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Sample records for temperate grassland ecosystem

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Kim, Joon; Verma, Shashi B.

    1990-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  4. 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

  5. Impact of inter-annual climatic variability on ecosystem carbon exchange in two grazed temperate grasslands with contrasting drainage regimes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choncubhair, Órlaith Ní; Humphreys, James; Lanigan, Gary

    2014-05-01

    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. Predicted future warming is expected to increase productivity in temperate zones, thereby enhancing rates of terrestrial carbon sequestration. However, the susceptibility of many ecosystems, including grasslands, to extreme climatic events and inter-annual variability has been demonstrated previously. Temperature anomalies as well as modifications in the temporal pattern and quantity of precipitation alter the balance between carbon uptake and release processes and a mechanistic understanding of ecosystem response to such changes is still lacking. In the present study, the impact of extreme inter-annual variability in summer rainfall and temperature on carbon dynamics in two rotationally-grazed grasslands in Ireland was examined. The sites experience similar temperate climatic regimes but differ in soil drainage characteristics. 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. The summers of 2012 and 2013 showed contrasting climatic conditions, with summer precipitation 93% higher and 25% lower respectively than long-term means. In addition, soil temperatures were 7% lower and 11% higher than expected. Cool, wet conditions in 2012 facilitated net carbon uptake for more than ten months of the year at the poorly-drained site, however the ecosystem switched to a net source of carbon in 2013 during months with significantly reduced rainfall. In contrast, net C

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, P.

    2014-12-01

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

  7. Carbon dynamics in aboveground biomass of co-dominant plant species in a temperate grassland ecosystem: same or different?

    PubMed

    Ostler, Ulrike; Schleip, Inga; Lattanzi, Fernando A; Schnyder, Hans

    2016-04-01

    Understanding the role of individual organisms in whole-ecosystem carbon (C) fluxes is probably the biggest current challenge in C cycle research. Thus, it is unknown whether different plant community members share the same or different residence times in metabolic (τmetab ) and nonmetabolic (i.e. structural) (τnonmetab ) C pools of aboveground biomass and the fraction of fixed C allocated to aboveground nonmetabolic biomass (Anonmetab ). We assessed τmetab , τnonmetab and Anonmetab of co-dominant species from different functional groups (two bunchgrasses, a stoloniferous legume and a rosette dicot) in a temperate grassland community. Continuous, 14-16-d-long (13) C-labeling experiments were performed in September 2006, May 2007 and September 2007. A two-pool compartmental system, with a well-mixed metabolic and a nonmixed nonmetabolic pool, was the simplest biologically meaningful model that fitted the (13) C tracer kinetics in the whole-shoot biomass of all species. In all experimental periods, the species had similar τmetab (5-8 d), whereas τnonmetab ranged from 20 to 58 d (except for one outlier) and Anonmetab from 7 to 45%. Variations in τnonmetab and Anonmetab were not systematically associated with species or experimental periods, but exhibited relationships with leaf life span, particularly in the grasses. Similar pool kinetics of species suggested similar kinetics at the community level.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  9. Evaluating potential indicators of ecosystem processes across local gradients in a temperate grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Science-based information is needed to identify indicators of ecosystem services that may then be used to monitor natural resources and quantify effects of management. Here our aim was to perform a local gradient study to elucidate correlative associations between vegetation and multiple soil prope...

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-04-27

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  13. Relation of chlorophyll fluorescence sensitive reflectance ratios to carbon flux measurements of montanne grassland and norway spruce forest ecosystems in the temperate zone.

    PubMed

    Ač, Alexander; Malenovský, Zbyněk; Urban, Otmar; Hanuš, Jan; Zitová, Martina; Navrátil, Martin; Vráblová, Martina; Olejníčková, Julie; Spunda, 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 (A(MAX)) was detected in instantaneous measurements of grassland under steady-state irradiance conditions. Once the temporal dimension and daily irradiance variation were included into the experimental setup, statistically significant changes in VIs related to tested physiological parameters were revealed. ΔPRI and Δ(R₆₈₆/R₆₃₀) of grassland plant leaves under dark-to-full sunlight transition in the scale of minutes were significantly related to A(MAX) (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.

  14. Ecosystem services and grasslands in America

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-10

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-09-01

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

  4. Remote estimation of GPP in temperate grassland: implications of the uncertainty in GPP estimation in semi-arid ecosystems using MODIS data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Liu, Shishi; Peng, Yi; Brunsell, Nathaniel; Guan, Qingfeng

    2015-09-01

    This study analyzed grassland gross primary production (GPP) estimated by the Temperature and Greenness (TG) model and the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) algorithm along the mean precipitation gradient and as a function of interannual variability in site-level precipitation. The calibrated TG model and MODIS algorithm appeared to provide accurate GPP estimations at three study sites with varying precipitation. However, the evaluation for each site/year demonstrated the variations of the accuracy of GPP estimates among different sites and years. GPP were overestimated at the driest site among three study sites, and during the dry years of the semiarid site. Both models provided more accurate GPP estimates for the wet site and during the wet and normal years of the semiarid sites. Calibrating both models for each site/year showed that the parameters of both models varied among sites and years, especially for the TG model. The relationship between flux-tower GPP observations and (scaled EVI *scaled LST) for the TG model and the relationship between GPP observations and (fPAR*PAR*Tmin scalar*VPD scalar) for the MODIS algorithm were different during green-up and dry-down period of grassland during the dry years at semiarid sites. This result implied that different relationships at different growing stages might be one of the major reasons for the overestimation of GPP by the TG model and the MODIS algorithm for semiarid grassland where water is a limiting resource. Thus, both TG model and MODIS algorithm should be used with caution in the arid and semiarid grassland regions

  5. 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,...

  6. Predictors of nitrogen-fixing activity across a local gradient in fire history for a temperate semiarid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Since nitrogen is the primary limiting nutrient in terrestrial ecosystems, understanding the regulators of nitrogen (N2) fixation is critical. Our aim was to identify predictors of free-living N2-fixer activity across a fire history gradient in a temperate semiarid grassland. We predicted that rec...

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. Impacts of grassland types and vegetation cover changes on surface air temperature in the regions of temperate grassland of China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Shen, Xiangjin; Liu, Binhui; Li, Guangdi; Yu, Pujia; Zhou, Daowei

    2016-10-01

    The sensitivity of surface air temperature response to different grassland types and vegetation cover changes in the regions of temperate grassland of China was analyzed by observation minus reanalysis (OMR) method. The basis of the OMR approach is that reanalysis data are insensitive to local surface properties, so the temperature differences between surface observations and reanalysis can be attributed to land effects. Results showed that growing-season air temperature increased by 0.592 °C/decade in the regions of temperate grassland of China, with about 31 % of observed warming associated with the effects of grassland types and vegetation cover changes. For different grassland types, the growing-season OMR trend was the strongest for temperate desert steppe (0.259 °C/decade) and the weakest for temperate meadow (0.114 °C/decade). Our results suggest that the stronger intraseasonal changes of grassland vegetation are present, the more sensitive the OMR trend responds to the intraseasonal vegetation cover changes. In August and September, the OMR of temperate meadow showed a weak cooling trend. For temperate meadow, about 72.2 and 72.6 % of surface cooling were explained by both grassland type and increase of vegetation cover for August and September, respectively. For temperate steppe and temperate desert steppe, due to the limited soil moisture and little evaporative cooling feedback, the vegetation changes have no significant effect on the surface air temperature. These results indicate that the impact of grassland types and vegetation cover changes should be considered when projecting further climate change in the temperate grassland region of China.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Watson, C. J.

    2015-12-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Hou, Xiangyang; Schellenberg, Michael P.

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

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

  1. Patterns of plant biomass allocation in temperate grasslands across a 2500-km transect in northern China.

    PubMed

    Luo, Wentao; Jiang, Yong; Lü, Xiaotao; Wang, Xue; Li, Mai-He; Bai, Edith; Han, Xingguo; Xu, Zhuwen

    2013-01-01

    Plant biomass allocation between below- and above-ground parts can actively adapt to the ambient growth conditions and is a key parameter for estimating terrestrial ecosystem carbon (C) stocks. To investigate how climatic variations affect patterns of plant biomass allocation, we sampled 548 plants belonging to four dominant genera (Stipa spp., Cleistogenes spp., Agropyron spp., and Leymus spp.) along a large-scale (2500 km) climatic gradient across the temperate grasslands from west to east in northern China. Our results showed that Leymus spp. had the lowest root/shoot ratios among the each genus. Root/shoot ratios of each genera were positively correlated with mean annual temperature (MAT), and negatively correlated with mean annual precipitation (MAP) across the transect. Temperature contributed more to the variation of root/shoot ratios than precipitation for Cleistogenes spp. (C4 plants), whereas precipitation exerted a stronger influence than temperature on their variations for the other three genera (C3 plants). From east to west, investment of C into the belowground parts increased as precipitation decreased while temperature increased. Such changes in biomass allocation patterns in response to climatic factors may alter the competition regimes among co-existing plants, resulting in changes in community composition, structure and ecosystem functions. Our results suggested that future climate change would have great impact on C allocation and storage, as well as C turnover in the grassland ecosystems in northern China. PMID:23977135

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  3. Locally rare species influence grassland ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

  4. Locally rare species influence grassland ecosystem multifunctionality.

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-11-01

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

  8. 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

  9. Acetaldehyde exchange above a managed temperate mountain grassland.

    PubMed

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

    2013-10-01

    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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-10-01

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

  14. Nitrogen retention efficiency and nitrogen losses of a managed and phytodiverse temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Keuter, A.

    2012-04-01

    In consequence of the increasing global population, it is necessary to keep N losses at the minimum while maintaining soil fertility and high yields. The goal of our study was to assess how management practices and sward functional diversity affected N losses and N retention efficiency in a temperate grassland. We measured N retention efficiency as the ratio of N losses (N2O emission and NO3- and DON leaching) to soil available N (gross N mineralization rates). Our study was conducted in a grassland management experiment (GRASSMAN) located in Solling, Germany; the experimental design was three-factorial with two mowing frequencies (cut once and thrice per year), two fertilization treatments (180 - 30 - 100 kg NPK ha-1 yr-1 and no fertilization), and three sward compositions (dicot-enhanced swards with nearly equal proportions of dicots and monocots, control swards with ~ 70% monocots and ~ 30% dicots and monocot-enhanced swards with ~90% monocots and 10% dicots). N2O emission and NO3 leaching were significantly increased by fertilization and decreased by more frequent mowing. An interaction between these factors showed that frequent mowing can mitigate the negative effects of fertilization on N losses. N retention efficiency was largely influenced by fertilization and sward composition: N retention efficiencies were larger in unfertilized plots than fertilized plots, and decreased in the order of control > dicot-enhanced > monocot-enhanced swards. Microbial N immobilization turned out to be more important for N retention than plant N uptake. We concluded that over the past 5 decades the prevailing management practices have led to an equilibrium sward composition in this grassland ecosystem in which optimal proportions of monocots and dicots (i.e. unmanipulated control plots) developed to maximize N retention efficiency. Deviations from these proportions reduce N retention efficiency.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Assessing catchment-scale erosion and yields of suspended solids from improved temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    Bilotta, G S; Krueger, T; Brazier, R E; Butler, P; Freer, J; Hawkins, J M B; Haygarth, P M; Macleod, C J A; Quinton, J N

    2010-03-01

    This paper quantifies the yields of suspended solids (SS) from a headwater catchment managed as improved temperate grassland, providing the first direct, catchment-scale evidence of the rates of erosion from this land-use in the UK and assessing the threat posed to aquatic ecosystems. High-resolution monitoring of catchment hydrology and the concentrations of SS and volatile organic matter (VOM) were carried out in the first-order channel of the Den Brook headwater catchment in Devon (UK) during the 2006-2007 hydrological season. The widely used 'rating curve' (discharge-concentration) approach was employed to estimate yields of SS, but as demonstrated by previous researchers, this study showed that discharge is a poor predictor of SS concentrations and therefore any yields estimated from this technique are likely to be highly uncertain. Nevertheless, for the purpose of providing estimates of yields that are comparable to previous studies on other land uses/sources, this technique was adopted albeit in an uncertainty-based framework. The findings suggest that contrary to the common perception, grasslands can be erosive landscapes with SS yields from this catchment estimated to be between 0.54 and 1.21 t ha(-1) y(-1). In terms of on-site erosion problems, this rate of erosion does not significantly exceed the commonly used 'tolerable' threshold in the UK ( approximately 1 t ha(-1) y(-1)). In terms of off-site erosion problems, it is argued here that the conventional expression of SS yield as a bulk annual figure has little relevance to the water quality and ecological status of surface waters and therefore an alternative technique (the concentration-frequency curve) is developed within this paper for the specific purpose of assessing the ecological threat posed by the delivery of SS into surface waters. This technique illustrates that concentrations of SS recorded at the catchment outlet frequently exceed the water quality guidelines, such as those of the EU

  19. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Predicting risk of habitat conversion in native temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

    Stephens, Scott E; Walker, Johann A; Blunck, Darin R; Jayaraman, Aneetha; Naugle, David E; Ringelman, James K; Smith, Aaron J

    2008-10-01

    Native grasslands that support diverse populations of birds are being converted to cropland at an increasing rate in the Prairie Pothole Region of North America. Although limited funding is currently available to mitigate losses, accurate predictions of probability of conversion would increase the efficiency of conservation measures. We studied conversion of native grassland to cropland in the Missouri Coteau region of North and South Dakota (U.S.A.) during 1989-2003. We estimated the probability of conversion of native grassland to cropland with satellite imagery and logistic regression models that predicted risk of conversion and by comparing the overlap between areas of high biological value and areas most vulnerable to conversion. Annualized probability of conversion was 0.004, and 36,540 ha of native grassland were converted to cropland during the period of our study. Our predictive models fit the data and correctly predicted 70% of observed conversions of grassland. Probability of conversion varied spatially and was correlated with landscape features like amount of surrounding grassland, slope, and soil productivity. Tracts of high biological value were not always at high risk of conversion. We concluded the most biologically valuable areas that are most vulnerable to conversion should be prioritized for conservation. This approach can be applied broadly to other systems and offers great utility for implementing conservation in areas with spatially variable biological value and probability of conversion. PMID:18717691

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-06-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

  7. Impacts of soil faunal community composition on model grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Bradford, M A; Jones, T H; Bardgett, R D; Black, H I J; Boag, B; Bonkowski, M; Cook, R; Eggers, T; Gange, A C; Grayston, S J; Kandeler, E; McCaig, A E; Newington, J E; Prosser, J I; Setälä, H; Staddon, P L; Tordoff, G M; Tscherko, D; Lawton, J H

    2002-10-18

    Human impacts, including global change, may alter the composition of soil faunal communities, but consequences for ecosystem functioning are poorly understood. We constructed model grassland systems in the Ecotron controlled environment facility and manipulated soil community composition through assemblages of different animal body sizes. Plant community composition, microbial and root biomass, decomposition rate, and mycorrhizal colonization were all markedly affected. However, two key ecosystem processes, aboveground net primary productivity and net ecosystem productivity, were surprisingly resistant to these changes. We hypothesize that positive and negative faunal-mediated effects in soil communities cancel each other out, causing no net ecosystem effects.

  8. 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.

  9. Bifurcation analysis of a forest-grassland ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Russo, Lucia; Spiliotis, Konstantinos G.

    2016-06-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Response of grassland ecosystems to prolonged soil moisture deficit

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  13. Quantification of dung carbon incorporation in a temperate grassland soil following spring application using bulk stable carbon isotope determinations.

    PubMed

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

    2005-03-01

    Herbivore dung constitutes a substantial input of C to temperate grassland soils, and its fate must be determined in order to fully understand nutrient cycling in this ecosystem. This experiment used changes in bulk delta13C values of the 0-1 cm and 1-5 cm soil horizons of a dung-treated temperate grassland soil to approximate percentage applied dung C incorporation over 372 days. Natural abundance 13C-labelled C4 dung (delta13C - 12.6%) and C3 dung (delta13C - 31.3% were produced in a monitored diet switch from ryegrass silage (delta13C - 30.1%) to maize silage (delta13C - 11.6%). The dung was applied to a C3 grassland (delta13C 0-1 cm - 29.9%, 1-5 cm - 30.6%), and dung remains and soil cores from beneath the treatments were sampled at intervals. delta13C values were used to estimate a maximum of 12% applied dung C incorporation in the top 5 cm of the soil after 112 days, which declined to around 8% at the end of the experiment. A significant increase in percentage applied dung C was observed in the top 1 cm of soil, compared with the 1-5 cm horizon, after a substantial rain event after 30 days. However, results of forage fibre analyses of the two dung types revealed significant differences in composition which may affect subsequent calculations of percentage dung incorporation based on bulk delta13C values.

  14. Effects of recurring summer droughts on ecosystem photosynthesis and respiration in a mountain grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Schmitt, Michael; Ingrisch, Johannes; Sturm, Patrick; Ladreiter-Knauss, Thomas; Hasibeder, Roland; Bramboeck, Peter; Berger, Vanessa; Bahn, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Climatic changes in mountain regions play a key role in current and future grassland ecosystem processes. It is currently expected that droughts and heatwaves will become more frequent in a changing climate. All around the world mountain regions have been labelled as sensitive zones, where declining water availability and increasing temperature are expected to increase the vulnerability of these ecosystems. However, the effects of such extreme events on ecosystem carbon (C) fluxes and their coupling in temperate and so far non-water limited Alpine grasslands are not yet well understood. We studied effects of recurring summer drought on the C dynamics of a mountain meadow at 1820 m and an abandoned grassland at 2000 m in the Austrian Central Alps. The aim of the study was (1) to analyse the multiannual effect of drought on net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and its major component processes, i.e. gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco), and (2) to trace drought effects on the use of recent C in soil respiration. We tested the hypothesis that drought reduces NEE, GPP and Reco and the ratio of GPP / Reco and causes a reduction in the use of recent photoassimilates in belowground respiration. At each study site, exclusion of rainfall was achieved by establishing rain-out shelters for a period of two months (June, July), while control plots remained exposed to natural precipitation. To trace the fate of recent C from assimilation to respiration 13CO2 pulse-labelling was carried out at the meadow site, and the carbon isotope composition of soil respired CO2 was continuously monitored with an open dynamic-chamber system coupled with a quantum cascade laser. Our results showed that at both sites NEE, GPP and Reco showed a consistent reduction with reduction in soil water level. Drought reduced ecosystem respiration to a lesser extent than photosynthesis. We observed memory effects on all flux processes after 3 years of recurring drought on the

  15. Surface temperature retrieval in a temperate grassland with multiresolution sensors

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Goetz, S. J.; Halthore, R. N.; Hall, F. G.; Markham, B. L.

    1995-12-01

    Radiometric surface temperatures retrieved at various spatial resolutions from aircraft and satellite measurements at the FIFE site in eastern Kansas were compared with near-surface temperature measurements to determine the accuracy of the retrieval techniques and consistency between the various sensors. Atmospheric characterizations based on local radiosonde profiles of temperature, pressure, and water vapor were used with the LOWTRAN-7 and MODTRAN atmospheric radiance models to correct measured thermal radiances of water and grassland targets for atmospheric attenuation. Comparison of retrieved surface temperatures from a helicopter-mounted modular multispectral radiometer (MMR) (˜5-m "pixel"), C-130 mounted thematic mapper simulator (TMS) (NS001, ˜20-m pixel), and the Landsat 5 thematic mapper (TM) (120-m pixel) was done. Differences between atmospherically corrected radiative temperatures and near-surface measurements ranged from less than 1°C to more than 8°C. Corrected temperatures from helicopter-MMR and NS001-TMS were in general agreement with near-surface infrared radiative thermometer (IRT) measurements collected from automated meteorological stations, with mean differences of 3.2°C and 1.7°C for grassland targets. Much better agreement (within 1°C) was found between the retrieved aircraft surface temperatures and near-surface measurements acquired with a hand-held mast equipped with a MMR and IRT. The NS001-TMS was also in good agreement with near-surface temperatures acquired over water targets. In contrast, the Landsat 5 TM systematically overestimated surface temperature in all cases. This result has been noted previously but not consistently. On the basis of the results reported here, surface measurements were used to provide a calibration of the TM thermal channel. Further evaluation of the in-flight radiometric calibration of the TM thermal channel is recommended.

  16. Differences in SOM decomposition and temperature sensitivity among soil aggregate size classes in a temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. Plant functional group composition modifies the effects of precipitation change on grassland ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Fry, Ellen L; Manning, Pete; Allen, David G P; Hurst, Alex; Everwand, Georg; Rimmler, Martin; Power, Sally A

    2013-01-01

    Temperate grassland ecosystems face a future of precipitation change, which can alter community composition and ecosystem functions through reduced soil moisture and waterlogging. There is evidence that functionally diverse plant communities contain a wider range of water use and resource capture strategies, resulting in greater resistance of ecosystem function to precipitation change. To investigate this interaction between composition and precipitation change we performed a field experiment for three years in successional grassland in southern England. This consisted of two treatments. The first, precipitation change, simulated end of century predictions, and consisted of a summer drought phase alongside winter rainfall addition. The second, functional group identity, divided the plant community into three groups based on their functional traits- broadly described as perennials, caespitose grasses and annuals- and removed these groups in a factorial design. Ecosystem functions related to C, N and water cycling were measured regularly. Effects of functional groupidentity were apparent, with the dominant trend being that process rates were higher under control conditions where a range of perennial species were present. E.g. litter decomposition rates were significantly higher in plots containing several perennial species, the group with the highest average leaf N content. Process rates were also very strongly affected by the precipitation change treatmentwhen perennial plant species were dominant, but not where the community contained a high abundance of annual species and caespitose grasses. This contrasting response could be attributable to differing rooting patterns (shallower structures under annual plants, and deeper roots under perennials) and faster nutrient uptake in annuals compared to perennials. Our results indicate that precipitation change will have a smaller effect on key process rates in grasslandscontaining a range of perennial and annual species

  18. Extensive management promotes plant and microbial nitrogen retention in temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    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 (15)N was greater in extensively than in intensively managed grasslands, which was attributed to a combination of greater root uptake and microbial immobilisation of (15)N 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

  1. Ecosystem Carbon and Nitrogen Accumulation after Grazing Exclusion in Semiarid Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Qiu, Liping; Wei, Xiaorong; Zhang, Xingchang; Cheng, Jimin

    2013-01-01

    The grazing exclusion in degraded grassland has been extensively used to prevent the loss of grassland resources and to improve grassland services. The effects of grazing exclusion on C and N balance, however, have not been well addressed but are essential for assessing grassland C sinks, the sustainable use of grassland resources and the support of grassland services. To understand the response of ecosystem C and N to grazing exclusion in semiarid grassland, we determined the C and N in litter, aboveground biomass, roots and soils from ungrazed grassland fenced at different times in northwest China. Our results showed that the aboveground biomass, root biomass and plant litter were 70–92%, 56–151% and 59–141% higher, respectively, in grazer excluded grassland than in grazed grassland. Grazing exclusion significantly increased C and N stored in plant biomass and litter and increased the concentrations and stocks of C and N in soils. Grazing exclusion thus significantly increased the C and N stored in grassland ecosystems. The increase in C and N stored in soil contributed to more than 95% and 97% of the increases in ecosystem C and N storage. The highest C and N stocks in ecosystems were observed in 17-year grazer excluded grassland. The results from this study indicate that grazing exclusion has the potential to increase C and N storage in degraded semiarid grassland and that the recovery of ecosystem C and N was mainly due to the accumulation of C and N in soils. PMID:23383191

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Effects of liming on soil properties and plant performance of temperate mountainous grasslands.

    PubMed

    Mijangos, Iker; Albizu, Isabel; Epelde, Lur; Amezaga, Ibone; Mendarte, Sorkunde; Garbisu, Carlos

    2010-10-01

    The application of lime or liming materials to acid-soil grasslands might help mitigate soil acidity, a major constraint to forage productivity in many temperate mountainous grasslands. Nowadays, in these mountainous grasslands, it is essential to promote agricultural practices to increase forage yield and nutritive value while preserving biodiversity and agroecosystem functioning. Two different field experiments were conducted in the Gorbeia Natural Park, northern Spain: (i) one in a calcareous mountainous grassland (Arraba) and (ii) the other in a siliceous mountainous grassland (Kurtzegan) to study the effects of a single application of two liming products, i.e. 2429 kg lime (164.3% CaCO(3)) ha(-1) and 4734 kg calcareous sand (84.3% CaCO(3)) ha(-1), applied one month before the beginning of the sheep grazing season (May-October), on soil chemical (pH, organic C, total N, C/N ratio, %Al saturation, Olsen P, exchangeable K(+) and Ca(2+)) and biological parameters (dehydrogenase, beta-glucosidase, urease, acid phosphatase and arylsulphatase activity) as well as on botanical diversity (graminoids, forbs, shrubs) and forage yield and nutritive value (crude protein, modified acid detergent fibre, digestibility). Untreated control plots were also included in the experiment. Soil sampling was carried out at the end of the sheep grazing season (6 months after liming treatment), while botanical composition was determined one year after treatments application. Although no increase in soil pH was observed in Arraba, liming significantly increased dehydrogenase activity (an indicator of soil microbial activity) by 30.4 and 86.7% at Arraba and Kurtzegan site, respectively. Liming treatments significantly improved forage yield and nutritive value in Arraba but not in Kurtzegan. Furthermore, no differences in soil biological quality, evaluated using the "treated-soil quality index" as proposed in this work, were observed between treated and untreated soils, and between the two

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of water and nitrogen addition on species turnover in temperate grasslands in northern China.

    PubMed

    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.

  8. 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

  9. Nitrogen cycling and nitrogen saturation in temperate forest ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Aber, J D

    1992-07-01

    The last decade has seen a dramatic shift in the focus of nitrogen cycling research in forest ecosystems. Concerns over nitrogen deficiencies and effects of removal in harvest have given way to concerns over excess nitrogen availability and the potential for forest decline and surface water pollution. Driving this paradigm shift is the increase in atmospheric deposition of nitrogen to forests due to industrial and agricultural activity. At the core of the new paradigm is the concept of 'nitrogen saturation' of forest ecosystems. The purpose of this review is to synthesize recent advances in research relating to nitrogen deposition effects on temperate zone forest ecosystems, and the further effects of nitrogen saturation on environmental quality. PMID:21236013

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Nitrogen deposition weakens plant-microbe interactions in grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Wei, Cunzheng; Yu, Qiang; Bai, Edith; Lü, Xiaotao; Li, Qi; Xia, Jianyang; Kardol, Paul; Liang, Wenju; Wang, Zhengwen; Han, Xingguo

    2013-12-01

    Soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) stoichiometry is a main driver of ecosystem functioning. Global N enrichment has greatly changed soil C : N ratios, but how altered resource stoichiometry influences the complexity of direct and indirect interactions among plants, soils, and microbial communities has rarely been explored. Here, we investigated the responses of the plant-soil-microbe system to multi-level N additions and the role of dissolved organic carbon (DOC) and inorganic N stoichiometry in regulating microbial biomass in semiarid grassland in northern China. We documented a significant positive correlation between DOC and inorganic N across the N addition gradient, which contradicts the negative nonlinear correlation between nitrate accrual and DOC availability commonly observed in natural ecosystems. Using hierarchical structural equation modeling, we found that soil acidification resulting from N addition, rather than changes in the plant community, was most closely related to shifts in soil microbial community composition and decline of microbial respiration. These findings indicate a down-regulating effect of high N availability on plant-microbe interactions. That is, with the limiting factor for microbial biomass shifting from resource stoichiometry to soil acidity, N enrichment weakens the bottom-up control of soil microorganisms by plant-derived C sources. These results highlight the importance of integratively studying the plant-soil-microbe system in improving our understanding of ecosystem functioning under conditions of global N enrichment.

  15. Nitrogen enrichment enhances the dominance of grasses over forbs in a temperate steppe ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, L.; Bao, X.; Liu, X.; Zhang, Y.; Christie, P.; Fangmeier, A.; Zhang, F.

    2011-08-01

    Chinese grasslands are extensive natural ecosystems that comprise 40 % of the total land area of the country and are sensitive to N deposition. A field experiment with six N rates (0, 30, 60, 120, 240, and 480 kg N ha-1 yr-1) was conducted at Duolun, Inner Mongolia, during 2005 and 2010 to identify some effects of N addition on a temperate steppe ecosystem. The dominant plant species in the plots were divided into two categories, grasses and forbs, on the basis of species life forms. Enhanced N deposition, even as little as 30 kg N ha-1 yr-1 above ambient N deposition (16 kg N ha-1 yr-1), led to a decline in species richness. The cover of grasses increased with N addition rate but their species richness showed a weak change across N treatments. Both species richness and cover of forbs declined strongly with increasing N deposition as shown by linear regression analysis (p < 0.05). Increasing N deposition elevated aboveground production of grasses but lowered aboveground biomass of forbs. Plant N concentration, plant δ15N and soil mineral N increased with N addition, showing positive relationships between plant δ15N and N concentration, soil mineral N and/or applied N rate. The cessation of N application in the 480 kg N ha-1 yr-1 treatment in 2009 and 2010 led to a slight recovery of the forb species richness relative to total cover and aboveground biomass, coinciding with reduced plant N concentration and soil mineral N. The results show N deposition-induced changes in soil N transformations and plant N assimilation that are closely related to changes in species composition and biomass accumulation in this temperate steppe ecosystem.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-03-20

    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.

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

    PubMed

    Liu, Lili; Cheng, Junhui; Liu, Yunhua; Sheng, Jiandong

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Regional patterns and controls of ecosystem salinization with grassland afforestation along a rainfall gradient

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Nosetto, M. D.; JobbáGy, E. G.; Tóth, T.; Jackson, R. B.

    2008-06-01

    Vegetation change affects water fluxes and influences the direction and intensity of salt exchange between ecosystems and groundwater. In some conditions it can also lead to an intense accumulation of salts in soils and aquifers, as has been documented for the conversion of native grassland to tree plantations in the plains of Argentina, Hungary and Russia. In this paper we present a hierarchical framework to predict salt accumulation following vegetation change that is based on climatic, hydrogeological and biological factors. We evaluated this spatially explicit framework in temperate South America using a network of 32 pairs of adjacent plantation and grassland stands studied with detailed field measurements and remotely sensed imagery from MODIS. Our sites cover a broad precipitation gradient (770 to 1500 mm a-1) and are underlain by shallow water tables (<2.5 m of depth). At the regional scale, geoelectric surveying revealed that the salinization of plantation soils depended strongly on climate, occurring only where the annual water balance (mean precipitation-Penman-Monteith potential evapotranspiration) was <100 mm a-1 (p < 0.0001, n = 24). At the local scale, we observed that groundwater salinities observed under ˜50-year old plantations of different species were associated with their tolerance to salinity (p < 0.001, n = 10). Salinization occurred rapidly where rainfall was insufficient to meet the water requirements of tree plantations and where groundwater use compensated for this deficit, driving salt accumulating in the ecosystem. A general understanding of the vegetation-groundwater relationship will help predict and manage the negative and positive consequences of groundwater use from stand to regional levels of analysis.

  20. Independent Evolution of Leaf and Root Traits within and among Temperate Grassland Plant Communities

    PubMed Central

    Kembel, Steven W.; Cahill, James F.

    2011-01-01

    In this study, we used data from temperate grassland plant communities in Alberta, Canada to test two longstanding hypotheses in ecology: 1) that there has been correlated evolution of the leaves and roots of plants due to selection for an integrated whole-plant resource uptake strategy, and 2) that trait diversity in ecological communities is generated by adaptations to the conditions in different habitats. We tested the first hypothesis using phylogenetic comparative methods to test for evidence of correlated evolution of suites of leaf and root functional traits in these grasslands. There were consistent evolutionary correlations among traits related to plant resource uptake strategies within leaf tissues, and within root tissues. In contrast, there were inconsistent correlations between the traits of leaves and the traits of roots, suggesting different evolutionary pressures on the above and belowground components of plant morphology. To test the second hypothesis, we evaluated the relative importance of two components of trait diversity: within-community variation (species trait values relative to co-occurring species; α traits) and among-community variation (the average trait value in communities where species occur; β traits). Trait diversity was mostly explained by variation among co-occurring species, not among-communities. Additionally, there was a phylogenetic signal in the within-community trait values of species relative to co-occurring taxa, but not in their habitat associations or among-community trait variation. These results suggest that sorting of pre-existing trait variation into local communities can explain the leaf and root trait diversity in these grasslands. PMID:21687704

  1. Controls of plant and soil carbon in a semihumid temperate grassland

    SciTech Connect

    Seastedt, T.R.; Coxwell, C.C. ); Ojima, D.S.; Parton, W.J. )

    1994-05-01

    A modeling study evaluated photosynthetic pathways (C[sub 3], C[sub 4], or both) and management strategies in the foliage productivity and soil carbon characteristics of a semihumid temperate grassland with various combinations of climate change. Model values for plant and soil characteristics were obtained near Manhattan, Kansas, and the Manhattan climate record was used for actual monthly temperature and precipitation data for a 100-yr interval and average weather conditions. Monthly temperatures were increased 2[degrees]C, left unchanged, or decreased 2[degrees]C; annual precipitation was increased 6 cm, left unchanged, or decreased 6 cm. All possible combinations of temperature and precipitation were then used in 100-yr simulations. Regardless of climate, plant production was lowest for C[sub 3] grasses and highest for the mixed C[sub 3]-C[sub 4] community. The nominal seasonal pattern of precipitation favored an active C[sub 3] plant community in early to late spring, prior to the emergence of the C[sub 4] vegetation. However, the higher growth and water use efficiencies of C[sub 4] vegetation during summer contributed to the maximization response of the grasslands containing both C[sub 3] and C[sub 4] grasses. The relative importance of climate, photosynthetic pathways, and management activities (annually burned, burned every 4 yr, unburned, or lightly grazed) to plant production and soil carbon values were evaluated. Photosynthetic pathway and precipitation were the most significant single variables; the interaction between photosynthetic pathway and temperature was the most significant interaction term. Management treatments were by far the most important variable affecting soil carbon values, but 3[degrees]C warming did produce substantial soil carbon losses from C[sub 3] grasslands. Enhanced carbon fixation by the C[sub 4] and C[sub 3]-C[sub 4] plant communities negated the losses of soil carbon caused by enhanced soil respiration at warmer temperatures.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  5. Invasion of the tropical earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus (Rhinodrilidae, Oligochaeta) in temperate grasslands

    PubMed Central

    Ortiz-Gamino, Diana; Pérez-Rodríguez, Paulino

    2016-01-01

    The tropical earthworm Pontoscolex corethrurus (Rhinodrilidae, Oligochaeta) presents a broad distribution (e.g., 56 countries from four continents). It is generally assumed that temperature appears to limit the success of tropical exotic species in temperate climates. However, the distribution range of this species could advance towards higher elevations (with lower temperatures) where no tropical species currently occur. The aim of this study was to evaluate the soil and climatic variables that could be closely associated with the distribution of P. corethrurus in four sites along an altitudinal gradient in central Veracruz, Mexico. We predicted that the distribution of P. corethrurus would be more related to climate variables than edaphic parameters. Five sampling points (in the grassland) were established at each of four sites along an altitudinal gradient: Laguna Verde (LV), La Concepción (LC), Naolinco (NA) and Acatlán (AC) at 11–55, 992–1,025, 1,550–1,619 y 1,772–1,800 masl, respectively. The climate ranged from tropical to temperate along the altitudinal gradient. Ten earthworm species (5 Neotropical, 4 Palearctic and 1 Nearctic) were found along the gradient, belonging to three families (Rhinodrilidae, Megascolecide and Lumbricidae). Soil properties showed a significant association (positive for Ngrass, pH, permanent wilting point, organic matter and P; and negative for Total N, K and water-holding capacity) with the abundance of the earthworm community. Also there seems to be a relationship between climate and earthworm distribution along the altitudinal gradient. P. corethrurus was recorded at tropical (LV and LC) and temperate sites (NA) along the altitudinal gradient. Our results reveal that soil fertility determines the abundance of earthworms and site (climate) can act as a barrier to their migration. Further research is needed to determine the genetic structure and lineages of P. corethrurus along altitudinal gradients. PMID:27761348

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2008-09-29

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

  12. Frequent fire promotes diversity and cover of biological soil crusts in a derived temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    O'Bryan, Katharine E; Prober, Suzanne Mary; Lunt, Ian D; Eldridge, David J

    2009-04-01

    The intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH) predicts that species diversity is maximized at moderate disturbance levels. This model is often applied to grassy ecosystems, where disturbance can be important for maintaining vascular plant composition and diversity. However, effects of disturbance type and frequency on cover and diversity of non-vascular plants comprising biological soil crusts are poorly known, despite their potentially important role in ecosystem function. We established replicated disturbance regimes of different type (fire vs. mowing) and frequency (2, 4, 8 yearly and unburnt) in a high-quality, representative Themeda australis-Poa sieberiana derived grassland in south-eastern Australia. Effects on soil crust bryophytes and lichens (hereafter cryptogams) were measured after 12 years. Consistent with expectations under IDH, cryptogam richness and abundance declined under no disturbance, likely due to competitive exclusion by vascular plants as well as high soil turnover by soil invertebrates beneath thick grass. Disturbance type was also significant, with burning enhancing richness and abundance more than mowing. Contrary to expectations, however, cryptogam richness increased most dramatically under our most frequent and recent (2 year) burning regime, even when changes in abundance were accounted for by rarefaction analysis. Thus, from the perspective of cryptogams, 2-year burning was not an adequately severe disturbance regime to reduce diversity, highlighting the difficulty associated with expression of disturbance gradients in the application of IDH. Indeed, significant correlations with grassland structure suggest that cryptogam abundance and diversity in this relatively mesic (600 mm annual rainfall) grassland is maximised by frequent fires that reduce vegetation and litter cover, providing light, open areas and stable soil surfaces for colonisation. This contrasts with detrimental effects of 2-year burning on native perennial grasses

  13. Frequent fire promotes diversity and cover of biological soil crusts in a derived temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    O'Bryan, Katharine E; Prober, Suzanne Mary; Lunt, Ian D; Eldridge, David J

    2009-04-01

    The intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH) predicts that species diversity is maximized at moderate disturbance levels. This model is often applied to grassy ecosystems, where disturbance can be important for maintaining vascular plant composition and diversity. However, effects of disturbance type and frequency on cover and diversity of non-vascular plants comprising biological soil crusts are poorly known, despite their potentially important role in ecosystem function. We established replicated disturbance regimes of different type (fire vs. mowing) and frequency (2, 4, 8 yearly and unburnt) in a high-quality, representative Themeda australis-Poa sieberiana derived grassland in south-eastern Australia. Effects on soil crust bryophytes and lichens (hereafter cryptogams) were measured after 12 years. Consistent with expectations under IDH, cryptogam richness and abundance declined under no disturbance, likely due to competitive exclusion by vascular plants as well as high soil turnover by soil invertebrates beneath thick grass. Disturbance type was also significant, with burning enhancing richness and abundance more than mowing. Contrary to expectations, however, cryptogam richness increased most dramatically under our most frequent and recent (2 year) burning regime, even when changes in abundance were accounted for by rarefaction analysis. Thus, from the perspective of cryptogams, 2-year burning was not an adequately severe disturbance regime to reduce diversity, highlighting the difficulty associated with expression of disturbance gradients in the application of IDH. Indeed, significant correlations with grassland structure suggest that cryptogam abundance and diversity in this relatively mesic (600 mm annual rainfall) grassland is maximised by frequent fires that reduce vegetation and litter cover, providing light, open areas and stable soil surfaces for colonisation. This contrasts with detrimental effects of 2-year burning on native perennial grasses

  14. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  16. Effect of Degradation Intensity on Grassland Ecosystem Services in the Alpine Region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China

    PubMed Central

    Wen, Lu; Dong, Shikui; Li, Yuanyuan; Li, Xiaoyan; Shi, Jianjun; Wang, Yanlong; Liu, Demei; Ma, Yushou

    2013-01-01

    The deterioration of alpine grassland has great impact on ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. However, the effect of grassland degradation on ecosystem services and the consequence of grassland deterioration on economic loss still remains a mystery. So, in this study, we assessed four types of ecosystem services following the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment classification, along a degradation gradient. Five sites of alpine grassland at different levels of degradation were investigated in Guoluo Prefecture of Qinghai Province, China. The species composition, aboveground biomass, soil total organic carbon (TOC), and soil total nitrogen (TN) were tested to evaluate major ecological services of the alpine grassland. We estimated the value of primary production, carbon storage, nitrogen recycling, and plant diversity. The results show the ecosystem services of alpine grassland varied along the degradation gradient. The ecosystem services of degraded grassland (moderate, heavy and severe) were all significantly lower than non-degraded grassland. Interestingly, the lightly degraded grassland provided more economic benefit from carbon maintenance and nutrient sequestration compared to non-degraded. Due to the destruction of the alpine grassland, the economic loss associated with decrease of biomass in 2008 was $198/ha. Until 2008, the economic loss caused by carbon emissions and nitrogen loss on severely degraded grassland was up to $8 033/ha and $13 315/ha, respectively. Urgent actions are required to maintain or promote the ecosystem services of alpine grassland in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. PMID:23469278

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-01

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

  19. Driving forces of soil bacterial community structure, diversity, and function in temperate grasslands and forests.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Kristin; Wemheuer, Bernd; Korolkow, Vera; Wemheuer, Franziska; Nacke, Heiko; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Daniel, Rolf

    2016-09-21

    Soil bacteria provide a large range of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. Despite their important role in soil systems, compositional and functional responses of bacterial communities to different land use and management regimes are not fully understood. Here, we assessed soil bacterial communities in 150 forest and 150 grassland soils derived from three German regions by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Land use type (forest and grassland) and soil edaphic properties strongly affected bacterial community structure and function, whereas management regime had a minor effect. In addition, a separation of soil bacterial communities by sampling region was encountered. Soil pH was the best predictor for bacterial community structure, diversity and function. The application of multinomial log-linear models revealed distinct responses of abundant bacterial groups towards pH. Predicted functional profiles revealed that differences in land use not only select for distinct bacterial populations but also for specific functional traits. The combination of 16S rRNA data and corresponding functional profiles provided comprehensive insights into compositional and functional adaptations to changing environmental conditions associated with differences in land use and management.

  20. Driving forces of soil bacterial community structure, diversity, and function in temperate grasslands and forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kaiser, Kristin; Wemheuer, Bernd; Korolkow, Vera; Wemheuer, Franziska; Nacke, Heiko; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Daniel, Rolf

    2016-09-01

    Soil bacteria provide a large range of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. Despite their important role in soil systems, compositional and functional responses of bacterial communities to different land use and management regimes are not fully understood. Here, we assessed soil bacterial communities in 150 forest and 150 grassland soils derived from three German regions by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Land use type (forest and grassland) and soil edaphic properties strongly affected bacterial community structure and function, whereas management regime had a minor effect. In addition, a separation of soil bacterial communities by sampling region was encountered. Soil pH was the best predictor for bacterial community structure, diversity and function. The application of multinomial log-linear models revealed distinct responses of abundant bacterial groups towards pH. Predicted functional profiles revealed that differences in land use not only select for distinct bacterial populations but also for specific functional traits. The combination of 16S rRNA data and corresponding functional profiles provided comprehensive insights into compositional and functional adaptations to changing environmental conditions associated with differences in land use and management.

  1. Driving forces of soil bacterial community structure, diversity, and function in temperate grasslands and forests.

    PubMed

    Kaiser, Kristin; Wemheuer, Bernd; Korolkow, Vera; Wemheuer, Franziska; Nacke, Heiko; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Daniel, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    Soil bacteria provide a large range of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. Despite their important role in soil systems, compositional and functional responses of bacterial communities to different land use and management regimes are not fully understood. Here, we assessed soil bacterial communities in 150 forest and 150 grassland soils derived from three German regions by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Land use type (forest and grassland) and soil edaphic properties strongly affected bacterial community structure and function, whereas management regime had a minor effect. In addition, a separation of soil bacterial communities by sampling region was encountered. Soil pH was the best predictor for bacterial community structure, diversity and function. The application of multinomial log-linear models revealed distinct responses of abundant bacterial groups towards pH. Predicted functional profiles revealed that differences in land use not only select for distinct bacterial populations but also for specific functional traits. The combination of 16S rRNA data and corresponding functional profiles provided comprehensive insights into compositional and functional adaptations to changing environmental conditions associated with differences in land use and management. PMID:27650273

  2. Driving forces of soil bacterial community structure, diversity, and function in temperate grasslands and forests

    PubMed Central

    Kaiser, Kristin; Wemheuer, Bernd; Korolkow, Vera; Wemheuer, Franziska; Nacke, Heiko; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Daniel, Rolf

    2016-01-01

    Soil bacteria provide a large range of ecosystem services such as nutrient cycling. Despite their important role in soil systems, compositional and functional responses of bacterial communities to different land use and management regimes are not fully understood. Here, we assessed soil bacterial communities in 150 forest and 150 grassland soils derived from three German regions by pyrotag sequencing of 16S rRNA genes. Land use type (forest and grassland) and soil edaphic properties strongly affected bacterial community structure and function, whereas management regime had a minor effect. In addition, a separation of soil bacterial communities by sampling region was encountered. Soil pH was the best predictor for bacterial community structure, diversity and function. The application of multinomial log-linear models revealed distinct responses of abundant bacterial groups towards pH. Predicted functional profiles revealed that differences in land use not only select for distinct bacterial populations but also for specific functional traits. The combination of 16S rRNA data and corresponding functional profiles provided comprehensive insights into compositional and functional adaptations to changing environmental conditions associated with differences in land use and management. PMID:27650273

  3. 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...

  4. Nitrogen enrichment enhances the dominance of grasses over forbs in a temperate steppe ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, L.; Bao, X. M.; Liu, X. J.; Zhang, Y.; Christie, P.; Fangmeier, A.; Zhang, F. S.

    2011-05-01

    Chinese grasslands are extensive natural ecosystems that comprise 40 % of the total land area of the country and are sensitive to N deposition. A field experiment with six N rates (0, 30, 60, 120, 240, and 480 kg N ha-1 yr-1) was conducted at Duolun, Inner Mongolia, during 2005 and 2010 to identify some effects of N addition on a temperature steppe ecosystem. The dominant plant species in the plots were divided into two categories, grasses and forbs, on the basis of species life forms. Enhanced N deposition, even as little as 30 kg N ha-1 yr-1 above ambient N deposition (16 kg N ha-1 yr-1), led to a decline in species richness. The cover of grasses increased with N addition rate but their species richness showed a weak change across N treatments. Both species richness and cover of forbs declined strongly with increasing N deposition as shown by linear regression analysis (p<0.05). Increasing N deposition elevated aboveground production of grasses but lowered aboveground biomass of forbs. Plant N concentration, plant δ15N and soil mineral N increased with N addition, showing positive relationships between plant δ15N and N concentration, soil mineral N and/or applied N rate. The cessation of N application in the 480 kg N ha-1 yr-1 treatment in 2009 and 2010 led to a slight recovery of the forb species richness relative to total cover and aboveground biomass, coinciding with reduced plant N concentration and soil mineral N. The results show that N deposition induced changes in soil N transformations and plant N assimilation that are key to changes in species composition and biomass accumulation in this temperate steppe ecosystem.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  6. Warming and increased precipitation have differential effects on soil extracellular enzyme activities in a temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaoqi; Chen, Chengrong; Wang, Yanfen; Xu, Zhihong; Han, Hongyan; Li, Linghao; Wan, Shiqiang

    2013-02-01

    Few studies have conducted the responses of soil extracellular enzyme activities (EEA) to climate change, especially over the long term. In this study, we investigated the six-year responses of soil EEA to warming and increased precipitation in a temperate grassland of northern China at two depths of 0-10 and 10-20 cm. These extracellular enzymes included carbon-acquisition enzymes (β-glucosidase, BG), nitrogen-acquisition enzymes (N-acetylglucosaminidase, NAG; Leucine aminopeptidase, LAP) and phosphorus-acquisition enzymes (acid and alkaline phosphatases). The results showed that warming significantly increased acid phosphatase at the 0-10 cm depth and NAG at the 10-20 cm depth, but dramatically decreased BG and acid phosphatase in the subsurface. In contrast, increased precipitation significantly increased NAG, LAP and alkaline phosphatase in the surface and NAG, LAP and acid phosphatase in the subsurface. There was a significant warming and increased precipitation interaction on BG in the subsurface. Redundancy analysis indicated that the patterns of EEA were mainly driven by soil pH and NH(4)(+)-N and NO(3)(-)-N in the surface, while by NH(4)(+)-N and microbial biomass in the subsurface. Our results suggested that soil EEA responded differentially to warming and increased precipitation at two depths in this region, which may have implications for carbon and nutrient cycling under climate change.

  7. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-07-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. 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

  11. Coherent assembly of phytoplankton communities in diverse temperate ocean ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Li, William K W; Harrison, W Glen; Head, Erica J H

    2006-08-01

    The annual cycle of phytoplankton cell abundance is coherent across diverse ecosystems in the temperate North Atlantic Ocean. In Bedford Basin, on the Scotian Shelf and in the Labrador Sea, the numerical abundance of phytoplankton is low in spring and high in autumn, thus in phase with the temperature cycle. Temperature aligns abundance on a common basis, effectively adjusting apparent cell discrepancies in waters that are colder or warmer than the regional norm. As an example of holistic simplicity arising from underlying complexity, the variance in a community variable (total abundance) is explained by a single predictor (temperature) to the extent of 75% in the marginal seas. In the estuarine basin, weekly averages of phytoplankton and temperature computed from a 13 year time-series yield a predictive relationship with 91% explained variance. Temperature-directed assembly of individual phytoplankton cells to form communities is statistically robust, consistent with observed biomass changes, amenable to theoretical analysis, and a sentinel for long-term change. Since cell abundance is a community property in the same units for all marine microbes at any trophic level and at any phylogenetic position, it promises to integrate biological oceanography into general ecology and evolution.

  12. Transfer parameter values in temperate forest ecosystems: a review.

    PubMed

    Calmon, Philippe; Thiry, Yves; Zibold, Gregor; Rantavaara, Aino; Fesenko, Sergei

    2009-09-01

    rate of activity reduction, quantified as an ecological half-life, reflect the soil and pasture conditions at individual locations. Forests in temperate and boreal regions differ with respect to soil type and vegetation, and a faster decline of muscle activity concentrations in deer occurs in the temperate zone. However, in wild boar the caesium activity concentration shows no decline because of its special feeding habits. In the late phase, i.e. at least a few months since the external radionuclide contamination on feed plants has been removed, a T(ag) value of 0.01 m(2)kg(-1) (fresh weight) is common for (137)Cs in the muscles of adult moose and terrestrial birds living in boreal forests, and 0.03 m(2)kg(-1) (fresh weight) for arctic hare. Radiocaesium concentrations in reindeer muscle in winter may exceed the summer content by a factor of more than two, the mean T(ag) values for winter ranging from 0.02 to 0.8 m(2)kg(-1) (fresh weight), and in summer from 0.04 to 0.4m(2)kg(-1). The highest values are found in the year of initial contamination, followed by a gradual reduction. In waterfowl a relatively fast decline in uptake of (137)Cs has been found, with T(ag) values changing from 0.01 to 0.002 m(2)kg(-1) (fresh weight) in the three years after the contaminating event, the rate being determined by the dynamics of (137)Cs in aquatic ecosystems. PMID:19100665

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-05-19

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  18. A review of the most economically important poisonous plants to the livestock industry on temperate grasslands of China.

    PubMed

    Zhao, Mengli; Gao, Xinlei; Wang, Jing; He, Xiaolei; Han, Bing

    2013-01-01

    The majority of the literature on poisonous plant species in China is published in Chinese and not available to the majority of interested researchers and grassland managers in other countries. Therefore, a review of the Chinese literature was conducted to summarize the occurrence of poisonous plant species on temperate grasslands in China. We reviewed the literature to obtain general information on poisonous species but focus on locoweeds (Astragalus and Oxytropis spp.), drunken horse grass [Achnatherum inebrians (Hance) Keng ex Tzvelev] and langdu (Stellera chamaejasme L.) for information on their toxins, distribution and ecology, control methods and alternate uses. Of the almost 1300 poisonous species found on grasslands in China, these species are responsible for an estimated 80% of all livestock losses. This includes loss of performance as well as mortality. The locoweeds are a complex made up of Oxytropis and Astragalus species. The toxic principle in this complex, as well as in drunken horse grass, is the result of an endophyte fungus whereas in langdu it is produced by the plant. All these species are native to the grasslands, which suggest they have been a problem ever since herding began. Over that period of at least several millennia, herders would have learned and adapted to the presence of poisonous species. Strategies were developed and therapies employed to allow the animals to cope before and after poisoning. Nevertheless, grazing management could still be refined that would allow the use of the toxic legumes, while preventing poisonous symptoms, as has been tested elsewhere.

  19. Monitoring an ecosystem at risk: what is the degree of grassland fragmentation in the Canadian Prairies?

    PubMed

    Roch, Laura; Jaeger, Jochen A G

    2014-04-01

    Increasing fragmentation of grassland habitats by human activities is a major threat to biodiversity and landscape quality. Monitoring their degree of fragmentation has been identified as an urgent need. This study quantifies for the first time the current degree of grassland fragmentation in the Canadian Prairies using four fragmentation geometries (FGs) of increasing specificity (i.e. more restrictive grassland classification) and five types of reporting units (7 ecoregions, 50 census divisions, 1,166 municipalities, 17 sub-basins, and 108 watersheds). We evaluated the suitability of 11 datasets based on 8 suitability criteria and applied the effective mesh size (m(eff)) method to quantify fragmentation. We recommend the combination of the Crop Inventory Mapping of the Prairies and the CanVec datasets as the most suitable for monitoring grassland fragmentation. The grassland area remaining amounts to 87,570.45 km(2) in FG4 (strict grassland definition) and 183,242.042 km(2) in FG1 (broad grassland definition), out of 461,503.97 km(2) (entire Prairie Ecozone area). The very low values of m(eff) of 14.23 km(2) in FG4 and 25.44 km(2) in FG1 indicate an extremely high level of grassland fragmentation. The m(eff) method is supported in this study as highly suitable and recommended for long-term monitoring of grasslands in the Canadian Prairies; it can help set measurable targets and/or limits for regions to guide management efforts and as a tool for performance review of protection efforts, for increasing awareness, and for guiding efforts to minimize grassland fragmentation. This approach can also be applied in other parts of the world and to other ecosystems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-11-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

    2015-07-28

    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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2011-10-01

    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 well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  10. The impacts of drainage, nutrient status and management practice on the full carbon balance of grasslands on organic soils in a maritime temperate zone

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Renou-Wilson, F.; Barry, C.; Müller, C.; Wilson, D.

    2014-08-01

    Temperate grasslands on organic soils are diverse due to edaphic properties but also to regional management practices and this heterogeneity is reflected in the wide range of greenhouse gas (GHG) flux values reported in the literature. In Ireland, most grasslands on organic soils were drained several decades ago and are managed as extensive pastures with little or no fertilisation. This study describes a 2-year study of the net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) of two such sites. We determined GHG fluxes and waterborne carbon (C) emissions in a nutrient-rich grassland and compared it with values measured from two nutrient-poor organic soils: a deep-drained and a shallow-drained site. Carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes were determined using the chamber technique, and fluvial C fluxes were estimated by combining drainage water concentrations and flows. The nutrient-rich site was an annual source of CO2 (233 g C m-2 yr-1), CH4 neutral, and a small source of N2O (0.16 g N2O-N m-2 yr-1). Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) at the shallow-drained nutrient-poor site was -89 and -99 g C m-2 yr-1 in Years 1 and 2 respectively, and NEE at the deep-drained nutrient-poor site was 85 and -26 g C m-2 yr-1 respectively. Low CH4 emissions (1.3 g C m-2 yr-1) were recorded at the shallow-drained nutrient-poor site. Fluvial exports from the nutrient-rich site totalled 69.8 g C m-2 yr-1 with 54% as dissolved organic C. Waterborne C losses from the nutrient-poor site reflected differences in annual runoff totalling 44 g C m-2 yr-1 in Year 1 and 30.8 g C m-2 yr-1 in Year 2. The NECB of the nutrient-rich grassland was 663 g C m-2 yr-1 with biomass exports being the major component accounting for 53%. The NECB of the nutrient-poor deep-drained site was less than half of the nutrient-rich site (2-year mean 267 g C m-2 yr-1). Although NEE at the nutrient-poor shallow-drained site was negative in both years, high biomass export meant it was a net C source (2-year mean

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Cattle stocking rates estimated in temperate intensive grasslands with a spring growth model derived from MODIS NDVI time-series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Green, Stuart; Cawkwell, Fiona; Dwyer, Edward

    2016-10-01

    There is an identified need for high resolution animal stocking rate data in temperate grassland systems. Here is presented a 250 m scale characterization of early spring vegetation growth (DOY 32-DOY 120) from 2003 to 2012 based on MODIS NDVI products for this period for Ireland. The average rate of grass growth is determined locally as a simple linear model for each pixel, using only the highest quality data for the period. These decadal spring growth model coefficients, start of season cover and growth rate, are regressed against log of stocking rate (r2 = 0.75). This model stocking rate is used to map grassland use intensity in Ireland, which, when tested against an independent set of stocking rate data, is shown to be successful with an RMSE error of 0.13 for a range of stocking densities from 0.1 to 3.0 LSU/Ha. This model provides the first validated high resolution approach to mapping stocking rates in intensively managed European grassland systems.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-06

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  19. Evaluating ecosystem services provided by non-native species: an experimental test in California grasslands.

    PubMed

    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.

  20. 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

  1. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  3. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Scott E; Haney, Alan

    2003-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Nielsen, Scott E; Haney, Alan

    2003-06-01

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

  7. 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

  8. [Microbial response mechanism for drying and rewetting effect on soil respiration in grassland ecosystem: a review].

    PubMed

    He, Yun-Long; Qi, Yu-Chun; Dong, Yun-She; Peng, Qin; Sun, Liang-Jie; Jia, Jun-Qiang; Guo, Shu-Fang; Yan, Zhong-Qing

    2014-11-01

    As one of the most important and wide distribution community type among terrestrial ecosystems, grassland ecosystem plays a critical role in the global carbon cycles and climate regulation. China has extremely rich grassland resources, which have a huge carbon sequestration potential and are an important part of the global carbon cycle. Drying and rewetting is a common natural phenomenon in soil, which might accelerate soil carbon mineralization process, increase soil respiration and exert profound influence on microbial activity and community structure. Under the background of the global change, the changes in rainfall capacity, strength and frequency would inevitably affect soil drying and wetting cycles, and thus change the microbial activity and community structure as well as soil respiration, and then exert important influence on global carbon budget. In this paper, related references in recent ten years were reviewed. The source of soil released, the trend of soil respiration over time and the relationship between soil respiration and microbial biomass, microbial activity and microbial community structure during the processes of dry-rewetting cycle were analyzed and summarized, in order to better understand the microbial response mechanism for drying and rewetting effecting on soil respiration in grassland ecosystem, and provide a certain theoretical basis for more accurate evaluation and prediction of future global carbon balance of terrestrial ecosystems and climate change.

  9. 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.

  10. Effects of species evenness and dominant species identity on multiple ecosystem functions in model grassland communities.

    PubMed

    Orwin, Kate H; Ostle, Nick; Wilby, Andrew; Bardgett, Richard D

    2014-03-01

    Ecosystems provide multiple services upon which humans depend. Understanding the drivers of the ecosystem functions that support these services is therefore important. Much research has investigated how species richness influences functioning, but we lack knowledge of how other community attributes affect ecosystem functioning. Species evenness, species spatial arrangement, and the identity of dominant species are three attributes that could affect ecosystem functioning, by altering the relative abundance of functional traits and the probability of synergistic species interactions such as facilitation and complementary resource use. We tested the effect of these three community attributes and their interactions on ecosystem functions over a growing season, using model grassland communities consisting of three plant species from three functional groups: a grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), a forb (Plantago lanceolata), and a N-fixing forb (Lotus corniculatus). We measured multiple ecosystem functions that support ecosystem services, including ecosystem gas exchange, water retention, C and N loss in leachates, and plant biomass production. Species evenness and dominant species identity strongly influenced the ecosystem functions measured, but spatial arrangement had few effects. By the end of the growing season, evenness consistently enhanced ecosystem functioning and this effect occurred regardless of dominant species identity. The identity of the dominant species under which the highest level of functioning was attained varied across the growing season. Spatial arrangement had the weakest effect on functioning, but interacted with dominant species identity to affect some functions. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the role of multiple community attributes in driving ecosystem functioning. PMID:24213721

  11. Effects of species evenness and dominant species identity on multiple ecosystem functions in model grassland communities.

    PubMed

    Orwin, Kate H; Ostle, Nick; Wilby, Andrew; Bardgett, Richard D

    2014-03-01

    Ecosystems provide multiple services upon which humans depend. Understanding the drivers of the ecosystem functions that support these services is therefore important. Much research has investigated how species richness influences functioning, but we lack knowledge of how other community attributes affect ecosystem functioning. Species evenness, species spatial arrangement, and the identity of dominant species are three attributes that could affect ecosystem functioning, by altering the relative abundance of functional traits and the probability of synergistic species interactions such as facilitation and complementary resource use. We tested the effect of these three community attributes and their interactions on ecosystem functions over a growing season, using model grassland communities consisting of three plant species from three functional groups: a grass (Anthoxanthum odoratum), a forb (Plantago lanceolata), and a N-fixing forb (Lotus corniculatus). We measured multiple ecosystem functions that support ecosystem services, including ecosystem gas exchange, water retention, C and N loss in leachates, and plant biomass production. Species evenness and dominant species identity strongly influenced the ecosystem functions measured, but spatial arrangement had few effects. By the end of the growing season, evenness consistently enhanced ecosystem functioning and this effect occurred regardless of dominant species identity. The identity of the dominant species under which the highest level of functioning was attained varied across the growing season. Spatial arrangement had the weakest effect on functioning, but interacted with dominant species identity to affect some functions. Our results highlight the importance of understanding the role of multiple community attributes in driving ecosystem functioning.

  12. A field method to store samples from temperate mountain grassland soils for analysis of phospholipid fatty acids.

    PubMed

    Schnecker, Jörg; Wild, Birgit; Fuchslueger, Lucia; Richter, Andreas

    2012-08-01

    The storage of soil samples for PLFA analysis can lead to shifts in the microbial community composition. We show here that conserving samples in RNAlater, which is already widely used to store samples for DNA and RNA analysis, proved to be as sufficient as freezing at -20 °C and preferable over storage at 4 °C for temperate mountain grassland soil. The total amount of extracted PLFAs was not changed by any storage treatment. Storage at 4 °C led to an alteration of seven out of thirty individual biomarkers, while freezing and storage in RNAlater caused changes in the amount of fungal biomarkers but had no effect on any other microbial group. We therefore suggest that RNAlater could be used to preserve soil samples for PLFA analysis when immediate extraction or freezing of samples is not possible, for example during sampling campaigns in remote areas or during transport and shipping.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-03-13

    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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. 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...

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-09-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-09-06

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2012-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2004-03-01

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

  5. Modeling net ecosystem carbon exchange of alpine grasslands with a satellite-driven model.

    PubMed

    Yan, Wei; Hu, Zhongmin; 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

  6. 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

  7. Modeling net ecosystem carbon exchange of alpine grasslands with a satellite-driven model.

    PubMed

    Yan, Wei; Hu, Zhongmin; 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.

  8. Synchronous dynamics of zooplankton competitors prevail in temperate lake ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Vasseur, David A; Fox, Jeremy W; Gonzalez, Andrew; Adrian, Rita; Beisner, Beatrix E; Helmus, Matthew R; Johnson, Catherine; Kratina, Pavel; Kremer, Colin; de Mazancourt, Claire; Miller, Elizabeth; Nelson, William A; Paterson, Michael; Rusak, James A; Shurin, Jonathan B; Steiner, Christopher F

    2014-08-01

    Although competing species are expected to exhibit compensatory dynamics (negative temporal covariation), empirical work has demonstrated that competitive communities often exhibit synchronous dynamics (positive temporal covariation). This has led to the suggestion that environmental forcing dominates species dynamics; however, synchronous and compensatory dynamics may appear at different length scales and/or at different times, making it challenging to identify their relative importance. We compiled 58 long-term datasets of zooplankton abundance in north-temperate and sub-tropical lakes and used wavelet analysis to quantify general patterns in the times and scales at which synchronous/compensatory dynamics dominated zooplankton communities in different regions and across the entire dataset. Synchronous dynamics were far more prevalent at all scales and times and were ubiquitous at the annual scale. Although we found compensatory dynamics in approximately 14% of all combinations of time period/scale/lake, there were no consistent scales or time periods during which compensatory dynamics were apparent across different regions. Our results suggest that the processes driving compensatory dynamics may be local in their extent, while those generating synchronous dynamics operate at much larger scales. This highlights an important gap in our understanding of the interaction between environmental and biotic forces that structure communities.

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Potential climate change impacts on temperate forest ecosystem processes

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kudrevatykh, Irina; Ivashchenko, Kristina; Ananyeva, Nadezhda

    2016-04-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

  16. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-21

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  3. Effect of soil properties and hydrology on archaeal community composition in three temperate grasslands on peat.

    PubMed

    Görres, Carolyn-Monika; Conrad, Ralf; Petersen, Søren O

    2013-08-01

    Grasslands established on drained peat soils are regarded as negligible methane (CH4 ) sources; however, they can still exhibit considerable soil CH4 dynamics. We investigated archaeal community composition in two different fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark. We used terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP) fingerprinting and clone libraries to characterize the soils' archaeal community composition to gain a better understanding of relationships between peat properties and land use, respectively, and CH4 dynamics. Samples were taken at three different depths and at four different seasons. Archaeal community composition varied considerably between the three peatlands and, to a certain degree, also with peat depth, but seemed to be quite stable at individual sampling depths throughout the year. Archaeal community composition was mainly linked to soil pH. No methanogens were detected at one fen site with soil pH ranging from 3.2 to 4.4. The methanogenic community of the bog (soil pH 3.9-4.6) was dominated by hydrogenotrophs, whereas the second fen site (soil pH 5.0-5.3) comprised both aceticlastic and hydrogenotrophic methanogens. Overall, there seemed to be a significant coupling between peat type and archaeal community composition, with local hydrology modifying the strength of this coupling.

  4. Estimating daytime ecosystem respiration to improve estimates of gross primary production of a temperate forest.

    PubMed

    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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-03-18

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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Responses of soil respiration to elevated CO[sub 2] in two California grassland ecosystems

    SciTech Connect

    Luo, Y.; Jackson, R.B.; Field, C.B.; Mooney, H.A. )

    1994-06-01

    Estimates of soil respiration (SR) in current and elevated CO[sub 2] are critical for predicting future global carbon budgets. We measured SR in two California grassland ecosystems (sandstone and serpentine) growing at ambient and ambient+350 ppm CO[sub 2]. SR was higher in elevated CO[sub 2] for both ecosystems in the field, but differences were not significant. At peak plant growth, SR was approximately 6 [mu]mol m[sup [minus]2]s[sup [minus]1] in elevated CO[sub 2] and 5 [mu]mol m[sup [minus]2] s[sup [minus]1] in ambient CO[sub 2] for both ecosystems. We also examined soil respiration in monocultures of 7 grassland species grown in microecosystems (10-cm diameter by 1-m deep tubes). SR was approximately 2 [mu]mol m[sup [minus]2]s[sup [minus]1] for Plantago, Bromus, Hemizona, and Calycadenia and 7 [minus] 8 [mu]mol m[sup [minus]2]s[sup [minus]2] for Lolium, Avena, and Vulpia. Elevated CO[sub 2] significantly increased soil respiration by 20-30% in Bromus, Hemizonia and Lolium monocultures. SR was significantly correlated with total plant biomass as averaged across all species.

  9. Short-term sequestration of slurry-derived carbon into particle size fractions of a temperate grassland soil.

    PubMed

    Bol, Roland; Moering, Judith; Preedy, Neil; Glaser, Bruno

    2004-03-01

    Surface application of animal wastes in intensive grassland systems has caused growing environmental problems during the last decade and, therefore, increasing public and scientific concern. In the present study we examined if the natural abundance 13C stable isotope tracer techniques could be used to investigate a poorly defined aspect of waste application, i.e. incorporation of slurry-derived C and its distribution in soil organic matter (SOM) fractions with different turnover times of a pasture soil. C3 and C4 slurries (delta13C(V-PDB) = -30.7/1000 and -21.3/1000, respectively) from cows fed either on a maize (C4) or perennial ryegrass (C3) diet were applied to a C3 soil with a delta13C value of (-30.0+/-0.2)/1000. The cattle slurry was applied at 50 m3 ha(-1). Coarse sand, fine sand, silt, clay and fine clay were isolated from bulk soil samples (0-2 cm depth), freeze-dried and ground prior to total organic C (TOC) using elemental analysis and 13C natural abundance analysis by isotope-ratio mass spectrometry. The stable isotope tracer technique did allow to quantify the short-term sequestration of slurry-derived C in particle-size fractions of the grassland soil. Slurry-derived carbon was sequestered in various amounts in the five particle-size fractions, but most of it was sequestered in the coarse sand fraction during the two week experiment. The preferential input into the coarse sand fraction suggests that only the larger particulate slurry-derived materials were trapped into the soil during the experimental period. Less than 40% of the applied slurry-derived C was sequestered into the soil, suggesting a potential for large losses into the wider environment. The practice of surface spreading of slurry to temperate grassland soils is clearly not efficient, and improvements in slurry application methods, such as incorporation directly into the soil, should therefore be encouraged.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  11. 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.

  12. Plant community responses to precipitation and spatial pattern of nitrogen supply in an experimental grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Xi, Nianxun; Carrère, Pascal; Bloor, Juliette M G

    2015-06-01

    Recent work suggests that soil nutrient heterogeneity may modulate plant responses to drivers of global change, but interactions between N heterogeneity and changes in rainfall regime remain poorly understood. We used a model grassland system to investigate the interactive effects of N application pattern (homogeneous, heterogeneous) and precipitation-magnitude manipulation during the growing season (control, +50 % rainfall, -50 % rainfall) on aboveground biomass and plant community dominance patterns. Our study resulted in four major findings: patchy N addition increased within-plot variability in plant size structure at the species level, but did not alter total aboveground biomass; patchy N addition increased community dominance and caused a shift in the ranking of subordinate plant species; unlike community-level biomass, plant species differed in their biomass response to the rainfall treatments; and neither aboveground biomass nor community dominance showed significant interactions between N pattern and rainfall manipulation, suggesting that grassland responses to patchy N inputs are insensitive to water addition or rainfall reduction in our temperate study system. Overall, our results indicate that the spatial pattern of N inputs has greater effects on species biomass variability and community dominance than on aboveground production. These short-term changes in plant community structure may have significant implications for longer-term patterns of vegetation dynamics and plant-soil feedbacks. Moreover our results suggest that the magnitude of precipitation during the growing season plays a limited role in grassland responses to heterogeneous organic N inputs, emphasizing the need to consider other components of precipitation change in future heterogeneity studies.

  13. Post-Fire Evapotranspiration and Net Ecosystem Exchange over A Semi-Arid Grassland in Arizona

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Krishnan, P.; Meyers, T. P.; Heuer, M.

    2015-12-01

    The seasonal and interannual variability of evapotranspiration (E) and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) following a fire disturbance over a semi -arid grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA, and their relationships to environmental variables were examined using continuous measurements of water vapour and CO2 fluxes made from first week of June 2002 to 2009 using the eddy covariance technique. The research ranch was established in 1969 as an ecological research preserve and it is now one of the largest ungrazed, privately managed grassland sites in Arizona. A wild fire occurred in April - May 2002, and burned all the standing vegetation and litter on in research ranch (~38,000 acres) including 500 acres of grassland. The mean annual temperature and precipitation (P) at this site were ~16 deg C and ~370 mm, respectively. More than 60% of the annual P was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September) with the lowest annual P in the drought years of 2004 and 2009. Drastic changes in albedo, vegetation growth and evapotranspiration occurred following the onset of the monsoon season in July. The ecosystem was mostly a carbon sink during monsoon period. Daily total evapotranspiration during July-August increased from 2 mm d-1 in 2002 to >3 mm d-1 in 2007. The mean annual E over the site was during 2003 -2009 was 352 ±75 mm. With the onset of monsoon the ecosystem turned to carbon sink in 2002, with daily total net ecosystem exchange (NEE) varying up to ~<-2 g C m-2, by mid-July to August 2002. It was followed by one of the driest monsoon period on the record (2003) with <50% of normal July-September P. Because of this, the recovery of the ecosystem was delayed. During 2002-2009, the ecosystem was mostly a carbon source except in 2006 an year with high growing season Normalized-difference vegetation index, longest monsoon growing season and the highest annual and July

  14. Birds as suppliers of seed dispersal in temperate ecosystems: conservation guidelines from real-world landscapes.

    PubMed

    Garcia, Daniel; Zamora, Regino; Amico, Guillermo C

    2010-08-01

    Seed dispersal by animals is considered a pivotal ecosystem function that drives plant-community dynamics in natural habitats and vegetation recovery in human-altered landscapes. Nevertheless, there is a lack of suitable ecological knowledge to develop basic conservation and management guidelines for this ecosystem service. Essential questions, such as how well the abundance of frugivorous animals predicts seeding function in different ecosystems and how anthropogenic landscape heterogeneity conditions the role of dispersers, remain poorly answered. In three temperate ecosystems, we studied seed dispersal by frugivorous birds in landscape mosaics shaped by human disturbance. By applying a standardized design across systems, we related the frequency of occurrence of bird-dispersed seeds throughout the landscape to the abundance of birds, the habitat features, and the abundance of fleshy fruits. Abundance of frugivorous birds in itself predicted the occurrence of dispersed seeds throughout the landscape in all ecosystems studied. Even those landscape patches impoverished due to anthropogenic disturbance received some dispersed seeds when visited intensively by birds. Nonetheless, human-caused landscape degradation largely affected seed-deposition patterns by decreasing cover of woody vegetation or availability of fruit resources that attracted birds and promoted seed dispersal. The relative role of woody cover and fruit availability in seed dispersal by birds differed among ecosystems. Our results suggest that to manage seed dispersal for temperate ecosystem preservation or restoration one should consider abundance of frugivorous birds as a surrogate of landscape-scale seed dispersal and an indicator of patch quality for the dispersal function; woody cover and fruit resource availability as key landscape features that drive seedfall patterns; and birds as mobile links that connect landscape patches of different degrees of degradation and habitat quality via seed

  15. Influence of warming on soil water potential controls seedling mortality in perennial but not annual species in a temperate grassland.

    PubMed

    Hovenden, Mark J; Newton, Paul C D; Wills, Karen E; Janes, Jasmine K; Williams, Amity L; Vander Schoor, Jacqueline K; Nolan, Michaela J

    2008-01-01

    In a water-limited system, the following hypotheses are proposed: warming will increase seedling mortality; elevated atmospheric CO2 will reduce seedling mortality by reducing transpiration, thereby increasing soil water availability; and longevity (i.e. whether a species is annual or perennial) will affect the response of a species to global changes. Here, these three hypotheses are tested by assessing the impact of elevated CO2 (550 micromol mol(-1) and warming (+2 degrees C) on seedling emergence, survivorship and establishment in an Australian temperate grassland from autumn 2004 to autumn 2007. Warming impacts on seedling survivorship were dependent upon species longevity. Warming reduced seedling survivorship of perennials through its effects on soil water potential but the seedling survivorship of annuals was reduced to a greater extent than could be accounted for by treatment effects on soil water potential. Elevated CO2 did not significantly affect seedling survivorship in annuals or perennials. These results show that warming will alter recruitment of perennial species by changing soil water potential but will reduce recruitment of annual species independent of any effects on soil moisture. The results also show that exposure to elevated CO2 does not make seedlings more resistant to dry soils.

  16. [Effects of nitrogen and water addition on soil bacterial diversity and community structure in temperate grasslands in northern China].

    PubMed

    Yang, Shan; Li, Xiao-bing; Wang, Ru-zhen; Cai, Jiang-ping; Xu, Zhu-wen; Zhang, Yu-ge; Li, Hui; Jiang, Yong

    2015-03-01

    In this study, we measured the responses of soil bacterial diversity and community structure to nitrogen (N) and water addition in the typical temperate grassland in northern China. Results showed that N addition significantly reduced microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and microbial biomass nitrogen (MBN) under regular precipitation treatment. Similar declined trends of MBC and MBN caused by N addition were also found under increased precipitation condition. Nevertheless, water addition alleviated the inhibition by N addition. N addition exerted no significant effects. on bacterial α-diversity indices, including richness, Shannon diversity and evenness index under regular precipitation condition. Precipitation increment tended to increase bacterial α-diversity, and the diversity indices of each N gradient under regular precipitation were much lower than that of the corresponding N addition rate under increased precipitation. Correlation analysis showed that soil moisture, nitrate (NO3(-)-N) and ammonium (NH4+-N) were significantly negatively correlated with bacterial evenness index, and MBC and MBN had a significant positive correlation with bacterial richness and evenness. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) ordination illustrated that the bacterial communities were significantly separated by N addition rates, under both water ambient and water addition treatments. Redundancy analysis (RDA) revealed that soil MBC, MBN, pH and NH4+-N were the key environmental factors for shaping bacterial communities.

  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. 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

  19. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Le Dizes, S.

    2015-03-15

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

  1. Simulating the impacts of land use in northwest Europe on Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE): the role of arable ecosystems, grasslands and forest plantations in climate change mitigation.

    PubMed

    Abdalla, Mohamed; Saunders, Matthew; Hastings, Astley; Williams, Mike; Smith, Pete; Osborne, Bruce; Lanigan, Gary; Jones, Mike B

    2013-11-01

    In this study, we compared measured and simulated Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) values from three wide spread ecosystems in the southeast of Ireland (forest, arable and grassland), and investigated the suitability of the DNDC (the DeNitrification-DeComposition) model to estimate present and future NEE. Although, the field-DNDC version overestimated NEE at temperatures >5 °C, forest-DNDC under-estimated NEE at temperatures >5 °C. The results suggest that the field/forest DNDC models can successfully estimate changes in seasonal and annual NEE from these ecosystems. Differences in NEE were found to be primarily land cover specific. The annual NEE was similar for the grassland and arable sites, but due to the contribution of exported carbon, the soil carbon increased at the grassland site and decreased at the arable site. The NEE of the forest site was an order of magnitude larger than that of the grassland or arable ecosystems, with large amounts of carbon stored in woody biomass and the soil. The average annual NEE, GPP and Reco values over the measurement period were -904, 2379 and 1475 g C m(-2) (forest plantations), -189, 906 and 715 g C m(-2) (arable systems) and -212, 1653 and 1444 g C m(-2) (grasslands), respectively. The average RMSE values were 3.8 g C m(-2) (forest plantations), 0.12 g C m(-2) (arable systems) and 0.21 g C m(-2) (grasslands). When these models were run with climate change scenarios to 2060, predictions show that all three ecosystems will continue to operate as carbon sinks. Further, climate change may decrease the carbon sink strength in the forest plantations by up to 50%. This study supports the use of the DNDC model as a valid tool to predict the consequences of climate change on NEE from different ecosystems.

  2. Simulating the impacts of land use in northwest Europe on Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE): the role of arable ecosystems, grasslands and forest plantations in climate change mitigation.

    PubMed

    Abdalla, Mohamed; Saunders, Matthew; Hastings, Astley; Williams, Mike; Smith, Pete; Osborne, Bruce; Lanigan, Gary; Jones, Mike B

    2013-11-01

    In this study, we compared measured and simulated Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) values from three wide spread ecosystems in the southeast of Ireland (forest, arable and grassland), and investigated the suitability of the DNDC (the DeNitrification-DeComposition) model to estimate present and future NEE. Although, the field-DNDC version overestimated NEE at temperatures >5 °C, forest-DNDC under-estimated NEE at temperatures >5 °C. The results suggest that the field/forest DNDC models can successfully estimate changes in seasonal and annual NEE from these ecosystems. Differences in NEE were found to be primarily land cover specific. The annual NEE was similar for the grassland and arable sites, but due to the contribution of exported carbon, the soil carbon increased at the grassland site and decreased at the arable site. The NEE of the forest site was an order of magnitude larger than that of the grassland or arable ecosystems, with large amounts of carbon stored in woody biomass and the soil. The average annual NEE, GPP and Reco values over the measurement period were -904, 2379 and 1475 g C m(-2) (forest plantations), -189, 906 and 715 g C m(-2) (arable systems) and -212, 1653 and 1444 g C m(-2) (grasslands), respectively. The average RMSE values were 3.8 g C m(-2) (forest plantations), 0.12 g C m(-2) (arable systems) and 0.21 g C m(-2) (grasslands). When these models were run with climate change scenarios to 2060, predictions show that all three ecosystems will continue to operate as carbon sinks. Further, climate change may decrease the carbon sink strength in the forest plantations by up to 50%. This study supports the use of the DNDC model as a valid tool to predict the consequences of climate change on NEE from different ecosystems. PMID:23384575

  3. Testing the link between functional diversity and ecosystem functioning in a Minnesota grassland experiment.

    PubMed

    Clark, Christopher M; Flynn, Dan F B; Butterfield, Bradley J; Reich, Peter B

    2012-01-01

    The functional diversity of a community can influence ecosystem functioning and reflects assembly processes. The large number of disparate metrics used to quantify functional diversity reflects the range of attributes underlying this concept, generally summarized as functional richness, functional evenness, and functional divergence. However, in practice, we know very little about which attributes drive which ecosystem functions, due to a lack of field-based tests. Here we test the association between eight leading functional diversity metrics (Rao's Q, FD, FDis, FEve, FDiv, convex hull volume, and species and functional group richness) that emphasize different attributes of functional diversity, plus 11 extensions of these existing metrics that incorporate heterogeneous species abundances and trait variation. We assess the relationships among these metrics and compare their performances for predicting three key ecosystem functions (above- and belowground biomass and light capture) within a long-term grassland biodiversity experiment. Many metrics were highly correlated, although unique information was captured in FEve, FDiv, and dendrogram-based measures (FD) that were adjusted by abundance. FD adjusted by abundance outperformed all other metrics in predicting both above- and belowground biomass, although several others also performed well (e.g. Rao's Q, FDis, FDiv). More generally, trait-based richness metrics and hybrid metrics incorporating multiple diversity attributes outperformed evenness metrics and single-attribute metrics, results that were not changed when combinations of metrics were explored. For light capture, species richness alone was the best predictor, suggesting that traits for canopy architecture would be necessary to improve predictions. Our study provides a comprehensive test linking different attributes of functional diversity with ecosystem function for a grassland system.

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

    PubMed

    Yelenik, S G; Levine, J M

    2010-04-01

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

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Cyclic voles and shrews and non-cyclic mice in a marginal grassland within European temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Zub, K; Jędrzejewska, B; Jędrzejewski, W; Bartoń, K A

    2012-07-01

    Cyclic population dynamics of small mammals are not restricted to the boreal and arctic zones of Eurasia and North America, but long-term data series from lower latitudes are still less common. We demonstrated here the presence of periodic oscillations in small mammal populations in eastern Poland using 22-year (1986-2007) trapping data from marginal meadow and river valley grasslands located in the extensive temperate woodland of Białowieża Primeval Forest. The two most common species inhabiting meadows and river valleys, root vole Microtus oeconomus and common shrew Sorex araneus, exhibited synchronous periodic changes, characterised by a 3-year time lag as indicated by an autocorrelation function. Moreover, the cycles of these two species were synchronous within both habitats. Population dynamics of the striped field mouse Apodemus agrarius was not cyclic. However, this species regularly reached maximum density 1 year before the synchronized peak of root voles and common shrews, which may suggest the existence of interspecific competition. Dynamics of all three species was dominated by direct density-dependent process, whereas delayed density dependent feedback was significant only in the root vole and common shrew. Climatic factors acting in winter and spring (affecting mainly survival and initial reproduction rates) were more important than those acting in summer and autumn and affected significantly only the common shrew. High temperatures in winter and spring had positive effects on autumn-to-autumn changes in abundance of this species, whereas deep snow in combination with high rainfall in spring negatively affected population increase rates in common shrew.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. [Soil N/P ratio distribution characteristics of alpine grassland ecosystem in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau].

    PubMed

    Wang, Jian-Lin; Zhong, Zhi-Ming; Wang, Zhong-Hong; Chen, Bao-Xiong; Zhang, Xian-Zhou; Shen, Zhen-Xi; Hu, Xing-Xiang; Dacizhuoga

    2013-12-01

    The distribution characteristics of soil N/P ratio in alpine grassland ecosystem of Qinghai-Tibet Plateau were surveyed by field investigation and laboratory analysis. Horizontally, soil N/ P ratio was generally higher in west and lower in east in a manner of staggered patch distribution, with higher N/P ratios mainly centralized in the hinterland of northern part of Tibet Plateau and in the lake basin area of the northern foot of Himalayas. Significant differences in soil N/P ratio were observed among grassland types and natural transects. Vertically, the distribution of N/P ratio along the soil profile from aboveground to underground among different grass types could be categorized into five patterns, including low-high-low-high, low-high-low, low-high, high-low-high-low, and high-low-high. The N/P ratio showed a significant positive correlation with soil bulk density at 0-20 cm depth, soil water content at 20-30 cm depth, contents of soil available K and total nitrogen, respectively. However, it showed significant negative correlation with soil bulk density at 20-30 cm depth, contents of soil available P and total P, respectively.

  2. Evapotranspiration Partitioning with Sub-Daily Isotopic Measurement in a Sub-Humid Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, X.; Wilcox, B. P.; Zou, C.; Stebler, E.; West, J. B.

    2015-12-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) interweaves water, energy, and biogeochemical interactions between the land surface and atmospheric system. Stable isotopic measurement, especially field deployable laser absorption spectrometers, provides a promising tool for ET partitioning with its direct and efficient measurement on isotopic components of water vapor. This isotopic approach, however, is still facing some uncertainties in quantifying ET and its constituents according to assumptions and empirical formula involved. In this study, we combined high-time resolution measurement with laser absorption spectrometers and eddy covariance techniques to quantify ET and its two components, namely soil water Evaporation (E) and plant transpiration (T) for a sub-humid grassland in southern US. Direct chamber measurement on these two end-members was compared with revised Craig-Gordon model for the quantification consistency assessment. Our results indicate the daily ratio of T/ET and its sub-daily dynamics for different soil moisture and micro-climate conditions. We investigated the controlling factors for ET and its partitioning dynamics for this grassland ecosystem. The uncertainties involved in the quantification were also assessed by comparison between direct chamber and empirical approaches.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-03-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. Arbuscular mycorrhizal community composition associated with two plant species in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Vandenkoornhuyse, P; Husband, R; Daniell, T J; Watson, I J; Duck, J M; Fitter, A H; Young, J P W

    2002-08-01

    Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi are biotrophic symbionts colonizing about two-thirds of land plant species and found in all ecosystems. They are of major importance in plant nutrient supply and their diversity is suggested to be an important determinant of plant community composition. The diversity of the AM fungal community composition in the roots of two plant species (Agrostis capillaris and Trifolium repens) that co-occurred in the same grassland ecosystem was characterized using molecular techniques. We analysed the small subunit (SSU) ribosomal RNA gene amplified from a total root DNA extract using AM fungal-specific primers. A total of 2001 cloned fragments from 47 root samples obtained on four dates were analysed by restriction fragment length polymorphism, and 121 of them were sequenced. The diversity found was high: a total of 24 different phylotypes (groups of phylogenetically related sequences) colonized the roots of the two host species. Phylogenetic analyses demonstrate that 19 of these phylotypes belonged to the Glomaceae, three to the Acaulosporaceae and two to the Gigasporaceae. Our study reveals clearly that the AM fungal community colonizing T. repens differed from that colonizing A. capillaris, providing evidence for AM fungal host preference. In addition, our results reveal dynamic changes in the AM fungal community through time.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2003-12-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-06-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. FUNCTIONAL AND STRUCTURAL CONVERGENCE OF TEMPERATE GRASSLAND AND SHRUBLAND ECOSYSTEMS. (R824993)

    EPA Science Inventory

    The perspectives, information and conclusions conveyed in research project abstracts, progress reports, final reports, journal abstracts and journal publications convey the viewpoints of the principal investigator and may not represent the views and policies of ORD and EPA. Concl...

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

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

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Thom, Dominik; Seidl, Rupert

    2016-08-01

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

  9. Relationships between plant diversity and the abundance and α-diversity of predatory ground beetles (Coleoptera: Carabidae) in a mature Asian temperate forest ecosystem.

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Bedrock nitrogen inputs support litter nitrogen fixation and temperate forest ecosystem fertility

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Dynarski, K. A.; Mitchell, S. A.; Morford, S.; Houlton, B. Z.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is one of the most frequently limiting nutrients to terrestrial ecosystem productivity worldwide. As atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations continue to rise, progressive N limitation is expected to constrain the ability of terrestrial ecosystems to store additional C, making an understanding of N inputs to terrestrial ecosystems increasingly important. In temperate forests, rock reservoirs and biological N fixation (BNF) represent two significant, but poorly characterized, inputs of bioavailable N. Recent research has demonstrated that bedrock can provide a substantial amount of ecosystem-available N in moderate-to-high relief areas with N-rich sedimentary bedrock. In these same ecosystems, asymbiotic BNF performed by heterotrophic microbes in plant litter can provide an additional N input of up to ~2 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Here, we tested the hypothesis that rock N inputs support increased litter BNF via enhanced ecosystem N fertility. We measured rates of BNF along with rock, soil, foliage, and litter chemistry across sites varying substantially in rock N concentrations (from 32 to 800 ppm N). The sites are dominated by Douglas fir and share similar climates and landscape positions (eroding slopes), yet display marked increases in foliar and soil N content as a function of rock N concentrations (foliar: R2=0.18, p<0.001, soil: R2=0.50, p=0.001). We found a significant positive correlation between rock N content and litter BNF rates (R2=0.11, p=0.0035), with rates of BNF at sites with greater than 400 ppm N in bedrock more than double rates of BNF at sites with lower than 400 ppm N in bedrock (p<0.001). These patterns could not be explained by increases in other rock-derived nutrients such as phosphorus or molybdenum, as neither of these known BNF controls increased over the rock N gradient. We found declining foliar lignin:N ratios with increased rock N, suggesting that rock N inputs can increase litter quality, supporting greater microbial activity

  11. [Dynamics of sensible and latent heat fluxes over a temperate desert steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guo; Zhou, Guang-Sheng; Yang, Fu-Lin

    2010-03-01

    This paper studied the diurnal and seasonal characteristics of sensible and latent heat fluxes over a temperate desert steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, based on the 2008 observation data from eddy covariance tower. The diurnal patterns of sensible and latent heat fluxes over the ecosystem were both single kurtosis, with the maximum value being 319.01 W x m(-2) (on May 30th, 2008) and 425.37 W x m(-2) (on Jun 2nd, 2008), respectively, and occurred at about 12:00-13:30 (local time), which was similar to the diurnal pattern of net radiation but lagged about one hour of the maximum net radiation. The maximum diurnal variations of monthly mean sensible and latent heat fluxes occurred in May and June, and their minimum diurnal variations occurred in January and November, respectively. There was a closer relationship between soil moisture content and precipitation. Surface soil moisture content was most sensitive to precipitation, while the moisture content in deeper soil layers had a lagged response to precipitation. The seasonal dynamics of sensible and latent heat fluxes was similar to that of net radiation, and affected by precipitation. Sensible heat flux was obviously affected by net radiation, but latent heat flux was more sensitive to precipitation and mainly controlled by soil moisture content.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Complexity of multitrophic interactions in a grassland ecosystem depends on plant species diversity.

    PubMed

    Rzanny, Michael; Voigt, Winfried

    2012-05-01

    1. We studied the theoretical prediction that a loss of plant species richness has a strong impact on community interactions among all trophic levels and tested whether decreased plant species diversity results in a less complex structure and reduced interactions in ecological networks. 2. Using plant species-specific biomass and arthropod abundance data from experimental grassland plots (Jena Experiment), we constructed multitrophic functional group interaction webs to compare communities based on 4 and 16 plant species. 427 insect and spider species were classified into 13 functional groups. These functional groups represent the nodes of ecological networks. Direct and indirect interactions among them were assessed using partial Mantel tests. Interaction web complexity was quantified using three measures of network structure: connectance, interaction diversity and interaction strength. 3. Compared with high plant diversity plots, interaction webs based on low plant diversity plots showed reduced complexity in terms of total connectance, interaction diversity and mean interaction strength. Plant diversity effects obviously cascade up the food web and modify interactions across all trophic levels. The strongest effects occurred in interactions between adjacent trophic levels (i.e. predominantly trophic interactions), while significant interactions among plant and carnivore functional groups, as well as horizontal interactions (i.e. interactions between functional groups of the same trophic level), showed rather inconsistent responses and were generally rarer. 4. Reduced interaction diversity has the potential to decrease and destabilize ecosystem processes. Therefore, we conclude that the loss of basal producer species leads to more simple structured, less and more loosely connected species assemblages, which in turn are very likely to decrease ecosystem functioning, community robustness and tolerance to disturbance. Our results suggest that the functioning

  15. Separating drought effects from roof artifacts on ecosystem processes in a grassland drought experiment.

    PubMed

    Vogel, Anja; Fester, Thomas; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Schmid, Bernhard; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    1: Given the predictions of increased drought probabilities under various climate change scenarios, there have been numerous experimental field studies simulating drought using transparent roofs in different ecosystems and regions. Such roofs may, however, have unknown side effects, called artifacts, on the measured variables potentially confounding the experimental results. A roofed control allows the quantification of potential artifacts, which is lacking in most experiments. 2: We conducted a drought experiment in experimental grasslands to study artifacts of transparent roofs and the resulting effects of artifacts on ecosystems relative to drought on three response variables (aboveground biomass, litter decomposition and plant metabolite profiles). We established three drought treatments, using (1) transparent roofs to exclude rainfall, (2) an unroofed control treatment receiving natural rainfall and (3) a roofed control, nested in the drought treatment but with rain water reapplied according to ambient conditions. 3: Roofs had a slight impact on air (+0.14°C during night) and soil temperatures (-0.45°C on warm days, +0.25°C on cold nights), while photosynthetically active radiation was decreased significantly (-16%). Aboveground plant community biomass was reduced in the drought treatment (-41%), but there was no significant difference between the roofed and unroofed control, i.e., there were no measurable roof artifact effects. 4: Compared to the unroofed control, litter decomposition was decreased significantly both in the drought treatment (-26%) and in the roofed control treatment (-18%), suggesting artifact effects of the transparent roofs. Moreover, aboveground metabolite profiles in the model plant species Medicago x varia were different from the unroofed control in both the drought and roofed control treatments, and roof artifact effects were of comparable magnitude as drought effects. 5: Our results stress the need for roofed control treatments

  16. Separating Drought Effects from Roof Artifacts on Ecosystem Processes in a Grassland Drought Experiment

    PubMed Central

    Vogel, Anja; Fester, Thomas; Eisenhauer, Nico; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Schmid, Bernhard; Weisser, Wolfgang W.; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    1 Given the predictions of increased drought probabilities under various climate change scenarios, there have been numerous experimental field studies simulating drought using transparent roofs in different ecosystems and regions. Such roofs may, however, have unknown side effects, called artifacts, on the measured variables potentially confounding the experimental results. A roofed control allows the quantification of potential artifacts, which is lacking in most experiments. 2 We conducted a drought experiment in experimental grasslands to study artifacts of transparent roofs and the resulting effects of artifacts on ecosystems relative to drought on three response variables (aboveground biomass, litter decomposition and plant metabolite profiles). We established three drought treatments, using (1) transparent roofs to exclude rainfall, (2) an unroofed control treatment receiving natural rainfall and (3) a roofed control, nested in the drought treatment but with rain water reapplied according to ambient conditions. 3 Roofs had a slight impact on air (+0.14°C during night) and soil temperatures (−0.45°C on warm days, +0.25°C on cold nights), while photosynthetically active radiation was decreased significantly (−16%). Aboveground plant community biomass was reduced in the drought treatment (−41%), but there was no significant difference between the roofed and unroofed control, i.e., there were no measurable roof artifact effects. 4 Compared to the unroofed control, litter decomposition was decreased significantly both in the drought treatment (−26%) and in the roofed control treatment (−18%), suggesting artifact effects of the transparent roofs. Moreover, aboveground metabolite profiles in the model plant species Medicago x varia were different from the unroofed control in both the drought and roofed control treatments, and roof artifact effects were of comparable magnitude as drought effects. 5 Our results stress the need for roofed control

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1995-12-31

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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  8. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, H.; Fan, J.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Ji; Shi, Weiyu; Cao, Junji

    2015-02-01

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

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

    PubMed

    Chen, Ji; Shi, Weiyu; Cao, Junji

    2015-02-01

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

  15. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  2. Cell turnover and detritus production in marine sponges from tropical and temperate benthic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-22

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

  4. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-08-22

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Basham, T. S.; Litvak, M.

    2006-12-01

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

  13. Evidence of Physiological Decoupling from Grassland Ecosystem Drivers by an Encroaching Woody Shrub

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

    Shrub encroachment of grasslands is a transformative ecological process by which native woody species increase in cover and frequency and replace the herbaceous community. Mechanisms of encroachment are typically assessed using temporal data or experimental manipulations, with few large spatial assessments of shrub physiology. In a mesic grassland in North America, we measured inter- and intra-annual variability in leaf δ13C in Cornus drummondii across a grassland landscape with varying fire frequency, presence of large grazers and topographic variability. This assessment of changes in individual shrub physiology is the largest spatial and temporal assessment recorded to date. Despite a doubling of annual rainfall (in 2008 versus 2011), leaf δ13C was statistically similar among and within years from 2008-11 (range of −28 to −27‰). A topography*grazing interaction was present, with higher leaf δ13C in locations that typically have more bare soil and higher sensible heat in the growing season (upland topographic positions and grazed grasslands). Leaf δ13C from slopes varied among grazing contrasts, with upland and slope leaf δ13C more similar in ungrazed locations, while slopes and lowlands were more similar in grazed locations. In 2011, canopy greenness (normalized difference vegetation index – NDVI) was assessed at the centroid of individual shrubs using high-resolution hyperspectral imagery. Canopy greenness was highest mid-summer, likely reflecting temporal periods when C assimilation rates were highest. Similar to patterns seen in leaf δ13C, NDVI was highest in locations that typically experience lowest sensible heat (lowlands and ungrazed). The ability of Cornus drummondii to decouple leaf physiological responses from climate variability and fire frequency is a likely contributor to the increase in cover and frequency of this shrub species in mesic grassland and may be generalizable to other grasslands undergoing woody encroachment. PMID:24339950

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

    PubMed

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2007-11-01

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

  17. The impact of extreme summer drought on the short-term carbon coupling of photosynthesis to soil CO2 efflux in a temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burri, S.; Sturm, P.; Prechsl, U. E.; Knohl, A.; Buchmann, N.

    2013-07-01

    Along with predicted climate change, increased risks for summer drought are projected for Central Europe. However, large knowledge gaps exist in terms of how drought events influence the short-term ecosystem carbon cycle. Here, we present results from 13CO2 pulse labeling experiments at an intensively managed lowland grassland in Switzerland. We investigated the effect of extreme summer drought on the short-term coupling of freshly assimilated photosynthates in shoots to roots as well as to soil CO2 efflux. Summer drought was simulated using rainout shelters during two field seasons (2010 and 2011). Soil CO2 efflux and its isotopic composition were measured with custom-built chambers coupled to a quantum cascade laser spectrometer (QCLAS-ISO, Aerodyne Research Inc., MA, USA). During the 90 min pulse labeling experiments, we added 99.9 atom % 13CO2 to the grass sward. In addition to the isotopic analysis of soil CO2 efflux, this label was traced over 31 days into bulk shoots, roots and soil. Drought reduced the incorporation of recently fixed carbon into shoots and increased carbon allocation below-ground relative to total tracer uptake. Contrary to our hypothesis, we did not find a change in allocation speed in response to drought, although drought clearly reduced soil CO2 efflux rates. 19 days after pulse labeling, only about 60% of total tracer uptake was lost via soil CO2 efflux under drought compared to about 75% under control conditions. Predisposition of grassland by spring drought lead to different responses to summer drought in 2011 compared to 2010, suggesting increased sensitivity of grassland to consecutive drought events as predicted under future climate change.

  18. Responses of plant community composition and biomass production to warming and nitrogen deposition in a temperate meadow ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Tao; Guo, Rui; Gao, Song; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    Gao, Song; Guo, Jixun; Sun, Wei

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-01

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

  2. δ 13C of ecosystem-respired CO2 along a gradient of C3 woody-plant encroachment into C4 grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sun, W.; Scott, R. L.; Resco, V.; Cable, J. M.; Huxman, T. E.; Williams, D. G.

    2006-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grassland has the potential to affect net primary production, in part by changing the sensitivities of photosynthesis and respiration to precipitation. Encroachment of mesquite (Prosopis) into floodplain sacaton (Sporobolus) grassland along the San Pedro River in southeastern Arizona has altered the magnitude and seasonal pattern of net ecosystem carbon exchange and ecosystem respiration. We hypothesized that because mesquite accesses ground water in these floodplain environments, its advancement and dominance in former grassland reduces the sensitivities of photosynthesis and autotrophic respiration to inputs of growing season precipitation. The observed elevated rates of ecosystem respiration following rainfall inputs are likely to result from microbial decomposition of labile organic matter derived from the highly productive mesquite trees. We used the Keeling plot method to monitor carbon-13 composition of nocturnal ecosystem-respired CO2 (δ 13CR) during the growing seasons of 2005 and 2006 at three sites spanning a gradient of mesquite invasion: C4 sacaton grassland, mixed mesquite/grass shrubland and C3 mesquite woodland. δ 13CR in the C4 grassland increased from -18.8‰ during the dry premonsoon period to -16.7‰ after the onset of summer rains, whereas δ 13CR in the mixed shrub/grass and woodland ecosystems declined from -20.9‰ to - 24‰ and from -20.8‰ to -24.7‰, respectively, following the onset of summer rains. The δ 13CR of respired CO2 was collected separately from soil, roots, leaves and surface litter to evaluate the contribution of each of these components to ecosystem respiration. Partitioning of ecosystem respiration using these isotope end-members and responses to short-term (days) changes in shallow (0-5cm) soil moisture content suggest that in former grassland now occupied by mesquite woodland, rainfall inputs primarily stimulate microbial decomposition and have little effect on autotrophic respiration

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

    PubMed

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

    2014-09-23

    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.

  4. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-08-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2008-08-01

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

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

    USGS Publications Warehouse

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

    2014-01-01

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

  9. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-07-01

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

  11. 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

  12. 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 (...

  13. Aeolian process effects on vegetation communities in an arid grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Alvarez, Lorelei J; Epstein, Howard E; Li, Junran; Okin, Gregory S

    2012-04-01

    Many arid grassland communities are changing from grass dominance to shrub dominance, but the mechanisms involved in this conversion process are not completely understood. Aeolian processes likely contribute to this conversion from grassland to shrubland. The purpose of this research is to provide information regarding how vegetation changes occur in an arid grassland as a result of aeolian sediment transport. The experimental design included three treatment blocks, each with a 25 × 50 m area where all grasses, semi-shrubs, and perennial forbs were hand removed, a 25 × 50 m control area with no manipulation of vegetation cover, and two 10 × 25 m plots immediately downwind of the grass-removal and control areas in the prevailing wind direction, 19° north of east, for measuring vegetation cover. Aeolian sediment flux, soil nutrients, and soil seed bank were monitored on each treatment area and downwind plot. Grass and shrub cover were measured on each grass-removal, control, and downwind plot along continuous line transects as well as on 5 × 10 m subplots within each downwind area over four years following grass removal. On grass-removal areas, sediment flux increased significantly, soil nutrients and seed bank were depleted, and Prosopis glandulosa shrub cover increased compared to controls. Additionally, differential changes for grass and shrub cover were observed for plots downwind of vegetation-removal and control areas. Grass cover on plots downwind of vegetation-removal areas decreased over time (2004-2007) despite above average rainfall throughout the period of observation, while grass cover increased downwind of control areas; P. glandulosa cover increased on plots downwind of vegetation-removal areas, while decreasing on plots downwind of control areas. The relationships between vegetation changes and aeolian sediment flux were significant and were best described by a logarithmic function, with decreases in grass cover and increases in shrub cover

  14. 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

  15. The impact of extreme summer drought on the short-term carbon coupling of photosynthesis to soil CO2 efflux in a temperate grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Burri, S.; Sturm, P.; Prechsl, U. E.; Knohl, A.; Buchmann, N.

    2014-02-01

    Along with predicted climate change, increased risks for summer drought are projected for Central Europe. However, large knowledge gaps exist in terms of how drought events influence the short-term ecosystem carbon cycle. Here, we present results from 13CO2 pulse labeling experiments at an intensively managed lowland grassland in Switzerland. We investigated the effect of extreme summer drought on the short-term coupling of freshly assimilated photosynthates in shoots to roots as well as to soil CO2 efflux. Summer drought was simulated using rainout shelters during two field seasons (2010 and 2011). Soil CO2 efflux and its isotopic composition were measured with custom-built chambers coupled to a quantum cascade laser spectrometer (QCLAS-ISO, Aerodyne Research Inc., MA, USA). During the 90 min pulse labeling experiments, we added 99.9 atom % 13CO2 to the grass sward. In addition to the isotopic analysis of soil CO2 efflux, this label was traced over 31 days into bulk shoots, roots and soil. Drought reduced the incorporation of recently fixed carbon into the shoots, but increased the relative allocation of fresh assimilates below ground compared to the control grasslands. Contrary to our hypothesis, we did not find a change of allocation speed in response to drought. Although drought clearly reduced soil CO2 efflux rates, about 75% of total tracer uptake in control plots was lost via soil CO2 efflux during 19 days after pulse labeling, compared to only about 60% under drought conditions. Thus, the short-term coupling of above- and below-ground processes was reduced in response to summer drought. The occurrence of a natural spring drought in 2011 lead to comparable albeit weaker drought responses increasing the confidence in the generalizability of our findings.

  16. Complex facilitation and competition in a temperate grassland: loss of plant diversity and elevated CO2 have divergent and opposite effects on oak establishment.

    PubMed

    Wright, Alexandra; Schnitzer, Stefan A; Dickie, Ian A; Gunderson, Alex R; Pinter, Gabriella A; Mangan, Scott A; Reich, Peter B

    2013-02-01

    Encroachment of woody vegetation into grasslands is a widespread phenomenon that alters plant community composition and ecosystem function. Woody encroachment is often the result of fire suppression, but it may also be related to changes in resource availability associated with global environmental change. We tested the relative strength of three important global change factors (CO(2) enrichment, nitrogen deposition, and loss of herbaceous plant diversity) on the first 3 years of bur oak (Quercus macrocarpa) seedling performance in a field experiment in central Minnesota, USA. We found that loss of plant diversity decreased initial oak survival but increased overall oak growth. Conversely, elevated CO(2) increased initial oak seedling survival and reduced overall growth, especially at low levels of diversity. Nitrogen deposition surprisingly had no net effect on survival or growth. The magnitude of these effects indicates that long-term woody encroachment trends may be most strongly associated with those few individuals that survive, but grow much larger in lower diversity patches. Further, while the CO(2) results and the species richness results appear to describe opposing trends, this is due only to the fact that the natural drivers are moving in opposite directions (decreasing species richness and increasing CO(2)). Interestingly, the mechanisms that underlie both patterns are very similar, increased CO(2) and increased species richness both increase herbaceous biomass which (1) increases belowground competition for resources and (2) increases facilitation of early plant survival under a more diverse plant canopy; in other words, both competition and facilitation help determine community composition in these grasslands.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. 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

    AbdElgawad, Hamada; Peshev, Darin; 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

  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

    AbdElgawad, Hamada; Peshev, Darin; 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

  2. The interactive effects of fire and diversity on short-term responses of ecosystem processes in experimental mediterranean grasslands.

    PubMed

    Dimitrakopoulos, Panayiotis G; Siamantziouras, Akis-Stavros D; Galanidis, Alexandros; Mprezetou, Irene; Troumbis, Andreas Y

    2006-06-01

    We conducted a field experiment using constructed communities to test whether species richness contributed to the maintenance of ecosystem processes under fire disturbance. We studied the effects of diversity components (i.e., species richness and species composition) upon productivity, structural traits of vegetation, decomposition rates, and soil nutrients between burnt and unburnt experimental Mediterranean grassland communities. Our results demonstrated that fire and species richness had interactive effects on aboveground biomass production and canopy structure components. Fire increased biomass production of the highest-richness communities. The effects of fire on aboveground biomass production at different levels of species richness were derived from changes in both vertical and horizontal canopy structure of the communities. The most species-rich communities appeared to be more resistant to fire in relation to species-poor ones, due to both compositional and richness effects. Interactive effects of fire and species richness were not important for belowground processes. Decomposition rates increased with species richness, related in part to increased levels of canopy structure traits. Fire increased soil nutrients and long-term decomposition rate. Our results provide evidence that composition within richness levels had often larger effects on the stability of aboveground ecosystem processes in the face of fire disturbance than species richness per se. PMID:16514480

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2016-01-01

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

  6. Soil N and 15N variation with time in a California annual grassland ecosystem

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Brenner, D.L.; Amundson, Ronald; Baisden, W. Troy; Kendall, C.; Harden, J.

    2001-01-01

    The %N and ??15N values of soils and plants were measured along a chronosequence spanning 3 to 3000 Ky in a California annual grassland. Total soil N decreased with increasing soil age (1.1 to 0.4 kg N m-2) while the mean ?? 15N values of the soil N increased by several ??? from the youngest to oldest sites (+3.5 to +6.2 ???). The ?? 15N values of plants varied along the gradient, reflecting changing soil N pools and differences in the form of N uptake. The decline in total N storage with time is hypothesized to be due to a shift from N to P limitation with increasing soil age. The general increase in ?? 15N values with time is interpreted using a N mass balance model, and appears to reflect a shift toward an increasing proportional losses of inorganic mineral forms of N (vs. organic forms) with increasing soil age. We develop a quantitative index of this trend (mineral vs. organic forms of N loss) using mass balance considerations and parameters. The %N and ?? 15N values along the California age gradient were compared to the published data for a comparably aged chronosequence in Hawaii. Most striking in this comparison is the observation that the California soil and plant ?? 15N values are several ??? greater than those on comparably aged Hawaiian sites. Multiple explanations are plausible, but assuming the sites have a similar range in ?? 15N values of atmospheric inputs, the isotopic differences suggest that N may be, at least seasonally, in greater excess in the strongly seasonal, semi-arid, California grassland. Copyright ?? 2001 Elsevier Science Ltd.

  7. Comparing Measures of Estuarine Ecosystem Production in a Temperate New England Estuary

    EPA Science Inventory

    Anthropogenic nutrient enrichments and concerted efforts at nutrient reductions, compounded with the influences of climate change, are likely changing the net ecosystem production (NEP) of our coastal systems. To quantify these changes, scientists monitor a range of physical, che...

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. Net ecosystem CO2 exchange measured by autochambers during the snow-covered season at a temperate peatland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Bubier, Jill; Crill, Patrick; Mosedale, Andrew

    2002-12-01

    Net ecosystem exchange of CO2 was measured at a temperate peatland in southeastern New Hampshire. Classified as a mineral-poor fen owing to deep, water-logged peats that are influenced to a limited extent by groundwater, the ecosystem is dominated by plants such as sedges (Carex spp.) and evergreen shrubs. Ten automatic chambers measured fluxes every 3 h by sampling changes in headspace concentration of CO2 from November 2000 through March 2001. The fen was covered in snow for most of this period and CO2 was emitted from the snow pack throughout the winter. The largest fluxes were associated with ground temperatures of 0°C and with declining atmospheric pressure. CO2 effluxes up to 3 µmol m-2 s-1 were recorded when the ground temperature reached the thaw point. Fluxes were lower when the ground temperature rose above 0°C, however, suggesting that the large fluxes were associated with a build up and release of stored CO2 degassing as soon as the ground thawed, or by enhanced microbial activity associated with freeze-thaw dynamics. The large number of thaw events coupled with frequent short-term releases of CO2 suggest that degassing occurred on a regular basis with changes in atmospheric pressure and/or microbial decomposition occurred beneath the snowpack. The extent of soil freezing prior to thaw was also an important factor, with colder soils yielding smaller CO2 emissions upon thaw. Although most of the observed CO2 flux was efflux from the ecosystem, occasional CO2 uptake by the ecosystem of up to 1 µmol m-2 s-1 was also observed, indicating small rates of photosynthesis even during winter. Photosynthesis occurred only when the ground temperature was >0°C. The implications for a warmer climate are unclear. If warmer winter temperatures yield less snow in the temperate region, then soils could freeze more deeply and result in lower CO

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Mercury bioaccumulation along food webs in temperate aquatic ecosystems colonized by aquatic macrophytes in south western France.

    PubMed

    Gentès, Sophie; Maury-Brachet, Régine; Guyoneaud, Rémy; Monperrus, Mathilde; André, Jean-Marc; Davail, Stéphane; Legeay, Alexia

    2013-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) is considered as an important pollutant for aquatic systems as its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg), is easily bioaccumulated and bioamplified along food webs. In various ecosystems, aquatic periphyton associated with macrophyte was identified as an important place for Hg storage and methylation by microorganisms. Our study concerns temperate aquatic ecosystems (South Western France) colonized by invasive macrophytes and characterized by high mercury methylation potentials. This work establishes original data concerning Hg bioaccumulation in organisms (plants, crustaceans, molluscs and fish) from five contrasting ecosystems. For low trophic level species, total Hg (THg) concentrations were low (from 27±2ngTHgg(-1)dw in asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea to 418±114ngTHgg(-1)dw in crayfish Procambarus clarkii). THg concentrations in some carnivorous fish (high trophic level) were close to or exceeded the International Marketing Level (IML) with values ranging from 1049±220ngTHgg(-1)dw in pike perch muscle (Sander lucioperca) to 3910±1307ngTHgg(-1)dw in eel muscle (Anguilla Anguilla). Trophic levels for the individuals were also evaluated through stable isotope analysis, and linked to Hg concentrations of organisms. A significant Hg biomagnification (r(2)= 0.9) was observed in the Aureilhan lake, despite the absence of top predator fish. For this site, Ludwigia sp. periphyton, as an entry point of Hg into food webs, is a serious hypothesis which remains to be confirmed. This study provides a first investigation of Hg transfer in the ecosystems of south western France and allows the assessment of the risk associated with the presence of Hg in aquatic food webs.

  16. Mercury bioaccumulation along food webs in temperate aquatic ecosystems colonized by aquatic macrophytes in south western France.

    PubMed

    Gentès, Sophie; Maury-Brachet, Régine; Guyoneaud, Rémy; Monperrus, Mathilde; André, Jean-Marc; Davail, Stéphane; Legeay, Alexia

    2013-05-01

    Mercury (Hg) is considered as an important pollutant for aquatic systems as its organic form, methylmercury (MeHg), is easily bioaccumulated and bioamplified along food webs. In various ecosystems, aquatic periphyton associated with macrophyte was identified as an important place for Hg storage and methylation by microorganisms. Our study concerns temperate aquatic ecosystems (South Western France) colonized by invasive macrophytes and characterized by high mercury methylation potentials. This work establishes original data concerning Hg bioaccumulation in organisms (plants, crustaceans, molluscs and fish) from five contrasting ecosystems. For low trophic level species, total Hg (THg) concentrations were low (from 27±2ngTHgg(-1)dw in asiatic clam Corbicula fluminea to 418±114ngTHgg(-1)dw in crayfish Procambarus clarkii). THg concentrations in some carnivorous fish (high trophic level) were close to or exceeded the International Marketing Level (IML) with values ranging from 1049±220ngTHgg(-1)dw in pike perch muscle (Sander lucioperca) to 3910±1307ngTHgg(-1)dw in eel muscle (Anguilla Anguilla). Trophic levels for the individuals were also evaluated through stable isotope analysis, and linked to Hg concentrations of organisms. A significant Hg biomagnification (r(2)= 0.9) was observed in the Aureilhan lake, despite the absence of top predator fish. For this site, Ludwigia sp. periphyton, as an entry point of Hg into food webs, is a serious hypothesis which remains to be confirmed. This study provides a first investigation of Hg transfer in the ecosystems of south western France and allows the assessment of the risk associated with the presence of Hg in aquatic food webs. PMID:23466146

  17. Progressive nitrogen limitation of ecosystem processes under elevated CO2 in a warm-temperate forest.

    PubMed

    Finzi, Adrien C; Moore, David J P; DeLucia, Evan H; Lichter, John; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Jackson, Robert B; Kim, Hyun-Seok; Matamala, Roser; McCarthy, Heather R; Oren, Ram; Pippen, Jeffrey S; Schlesinger, William H

    2006-01-01

    A hypothesis for progressive nitrogen limitation (PNL) proposes that net primary production (NPP) will decline through time in ecosystems subjected to a step-function increase in atmospheric CO2. The primary mechanism driving this response is a rapid rate of N immobilization by plants and microbes under elevated CO2 that depletes soils of N, causing slower rates of N mineralization. Under this hypothesis, there is little long-term stimulation of NPP by elevated CO2 in the absence of exogenous inputs of N. We tested this hypothesis using data on the pools and fluxes of C and N in tree biomass, microbes, and soils from 1997 through 2002 collected at the Duke Forest free-air CO2 enrichment (FACE) experiment. Elevated CO2 stimulated NPP by 18-24% during the first six years of this experiment. Consistent with the hypothesis for PNL, significantly more N was immobilized in tree biomass and in the O horizon under elevated CO2. In contrast to the PNL hypothesis, microbial-N immobilization did not increase under elevated CO2, and although the rate of net N mineralization declined through time, the decline was not significantly more rapid under elevated CO2. Ecosystem C-to-N ratios widened more rapidly under elevated CO2 than ambient CO2 indicating a more rapid rate of C fixation per unit of N, a processes that could delay PNL in this ecosystem. Mass balance calculations demonstrated a large accrual of ecosystem N capital. Is PNL occurring in this ecosystem and will NPP decline to levels under ambient CO2? The answer depends on the relative strength of tree biomass and O-horizon N immobilization vs. widening C-to-N ratios and ecosystem-N accrual as processes that drive and delay PNL, respectively. Only direct observations through time will definitively answer this question.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Community level offset of rain use- and transpiration efficiency for a heavily grazed ecosystem in inner Mongolia grassland.

    PubMed

    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.

  1. Complementarities between Biomass and FluxNet data to optimize ORCHIDEE ecosystem model at European forest and grassland sites

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Thum, T.; Peylin, P.; Granier, A.; Ibrom, A.; Linden, L.; Loustau, D.; Bacour, C.; Ciais, P.

    2010-12-01

    Assimilation of data from several measurements provides knowledge of the model's performance and uncertainties. In this work we investigate the complementary of Biomass data to net CO2 flux (NEE) and latent heat flux (LE) in optimising parameters of the biogeochemical model ORCHIDEE. Our optimisation method is a gradient based iterative method. We optimized the model at the French forest sites, European beech forest of Hesse (48 .67°N, 7.06°E) and maritime pine forest of Le Bray (44.72°N, 0.77°W). First we adapted the model to represent the past clearcut on these two sites in order to obtain a realistic age of the forest. The model-data improvement in terms of aboveground biomass will be discussed. We then used FluxNet and Biomass data, separately and altogether, in the optimization process to assess the potential and the complementarities of these two data stream. For biomass data optimization we added parameters linked to allocation to the optimization scheme. The results show a decrease in the uncertainty of the parameters after optimization and reveal some structural deficiencies in the model. In a second step, data from ecosystem manipulation experiment site Brandbjerg (55.88°N, 11.97°E), a Danish grassland site, were used for model optimisation. The different ecosystem experiments at this site include rain exclusion, warming, and increased CO2 concentration, and only biomass data were available and used in the optimization for the different treatments. We investigate the ability of the model to represent the biomass differences between manipulative experiments with a given set of parameters and highlight model deficiencies.

  2. Comparison of Ecosystem Water-use Efficiency Among Douglas fir Forest, Aspen Forest and Grassland Using Eddy Covariance and Carbon Isotope Techniques

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanagan, L. B.; Ponton, S.; Alstad, K. P.; Johnson, B. G.; Morgenstern, K.; Kljun, N.; Black, T. A.; Barr, A. G.

    2005-12-01

    Comparisons were made among Douglas fir forest, aspen (broad leaf deciduous) forest and wheatgrass (C3) grassland for ecosystem-level water-use efficiency. Water-use efficiency (WUE) was defined as the ratio of photosynthetic CO2 assimilation rate and evapo-transpiration (ET) rate. The ET data measured by eddy covariance were screened so that they overwhelmingly represented transpiration. The three sites used in this comparison spanned a range of vegetation (plant functional) types and environmental conditions within western Canada. When compared in the relative order Douglas fir (located on Vancouver Island, B.C), aspen (northern Saskatchewan), grassland (southern Alberta), the sites demonstrated a progressive decline in precipitation and a general increase in maximum air temperature and atmospheric saturation deficit (D) during the mid-summer. The average WUE at the grassland site was 2.6 mmol mol-1, which was much lower than the average values observed for the two other sites (aspen: 5.4, Douglas fir: 8.1). The differences in WUE among sites were primarily due to variation in ET. The highest maximum ET rates were approximately 5, 3.2 and 2.7 mm day-1 for the grassland, aspen and Douglas fir sites, respectively. There was a strong negative correlation between WUE and D for all sites. We also made seasonal measurements of the carbon isotope ratio of ecosystem respired CO2 (δR) in order to test for the expected correlation between shifts in environmental conditions and changes to the ecosystem-integrated ratio of leaf intercellular to ambient CO2 concentration (ci/ca). There was a consistent increase in δR values in the grassland, aspen forest and Douglas fir forest associated with a seasonal reduction in soil moisture. Comparisons were made between WUE measured using eddy covariance with that calculated based on atmospheric saturation deficit and δR measurements. There was excellent agreement between WUE values calculated using the two techniques. Our

  3. 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

  4. Scale effects on the controls on mountain grassland leaf stomatal and ecosystem surface conductance to water vapour

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Haslwanter, Alois; Hammerle, Albin; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2010-05-01

    Stomata are the major pathway by which plants exert control on the exchange of trace gases and water vapour with the aerial environment and thus provide a key link between the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems and the state and composition of the atmosphere. Understanding the nature of this control, i.e. how stomatal conductance differs between plant species and ecosystems and how it varies in response to external and internal forcings, is key to predicting feedbacks plants may be providing to changing climatic conditions. Despite a long history of research on stomatal functioning, a fully mechanistic understanding of how stomata function in response to biotic and abiotic controls is still elusive which has led to the development of a large number of (semi-)empirical models of varying complexity. Two of the most widely used models go back to Jarvis (1976) and Ball, Woodrow and Berry (1987), termed J-model and BWB-model, respectively, in the following. The J-model simulates stomatal conductance as some maximal value attenuated by a series of multiplicative functions which are bound between zero and unity, while the BWB-model predicts stomatal conductance as a linear function of photosynthesis, relative humidity and carbon dioxide concentration in the leaf boundary layer. Both models were developed for the prediction of leaf-scale stomatal conductance to water vapour, but have been applied for simulating ecosystem-scale surface conductance as well. The objective of the present paper is to compare leaf- and ecosystem-scale conductances to water vapour and to assess the respective controls using the two above-mentioned models as analysis frameworks. To this end leaf-level stomatal conductance has been measured by means of leaf-gas exchange methods and ecosystem-scale surface conductance by inverting eddy covariance evapotranspiration estimates at a mountain grassland site in Austria. Our major findings are that the proportionality parameter in the BWB-model is

  5. Timing of climate variability and grassland productivity

    PubMed Central

    Craine, Joseph M.; Nippert, Jesse B.; Elmore, Andrew J.; Skibbe, Adam M.; Hutchinson, Stacy L.; Brunsell, Nathaniel A.

    2012-01-01

    Future climates are forecast to include greater precipitation variability and more frequent heat waves, but the degree to which the timing of climate variability impacts ecosystems is uncertain. In a temperate, humid grassland, we examined the seasonal impacts of climate variability on 27 y of grass productivity. Drought and high-intensity precipitation reduced grass productivity only during a 110-d period, whereas high temperatures reduced productivity only during 25 d in July. The effects of drought and heat waves declined over the season and had no detectable impact on grass productivity in August. If these patterns are general across ecosystems, predictions of ecosystem response to climate change will have to account not only for the magnitude of climate variability but also for its timing. PMID:22331914

  6. 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.

  7. Ecosystem Phenology from Eddy-covariance Measurements: Spring Photosynthesis in a Cool Temperate Bog

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Lafleur, P.; Moore, T. R.; Poon, D.; Seaquist, J.

    2005-12-01

    The onset and increase of spring photosynthetic flux of carbon dioxide is an important attribute of the carbon budget of northern ecosystems and we used eddy-covariance measurements from March to May over 5 years at the Mer Bleue ombrotrophic bog to establish the important controls. The onset of ecosystem photosynthesis (day-of-year from 86 to 101) was associated with the disappearance on the snow cover and there is evidence that photosynthesis can continue after a thin new snowfall. The growth of photosynthesis during the spring period was partially associated with light (daily photosynthetically active radiation) but primarily with temperature, with the strongest correlation being observed with peat temperature at a depth of 5 and 10 cm, except in one year in which there was a long snow cover. The vegetation comprises mosses, which are able to photosynthesize very early, evergreen shrubs, which appear dependent on soil warming, and deciduous shrubs, which leaf-out only in late spring. We observed changes in shrub leaf colour from brown to green and concomitant increases in foliar nitrogen and chlorophyll concentrations during the spring in this "evergreen" system. We analyzed MODIS images for periods of overlap of tower and satellite data and found a generally strong correlation, though the infrequent satellite measurements were unable to pick out the onset and timing of rapid growth of photosynthesis in this ecosystem.

  8. Soil environmental conditions and microbial build-up mediate the effect of plant diversity on soil nitrifying and denitrifying enzyme activities in temperate grasslands.

    PubMed

    Le Roux, Xavier; Schmid, Bernhard; Poly, Franck; Barnard, Romain L; Niklaus, Pascal A; Guillaumaud, Nadine; Habekost, Maike; Oelmann, Yvonne; Philippot, Laurent; Salles, Joana Falcao; Schloter, Michael; Steinbeiss, Sibylle; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2013-01-01

    Random reductions in plant diversity can affect ecosystem functioning, but it is still unclear which components of plant diversity (species number - namely richness, presence of particular plant functional groups, or particular combinations of these) and associated biotic and abiotic drivers explain the observed relationships, particularly for soil processes. We assembled grassland communities including 1 to 16 plant species with a factorial separation of the effects of richness and functional group composition to analyze how plant diversity components influence soil nitrifying and denitrifying enzyme activities (NEA and DEA, respectively), the abundance of nitrifiers (bacterial and archaeal amoA gene number) and denitrifiers (nirK, nirS and nosZ gene number), and key soil environmental conditions. Plant diversity effects were largely due to differences in functional group composition between communities of identical richness (number of sown species), though richness also had an effect per se. NEA was positively related to the percentage of legumes in terms of sown species number, the additional effect of richness at any given legume percentage being negative. DEA was higher in plots with legumes, decreased with increasing percentage of grasses, and increased with richness. No correlation was observed between DEA and denitrifier abundance. NEA increased with the abundance of ammonia oxidizing bacteria. The effect of richness on NEA was entirely due to the build-up of nitrifying organisms, while legume effect was partly linked to modified ammonium availability and nitrifier abundance. Richness effect on DEA was entirely due to changes in soil moisture, while the effects of legumes and grasses were partly due to modified nitrate availability, which influenced the specific activity of denitrifiers. These results suggest that plant diversity-induced changes in microbial specific activity are important for facultative activities such as denitrification, whereas changes

  9. An assessment of aquatic ecosystem health in a temperate watershed using the index of biological integrity.

    PubMed

    An, Kwang-Guk; Choi, Shin-Sok

    2003-06-01

    The health effect of an aquatic ecosystem on habitat modifications were evaluated in the Keum river watershed, Korea during 1977-1996 using the Index of Biological Integrity (IBI) based on fish assemblages. Values of IBI, based on overall sites, averaged 35 (range: 26-45, n = 38) before dam construction, indicating a "fair health condition" based on the modified criteria of Karr and Chu (Karr, J.R.; Chu, E.W. Restoring Life in Running Waters: Better Biological Monitoring; Inland Press: Washington, DC, 1999; 206 pp.), while the values averaged 33 (range: 18-48, n = 15) after dam construction, indicating a similar ecosystem health condition in the IBI between the two periods. Marked modifications in the IBI, however, were partially observed along the longitudinal gradients from the headwaters to downstream along with variations of trophic compositions and habitat guilds. Annual mean of IBI showed significant decreases (p < 0.001, t = 10.03) in the mid-reach of 100-240 km location after the construction along with >20% decreases of insectivores and >25% increases of omnivores. Comparisons of habitat guilds indicated that the proportion of riffle benthic species declined linearly from 1977 to 1996 and had inverse relations (r = -0.78, p < 0.01) with that of water column species. Such variations were explained by serial discontinuity concept that was developed by Ward and Stanford (Ward, J.V.; Stanford, J.A. The serial discontinuity concept of lotic ecosystems. In Dynamics of Lotic Ecosystems; Fontaine, J.V., Bartell, S.M., Eds.; Ann Arbor Science: Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA, 1983; 29-42). Chemical data of long-term BOD5 and COD5 indicated that chemical impacts after the dam construction were minor compared to the condition before the construction. Overall variation of IBI was highly accounted (p < 0.001, R2 = 0.91, n = 38) by the Qualitative Habitat Evaluation Index (QHEI), suggesting that the ecosystem health was mainly affected by the habitat modifications.

  10. Spatial and successional dynamics of microbial biofilm communities in a grassland stream ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Veach, Allison M; Stegen, James C; Brown, Shawn P; Dodds, Walter K; Jumpponen, Ari

    2016-09-01

    Biofilms represent a metabolically active and structurally complex component of freshwater ecosystems. Ephemeral prairie streams are hydrologically harsh and prone to frequent perturbation. Elucidating both functional and structural community changes over time within prairie streams provides a general understanding of microbial responses to environmental disturbance. We examined microbial succession of biofilm communities at three sites in a third-order stream at Konza Prairie over a 2- to 64-day period. Microbial abundance (bacterial abundance, chlorophyll a concentrations) increased and never plateaued during the experiment. Net primary productivity (net balance of oxygen consumption and production) of the developing biofilms did not differ statistically from zero until 64 days suggesting a balance of the use of autochthonous and allochthonous energy sources until late succession. Bacterial communities (MiSeq analyses of the V4 region of 16S rRNA) established quickly. Bacterial richness, diversity and evenness were high after 2 days and increased over time. Several dominant bacterial phyla (Beta-, Alphaproteobacteria, Bacteroidetes, Gemmatimonadetes, Acidobacteria, Chloroflexi) and genera (Luteolibacter, Flavobacterium, Gemmatimonas, Hydrogenophaga) differed in relative abundance over space and time. Bacterial community composition differed across both space and successional time. Pairwise comparisons of phylogenetic turnover in bacterial community composition indicated that early-stage succession (≤16 days) was driven by stochastic processes, whereas later stages were driven by deterministic selection regardless of site. Our data suggest that microbial biofilms predictably develop both functionally and structurally indicating distinct successional trajectories of bacterial communities in this ecosystem. PMID:27481285

  11. 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.

  12. Use of historical logging patterns to identify disproportionately logged ecosystems within temperate rainforests of southeastern Alaska.

    PubMed

    Albert, David M; Schoen, John W

    2013-08-01

    The forests of southeastern Alaska remain largely intact and contain a substantial proportion of Earth's remaining old-growth temperate rainforest. Nonetheless, industrial-scale logging has occurred since the 1950s within a relatively narrow range of forest types that has never been quantified at a regional scale. We analyzed historical patterns of logging from 1954 through 2004 and compared the relative rates of change among forest types, landform associations, and biogeographic provinces. We found a consistent pattern of disproportionate logging at multiple scales, including large-tree stands and landscapes with contiguous productive old-growth forests. The highest rates of change were among landform associations and biogeographic provinces that originally contained the largest concentrations of productive old growth (i.e., timber volume >46.6 m³/ha). Although only 11.9% of productive old-growth forests have been logged region wide, large-tree stands have been reduced by at least 28.1%, karst forests by 37%, and landscapes with the highest volume of contiguous old growth by 66.5%. Within some island biogeographic provinces, loss of rare forest types may place local viability of species dependent on old growth at risk of extirpation. Examination of historical patterns of change among ecological forest types can facilitate planning for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of forest resources. PMID:23866037

  13. Use of historical logging patterns to identify disproportionately logged ecosystems within temperate rainforests of southeastern Alaska.

    PubMed

    Albert, David M; Schoen, John W

    2013-08-01

    The forests of southeastern Alaska remain largely intact and contain a substantial proportion of Earth's remaining old-growth temperate rainforest. Nonetheless, industrial-scale logging has occurred since the 1950s within a relatively narrow range of forest types that has never been quantified at a regional scale. We analyzed historical patterns of logging from 1954 through 2004 and compared the relative rates of change among forest types, landform associations, and biogeographic provinces. We found a consistent pattern of disproportionate logging at multiple scales, including large-tree stands and landscapes with contiguous productive old-growth forests. The highest rates of change were among landform associations and biogeographic provinces that originally contained the largest concentrations of productive old growth (i.e., timber volume >46.6 m³/ha). Although only 11.9% of productive old-growth forests have been logged region wide, large-tree stands have been reduced by at least 28.1%, karst forests by 37%, and landscapes with the highest volume of contiguous old growth by 66.5%. Within some island biogeographic provinces, loss of rare forest types may place local viability of species dependent on old growth at risk of extirpation. Examination of historical patterns of change among ecological forest types can facilitate planning for conservation of biodiversity and sustainable use of forest resources.

  14. Periphyton as a bioindicator of mercury pollution in a temperate torrential river ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zižek, Suzana; Milačič, Radmila; Kovač, Nives; Jaćimović, Radojko; Toman, Mihael J; Horvat, Milena

    2011-10-01

    Mercury presents a potential risk to the environment and humans, especially in its methylated form. It is among the highest priority environmental pollutants. River Idrijca (Slovenia) is highly contaminated with mercury due to past mercury mining. The aim of this work was to investigate whether the periphyton community in rivers such as Idrijca is a suitable indicator of Hg pollution and of changes in mercury methylation and could serve as an early warning system of increased input of MeHg in the food chain. Periphyton is the only site of primary production in temperate torrential rivers such as Idrijca and is therefore an important link in the food chain. It is also a potential site of Hg accumulation and its introduction to higher trophic levels. Our aim was to assess the response of the periphyton to seasonal and spatial variations in mercury levels and to evaluate its potential as an early warning system of changes in mercury reactivity and mobilization The results indicate that periphyton in a torrential river is too complex and unpredictable to be used as a sole indicator of mercury concentrations and changes in the river. Nevertheless, it can complement environmental measurements due to its importance in the riverine food web.

  15. Remote sensing of canopy chemistry and nitrogen cycling in temperate forest ecosystems

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Wessman, Carol A.; Aber, John D.; Peterson, David L.; Melillo, Jerry M.

    1988-01-01

    The use of images acquired by the Airborne Imaging Spectrometer, an experimental high-spectral resolution imaging sensor developed by NASA, to estimate the lignin concentration of whole forest canopies in Wisconsin is reported. The observed strong relationship between canopy lignin concentration and nitrogen availability in seven undisturbed forest ecosystems on Blackhawk Island, Wisconsin, suggests that canopy lignin may serve as an index for site nitrogen status. This predictive relationship presents the opportunity to estimate nitrogen-cycling rates across forested landscapes through remote sensing.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. Cascading effects of fishing can alter carbon flow through a temperate coastal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Salomon, Anne K; Shears, Nick T; Langlois, Timothy J; Babcock, Russell C

    2008-12-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that fishing can trigger trophic cascades and alter food web dynamics, yet its effects on ecosystem function remain largely unknown. We used the large-scale experimental framework of four marine reserves, spanning an oceanographic gradient in northeastern New Zealand, to test the extent to which the exploitation of reef predators can alter kelp carbon flux and secondary production. We provide evidence that the reduction of predatory snapper (Pagrus auratus) and lobster (Jasus edwardsii) can lead to an increase in sea urchins (Evechinus chloroticus) and indirect declines in kelp biomass in some locations but not others. Stable carbon isotope ratios (delta13C) of oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and mussels (Perna canaliculus) transplanted in reserve and fished sites within four locations revealed that fishing indirectly reduced the proportion of kelp-derived organic carbon assimilated by filter feeders in two locations where densities of actively grazing sea urchins were 23.7 and 8.3 times higher and kelp biomass was an order of magnitude lower than in non-fished reserve sites. In contrast, in the two locations where fishing had no effect on urchin density or kelp biomass, we detected no effect of fishing on the carbon signature of filter feeders. We show that the effects of fishing on nearshore trophic structure and carbon flux are context-dependent and hinge on large-scale, regional oceanographic factors. Where cascading effects of fishing on kelp biomass were documented, enhanced assimilation of kelp carbon did not result in the magnification of secondary production. Instead, a strong regional gradient in filter feeder growth emerged, best predicted by chlorophyll a. Estimates of kelp contribution to the diet of transplanted consumers averaged 56.9% +/- 6.2% (mean +/- SE) for mussels and 33.8% +/- 7.3% for oysters, suggesting that organic carbon fixed by kelp is an important food source fueling northeastern New Zealand's nearshore food webs

  19. Cascading effects of fishing can alter carbon flow through a temperate coastal ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Salomon, Anne K; Shears, Nick T; Langlois, Timothy J; Babcock, Russell C

    2008-12-01

    Mounting evidence suggests that fishing can trigger trophic cascades and alter food web dynamics, yet its effects on ecosystem function remain largely unknown. We used the large-scale experimental framework of four marine reserves, spanning an oceanographic gradient in northeastern New Zealand, to test the extent to which the exploitation of reef predators can alter kelp carbon flux and secondary production. We provide evidence that the reduction of predatory snapper (Pagrus auratus) and lobster (Jasus edwardsii) can lead to an increase in sea urchins (Evechinus chloroticus) and indirect declines in kelp biomass in some locations but not others. Stable carbon isotope ratios (delta13C) of oysters (Crassostrea gigas) and mussels (Perna canaliculus) transplanted in reserve and fished sites within four locations revealed that fishing indirectly reduced the proportion of kelp-derived organic carbon assimilated by filter feeders in two locations where densities of actively grazing sea urchins were 23.7 and 8.3 times higher and kelp biomass was an order of magnitude lower than in non-fished reserve sites. In contrast, in the two locations where fishing had no effect on urchin density or kelp biomass, we detected no effect of fishing on the carbon signature of filter feeders. We show that the effects of fishing on nearshore trophic structure and carbon flux are context-dependent and hinge on large-scale, regional oceanographic factors. Where cascading effects of fishing on kelp biomass were documented, enhanced assimilation of kelp carbon did not result in the magnification of secondary production. Instead, a strong regional gradient in filter feeder growth emerged, best predicted by chlorophyll a. Estimates of kelp contribution to the diet of transplanted consumers averaged 56.9% +/- 6.2% (mean +/- SE) for mussels and 33.8% +/- 7.3% for oysters, suggesting that organic carbon fixed by kelp is an important food source fueling northeastern New Zealand's nearshore food webs

  20. Effects of Forest Age on Soil Fungal Community in a Northern Temperate Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhiguang, Han; Xin, Sui; Mengsha, Li

    2016-09-01

    The polymorphisms of soil fungal rDNA Internal Transcribed Spacer regions were studied in Korean pine forests of various ages (10-100-year-old trees) by means of cloned libraries, and analyzed to determine the effects of the trees' developmental stage on soil fungal community structure. The obtained Shannon diversity index (H) and richness (S) indicated that the diversity of the soil fungal community increased significantly with the development of Korean pines (P < 0.05). In addition, cluster analysis (UPGMA) showed that the soil fungal community variety associated with differently aged Korean pines was higher than 50 %. The soil fungal community diversity correlated significantly with the N content and C/N ratio of the soil (P < 0.05). The results of this study indicate that the age of in Korean pine can affect soil fungal community by altering soil properties, which in turn could affect the nutrient cycling in the forest ecosystem.

  1. 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

  2. Effects of nutrient supply on intrinsic water-use efficiency of temperate semi-natural grassland under rising atmospheric CO2

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Koehler, I. H.; MacDonald, A.; Poulton, P.; Auerswald, K.; Schnyder, H.

    2010-12-01

    C3 plants generally increase photosynthesis (A) and decrease stomatal conductance (gs) under elevated CO2 [1]. However, nitrogen limitation has been shown to constrain the response of A [2] and could thus limit the increase in intrinsic water-use efficiency Wi. Stable carbon isotope studies on trees have shown that Wi increased in forests during the last century. Recently we showed that Wi has also increased in nutrient limited grassland ecosystems [3, 4]. We have now examined a 50 year-long record of Wi from community-level carbon isotope discrimination (13Δ) derived from archived hay and herbage samples (Park Grass Continuous Hay Experiment, Rothamsted, England [5]). We tested the hypothesis that plant responses to increasing atmospheric CO2 have resulted in a greater increase in Wi where plants received adequate nutrient inputs, because of the expected stronger increase in A with higher nutrient supply. We examined whether the response to rising CO2 was uniform across fertilizer treatments. Archived samples from five plots on Park Grass with different annual fertilizer applications (1. No N or PK; 2. 48 kg N ha-1, No PK; 3. No N +PK; 4. 48 kg N ha-1 +PK; 5. 96 kg N ha-1 +PK), covering the 1960 - 2009 period, were used. During the study period, atmospheric CO2 concentration increased by 22%. 13Δ was calculated from carbon isotope composition δ13C (= [(Rsample/Rstandard) - 1], with R the 13C/12C ratio in the sample or standard). 13Δ is a proxy of the leaf-level coupling of CO2 and transpiration fluxes, and a measure of Wi, with Wi = A/gs = ca (1 - ci / ca) / 1.6 and ci / ca = (13Δ - a) / (b - a), (a=4.4‰, b=27‰). Linear regression showed significant 13Δ increases: 0.1‰ per 10 ppm CO2 increase on the control (P<0.05), the PK treatment (P<0.001) and the low N, PK treatment (P<0.05). On the low N treatment, the increase was only significant at the 10% level. On the high N, PK treatment 13Δ increased by 0.04‰ per 10 ppm, but this was not significant (P

  3. 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

  4. Soil respiration in a mixed temperate forest and its contribution to total ecosystem respiration.

    PubMed

    Curiel Yuste, J; Nagy, M; Janssens, I A; Carrara, A; Ceulemans, R

    2005-05-01

    Soil respiration (SR) was measured with an infrared gas analyzer in nine plots representative of the heterogeneous vegetation in a mixed coniferous-deciduous forest in the Belgian Campine region. Selected plots included the two most representative overstory species (Pinus sylvestris L. and Quercus robur L.) in combination with the most representative understory species of the forest. A model that includes temperature and water as the main controlling variables was fitted to the data. We found large spatial variability in SR among plots, with typically lower fluxes under the coniferous overstory than under the deciduous overstory (means of 4.8 +/- 0.4 and 8.8 +/- 0.5 Mg C ha(-1) year(-1), respectively). Total annual soil carbon (C) emissions were estimated by weighting fluxes from different types of vegetation according to their relative contribution to the footprint area of the eddy covariance flux measurement. The relative contribution of the two main tree species to the footprint-weighted total SR varied among seasons with the more abundant coniferous overstory contributing the most to total SR during most of the year. Nonetheless, during summer, the contribution of deciduous plots to total SR was disproportionally high because of the more pronounced seasonality of belowground metabolic activity. Net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange was measured by eddy covariance, and we estimated total ecosystem respiration (TER) with footprint-constrained nighttime fluxes. Mean total annual SR and TER were 6.1 +/- 0.11 and 9.1 +/- 1.15 Mg C ha(-1) year(-1), respectively. The 95% confidence interval of the ratio of annual SR:TER ranged from 0.58 to 0.76, with a mean of 0.67. The contribution of SR to TER tended to vary seasonally, with minimum contributions during summer (less than 50% of TER) and maximum contributions during winter (about 94% of TER).

  5. Differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types in a temperate forest ecosystem.

    PubMed

    You, Ye-Ming; Wang, Juan; Sun, Xiao-Lu; Tang, Zuo-Xin; Zhou, Zhi-Yong; Sun, Osbert Jianxin

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the controls on soil carbon dynamics is crucial for modeling responses of ecosystem carbon balance to global change, yet few studies provide explicit knowledge on the direct and indirect effects of forest stands on soil carbon via microbial processes. We investigated tree species, soil, and site factors in relation to soil carbon density and mineralization in a temperate forest of central China. We found that soil microbial biomass and community structure, extracellular enzyme activities, and most of the site factors studied varied significantly across contrasting forest types, and that the associations between activities of soil extracellular enzymes and microbial community structure appeared to be weak and inconsistent across forest types, implicating complex mechanisms in the microbial regulation of soil carbon metabolism in relation to tree species. Overall, variations in soil carbon density and mineralization are predominantly accounted for by shared effects of tree species, soil, microclimate, and microbial traits rather than the individual effects of the four categories of factors. Our findings point to differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types and highlight the challenge to incorporate microbial processes for constraining soil carbon dynamics in global carbon cycle models.

  6. Differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types in a temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    You, Ye-Ming; Wang, Juan; Sun, Xiao-Lu; Tang, Zuo-Xin; Zhou, Zhi-Yong; Sun, Osbert Jianxin

    2016-03-01

    Understanding the controls on soil carbon dynamics is crucial for modeling responses of ecosystem carbon balance to global change, yet few studies provide explicit knowledge on the direct and indirect effects of forest stands on soil carbon via microbial processes. We investigated tree species, soil, and site factors in relation to soil carbon density and mineralization in a temperate forest of central China. We found that soil microbial biomass and community structure, extracellular enzyme activities, and most of the site factors studied varied significantly across contrasting forest types, and that the associations between activities of soil extracellular enzymes and microbial community structure appeared to be weak and inconsistent across forest types, implicating complex mechanisms in the microbial regulation of soil carbon metabolism in relation to tree species. Overall, variations in soil carbon density and mineralization are predominantly accounted for by shared effects of tree species, soil, microclimate, and microbial traits rather than the individual effects of the four categories of factors. Our findings point to differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types and highlight the challenge to incorporate microbial processes for constraining soil carbon dynamics in global carbon cycle models.

  7. Differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types in a temperate forest ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    You, Ye-Ming; Wang, Juan; Sun, Xiao-Lu; Tang, Zuo-Xin; Zhou, Zhi-Yong; Sun, Osbert Jianxin

    2016-01-01

    Understanding the controls on soil carbon dynamics is crucial for modeling responses of ecosystem carbon balance to global change, yet few studies provide explicit knowledge on the direct and indirect effects of forest stands on soil carbon via microbial processes. We investigated tree species, soil, and site factors in relation to soil carbon density and mineralization in a temperate forest of central China. We found that soil microbial biomass and community structure, extracellular enzyme activities, and most of the site factors studied varied significantly across contrasting forest types, and that the associations between activities of soil extracellular enzymes and microbial community structure appeared to be weak and inconsistent across forest types, implicating complex mechanisms in the microbial regulation of soil carbon metabolism in relation to tree species. Overall, variations in soil carbon density and mineralization are predominantly accounted for by shared effects of tree species, soil, microclimate, and microbial traits rather than the individual effects of the four categories of factors. Our findings point to differential controls on soil carbon density and mineralization among contrasting forest types and highlight the challenge to incorporate microbial processes for constraining soil carbon dynamics in global carbon cycle models. PMID:26925871

  8. Applicability of the flood-pulse concept in a temperate floodplain river ecosystem: Thermal and temporal components

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Schramm, H.L.; 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. Interactive effects of elevated CO2, warming, and drought on photosynthesis of Deschampsia flexuosa in a temperate heath ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Albert, K. R.; Ro-Poulsen, H.; Mikkelsen, T. N.; Michelsen, A.; van der Linden, L.; Beier, C.

    2011-01-01

    Global change factors affect plant carbon uptake in concert. In order to investigate the response directions and potential interactive effects, and to understand the underlying mechanisms, multifactor experiments are needed. The focus of this study was on the photosynthetic response to elevated CO2 [CO2; free air CO2 enrichment (FACE)], drought (D; water-excluding curtains), and night-time warming (T; infrared-reflective curtains) in a temperate heath. A/Ci curves were measured, allowing analysis of light-saturated net photosynthesis (Pn), light- and CO2-saturated net photosynthesis (Pmax), stomatal conductance (gs), the maximal rate of Rubisco carboxylation (Vcmax), and the maximal rate of ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration (Jmax) along with leaf δ13C, and carbon and nitrogen concentration on a monthly basis in the grass Deschampsia flexuosa. Seasonal drought reduced Pn via gs, but severe (experimental) drought decreased Pn via a reduction in photosynthetic capacity (Pmax, Jmax, and Vcmax). The effects were completely reversed by rewetting and stimulated Pn via photosynthetic capacity stimulation. Warming increased early and late season Pn via higher Pmax and Jmax. Elevated CO2 did not decrease gs, but stimulated Pn via increased Ci. The T×CO2 synergistically increased plant carbon uptake via photosynthetic capacity up-regulation in early season and by better access to water after rewetting. The effects of the combination of drought and elevated CO2 depended on soil water availability, with additive effects when the soil water content was low and D×CO2 synergistic stimulation of Pn after rewetting. The photosynthetic responses appeared to be highly influenced by growth pattern. The grass has opportunistic water consumption, and a biphasic growth pattern allowing for leaf dieback at low soil water availability followed by rapid re-growth of active leaves when rewetted and possibly a large resource allocation capability mediated by the rhizome. This growth

  10. 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.; ,; John, G.; Leakey, Andrew D.B.; Li, Qi; Li, Wei; McCulley, Rebecca; Melbourne, Brett; ,; 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

  11. 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

  12. Late Quaternary vegetation, biodiversity and fire dynamics on the southern Brazilian highland and their implication for conservation and management of modern Araucaria forest and grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Behling, Hermann; Pillar, Valério DePatta

    2007-02-28

    Palaeoecological background information is needed for management and conservation of the highly diverse mosaic of Araucaria forest and Campos (grassland) in southern Brazil. Questions on the origin of Araucaria forest and grasslands; its development, dynamic and stability; its response to environmental change such as climate; and the role of human impact are essential. Further questions on its natural stage of vegetation or its alteration by pre- and post-Columbian anthropogenic activity are also important. To answer these questions, palaeoecological and palaeoenvironmental data based on pollen, charcoal and multivariate data analysis of radiocarbon dated sedimentary archives from southern Brazil are used to provide an insight into past vegetation changes, which allows us to improve our understanding of the modern vegetation and to develop conservation and management strategies for the strongly affected ecosystems in southern Brazil.

  13. Ecosystem impacts of folivory and frugivory by Japanese macaques in two temperate forests in Yakushima.

    PubMed

    Hanya, Goro; Fuse, Mieko; Aiba, Shin-Ichiro; Takafumi, Hino; Tsujino, Riyou; Agetsuma, Naoki; Chapman, Colin A

    2014-06-01

    Comparing animal consumption to plant primary production provides a means of assessing an animal's impact on the ecosystem and an evaluation of resource limitation. Here, we compared annual fruit and leaf consumption by Japanese macaques (Macaca fuscata) relative to the annual production of these foods in the lowlands and highlands of Yakushima Island, Japan. We estimated consumption by macaques by the direct observation of macaque groups for 1 year in each habitat. We estimated leaf production as the sum of leaf litter fall (corrected for the effect of translocated organic and inorganic matter) and folivory by insects (assumed to be 10%) and by macaques. We estimated fruit production as the sum of fruit litter fall and consumption by birds (estimated by the seed fall) and macaques. The impact of macaque folivory at the community level was negligible relative to production (∼0.04%) compared with folivory by insects (assumed to be 10%); however, for some species, macaque folivory reached up to 10.1% of production. Tree species on which macaques fed did not decline in abundance over 13 years, suggesting that their folivory did not influence tree species dynamics. For the three major fleshy-fruited species in the highland site, macaques consumed a considerable portion of total fruit production (6-40%), rivaling the consumption by birds (32-75%). We conclude that at the community level, macaque folivory was negligible compared with the leaf production, but frugivory was not.

  14. Effects of Forest Age on Soil Fungal Community in a Northern Temperate Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhiguang, Han; Xin, Sui; Mengsha, Li

    2016-09-01

    The polymorphisms of soil fungal rDNA Internal Transcribed Spacer regions were studied in Korean pine forests of various ages (10-100-year-old trees) by means of cloned libraries, and analyzed to determine the effects of the trees' developmental stage on soil fungal community structure. The obtained Shannon diversity index (H) and richness (S) indicated that the diversity of the soil fungal community increased significantly with the development of Korean pines (P < 0.05). In addition, cluster analysis (UPGMA) showed that the soil fungal community variety associated with differently aged Korean pines was higher than 50 %. The soil fungal community diversity correlated significantly with the N content and C/N ratio of the soil (P < 0.05). The results of this study indicate that the age of in Korean pine can affect soil fungal community by altering soil properties, which in turn could affect the nutrient cycling in the forest ecosystem. PMID:27407297

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Seasonal Belowground Ecosystem and Eco-enzymatic Responses to Soil pH and Phosphorus Availability in Temperate Hardwood Forests

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Smemo, K. A.; Deforest, J. L.; Petersen, S. L.; Burke, D.; Hewins, C.; Kluber, L. A.; Kyker, S. R.

    2013-12-01

    Atmospheric acid deposition can increase phosphorus (P) limitation in temperate hardwood forests by increasing N availability, and therefore P demand, and/or by decreasing pH and occluding inorganic P. However, only recently have studies demonstrated that P limitation can occur in temperate forests and very little is known about the temporal aspects of P dynamics in acidic forest soils and how seasonal shifts in nutrient availability and demand influence microbial investment in extracellular enzymes. The objectives of this study were to investigate how P availability and soil pH influence seasonal patterns of nutrient cycling and soil microbial activity in hardwood forests that experience chronic acid deposition. We experimentally manipulated soil pH, P, or both for three years and examined soil treatment responses in fall, winter, spring, early summer, and late summer. We found that site (glaciated versus unglaciated) and treatment had the most significant influence on nutrient pools and cycling. In general, nutrient pools were higher in glaciated soils than unglaciated for measured nutrients, including total C and N (2-3 times higher), extractable inorganic nitrogen, and readily available P. Treatment had no impact on total C and N pools in either region, but did affect other measured nutrients such as ammonium, which was greatest in the elevated pH treatment for both sites. As expected, readily available P pools were highest in the elevated P treatments (3 fold increase in both sites), but raising pH decreased available P pools in the glaciated site. Raising soil pH increased both net N mineralization rates and net P mineralization rates, regardless of site. Nitrification responses were complex, but we observed an overall significant nitrification increase under elevated pH, particularly in the growing season. Extracellular enzyme activity showed more seasonal patterns than site and treatment effects, exhibiting significant growing season activity reductions for

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

    PubMed

    Hu, Guoqing; Liu, Xiao; He, Hongbo; Zhang, Wei; Xie, Hongtu; Wu, Yeye; Cui, Jiehua; Sun, Ci; Zhang, Xudong

    2015-01-01

    In conservation tillage systems, at least 30% of the soil surface was covered by crop residues which generally contain significant amounts of nitrogen (N). However, little is known about the multi-seasonal recoveries of the N derived from these crop residues in soil-crop systems, notably in northeastern China. In a temperate agro-ecosystem, 15N-labeled maize residue was applied to field surfaces in the 1st year (2009). From the 2nd to 4th year (2010-2012), one treatment halted the application of maize residue, whereas the soil in the second treatment was re-applied with unlabeled maize residue. Crop and soil samples were collected after each harvest, and their 15N enrichments were determined on an isotope ratio mass spectrometer to trace the allocation of N derived from the initially applied maize residue in the soil-crop systems. On average, 8.4% of the maize residue N was recovered in the soil-crop in the 1st year, and the vast majority (61.9%-91.9%) was recovered during subsequent years. Throughout the experiment, the cumulative recovery of the residue N in the crop increased gradually (18.2%-20.9%), but most of the residue N was retained in the soil, notably in the 0-10 cm soil layer. Compared to the single application, the sequential residue application significantly increased the recovery of the residue N in the soil profile (73.8% vs. 40.9%) and remarkably decreased the total and the initially applied residue derived mineral N along the soil profile. Our results suggested that the residue N was actively involved in N cycling, and its release and recovery in crop and soil profile were controlled by the decomposition process. Sequential residue application significantly enhanced the retention and stabilization of the initially applied residue N in the soil and retarded its translocation along the soil profile. PMID:26192436

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

    PubMed

    Hu, Guoqing; Liu, Xiao; He, Hongbo; Zhang, Wei; Xie, Hongtu; Wu, Yeye; Cui, Jiehua; Sun, Ci; Zhang, Xudong

    2015-01-01

    In conservation tillage systems, at least 30% of the soil surface was covered by crop residues which generally contain significant amounts of nitrogen (N). However, little is known about the multi-seasonal recoveries of the N derived from these crop residues in soil-crop systems, notably in northeastern China. In a temperate agro-ecosystem, 15N-labeled maize residue was applied to field surfaces in the 1st year (2009). From the 2nd to 4th year (2010-2012), one treatment halted the application of maize residue, whereas the soil in the second treatment was re-applied with unlabeled maize residue. Crop and soil samples were collected after each harvest, and their 15N enrichments were determined on an isotope ratio mass spectrometer to trace the allocation of N derived from the initially applied maize residue in the soil-crop systems. On average, 8.4% of the maize residue N was recovered in the soil-crop in the 1st year, and the vast majority (61.9%-91.9%) was recovered during subsequent years. Throughout the experiment, the cumulative recovery of the residue N in the crop increased gradually (18.2%-20.9%), but most of the residue N was retained in the soil, notably in the 0-10 cm soil layer. Compared to the single application, the sequential residue application significantly increased the recovery of the residue N in the soil profile (73.8% vs. 40.9%) and remarkably decreased the total and the initially applied residue derived mineral N along the soil profile. Our results suggested that the residue N was actively involved in N cycling, and its release and recovery in crop and soil profile were controlled by the decomposition process. Sequential residue application significantly enhanced the retention and stabilization of the initially applied residue N in the soil and retarded its translocation along the soil profile.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

    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.

  4. 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

  5. Communities of endophytic sebacinales associated with roots of herbaceous plants in agricultural and grassland ecosystems are dominated by Serendipita herbamans sp. nov.

    PubMed

    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.

  6. 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

  7. Soil Warming and Rhizosphere Effects on Root Litter Decomposition at Two Depths in a Mediterranean Grassland Ecosystem

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Castanha, C.; Zhu, B.; Hicks Pries, C.; Torn, M. S.

    2015-12-01

    Accurate understanding of soil processes is critical for predicting climate-ecosystem feedbacks. We investigated the effects of soil warming and plant rhizosphere on decomposition of 13C-labeled roots buried at two soil depths at the field lysimeter facilities at Hopland Research and Extension Center, CA. The lysimeters contain soil columns 38-cm in diameter and 48-cm deep (0-15 cm A-horizon and 15-48 cm B-horizon, Laughlin soil) sown with an annual grassland mix. The experimental design includes three treatments: heated, ambient, and unplanted. In February 2014 we added 13C-labeled Avena fatua roots to either 8-12 cm or 38-42 cm. We measured loss of 13C in CO2 from the soil surface and in leachate as dissolved organic carbon (DOC) over two growing seasons. At the end of each growing season we recovered the 13C remaining in the soil. In addition, we monitored plant productivity and soil temperature and moisture. The rates of both soil respiration and DOC losses were greatest in heated and least in unplanted plots, although respiration losses far outweighed leachate losses. Treatment affected timing of decomposition; added root litter was respired earlier in the ambient plots and later in the unplanted plots in both years. The litter addition stimulated native soil respiration in year 1 heated plots. The depth of the litter addition did not have an effect on soil respiration. However, after the first growing season, less added root litter remained in the A than in the B horizon (both in the visible root fraction and in the 2mm soil fraction), indicating lower overall decomposition rates at depth. These results, including 13C recovery following the 2nd growing season and soil microclimate variables, will be used to develop a mechanistic understanding of the impacts of soil warming, the rhizosphere, and soil depth on root decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics, and should improve our predictions of the feedbacks between climate change and carbon cycling

  8. 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

  9. Differences in plant cover and species composition of semiarid grassland communities of Central Mexico and its effects on net ecosystem exchange

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Delgado-Balbuena, J.; Arredondo, J. T.; Loescher, H. W.; Huber-Sannwald, E.; Chavez-Aguilar, G.; Luna-Luna, M.; Barretero-Hernandez, R.

    2012-12-01

    Changes in land use across the semiarid grasslands of Northern Mexico have driven a decline of plant cover and alteration of plant species composition. A number of different plant communities have resulted from these changes, however, their implications on the carbon cycle and regional carbon balance are still poorly understood. Here, we examined the effects of plant cover loss and changes in species composition on net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and their biotic and abiotic controls. Five typical plant community types were examined in the semiarid grassland by encasing the entire above-ground ecosystem using the geodesic dome method. Sites included an oat crop (crop), a moderately grazed grassland (moderate grazing), a 28 yr-old grazing exclosure (exclosure), an overgrazed site with low perennial grass cover (overgrazed), and an overgrazed site presenting shrub encroachment (shrub encroachment). For natural vegetation, rates of daytime NEE for sites with a high plant cover (exclosure and moderate grazing) were similar (P>0.05) as compared to sites with low plant cover (overgrazed and shrub encroachment). However, night time NEE (carbon loss) was more than double (P<0.05) for sites with high plant cover compared to sites with low cover, resulting into slight C sinks for the low plant cover sites and neutral or sources for the high plant cover sites on an annual basis. Differences in plant cover and its associated biomass defined the sensitivity to environmental controls. Thus, daytime NEE in low plant cover sites reached light compensation points at lower PPFD values than those from high plant cover sites. Differences in species composition did not influence NEE rates even though there were transient or permanent changes in C3 vs. C4 functional groups.

  10. 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).

  11. The effect of renovation of long-term temperate grassland on N2O emissions and N leaching from contrasting soils.

    PubMed

    Krol, D J; Jones, M B; Williams, M; Richards, K G; Bourdin, F; Lanigan, G J

    2016-08-01

    Renovation of long-term grassland is associated with a peak in soil organic N mineralisation which, coupled with diminished plant N uptake can lead to large gaseous and leaching N losses. This study reports on the effect of ploughing and subsequent N fertilisation on the N2O emissions and DON/NO3(-) leaching, and evaluates the impact of ploughing technique on the magnitude and profile of N losses. This study was carried out on isolated grassland lysimeters of three Irish soils representing contrasting drainage properties (well-drained Clonakilty, moderately-drained Elton and poorly-drained Rathangan). Lysimeters were manually ploughed simulating conventional (CT) and minimum tillage (MT) as two treatments. Renovation of grassland increased N2O flux to a maximum of 0.9kgN2O-Nha(-1) from poorly-drained soil over four days after treatment. Although there was no difference between CT and MT in the post-ploughing period, the treatment influenced subsequent N2O after fertiliser applications. Fertilisation remained the major driver of N losses therefore reducing fertilisation rate post-planting to account for N mineralised through grassland renovation could reduce the losses in medium to longer term. Leaching was a significant loss pathway, with the cumulative drainage volume and N leached highly influenced by soil type. Overall, the total N losses (N2O+N leached) were lowest from poorly and moderately draining soil and highest for the well draining soil, reflecting the dominance of leaching on total N losses and the paramount importance of soil properties. PMID:27101460

  12. The effect of renovation of long-term temperate grassland on N2O emissions and N leaching from contrasting soils.

    PubMed

    Krol, D J; Jones, M B; Williams, M; Richards, K G; Bourdin, F; Lanigan, G J

    2016-08-01

    Renovation of long-term grassland is associated with a peak in soil organic N mineralisation which, coupled with diminished plant N uptake can lead to large gaseous and leaching N losses. This study reports on the effect of ploughing and subsequent N fertilisation on the N2O emissions and DON/NO3(-) leaching, and evaluates the impact of ploughing technique on the magnitude and profile of N losses. This study was carried out on isolated grassland lysimeters of three Irish soils representing contrasting drainage properties (well-drained Clonakilty, moderately-drained Elton and poorly-drained Rathangan). Lysimeters were manually ploughed simulating conventional (CT) and minimum tillage (MT) as two treatments. Renovation of grassland increased N2O flux to a maximum of 0.9kgN2O-Nha(-1) from poorly-drained soil over four days after treatment. Although there was no difference between CT and MT in the post-ploughing period, the treatment influenced subsequent N2O after fertiliser applications. Fertilisation remained the major driver of N losses therefore reducing fertilisation rate post-planting to account for N mineralised through grassland renovation could reduce the losses in medium to longer term. Leaching was a significant loss pathway, with the cumulative drainage volume and N leached highly influenced by soil type. Overall, the total N losses (N2O+N leached) were lowest from poorly and moderately draining soil and highest for the well draining soil, reflecting the dominance of leaching on total N losses and the paramount importance of soil properties.

  13. 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

  14. Effects of land use and fine-scale environmental heterogeneity on net ecosystem production over a temperate coniferous forest landscape

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Turner, David P.; Guzy, Michael; Lefsky, Michael A.; van Tuyl, Steve; Sun, Osbert; Daly, Chris; Law, Beverly E.

    2003-04-01

    In temperate coniferous forests, spatial variation in net ecosystem production (NEP) is often associated with variation in stand age and heterogeneity in environmental factors such as soil depth. However, coarse spatial resolution analyses used to evaluate the terrestrial contribution to global NEP do not generally incorporate these effects. In this study, a fine-scale (25 m grid) analysis of NEP over a 164-km2 area of productive coniferous forests in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States was made to evaluate the effects of including fine scale information in landscape-scale NEP assessments. The Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) sensor resolved five cover classes in the study area and further differentiated between young, mature and old-growth conifer stands. ETM+ was also used to map current leaf area index (LAI) based on an empirical relationship of observed LAI to spectral vegetation indices. A daily time step climatology, based on 18 years of meteorological observations, was distributed (1 km resolution) over the mountainous terrain of the study area using the DAYMET model. Estimates of carbon pools and flux associated with soil, litter, coarse woody debris and live trees were then generated by running a carbon cycle model (Biome-BGC) to a state that reflected the current successional status and LAI of each grid cell, as indicated by the remote sensing observations. Estimated annual NEP for 1997 over the complete study area averaged 230 g C m-2, with most of the area acting as a carbon sink. The area-wide NEP is strongly positive because of reduced harvesting in the last decade and the recovery of areas harvested between 1940 and 1990. The average value was greater than would be indicated if the entire area was assumed to be a mature conifer stand, as in a coarse-scale analysis. The mean NEP varied interannually by over a factor of two. This variation was 38% less than the interannual variation for a single point. The integration of process models

  15. DRI-Grass: A New Experimental Platform for Addressing Grassland Ecosystem Responses to Future Precipitation Scenarios in South-East Australia

    PubMed Central

    Power, Sally A.; Barnett, Kirk L.; Ochoa-Hueso, Raul; Facey, Sarah L.; Gibson-Forty, Eleanor V. J.; Hartley, Susan E.; Nielsen, Uffe N.; Tissue, David T.; Johnson, Scott N.

    2016-01-01

    Climate models predict shifts in the amount, frequency and seasonality of rainfall. Given close links between grassland productivity and rainfall, such changes are likely to have profound effects on the functioning of grassland ecosystems and modify species interactions. Here, we introduce a unique, new experimental platform – DRI-Grass (Drought and Root Herbivore Interactions in a Grassland) – that exposes a south-eastern Australian grassland to five rainfall regimes [Ambient (AMB), increased amount (IA, +50%), reduced amount (RA, -50%), reduced frequency (RF, single rainfall event every 21 days, with total amount unchanged) and summer drought (SD, 12–14 weeks without water, December–March)], and contrasting levels of root herbivory. Incorporation of a belowground herbivore (root-feeding scarabs) addition treatment allows novel investigation of ecological responses to the twin stresses of altered rainfall and root herbivory. We quantified effects of permanently installed rain shelters on microclimate by comparison with outside plots, identifying small shelter effects on air temperature (-0.19°C day, +0.26°C night), soil water content (SWC; -8%) and photosynthetically active radiation (PAR; -16%). Shelters were associated with modest increases in net primary productivity (NPP), particularly during the cool season. Rainfall treatments generated substantial differences in SWC, with the exception of IA; the latter is likely due to a combination of higher transpiration rates associated with greater plant biomass in IA and the low water-holding capacity of the well-drained, sandy soil. Growing season NPP was strongly reduced by SD, but did not respond to the other rainfall treatments. Addition of root herbivores did not affect plant biomass and there were no interactions between herbivory and rainfall treatments in the 1st year of study. Root herbivory did, however, induce foliar silicon-based defenses in Cynodon dactylon and Eragrostis curvula. Rapid recovery

  16. 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

  17. Testing mechanisms of N-enrichment-induced species loss in a semiarid Inner Mongolia grassland: critical thresholds and implications for long-term ecosystem responses.

    PubMed

    Lan, Zhichun; Bai, Yongfei

    2012-11-19

    The increase in nutrient availability as a consequence of elevated nitrogen (N) deposition is an important component of global environmental change. This is likely to substantially affect the functioning and provisioning of ecosystem services by drylands, where water and N are often limited. We tested mechanisms of chronic N-enrichment-induced plant species loss in a 10-year field experiment with six levels of N addition rate. Our findings on a semi-arid grassland in Inner Mongolia demonstrated that: (i) species richness (SR) declined by 16 per cent even at low levels of additional N (1.75 g N m(-2) yr(-1)), and 50-70% species were excluded from plots which received high N input (10.5-28 g N m(-2) yr(-1)); (ii) the responses of SR and above-ground biomass (AGB) to N were greater in wet years than dry years; (iii) N addition increased the inter-annual variations in AGB, reduced the drought resistance of production and hence diminished ecosystem stability; (iv) the critical threshold for chronic N-enrichment-induced reduction in SR differed between common and rare species, and increased over the time of the experiment owing to the loss of the more sensitive species. These results clearly indicate that both abundance and functional trait-based mechanisms operate simultaneously on N-induced species loss. The low initial abundance and low above-ground competitive ability may be attributable to the loss of rare species. However, shift from below-ground competition to above-ground competition and recruitment limitation are likely to be the key mechanisms for the loss of abundant species, with soil acidification being less i