changes in foliage have only small impacts on GPP and NEE, while photosynthetic recovery of foliage from typhoon damage has high potential to enhance annual GPP and reduce NEE as compared with those under non-damage conditions. Plant ecophysiological feedbacks from natural disturbance damage should be considered when predicting annual variability in ecosystem CO2 exchange both at the local scale and when estimating the global carbon budget. The relationship between photosynthetically active radiation (PAR) and GPP for (a1) stage C and (a2) stage D at YGF and for (b1) stage C and (b2) stage D at TGF. Data were obtained at hourly intervals and averaged using the GPP values obtained under u*c = 0.25 m s-1 and u*c = 0.55 m s-1 conditions. Lines in the figures represent the empirical relationship between PAR and GPP expressed in equation (6) for each year from 2004 to 2008.

  3. 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.

  4. 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 changes in climate and grazing regimes.

  5. 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. Furthermore, climate change lead to a significant increase in nitrate leaching, whereas leaching of ammonium and DON as well as DOC were hardly affected. Climate induced changes in the GHG balance of (pre-) alpine grassland ecosystems are mainly triggered by alteration of ecosystem CO2 exchange since magnitude of CH4 (mainly uptake) and N2O exchange, even regarding their much higher global warming potential are of lower importance. Overall, impacts of climate change on ecosystem C and N losses seem to be more severe under extensive management.

  6. Tree-ring ? 13C tracks flux tower ecosystem productivity estimates in a NE temperate forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Belmecheri, Soumaya; Stockton Maxwell, R.; Taylor, Alan H.; Davis, Kenneth J.; Freeman, Katherine H.; Munger, William J.

    2014-07-01

    We investigated relationships between tree-ring ?13C and growth, and flux tower estimates of gross primary productivity (GPP) at Harvard Forest from 1992 to 2010. Seasonal variations of derived photosynthetic isotope discrimination (?13C) and leaf intercellular CO2 concentration (c i ) showed significant increasing trends for the dominant deciduous and coniferous species. ?13C was positively correlated to growing-season GPP and is primarily controlled by precipitation and soil moisture indicating that site conditions maintained high stomatal conductance under increasing atmospheric CO2 levels. Increasing ?13C over the 1992-2010 period is attributed to increasing annual and summer water availability identified at Harvard Forest and across the region. Higher ?13C is coincident with an enhancement in growth and ecosystem-level net carbon uptake. This work suggests that tree-ring ?13C could serve as a measure of forest GPP and be used to improve the calibration and predictive skill of ecosystem and carbon cycle models.

  7. 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 evolution. C emissions from cultivated lands will therefore be minimised by restricting tillage operations and fallow periods to spring or autumn when respiratory losses are reduced and by limiting the length of the fallow period to enhance the compensatory effect of photosynthetic C uptake.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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 and asymmetric treatments after four years. Here we present the most recent data collected from the Terracosms, focusing on soil carbon and nitrogen dynamics.

  12. 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, Billesbach DP, Burba GG, et al. (2013a). Productivity and CO2 exchange of the leguminous crops: Estimates from flux tower measurements. Agronomy J (submitted). Gilmanov TG, Wylie BK, Tieszen LL, Meyers TP, Baron VS, et al. (2013b). CO2 uptake and ecophysiological parameters of the grain crops of midcontinent North America: Estimates from flux tower measurements. Agric Ecosyst Environm 164: 162-175 Gu Y, Howard DM, Wylie BK, and Zhang L (2012). Mapping carbon flux uncertainty and selecting optimal locations for future flux towers in the Great Plains: Landscape Ecology, 27: 319-326. Thornley JHM., Johnson IR (2000). Plant and crop modelling. A mathematical approach to plant and crop physiology. The Blackburn Press, Caldwell, New Jersey. Zhang L, Wylie BK, Ji L, Gilmanov TG, Tieszen LL, Howard DM (2011). Upscaling carbon fluxes over the Great Plains grasslands: Sinks and sources. J Geophys Res G: Biogeosciences 116: G00J3

  13. Influence of atmospheric CO2 enrichment on nitrous oxide flux in a temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Phillips, Rebecca L.; Whalen, Stephen C.; Schlesinger, William H.

    2001-09-01

    Long-term exposure of native vegetation to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) is expected to increase the water content and the input of labile carbon (C) to soil, which could stimulate nitrification and denitrification and enhance nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. We measured N2O fluxes for 2 years in a Pinus taeda forest that was continuously enriched 200 ?L L-1 CO2 above the ambient atmospheric CO2 concentration (˜560 ?L L-1) beginning 16 months prior to our study. Soil treated with elevated CO2 showed higher N2O emissions at low winter temperatures than the ambient CO2 control. Conversely, soil treated with elevated CO2 showed lower N2O emissions at high summer temperatures than the control soil. Annual N2O fluxes, however, were similar between treatments (˜6600 ?g m-2). Factors that influence denitrification and N2O production were investigated in the laboratory using intact soil core incubations. Nitrate additions (0.17 mg KNO3-N g-1 ) to intact soil cores during laboratory incubations stimulated total N2O production as well as denitrification in both treatments, whereas glucose additions lowered N2O production in both treatments. These experiments demonstrated that N2O production is strongly limited by available nitrogen (N) and that the addition of labile C is likely to reduce the amount of N2O produced by nitrification. Our results collectively suggest that CO2 enrichment of this N-limited ecosystem may reduce N2O flux during the growing season, when soil C inputs and plant-microbial competition for NH4+ are high. Alternatively, elevated CO2 may enhance N2O flux in the winter, when conditions are moist and cold and plants are less active. The potential indirect effects of CO2 enrichment (greater soil moisture and labile C inputs) could reduce N2O flux from nitrification in summer and enhance N2O flux from denitrification in winter, resulting in no net change in total ecosystem N2O flux at the soil-atmosphere interface.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 species’ relative abundance will more rapidly advance our understanding of invasions.

  16. 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 species' relative abundance will more rapidly advance our understanding of invasions

  17. 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 resolution). These latter data sets include (multi-spectral and hyper-spectral) remote sensing data, together with more traditional field studies that provide information on soils nutrients and biodiversity. Both the primary and secondary data collection strategies are complemented by a dedicated geodatabase for the geographical layout of the NWFP site that includes soil class and LiDAR data. All described data collections are relatable to farm field event and farm animal data sets, so that key research objectives can be met. We describe all such NWFP data sets and introduce some of the data modelling opportunities that are possible. All data sets will at some point be freely available to download from a dedicated web-site.

  18. Ecosystem loss of soil inorganic carbon from agricultural conversion of native grasslands and woodlands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, J. H.; Jobbagy, E. G.; Richter, D.; Jackson, R. B.

    2013-12-01

    Soil carbonates represent a quarter of the terrestrial carbon pool and are considered to be relatively stable, with fluxes significant only at geologic timescales. However, given the potential importance of water on carbonate chemistry, we propose that increased soil water fluxes from recent land-use changes may enhance dissolution of soil carbonates. To test rapid changes in soil carbonates with land-use changes, we assessed soil carbonate storage to 7.2 m depth in 4 triplets of native vegetation and rain-fed and irrigated cropland plots and 2 additional pairs of native vegetation and rain-fed cultivation plots across the southern Great Plains of United States and Pampas of Argentina, where large scale agricultural conversion typically increases soil water flux. Rain-fed and irrigated croplands had 513 and 906 Mg/ha less soil carbonate storage compared to their native vegetation pairs on average (P<0.0002), which were more than an order of magnitude larger than changes in ecosystem organic carbon at the sites. The eventual fate of the lost carbon (i.e. sequestration or emission of CO2), however, is unclear. Average soil carbonate contents from individual boreholes were negatively related to groundwater recharge estimates (site-specific; 0.00004

  19. Multi-Seasonal Nitrogen Recoveries from Crop Residue in Soil and Crop in a Temperate Agro-Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    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

  20. Communities of Endophytic Sebacinales Associated with Roots of Herbaceous Plants in Agricultural and Grassland Ecosystems Are Dominated by Serendipita herbamans sp. nov

    PubMed Central

    Riess, Kai; Oberwinkler, Franz; Bauer, Robert; Garnica, Sigisfredo

    2014-01-01

    Endophytic fungi are known to be commonly associated with herbaceous plants, however, there are few studies focusing on their occurrence and distribution in plant roots from ecosystems with different land uses. To explore the phylogenetic diversity and community structure of Sebacinales endophytes from agricultural and grassland habitats under different land uses, we analysed the roots of herbaceous plants using strain isolation, polymerase chain reaction (PCR), transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and co-cultivation experiments. A new sebacinoid strain named Serendipita herbamans belonging to Sebacinales group B was isolated from the roots of Bistorta vivipara, which is characterized by colourless monilioid cells (chlamydospores) that become yellow with age. This species was very common and widely distributed in association with a broad spectrum of herbaceous plant families in diverse habitats, independent of land use type. Ultrastructurally, the presence of S. herbamans was detected in the cortical cells of Plantago media, Potentilla anserina and Triticum aestivum. In addition, 13 few frequent molecular operational taxonomic units (MOTUs) or species were found across agricultural and grassland habitats, which did not exhibit a distinctive phylogenetic structure. Laboratory-based assays indicate that S. herbamans has the ability to colonize fine roots and stimulate plant growth. Although endophytic Sebacinales are widely distributed across agricultural and grassland habitats, TEM and nested PCR analyses reinforce the observation that these microorganisms are present in low quantity in plant roots, with no evidence of host specificity. PMID:24743185

  1. Coupling between primary production and pelagic consumption in temperate ocean margin pelagic ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Verity, P. G.; Redalje, D. G.; Lohrenz, S. R.; Flagg, C.; Hristov, R.

    Three fates potentially consume primary production occurring on ocean margins: portions can be oxidized within the water column, portions can sediment to shelf/slope depots, and portions can be exported to the interior ocean. Zooplankton mediate all three of these processes and thus can alter the pathway and residence time of particulate organic carbon. As part of both US DOE- and NSF-sponsored studies on the Cape Hatteras and South Atlantic Bight (SAB) shelves, the role of microzooplankton in these processes was determined by measuring phytoplankton production and its consumption by microzooplankton. Grazing and growth rates were measured during 46 dilution incubation experiments using chlorophyll a (chl a) as a proxy for phytoplankton (prey) biomass. Chl a production and grazing were determined for the <200 ?m phytoplankton community and also the <8 ?m size class. Primary production at Cape Hatteras was determined using H 14CO 3- incubations during two Lagrangian drifter studies lasting several days in March and July 1996. From similar measurements during cross-shelf transects over larger spatial scales, primary production was also calculated for the Hatteras study area using a wavelength-resolved bio-optical model. Primary production during the Lagrangian studies was generally 0.5-1.0 gC/m 2/d in March and 0.5-2.0 gC/m 2/d in July. Modeled estimates of primary production for the larger Hatteras study region in March and July averaged 1.8 gC/m 2/d. Typically, <8 ?m cells contributed one-half or more of primary production. Positive linear regressions described relationships between phytoplankton production measured as changes in chl a and its grazing by microzooplankton. In the dilution experiments conducted throughout the SAB and Hatteras shelves, microzooplankton grazed 65% of <200 ?m chl a production, and 81% of <8 ?m chl a production. These relationships were temperature-dependent: losses of chl a production in both size fractions to microzooplankton herbivory increased with increasing temperature. Higher grazing rates were found in the <8?m compared to the <200 ?m size class. Model regressions were used to estimate the impact of microzooplankton grazing on H 14CO 3--derived estimates of primary production in Cape Hatteras shelf waters. Integrated water column grazing removed 40% and 58% of <200 ?m and <8 ?m primary production, respectively, during the Lagrangian experiment in March, and 61% and 74% in July. Averaged over larger spatial scales using a bio-optical model, microzooplankton ingested 42% and 61% of primary production in March and July, respectively, with an overall mean of 52%. These data generally support the notion that, contrary to traditional paradigms about shelf ecosystems, small autotrophs contributed significantly to production, and that this carbon was actively incorporated into the microbial food web.

  2. 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

  3. 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 average, the GEPm gaps were filled with an accuracy of 73% with the model fed with NDVIred-edge, and of 76% with the model using reflectance at 681, 720 and 781 nm and PARm data.

  4. Light, Soil Temperature, and VPD as controls of flux-tower NEE partitioning into gross photosynthesis and respiration in grassland and agricultural ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilmanov, T. G.

    2010-12-01

    Partitioning of the flux-tower net CO2 exchange measurements (NEE) into gross photosynthesis (Pg) and ecosystem respiration (Re) components is an essential step in post-processing flux tower data for analysis and modeling. We have developed a method of NEE = Pg - Re partitioning using photosynthetically active radiation (Q), soil temperature at 5 cm depth (Ts), and vapor pressure deficit at 2 m height (VPD) as factors in a nonrectangular hyperbolic model of net CO2 exchange in terrestrial ecosystems (Gilmanov et al. 2003, Bas. Appl. Ecol. 4: 167-183) modified to include the effect of vapor pressure deficit. In contrast to other VPD-based methods of NEE partitioning suggested in the literature, our method (i) describes combined effect of VPD on photosynthetic capacity (Amax) and apparent quantum yield (ALPHA) due to the special functional properties of the nonrectangular hyperbolic equation; (ii) delivers less biased estimates of light-response parameters due to explicit description of the convexity of the light-response compared to rectangular hyperbolic model, and (iii) generates more numerically robust and statistically significant estimates than methods using highly correlated predictors such as incoming radiation, air temperature and VPD. We demonstrate application of the method to flux-tower NEE data sets from grassland and agro-ecosystems of North America as a tool to estimate numerical values and uncertainty characteristics of productivity, respiration, and ecophysiological parameters (apparent quantum yield ALPHA, photosynthetic capacity Amax, gross ecological light-use efficiency LUE, carbon use efficiency CUE, and others). On a representative statistical material our results confirm earlier findings that gross photosynthesis estimates derived through partitioning of flux-tower NEE are significantly closer related to remote sensing indices (e.g., eMODIS NDVI) than variables directly provided by tower measurements such as day-time net CO2 flux totals. We present diagnostic phenomenological models of gross photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration utilizing weekly NDVI data that explain >80% of the seasonal variability of CO2 exchange at a 7-day time scale over the long (up to six years) periods. The light-soil temperature-VPD-based method of tower-NEE data partitioning provides a robust tool to gap-fill flux tower data series to obtain annual totals of GPP and RE of grasslands and agro-ecosystems. Such data for >25 North American flux-tower sites (>50 site-years) plotted on the H. Odum’s RE vs. GPP scatter diagram clearly demonstrate that according to flux-tower data, crop and grassland ecosystems take from the atmosphere significantly more CO2 through gross photosynthesis than return with respiration. Though considerable amount of the CO2 taken up by NEE of these ecosystems may be later returned to the atmosphere in animal feeding facilities, production and consumption of ethanol and human food, etc., it is presently clear that the role of grasslands and agro-ecosystems as sinks for atmospheric CO2 is much higher that estimated previously from non-flux-based (inventory) data (cf.: The First State of the Carbon Cycle Report, 2007).

  5. 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.

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. Disentangling leaf area and environmental effects on the response of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange to diffuse radiation

    PubMed Central

    Wohlfahrt, Georg; Hammerle, Albin; Haslwanter, Alois; Bahn, Michael; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Cernusca, Alexander

    2013-01-01

    There is an ongoing discussion about why the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) of some ecosystems is less sensitive to diffuse radiation than others and about the role other environmental factors play in determining the response of NEE to diffuse radiation. Using a six-year data set from a temperate mountain grassland in Austria we show that differences between ecosystems may be reconciled based on their green area index (GAI; square meter green plant area per square meter ground area) - the sensitivity to diffuse radiation increasing with GAI. Our data suggest diffuse radiation to have a negligible influence on NEE below a GAI of 2 m2 m?2. Changes in air/soil temperature and air humidity concurrent with the fraction of diffuse radiation were found to amplify the sensitivity of the investigated temperate mountain grassland ecosystem to diffuse radiation. PMID:24347740

  9. Altering Rainfall Timing and Quantity in a Mesic Grassland

    E-print Network

    Blair, John

    Altering Rainfall Timing and Quantity in a Mesic Grassland Ecosystem: Design and Performance individual events. Such changes may affect numerous soil, plant, and ecosystem properties in grasslands may be a primary driver in grassland ecosystem re- sponses to altered rainfall patterns. Aboveground

  10. Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in

    E-print Network

    Wu, Jianguo "Jingle"

    Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern China A Report of the Committee on Scholarly,andsometypographicerrorsmayhavebeenaccidentallyinserted.Pleaseusetheprintversionofthispublicationastheauthoritativeversionforattribution. Copyright © National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. Grasslands and Grassland Sciences in Northern steppe (Map 1-3) is one of the few well-preserved areas of the Inner Mongolia grassland region. Although

  11. 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 were targeted for the analysis, and we confirmed that some of fallen tree was easily to identify visually, but some of them was hard to identify because the branch and trunk of trees hided fallen trees. We are going develop the automatic detection algorithm by decision tree and object-based classifications, and then validate the algorithm with in situ information.

  12. Seasonal and Inter-Annual Patterns in Ecosystem-Scale Photosynthesis and Respiration in a Temperate Forest Revealed by Isotopic Partitioning of NEE

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wehr, R. A.; Munger, J. W.; McManus, J. B.; Nelson, D. D.; Zahniser, M. S.; Wofsy, S. C.; Saleska, S. R.

    2014-12-01

    Measurements of the isotopic composition of the net ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of CO2 (NEE) can be used to partition that exchange into its photosynthetic and respiratory components on an hourly basis, without the need for a priori assumptions about the responses of those components to environmental drivers. This method relies on photosynthesis and respiration having distinct isotopic signatures, which they generally do because the photosynthetic signature varies hourly (e.g. with light availability), whereas the respiratory signature is governed mostly by soil substrate composition and so varies only daily or weekly. Since 2011, we have been measuring the isotopic composition of NEE in a temperate deciduous forest by eddy covariance, using a quantum cascade laser spectrometer. Previously presented isotopic partitioning of the 2011 growing season indicated that ecosystem photosynthesis became more efficient through the summer (with respect to light and water use) and that during the hot, dry period in July, daytime ecosystem respiration was more strongly limited by soil moisture than was nighttime respiration, leading standard non-isotopic partitioning to substantially overestimate daytime ecosystem respiration and hence photosynthesis. Here we extend our analysis to span the three-year period from 2011 through 2013, taking advantage of large inter-annual differences in the seasonal pattern of soil moisture at the forest to test the prediction that standard partitioning exaggerates daytime ecosystem respiration and photosynthesis under drought conditions, and to further explore the mechanisms behind the apparent increase in photosynthetic efficiency through the summer.

  13. 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 dominant. The site is wet throughout most of the year (water table depth < 5 cm below the peat surface), but there are indications that drought enhanced heterotrophic respiration and depressed gross primary productivity (GPP); a sustained drought during the summer of 2010 (maximum water table depth 36 cm below surface) was accompanied by a two-fold increase in total respiration and a 30% decrease in GPP. The cold preceding winter could also have contributed to lowering GPP, and disentangling the confounding adverse effects of drought and winter climate on GPP is thus not straightforward. Whilst 2010 had the smallest NEE in the 2002-2012 period, the largest values were found for years with warm winters and relatively wet growing seasons. A simple parameterisation of the effects of PAR on GPP of and air temperature on ecosystem respiration, suggest that a rise in air temperature of 1° C between 2012 and 2065 could lead to a 73% increase in the carbon sink strength of the peatland, provided hydrological conditions remain unchanged. This demonstrates that climate change is not likely to change this peatland into a carbon source by 2100.

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Model analysis of grazing effect on above-ground biomass and above-ground net primary production of a Mongolian grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chen, Yuxiang; Lee, Gilzae; Lee, Pilzae; Oikawa, Takehisa

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we have analyzed the productivity of a grassland ecosystem in Kherlenbayan-Ulaan (KBU), Mongolia under non-grazing and grazing conditions using a new simulation model, Sim-CYCLE grazing. The model was obtained by integrating the Sim-CYCLE [Ito, A., Oikawa, T., 2002. A simulation model of carbon cycle in land ecosystems (Sim-CYCLE): a description based on dry-matter production theory and plot-scale validation. Ecological Modeling, 151, pp. 143-176] and a defoliation formulation [Seligman, N.G., Cavagnaro, J.B., Horno, M.E., 1992. Simulation of defoliation effects on primary production of warm-season, semiarid perennial- species grassland. Ecological Modelling, 60, pp. 45-61]. The results from the model have been validated against a set of field data obtained at KBU showing that both above-ground biomass (AB) and above-ground net primary production ( Np,a) decrease with increasing grazing intensity. The simulated maximum AB for a year maintains a nearly constant value of 1.15 Mg DM ha -1 under non-grazing conditions. The AB decreases and then reaches equilibrium under a stocking rate ( Sr) of 0.4 sheep ha -1 and 0.7 sheep ha -1. The AB decreases all the time if Sr is greater than 0.7 sheep ha -1. These results suggest that the maximum sustainable Sr is 0.7 sheep ha -1. A similar trend is also observed for the simulated Np,a. The annual Np,a is about 1.25 Mg DM ha -1 year -1 and this value is also constant under non-grazing conditions. The annual Np,a decreases and then reaches equilibrium under an Sr of 0.4 sheep ha -1 and 0.7 sheep ha -1, but the Np,a decreases all the time when Sr is greater than 0.7 sheep ha -1. It also indicates that the maximum sustainable Sr is 0.7 sheep ha -1. Transpiration ( ET) and evaporation ( EE) rates were determined by the Penman-Monteith method. Simulated results show that ET decreases with increasing Sr, while EE increases with increasing Sr. At equilibrium, the annual mean evapotranspiration ( E) is 189.11 mm year -1 under non-grazing conditions and 187.46 mm year -1 under an Sr of 0.7 sheep ha -1. This indicates that the water budget of the KBU grassland ecosystem is not significantly affected by grazing.

  17. 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.

  18. 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; Kolá?, Jan; Hajnalová, Mária; Abraham, Vojt?ch; Macek, Martin; Tká?, 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Adaptive Rule-Based Piece-Wise Regression Models for Estimating Regional Net Ecosystem Exchange in Grassland and Shrubland Ecoregions Using Regional and Flux Tower Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fosnight, E. A.; Wylie, B. K.; Zhang, L.

    2005-12-01

    The scientific understanding of the global carbon cycle requires quantitative documentation, monitoring, and projection of carbon stocks and fluxes at various scales across the landscape. The challenge is to develop predictive models using carbon flux towers at site-specific locations, and to extrapolate these models to landscapes and regions. We use remote sensing and national climate and soil databases within data-driven models to estimate carbon fluxes. To accommodate the study of coupled human-environmental relationships and their influences on carbon dynamics, a coherent suite of models is being developed for agricultural, wooded and wetland ecosystems within predominantly grassland and shrubland ecoregions. In previous work, we have mapped carbon fluxes in terms of Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE), Gross Primary Production (GPP), and Respiration (Re) in the Northern Great Plains, the Sagebrush Steppes and the Kazakh Steppes at 1-km resolution and 10-day time steps. We now extend this work beyond fairly uniform ecological conditions to accommodate more complex spatial mixtures of ecological types within ecoregions. The models need to adapt to both the complexity of the environmental variables and the land cover patterns. Our rule-based models adapt to local climatic, soil and phenology through the definition of piece-wise regression models. A suite of such models is needed to capture the phenologic and climatic variability across the wide range of shrubland and grassland ecoregions that exist. The result is a multi-year time series of 1-km maps of carbon flux that are suitable for trend and anomaly analysis. We seek sensitive models that permit the effective study of localized carbon dynamics while avoiding over-fitting the available carbon flux tower measurement data. Two critical components of the project are (1) sensitivity and cross-validation studies to evaluate the internal consistencies of the models and (2) intercomparison studies to help isolate methodological artifacts from variability resulting from climate and management of the land.

  1. 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 of the BVOC emissions to driving factors that co-occur in field conditions and to determine the influence of single abiotic stressors on BVOC emissions. Next to a general presentation, some preliminary results of the project will be shown.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. The likely impact of elevated [CO2], nitrogen deposition, increased temperature, and management on carbon sequestration in temperate and boreal forest ecosystems. A literature review

    SciTech Connect

    Norby, Richard J

    2007-01-01

    Temperate and Boreal forest ecosystems contain a large part of the carbon stored on land, both in the form of biomass and soil organic matter. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentration, increasing temperatures, elevated nitrogen deposition, and intensified management will change this carbon store. We review current literature and conclude that northern forests will acquire extra carbon as a result of an increasing length of the growing season (the main temperature response), higher leaf area index (the main nitrogen deposition response) and higher photosynthetic rate (the main [CO2] response). Simultaneously, forests will lose soil carbon as a result of higher temperatures, but nitrogen deposition may slow down soil carbon turnover. The prediction of the net effect is complicated because of a multitude of interactions between variables at different scales. Management has, however, a considerable potential for controlling the carbon store.

  8. 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 light intensity. Increased partitioning to the alternative pathway respiration can act to alter redox status in mitochondria and reduce reactive oxygen species that may accumulate during periods of environmental stress.

  9. 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.

  10. 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 ...

  11. Incorporating grassland management in ORCHIDEE: model description and evaluation at 11 eddy-covariance sites in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, J. F.; Viovy, N.; Vuichard, N.; Ciais, P.; Wang, T.; Cozic, A.; Lardy, R.; Graux, A.-I.; Klumpp, K.; Martin, R.; Soussana, J.-F.

    2013-12-01

    This study describes how management of grasslands is included in the Organizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic Ecosystems (ORCHIDEE) process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (grassland management) is enabled with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), with two grassland management practices being considered, cutting and grazing. The evaluation of the results from ORCHIDEE compared with those of ORCHIDEE-GM at 11 European sites, equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, shows that ORCHIDEE-GM can realistically capture the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: leaf area index; AGB: aboveground biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: gross primary productivity; TER: total ecosystem respiration; and NEE: net ecosystem exchange). However, improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM due to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better simulated in ORCHIDEE-GM than in ORCHIDEE without management. For annual CO2 fluxes, the NEE bias and RMSE (root mean square error) in ORCHIDEE-GM are reduced by 53% and 20%, respectively, compared to ORCHIDEE. ORCHIDEE-GM is capable of modeling the net carbon balance (NBP) of managed temperate grasslands (37 ± 30 gC m-2 yr-1 (P < 0.01) over the 11 sites) because the management module contains provisions to simulate the carbon fluxes of forage yield, herbage consumption, animal respiration and methane emissions.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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 several Western European countries, very high rates of N application to both grazed grassland and to grass crops grown for winter feed have made these lands the principal source of N_2O. It has been estimated that 40% of global emissions of NO, a precursor of tropospheric ozone, come from grasslands and savannas. Global warming is expected to bring about substantial changes in the overall greenhouse gas exchange of grasslands, with a net loss of soil C as CO_2, and possibly enhanced N_2O emissions. Increased rainfall is predicted for some regions, and this can also be expected to give rise to increases in N_2O.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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 ?13C and between 8.28‰ and 11.87‰ for ?15N. 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. As revealed by CCA, food sources used by the oysters were mainly explained by salinity suggesting regional differences between ecosystems. On the west coast of the peninsula, climatic factors act in synergy with anthropogenic factors (i.e. nutrient enrichment) whereas on the east coast, climatic factors appear to be dampened by anthropogenic factors.

  20. Deposition Fluxes of Terpenes over Grassland

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    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 re-emission, 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., 1st of April to 1st of November), 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 non methane 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. PMID:24383048

  1. A biophysical NPZ model with iron for the Gulf of Alaska: Reproducing the differences between an oceanic HNLC ecosystem and a classical northern temperate shelf ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hinckley, S.; Coyle, K. O.; Gibson, G.; Hermann, A. J.; Dobbins, E. L.

    2009-12-01

    Modeling the coastal Gulf of Alaska (CGOA) is complicated by the highly diverse physical and biological features influencing productivity and energy flow through the region. The GOA consists of the offshore oceanic environment, characterized by iron limitation, high-nutrients and low-chlorophyll. The coastal environment is consistently downwelling, with high iron levels from glacial melt water and runoff, but lower concentrations of macronutrients, and with a spring bloom, nutrient depletion cycle (low-nutrient, high-chlorophyll). Cross-shelf movement of water masses mixes coastal and oceanic ecosystem elements. Simulations and field data indicate that the minimum model complexity necessary to characterize lower trophic-level production and biomass in the offshore and coastal regions includes 10 boxes: iron, nitrate, ammonium, small phytoplankton, large phytoplankton, small microzooplankton, large microzooplankton, small copepods, large oceanic copepods and detritus, with copepod mortality as a model closure term. We present the model structure, equations required (and initial parameters used) to simulate onshore and offshore lower trophic-level production in the Gulf of Alaska, along with the information from field data and simulations used to construct the model. We show the results of simulations with and without iron, and with and without two size classes of phytoplankton. These simulations indicate that our method of inclusion of iron works well to distinguish the coastal and the oceanic ecosystems, and that the inclusion of two size categories of phytoplankton is also necessary to generate the differences between these two ecosystems.

  2. The Role of Photodegradation in Surface Litter Decomposition Across a Grassland

    E-print Network

    Thomas, David D.

    The Role of Photodegradation in Surface Litter Decomposition Across a Grassland Ecosystem patterns among mesic, semiarid, and arid grassland ecosystems can- not be accurately explained by variation- hances decomposition in grassland ecosystems via photodegradation, more so in arid compared to mesic

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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 the recommended concentrations for freshwater plants after one year. The new soil formation and vegetation recovery depends mainly on the rate of biological production. In tropical climate the vegetation largely recovered already after the first rainy season and supported the new soil formation. In temperate climate this process was much slower, in particular in flat lying areas and on coastal dunes with poor sandy soils. In polar climate only limited vegetation recovery (mainly of Salix species) has been observed after 12 years and vegetation withered due to salt stress still marked the tsunami inundation limit and the new soil formation was very slow and focused on low lying, wet areas buried with thin tsunami deposits cover. The post-tsunami recovery processes may be grouped into climate-related (vegetation recovery, removal of salts from soils) and non climate-related (e.g. beach recovery) or modified by climatic and local factors (for instance, the rate of tsunami deposits reworking and thus new soil formation). The rate of recovery varies from days / weeks as in case of beach recovery to several decades as in case of new soil formation on tsunami deposits. The study was partly funded by Polish National Science Centre grant No. 2011/01/B/ST10/01553. The review results from studies in collaboration with number of researchers from Australia, Japan, Poland, Thailand, United Kingdom and United States to whom I express sincere thanks.

  6. Patterns and mechanisms of soil acidification in the conversion of grasslands to forests

    E-print Network

    Nacional de San Luis, Universidad

    Patterns and mechanisms of soil acidification in the conversion of grasslands to forests ESTEBAN G, Argentina, Eucalyptus, Nutrient cycling, Soil acidity, Vegetation change Abstract. Grassland to forest soil properties. We used afforestation of native temperate humid grassland in the Pampas with eucalypts

  7. Grassland productivity limited by multiple Philip A. Fay et al.*

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    Grassland productivity limited by multiple nutrients Philip A. Fay et al.* Terrestrial ecosystem of micronutrients (K+), alone or in concert, to 42 grassland sites spanning five continents, and monitored ANPP. Nutrient availability limited productivity at 31 of the 42 grassland sites. And pairwise com- binations

  8. 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 and vascular plant species increases from initial to stable BSCs. There are significantly higher genera and species numbers of cyanobacteria and eukaryotic algae in initial BSCs. Stable BSCs are characterized by significantly higher species numbers of bryophytes and vascular plant species. The results show that, in the investigated temperate region, the often-assumed increase of biodiversity in the course of succession is clearly taxa-dependent. Both successional stages of BSCs are diversity "hot spots" with about 29 species of all taxa per 20 x 20 cm plot. (4) Nitrogen and chlorophyll a concentrations increase in the course of succession. The chlorophyll a content of the crusts (cyanobacteria, eukaryotic algae, bryophyte protonemata) is highly variable across the studied samples, with no significant differences between initial and stable BSCs; nor were ecologically significant differences in soil nutrient contents observed. According to our results, we cannot confirm this hypothesis; the age difference between our two stages is probably not big enough to show such an increase. PMID:19479305

  9. Precipitation patterns alter growth of temperate vegetation Jingyun Fang,1

    E-print Network

    Myneni, Ranga B.

    major temperate biomes in China: grassland, deciduous broadleaf forest, and deciduous coniferous forest. With increased precipitation, NDVI of grassland and deciduous broadleaf forest increased, but that of deciduous and deciduous broadleaf forest, but did not alter that of deciduous coniferous forest at low precipitation

  10. Observed and modeled ecosystem isoprene fluxes from an oak-dominated temperate forest and the influence of drought stress

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Potosnak, Mark J.; LeStourgeon, Lauren; Pallardy, Stephen G.; Hosman, Kevin P.; Gu, Lianhong; Karl, Thomas; Geron, Chris; Guenther, Alex B.

    2014-02-01

    Ecosystem fluxes of isoprene emissions were measured during the majority of the 2011 growing season at the University of Missouri's Baskett Wildlife Research and Education Area in central Missouri, USA (38.7° N, 92.2° W). This broadleaf deciduous forest is typical of forests common in the Ozarks region of the central United States. The goal of the isoprene flux measurements was to test our understanding 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 from the forest were very high with a maximum of 53.3 mg m-2 h-1 (217 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 90% of the observed variance in the measured fluxes, but the response of isoprene emission to drought stress is a major source of uncertainty.

  11. 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 distribute with cover about 1% of the entire study area. Prior to revegetation, straw-checkerboards approximately 1×1 m2 in area were constructed using wheat or rice straw to stabilize the dune surface and allow time for the planted xerophytic shrubs to adapt to the new environment. In 1956, the following 2-year-old xerophytic shrub seedlings were planted within the checkerboard at a density of 16 individuals per 100 m2 and grown without irrigation: Artemisia ordosica Krasch, H. scoparium Fisch, Calligonum mongolicum Turc'z, Caragana microphylla Lam., Caragana korshinskii Kom, Salix gordejevii and Atraphaxis bracteata A.Los. The stabilized area was then expanded to parallel areas in 1964 and 1982 using the same method and species. As a result, the initial stages of change that have occurred at these sites were similar. After more than fifties years succession, the predominant plants are semi-shrubs, shrubs, forbs, and grasses at present and BSCs formed. The common BSCs in the region may be dominated by cyanobacteria, algae, lichens and mosses, or any combination of these organisms. Cyanobacteria species include Microcolous vaginatus Gom., Hydrocoleus violacens Gom., Lyngbya crytoraginatus Schk., Phormidium amblgum Gom., P. autumnale (Ag.) Gom., P. foveolarum (Mont.) Gom. and Phormidium luridum (Kutz) Gom. etc; algal species mainly include Anabaena azotica Ley, Euglena sp., Hantzschia amphioxys var capitata Grum, Oscillatoria obscura Gom., O. pseudogeminate G. Schm. And Scytonema javanicum (Kutz) Bornet Flash etc; lichen species include Collema tenax (Sw.) Ach., Endocarpon pusillum Hedw.; and moss species are dominated by Bryum argenteum Hedw., Didymodon constrictus (Mitt.) Saito., Tortula bidentata Bai Xue Liang and T. desertorum Broth.. Experimental Design and Rs measurements On October 2010, We selected the moss-dominated BSCs at four revegetation sites and natural vegetation sites, in which 3 replicated plots were selected randomly. In each plot, olyvinyl chloride (PVC) collar (lenth 10 cm, internal diameter 10cm ) were inserted 7 cm into the soil. During the

  12. 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.

  13. Equilibrium carbon storage in North American ecosystems as estimated by the Terrestruak Ecosystem Model for pre-industrial CO[sub 2]: Soil C storage along gradients of temperature, moisture, and texture

    SciTech Connect

    McGuire, A.D.; Melillo, J.M.; Joyce, L.A.; Kicklighter, D.W. Rocky Mountain Forest and Range Experiment Station, Ft. Colling, CO )

    1993-06-01

    The Terrestrial Ecosystem Model (TEM), a process-based model, estimates a total C storage of 410 PgC (10[sup 15] gC) for undisturbed North American ecosystems at preindustrial CO[sub 2], of which soil C is 59%. Conifer forests and moist tundra account for the most vegetation and soil C storage, 31% and 18%, respectively. Along a temperature gradient in eastern North America, soil C storage decreases from 16200 to 6200 gC m[sup [minus]2] between the northern limit of moist tundra and the southern limit of temperate forest. Along a moisture gradient at 40[degrees]N, soil C storage increases from 3000 to 11000 gC m[sup [minus]2] between the western end of temperate grasslands and the eastern end of temperate forests. The model estimates that finer textured soils store more carbon under the same climatic conditions.

  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. Comprehensive ecosystem model-data synthesis using multiple data sets at two temperate forest free-air CO2 enrichment experiments: Model performance at ambient CO2 concentration

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Walker, Anthony P.; Hanson, Paul J.; De Kauwe, Martin G.; Medlyn, Belinda E.; Zaehle, Sönke; Asao, Shinichi; Dietze, Michael; Hickler, Thomas; Huntingford, Chris; Iversen, Colleen M.; Jain, Atul; Lomas, Mark; Luo, Yiqi; McCarthy, Heather; Parton, William J.; Prentice, I. Colin; Thornton, Peter E.; Wang, Shusen; Wang, Ying-Ping; Warlind, David; Weng, Ensheng; Warren, Jeffrey M.; Woodward, F. Ian; Oren, Ram; Norby, Richard J.

    2014-05-01

    Free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiments provide a remarkable wealth of data which can be used to evaluate and improve terrestrial ecosystem models (TEMs). In the FACE model-data synthesis project, 11 TEMs were applied to two decadelong FACE experiments in temperate forests of the southeastern U.S.—the evergreen Duke Forest and the deciduous Oak Ridge Forest. In this baseline paper, we demonstrate our approach to model-data synthesis by evaluating the models' ability to reproduce observed net primary productivity (NPP), transpiration, and leaf area index (LAI) in ambient CO2 treatments. Model outputs were compared against observations using a range of goodness-of-fit statistics. Many models simulated annual NPP and transpiration within observed uncertainty. We demonstrate, however, that high goodness-of-fit values do not necessarily indicate a successful model, because simulation accuracy may be achieved through compensating biases in component variables. For example, transpiration accuracy was sometimes achieved with compensating biases in leaf area index and transpiration per unit leaf area. Our approach to model-data synthesis therefore goes beyond goodness-of-fit to investigate the success of alternative representations of component processes. Here we demonstrate this approach by comparing competing model hypotheses determining peak LAI. Of three alternative hypotheses—(1) optimization to maximize carbon export, (2) increasing specific leaf area with canopy depth, and (3) the pipe model—the pipe model produced peak LAI closest to the observations. This example illustrates how data sets from intensive field experiments such as FACE can be used to reduce model uncertainty despite compensating biases by evaluating individual model assumptions.

  16. Biomass production in experimental grasslands of different species richness during three years of climate warming

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    de Boeck, H. J.; Lemmens, C. M. H. M.; Zavalloni, C.; Gielen, B.; Malchair, S.; Carnol, M.; Merckx, R.; van den Berge, J.; Ceulemans, R.; Nijs, I.

    2008-04-01

    Here we report on the single and combined impacts of climate warming and species richness on the biomass production in experimental grassland communities. Projections of a future warmer climate have stimulated studies on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to this global change. Experiments have likewise addressed the importance of species numbers for ecosystem functioning. There is, however, little knowledge on the interplay between warming and species richness. During three years, we grew experimental plant communities containing one, three or nine grassland species in 12 sunlit, climate-controlled chambers in Wilrijk, Belgium. Half of these chambers were exposed to ambient air temperatures (unheated), while the other half were warmed by 3°C (heated). Equal amounts of water were added to heated and unheated communities, so that warming would imply drier soils if evapotranspiration was higher. Biomass production was decreased due to warming, both aboveground (-29%) and belowground (-25%), as negative impacts of increased heat and drought stress in summer prevailed. Complementarity effects, likely mostly through both increased aboveground spatial complementarity and facilitative effects of legumes, led to higher shoot and root biomass in multi-species communities, regardless of the induced warming. Surprisingly, warming suppressed productivity the most in 9-species communities, which may be attributed to negative impacts of intense interspecific competition for resources under conditions of high abiotic stress. Our results suggest that warming and the associated soil drying could reduce primary production in many temperate grasslands, and that this will not necessarily be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  17. 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...

  18. Short communication Land use change patterns in the Rio de la Plata grasslands: The influence of

    E-print Network

    Nacional de San Luis, Universidad

    Short communication Land use change patterns in the Ri´o de la Plata grasslands: The influence) hold one of the largest area of temperate grasslands of the world, the Ri´o de la Plata grasslands (RPG­387) (Fig. 1). Ri´o de la Plata grasslands have an area of 3.4 Â 106 km2 at the center-east of Argentina

  19. 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, compared to diversity effects. In summary, short-term climate warming can greatly alter vegetation functional structure and its relation to productivity. PMID:26513148

  20. Tempered glass

    SciTech Connect

    Bunnell, L.R.

    1991-11-01

    This document describes a demonstration for making tempered glass using minimal equipment. The demonstration is intended for a typical student of materials science, at the high school level or above. (JL)

  1. March 2005 / Vol. 55 No. 3 BioScience 243 Grasslands and savannas occupy more than 40%

    E-print Network

    Blair, John

    March 2005 / Vol. 55 No. 3 · BioScience 243 Articles Grasslands and savannas occupy more than 40 and climate can have dramatic ecological and social consequences (Lauenroth et al.1999).Temperate grasslands are important from both agronomic and ecological perspectives. These grasslands are the basis of an extensive

  2. Spatial and temporal CO2 exchanges measured by Eddy Correlation over a temperate intertidal flat and their relationships to net ecosystem production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polsenaere, P.; Lamaud, E.; Lafon, V.; Bonnefond, J.-M.; Bretel, P.; Delille, B.; Deborde, J.; Loustau, D.; Abril, G.

    2011-06-01

    Measurements of carbon dioxide fluxes were performed over a temperate intertidal mudflat in southwestern France using the micrometeorological Eddy Correlation (EC) technique. EC measurements were carried out in two contrasting sites of the Arcachon lagoon during four periods and in three different seasons (autumn 2007, summer 2008, autumn 2008 and spring 2009). In this paper, spatial and temporal variations in vertical CO2 exchanges at the diurnal, tidal and seasonal scales are presented and discussed. In addition, satellite images of the tidal flat at low tide were used to link the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) with the occupation of the mudflat by primary producers, particularly by Zostera noltii meadows. CO2 fluxes during the four deployments showed important spatial and temporal variations, with the lagoon rapidly shifting from a sink to a source of CO2. CO2 fluxes showed generally low negative (influx) and positive (efflux) values and ranged from -13 to 19 ?mol m-2 s-1 at maximum. Low tide and daytime conditions were always characterised by an uptake of atmospheric CO2. In contrast, during immersion and during low tide at night, CO2 fluxes where positive, negative or close to zero, depending on the season and the site. During the autumn of 2007, at the innermost station with a patchy Zostera noltii bed (cover of 22 ± 14 % in the wind direction of measurements), CO2 influx was -1.7 ± 1.7 ?mol m-2 s-1 at low tide during the day, and the efflux was 2.7 ± 3.7 ?mol m-2 s-1 at low tide during the night. A gross primary production (GPP) of 4.4 ?mol m-2 s-1 during emersion could be attributed mostly to microphytobenthic communities. During immersion, the water was a source of CO2 to the atmosphere, suggesting strong heterotrophy or resuspension of microphytobenthic cells. During the summer and autumn of 2008, at the central station with a dense eelgrass bed (92 ± 10 %), CO2 uptakes at low tide during the day were -1.5 ± 1.2 and -0.9 ± 1.7 ?mol m-2 s-1, respectively. Nighttime effluxes of CO2 were 1.0 ± 0.9 and 0.2 ± 1.1 ?mol m-2 s-1 in summer and autumn, respectively, resulting in a GPP during emersion of 2.5 and 1.1 ?mol m-2 s-1, respectively, attributed primarily to the seagrass community. At the same station in April 2009, before Zostera noltii started to grow, the CO2 uptake at low tide during the day was the highest (-2.7 ± 2.0 ?mol m-2 s-1) and could be attributed to microphytobenthos dominance on NEP in this case. NEE versus PAR relationships for data ranked by wind directions were generally negative where and when Zostera noltii was dominant and positive when this community was minor. The latter relationship suggests important processes of photo-acclimatisation by the microphytobenthos, such as migration through the sediment. Influxes of CO2 were also observed during immersion at the central station in spring and early autumn and were apparently related to phytoplankton blooms occurring at the mouth of the lagoon, followed by the advection of CO2-depleted water with the tide. Although winter data would be necessary to determine a precise CO2 budget for the lagoon, our results suggest that tidal flat ecosystems are a modest contributor to the CO2 budget of the coastal ocean.

  3. Spatial and temporal CO2 exchanges measured by Eddy Covariance over a temperate intertidal flat and their relationships to net ecosystem production

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Polsenaere, P.; Lamaud, E.; Lafon, V.; Bonnefond, J.-M.; Bretel, P.; Delille, B.; Deborde, J.; Loustau, D.; Abril, G.

    2012-01-01

    Measurements of carbon dioxide fluxes were performed over a temperate intertidal mudflat in southwestern France using the micrometeorological Eddy Covariance (EC) technique. EC measurements were carried out in two contrasting sites of the Arcachon flat during four periods and in three different seasons (autumn 2007, summer 2008, autumn 2008 and spring 2009). In addition, satellite images of the tidal flat at low tide were used to link the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) with the occupation of the mudflat by primary producers, particularly by Zostera noltii meadows. CO2 fluxes during the four deployments showed important spatial and temporal variations, with the flat rapidly shifting from sink to source with the tide. Absolute CO2 fluxes showed generally small negative (influx) and positive (efflux) values, with larger values up to -13 ?mol m-2 s-1 for influxes and 19 ?mol m-2 s-1 for effluxes. Low tide during the day was mostly associated with a net uptake of atmospheric CO2. In contrast, during immersion and during low tide at night, CO2 fluxes where positive, negative or close to zero, depending on the season and the site. During the autumn of 2007, at the innermost station with a patchy Zostera noltii bed (cover of 22 ± 14% in the wind direction of measurements), CO2 influx was -1.7 ± 1.7 ?mol m-2 s-1 at low tide during the day, and the efflux was 2.7 ± 3.7 ?mol m-2 s-1 at low tide during the night. A gross primary production (GPP) of 4.4 ± 4.1 ?mol m-2 s-1 during emersion could be attributed to microphytobenthic communities. During the summer and autumn of 2008, at the central station with a dense eelgrass bed (92 ± 10%), CO2 uptakes at low tide during the day were -1.5 ± 1.2 and -0.9 ± 1.7 ?mol m-2 s-1, respectively. Night time effluxes of CO2 were 1.0 ± 0.9 and 0.2 ± 1.1 ?mol m-2 s-1 in summer and autumn, respectively, resulting in a GPP during emersion of 2.5 ± 1.5 and 1.1 ± 2.0 ?mol m-2 s-1, respectively, attributed primarily to the seagrass community. At the same station in April 2009, before Zostera noltii started to grow, the CO2 uptake at low tide during the day was the highest (-2.7 ± 2.0 ?mol m-2 s-1). Influxes of CO2 were also observed during immersion at the central station in spring and early autumn and were apparently related to phytoplankton blooms occurring at the mouth of the flat, followed by the advection of CO2-depleted water with the flooding tide. Although winter data as well as water carbon measurements would be necessary to determine a precise CO2 budget for the flat, our results suggest that tidal flat ecosystems are a modest contributor to the CO2 budget of the coastal ocean.

  4. 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...

  5. Soil Carbon Recovery of Degraded Steppe Ecosystems of the Mongolian Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ojima, D. S.; Togtohyn, C.; Qi, J.

    2013-12-01

    Mongolian steppe grassland systems are critical source of ecosystem services to societal groups in temperate East Asia. These systems are characterized by their arid and semiarid environments where rainfall tends to be too variable or evaporative losses reduce water availability to reliably support cropping systems or substantial forest cover. These steppe ecosystems have supported land use practices to accommodate the variable rainfall patterns, and seasonal and spatial patterns of forage production displayed by the nomadic pastoral systems practiced across Asia. These pastoral systems are dependent on grassland ecosystem services, including forage production, wool, skins, meat and dairy products, and in many systems provide critical biodiversity and land and water protection services which serve to maintain pastoral livelihoods. Precipitation variability and associated drought conditions experienced frequently in these grassland systems are key drivers of these systems. However, during the past several decades climate change and grazing and land use conversion have resulted in degradation of ecosystem services and loss of soil organic matter. Recent efforts in China and Mongolia are investigating different grazing management practices to restore soil organic matter in these degraded systems. Simulation modeling is being applied to evaluate the long-term benefits of different grazing management regimes under various climate scenarios.

  6. Regional variability of grassland CO2 fluxes in Tyrol/Austria

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Irschick, Christoph; Hammerle, Albin; Haslwanter, Alois; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2010-05-01

    The FLUXNET project [1] aims at quantifying the magnitude and controls on the CO2, H2O and energy exchange of terrestrial ecosystems. Ideally, the various biomes of the Earth would be sampled in proportion to their spatial extent - in reality, however, study site selection is usually based on other (more practical) criteria so that a bias exists towards certain biomes and ecosystem types. This may be problematic because FLUXNET data are used to calibrate/parameterize models at various scales - if certain ecosystems are poorly replicated this may bias model predictions. Here we present data from a project in Tyrol/Austria where we have been investigating the CO2, H2O and energy exchange of five grassland sites during 2005-2007. The five permanent grassland sites were exposed to similar climate, but differed slightly in management. In a FLUXNET style approach, any of these sites might have been selected for making long-term flux measurements - the aim of this project was to examine the representativeness of these sites and, if evident, elucidate the causes for and controls on differences between sites. To this end we conducted continuous eddy covariance flux measurements at one (anchor) site [2, 3], and episodic, month long flux measurements at the four additional sites using a roving eddy covariance tower. These data were complemented by measurements of environmental drivers, the amount of above ground phytomass and basic data on vegetation and soil type, as well as management. Data are subject to a rigorous statistical analysis in order to quantify significant differences in the CO2, H2O and energy exchange between the sites and to identify the factors which are responsible for these differences. In the present contribution we report results on CO2 fluxes. Our major findings are that (i) site-identity of the surveyed grassland ecosystems was a significant factor for the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), somewhat less for gross primary production (GPP) and not for ecosystem respiration (RECO), (ii) GPP depended mainly on the amount of incident photosynthetically active radiation and the amount of green plant matter, the scale of influence of these two factors varying fourfold between the sites, and not so much on the available water, (iii) RECO was mainly affected by the soil temperature, but some evidence for priming effects was also found, (iv) the NEE was mainly influenced by GPP and to a lower extent by RECO. Taken together our results indicate that even within the same ecosystem type exposed to similar climate and land use, site selection may strongly affect the resulting NEE estimates. References: [1] D.D. Baldocchi, "Breathing of the terrestrial biosphere: lessons learned from a global network of carbon dioxide flux measurement systems", Australian Journal of Botany vol.56 (2008) pp. 1-26. [2] A. Hammerle, A. Haslwanter, U. Tappeiner, A. Cernusca, G. Wohlfahrt, "Leaf area controls on energy partitioning of a temperate mountain grassland", Biogeosciences vol.5 (2008) pp. 421 431. [3] G. Wohlfahrt, A. Hammerle, A. Haslwanter, M. Bahn, U. Tappeiner, A. Cernusca, "Seasonal and inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of a temperate mountain grassland: effects of weather and management", Journal of Geophysical Research 113 (2008) D08110, doi:10.1029/2007JD009286.

  7. Comparative analysis of SPOT, Landsat, MODIS, and AVHRR normalized difference vegetation index data on the estimation of leaf area index in a mixed grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Tong, Alexander; He, Yuhong

    2013-01-01

    Many grassland studies have depended on or are currently depending on the Landsat series of satellite sensors for monitoring work. However, given the identified gaps in Landsat data, alternatives to Landsat imagery need to be tested in an operational environment. In this study, normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) values are derived from a Système Pour l'Observation de la Terre (SPOT), Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS), and Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) image and compared to the NDVI values from a Landsat image for LAI estimation in a semi-arid heterogeneous grassland. Results indicate a high agreement between Landsat and SPOT data with R2 over 85% at all buffer levels (100, 250, and 1000 m), and a significant but lower agreement between MODIS and Landsat with R2 around 28% at 250 m buffer level to 37% at 100 m buffer level. Based on in situ measurements of LAI in 22 homogeneous sites, the relationships established between LAI and NDVI show that SPOT and Landsat could predict LAI with acceptable accuracy, but MODIS and AVHRR cannot quantify the spatial variation in LAI measurements. Data fusion or blending techniques that combine the spectral information of high spatial/low temporal resolution data with low spatial/high temporal resolution data may be considered to study semi-arid heterogeneous grasslands.

  8. Abundance and community structure of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in a temperate forest ecosystem under ten-years elevated CO2

    E-print Network

    Oren, Ram

    Abundance and community structure of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea in a temperate forest Keywords: Ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea Elevated CO2 Free air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment N) and archaea (AOA) are considered as the key drivers of global nitrogen (N) biogeochemical cycling. Responses

  9. Taming Tempers

    MedlinePLUS

    ... change the way a person feels. Back Continue Building a Strong Foundation Fortunately, really angry episodes don't happen too often for most kids. Those with temper troubles often have an active, strong-willed style and extra energy that needs to be discharged. Try these steps ...

  10. Influence of Disturbance on Temperate Forest Productivity

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    on forest productivity. However, in most forest ecosystems, natural and human distur- bances, such as wind. Key words: disturbance; PnET; NPP; foliar N; N mineralization; Great Lakes. INTRODUCTION Net primary in determining whether a region, landscape, or ecosystem is a long-term carbon source or sink. Temperate

  11. Intensive agriculture to semi-natural grassland: evaluating changes in ecosystem service provision to help determine costs and benefits of agri-environment schemes 

    E-print Network

    Horrocks, Claire Alice

    2013-11-28

    Intensive agriculture has led to an increase in production; however this has often coincided with a decline in the provision of other Ecosystem Services (ES). ES affected include those regulated by soil chemical, physical ...

  12. SPATIAL PATTERNS OF LIGHT GAPS IN MESIC GRASSLANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Invasions by non-resident species into grasslands are a global phenomenon that can affect ecosystem structure and function, and dramatically alter vegetation composition. Predictive capacity for assessing invasibility of grasslands, however, has been hindered by the complex interaction of several fa...

  13. Does species diversity limit productivity in natural grassland communities?

    E-print Network

    Thomas, David D.

    LETTER Does species diversity limit productivity in natural grassland communities? James B. Grace,1- mental influences in 12 natural grassland ecosystems. Because diversity­productivity relationships on productivity in mature natural systems is a weak force, both in absolute terms and relative to the effects

  14. Temper Foam

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    Fabricated by Expanded Rubber & Plastics Corporation, Temper Foam provides better impact protection for airplane passengers and enhances passenger comfort on long flights because it distributes body weight and pressure evenly over the entire contact area. Called a "memory foam" it matches the contour of the body pressing against it and returns to its original shape once the pressure is removed. As a shock absorber, a three-inch foam pad has the ability to absorb the impact of a 10-foot fall by an adult. Applications include seat cushioning for transportation vehicles, padding for furniture and a variety of athletic equipment medical applications including wheelchair padding, artificial limb socket lining, finger splint and hand padding for burn patients, special mattresses for the bedridden and dental stools. Production and sales rights are owned by Temper Foam, Inc. Material is manufactured under license by the Dewey and Almy Division of Grace Chemical Corporation. Distributors of the product are Kees Goebel Medical Specialties, Inc. and Alimed, Inc. They sell Temper Foam in bulk to the fabricators who trim it to shapes required by their customers.

  15. Patterns and controls of community structure in South African and North American grasslands: convergence and contingency

    E-print Network

    Anderson, Charles W.

    Patterns and controls of community structure in South African and North American grasslands focuses on the interactive effects of fire, grazing and climate variability on grassland ecosystems. Collins has worked extensively on climate change impacts on desert grasslands in New Mexico

  16. BVOC fluxes above mountain grassland

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands comprise natural tropical savannah over managed temperate fields to tundra and cover one quarter of the Earth’s land surface. Plant growth, maintenance and decay result in volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions to the atmosphere. Furthermore, biogenic VOCs (BVOCs) are emitted as a consequence of various environmental stresses including cutting and drying during harvesting. Fluxes of BVOCs were measured with a proton-transfer-reaction-mass-spectrometer (PTR-MS) over temperate mountain grassland in Stubai Valley (Tyrol, Austria) over one growing season (2008). VOC fluxes were calculated from the disjunct PTR-MS data using the virtual disjunct eddy covariance method and the gap filling method. Methanol fluxes obtained with the two independent flux calculation methods were highly correlated (y = 0.95×?0.12, R2 = 0.92). Methanol showed strong daytime emissions throughout the growing season – with maximal values of 9.7 nmol m?2 s?1, methanol fluxes from the growing grassland were considerably higher at the beginning of the growing season in June compared to those measured during October (2.5 nmol m?2 s?1). Methanol was the only component that exhibited consistent fluxes during the entire growing periods of the grass. The cutting and drying of the grass increased the emissions of methanol to up to 78.4 nmol m?2 s?1. In addition, emissions of acetaldehyde (up to 11.0 nmol m?2 s?1), and hexenal (leaf aldehyde, up to 8.6 nmol m?2 s?1) were detected during/after harvesting. PMID:24339833

  17. Estimation of nitrous oxide emissions from US grasslands

    SciTech Connect

    Mummey, D.L.; Smith, J.L.; Bluhm, G.

    2000-02-01

    Nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O) emissions from temperate grasslands are poorly quantified and may be an important part of the atmospheric N{sub 2}O budget. In this study N{sub 2}O emissions were simulated for 1,052 grassland sites in the US using the NGAS model of Parton and others (1996) coupled with an organic matter decomposition model. N{sub 2}O flux was calculated for each site using soil and land use data obtained from the National Resource Inventory (NRI) database and weather data obtained from NASA. The estimates were regionalized based upon temperature and moisture isotherms. Annual N{sub 2}O emissions for each region were based on the grassland area of each region and the mean estimated annual N{sub 2}O flux from NRI grassland sites in the region. The regional fluxes ranged from 0.18 to 1.02 kg N{sub 2}O N/ha/yr with the mean flux for all regions being 0.29 kg N{sub 2}O N/ha/yr. Even though fluxes from the western regions were relatively low, these regions made the largest contribution to total emissions due to their large grassland area. Total US grassland N{sub 2}O emissions were estimated to be about 67 Gg N{sub 2}O N/yr. Emissions from the Great Plains states, which contain the largest expanse of natural grassland in the US, were estimated to average 0.24 kg N{sub 2}O N/ha/yr. Using the annual flux estimate for the temperate Great Plains, the authors estimate that temperate grasslands worldwide may potentially produce 0.27 Tg N{sub 2}O N/yr. Even though the estimate for global temperate grassland N{sub 2}O emissions is less than published estimates for other major temperate grasslands are a significant part of both United States and global atmospheric N{sub 2}O budgets. This study demonstrates the utility of models for regional N{sub 2}O budgets. This study demonstrates the utility of models for regional N{sub 2}O flux estimation although additional data from carefully designed field studies is needed to further validate model results.

  18. Sensitivity of Temperate Desert Steppe Carbon Exchange to Seasonal Droughts and Precipitation Variations in Inner Mongolia, China

    PubMed Central

    Yang, Fulin; Zhou, Guangsheng

    2013-01-01

    Arid grassland ecosystems have significant interannual variation in carbon exchange; however, it is unclear how environmental factors influence carbon exchange in different hydrological years. In this study, the eddy covariance technique was used to investigate the seasonal and interannual variability of CO2 flux over a temperate desert steppe in Inner Mongolia, China from 2008 to 2010. The amounts and times of precipitation varied significantly throughout the study period. The precipitation in 2009 (186.4 mm) was close to the long-term average (183.9±47.6 mm), while the precipitation in 2008 (136.3 mm) and 2010 (141.3 mm) was approximately a quarter below the long-term average. The temperate desert steppe showed carbon neutrality for atmospheric CO2 throughout the study period, with a net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE) of ?7.2, ?22.9, and 26.0 g C m?2 yr?1 in 2008, 2009, and 2010, not significantly different from zero. The ecosystem gained more carbon in 2009 compared to other two relatively dry years, while there was significant difference in carbon uptake between 2008 and 2010, although both years recorded similar annual precipitation. The results suggest that summer precipitation is a key factor determining annual NEE. The apparent quantum yield and saturation value of NEE (NEEsat) and the temperature sensitivity coefficient of ecosystem respiration (Reco) exhibited significant variations. The values of NEEsat were ?2.6, ?2.9, and ?1.4 µmol CO2 m?2 s?1 in 2008, 2009, and 2010, respectively. Drought suppressed both the gross primary production (GPP) and Reco, and the drought sensitivity of GPP was greater than that of Reco. The soil water content sensitivity of GPP was high during the dry year of 2008 with limited soil moisture availability. Our results suggest the carbon balance of this temperate desert steppe was not only sensitive to total annual precipitation, but also to its seasonal distribution. PMID:23393576

  19. Tempered fractional calculus

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sabzikar, Farzad; Meerschaert, Mark M.; Chen, Jinghua

    2015-07-01

    Fractional derivatives and integrals are convolutions with a power law. Multiplying by an exponential factor leads to tempered fractional derivatives and integrals. Tempered fractional diffusion equations, where the usual second derivative in space is replaced by a tempered fractional derivative, govern the limits of random walk models with an exponentially tempered power law jump distribution. The limiting tempered stable probability densities exhibit semi-heavy tails, which are commonly observed in finance. Tempered power law waiting times lead to tempered fractional time derivatives, which have proven useful in geophysics. The tempered fractional derivative or integral of a Brownian motion, called a tempered fractional Brownian motion, can exhibit semi-long range dependence. The increments of this process, called tempered fractional Gaussian noise, provide a useful new stochastic model for wind speed data. A tempered fractional difference forms the basis for numerical methods to solve tempered fractional diffusion equations, and it also provides a useful new correlation model in time series.

  20. Scaling-up knowledge of growing-season net ecosystem exchange for long-term assessment of North Dakota grasslands under the Conservation Reserve Program

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Scaling-up knowledge of land-atmosphere net ecosystem exchange (NEE) from a single experimental site to numerous perennial grass fields in the Northern Great Plains (NGP) requires appropriate scaling protocols. We addressed this problem using synoptic data available from the Landsat sensor for ten ...

  1. A geomorphic perspective on terrain-modulated organization of vegetation productivity: Analysis in two semiarid grassland ecosystems in Southwestern United States

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Spatial patterns of ecosystem productivity arise from the terrain-modulated wetting and drying of the landscape. Using a daily relative greenness (rG) index we explore the relations between spatial variability of plant productivity and landscape morphology, and how these relations change over time...

  2. Effects of air pollution and acid rain on fish, wildlife, and their habitats - grasslands. Final report

    SciTech Connect

    Peterson, M.A.

    1982-06-01

    Report 7 of the series synthesizing the results of scientific research related to the effects of air pollution and acid deposition on fish and wildlife resources deals with grasslands. General aspects of grassland ecosystems relevant to a discussion of air pollution effects are presented along with a brief introduction to various other types of ecosystem stresses.

  3. Modeling effects of climate change on spruce-fir forest ecosystems: Changes in the montane ecotone between boreal and temperate forests in the Green Mountains, U.S.A, from forest edge detection in Landsat TM imagery,1989 to 2011

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Foster, J. R.; D'Amato, A. W.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change is projected to affect the integrity of forested ecosystems worldwide. One forest type expected to be severely impacted is the eastern spruce-fir forest, because it is already at the extreme elevational and latitudinal limits of its range within the northern United States. Large-scale bioclimactic models predict declining habitat suitability for spruce and fir species, while causing drought and thermal stress on remnant trees. As rising temperatures reduce or eliminate habitat throughout much of the current spruce-fir range, growth and regeneration of hardwood forests or more southerly conifers will be favored. The ecotone between northern hardwood forests and montane boreal forests was recently reported to have shifted approximately 100 m upslope over the last 20-40 years in the Green Mountains of Vermont, U.S.A. The research behind this finding relied on long-term forest plot data and change analysis of narrow transects (6 m width) on aerial photos and SPOT imagery. In the White Mountains of New Hampshire, U.S.A., research using vegetation indices from Landsat data reported a conflicting finding; that coniferous vegetation was increasing downslope of the existing ecotone. We carefully matched and topographically corrected Landsat images from 1989 through 2011 to comprehensively map the boreal-temperate forest ecotone throughout the Green Mountains in Vermont, U.S.A. We used edge detection and linear mixed models to evaluate whether the ecotone changed in elevation over 20 years, and whether rates of change varied with Latitude or aspect. We found that the elevation of the boreal-temperate forest ecotone, and changes in its location over 20 years, were more variable than reported in recent studies. While the ecotone moved to higher elevations in some locations at reported rates, these rates were at the tales of the distribution of elevational change. Other locations showed downward movement of the ecotone, while for the majority of sites, no change was detected. The large variability in both the rate and direction of elevational change of the boreal-temperate forest ecotone suggests that current changes cannot be attributed clearly to climate change, but may equally reflect forest dynamics of older forests senescing and being replaced locally by competing species.

  4. Copyright 2008 by the author(s). Published here under license by the Resilience Alliance. Baldi, G., and J. M. Paruelo. 2008. Land-use and land cover dynamics in South American temperate

    E-print Network

    Nacional de San Luis, Universidad

    , G., and J. M. Paruelo. 2008. Land-use and land cover dynamics in South American temperate grasslands in the Neotropics Land-Use and Land Cover Dynamics in South American Temperate Grasslands Germán Baldi 1,2 and José of the system. Our approach involved the generation of land-use and land cover maps, the analysis of landscape

  5. Quantifying Grassland-to-Woodland Transitions and the Implications for Carbon and Nitrogen Dynamics in the Southwest United States

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wessman, Carol A.; Archer, Steven R.; Asner, Gregory P.; Bateson, C. Ann

    2004-01-01

    Replacement of grasslands and savannas by shrublands and woodlands has been widely reported in tropical, temperate and high-latitude rangelands worldwide (Archer 1994). These changes in vegetation structure may reflect historical shifts in climate and land use; and are likely to influence biodiversity, productivity, above- and below ground carbon and nitrogen sequestration and biophysical aspects of land surface-atmosphere interactions. The goal of our proposed research is to investigate how changes in the relative abundance of herbaceous and woody vegetation affect carbon and nitrogen dynamics across heterogeneous savannas and shrub/woodlands. By linking actual land-cover composition (derived through spectral mixture analysis of AVIRIS, TM, and AVHRR imagery) with a process-based ecosystem model, we will generate explicit predictions of the C and N storage in plants and soils resulting from changes in vegetation structure. Our specific objectives will be to (1) continue development and test applications of spectral mixture analysis across grassland-to-woodland transitions; (2) quantify temporal changes in plant and soil C and N storage and turnover for remote sensing and process model parameterization and verification; and (3) couple landscape fraction maps to an ecosystem simulation model to observe biogeochemical dynamics under changing landscape structure and climatological forcings.

  6. Interactive effects of belowground organic matter input, increased precipitation and clipping on soil carbon and nitrogen mineralization in a temperate steppe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ma, L. N.; Guo, C. Y.; Xin, X. P.; Yuan, S.; Wang, R. Z.

    2013-06-01

    Soil organic matter (SOM) inputs, increased precipitation and clipping (reducing belowground photosynthates allocation) are predicted to affect soil C and N cycling in temperate grassland ecosystems. However, the interactive effects between SOM inputs (or increased precipitation) and clipping on soil C and N mineralization in temperate steppes are still poorly understood. A field manipulation experiment was conducted to quantify the effects of SOM inputs, increased precipitation, clipping and their interactions on soil C and N mineralization in a temperate steppe of northeastern China from 2010 to 2011. The results showed that SOM inputs significantly increased soil C mineralization rate (CMR) and net N mineralization rate (NMR). Increased precipitation-induced enhancement of soil CMR essentially ceased after the first year, stimulation of soil NMR and NNR continued into the second year. However, clipping only marginally decreased soil CMR and NMR during the two years. There were significant synergistic interactions between SOM inputs (or increased precipitation) and clipping on soil CMR and NMR, as SOM inputs (or increased precipitation) showed greater effects on soil CMR and NMR under clipped plots than under unclipped plots, which could be explained by the relative shifts in soil microbial community structure because of bacterial biomass increases, and by the relative decreases in arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi biomass due to the reduction of belowground photosynthates allocation. These results highlight the importance of plants in mediating the responses of soil C and N mineralization to potentially increased SOM and precipitation by controlling belowground photosynthates allocation in the temperate steppe. Thus, the findings have important implications for improving prediction of C and N sequestration potential and its feedbacks to climate change in temperate steppe ecosystems.

  7. Stimulation of Symbiotic N2 Fixation in Trifolium repens L. under Elevated Atmospheric pCO2 in a Grassland Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zanetti, S.; Hartwig, U. A.; Luscher, A.; Hebeisen, T.; Frehner, M.; Fischer, B. U.; Hendrey, G. R.; Blum, H.; Nosberger, J.

    1996-10-01

    Symbiotic N2 fixation is one of the main processes that introduces N into terrestrial ecosystems. As such, it may be crucial for the sequestration of the extra C available in a world of continuously increasing atmospheric CO2 partial pressure (pCO2). The effect of elevated pCO2 (60 Pa) on symbiotic N2 fixation (15N-isotope dilution method) was investigated using Free-Air-CO2-Enrichment technology over a period of 3 years. Trifolium repens was cultivated either alone or together with Lolium perenne (a nonfixing reference crop) in mixed swards. Two different N fertilization levels and defoliation frequencies were applied. The total N yield increased consistently and the percentage of plant N derived from symbiotic N2 fixation increased significantly in T. repens under elevated pCO2. All additionally assimilated N was derived from symbiotic N2 fixation, not from the soil. In the mixtures exposed to elevated pCO2, an increased amount of symbiotically fixed N (+7.8, 8.2, and 6.2 g m-2 a-1 in 1993, 1994, and 1995, respectively) was introduced into the system. Increased N2 fixation is a competitive advantage for T. repens in mixed swards with pasture grasses and may be a crucial factor in maintaining the C:N ratio in the ecosystem as a whole. PMID:12226411

  8. Grassland carbon and nitrogen dynamics: effects of seasonal fire and clipping in a mixed-grass prairie of the southern great plains 

    E-print Network

    Harris, Wylie Neal

    2006-08-16

    Plant production and soil microbial biomass (SMB) in grassland ecosystems are linked by flows of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) between the two groups of organisms. In native mixed grasslands of the southern Great Plains, these cycles are strongly...

  9. Stimulation of symbiotic N{sub 2} fixation in trifolium repens L. under elevated atmospheric pCO{sub 2} in a grassland ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Zanetti, S.; Hartwig, U.A.; Luescher, A.

    1996-10-01

    Symbiotic N{sub 2} fixation is one of the main processes that introduces N into terrestrial ecosystems. As such, it may be crucial for the sequestration of the extra C available in a world of continuously increasing atmospheric CO{sub 2} partial pressure (pCO{sub 2}). The effect of elevated pCO{sub 2} (60 Pa) on symbiotic N{sub 2} fixation ({sup 15}N-isotope dilution method) was investigated using Free-Air-CO{sub 2}-Enrichment technology over a period of 3 years. Trifolium repens was cultivated either alone or together with Lolium perenne (a nonfixing reference crop) in mixed swards. Two different N fertilization levels and defoliation frequencies were applied. The total N yield increased consistently and the percentage of plant N derived from symbiotic N{sub 2} fixation increased significantly in T. repens under elevated pCO{sub 2}. All additionally assimilated N was derived from symbiotic N{sub 2} fixation, not from the soil. In the mixtures exposed to elevated pCO{sub 2}, an increased amount of symbiotically fixed N (+7.8, 8.2, and 6.2 g m{sup {minus}2} a {sup {minus}1} in 1993, 1994, and 1995, respectively) was introduced into the system. Increased N{sub 2} fixation is a competitive advantage for T. repens in mixed swards with paster grasses and may be a crucial factor in maintaining the C:N ratio in the ecosystem as a whole. 57 refs., 1 fig., 3 tabs.

  10. Water, temperature, and defoliation effects on perennial grassland respiration

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Changes in respiration can have a profound effect on ecosystem C balance. This talk will present results from eddy covariance studies describing environment and management effects on ecosystem C flux from cool- and warm-season perennial grasslands. In addition, stable C isotope studies that partitio...

  11. Evaluating Eddy Covariance Flux Filtering Methods For Producing Ecosystem-Representative Carbon Exchange Estimates For A Fetch-Limited Temperate Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Brodeur, J. J.; Peichl, M.; Arain, M.

    2013-12-01

    Producing time-integrated (daily to annual) estimates of ecosystem-atmosphere carbon exchanges from eddy covariance (EC) measurements requires the careful exclusion of non-representative fluxes prior to gap-filling model application. Half-hourly fluxes are typically excluded when atmospheric turbulence is below an acceptable level (friction velocity threshold, u*Th), or when the relative contribution from non-target surfaces is greater than a tolerable amount (footprint threshold, fpTh). In this study, we compare and evaluate a variety of commonly-used footprint- and friction velocity-filtering methods applied to six years (2006-2011) of carbon flux estimates for a fetch-limited, 74-year old planted Eastern white pine (Pinus Strobus L.) forest in southern Ontario, Canada. A data-driven approach was used, where factorial combinations of footprint models, fpTh values and u*Th determination methods were applied prior to gap-filling. Filtering applications were compared in terms of the quantity and distribution of data removed, while ANOVA and multiple comparison tests were used to quantify the influence of these applications on annual estimates of Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP), Ecosystem Respiration (RE) and Gross Ecosystem Productivity (GEP). Finally, preferred filtering applications were selected using an objective evaluation of gap-filling model performance metrics to provide information on the internal consistency of the filtered data. Results showed that the choice of footprint model and fpTh exerted a greater influence on NEP, RE and GEP estimates than the u*Th estimation method used. Variation in u*Th estimates were partly explained by footprint filtering specifications, indicating significant u*Th differences between the target forest and the surrounding forested and agricultural land. Applying the footprint model of Kljun (2004. Bound. Layer Met. 112[3]) at fpTh = 0.8 resulted in greatest improvement in model performance; increasing fpTh above this value diminished performance markedly, as insufficient input data quantity and temporal coverage caused poor parameterization. Thus, footprint filter application at this site (and likely other sites), must balance competing needs: accepting only the most representative flux data, while retaining a sufficient amount for successful gap-filling model operation. Compared to the no-footprint (control) case, applying these optimal filtering methods increased annual NEP estimates between 75 and 250 g C m-2 y-1, implying that this forest sequesters substantially more carbon annually than the surrounding landscape. NEP changes were solely attributed to decreased annual RE estimates, as GEP varied only minimally between different footprint and friction velocity applications. This result, caused by a significant day/night flux footprint discrepancy, suggests the need for half-hourly footprint filter application and analyses at all EC flux tower sites that experience measurement fetch limitations.

  12. Evaluating Eddy Covariance Flux Filtering Methods For Producing Ecosystem-Representative Carbon Exchange Estimates For A Fetch-Limited Temperate Forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bowling, D. R.; Bird, J. A.; Schmidt, S. K.

    2011-12-01

    Producing time-integrated (daily to annual) estimates of ecosystem-atmosphere carbon exchanges from eddy covariance (EC) measurements requires the careful exclusion of non-representative fluxes prior to gap-filling model application. Half-hourly fluxes are typically excluded when atmospheric turbulence is below an acceptable level (friction velocity threshold, u*Th), or when the relative contribution from non-target surfaces is greater than a tolerable amount (footprint threshold, fpTh). In this study, we compare and evaluate a variety of commonly-used footprint- and friction velocity-filtering methods applied to six years (2006-2011) of carbon flux estimates for a fetch-limited, 74-year old planted Eastern white pine (Pinus Strobus L.) forest in southern Ontario, Canada. A data-driven approach was used, where factorial combinations of footprint models, fpTh values and u*Th determination methods were applied prior to gap-filling. Filtering applications were compared in terms of the quantity and distribution of data removed, while ANOVA and multiple comparison tests were used to quantify the influence of these applications on annual estimates of Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP), Ecosystem Respiration (RE) and Gross Ecosystem Productivity (GEP). Finally, preferred filtering applications were selected using an objective evaluation of gap-filling model performance metrics to provide information on the internal consistency of the filtered data. Results showed that the choice of footprint model and fpTh exerted a greater influence on NEP, RE and GEP estimates than the u*Th estimation method used. Variation in u*Th estimates were partly explained by footprint filtering specifications, indicating significant u*Th differences between the target forest and the surrounding forested and agricultural land. Applying the footprint model of Kljun (2004. Bound. Layer Met. 112[3]) at fpTh = 0.8 resulted in greatest improvement in model performance; increasing fpTh above this value diminished performance markedly, as insufficient input data quantity and temporal coverage caused poor parameterization. Thus, footprint filter application at this site (and likely other sites), must balance competing needs: accepting only the most representative flux data, while retaining a sufficient amount for successful gap-filling model operation. Compared to the no-footprint (control) case, applying these optimal filtering methods increased annual NEP estimates between 75 and 250 g C m-2 y-1, implying that this forest sequesters substantially more carbon annually than the surrounding landscape. NEP changes were solely attributed to decreased annual RE estimates, as GEP varied only minimally between different footprint and friction velocity applications. This result, caused by a significant day/night flux footprint discrepancy, suggests the need for half-hourly footprint filter application and analyses at all EC flux tower sites that experience measurement fetch limitations.

  13. Complementary methods to distinguish organic and mineral matter in atmospheric particulate deposition and their respective nutrient inputs to temperate forest ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lequy, Émeline; Conil, Sébastien; Turpault, Marie-Pierre

    2014-03-01

    Sampling atmospheric particulate deposition (APD) in forest ecosystems highlights the need for methods to measure and analyze its organic and mineral repartition. We validated an organo-mineral repartition model of APD composition in open fields and below canopy with a mineral fraction, named mineral dust deposition (MDD), and particulate organic matter (POM). MDD is subdivided into soluble (S-MDD) and hardly soluble (H-MDD) fractions. To (i) monitor APD and its nutrient fluxes in forest ecosystems in the north of France and (ii) quantify the relative contribution of POM and MDD to APD, we adapted sampling materials and preparation methods that were developed for regions close to mineral dust sources. We have also compared two protocols. The "APD" protocol led to quick results for APD rates and POM contents. The "H-MDD" protocol is a treatment for soil samples that uses hydrogen peroxide, which solubilized both POM and S-MDD, and allowed detailed analyses of H-MDD. Both protocols induced a mass loss that was a maximum for the "H-MDD" protocol (31 ± 3%). The contribution of POM in APD in open fields (49 ± 10%) was lower than below the canopy (at least 66 ± 6%). H-MDD accounted for approximately 80% of the MDD mass and contained the largest portion of low-solubility elements (Si, Al and Fe). The fractions S-MDD and POM contained the largest portion of Ca and P (more than 70%). The two protocols were complementary and may be used successively to accurately describe APD.

  14. Grassland Coverage Changes and Analysis of the Driving Forces in Maqu County

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Qian; Zhang, Qi-peng; Zhou, Wei

    Vegetation coverage is an important indicator of weighting ecological environment; grassland ecosystem plays an important role in regional ecological safety and sustainable development. Statistics was used to analysis the grassland coverage changes in Maqu County. Results showed that: 1) the grassland coverage show decreasing trend overall, and has period characteristics; 2) changes in grass coverage both have positive and negative conversion, depending on using rationality of grassland resource; 3) Climate warming and drying and irrational exploitation activities are the main driving factors of ecological environment deterioration; 4) Prohibition grazing project have obvious effect on grassland restoration.

  15. Comparing the carbon budgets of boreal and temperate deciduous forest stands

    E-print Network

    Minnesota, University of

    Comparing the carbon budgets of boreal and temperate deciduous forest stands A.G. Barr, T and temperate deciduous forests at northern mid-latitudes play an important role in the global carbon cycle. We deciduous forest ecosystems in the boreal and temperate regions of central Canada. The two forest stands

  16. Landscape cultivation alters ?30Si signature in terrestrial ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Vandevenne, Floor I.; Delvaux, Claire; Hughes, Harold J.; André, Luc; Ronchi, Benedicta; Clymans, Wim; Barão, Lúcia; Govers, Gerard; Meire, Patrick; Struyf, Eric

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing recognition of the relevance of biological cycling for Si cycling in ecosystems and for Si export from soils to fluvial systems, effects of human cultivation on the Si cycle are still relatively understudied. Here we examined stable Si isotope (?30Si) signatures in soil water samples across a temperate land use gradient. We show that – independent of geological and climatological variation – there is a depletion in light isotopes in soil water of intensive croplands and managed grasslands relative to native forests. Furthermore, our data suggest a divergence in ?30Si signatures along the land use change gradient, highlighting the imprint of vegetation cover, human cultivation and intensity of disturbance on ?30Si patterns, on top of more conventionally acknowledged drivers (i.e. mineralogy and climate). PMID:25583031

  17. Landscape cultivation alters ?³?Si signature in terrestrial ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Vandevenne, Floor I; Delvaux, Claire; Hughes, Harold J; André, Luc; Ronchi, Benedicta; Clymans, Wim; Barão, Lúcia; Govers, Gerard; Meire, Patrick; Struyf, Eric; Cornelis, Jean-Thomas

    2015-01-01

    Despite increasing recognition of the relevance of biological cycling for Si cycling in ecosystems and for Si export from soils to fluvial systems, effects of human cultivation on the Si cycle are still relatively understudied. Here we examined stable Si isotope (?(30)Si) signatures in soil water samples across a temperate land use gradient. We show that - independent of geological and climatological variation - there is a depletion in light isotopes in soil water of intensive croplands and managed grasslands relative to native forests. Furthermore, our data suggest a divergence in ?(30)Si signatures along the land use change gradient, highlighting the imprint of vegetation cover, human cultivation and intensity of disturbance on ?(30)Si patterns, on top of more conventionally acknowledged drivers (i.e. mineralogy and climate). PMID:25583031

  18. Earthworm-Mycorrhiza Interactions Can Affect the Diversity, Structure and Functioning of Establishing Model Grassland Communities

    PubMed Central

    Zaller, Johann G.; Heigl, Florian; Grabmaier, Andrea; Lichtenegger, Claudia; Piller, Katja; Allabashi, Roza; Frank, Thomas; Drapela, Thomas

    2011-01-01

    Both earthworms and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are important ecosystem engineers co-occurring in temperate grasslands. However, their combined impacts during grassland establishment are poorly understood and have never been studied. We used large mesocosms to study the effects of different functional groups of earthworms (i.e., vertically burrowing anecics vs. horizontally burrowing endogeics) and a mix of four AMF taxa on the establishment, diversity and productivity of plant communities after a simulated seed rain of 18 grassland species comprising grasses, non-leguminous forbs and legumes. Moreover, effects of earthworms and/or AMF on water infiltration and leaching of ammonium, nitrate and phosphate were determined after a simulated extreme rainfall event (40 l m?2). AMF colonisation of all three plant functional groups was altered by earthworms. Seedling emergence and diversity was reduced by anecic earthworms, however only when AMF were present. Plant density was decreased in AMF-free mesocosms when both anecic and endogeic earthworms were active; with AMF also anecics reduced plant density. Plant shoot and root biomass was only affected by earthworms in AMF-free mesocosms: shoot biomass increased due to the activity of either anecics or endogeics; root biomass increased only when anecics were active. Water infiltration increased when earthworms were present in the mesocosms but remained unaffected by AMF. Ammonium leaching was increased only when anecics or a mixed earthworm community was active but was unaffected by AMF; nitrate and phosphate leaching was neither affected by earthworms nor AMF. Ammonium leaching decreased with increasing plant density, nitrate leaching decreased with increasing plant diversity and density. In order to understand the underlying processes of these interactions further investigations possibly under field conditions using more diverse belowground communities are required. Nevertheless, this study demonstrates that belowground-aboveground linkages involving earthworms and AMF are important mediators of the diversity, structure and functioning of plant communities. PMID:22216236

  19. Challenging the paradigm of nitrogen cycling: no evidence of in situ resource partitioning by coexisting plant species in grasslands of contrasting fertility

    PubMed Central

    Wilkinson, Anna; Hill, Paul W; Vaieretti, María V; Farrar, John F; Jones, Davey L; Bardgett, Richard D

    2015-01-01

    In monoculture, certain plant species are able to preferentially utilize different nitrogen (N) forms, both inorganic and organic, including amino acids and peptides, thus forming fundamental niches based on the chemical form of N. Results from field studies, however, are inconsistent: Some showing that coexisting plant species predominantly utilize inorganic N, while others reveal distinct interspecies preferences for different N forms. As a result, the extent to which hypothetical niches are realized in nature remains unclear. Here, we used in situ stable isotope tracer techniques to test the idea, in temperate grassland, that niche partitioning of N based on chemical form is related to plant productivity and the relative availability of organic and inorganic N. We also tested in situ whether grassland plants vary in their ability to compete for, and utilize peptides, which have recently been shown to act as an N source for plants in strongly N-limited ecosystems. We hypothesized that plants would preferentially use NO3?-N and NH4+-N over dissolved organic N in high-productivity grassland where inorganic N availability is high. On the other hand, in low-productivity grasslands, where the availability of dissolved inorganic N is low, and soil availability of dissolved organic N is greater, we predicted that plants would preferentially use N from amino acids and peptides, prior to microbial mineralization. Turves from two well-characterized grasslands of contrasting productivity and soil N availability were injected, in situ, with mixtures of 15N-labeled inorganic N (NO3? and NH4+) and 13C15N labeled amino acid (l-alanine) and peptide (l-tri-alanine). In order to measure rapid assimilation of these N forms by soil microbes and plants, the uptake of these substrates was traced within 2.5 hours into the shoots of the most abundant plant species, as well as roots and the soil microbial biomass. We found that, contrary to our hypothesis, the majority of plant species across both grasslands took up most N in the form of NH4+, suggesting that inorganic N is their predominant N source. However, we did find that organic N was a source of N which could be utilized by plant species at both sites, and in the low-productivity grassland, plants were able to capture some tri-alanine-N directly. Although our findings did not support the hypothesis that differences in the availability of inorganic and organic N facilitate resource partitioning in grassland, they do support the emerging view that peptides represent a significant, but until now neglected, component of the terrestrial N cycle. PMID:25691957

  20. Associations of grassland bird communities with black-tailed praire dogs in the North American Great Plains

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Colonial, burrowing herbivores can serve as ecosystem engineers in grassland and shrubland ecosystems by creating belowground refugia, modifying vegetation structure and composition, serving as prey, and generating landscape heterogeneity. They can also serve a keystone species role by affecting the...

  1. Convergent responses of nitrogen and phosphorus resorption to nitrogen inputs in a semiarid grassland

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Lü, Xiao-Tao; Reed, Sasha; Yu, Qiang; He, Nian-Peng; Wang, Zheng-Wen; Han, Xing-Guo

    2013-01-01

    Human activities have significantly altered nitrogen (N) availability in most terrestrial ecosystems, with consequences for community composition and ecosystem functioning. Although studies of how changes in N availability affect biodiversity and community composition are relatively common, much less remains known about the effects of N inputs on the coupled biogeochemical cycling of N and phosphorus (P), and still fewer data exist regarding how increased N inputs affect the internal cycling of these two elements in plants. Nutrient resorption is an important driver of plant nutrient economies and of the quality of litter plants produce. Accordingly, resorption patterns have marked ecological implications for plant population and community fitness, as well as for ecosystem nutrient cycling. In a semiarid grassland in northern China, we studied the effects of a wide range of N inputs on foliar nutrient resorption of two dominant grasses, Leymus chinensis and Stipa grandis. After 4 years of treatments, N and P availability in soil and N and P concentrations in green and senesced grass leaves increased with increasing rates of N addition. Foliar N and P resorption significantly decreased along the N addition gradient, implying a resorption-mediated, positive plant–soil feedback induced by N inputs. Furthermore, N : P resorption ratios were negatively correlated with the rates of N addition, indicating the sensitivity of plant N and P stoichiometry to N inputs. Taken together, the results demonstrate that N additions accelerate ecosystem uptake and turnover of both N and P in the temperate steppe and that N and P cycles are coupled in dynamic ways. The convergence of N and P resorption in response to N inputs emphasizes the importance of nutrient resorption as a pathway by which plants and ecosystems adjust in the face of increasing N availability.

  2. Temperate Evergreen Forest, Temperate Deciduous Forest, Boreal Forest

    E-print Network

    Richerson, Peter J.

    Temperate Evergreen Forest, Temperate Deciduous Forest, Boreal Forest Lectures 11 & 12 #12;Distribution of Temperate Evergreen Forest (5), Temperate Deciduous Forest (6), and Boreal Forest (8) #12;A. Lines on maps! #12;In the Temperate Evergreen Forest and in the warmer parts of the Temperate Deciduous

  3. Assessing the Effects of Grassland Management on Forage Production and Environmental Quality to Identify Paths to Ecological Intensification in Mountain Grasslands.

    PubMed

    Loucougaray, Grégory; Dobremez, Laurent; Gos, Pierre; Pauthenet, Yves; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2015-11-01

    Ecological intensification in grasslands can be regarded as a process for increasing forage production while maintaining high levels of ecosystem functions and biodiversity. In the mountain Vercors massif, where dairy cattle farming is the main component of agriculture, how to achieve forage autonomy at farm level while sustaining environmental quality for tourism and local dairy products has recently stimulated local debate. As specific management is one of the main drivers of ecosystem functioning, we assessed the response of forage production and environmental quality at grassland scale across a wide range of management practices. We aimed to determine which components of management can be harnessed to better match forage production and environmental quality. We sampled the vegetation of 51 grasslands stratified across 13 grassland types. We assessed each grassland for agronomic and environmental properties, measuring forage production, forage quality, and indices based on the abundance of particular plant species such as timing flexibility, apiarian potential, and aromatic plants. Our results revealed an expected trade-off between forage production and environmental quality, notably by stressing the contrasts between sown and permanent grasslands. However, strong within-type variability in both production and environmental quality as well as in flexibility of timing of use suggests possible ways to improve this trade-off at grassland and farm scales. As achieving forage autonomy relies on increasing both forage production and grassland resilience, our results highlight the critical role of the ratio between sown and permanent grasslands as a major path for ecological intensification in mountain grasslands. PMID:26092047

  4. Assessing the Effects of Grassland Management on Forage Production and Environmental Quality to Identify Paths to Ecological Intensification in Mountain Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Loucougaray, Grégory; Dobremez, Laurent; Gos, Pierre; Pauthenet, Yves; Nettier, Baptiste; Lavorel, Sandra

    2015-11-01

    Ecological intensification in grasslands can be regarded as a process for increasing forage production while maintaining high levels of ecosystem functions and biodiversity. In the mountain Vercors massif, where dairy cattle farming is the main component of agriculture, how to achieve forage autonomy at farm level while sustaining environmental quality for tourism and local dairy products has recently stimulated local debate. As specific management is one of the main drivers of ecosystem functioning, we assessed the response of forage production and environmental quality at grassland scale across a wide range of management practices. We aimed to determine which components of management can be harnessed to better match forage production and environmental quality. We sampled the vegetation of 51 grasslands stratified across 13 grassland types. We assessed each grassland for agronomic and environmental properties, measuring forage production, forage quality, and indices based on the abundance of particular plant species such as timing flexibility, apiarian potential, and aromatic plants. Our results revealed an expected trade-off between forage production and environmental quality, notably by stressing the contrasts between sown and permanent grasslands. However, strong within-type variability in both production and environmental quality as well as in flexibility of timing of use suggests possible ways to improve this trade-off at grassland and farm scales. As achieving forage autonomy relies on increasing both forage production and grassland resilience, our results highlight the critical role of the ratio between sown and permanent grasslands as a major path for ecological intensification in mountain grasslands.

  5. Atmospheric particulate deposition in temperate deciduous forest ecosystems: interactions with the canopy and nutrient inputs in two beech stands of Northeastern France.

    PubMed

    Lequy, Emeline; Calvaruso, Christophe; Conil, Sébastien; Turpault, Marie-Pierre

    2014-07-15

    As wood harvests are expected to increase to satisfy the need for bio-energy in Europe, quantifying atmospheric nutrient inputs in forest ecosystems is essential for forest management. Current atmospheric measurements only take into account the <0.45 ?m fraction and dry deposition is generally modeled. The aims of this study were to quantify atmospheric particulate deposition (APD), the >0.45 ?m fraction of atmospheric deposition, below the canopy, to study the influence of the canopy on APD, and to determine the influence of APD below canopy to nutrient input-output budgets with a focus on base cations calcium, magnesium and potassium, and phosphorus. APD was sampled every four weeks by passive collectors. We divided APD into an organic and a mineral fraction, respectively POM and MDD. MDD was divided into a soluble and a hardly soluble fraction in hydrogen peroxide, referred to as S-MDD and H-MDD, respectively. In order to better understand the influence of the canopy on APD, we studied APD in three pathways below the canopy (litterfall, stemflow and throughfall), and in open field. Our results indicated that APD in throughfall (123 ± 64 kg ha(-1)year(-1)) was significantly higher and synchronic with that in open field (33 ±9 kg ha(-1)year(-1)) in the two study sites. This concerned both POM and MDD, suggesting a large interception of APD by foliar surfaces, which is rapidly washed off by rain within four weeks. Throughfall H-MDD was the main pathway with an average of 16 ± 2 kg ha(-1)year(-1). Stemflow and litterfall were neglected. In one study site, canopy intercepted about 8 kg ha(-1)year(-1) of S-MDD. Although base cations and phosphorus inputs by APD are lower than those of <0.45 ?m deposition, they contributed from 5 to 32% to atmospheric deposition and improved the nutrient budget in one of the study sites. PMID:24784745

  6. Phytoplankton photosynthetic activity dynamics in a temperate macrotidal ecosystem (the Strait of Dover, eastern English Channel): Time scales of variability and environmental control

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Houliez, Emilie; Lizon, Fabrice; Lefebvre, Sébastien; Artigas, Luis Felipe; Schmitt, François G.

    2015-07-01

    The temporal variability in phytoplankton photosynthetic activity was studied in the coastal waters of the Strait of Dover and related to environmental conditions. Phytoplankton photosynthetic activity data collected from October 2008 and August 2010 at different time scales (hourly to interannual) using a nested sampling design are presented. Photosynthetic parameters including the maximum quantum yield (Fv/Fm), maximal light utilization efficiency (?), maximum electron transport rate (ETRm) and light saturation coefficient (Ek) were measured using Pulse Amplitude Modulation (PAM) fluorometry. Information on the taxonomic composition of phytoplankton assemblages and physicochemical parameters were also collected. Marked changes in photosynthetic parameters were observed at the different time scales investigated. The variability of photosynthetic parameters at sub-seasonal scale (hourly to monthly) could be of the same order of magnitude as at seasonal scale. At short time scale (hour to week), there was no consistent pattern of diel periodicity in photosynthetic parameters. There was a decline of ETRm and ? during the day as often as there was a peak at the maximum of irradiance. Light conditions were the main influencing factor on photosynthetic parameters at these time scales. The optimal use of incident irradiance seemed focused on between-day rather than within-day variability. At longer time scale (seasonal to interannual), close interplays between shifts in community taxonomic composition and changes in the physicochemical characteristics of the environment controlled the variability in photosynthetic parameters. Whatever the time scale and period of year considered, variability in photosynthetic parameters was "Ek-independent". In well-mixed macrotidal ecosystems, such as the Strait of Dover, a nested sampling design allowing to characterize the short- (intraday and daily) as well as long-term variability (within months, monthly, seasonal, annual and interannual) in photosynthetic parameters is required to get a suitable picture of phytoplankton photosynthesis and avoid potential problems of aliasing.

  7. A new tower-based hyperspectral system for the estimation of CO2 fluxes and biophysical parameters in a subalpine grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Vescovo, L.; Gianelle, D.; Marcolla, B.; Zaldei, A.; Sakowska, K.

    2013-12-01

    Linking optical remote sensing with carbon fluxes and biophysical parameters is critical to exploit spatial and temporal extensive information useful for validating model simulations at different scales. Proximal sensing is fundamental to quantify and understand the seasonal dynamics of ecosystems and to upscale the observations carried out at the ground level. In this study, we present the results from an ongoing research project at the FLUXNET eddy covariance site of Monte Bondone (Italy). The site is located at 1550 m a.s.l. on a mountain plateau in the Italian Alps (Viote del Monte Bondone). The area is managed as an extensively-managed meadow, cut once a year, and dominated by Nardus stricta and Festuca nigrescens. The climate of this area is sub-continental (warm and wet summer), with precipitation peaks in spring and autumn. A new hyperspectral system (WhiteRef Box, developed by Fondazione Edmund Mach in collaboration with the Institute of Biometeorology, CNR, Italy) based on the ASD FieldSpec spectrometer (spectral range 350-2500 nm, resolution ~3 nm at 700 nm) was designed to acquire continuous radiometric measurements. The system was installed on the eddy covariance tower at a height of 6 m, with a field of view of 25°. To obtain reflectance values, white panel radiance spectra and canopy radiance spectra were collected every 5 minutes between 10:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m. (solar time) during the growing season of 2013. In addition, measurements of biophysical parameters such as above-ground biomass, fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (fAPAR), Plant Area Index, Canopy Chlorophyll Content, Canopy Water Content and Green Herbage Ratio were performed at weekly intervals within the spectrometer footprint (~5 m2). In this work, we present some preliminary results regarding the potential of spectral vegetation indices - based on VNIR and SWIR spectral bands- for capturing seasonal trends of CO2 fluxes as well as vegetation biophysical parameters dynamics. Spectral vegetation indices sensitive to chlorophyll content (such as Meris Terrestrial ChIorophyll Index, Vogelmann Indices) showed a good linear correlation with fAPAR, daily Gross Primary Production and chlorophyll content (R2> 0.8 for all the three variables). The SWIR-based Vegetation Indices (e.g. Normalised Difference Infrared Index, Moisture Stress Index) confirmed their ability to estimate Canopy Water Content. Most of the analyzed indices showed to be linearly related with Green Herbage Ratio (explaining more than 80% of variance). The Near Infrared Difference Index (Vescovo et al., 2012) confirmed his potential in predicting canopy structural parameters such as Plant Area Index and biomass (R2> 0.90).

  8. A minimal model of fire-vegetation feedbacks and disturbance stochasticity generates alternative stable states in grassland-shrubland-woodland systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Batllori, Enric; Ackerly, David D.; Moritz, Max A.

    2015-03-01

    Altered disturbance regimes in the context of global change are likely to have profound consequences for ecosystems. Interactions between fire and vegetation are of particular interest, as fire is a major driver of vegetation change, and vegetation properties (e.g., amount, flammability) alter fire regimes. Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs) constitute a paradigmatic example of temperate fire-prone vegetation. Although these ecosystems may be heavily impacted by global change, disturbance regime shifts and the implications of fire-vegetation feedbacks in the dynamics of such biomes are still poorly characterized. We developed a minimal modeling framework incorporating key aspects of fire ecology and successional processes to evaluate the relative influence of extrinsic and intrinsic factors on disturbance and vegetation dynamics in systems composed of grassland, shrubland, and woodland mosaics, which characterize many MTEs. In this theoretical investigation, we performed extensive simulations representing different background rates of vegetation succession and disturbance regime (fire frequency and severity) processes that reflect a broad range of MTE environmental conditions. Varying fire-vegetation feedbacks can lead to different critical points in underlying processes of disturbance and sudden shifts in the vegetation state of grassland-shrubland-woodland systems, despite gradual changes in ecosystem drivers as defined by the environment. Vegetation flammability and disturbance stochasticity effectively modify system behavior, determining its heterogeneity and the existence of alternative stable states in MTEs. Small variations in system flammability and fire recurrence induced by climate or vegetation changes may trigger sudden shifts in the state of such ecosystems. The existence of threshold dynamics, alternative stable states, and contrasting system responses to environmental change has broad implications for MTE management.

  9. Prescribed fire, soil nitrogen dynamics, and plant responses in a semiarid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fire is a key driver of the structure and function of grassland ecosystems. In arid and semiarid ecosystems, where moisture limits plant production more than light, fire can potentially affect ecosystem dynamics through changes in soil moisture, temperature, and nitrogen cycling, as well as through ...

  10. Shrub expansion in northern Chihuahuan Desert grasslands: spatial patterns and biophysical constraints Darroc Goolsby1,3, Brandon Bestelmeyer1,3,4, Steve Archer2,3

    E-print Network

    Archer, Steven R.

    Shrub expansion in northern Chihuahuan Desert grasslands: spatial patterns and biophysical to the structure, function and biological diversity of desert grassland and shrub savanna ecosystems into two categories: (i) how to prevent shrub encroachment; and (ii) how to restore grasslands once shrub

  11. Effects of Grassland Restoration on Avian Assemblage Characteristics and Dickcissel Nesting Success in Texas 

    E-print Network

    Lituma, Christopher M.

    2010-07-14

    , including: grazing, row-crop farming, depressed fire regimes, and exotic grass species introduction. In Texas, 35% of the historic grassland ecosystems have been either altered or converted. Introduced in the 1940's, exotic grass species such as Bermuda...

  12. Effects of grassland restoration efforts on mound-building ants in the Chihuahuan Desert

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shrub encroachment is a serious problem in arid environments worldwide because of potential reductions in ecosystem services and negative effects on biodiversity. In southwestern USA, Chihuahuan Desert grasslands have experienced long-term encroachment by shrubs including creosotebush (Larrea triden...

  13. Residual Characteristics of Picloram In Grassland Ecosystems

    E-print Network

    Bovey, R. W.; Scifres, C. J.

    1971-01-01

    in Texas sprayed in 1963 and 1964 were determined with bioassay by safflower (Caratham~rs tilzctoria L. var. U.S. 10) (Table 2). So' sampled at several locations approximately I to I' years after treatment at rates up to 4 and 8 jmunl! per acre usually...

  14. [Impacts of Ochotona pallasi disturbance on alpine grassland community characteristics].

    PubMed

    Zhao, Guo-qin; Li, Guang-yong; Ma, Wen-hu; Zhao, Dian-zhi; Li, Xiao-yan

    2013-08-01

    Plateau pika is the main fossorial mammal in the alpine grassland in Qinghai Lake Watershed of Northwest China. Based on the field investigation data from 18 alpine grassland quadrats in the Watershed, and by using redundancy analysis (RDA) and the surface fitting offered by 'R-Vegan' , the disturbance intensity of plateau pika (Ochotona pallasi) was classified as four levels. In order to explore the impacts of plateau pika disturbance on the alpine grassland ecosystem and its grazing quality, the community characteristics under different disturbance intensities by plateau pika were analyzed, and a conceptual model about the alpine grassland community succession was proposed. The results showed that with the increase of the disturbance intensity, the dominant species changed from Juncus roemerianus to Poa pratensis and Laux maritima. When the disturbance was small, the community had high quantitative values of coverage, aboveground biomass, biodiversity, and species richness, but the proportion of weeds was also high. When the disturbance was large, the quantitative values were the lowest, while the proportion of weeds was the highest. When the disturbance was moderate, the community had relatively high quantitative values, and the proportion of grasses and sedges was the highest. It was concluded that the community' s characteristic values under low plateau pika disturbance intensity were high but the grazing quality was low, while high disturbance intensity resulted in the grassland degradation. Therefore, the disturbance intensity in the threshold could maintain the stability of alpine grassland ecosystem and improve its grazing quality. PMID:24380328

  15. Soil Warming and Carbon Release: Varying Patterns of Organic Matter Breakdown Across Five Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Billings, S. A.; Barich, D.; Munson, E.

    2008-12-01

    Our understanding of the mechanisms governing soil organic carbon (SOC) retention vs. loss as CO2 in the future suffers from an inability to predict how mineralization of labile vs. recalcitrant SOC will proceed with warming. Incubation and field studies of soil warming have resulted in conflicting conclusions about how multiple SOC pools will respond to rising temperatures. In this study, we explore SOC transformations in a long-term incubation with warming from five North American ecosystems by assessing respired CO2 and solid state 13C nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra of non-incubated and cool vs. warm incubated soils. We also quantified extra-cellular enzyme activities (EEA) late in the incubation to assess how relatively slow-turnover SOC pools responded to warming. Soils from a cool temperate forest, a warm temperate forest, and a temperate grassland released an average of 95% more CO2 when warmed by the end of the 200 d incubation. Soils from a boreal forest and acidic arctic tundra released slightly more CO2 with warming during the first 20 d of the incubation, but after day 20 and until day 200 CO2 released by warmed soils was equivalent to the control soils. NMR spectra and EEA data suggest varying responses of these ecosystems' SOC pools to warming. Arctic tundra soils did not experience a change in the kinds of C compounds mineralized with warming, yet EEA data indicate greater acquisition of C from phenolic compounds. Boreal forest soil NMR spectra suggest greater net humification with warming, with only slight increases in enzymatic C acquisition. These soils may have experienced an increase in C use efficiency with warming that resulted in acquired C not being "wasted" on respiration. Cool temperate forest soils exhibited no change in the kinds of C accessed by microbes with warming, as revealed via NMR, in spite of these soils' greater C acquisition and respiration with warming. Grassland soils experienced an increase in humification with warming, associated with an increase in CO2 released. Warm temperate forest soils, in contrast, exhibited less humification with warming. These data suggest that changing microbial C use efficiency with warming is an important and relatively unexplored determinant governing the net influence of warming on SOC transformations and eventual CO2 release.

  16. Monitoring Rehabilitation in Temperate North American Estuaries

    SciTech Connect

    Rice, Casimir A.; Hood, W Gregory; Tear, Lucinda M.; Simenstad, Charles; Williams, Gregory D.; Johnson, L. L.; Feist, B. E.; Roni, P.

    2005-02-01

    In this chapter, we propose that monitoring rehabilitation in estuarine ecosystems by necessity requires quantifying relationships between dynamic estuarine processes and sensitive indicators of ecosystem function. While we do discuss temperate systems in general, emphasis is placed on anadromous salmon habitats in the Pacific Northwest because anadromous fishes are such a major focus of rehabilitation efforts, and present some of the greater challenges in linking function of one segment of their life history to conditions in a specific habitat. We begin with a basic overview of the ecological and socioeconomic significance of, as well as anthropogenic effects on, estuaries. Next, we briefly summarize the various kinds of estuarine rehabilitation historically practiced in temperate regions, and review estuarine rehabilitation monitoring design and methods, highlighting the unique challenges involved in monitoring estuarine systems. We then close with a summary and conclusions.

  17. The greenhouse gas balance of European grasslands.

    PubMed

    Chang, Jinfeng; Ciais, Philippe; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Sultan, Benjamin; Soussana, Jean-François

    2015-10-01

    The greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of European grasslands (EU-28 plus Norway and Switzerland), including CO2 , CH4 and N2 O, is estimated using the new process-based biogeochemical model ORCHIDEE-GM over the period 1961-2010. The model includes the following: (1) a mechanistic representation of the spatial distribution of management practice; (2) management intensity, going from intensively to extensively managed; (3) gridded simulation of the carbon balance at ecosystem and farm scale; and (4) gridded simulation of N2 O and CH4 emissions by fertilized grassland soils and livestock. The external drivers of the model are changing animal numbers, nitrogen fertilization and deposition, land-use change, and variable CO2 and climate. The carbon balance of European grassland (NBP) is estimated to be a net sink of 15 ± 7 g C m(-2 ) year(-1) during 1961-2010, equivalent to a 50-year continental cumulative soil carbon sequestration of 1.0 ± 0.4 Pg C. At the farm scale, which includes both ecosystem CO2 fluxes and CO2 emissions from the digestion of harvested forage, the net C balance is roughly halved, down to a small sink, or nearly neutral flux of 8 g C m(-2 ) year(-1) . Adding CH4 and N2 O emissions to net ecosystem exchange to define the ecosystem-scale GHG balance, we found that grasslands remain a net GHG sink of 19 ± 10 g C-CO2 equiv. m(-2 ) year(-1) , because the CO2 sink offsets N2 O and grazing animal CH4 emissions. However, when considering the farm scale, the GHG balance (NGB) becomes a net GHG source of -50 g C-CO2 equiv. m(-2 ) year(-1) . ORCHIDEE-GM simulated an increase in European grassland NBP during the last five decades. This enhanced NBP reflects the combination of a positive trend of net primary production due to CO2 , climate and nitrogen fertilization and the diminishing requirement for grass forage due to the Europe-wide reduction in livestock numbers. PMID:26059550

  18. Model-data fusion across ecosystems: from multisite optimizations to global simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuppel, S.; Peylin, P.; Maignan, F.; Chevallier, F.; Kiely, G.; Montagnani, L.; Cescatti, A.

    2014-11-01

    This study uses a variational data assimilation framework to simultaneously constrain a global ecosystem model with eddy covariance measurements of daily net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and latent heat (LE) fluxes from a large number of sites grouped in seven plant functional types (PFTs). It is an attempt to bridge the gap between the numerous site-specific parameter optimization works found in the literature and the generic parameterization used by most land surface models within each PFT. The present multisite approach allows deriving PFT-generic sets of optimized parameters enhancing the agreement between measured and simulated fluxes at most of the sites considered, with performances often comparable to those of the corresponding site-specific optimizations. Besides reducing the PFT-averaged model-data root-mean-square difference (RMSD) and the associated daily output uncertainty, the optimization improves the simulated CO2 balance at tropical and temperate forests sites. The major site-level NEE adjustments at the seasonal scale are reduced amplitude in C3 grasslands and boreal forests, increased seasonality in temperate evergreen forests, and better model-data phasing in temperate deciduous broadleaf forests. Conversely, the poorer performances in tropical evergreen broadleaf forests points to deficiencies regarding the modelling of phenology and soil water stress for this PFT. An evaluation with data-oriented estimates of photosynthesis (GPP - gross primary productivity) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) rates indicates distinctively improved simulations of both gross fluxes. The multisite parameter sets are then tested against CO2 concentrations measured at 53 locations around the globe, showing significant adjustments of the modelled seasonality of atmospheric CO2 concentration, whose relevance seems PFT-dependent, along with an improved interannual variability. Lastly, a global-scale evaluation with remote sensing NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) measurements indicates an improvement of the simulated seasonal variations of the foliar cover for all considered PFTs.

  19. Species interaction mechanisms maintain grassland plant species diversity

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Theory has outpaced empirical research in pursuit of identifying mechanisms maintaining species diversity. Here we demonstrate how data from diversity-ecosystem functioning experiments can be used to test maintenance of diversity theory. We predict that grassland plant diversity can be maintained by...

  20. Stability of production and plant species diversity in managed grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Plant biodiversity theory suggests that increased plant species diversity contributes to the stability of ecosystems. In managed grasslands, such as pastures, greater stability of herbage production would be beneficial. In this retrospective study, I used data from three reports from the 1930s, 1940...

  1. Disentangling root responses to climate change in a semiarid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Future ecosystem properties of grasslands will be driven largely by belowground plant biomass responses to climate change, whose understanding has been limited by experimental and technical constraints. We use a multi-faceted approach and a factorial field experiment to explore impacts of elevated C...

  2. Diverse mechanisms for CO2 effects on grassland litter decomposition

    E-print Network

    Dukes, Jeffrey

    Diverse mechanisms for CO2 effects on grassland litter decomposition J E F F R E Y S . D U K E potentially alter litter decomposition rates by changing: (i) the litter quality of individual species, (ii to be the dominant mechanisms through which ecosystem-level decomposition rates respond to increasing atmospheric [CO

  3. Seasonal not annual rainfall determines grassland biomass response to carbon dioxide

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hovenden, Mark J.; Newton, Paul C. D.; Wills, Karen E.

    2014-07-01

    The rising atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide (CO2) should stimulate ecosystem productivity, but to what extent is highly uncertain, particularly when combined with changing temperature and precipitation. Ecosystem response to CO2 is complicated by biogeochemical feedbacks but must be understood if carbon storage and associated dampening of climate warming are to be predicted. Feedbacks through the hydrological cycle are particularly important and the physiology is well known; elevated CO2 reduces stomatal conductance and increases plant water use efficiency (the amount of water required to produce a unit of plant dry matter). The CO2 response should consequently be strongest when water is limiting; although this has been shown in some experiments, it is absent from many. Here we show that large annual variation in the stimulation of above-ground biomass by elevated CO2 in a mixed C3/C4 temperate grassland can be predicted accurately using seasonal rainfall totals; summer rainfall had a positive effect but autumn and spring rainfall had negative effects on the CO2 response. Thus, the elevated CO2 effect mainly depended upon the balance between summer and autumn/spring rainfall. This is partly because high rainfall during cool, moist seasons leads to nitrogen limitation, reducing or even preventing biomass stimulation by elevated CO2. Importantly, the prediction held whether plots were warmed by 2 °C or left unwarmed, and was similar for C3 plants and total biomass, allowing us to make a powerful generalization about ecosystem responses to elevated CO2. This new insight is particularly valuable because climate projections predict large changes in the timing of rainfall, even where annual totals remain static. Our findings will help resolve apparent differences in the outcomes of CO2 experiments and improve the formulation and interpretation of models that are insensitive to differences in the seasonal effects of rainfall on the CO2 response.

  4. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert.

    PubMed

    Petrie, M D; Collins, S L; Swann, A M; Ford, P L; Litvak, M E

    2015-03-01

    The replacement of native C4 -dominated grassland by C3 -dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be enhanced ecosystem carbon sequestration, although the responses of arid and semiarid ecosystems may be highly variable. During a drier than average period from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, we found established shrubland to sequester 49 g C m(-2) yr(-1) on average, while nearby native C4 grassland was a net source of 31 g C m(-2) yr(-1) over this same period. Differences in C exchange between these ecosystems were pronounced--grassland had similar productivity compared to shrubland but experienced higher C efflux via ecosystem respiration, while shrubland was a consistent C sink because of a longer growing season and lower ecosystem respiration. At daily timescales, rates of carbon exchange were more sensitive to soil moisture variation in grassland than shrubland, such that grassland had a net uptake of C when wet but lost C when dry. Thus, even under unfavorable, drier than average climate conditions, the state transition from grassland to shrubland resulted in a substantial increase in terrestrial C sequestration. These results illustrate the inherent tradeoffs in quantifying ecosystem services that result from ecological state transitions, such as shrub encroachment. In this case, the deleterious changes to ecosystem services often linked to grassland to shrubland state transitions may at least be partially offset by increased ecosystem carbon sequestration. PMID:25266205

  5. Multiple constraints on grassland evapotranspiration: implications for closing the energy balance

    PubMed Central

    Wohlfahrt, Georg; Irschick, Christoph; Thalinger, Bettina; Hörtnagl, Lukas; Obojes, Nikolaus; Hammerle, Albin

    2013-01-01

    When using the eddy covariance (EC) method for measuring the ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of sensible and latent heat, it is not uncommon to find that these two energy fluxes fall short of available energy by 20-30 %. As the causes for the energy imbalance are still under discussion, it is currently not clear how the energy balance should be closed. The objective of the present paper is to use independent measurements of evapotranspiration (ET) for empirically devising on how to best close the energy balance. To this end ET of a temperate mountain grassland was quantified during two measurement campaigns using both an open- and a closed-path EC system, lysimeters and an approach scaling up leaf-level stomatal conductance to canopy level transpiration. Our study showed that both EC systems underestimated ET measured independently by lysimeters and the up-scaling approach. Best correspondence to independently measured ET was achieved by assigning the entire energy imbalance to ET and by adjusting ET according to the average energy balance ratio during the first and second measurement campaign, respectively. Due to a large spatial variability in ET during the first measurement campaign and given large differences in spatial scale between the EC and the independent methods, we are more confident with the comparison of approaches during the second measurement campaign and thus recommend forcing energy balance closure by adjusting for the average energy balance ratio. PMID:24339743

  6. Behavior of multitemporal and multisensor passive microwave indices in Southern Hemisphere ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Barraza, Veronica; Grings, Francisco; Ferrazzoli, Paolo; Huete, Alfredo; Restrepo-Coupe, Natalia; Beringer, Jason; Van Gorsel, Eva; Karszenbaum, Haydee

    2014-12-01

    This study focused on the time series analysis of passive microwave and optical satellite data collected from six Southern Hemisphere ecosystems in Australia and Argentina. The selected ecosystems represent a wide range of land cover types, including deciduous open forest, temperate forest, tropical and semiarid savannas, and grasslands. We used two microwave indices, the frequency index (FI) and polarization index (PI), to assess the relative contributions of soil and vegetation properties (moisture and structure) to the observations. Optical-based satellite vegetation products from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer were also included to aid in the analysis. We studied the X and Ka bands of the Advanced Microwave Scanning Radiometer-EOS and Wind Satellite, resulting in up to four observations per day (1:30, 6:00, 13:30, and 18:00 h). Both the seasonal and hourly variations of each of the indices were examined. Environmental drivers (precipitation and temperature) and eddy covariance measurements (gross ecosystem productivity and latent energy) were also analyzed. It was found that in moderately dense forests, FI was dependent on canopy properties (leaf area index and vegetation moisture). In tropical woody savannas, a significant regression (R2) was found between FI and PI with precipitation (R2 > 0.5) and soil moisture (R2 > 0.6). In the areas of semiarid savanna and grassland ecosystems, FI variations found to be significantly related to soil moisture (R2 > 0.7) and evapotranspiration (R2 > 0.5), while PI varied with vegetation phenology. Significant differences (p < 0.01) were found among FI values calculated at the four local times.

  7. Seasonal distribution of net primary production in Chihuahuan Desert shrublands and grasslands in response to precipitation from 1990-2010

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In arid and semiarid regions around the world, extensive areas of grasslands have been replaced by shrublands. A better understanding of the ecology of these shrublands compared to historical grasslands would help land managers make decisions for the sustainable provision of ecosystem goods and s...

  8. A common framework for greenhouse gas assessment protocols in temperate agroforestry systems: Connecting via GRACEnet

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Agroforestry systems offer many ecosystem benefits, but such systems have previously been marginalized in temperate environments due to overriding economic goals and perceived management complexity. In view of adaptation to a changing climate, agroforestry systems offer advantages that require quan...

  9. PERSISTENCE OF DESERTIFIED ECOSYSTEMS: EXPLANATIONS AND IMPLICATIONS

    EPA Science Inventory

    Studies of rainfall partitioning by shrubs, responses of shrub-dominated ecosystems to herbicide treatment, and experiments using drought and supplemental rainfall were conducted to test the hypothesis that the shrub-dominated ecosystems that have replaced desert grasslands are r...

  10. The ten-ecosystem study investigation plan

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kan, E. P.

    1976-01-01

    With the continental United States divided into ten forest and grassland ecosystems, the Ten Ecosystem Study (TES) is designed to investigate the feasibility and applicability of state-of-the-art automatic data processing remote sensing technology to inventory forest, grassland, and water resources by using Land Satellite data. The study will serve as a prelude to a possible future nationwide remote sensing application to inventory forest and rangeland renewable resources. This plan describes project design and phases, the ten ecosystem, data utilization and output, personnel organization, resource requirements, and schedules and milestones.

  11. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Wang, Tao; Cozic, Anne; Lardy, Romain; Graux, Anne-Isabelle; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphael; Soussana, Jean-François

    2013-04-01

    Grassland is a widespread vegetation type, covering nearly one-fifth of the world's land surface (24 million km2), and playing a significant role in the global carbon (C) cycle. Most of grasslands in Europe are cultivated to feed animals, either directly by grazing or indirectly by grass harvest (cutting). A better understanding of the C fluxes from grassland ecosystems in response to climate and management requires not only field experiments but also the aid of simulation models. ORCHIDEE process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications treats grasslands as being unmanaged, where C / water fluxes are only subject to atmospheric CO2 and climate changes. Our study describes how management of grasslands is included in the ORCHIDEE, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (Grassland Management) is capable with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), of accounting for two grassland management practices (cutting and grazing). The evaluation of the results of ORCHIDEE-GM compared with those of ORCHIDEE at 11 European sites equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, show that ORCHIDEE-GM can capture realistically the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: Leaf Area Index; AGB: Aboveground Biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: Gross Primary Productivity; TER: Total Ecosystem Respiration; and NEE: Net Ecosystem Exchange). But improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM, which relates to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better simulated in ORCHIDEE-GM than in ORCHIDEE without management. At some sites, the model-observation misfit in ORCHIDEE-GM is found to be more related to ill-constrained parameter values than to model structure. Additionally, ORCHIDEE-GM is able to simulate forage yield, herbage consumption, animal products (e.g. milk), animal respiration and animal CH4 emissions. These new variables combined with organic C fertilizer applied on the field could provide a more complete view of grasslands C fluxes for applications of the model on a grid. The 11 site simulations of this study show that European grasslands generally are C sinks (positive NBP). At grazed grasslands, both C export in the form of milk production and CH4 emissions by animals only consist a minor part of net primary production (NPP), and this means that NBP mainly depends on NPP. On the contrary, the cut sites accumulate less C in soils because a large part of NPP has been exported as forage production. Furthermore, theoretically potential of productivity and livestock density in European grassland can be predicted by ORCHIDEE-GM, based on the strategy modeling of the optimal livestock density and management change.

  12. Economics of Grassland Conversion

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In this paper we provide an overview of economic factors that contribute to changes in grassland area including the relative profitability of crop and livestock production, effects of land productivity, and effects of conversion costs. We also identify other potential socio-economic influences on gr...

  13. The Impact of Climate Variability on the Wildfire Behaviour of Distinct Land Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Viegas, L.; Stevenson, D.; Merchant, C.

    2009-04-01

    The objective of our research is to investigate the impact of climate variability on geographic, ecological, seasonal and inter-annual distributions and magnitudes of biomass burning and on the correspondent quantity and quality of pyrogenic emissions, across a variety of ecosystems. With this purpose, we used 10 years of monthly, 1°x1° gridded burnt fraction and pyrogenic emissions data, from the Global Fire Emissions Database version 2 (GFEDv2), together with land-cover data, from the Goddard Institute of Space Studies (GISS), and with climate data from ECMWF reanalyses, the Global Precipitation Climatology Project (GPCP) and the Global Hydrology Resource Centre (GHRC). Knowledge about the ecosystems -- climatology, topography, orography, vegetation species and structure -- did not influence the statistical analyses themselves, which relied only on data for 1°x1° resolution pixels, but it was used before and after, first to choose eco-regions (ecosystems within geographical regions) with a reasonable ecological, geographic and climatic homogeneity, and then to draw conclusions and explanations. Overall, the climate parameters that showed significant statistical relationships with burnt area (absolute rank-correlations above 70%), in more eco-regions, were air and soil temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind and lightning density, and also precipitation and snow cover up to 6 months preceeding the fire season. The most extreme cases of inter-annual variability occurred in equatorial rainforests. These ecosystems rarely burn, since they are sparsely populated and lightning strikes are almost always simultaneous with rain, but, when fires do occur, like during ENSO related droughts, a great quantity of carbon is released to the atmosphere, because of the rainforests rich content in fuel loads. Monsoon moist-deciduous forests also became very prone to fires, in years when the onset of the rainy season was delayed. Earlier snow melt and/or diminished winter precipitation appeared associated with larger burnt areas during the fire season in northern temperate forests. The world ecosystems with more wildfires were grasslands and tropical/ subtropical drought-deciduous woodlands and shrublands. In subtropical shrublands and grasslands, fires tended to repeat the same behaviour year after year, with shrubs and grass growing quickly during the wet summer season, particularly with positive anomalies of relative humidity and rainfall, and then burning easily during the dry winter season, specially with positive temperature anomalies and fast winds. The strongest positive rank-correlations between wildfires and air or soil temperature (above +0.8) were found in African grasslands with 10-40% wood cover. The strongest negative rank-correlations with air humidity and rainfall (below -0.7) were also found mostly in African ecosystems: grasslands, tropical rainforests, tropical/ subtropical evergreen broad-leaved forests, evergreen sclerophyllous woodlands, tropical/ subtropical drought-deciduous forests and woodlands and xeromorphic shrublands. In African tropical regions, burnt area was negatively rank-correlated (below -0.75) with lightning, because thunderstorms are usually followed by convective rain; in subtropical regions, where many lightning strikes occur during dry weather, rank-correlations became positive, albeit weakly (below +0.4). It was also in Africa that burnt area was more strongly positively linked with fast winds: in tropical/ subtropical drought-deciduous woodlands (above +0.8) and in grasslands and shrublands (above +0.6). Relative humidity was generally found to be the most useful predictor of wildfire activity, but good statistical models with humidity as the predictor (correlations above 80% between real and predicted burnt area and residuals normally distributed) were found almost exclusively in grasslands and shrublands, especially in Africa, where fire behaviour was more regular. In forests and woodlands, where wildfires had more irregular patterns, and fire return periods were larger, there were not enou

  14. ECOSYSTEM ECOLOGY -ORIGINAL PAPER Rapid topdown regulation of plant C:N:P stoichiometry

    E-print Network

    Elser, Jim

    by grasshoppers in an Inner Mongolia grassland ecosystem Guangming Zhang · Xingguo Han · James J. Elser Received. An experiment manipulating densities of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus was per- formed to assess top­down effects of grasshoppers on C:N:P stoichiometry of plants and soil in a grassland ecosystem in Inner

  15. Model-data fusion across ecosystems: from multi-site optimizations to global simulations

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuppel, S.; Peylin, P.; Maignan, F.; Chevallier, F.; Kiely, G.; Montagnani, L.; Cescatti, A.

    2014-05-01

    This study uses a variational data assimilation framework to simultaneously constrain a global ecosystem model with eddy covariance measurements of daily net carbon (NEE) and latent heat (LE) fluxes from a large number of sites grouped in seven plant functional types (PFTs). It is an attempt to bridge the gap between the numerous site-specific parameter optimization works found in the literature and the generic parameterization used by most land surface models within each PFT. The present multi-site approach allows deriving PFT-generic sets of optimized parameters enhancing the agreement between measured and simulated fluxes at most of the sites considered, with performances often comparable to those of the corresponding site-specific optimizations. Besides reducing the PFT-averaged model-data root-mean-square difference (RMSD) and the associated daily output uncertainty, the optimization improves the simulated CO2 balance at tropical and temperate forests sites. The major site-level NEE adjustments at the seasonal scale are: reduced amplitude in C3 grasslands and boreal forests, increased seasonality in temperate evergreen forests, and better model-data phasing in temperate deciduous broadleaf forests. Conversely, the poorer performances in tropical evergreen broadleaf forests points to deficiencies regarding the modeling of phenology and soil water stress for this PFT. An evaluation with data-oriented estimates of photosynthesis (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco) rates indicates distinctively improved simulations of both gross fluxes. The multi-site parameter sets are then tested against CO2 concentrations measured at 53 locations around the globe, showing significant adjustments of the modeled seasonality of atmospheric CO2 concentration, whose relevance seems PFT-dependent, along with an improved interannual variability. Lastly, a global scale evaluation with remote sensing NDVI measurements indicates an improvement of the simulated seasonal variations of the foliar cover for all considered PFTs.

  16. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland.

    PubMed

    Ng, B J L; Hutyra, L R; Nguyen, H; Cobb, A R; Kai, F M; Harvey, C; Gandois, L

    2015-08-01

    Turfgrass covers a large fraction of the urbanized landscape, but the carbon exchange of urban lawns is poorly understood. We used eddy covariance and flux chambers in a grassland field manipulative experiment to quantify the carbon mass balance in a Singapore tropical turfgrass. We also assessed how management and variations in environmental factors influenced CO2 respiration. Standing aboveground turfgrass biomass was 80 gC m(-2), with a mean ecosystem respiration of 7.9 ± 1.1 ?mol m(-2) s(-1). The contribution of autotrophic respiration was 49-76% of total ecosystem respiration. Both chamber and eddy covariance measurements suggest the system was in approximate carbon balance. While we did not observe a significant relationship between the respiration rates and soil temperature or moisture, daytime fluxes increased during the rainy interval, indicating strong overall moisture sensitivity. Turfgrass biomass is small, but given its abundance across the urban landscape, it significantly influences diurnal CO2 concentrations. PMID:24998996

  17. Impacts of Tree Rows on Grassland Birds and Potential Nest Predators: A Removal Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine A.; Sample, David W.; Fawcett, Megan J.; Dadisman, John D.

    2013-01-01

    Globally, grasslands and the wildlife that inhabit them are widely imperiled. Encroachment by shrubs and trees has widely impacted grasslands in the past 150 years. In North America, most grassland birds avoid nesting near woody vegetation. Because woody vegetation fragments grasslands and potential nest predator diversity and abundance is often greater along wooded edge and grassland transitions, we measured the impacts of removing rows of trees and shrubs that intersected grasslands on potential nest predators and the three most abundant grassland bird species (Henslow’s sparrow [Ammodramus henslowii], Eastern meadowlark [Sturnella magna], and bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) at sites in Wisconsin, U.S.A. We monitored 3 control and 3 treatment sites, for 1 yr prior to and 3 yr after tree row removal at the treatment sites. Grassland bird densities increased (2–4 times for bobolink and Henslow’s sparrow) and nesting densities increased (all 3 species) in the removal areas compared to control areas. After removals, Henslow’s sparrows nested within ?50 m of the treatment area, where they did not occur when tree rows were present. Most dramatically, activity by woodland-associated predators nearly ceased (nine-fold decrease for raccoon [Procyon lotor]) at the removals and grassland predators increased (up to 27 times activity for thirteen-lined ground squirrel [Ictidomys tridecemlineatus]). Nest success did not increase, likely reflecting the increase in grassland predators. However, more nests were attempted by all 3 species (175 versus 116) and the number of successful nests for bobolinks and Henslow’s sparrows increased. Because of gains in habitat, increased use by birds, greater production of young, and the effective removal of woodland-associated predators, tree row removal, where appropriate based on the predator community, can be a beneficial management action for conserving grassland birds and improving fragmented and degraded grassland ecosystems. PMID:23565144

  18. Managing forage and grazing lands for multiple ecosystem services

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Forage and grazing land systems are increasingly expected to provide services beyond food, feed, and fiber. The concept of multifunctionality in grassland agriculture recognizes ecosystem services beyond these traditional functions to include emerging services such as carbon sequestration, greenhous...

  19. Carbon sink activity and GHG budget of managed European grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Klumpp, Katja; Herfurth, Damien; Soussana, Jean-Francois; Fluxnet Grassland Pi's, European

    2013-04-01

    In agriculture, a large proportion (89%) of greenhouse gas (GHG) emission saving potential may be achieved by means of soil C sequestration. Recent demonstrations of carbon sink activities of European ecosystemes, however, often questioned the existence of C storing grasslands, as though a net sink of C was observed, uncertainty surrounding this estimate was larger than the sink itself (Janssens et al., 2003, Schulze et al., 2009. Then again, some of these estimates were based on a small number of measurements, and on models. Not surprising, there is still, a paucity of studies demonstrating the existence of grassland systems, where C sequestration would exceed (in CO2 equivalents) methane emissions from the enteric fermentation of ruminants and nitrous oxide emissions from managed soils. Grasslands are heavily relied upon for food and forage production. A key component of the carbon sink activity in grasslands is thus the impact of changes in management practices or effects of past and recent management, such as intensification as well as climate (and -variation). We analysed data (i.e. flux, ecological, management and soil organic carbon) from a network of European grassland flux observation sites (36). These sites covered different types and intensities of management, and offered the opportunity to understand grassland carbon cycling and trade-offs between C sinks and CH4 and N2O emissions. For some sites, the assessment of carbon sink activities were compared using two methods; repeated soil inventory and determination of the ecosystem C budget by continuous measurement of CO2 exchange in combination with quantification of other C imports and exports (net C storage, NCS). In general grassland, were a potential sink of C with 60±12 g C /m2.yr (median; min -456; max 645). Grazed sites had a higher NCS compared to cut sites (median 99 vs 67 g C /m2.yr), while permanent grassland sites tended to have a lower NCS compared to temporary sown grasslands (median 64 vs 125 g C /m2.yr). Including CH4 and N2O emission in the budget , revealed that for most sites, GHG emissions were compensated by NCS. The role of management impact,soil organic C and fluxes driven by interannual climate variation will be dicussed in the presentation.

  20. GRAZING ANNUAL GRASSLANDS

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    In the Intermountain-Colorado Plateau area, we commonly think of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) as being the dominant exotic, highly invasive annual grass on rangelands in the temperate deserts and the similar species red brome (Bromus rubens L.) on rangelands of the warm deserts. There is no clear...

  1. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ...2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks...MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will be established under concepts and...

  2. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ...2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks...MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will be established under concepts and...

  3. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ...2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks...MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will be established under concepts and...

  4. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ...2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks...MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will be established under concepts and...

  5. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ...2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks...MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will be established under concepts and...

  6. Direct comparison of repeated soil inventory and carbon flux budget to detect soil carbon stock changes in grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ammann, C.; Leifeld, J.; Neftel, A.; Fuhrer, J.

    2012-04-01

    Experimental assessment of soil carbon (C) stock changes over time is typically based on the application of either one of two methods, namely (i) repeated soil inventory and (ii) determination of the ecosystem C budget or net biome productivity (NBP) by continuous measurement of CO2 exchange in combination with quantification of other C imports and exports. However, there exist hardly any published study hitherto that directly compared the results of both methods. Here, we applied both methods in parallel to determine C stock changes of two temperate grassland fields previously converted from long-term cropland. The grasslands differed in management intensity with either intensive management (high fertilization, frequent cutting) or extensive management (no fertilization, less frequent cutting). Soil organic C stocks (0-45 cm depth) were quantified at the beginning (2001) and the end (2006) of a 5 year observational period using the equivalent soil mass approach. For the same period and in both fields, NBP was quantified from net CO2 fluxes monitored using eddy covariance systems, and measured C import by organic fertilizer and C export by harvest. Both NBP and repeated soil inventories revealed a consistent and significant difference between management systems of 170 ± 48 and 253 ± 182 g C m-2 a-1, respectively. For both fields, the inventory method showed a tendency towards higher C loss/smaller C gain than NBP. In the extensive field, a significant C loss was observed by the inventory but not by the NBP approach. Thus both, flux measurements and repeated soil sampling, seem to be adequate and equally suited for detecting relative management effects. However, the suitability for tracking absolute changes in SOC could not be proven for neither of the two methods. Overall, our findings stress the need for more direct comparisons to evaluate whether the observed difference in the outcome of the two approaches reflects a general methodological bias, which would have important implications for regional terrestrial C budgets.

  7. Current and Future Impacts of Atmospheric Nitrogen Deposition on Grassland GHG Balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hudiburg, T. W.; Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.

    2014-12-01

    Nitrogen deposition (Ndep), a consequence of human activities, affects the greenhouse gas (GHG; CO2, N2O and CH4) sink capacity of terrestrial ecosystems. Grasslands play an important role in determining the concentration of GHGs in the atmosphere. While they store greater than 10% of terrestrial net primary productivity and sustain up to 30% of the world's organic C in their soils, grasslands also may be responsible for significant CH4 and N2O emissions. Many fertilization experiments have examined the response of grasslands to N loads of 50 to 100 kg N ha-1 yr-1. However, few studies have been designed to examine ecosystem responses to low N loads (< 20 kg N ha-1 yr-1) which they are likely to experience in the future according to the new IPCC representative concentration pathway (RCP) scenarios. This is consistent with the notion that the N saturation threshold at which Net Ecosystem Productivity (NEP) levels off, or the dose-response relationships between N2O, N-trace gases, CH4, and Ndep in grasslands have not being well characterized. We combined data from grassland ecosystems in major climate zones and biogeochemical modeling (DayCent v. 4.5) to characterize the dose-response relationship between increased Ndep and GHG, and other N-trace gases fluxes and N leaching of these grasslands. We used the synthesized data to evaluate the modeling for above- and belowground NPP, N2O, CH4, and response to N fertilization and climate. We found that in most cases increased Ndep will continue to increase the non-CO2 GHG source strength of grasslands, whereas NEP will saturate at N levels ranging from 10 - 70 kg N ha-1 yr-1depending on the precipitation, fire regime, and/or species composition of the grassland. Given these thresholds, we modeled the potential net GHG sink capacity for the world's major grassland biomes using several of the IPCC RCP scenarios which include a range of climate and Ndep trajectories. Our results suggest that although global grassland C storage can increase by up to 30% with increased Ndep, the increased non-CO2 emissions significantly reduce the net GHG sink capacity of grasslands. Improved understanding on how grasslands respond to Ndep loads that agree with future scenarios is essential to predicting the role of pastures on the global C and N cycles.

  8. Estimation of rainfall interception in grassland using eddy flux measurements

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Maruyama, A.; Miyazawa, Y.; Inoue, A.

    2014-12-01

    Rainfall interception plays an important role in the water cycle in natural ecosystems. Interception by the forest canopies have been widely observed or estimated over various ecosystems, such as tropical rainforest, evergreen forest and deciduous forest. However interception by the short canopies, e.g. shrubby plant, grassland and crop, has been rarely observed since it has been difficult to obtain reliable precipitation measurements under the canopy. In this study, we estimated monthly and annual rainfall interception in grassland using evapotranspiration data of eddy flux measurements. Experiments were conducted in grassland (Italian ryegrass) from 2010 to 2012 growing season in Kumamoto, Japan. Evapotranspiration (latent heat flux) were observed throughout the year based on the eddy covariance technique. A three dimensional sonic anemometer and an open path CO2/H2O analyzer were used to calculate 30 min flux. Other meteorological factors, such as air temperature, humidity and solar radiation, were also observed. Rainfall interception was estimated as follows. 1) Using evapotranspiration data during dry period, environmental response of surface conductance (gc) was inversely calculated based on the big-leaf model. 2) Evapotranspiration without interception during precipitation period was estimated using above model and environmental response of gc. 3) Assuming that evaporation of intercepted rainfall is equal to the difference in evapotranspiration between above estimation and actual measurements, rainfall interception was estimated over experimental period. The account of rainfall interception in grassland using this technique will be presented at the meeting.

  9. Interactive effects of grazing, drought, and fire on grassland plant communities in North America and South Africa.

    PubMed

    Koerner, Sally E; Collins, Scott L

    2014-01-01

    Grazing, fire, and climate shape mesic grassland communities. With global change altering all three factors, understanding how grasslands respond to changes in these combined drivers may aid in projecting future changes in grassland ecosystems. We manipulated rainfall and simulated grazing (clipping) in two long-term fire experiments in mesic grasslands in North America (NA) and South Africa (SA). Despite their common drivers, grasslands in NA and SA differ in evolutionary history. Therefore, we expected community structure and production in NA and SA to respond differently to fire, grazing, and drought. Specifically, we hypothesized that NA plant community composition and production would be more responsive than the SA plant communities to changes in the drivers and their interactions, and that despite this expected stability of SA grasslands, drought would be the dominant factor controlling production, but grazing would play the primary role in determining community composition at both sites. Contrary to our hypothesis, NA and SA grasslands generally responded similarly to grazing, drought, and fire. Grazing increased diversity, decreased grass cover and production, and decreased belowground biomass at both sites. Drought alone minimally impacted plant community structure, and we saw similar treatment interactions at the two sites. Drought was not the primary driver of grassland productivity, but instead drought effects were similar to or less than grazing and fire. Even though these grasslands differed in evolutionary history, they responded similarly to our fire, grazing, and climate manipulations. Overall, we found community and ecosystem convergence in NA and SA grasslands. Grazing and fire are as important as climate in controlling mesic grassland ecosystems on both continents. PMID:24649650

  10. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes

    PubMed Central

    Drum, Ryan G.; Ribic, Christine A.; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric; Grant, Evan; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, David C.; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds. PMID:26569108

  11. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

    PubMed

    Drum, Ryan G; Ribic, Christine A; Koch, Katie; Lonsdorf, Eric; Grant, Evan; Ahlering, Marissa; Barnhill, Laurel; Dailey, Thomas; Lor, Socheata; Mueller, Connie; Pavlacky, David C; Rideout, Catherine; Sample, David

    2015-01-01

    Grassland bird habitat has declined substantially in the United States. Remaining grasslands are increasingly fragmented, mostly privately owned, and vary greatly in terms of habitat quality and protection status. A coordinated strategic response for grassland bird conservation is difficult, largely due to the scope and complexity of the problem, further compounded by biological, sociological, and economic uncertainties. We describe the results from a collaborative Structured Decision Making (SDM) workshop focused on linking social and economic drivers of landscape change to grassland bird population outcomes. We identified and evaluated alternative strategies for grassland bird conservation using a series of rapid prototype models. We modeled change in grassland and agriculture cover in hypothetical landscapes resulting from different landowner decisions in response to alternative socio-economic conservation policy decisions. Resulting changes in land cover at all three stages of the annual cycle (breeding, wintering, and migration) were used to estimate changes in grassland bird populations. Our results suggest that successful grassland bird conservation may depend upon linkages with ecosystem services on working agricultural lands and grassland-based marketing campaigns to engage the public. With further development, spatial models that link landowner decisions with biological outcomes can be essential tools for making conservation policy decisions. A coordinated non-traditional partnership will likely be necessary to clearly understand and systematically respond to the many conservation challenges facing grassland birds. PMID:26569108

  12. Scale-dependent diversity effects of seed dispersal by a wild herbivore in fragmented grasslands.

    PubMed

    Auffret, Alistair G; Plue, Jan

    2014-05-01

    Dispersal limitation between habitat fragments is a known driver of landscape-scale biodiversity loss. In Europe, agricultural intensification during the twentieth century resulted in losses of both grassland habitat and traditional grassland seed dispersal vectors such as livestock. During the same period, populations of large wild herbivores have increased in the landscape. Usually studied in woodland ecosystems, these animals are found to disperse seeds from grasslands and other open habitats. We studied endozoochorous seed dispersal by roe deer (Capreolus capreolus) in fragmented grasslands and grassland remnants, comparing dispersed subcommunities of plant species to those in the established vegetation and the seed bank. A total of 652 seedlings of 67 species emerged from 219 samples of roe deer dung. This included many grassland species, and several local grassland specialists. Dispersal had potentially different effects on diversity at different spatial scales. Almost all sites received seeds of species not observed in the vegetation or seed bank at that site, suggesting that local diversity might not be dispersal limited. This pattern was less evident at the landscape scale, where fewer new species were introduced. Nonetheless, long-distance dispersal by large wild herbivores might still provide connectivity between fragmented habitats within a landscape in the areas in which they are active. Finally, as only a subset of the available species were found to disperse in space as well as time, the danger of future biodiversity loss might still exist in many isolated grassland habitats. PMID:24519686

  13. Temperate forest health in an era of emerging megadisturbance.

    PubMed

    Millar, Constance I; Stephenson, Nathan L

    2015-08-21

    Although disturbances such as fire and native insects can contribute to natural dynamics of forest health, exceptional droughts, directly and in combination with other disturbance factors, are pushing some temperate forests beyond thresholds of sustainability. Interactions from increasing temperatures, drought, native insects and pathogens, and uncharacteristically severe wildfire are resulting in forest mortality beyond the levels of 20th-century experience. Additional anthropogenic stressors, such as atmospheric pollution and invasive species, further weaken trees in some regions. Although continuing climate change will likely drive many areas of temperate forest toward large-scale transformations, management actions can help ease transitions and minimize losses of socially valued ecosystem services. PMID:26293954

  14. Response of net ecosystem gas exchange to a simulated precipitation pulse in a semi-arid grassland: the role of native versus non-native grasses and soil texture.

    PubMed

    Huxman, Travis E; Cable, Jessica M; Ignace, Danielle D; Eilts, J Alex; English, Nathan B; Weltzin, Jake; Williams, David G

    2004-10-01

    Physiological activity and structural dynamics in arid and semi-arid ecosystems are driven by discrete inputs or "pulses" of growing season precipitation. Here we describe the short-term dynamics of ecosystem physiology in experimental stands of native (Heteropogon contortus) and invasive (Eragrostis lehmanniana) grasses to an irrigation pulse across two geomorphic surfaces with distinctly different soils: a Pleistocene-aged surface with high clay content in a strongly horizonated soil, and a Holocene-aged surface with low clay content in homogenously structured soils. We evaluated whole-ecosystem and leaf-level CO2 and H2O exchange, soil CO2 efflux, along with plant and soil water status to understand potential constraints on whole-ecosystem carbon exchange during the initiation of the summer monsoon season. Prior to the irrigation pulse, both invasive and native grasses had less negative pre-dawn water potentials (Psipd), greater leaf photosynthetic rates (Anet) and stomatal conductance (gs), and greater rates of net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE) on the Pleistocene surface than on the Holocene. Twenty-four hours following the experimental application of a 39 mm irrigation pulse, soil CO2 efflux increased leading to all plots losing CO2 to the atmosphere over the course of a day. Invasive species stands had greater evapotranspiration rates (ET) immediately following the precipitation pulse than did native stands, while maximum instantaneous NEE increased for both species and surfaces at roughly the same rate. The differential ET patterns through time were correlated with an earlier decline in NEE in the invasive species as compared to the native species plots. Plots with invasive species accumulated between 5% and 33% of the carbon that plots with the native species accumulated over the 15-day pulse period. Taken together, these results indicate that system CO2 efflux (both the physical displacement of soil CO2 by water along with plant and microbial respiration) strongly controls whole-ecosystem carbon exchange during precipitation pulses. Since CO2 and H2O loss to the atmosphere was partially driven by species effects on soil microclimate, understanding the mechanistic relationships between the soil characteristics, plant ecophysiological responses, and canopy structural dynamics will be important for understanding the effects of shifting precipitation and vegetation patterns in semi-arid environments. PMID:14557868

  15. Prescribed fire as an alternative measure in European grassland conservation

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Valkó, Orsolya; Deák, Balázs; Török, Péter; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2015-04-01

    There are contrasting opinions on the perspectives of prescribed burning management in European grasslands. One hand, prescribed burning can be effectively used with relatively low implementation costs for the management of open landscapes, the reduction of accumulated litter or for decreasing the chance of wildfires. On the other hand burning can also have serious detrimental impacts on grassland ecosystems by promoting the dominance of some problem species (e.g. some competitors or invasive species) and by threatening endangered plant and animal species, especially invertebrates, thus, inappropriate burning can result in a loss of biodiversity in the long run. Our goal was to review the publications on the application of prescribed burning in European grasslands considering general (e.g. timing, frequency and duration) and specific (e.g. types of grasslands, effects on endangered species) circumstances. Even prescribed burning forms an integral part of the North-American grassland management practice, it is rarely applied in Europe, despite the fact that uncontrolled burning occurs frequently in some regions. According to the North-American experiences prescribed burning can be a viable solution for biodiversity conservation and can be a feasible solution for several nature conservation problems. We reviewed prescribed burning studies from Europe and North-America to identify findings which might be adapted to the European grassland conservation strategy. We found that not only the application of fire management is scarce in Europe but there is also a lack of published studies on this topic. European studies - contrary to the North-American practice - usually used yearly dormant-season burning, and concluded that this burning type solely is not feasible to preserve and maintain species-rich grasslands. In North-American grasslands, application of burning has a stronger historical, practical and scientific background; it is fine-tuned in terms of timing, frequency and generally combined with other measures, such as grazing, seed sowing or herbicide application. By this complex approach several nature conservation goals can be fulfilled like increasing landscape-scale heterogeneity and invasion control. We emphasize that for establishing a fine-tuned prescribed burning management plan for the European grasslands the general findings of carefully designed case studies should be combined with the practical knowledge of conservation managers concerning the local application circumstances to reach specific management objectives.

  16. Non-Linear Responses to Precipitation and Shrub Encroachment in Semi-Arid Grassland: Isotopes and CO2 Fluxes Reveal Soil Microsite Alteration as Explanation 1875

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Responses of net ecosystem production (NEP) to growing season rainfall amount is non-linear over a gradient of woody-plant encroachment in semi-arid riparian grassland. NEP is positively correlated with growing season precipitation amount in the grassland, but is negatively correlated with precipita...

  17. Introduction to Grassland Management. Instructor Guide, Student Reference [and] Crop and Grassland Plant Identification Manual.

    ERIC Educational Resources Information Center

    Suits, Susie

    This packet contains an Instructor guide and student reference for a course in introduction to grassland management, as well as a crop and grassland plant identification manual. The three-unit curriculum contains the following 11 lessons: (unit I, grasslands and grassland plants): (1) an introduction to grasslands; (2) plant classification; (3)…

  18. Total N losses in managed grassland systems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Neftel, A.; Felber, R.; Jocher, M.; Conen, F.; Schibig, M.

    2009-04-01

    Total N losses in managed grassland systems Losses of nitrogen as N2 constitutes a major fraction of the N-turnover in managed grassland systems and might be in the order of 30% of the applied N (van der Salm et al., 2007). Consequently this loss path is limiting the N efficiency. In the framework of the EU IP project NitroEurope we aim to comprehensibly determine the nitrogen flows in a managed grassland system under a cut regime (i.e. no grazing). A major effort is devoted to establish an operational technique to determine total N-losses on 30 cm soil core using the acetylene inhibition technique. In a recent review by Groffman et al. (2006) the acetylene inhibition technique is considered as a robust technique for soils with a high inorganic nitrogen supply despite its serious limitations. Soil cores are isothermally transported in the laboratory within less than three hours and then measured within the next 24 hours without and with addition of acetylene. The experimental systems allows to measure up to eight samples in parallel. The detection limit of the system is 10 ng N2O - N m-2s-1. An estimate of the range of annual losses is presented with a discussion of potential biases. References: Groffman P. et al. (2006): Methods for measuring denitrification: diverse approaches for a difficult problem. Ecological Applications 16(6) 2091-2122 Van der Salm C. et al. (2007): Estimation of nitrogen losses via denitrificatrion from a heavy clay soil under grass. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment, 311-319

  19. Saprotrophic Basidiomycetes in Grasslands: Distribution and Function

    E-print Network

    Griffith, Gareth

    Basidiomycetes in Grasslands: Distribution and Function Gareth W. Griffith and Kevin Roderick Contents 1. Introduction 276 2. What is Grassland? 276 3. Functional Groups of Grassland Fungi 279 3.1 Litter Decomposers Endophytes/Pathogens 284 4. Detection of Grassland Fungi 285 5. Contribution of Saprotrophic Basidiomycetes

  20. Biomass carbon stocks and their changes in northern China's grasslands during 1982-2006.

    PubMed

    Ma, WenHong; Fang, JingYun; Yang, YuanHe; Mohammat, Anwar

    2010-07-01

    Grassland covers approximately one-third of the area of China and plays an important role in the global terrestrial carbon (C) cycle. However, little is known about biomass C stocks and dynamics in these grasslands. During 2001-2005, we conducted five consecutive field sampling campaigns to investigate above-and below-ground biomass for northern China's grasslands. Using measurements obtained from 341 sampling sites, together with a NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) time series dataset over 1982-2006, we examined changes in biomass C stock during the past 25 years. Our results showed that biomass C stock in northern China's grasslands was estimated at 557.5 Tg C (1 Tg=10(12) g), with a mean density of 39.5 g C m(-2) for above-ground biomass and 244.6 g C m(-2) for below-ground biomass. An increasing rate of 0.2 Tg C yr(-1) has been observed over the past 25 years, but grassland biomass has not experienced a significant change since the late 1980s. Seasonal rainfall (January-July) was the dominant factor driving temporal dynamics in biomass C stock; however, the responses of grassland biomass to climate variables differed among various grassland types. Biomass in arid grasslands (i.e., desert steppe and typical steppe) was significantly associated with precipitation, while biomass in humid grasslands (i.e., alpine meadow) was positively correlated with mean January-July temperatures. These results suggest that different grassland ecosystems in China may show diverse responses to future climate changes. PMID:20697873

  1. Differential sensitivity to regional-scale drought in six central US grasslands.

    PubMed

    Knapp, Alan K; Carroll, Charles J W; Denton, Elsie M; La Pierre, Kimberly J; Collins, Scott L; Smith, Melinda D

    2015-04-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems often vary dramatically in their responses to drought, but the reasons for this are unclear. With climate change forecasts for more frequent and extensive drought in the future, a more complete understanding of the mechanisms that determine differential ecosystem sensitivity to drought is needed. In 2012, the Central US experienced the fourth largest drought in a century, with a regional-scale 40% reduction in growing season precipitation affecting ecosystems ranging from desert grassland to mesic tallgrass prairie. This provided an opportunity to assess ecosystem sensitivity to a drought of common magnitude in six native grasslands. We tested the prediction that drought sensitivity is inversely related to mean annual precipitation (MAP) by quantifying reductions in aboveground net primary production (ANPP). Long-term ANPP data available for each site (mean length = 16 years) were used as a baseline for calculating reductions in ANPP, and drought sensitivity was estimated as the reduction in ANPP per millimeter reduction in precipitation. Arid grasslands were the most sensitive to drought, but drought responses and sensitivity varied by more than twofold among the six grasslands, despite all sites experiencing 40% reductions in growing season precipitation. Although drought sensitivity generally decreased with increasing MAP as predicted, there was evidence that the identity and traits of the dominant species, as well as plant functional diversity, influenced sensitivity. A more comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms leading to differences in drought sensitivity will require multi-site manipulative experiments designed to assess both biotic and abiotic determinants of ecosystem sensitivity. PMID:25651805

  2. Diversity and abundance of photosynthetic sponges in temperate Western Australia

    PubMed Central

    Lemloh, Marie-Louise; Fromont, Jane; Brümmer, Franz; Usher, Kayley M

    2009-01-01

    Background Photosynthetic sponges are important components of reef ecosystems around the world, but are poorly understood. It is often assumed that temperate regions have low diversity and abundance of photosynthetic sponges, but to date no studies have investigated this question. The aim of this study was to compare the percentages of photosynthetic sponges in temperate Western Australia (WA) with previously published data on tropical regions, and to determine the abundance and diversity of these associations in a range of temperate environments. Results We sampled sponges on 5 m belt transects to determine the percentage of photosynthetic sponges and identified at least one representative of each group of symbionts using 16S rDNA sequencing together with microscopy techniques. Our results demonstrate that photosynthetic sponges are abundant in temperate WA, with an average of 63% of sponge individuals hosting high levels of photosynthetic symbionts and 11% with low to medium levels. These percentages of photosynthetic sponges are comparable to those found on tropical reefs and may have important implications for ecosystem function on temperate reefs in other areas of the world. A diverse range of symbionts sometimes occurred within a small geographic area, including the three "big" cyanobacterial clades, Oscillatoria spongeliae, "Candidatus Synechococcus spongiarum" and Synechocystis species, and it appears that these clades all occur in a wide range of sponges. Additionally, spongin-permeating red algae occurred in at least 7 sponge species. This study provides the first investigation of the molecular phylogeny of rhodophyte symbionts in sponges. Conclusion Photosynthetic sponges are abundant and diverse in temperate WA, with comparable percentages of photosynthetic to non-photosynthetic sponges to tropical zones. It appears that there are three common generalist clades of cyanobacterial symbionts of sponges which occur in a wide range of sponges in a wide range of environmental conditions. PMID:19196460

  3. Winter climate change effects on soil C and N cycles in urban grasslands.

    PubMed

    Durán, Jorge; Rodríguez, Alexandra; Morse, Jennifer L; Groffman, Peter M

    2013-09-01

    Despite growing recognition of the role that cities have in global biogeochemical cycles, urban systems are among the least understood of all ecosystems. Urban grasslands are expanding rapidly along with urbanization, which is expected to increase at unprecedented rates in upcoming decades. The large and increasing area of urban grasslands and their impact on water and air quality justify the need for a better understanding of their biogeochemical cycles. There is also great uncertainty about the effect that climate change, especially changes in winter snow cover, will have on nutrient cycles in urban grasslands. We aimed to evaluate how reduced snow accumulation directly affects winter soil frost dynamics, and indirectly greenhouse gas fluxes and the processing of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) during the subsequent growing season in northern urban grasslands. Both artificial and natural snow reduction increased winter soil frost, affecting winter microbial C and N processing, accelerating C and N cycles and increasing soil : atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange during the subsequent growing season. With lower snow accumulations that are predicted with climate change, we found decreases in N retention in these ecosystems, and increases in N2 O and CO2 flux to the atmosphere, significantly increasing the global warming potential of urban grasslands. Our results suggest that the environmental impacts of these rapidly expanding ecosystems are likely to increase as climate change brings milder winters and more extensive soil frost. PMID:23630015

  4. USING COMMERCIAL FORESTRY FOR ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION IN SENSITIVE BADGER HABITAT

    E-print Network

    USING COMMERCIAL FORESTRY FOR ECOSYSTEM RESTORATION IN SENSITIVE BADGER HABITAT by Melissa Hogg BSc of Thesis: Using commercial forestry for ecosystem restoration in sensitive badger habitat Project Number grasslands and open forests, and badger habitat is threatened by forest ingrowth and encroachment related

  5. Eutrophication weakens stabilizing effects of diversity in natural grasslands.

    PubMed

    Hautier, Yann; Seabloom, Eric W; Borer, Elizabeth T; Adler, Peter B; Harpole, W Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M; MacDougall, Andrew S; Stevens, Carly J; Bakker, Jonathan D; Buckley, Yvonne M; Chu, Chengjin; Collins, Scott L; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen I; Davies, Kendi F; Fay, Philip A; Firn, Jennifer; Gruner, Daniel S; Jin, Virginia L; Klein, Julia A; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J; Li, Wei; McCulley, Rebecca L; Melbourne, Brett A; Moore, Joslin L; O'Halloran, Lydia R; Prober, Suzanne M; Risch, Anita C; Sankaran, Mahesh; Schuetz, Martin; Hector, Andy

    2014-04-24

    Studies of experimental grassland communities have demonstrated that plant diversity can stabilize productivity through species asynchrony, in which decreases in the biomass of some species are compensated for by increases in others. However, it remains unknown whether these findings are relevant to natural ecosystems, especially those for which species diversity is threatened by anthropogenic global change. Here we analyse diversity-stability relationships from 41 grasslands on five continents and examine how these relationships are affected by chronic fertilization, one of the strongest drivers of species loss globally. Unmanipulated communities with more species had greater species asynchrony, resulting in more stable biomass production, generalizing a result from biodiversity experiments to real-world grasslands. However, fertilization weakened the positive effect of diversity on stability. Contrary to expectations, this was not due to species loss after eutrophication but rather to an increase in the temporal variation of productivity in combination with a decrease in species asynchrony in diverse communities. Our results demonstrate separate and synergistic effects of diversity and eutrophication on stability, emphasizing the need to understand how drivers of global change interactively affect the reliable provisioning of ecosystem services in real-world systems. PMID:24531763

  6. Rapid decline of a grassland system and its ecological and conservation implications.

    PubMed

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Davidson, Ana; List, Rurik; Pacheco, Jesús; Manzano-Fischer, Patricia; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Cruzado, Juan

    2010-01-01

    One of the most important conservation issues in ecology is the imperiled state of grassland ecosystems worldwide due to land conversion, desertification, and the loss of native populations and species. The Janos region of northwestern Mexico maintains one of the largest remaining black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony complexes in North America and supports a high diversity of threatened and endangered species. Yet, cattle grazing, agriculture, and drought have greatly impacted the region. We evaluated the impact of human activities on the Janos grasslands, comparing changes in the vertebrate community over the last two decades. Our results reveal profound, rapid changes in the Janos grassland community, demonstrating large declines in vertebrate abundance across all taxonomic groups. We also found that the 55,000 ha prairie dog colony complex has declined by 73% since 1988. The prairie dog complex has become increasingly fragmented, and their densities have shown a precipitous decline over the years, from an average density of 25 per ha in 1988 to 2 per ha in 2004. We demonstrated that prairie dogs strongly suppressed woody plant encroachment as well as created open grassland habitat by clearing woody vegetation, and found rapid invasion of shrubland once the prairie dogs disappeared from the grasslands. Comparison of grasslands and shrublands showed markedly different species compositions, with species richness being greatest when both habitats were considered together. Our data demonstrate the rapid decline of a grassland ecosystem, and documents the dramatic loss in biodiversity over a very short time period concomitant with anthropogenic grassland degradation and the decline of a keystone species. PMID:20066035

  7. Rapid Decline of a Grassland System and Its Ecological and Conservation Implications

    PubMed Central

    Ceballos, Gerardo; Davidson, Ana; List, Rurik; Pacheco, Jesús; Manzano-Fischer, Patricia; Santos-Barrera, Georgina; Cruzado, Juan

    2010-01-01

    One of the most important conservation issues in ecology is the imperiled state of grassland ecosystems worldwide due to land conversion, desertification, and the loss of native populations and species. The Janos region of northwestern Mexico maintains one of the largest remaining black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colony complexes in North America and supports a high diversity of threatened and endangered species. Yet, cattle grazing, agriculture, and drought have greatly impacted the region. We evaluated the impact of human activities on the Janos grasslands, comparing changes in the vertebrate community over the last two decades. Our results reveal profound, rapid changes in the Janos grassland community, demonstrating large declines in vertebrate abundance across all taxonomic groups. We also found that the 55,000 ha prairie dog colony complex has declined by 73% since 1988. The prairie dog complex has become increasingly fragmented, and their densities have shown a precipitous decline over the years, from an average density of 25 per ha in 1988 to 2 per ha in 2004. We demonstrated that prairie dogs strongly suppressed woody plant encroachment as well as created open grassland habitat by clearing woody vegetation, and found rapid invasion of shrubland once the prairie dogs disappeared from the grasslands. Comparison of grasslands and shrublands showed markedly different species compositions, with species richness being greatest when both habitats were considered together. Our data demonstrate the rapid decline of a grassland ecosystem, and documents the dramatic loss in biodiversity over a very short time period concomitant with anthropogenic grassland degradation and the decline of a keystone species. PMID:20066035

  8. Changes in the temperature sensitivity of SOM decomposition with grassland succession: implications for soil C sequestration.

    PubMed

    Nianpeng, He; Ruomeng, Wang; Yang, Gao; Jingzhong, Dai; Xuefa, Wen; Guirui, Yu

    2013-12-01

    Understanding the temperature sensitivity (Q 10) of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition is important for predicting soil carbon (C) sequestration in terrestrial ecosystems under warming scenarios. Whether Q 10 varies predictably with ecosystem succession and the ways in which the stoichiometry of input SOM influences Q 10 remain largely unknown. We investigate these issues using a grassland succession series from free-grazing to 31-year grazing-exclusion grasslands in Inner Mongolia, and an incubation experiment performed at six temperatures (0, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 25°C) and with four substrates: control (CK), glucose (GLU), mixed grass leaf (GRA), and Medicago falcata leaf (MED). The results showed that basal soil respiration (20°C) and microbial biomass C (MBC) logarithmically decreased with grassland succession. Q 10 decreased logarithmically from 1.43 in free-grazing grasslands to 1.22 in 31-year grazing-exclusion grasslands. Q 10 increased significantly with the addition of substrates, and the Q 10 levels increased with increase in N:C ratios of substrate. Moreover, accumulated C mineralization was controlled by the N:C ratio of newly input SOM and by incubation temperature. Changes in Q 10 with grassland ecosystem succession are controlled by the stoichiometry of newly input SOM, MBC, and SOM quality, and the combined effects of which could partially explain the mechanisms underlying soil C sequestration in the long-term grazing-exclusion grasslands in Inner Mongolia, China. The findings highlight the effect of substrate stoichiometry on Q 10 which requires further study. PMID:24455135

  9. OAK MANAGEMENT IMPACTS ON MULTIPLE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES

    E-print Network

    Tate, Kenneth

    OAK MANAGEMENT IMPACTS ON MULTIPLE ECOSYSTEM SERVICES Leslie Roche, Kenneth W. Tate, Anthony O, not oaks, make your cows fat!" UCCE 1960s Brush Management A practice with tradeoffs #12;PAST MODELS ES #12;Blue Oak Savanna 25-50% Canopy Annual grass dominated understory Annual Grassland Non

  10. Differential Sensitivity to Drought in Central U.S. Grasslands Arrayed Along an Aridity Gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knapp, Alan; Collins, Scott; Luo, Yiqi; Smith, Melinda

    2015-04-01

    Responses to drought often vary dramatically among terrestrial ecosystems, but the reasons why are unclear. With climate change forecasts for more frequent, severe and extensive drought in the future, a more complete understanding of the mechanisms that determine differential ecosystem sensitivity to drought is needed. In 2012, the Central U.S. experienced the 4th largest drought in a century, with a regional-scale 40% reduction in growing season precipitation affecting ecosystems ranging from desert grassland to mesic tallgrass prairie. This provided an opportunity to assess ecosystem sensitivity to a natural drought of common magnitude in six native grasslands. We tested the prediction that drought sensitivity would be inversely related to mean annual precipitation (MAP) by quantifying reductions in aboveground net primary production (ANPP). Long-term ANPP data available for each site (mean length = 16 yrs) were used as a baseline for calculating reductions in ANPP, and drought sensitivity was estimated as the reduction in ANPP per mm reduction in precipitation. Arid grasslands were the most sensitive to drought, but drought responses and sensitivity varied by more than 2-fold among the six grasslands, despite all sites experiencing similar relative reductions in growing season precipitation. Although drought sensitivity generally decreased with increasing MAP as predicted, there was evidence that the identity and traits of the dominant species, as well as plant functional diversity, influenced sensitivity. Results from this natural drought will be compared with responses to an experimentally imposed drought to determine if patterns of sensitivity are consistent between experimental and observational approaches.

  11. Differential Sensitivity to Drought in Six Central U.S. Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Knapp, A.; Carroll, C. J. W.; Denton, E. M.; La Pierre, K. J.; Wilcox, K. R.; Collins, S. L.; Smith, M.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems often vary dramatically in their responses to drought, but the reasons why are unclear. With climate change forecasts for more frequent and extensive drought in the future, a more complete understanding of the mechanisms that determine differential ecosystem sensitivity to drought is needed. In 2012, the Central U.S. experienced the 4th largest drought in a century, with a regional-scale 40% reduction in growing season precipitation affecting ecosystems ranging from desert grassland to mesic tallgrass prairie. This provided an opportunity to assess ecosystem sensitivity to a drought of common magnitude in six native grasslands. We tested the prediction that drought sensitivity is inversely related to mean annual precipitation (MAP) by quantifying reductions in aboveground net primary production (ANPP). Long-term ANPP data available for each site (mean length = 16 yrs) were used as a baseline for calculating reductions in ANPP, and drought sensitivity was estimated as the reduction in ANPP per mm reduction in precipitation. Arid grasslands were the most sensitive to drought, but drought responses and sensitivity varied by more than 2-fold among the six grasslands, despite all sites experiencing 40% reductions in growing season precipitation. Although drought sensitivity generally decreased with increasing MAP as predicted, there was evidence that the identity and traits of the dominant species, as well as plant functional diversity, influenced sensitivity.

  12. Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan Desert

    E-print Network

    Grassland to shrubland state transitions enhance carbon sequestration in the northern Chihuahuan are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be enhanced ecosystem carbon sequestration, although the responses of arid

  13. Soil fungal communities respond to grassland plant community richness and soil edaphics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Fungal communities in soil have significant influences on terrestrial ecosystem dynamics, yet our understanding of the drivers of fungal diversity and community structure in soil is limited. Fungal communities associated with the rhizosphere of four native perennial grassland plant species grown in ...

  14. Long-term measurements of CO2 flux and evapotranspiration in a Chihuahuan desert grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    We measured CO2 and evapotranspiration (ET) fluxes above a Chihuahuan desert grassland from 1996 through 2001. Averaged across six years, this ecosystem was a source (positive flux)of CO2 in every month. Over that period, sustained periods of carbon uptake (negative flux)were rare. Averaged across a...

  15. Runoff and erosional response to a drought-induced shift in a desert grassland community composition

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    This study investigates how drought-induced change in semiarid grassland community composition affected runoff and sediment yield in a small 1.8 ha watershed in southeast Arizona, USA. Three distinct periods in ecosystem composition and associated runoff and sediment yield were identified according ...

  16. Biodiversity and temporal niche differences between native- and novel exotic-dominated grasslands

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Many exotic plant species have been introduced or escaped into grasslands where they combine to form low diversity 'novel ecosystems' of species with no evolutionary history of interaction. Ecologists have long argued over whether low diversity of exotic communities results from species interaction...

  17. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch Grasslands

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jacobs, C. M. J.; Jacobs, A. F. G.; Bosveld, F. C.; Hendriks, D. M. D.; Hensen, A.; Kroon, P. S.; Moors, E. J.; Nol, L.; Schrier-Uijl, A.; Veenendaal, E. M.

    2007-05-01

    An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites; four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site, using the eddy-covariance (EC) technique, but in different years. The photosynthesis-light response analysis technique is used along with the respiration-temperature response technique to partition NEE among Gross Primary Production (GPP) and Ecosystem Respiration (Re) and to obtain the eco-physiological characteristics of the sites at the field scale. Annual sums of NEE, GPP and Re are then estimated using the fitted response curves with observed radiation and air temperature from a meteorological site in the centre of The Netherlands as drivers. These calculations are carried out for four years (2002-2005). The estimated annual Re for all individual sites is more or less constant per site and the average for all sites amounts to 1390±30 gC m-2 a-1. The narrow uncertainty band (±2%) reflects the small differences in the mean annual air temperature. The mean annual GPP was estimated to be 1325 g C m-2 a-1, and displays a much higher standard deviation, of ±100 gC m-2 a-1 (8%), which reflects the relatively large variation in annual solar radiation. The mean annual NEE amounts to -65±85 gC m-2 a-1, which implies that on average the grasslands act as a source, with a relatively large standard deviation. From two sites, four-year records of CO2 flux were available and analyzed (2002-2005). Using the weather record of 2005 with optimizations from the other years, standard deviation of annual GPP was estimated to be 171-206 gC m-2 a-1 (8-14%), of annual Re 227-247 gC m-2 a-1 (14-16%) and of annual NEE 176-276 gC m-2 a-1. The inter-site standard deviation was higher for GPP and Re, 534 gC m-2 a-1 (37.3%) and 486 gC m-2 a-1 (34.8%), respectively. However, the inter-site standard deviation of NEE was similar to the interannual one, amounting to 207 gC m-2 a-1. Large differences occur due to soil type. The grasslands on organic (peat) soils show a mean net release of CO2 of 220±90 g C m-2 a-1 while the grasslands on mineral (clay and sand) soils show a mean net uptake of CO2 of 90±90 g C m-2 a-1. If a weighing with the fraction of grassland on organic (20%) and mineral soils (80%) is applied, an average NEE of 28±90 g C m-2 a-1 is found, which means that on average the Dutch grasslands behave like a small sink for CO2. The results from the analysis illustrate the need for regionally specific and spatially explicit CO2 emission estimates from grassland.

  18. Effects of 10-Year Management Regimes on the Soil Seed Bank in Saline-Alkaline Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Hongyuan; Yang, Haoyu; Liang, Zhengwei; Ooi, Mark K. J.

    2015-01-01

    Background Management regimes for vegetation restoration of degraded grasslands can significantly affect the process of ecological succession. However, few studies have focused on variation in the soil seed bank during vegetation restoration under different management regimes, especially in saline-alkaline grassland habitats. Our aim was to provide insights into the ecological effects of grassland management regimes on soil seed bank composition and vegetation establishment in mown, fenced, transplanted and natural grassland sites, all dominated by the perennial rhizomatous grass Leymus chinensis. Methodology We studied species composition and diversity in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation in differently managed grasslands in Northeast China. An NMDS (nonmetric multidimensional scaling) was used to evaluate the relationship between species composition, soil seed banks, aboveground vegetation and soil properties. Principal Findings Fenced and mown grassland sites had high density and species richness in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation. The Transplanted treatment exhibited the highest vegetation growth and seed production of the target species L. chinensis. Seeds of L. chinensis in the soil occurred only in transplanted and natural grassland. Based on the NMDS analysis, the number of species in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation were significantly related to soil Na+, Cl-, RSC (residual sodium carbonate), alkalinity, ESP (exchangeable sodium percentage) and AP (available phosphorus). Conclusions Soil seed bank composition and diversity in the saline-alkaline grassland were significantly affected by the management regimes implemented, and were also significantly related to the aboveground vegetation and several soil properties. Based on vegetative growth, reproductive output and maintenance of soil seed bank, the transplanting was identified as the most effective method for relatively rapid restoration of the target species L. chinensis. This approach could be beneficial for the restoration of dominant species in a wide range of degraded grassland ecosystems. PMID:25902145

  19. COMPARATIVE EFFECTS OF BURNING ON ECOSYSTEM FLUXES AND PRODUCTIVITY IN TWO ADJACENT TALLGRASS PRAIRIE PASTURES.

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Management practices can have large effects on ecosystem productivity. In grasslands and praries, one of the most common management tools is fire. While judicious burning generally increases grassland productivity, there have been few controlled studies that quantify the effect of fire on the flux...

  20. Stable Isotopes in Ecosystem Science: Structure, Function and Dynamics of a Subtropical

    E-print Network

    Archer, Steven R.

    ­120 years, and (2) d2 H and d18 O of plant and soil water reveal changes in ecosystem hydrology significantly greater root biomass and density than grasslands. d18 O and d2 H values of plant and soil water confirm that grassland species acquire soil water primarily from the upper 0.5 m of the soil profile

  1. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model: model description and evaluation at 11 eddy-covariance sites in Europe

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chang, J.; Viovy, N.; Vuichard, N.; Ciais, P.; Wang, T.; Cozic, A.; Lardy, R.; Graux, A.-I.; Klumpp, K.; Martin, R.; Soussana, J.-F.

    2013-05-01

    This study describes how management of grasslands is included in the ORCHIDEE process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (Grassland Management) is enabled with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), with two grassland management practices being considered, cutting and grazing, respectively. The evaluation of the results from ORCHIDEE compared with those of ORCHIDEE-GM at 11 European sites equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, shows that ORCHIDEE-GM can capture realistically the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: Leaf Area Index; AGB: Aboveground Biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: Gross Primary Productivity; TER: Total Ecosystem Respiration; and NEE: Net Ecosystem Exchange). But improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM, which relates to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better simulated in ORCHIDEE-GM than in ORCHIDEE without management. ORCHIDEE-GM is capable to model the net carbon balance (NBP) of managed grasslands better than ORCHIDEE, because the management module allows to simulate the carbon fluxes of forage yield, herbage consumption, animal respiration and methane emissions.

  2. Differential Effects of Conservational Management on SOC Accumulation in the Grasslands of China

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Ping; Tang, Jie; Sun, Wenjuan; Yu, Yongqiang; Zhang, Wen

    2015-01-01

    Conservational management practices in grasslands have been considered one of the efficient options to enhance the soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation. However, the SOC changes after the conservational management practices vary significantly under different grassland vegetation types and the environmental conditions. At present, it is not clear how the SOC accumulation changes along the soil profile if conservational management practice was adopted. In this study, we collected 663 paired observational data of SOC changes with and without conservational management practices in grasslands of China from 176 published literatures that has both the surface (0?20 cm) and subsurface (to 40 cm depth) SOC measurements. The differences of SOC density (SOCD) between pre?management and post?management in the vertical soil layers were analyzed in order to establish a quantitative relationship of the SOC changes between the subsurface and the surface. The results revealed that in all grasslands, conservational management practices benefits the SOC accumulation by enhancing 0.43?1.14 Mg C ha–1 yr–1. But the SOC increment weakened downwards along the soil profile. While the surface SOC was enhanced by 17% after conservational management, the subsurface SOC was enhanced by only 7%. The SOC accumulation was closely correlated with restoration duration, pre-management SOCD and the environmental factors and differed greatly among different grasslands and the practices adopted. The alpine and mountain grassland showed a higher annual SOC increment than the temperate grassland with the annual rate of 1.62 and 0.72 Mg C ha-1 yr-1, respectively. The SOC increment caused by the artificial plantation and the grazing exclusion conservational management was more than 2-fold that of the cropland abandonment and the extensive utilization. With the quantitative relationship of the SOC changes between soil layers, we provide a methodological option to estimate SOC changes to layers deeper than the recommendation of IPCC when only the surface layer SOC increment is available. PMID:26356845

  3. Differential Effects of Conservational Management on SOC Accumulation in the Grasslands of China.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Ping; Tang, Jie; Sun, Wenjuan; Yu, Yongqiang; Zhang, Wen

    2015-01-01

    Conservational management practices in grasslands have been considered one of the efficient options to enhance the soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation. However, the SOC changes after the conservational management practices vary significantly under different grassland vegetation types and the environmental conditions. At present, it is not clear how the SOC accumulation changes along the soil profile if conservational management practice was adopted. In this study, we collected 663 paired observational data of SOC changes with and without conservational management practices in grasslands of China from 176 published literatures that has both the surface (0?20 cm) and subsurface (to 40 cm depth) SOC measurements. The differences of SOC density (SOCD) between pre?management and post?management in the vertical soil layers were analyzed in order to establish a quantitative relationship of the SOC changes between the subsurface and the surface. The results revealed that in all grasslands, conservational management practices benefits the SOC accumulation by enhancing 0.43?1.14 Mg C ha-1 yr-1. But the SOC increment weakened downwards along the soil profile. While the surface SOC was enhanced by 17% after conservational management, the subsurface SOC was enhanced by only 7%. The SOC accumulation was closely correlated with restoration duration, pre-management SOCD and the environmental factors and differed greatly among different grasslands and the practices adopted. The alpine and mountain grassland showed a higher annual SOC increment than the temperate grassland with the annual rate of 1.62 and 0.72 Mg C ha-1 yr-1, respectively. The SOC increment caused by the artificial plantation and the grazing exclusion conservational management was more than 2-fold that of the cropland abandonment and the extensive utilization. With the quantitative relationship of the SOC changes between soil layers, we provide a methodological option to estimate SOC changes to layers deeper than the recommendation of IPCC when only the surface layer SOC increment is available. PMID:26356845

  4. A Landscape Analysis of Grassland Birds in a Valley Grassland-Oak Woodland Mosaic1

    E-print Network

    385 A Landscape Analysis of Grassland Birds in a Valley Grassland-Oak Woodland Mosaic1 Devii Rao,2 has been done on California grassland birds, their populations are thought to be declining due to habitat loss, fragmentation, and degradation. We investigated the association between California grassland

  5. Assessing invasiveness andAssessing invasiveness and invasibilityinvasibility inin European grasslandsEuropean grasslands

    E-print Network

    Dalang, Robert C.

    grasslandsEuropean grasslands A. Thébault, D. Pasche, F. Gillet & A. Buttler Laboratory of Ecological systems European Grassland South Africa North America Senecio inaequidens Centaurea maculosa Germination and growth is not significant when each species is tested separately. Hypothesis European grasslands are both source and sink

  6. Biogeochemical cycling in an annual grassland matrix: Responses and feedbacks to climate change

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Chou, Wendy Wen-Ting

    I used empirical methods and model simulations to examine the effects of altered rainfall, climate warming, and grazing management on biogeochemical cycling in a Northern California annual grassland landscape. Greenhouse gas fluxes from ecosystems in the annual grassland matrix create feedbacks to climate change and my primary research aim was to measure the magnitude of fluxes and their major environmental controls along multiple spatial and temporal scales. A multi-year field experiment in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California tested the effects of 50% increased rainfall quantity and a longer wet season on annual grassland net primary production, soil respiration, nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes, inorganic nitrogen cycling, litter decomposition, net ecosystem production, and other ecosystem functions. Changes in rainfall timing had a much stronger effect on soil respiration relative to altered wet-season rainfall totals, with implications that a longer or later wet season could result in significant losses of soil carbon (C). On a regional scale, I assessed the radiative warming potential of inland freshwater wetlands situated within the annual grassland matrix and contrasted this value with that of annual grasslands. Three years of monthly flux measurements revealed that spring-fed wetlands emitted more N2O and methane (CH4) than grasslands on a per-area basis, but that more radiative warming potential was attributable to grasslands when scaled up to the state. I conducted a laboratory incubation of grassland soils subjected to a range of temperature and wet-up levels. Temperature was a good linear predictor of cumulative CO 2 fluxes over the experiment but was a poorer predictor of N2O production, which was more strongly limited by moisture availability. Finally, I employed the DayCent soil organic matter model to explore longer-term effects of altered climate and grazing intensity on soil C storage, plant dynamics, and N2O emissions. According to the model, warming and wet-season extension increased both CO2 and N2O fluxes, whereas grazing removal caused divergent effects, enhancing N2O emissions and decreasing CO2 fluxes. In sum, these findings contribute toward a better understanding of how global change and ecosystem management affect biogeochemical fluxes and ecosystem stability.

  7. Municipal biosolid applications: Improving ecosystem services across urban, agricultural, and wildlife interfaces in Austin, Texas

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Our project encompasses emerging contaminants, ecosystem services, and urban-agriculture-wildlife interfaces. This seminal research collaboration between USDA-ARS Grassland, Soil, and Water Research Laboratory, The City of Austin Water Utility, and Texas Parks and Wildlife Environmental Contaminant...

  8. Ten-Ecosystem Study (TES) site 9, Washington County, Missouri

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Echert, W. H. (principal investigator)

    1979-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Sufficient spectral separability exists among softwood, hardwood, grassland, and water to develop a level 2 classification and inventory. Using the tested automatic data processing technology, softwood and grassland signatures can be extended across the county with acceptable accuracy; with more dense sampling, the hardwood signature probably could also be extended. Fall was found to be the best season for mapping this ecosystem.

  9. STOCHASTIC INTEGRATION FOR TEMPERED FRACTIONAL BROWNIAN MOTION

    PubMed Central

    MEERSCHAERT, MARK M.; SABZIKAR, FARZAD

    2014-01-01

    Tempered fractional Brownian motion is obtained when the power law kernel in the moving average representation of a fractional Brownian motion is multiplied by an exponential tempering factor. This paper develops the theory of stochastic integrals for tempered fractional Brownian motion. Along the way, we develop some basic results on tempered fractional calculus. PMID:24872598

  10. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2010 CFR

    2010-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2010-07-01 2010-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RANGE MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will...

  11. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2012 CFR

    2012-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2012-07-01 2012-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RANGE MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will...

  12. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2013 CFR

    2013-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2013-07-01 2013-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RANGE MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will...

  13. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2011 CFR

    2011-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2011-07-01 2011-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RANGE MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will...

  14. 36 CFR 222.52 - National Grasslands.

    Code of Federal Regulations, 2014 CFR

    2014-07-01

    ... 36 Parks, Forests, and Public Property 2 2014-07-01 2014-07-01 false National Grasslands. 222.52 Section 222.52 Parks, Forests, and Public Property FOREST SERVICE, DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE RANGE MANAGEMENT Grazing Fees § 222.52 National Grasslands. Grazing fees for National Grasslands will...

  15. Groundwater use and salinization with grassland afforestation

    E-print Network

    Nacional de San Luis, Universidad

    Groundwater use and salinization with grassland afforestation E S T E B A N G . J O B B A´ G Y *w of afforested grasslands based on biophysical, hydrologic, and edaphic factors. We tested this framework in 20 paired grassland and adjacent afforested plots across ten sites in the Argentine Pampas. Rapid

  16. [Analyses of the correlation between the fluxes of CO2 and the distribution of C & N in grassland soils].

    PubMed

    Li, Ming-feng; Dong, Yun-she; Geng, Yuan-bo; Qi, Yu-chun

    2004-03-01

    Using static dark enclosed chamber technique, the emissions of CO2 from typical temperate grasslands such as Stipa baicalensis, Leymus chinensis, Stipa grandis and Stipa krylovii in Xilin River Basin of Inner Mongolia were measured. And the contents of organic carbon and total nitrogen in different soil layers were also studied to analyze the correlation between the emissions of CO2 and the contents of C & N. The results showed that the emissions of CO2 from the 4 grassland communities were significantly positively correlated with soil organic carbon and total nitrogen in different layers of grassland soils, and the correlation coefficients were almost all above 0.8. That meant the flux of CO2 is severely influenced by the contents of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen when environmental factors were similar. The decreases of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen with the depth into soils (more than 70% of the contents centralizes above 0-30 cm layer) showed that most of them came from the decomposition of organic matter on the earth's surface. In the 0-100 cm layer of grassland soils, the decreases of amount of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen from Stipa baicalensis, Stipa grandis and Leymus chinensis grasslands to Stipa krylovii grassland orderly showed that the impacts of precipitation, evaporation and dryness index on the distribution of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen were important. PMID:15202225

  17. Avian assemblages on altered grasslands

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Knopf, Fritz L.

    1994-01-01

    Grasslands comprise 17% of the North American landscape but provide primary habitat for only 5% of native bird species. On the Great Plains, grasslands include an eastern component of tall grasses and a western component of short grasses, both of which have been regionally altered by removing native grazers, plowing sod, draining wetlands, and encouraging woody vegetation. As a group, populations of endemic bird species of the grasslands have declined more than others (including neotropical migrants) in the last quarter century. Individually, populations of the Upland Sandpiper and McCown’s Longspur have increased; the wetlands-associated Marbled Godwit and Wilson’s Phalarope appear stable; breeding ranges are shifting for the Ferruginous Hawk, Mississippi Kite, Short-eared Owl, Upland Sandpiper, Horned Lark, Vesper, Savannah, and Henslow’s sparrows, and Western Meadowlark; breeding habitats are disappearing locally for Franklin’s Gull, Dickcissel, Henslow’s and Grasshopper sparrows. Lark Bunting, and Eastern Meadowlark; and populations are declining throughout the breeding ranges for Mountain Plover, and Cassin’s and Clay-colored sparrows. Declines of these latter three species, and also the Franklin’s Gull, presumably are due to ecological phenomena on their respective wintering areas. Unlike forest species that winter in the neotropics, most birds that breed in the North American grasslands also winter on the continent and problems driving declines in grassland species are associated almost entirely with North American processes. Contemporary programs and initiatives hold promise for the conservation of breeding habitats for these birds. Ecological ignorance of wintering habits and habitats clouds the future of the endemic birds of grasslands, especially those currently experiencing widespread declines across breeding locales.

  18. Saturn's north temperate region

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    1981-01-01

    This comparison shows Saturn's north temperate region as viewed Nov. 5, 1980, by Voyager 1 (left) and Aug. 21 by its sister craft, Voyager 2, from a range of 5 million kilometers (3.1 million miles). The large bright oval feature in the lower right of each frame measures about 2,500 km. (1,550 mi.) across. This feature, a gigantic storm system in the planet's atmosphere, was first observed by Voyager 1 almost exactly one year ago. Thus, as on Jupiter, some storms in Saturn's atmosphere are quite long-lived compared to their smaller terrestrial counterparts. By contrast, the pattern of convective disturbances to the north (upper right) undergoes rapid changes in a matter of even a few days. In some respects, these features resemble gigantic thunderstorms. The largest bright feature in the Voyager 1 photograph extends about 7,500 km. (4,650 mi.) from north to south. These giant storms lie within one of the strongest westward-flowing currents observed in the atmosphere, with wind speeds of about 20 meters-per-second (45 mph). The smallest visible features here are about 100 km. (62 mi.) across. The Voyager project is managed for NASA by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Pasadena, Calif.

  19. Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems

    PubMed Central

    Olff, Han; Alonso, David; Berg, Matty P.; Eriksson, B. Klemens; Loreau, Michel; Piersma, Theunis; Rooney, Neil

    2009-01-01

    In ecosystems, species interact with other species directly and through abiotic factors in multiple ways, often forming complex networks of various types of ecological interaction. Out of this suite of interactions, predator–prey interactions have received most attention. The resulting food webs, however, will always operate simultaneously with networks based on other types of ecological interaction, such as through the activities of ecosystem engineers or mutualistic interactions. Little is known about how to classify, organize and quantify these other ecological networks and their mutual interplay. The aim of this paper is to provide new and testable ideas on how to understand and model ecosystems in which many different types of ecological interaction operate simultaneously. We approach this problem by first identifying six main types of interaction that operate within ecosystems, of which food web interactions are one. Then, we propose that food webs are structured among two main axes of organization: a vertical (classic) axis representing trophic position and a new horizontal ‘ecological stoichiometry’ axis representing decreasing palatability of plant parts and detritus for herbivores and detrivores and slower turnover times. The usefulness of these new ideas is then explored with three very different ecosystems as test cases: temperate intertidal mudflats; temperate short grass prairie; and tropical savannah. PMID:19451126

  20. Parallel ecological networks in ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Olff, Han; Alonso, David; Berg, Matty P; Eriksson, B Klemens; Loreau, Michel; Piersma, Theunis; Rooney, Neil

    2009-06-27

    In ecosystems, species interact with other species directly and through abiotic factors in multiple ways, often forming complex networks of various types of ecological interaction. Out of this suite of interactions, predator-prey interactions have received most attention. The resulting food webs, however, will always operate simultaneously with networks based on other types of ecological interaction, such as through the activities of ecosystem engineers or mutualistic interactions. Little is known about how to classify, organize and quantify these other ecological networks and their mutual interplay. The aim of this paper is to provide new and testable ideas on how to understand and model ecosystems in which many different types of ecological interaction operate simultaneously. We approach this problem by first identifying six main types of interaction that operate within ecosystems, of which food web interactions are one. Then, we propose that food webs are structured among two main axes of organization: a vertical (classic) axis representing trophic position and a new horizontal 'ecological stoichiometry' axis representing decreasing palatability of plant parts and detritus for herbivores and detrivores and slower turnover times. The usefulness of these new ideas is then explored with three very different ecosystems as test cases: temperate intertidal mudflats; temperate short grass prairie; and tropical savannah. PMID:19451126

  1. Description, calibration and sensitivity analysis of the local ecosystem submodel of a global model of carbon and nitrogen cycling and the water balance in the terrestrial biosphere

    SciTech Connect

    Kercher, J.R.; Chambers, J.Q.

    1995-10-01

    We have developed a geographically-distributed ecosystem model for the carbon, nitrogen, and water dynamics of the terrestrial biosphere TERRA. The local ecosystem model of TERRA consists of coupled, modified versions of TEM and DAYTRANS. The ecosystem model in each grid cell calculates water fluxes of evaporation, transpiration, and runoff; carbon fluxes of gross primary productivity, litterfall, and plant and soil respiration; and nitrogen fluxes of vegetation uptake, litterfall, mineralization, immobilization, and system loss. The state variables are soil water content; carbon in live vegetation; carbon in soil; nitrogen in live vegetation; organic nitrogen in soil and fitter; available inorganic nitrogen aggregating nitrites, nitrates, and ammonia; and a variable for allocation. Carbon and nitrogen dynamics are calibrated to specific sites in 17 vegetation types. Eight parameters are determined during calibration for each of the 17 vegetation types. At calibration, the annual average values of carbon in vegetation C, show site differences that derive from the vegetation-type specific parameters and intersite variation in climate and soils. From calibration, we recover the average C{sub v} of forests, woodlands, savannas, grasslands, shrublands, and tundra that were used to develop the model initially. The timing of the phases of the annual variation is driven by temperature and light in the high latitude and moist temperate zones. The dry temperate zones are driven by temperature, precipitation, and light. In the tropics, precipitation is the key variable in annual variation. The seasonal responses are even more clearly demonstrated in net primary production and show the same controlling factors.

  2. Responses of soil fungal community to the sandy grassland restoration in Horqin Sandy Land, northern China.

    PubMed

    Wang, Shao-Kun; Zuo, Xiao-An; Zhao, Xue-Yong; Li, Yu-Qiang; Zhou, Xin; Lv, Peng; Luo, Yong-Qing; Yun, Jian-Ying

    2016-01-01

    Sandy grassland restoration is a vital process including re-structure of soils, restoration of vegetation, and soil functioning in arid and semi-arid regions. Soil fungal community is a complex and critical component of soil functioning and ecological balance due to its roles in organic matter decomposition and nutrient cycling following sandy grassland restoration. In this study, soil fungal community and its relationship with environmental factors were examined along a habitat gradient of sandy grassland restoration: mobile dunes (MD), semi-fixed dunes (SFD), fixed dunes (FD), and grassland (G). It was found that species abundance, richness, and diversity of fungal community increased along with the sandy grassland restoration. The sequences analysis suggested that most of the fungal species (68.4 %) belonged to the phylum of Ascomycota. The three predominant fungal species were Pleospora herbarum, Wickerhamomyces anomalus, and Deconica Montana, accounting for more than one fourth of all the 38 species. Geranomyces variabilis was the subdominant species in MD, Pseudogymnoascus destructans and Mortierella alpine were the subdominant species in SFD, and P. destructans and Fungi incertae sedis were the dominant species in FD and G. The result from redundancy analysis (RDA) and stepwise regression analysis indicated that the vegetation characteristics and soil properties explain a significant proportion of the variation in the fungal community, and aboveground biomass and C:N ratio are the key factors to determine soil fungal community composition during sandy grassland restoration. It was suggested that the restoration of sandy grassland combined with vegetation and soil properties improved the soil fungal diversity. Also, the dominant species was found to be alternative following the restoration of sandy grassland ecosystems. PMID:26661957

  3. Land use affects the resistance and resilience of carbon dynamics of mountain grassland to extreme drought

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Ingrisch, Johannes; Karlowsky, Stefan; Hasibeder, Roland; Anadon-Rosell, Alba; Augusti, Angela; Scheld, Sarah; König, Alexander; Gleixner, Gerd; Bahn, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Climatic extremes like droughts are expected to occur more frequently and to be more severe in a future climate and have been shown to strongly affect the carbon (C) cycle. Few studies have so far explored how the management intensity of ecosystems and land-use changes alter C cycle responses to extreme climatic events. In many mountain areas land-use changes have been taking place at a rapid pace and have altered plant species composition and biogeochemical cycles. It is still unknown whether and how abandonment of mountain grasslands affects the resistance and the resilience of carbon dynamics to extreme drought. We carried out an in situ experiment to test the hypothesis that abandonment increases the resistance of grassland C dynamics to extreme drought, but decreases its resilience (i.e. post-drought recovery). In a common garden experiment at a mountain meadow in the Austrian Central Alps we exposed large intact monoliths from the meadow and a nearby abandoned grassland to extreme drought conditions during the main growth period in late spring. We measured above- and belowground productivity and net ecosystem exchange and its components over the course of the drought and during the recovery to assess and quantify their resistance and resilience. Furthermore, we analysed the coupling of the two major ecosystem CO2 fluxes, photosynthesis and soil respiration, as based on 13CO2 pulse labelling campaigns at peak drought and during post-drought recovery using isotope laser spectroscopy. Four weeks of early season drought induced a strong decrease of aboveground biomass at the mountain meadow, whereas no effect was observed for the abandoned grassland. At peak drought gross primary productivity was reduced at both grasslands compared to the respective controls, but with a stronger decrease at the meadow (80%) compared to the abandoned grassland (60%). The same pattern was observed for ecosystem respiration. However, the effect was less pronounced compared to carbon uptake (meadow 60%, abandoned grassland 25%). After the drought gross primary productivity reached values of control plots within 9 days and 17 days at the meadow and the abandoned site, respectively, resulting in distinctly higher recovery rates at the meadow. From our study we conclude that the managed meadow had a smaller resistance but a higher resilience to extreme drought compared to the abandoned grassland.

  4. Jonathan J. Cole Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

    E-print Network

    Jonathan J. Cole Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies Box AB, 2801 Sharon Turnpike Millbrook, NY Publications (from about 210) Cole, J.J. 2013. Freshwater ecosystems and the carbon cycle. In: Kinne O (ed.L. Pace and J. J. Cole 2013. Terrestrial dominance of organic matter in north temperate lakes. Global

  5. Restoration of spatial heterogeneity and ecohydrological processes in semi-arid grassland: Influence of timing and landscape context on long-term changes in soil and vegetation

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    The success of ecosystem restoration in semi-arid grasslands is variable and unpredictable. Water retention dikes (7.5-30 cm tall, 50-150 m long) were installed at the Jornada Experimental Range (3-6 dikes/site) in the Chihuahuan Desert from 1975-1981 in an effort to restore ecosystem structure and ...

  6. Hierarchical traits distances explain grassland Fabaceae species' ecological niches distances

    PubMed Central

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland Fabaceae species to different habitats, i.e., ecological niches. We measured a wide range of functional traits (root traits, leaf traits, and whole plant traits) in these species. Species phylogenetic and ecological distances were assessed from a species-level phylogenetic tree and species' ecological indicator values, respectively. We demonstrated that differences in ecological niches between grassland Fabaceae species were related more to their hierarchical trait distances than to their phylogenetic distances. We showed that grassland Fabaceae functional traits tend to converge among species with the same ecological requirements. Species with acquisitive root strategies (thin roots, shallow root systems) are competitive species adapted to non-stressful meadows, while conservative ones (coarse roots, deep root systems) are able to tolerate stressful continental climates. In contrast, acquisitive species appeared to be able to tolerate low soil-P availability, while conservative ones need high P availability. Finally we highlight that traits converge along the ecological gradient, providing the assumption that species with similar root-trait values are better able to coexist, regardless of their phylogenetic distance. PMID:25741353

  7. Functional patterns in an annual grassland during an AVIRIS overflight

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Gamon, John A.; Field, Christopher B.; Roberts, Dar A.; Ustin, Susan L.; Valentini, Riccardo

    1993-01-01

    This study relates Airborne Visible/Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) imagery to ground measurements of vegetation distribution, physiology, and productivity at Stanford University's Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. Primary efforts focused on a 9-ha region of annual grassland where we completed a detailed ground-based study in conjunction with a 15 May 1991 AVIRIS overflight. Spectral mixture analysis and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) calculated from AVIRIS data were used to evaluate spatial patterns of vegetation type, productivity, and potential physiological activity. Concurrent ground sampling revealed a high degree of correlation between NDVI and estimates of canopy chemistry, structure, productivity, and CO2 flux, supporting the use of imaging spectrometry to estimate spatial and temporal trends in vegetation physiology and productivity in this relatively simple grassland ecosystem. Geostatistical analyses of both ground and AVIRIS data supported the conclusion that the AVIRIS pixel size was suitable for describing the influence of major landscape features in this grassland and that spatial detail would be lost at slightly larger pixel sizes typical of other imaging spectrometers.

  8. Canopy reflectance modeling in a tropical wooded grassland

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Simonett, David; Franklin, Janet

    1986-01-01

    Geometric/optical canopy reflectance modeling and spatial/spectral pattern recognition is used to study the form and structure of savanna in West Africa. An invertible plant canopy reflectance model is tested for its ability to estimate the amount of woody vegetation from remotely sensed data in areas of sparsely wooded grassland. Dry woodlands and wooded grasslands, commonly referred to as savannas, are important ecologically and economically in Africa, and cover approximately forty percent of the continen