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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. 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

  4. 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

  5. Drought effects on above- and belowground production of a grazed temperate grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Frank, Douglas A

    2007-05-01

    The effect of climatic variation on terrestrial aboveground productivity (ANPP) has been well studied. However, little is known about how variable climate, including drought, may influence belowground productivity (BNPP), which constitutes most of the annual primary production of grasslands. The objectives of this study were to (1) examine how a 3-year period of declining moisture, which began as climatically wet to average across Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and ended in drought, affected ANPP and BNPP in grasslands of YNP and (2) how herds of grazing ungulates, which were shown previously to stimulate grassland shoot and root growth in YNP, may have interacted with climatic conditions to influence grassland production. ANPP and 0-20 cm BNPP, representing the bulk of the root dynamics, were measured in grazed and ungrazed (fenced) grassland at nine sites ranging widely in elevation, soil conditions and plant production during the 3-year study. Results revealed that 0-20 cm BNPP was strongly influenced by drought (P = 0.0005) and declined from 1999 to 2001 among ungrazed and grazed grasslands by 39 and 49%, respectively. The greater reduction in 0-20 cm BNPP among grazed grasslands was due, in part, to a decline (P = 0.07) in the stimulatory effect of grazing, i.e., the ratio g BNPP stimulated: g shoot consumed. In contrast, ANPP was unaffected by drought in either type of grassland. Thus, the effect of this drought in YNP was a large reduction in BNPP, which was a function of (1) a direct negative influence of increased moisture stress on root growth and (2) a weak interaction between drought and herbivory that led to a decline in the positive feedback from grazers to BNPP. These findings highlight the need to better understand factors that control root growth and to study the effects of climatic variation on grasslands within an ecosystem framework to include potentially important climate-consumer interactions.

  6. Impacts of 120 years of fertilizer addition on a temperate grassland ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Kidd, Jonathan; Manning, Peter; Simkin, Janet; Peacock, Simon; Stockdale, Elizabeth

    2017-01-01

    The widespread application of fertilizers has greatly influenced many processes and properties of agroecosystems, and agricultural fertilization is expected to increase even further in the future. To date, most research on fertilizer impacts has used short-term studies, which may be unrepresentative of long-term responses, thus hindering our capacity to predict long-term impacts. Here, we examined the effects of long-term fertilizer addition on key ecosystem properties in a long-term grassland experiment (Palace Leas Hay Meadow) in which farmyard manure (FYM) and inorganic fertilizer treatments have been applied consistently for 120 years in order to characterize the experimental site more fully and compare ecosystem responses with those observed at other long-term and short-term experiments. FYM inputs increased soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks, hay yield, nutrient availability and acted as a buffer against soil acidification (>pH 5). In contrast, N-containing inorganic fertilizers strongly acidified the soil (Grassland experiments) in that fertilization effects on plant and soil properties appeared to be driven by differences in both nutrient input and changes to soil pH. We also established that the direction of long-term fertilization effects tended to be comparable with short-term experiments, but that their magnitude differed considerably, particularly where ammonium sulphate-induced acidification had occurred. We therefore conclude that short-term studies are unlikely to possess the required timeframe to accurately predict long-term responses, thus necessitating the use of long-term study sites

  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. 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

  10. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2012-01-01

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

  12. Evolution of Grasses and Grassland Ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Strömberg, Caroline A. E.

    2011-05-01

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-03-01

    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.

  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

    2016-03-10

    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.

  17. 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

  18. Modeling of Energy, Water, and CO2 Flux in a Temperate Grassland Ecosystem with SiB2: May-October 1987.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Colello, G. D.; Grivet, C.; Sellers, P. J.; Berry, J. A.

    1998-04-01

    The Simple Biosphere Model, version 2 (SiB2), was designed for use within atmospheric general circulation models as a soil-vegetation-atmosphere transfer scheme that includes CO2 flux prediction. A stand-alone version of SiB2 was used to simulate a grassland at Station 16 of the First ISLSCP Field Experiment (FIFE) located near Manhattan, Kansas, for a period of 142 days of the 1987 growing season. Modeled values of soil temperature and moisture were initialized, using field measurements from the soil profile, and thereafter updated solely by model calculations. The model was driven by half-hourly atmospheric observations and regular observations of canopy biophysics. This arrangement was intended to mimic model forcing in a GCM. Three model versions are compared: (i) a Control run using parameter values taken from look-up tables used for running the Colorado State University GCM; (ii) a Tuned run with many adjustments to optimize SiB2 to this ecosystem; and (iii) a Calibrated run, which calibrated the Control version soil to the local site and incorporated two important changes from the Tuned version. Modeled fluxes of latent heat, sensible heat, soil heat, net radiation, and net site CO2 were compared to over 800 half-hourly observations; modeled surface and deep soil temperatures compared to 6500 observations; and three layers of modeled soil water content compared to 15 measurements of the soil water profile. Statistical methods were used to analyze these results. In the absence of water stress all three versions accurately simulated photosynthesis and canopy conductance. However, during episodes of drought, only the Tuned and Calibrated versions accurately simulated physiological control of canopy fluxes. The largest errors were encountered in the simulation of soil respiration. These were traced to problems predicting water content and temperature in the soil profile. These results highlight the need for improved simulation of soil biophysics to obtain

  19. 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

  20. [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.

  1. 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,...

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Soil N transformations and its controlling factors in temperate grasslands in China: A study from 15N tracing experiment to literature synthesis

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wang, Jing; Wang, Liang; Feng, Xiaojuan; Hu, Huifeng; Cai, Zucong; Müller, Christoph; Zhang, Jinbo

    2016-12-01

    Temperate grasslands in arid and semiarid regions cover about 40% of the total land area in China. So far, only a few studies have studied the N transformations in these important ecosystems. In the present study, soil gross N transformation rates in Inner Mongolia temperate grasslands in China were determined using a 15N tracing experiment and combined with a literature synthesis to identify the soil N transformation characteristics and their controlling factors in a global perspective. Our results showed that the rates of gross N mineralization and immobilization NH4+ were significantly lower, while autotrophic nitrification rates were significantly higher in Chinese temperate grassland soils compared to other regions in the world. In particular, the primary mineral N consumption processes, i.e., immobilization of NO3- and NH4+, and dissimilatory nitrate reduction to ammonium, were on average much lower in temperate grassland soils in China, compared to other temperate grassland regions. The reduced heterotrophic activity and microbial growth associated with lower soil organic carbon and arid climate (e.g., mean annual precipitation) were identified as the main factors regulating soil N cycling in the studied regions in China. To restrict NO3- accumulation and associated high risks of N losses in these arid and semiarid ecosystems in China, it is important to develop the regimes of soil organic C and water management that promote the retention of N in these grassland ecosystems.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  10. Effects of anthropogenic fragmentation on primary productivity and soil carbon storage in temperate mountain grasslands.

    PubMed

    Cojoc, Emilia Ionela; Postolache, Carmen; Olariu, Bogdan; Beierkuhnlein, Carl

    2016-11-01

    Habitat fragmentation is one of the most severe anthropogenic pressures exerted on ecosystem's biodiversity. Empirical studies to date focused with an overriding interest on the effects of habitat loss or habitat fragmentation per se on species richness patterns detrimental to biogeochemical processes. To account for changes in ecosystem fluxes, we investigated how anthropogenic fragmentation affects primary productivity and carbon storage in temperate mountain grasslands. A field study was conducted to assess the influence of grassland isolation on soil carbon stocks, N availability, species biomass, and plant functional groups distribution. We tested the hypothesis that increased isolation of grassland, within the land cover, decreases soil carbon stocks, and available N nutrient as well as aboveground biomass. Soil carbon concentration decreased with isolation but increased near the forest edge. We found significant differences in aboveground biomass distribution and relative contribution of plant functional groups between isolation conditions. The magnitude of edge effect on carbon stocks, N availability, and primary productivity intensified with increasing isolation as a consequence of the additive influence of edges. Our study reveals that the potential creation of artificially isolated patches diminished primary productivity, N availability, and C stocks. However, in highly managed landscapes, grazing pressure is an additional factor that changes biomass and nutrients patterns. We emphasize that spatial configuration of the landscape has a major role in modulating ecological flows and ecosystem service supply, in addition to changes in species richness.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. Mean age of carbon in fine roots from temperate forests and grasslands with different management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solly, Emily; Schrumpf, Marion; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Trumbore, Susan

    2013-04-01

    Fine roots are the most dynamic portion of a plant's root system and a major source of soil organic matter. By altering plant species diversity and composition, soil conditions and nutrient availability, and consequently belowground allocations and dynamics of root carbon (C) inputs, land-use and management changes may influence organic C storage in terrestrial ecosystems. In three German regions we measured fine root radiocarbon (14C) content to estimate the mean time since C in root tissues was fixed from the atmosphere in 54 grassland and forest plots with different management and soil conditions. The mean age of C in fine roots in forest environments averaged 11.3±1.8 years (mean ± SE, n=27) and was significantly older and more variable compared to grassland environments (1.7±0.4 years, n=27). We further found that management affects the mean age of fine root C in temperate grasslands mediated by changes in plant species diversity and composition. Fine root mean C age is positively correlated to plant diversity (r=0.65) and to the number of perennial species (r=0.77). In temperate grasslands the mean age of fine root C is also influenced by the study region mainly due to differences in soil characteristics and climate, with averages of 0.7±0.1 years (n=9) on mostly organic sandy soils and of 1.8±0.3 years (n=9) and 2.6±0.3 (n=9) in more silty and clayey soils respectively. Our results indicate an internal redistribution of C in perennial species and suggest linkages between fine root C age and management in grasslands. These findings improve our ability to predict and model belowground C fluxes across broader spatial scales.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. The Effects of Warming and Nitrogen Addition on Soil Nitrogen Cycling in a Temperate Grassland, Northeastern China

    PubMed Central

    Ma, Lin-Na; Lü, Xiao-Tao; Liu, Yang; Guo, Ji-Xun; Zhang, Nan-Yi; Yang, Jian-Qin; Wang, Ren-Zhong

    2011-01-01

    Background Both climate warming and atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition are predicted to affect soil N cycling in terrestrial biomes over the next century. However, the interactive effects of warming and N deposition on soil N mineralization in temperate grasslands are poorly understood. Methodology/Principal Findings A field manipulation experiment was conducted to examine the effects of warming and N addition on soil N cycling in a temperate grassland of northeastern China from 2007 to 2009. Soil samples were incubated at a constant temperature and moisture, from samples collected in the field. The results showed that both warming and N addition significantly stimulated soil net N mineralization rate and net nitrification rate. Combined warming and N addition caused an interactive effect on N mineralization, which could be explained by the relative shift of soil microbial community structure because of fungal biomass increase and strong plant uptake of added N due to warming. Irrespective of strong intra- and inter-annual variations in soil N mineralization, the responses of N mineralization to warming and N addition did not change during the three growing seasons, suggesting independence of warming and N responses of N mineralization from precipitation variations in the temperate grassland. Conclusions/Significance Interactions between climate warming and N deposition on soil N cycling were significant. These findings will improve our understanding on the response of soil N cycling to the simultaneous climate change drivers in temperate grassland ecosystem. PMID:22096609

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-02-01

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

  2. Mean age of carbon in fine roots from temperate forests and grasslands with different management

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Solly, E.; Schöning, I.; Boch, S.; Müller, J.; Socher, S. A.; Trumbore, S. E.; Schrumpf, M.

    2013-07-01

    Fine roots are the most dynamic portion of a plant's root system and a major source of soil organic matter. By altering plant species diversity and composition, soil conditions and nutrient availability, and consequently belowground allocation and dynamics of root carbon (C) inputs, land-use and management changes may influence organic C storage in terrestrial ecosystems. In three German regions, we measured fine root radiocarbon (14C) content to estimate the mean time since C in root tissues was fixed from the atmosphere in 54 grassland and forest plots with different management and soil conditions. Although root biomass was on average greater in grasslands 5.1 ± 0.8 g (mean ± SE, n = 27) than in forests 3.1 ± 0.5 g (n = 27) (p < 0.05), the mean age of C in fine roots in forests averaged 11.3 ± 1.8 yr and was older and more variable compared to grasslands 1.7 ± 0.4 yr (p < 0.001). We further found that management affects the mean age of fine root C in temperate grasslands mediated by changes in plant species diversity and composition. Fine root mean C age is positively correlated with plant diversity (r = 0.65) and with the number of perennial species (r = 0.77). Fine root mean C age in grasslands was also affected by study region with averages of 0.7 ± 0.1 yr (n = 9) on mostly organic soils in northern Germany and of 1.8 ± 0.3 yr (n = 9) and 2.6 ± 0.3 (n = 9) in central and southern Germany (p < 0.05). This was probably due to differences in soil nutrient contents and soil moisture conditions between study regions, which affected plant species diversity and the presence of perennial species. Our results indicate more long-lived roots or internal redistribution of C in perennial species and suggest linkages between fine root C age and management in grasslands. These findings improve our ability to predict and model belowground C fluxes across broader spatial scales.

  3. 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.

  4. In situ soil COS exchange of a temperate mountain grassland under simulated drought.

    PubMed

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

    2017-01-09

    During recent years, carbonyl sulfide (COS), a trace gas with a similar diffusion pathway into leaves as carbon dioxide (CO2), but with no known "respiration-like" leaf source, has been discussed as a promising new approach for partitioning net ecosystem-scale CO2 fluxes into photosynthesis and respiration. The utility of COS for flux partitioning at the ecosystem scale critically depends on the understanding of non-leaf sources and sinks of COS. This study assessed the contribution of the soil to ecosystem-scale COS fluxes under simulated drought conditions at temperate grassland in the Central Alps. We used transparent steady-state flow-through chambers connected to a quantum cascade laser spectrometer to measure the COS and CO2 gas exchange between the soil surface and the atmosphere. Soils were a source of COS during the day, emissions being mainly driven by incoming solar radiation and to a lesser degree soil temperature. Soil water content had a negligible influence on soil COS exchange and thus the drought and control treatment were statistically not significantly different. Overall, daytime fluxes were large (12.5 ± 13.8 pmol m(-2) s(-1)) in their magnitude and consistently positive compared to the previous studies, which predominantly used dark chambers. Nighttime measurements revealed soil COS fluxes around zero, as did measurements with darkened soil chambers during daytime reinforcing the importance of incoming solar radiation. Our results suggest that abiotic drivers play a key role in controlling in situ soil COS fluxes of the investigated grassland.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.

  12. More than just CO2: The carbon balance of a temperate mountain grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wohlfahrt, G.; Hörtnagl, L.; Bamberger, I.; Hammerle, A.; Hansel, A.

    2012-12-01

    Carbon exchanged through the boundaries of an ecosystem takes on multiple forms and involves many different exchange pathways. However, most often only the fluxes of carbon dioxide (CO2) are quantified, as this compound is thought to present the major carbon flux. Here we present results from a temperate mountain grassland in Austria where fluxes of CO2, methane (CH4), of several volatile organic compounds (VOC) and of particulate carbon (harvested grass and organic fertilizer) have been quantified year-round, in some cases since over a decade, and we discuss the magnitude of and controls on these carbon fluxes. Our major findings are that CO2 fluxes represented the largest gaseous carbon fluxes, while CH4 and VOC constituted a minor fraction of carbon fluxes and matter more from the point of view of their importance for atmospheric chemistry. Among the VOCs, oxygenated compounds, such as methanol, acetaldehyde and acetone, were quantitatively most important. Management, in particular the regular harvesting of grass, represented a major disturbance to CO2 and VOC exchange, causing large emissions of carbon into the atmosphere. Particulate carbon imports and exports were of approximately equal magnitude.

  13. 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.

  14. Flowering phenology in a species-rich temperate grassland is sensitive to warming but not elevated CO2.

    PubMed

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

    2008-01-01

    * Flowering is a critical stage in plant life cycles, and changes might alter processes at the species, community and ecosystem levels. Therefore, likely flowering-time responses to global change drivers are needed for predictions of global change impacts on natural and managed ecosystems. * Here, the impact of elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration ([CO2]) (550 micromol mol(-1)) and warming (+2 masculineC) is reported on flowering times in a native, species-rich, temperate grassland in Tasmania, Australia in both 2004 and 2005. * Elevated [CO2] did not affect average time of first flowering in either year, only affecting three out of 23 species. Warming reduced time to first flowering by an average of 19.1 d in 2004, acting on most species, but did not significantly alter flowering time in 2005, which might be related to the timing of rainfall. Elevated [CO2] and warming treatments did not interact on flowering time. * These results show elevated [CO2] did not alter average flowering time or duration in this grassland; neither did it alter the response to warming. Therefore, flowering phenology appears insensitive to increasing [CO2] in this ecosystem, although the response to warming varies between years but can be strong.

  15. Environmental controls on carbon fluxes over three grassland ecosystems in China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Fu, Y.; Zheng, Z.; Yu, G.; Hu, Z.; Sun, X.; Shi, P.; Wang, Y.; Zhao, X.

    2009-08-01

    This study compared the CO2 fluxes over three grassland ecosystems in China, including a temperate steppe (TS) in Inner Mongolia, an alpine shrub-meadow (ASM) in Qinghai and an alpine meadow-steppe (AMS) in Tibet. The measurements were made in 2004 and 2005 using the eddy covariance technique. Objectives were to document the different seasonality of net ecosystem exchange of CO2 (NEE) and its components, gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) and ecosystem respiration (Reco), and to examine how environmental factors affect carbon exchange in the three grassland ecosystems. It was warmer in 2005 than in 2004, especially during the growing season (from May to September), across the three sites. The annual precipitation at TS in 2004 (364.4 mm) was close the annual average (350 mm), whereas the precipitation at TS in 2005 (153.3 mm) was significantly below the average. Both GEP and Reco of the temperate steppe in 2005 were significantly reduced by the extreme drought stress, resulting in net carbon release during almost the whole growing season. The magnitude of CO2 fluxes (daily and annual sums) was largest for the alpine shrub-meadow and smallest for the alpine meadow-steppe. The seasonal trends of GEP, Reco and NEE of the alpine shrub-meadow tracked closely with the variation in air temperature, while the seasonality of GEP, Reco and NEE of the temperate steppe and the alpine meadow-steppe was more related to the variation in soil moisture. The alpine shrub-meadow was a local carbon sink over the two years. The temperate steppe and alpine meadow-steppe were acting as net carbon source, with more carbon loss to the atmosphere in warmer and drier year of 2005. Annual precipitation was the primary climate driver for the difference in annual GEP and NEE among the three sites and between the two years. We also found the annual GEP and NEE depended significantly on the growing season length, which was mainly a result of the timing and amount of precipitation for the

  16. Trophic diversity in two grassland ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Pearson, Clark V; Dyer, Lee A

    2006-01-01

    The roles of consumers (top-down forces) versus resources (bottom-up forces) as determinants of alpha diversity in a community are not well studied. Numerous community ecology models and empirical studies have provided a framework for understanding how density at various trophic levels responds to variation in the relative strength of top-down and bottom-up forces. The resulting trophic theory can be applied to understanding variation in insect diversity at different trophic levels. The objective of this research was to elucidate the strengths of direct and indirect interactions between plants and entire arthropod communities to determine the effects of trophic interactions on arthropod diversity. Grassland plant and insect diversity was measured in July 2001 to document patterns of diversity at multiple trophic levels. The study site includes riparian grasslands in North-Central Colorado on the Carpenter Ranch, owned and managed by The Nature Conservancy. This pastureland consists of sites with different management regimes: unmanaged pasture intermixed along riparian forest, and cattle grazed pasture with flood irrigation. Plant abundance and richness were higher on the grazed-irrigated pasture versus the unmanaged field. Path analysis revealed strong effects of herbivore diversity on diversity of other trophic levels. For the managed fields, top-down forces were important, with increases in enemy diversity depressing herbivore diversity, which in turn depressed plant abundance. For the unmanaged fields, bottom-up forces dominated, with increases in plant diversity causing increased herbivore diversity, which in turn increased enemy diversity. These results support hypotheses from other empirical studies, demonstrating that changes in diversity of a single trophic level can cascade to effect diversity at other, nonadjacent trophic levels.

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  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

    2016-07-08

    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.

  20. 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.

  1. Effects of predator functional diversity on grassland ecosystem function.

    PubMed

    Schmitz, Oswald J

    2009-09-01

    Predator species individually are known to have important effects on plant communities and ecosystem functions such as production, decomposition, and elemental cycling, the nature of which is determined by a key functional trait, predator hunting mode. However, it remains entirely uncertain how predators with different hunting modes combine to influence ecosystem function. I report on an experiment conducted in a New England grassland ecosystem that quantified the net effects of a sit-and-wait and an actively hunting spider species on the plant composition and functioning of a New England grassland ecosystem. I manipulated predator functional diversity by varying the dominance ratio of the two predator species among five treatments using a replacement series design. Experimentation revealed that predator functional diversity effects propagated down the live plant-based chain to affect the levels of plant diversity, and plant litter quality, elemental cycling, and production. Moreover, many of these effects could be approximately by the weighted average of the individual predator species effects, suggesting that this kind of predator diversity effect on ecosystems is not highly nonlinear.

  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. Acetone and Acetaldehyde Exchange Above a Managed Temperate Mountain Grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-23

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kim, Joon; Verma, Shashi B.

    1990-06-01

    Eddy correlation measurements were made of fluxes of moisture, heat and momentum at a tallgrass prairie site near Manhattan, Kansas, U.S.A. during the First ISLSCP ISLSCP: International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (for details, see Sellers et al., 1988). Field Experiment (FIFE) in 1987. The study site is dominated by three C4 grass species: big bluestem ( Andropogon gerardii), indiangrass ( Sorghastrum nutans), and switchgrass ( Panicum virgatum). The stomatal conductance and leaf water potential of these grass species were also measured. In this paper, daily and seasonal variations in the components of the surface energy balance are examined. The aerodynamic and canopy surface conductances for the prairie vegetation are also evaluated.

  11. Reduced CO2 fertilization effect in temperate C3 grasslands under more extreme weather conditions

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Obermeier, W. A.; Lehnert, L. W.; Kammann, C. I.; Müller, C.; Grünhage, L.; Luterbacher, J.; Erbs, M.; Moser, G.; Seibert, R.; Yuan, N.; Bendix, J.

    2016-12-01

    The increase in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations from anthropogenic activities is the major driver of recent global climate change. The stimulation of plant photosynthesis due to rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations ([CO2]) is widely assumed to increase the net primary productivity (NPP) of C3 plants--the CO2 fertilization effect (CFE). However, the magnitude and persistence of the CFE under future climates, including more frequent weather extremes, are controversial. Here we use data from 16 years of temperate grassland grown under `free-air carbon dioxide enrichment’ conditions to show that the CFE on above-ground biomass is strongest under local average environmental conditions. The observed CFE was reduced or disappeared under wetter, drier and/or hotter conditions when the forcing variable exceeded its intermediate regime. This is in contrast to predictions of an increased CO2 fertilization effect under drier and warmer conditions. Such extreme weather conditions are projected to occur more intensely and frequently under future climate scenarios. Consequently, current biogeochemical models might overestimate the future NPP sink capacity of temperate C3 grasslands and hence underestimate future atmospheric [CO2] increase.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally.

    PubMed

    Mayor, Jordan R; Sanders, Nathan J; Classen, Aimée T; Bardgett, Richard D; Clément, Jean-Christophe; Fajardo, Alex; Lavorel, Sandra; Sundqvist, Maja K; Bahn, Michael; Chisholm, Chelsea; Cieraad, Ellen; Gedalof, Ze'ev; Grigulis, Karl; Kudo, Gaku; Oberski, Daniel L; Wardle, David A

    2017-02-02

    Temperature is a primary driver of the distribution of biodiversity as well as of ecosystem boundaries. Declining temperature with increasing elevation in montane systems has long been recognized as a major factor shaping plant community biodiversity, metabolic processes, and ecosystem dynamics. Elevational gradients, as thermoclines, also enable prediction of long-term ecological responses to climate warming. One of the most striking manifestations of increasing elevation is the abrupt transitions from forest to treeless alpine tundra. However, whether there are globally consistent above- and belowground responses to these transitions remains an open question. To disentangle the direct and indirect effects of temperature on ecosystem properties, here we evaluate replicate treeline ecotones in seven temperate regions of the world. We find that declining temperatures with increasing elevation did not affect tree leaf nutrient concentrations, but did reduce ground-layer community-weighted plant nitrogen, leading to the strong stoichiometric convergence of ground-layer plant community nitrogen to phosphorus ratios across all regions. Further, elevation-driven changes in plant nutrients were associated with changes in soil organic matter content and quality (carbon to nitrogen ratios) and microbial properties. Combined, our identification of direct and indirect temperature controls over plant communities and soil properties in seven contrasting regions suggests that future warming may disrupt the functional properties of montane ecosystems, particularly where plant community reorganization outpaces treeline advance.

  15. Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Mayor, Jordan R.; Sanders, Nathan J.; Classen, Aimée T.; Bardgett, Richard D.; Clément, Jean-Christophe; Fajardo, Alex; Lavorel, Sandra; Sundqvist, Maja K.; Bahn, Michael; Chisholm, Chelsea; Cieraad, Ellen; Gedalof, Ze’Ev; Grigulis, Karl; Kudo, Gaku; Oberski, Daniel L.; Wardle, David A.

    2017-01-01

    Temperature is a primary driver of the distribution of biodiversity as well as of ecosystem boundaries. Declining temperature with increasing elevation in montane systems has long been recognized as a major factor shaping plant community biodiversity, metabolic processes, and ecosystem dynamics. Elevational gradients, as thermoclines, also enable prediction of long-term ecological responses to climate warming. One of the most striking manifestations of increasing elevation is the abrupt transitions from forest to treeless alpine tundra. However, whether there are globally consistent above- and belowground responses to these transitions remains an open question. To disentangle the direct and indirect effects of temperature on ecosystem properties, here we evaluate replicate treeline ecotones in seven temperate regions of the world. We find that declining temperatures with increasing elevation did not affect tree leaf nutrient concentrations, but did reduce ground-layer community-weighted plant nitrogen, leading to the strong stoichiometric convergence of ground-layer plant community nitrogen to phosphorus ratios across all regions. Further, elevation-driven changes in plant nutrients were associated with changes in soil organic matter content and quality (carbon to nitrogen ratios) and microbial properties. Combined, our identification of direct and indirect temperature controls over plant communities and soil properties in seven contrasting regions suggests that future warming may disrupt the functional properties of montane ecosystems, particularly where plant community reorganization outpaces treeline advance.

  16. Separating drought effects from roof artefacts on ecosystem processes in a grassland drought experiment

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

    Given the predictions of increasing risk of long drought periods 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, here called artefacts, on the response variables potentially confounding experimental results and misleading conclusions. Knowing the ecosystem response to such roof artefacts is therefore indispensible to correctly predict the effects of drought on the composition and functioning of ecosystems. We therefore aimed at filling this gap by studying the relevance of roof artefacts in a temperate grassland ecosystem. We compared pure drought effects to roof artefacts by measuring the response of three ecosystem properties (aboveground biomass, litter decomposition and plant metabolite profiles). We realized three treatments: a drought treatment simulated by means of transparent roofs, an unroofed control treatment receiving natural rainfall and a roofed control, with rain water applied according to ambient conditions. The roof constructions in our experiment caused a slight change in air (+0.14 °C during night) and soil (-0.45°C on warm days, +0.25 °C on cold nights) temperatures while photosynthetically active radiation was decreased (-16%) on bright days. Aboveground plant community biomass was reduced in the drought treatment (-41%), but there was no significant difference between the roofed and unroofed control, thus there was no measurable response of aboveground biomass to roof artefacts, but a considerable response to drought. Compared to the unroofed control, litter decomposition was decreased both in the drought treatment (-26%) and in the roofed control treatment (-18%), suggesting a response of litter decomposition to roof artefacts in addition to drought. Similarly, aboveground metabolite profiles in the model plant species Medicago x varia were significantly different

  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. Identifying priority areas for ecosystem service management in South African grasslands.

    PubMed

    Egoh, Benis N; Reyers, Belinda; Rouget, Mathieu; Richardson, David M

    2011-06-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services required to support human well-being and are home to a diverse fauna and flora. Degradation of grasslands due to agriculture and other forms of land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem services. Various efforts are underway around the world to stem these declines. The Grassland Programme in South Africa is one such initiative and is aimed at safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. As part of this developing programme, we identified spatial priority areas for ecosystem services, tested the effect of different target levels of ecosystem services used to identify priority areas, and evaluated whether biodiversity priority areas can be aligned with those for ecosystem services. We mapped five ecosystem services (below ground carbon storage, surface water supply, water flow regulation, soil accumulation and soil retention) and identified priority areas for individual ecosystem services and for all five services at the scale of quaternary catchments. Planning for individual ecosystem services showed that, depending on the ecosystem service of interest, between 4% and 13% of the grassland biome was required to conserve at least 40% of the soil and water services. Thirty-four percent of the biome was needed to conserve 40% of the carbon service in the grassland. Priority areas identified for five ecosystem services under three target levels (20%, 40%, 60% of the total amount) showed that between 17% and 56% of the grassland biome was needed to conserve these ecosystem services. There was moderate to high overlap between priority areas selected for ecosystem services and already-identified terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity priority areas. This level of overlap coupled with low irreplaceability values obtained when planning for individual ecosystem services makes it possible to combine biodiversity and ecosystem services in one plan using systematic conservation planning.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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

    2013-04-01

    Metabolic theory and body size 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 among 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    PubMed

    Ortiz-Gamino, Diana; Pérez-Rodríguez, Paulino; Ortiz-Ceballos, Angel I

    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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. The impact of human-environment interactions on the stability of forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Innes, Clinton; Anand, Madhur; Bauch, Chris T

    2013-01-01

    Forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems can exhibit alternative stables states, whereby under the same environmental conditions, the ecosystem could equally well reside either in one state or another, depending on the initial conditions. We develop a mathematical model that couples a simplified forest-grassland mosaic model to a dynamic model of opinions about conservation priorities in a population, based on perceptions of ecosystem rarity. Weak human influence increases the region of parameter space where alternative stable states are possible. However, strong human influence precludes bistability, such that forest and grassland either co-exist at a single, stable equilibrium, or their relative abundance oscillates. Moreover, a perturbation can shift the system from a stable state to an oscillatory state. We conclude that human-environment interactions can qualitatively alter the composition of forest-grassland mosaic ecosystems. The human role in such systems should be viewed as dynamic, responsive element rather than as a fixed, unchanging entity.

  10. Effect of degradation intensity on grassland ecosystem services in the alpine region of Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    PubMed

    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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. The Anthelmintic Ingredient Moxidectin Negatively Affects Seed Germination of Three Temperate Grassland Species

    PubMed Central

    Eichberg, Carsten; Wohde, Manuel; Müller, Kerstin; Rausch, Anja; Scherrmann, Christina; Scheuren, Theresa; Düring, Rolf-Alexander; Donath, Tobias W.

    2016-01-01

    In animal farming, anthelmintics are regularly applied to control gastrointestinal nematodes. There is plenty of evidence that also non-target organisms, such as dung beetles, are negatively affected by residues of anthelmintics in faeces of domestic ungulates. By contrast, knowledge about possible effects on wild plants is scarce. To bridge this gap of knowledge, we tested for effects of the common anthelmintic formulation Cydectin and its active ingredient moxidectin on seed germination. We conducted a feeding experiment with sheep and germination experiments in a climate chamber. Three wide-spread plant species of temperate grasslands (Centaurea jacea, Galium verum, Plantago lanceolata) were studied. We found significant influences of both, Cydectin and moxidectin, on germination of the tested species. Across species, both formulation and active ingredient solely led to a decrease in germination percentage and synchrony of germination and an increase in mean germination time with the formulation showing a more pronounced response pattern. Our study shows for the first time that anthelmintics have the potential to negatively affect plant regeneration. This has practical implications for nature conservation since our results suggest that treatments of livestock with anthelmintics should be carefully timed to not impede endozoochorous seed exchange between plant populations. PMID:27846249

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Threshold responses to interacting global changes in a California grassland ecosystem

    SciTech Connect

    Field, Christopher; Mooney, Harold; Vitousek, Peter

    2015-02-02

    Building on the history and infrastructure of the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment, we conducted experiments to explore the potential for single and combined global changes to stimulate fundamental type changes in ecosystems that start the experiment as California annual grassland. Using a carefully orchestrated set of seedling introductions, followed by careful study and later removal, the grassland was poised to enable two major kinds of transitions that occur in real life and that have major implications for ecosystem structure, function, and services. These are transitions from grassland to shrubland/forest and grassland to thistle patch. The experiment took place in the context of 4 global change factors – warming, elevated CO2, N deposition, and increased precipitation – in a full-factorial array, present as all possible 1, 2, 3, and 4-factor combinations, with each combination replicated 8 times.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. Reduced germination success of temperate grassland seeds sown in dung: consequences for post-dispersal seed fate.

    PubMed

    Milotić, T; Hoffmann, M

    2016-11-01

    Endozoochory is one of the main drivers shaping temperate grassland communities by maintaining plant populations of its constituents and enabling plants to colonize new habitats. Successful endozoochorous dispersal implies that seeds not only get consumed and survive the digestive tract but are also able to develop into viable seedlings in a dung environment. We experimentally assessed the germination probability and timing of 15 annual and perennial temperate European grassland species in cattle and horse dung and in different climatic conditions (greenhouse and outdoor conditions). Interspecific variation in germinability and germination timing are found, while life strategy had only an effect on germination timing. We found adverse effects of both cattle and horse dung on the germination characteristics of all tested grassland species, but the effects of cattle dung were more pronounced. In comparison with the control treatment, fewer seeds emerged in dung and more time was needed to germinate. Also, germination metrics clearly differed between the artificial greenhouse and outdoor conditions, with generally a lower germinability in outdoor conditions. According to our results, a large cost seems to be associated with endozoochorous dispersal in this stage of the life cycle, as seed dispersal effectiveness strongly depends on the quality of the deposition site with a lowered survival and germination probability when seeds are deposited in dung.

  6. The North Wyke Farm Platform: effect of temperate grassland farming systems on soil moisture contents, runoff and associated water quality dynamics.

    PubMed

    Orr, R J; Murray, P J; Eyles, C J; Blackwell, M S A; Cardenas, L M; Collins, A L; Dungait, J A J; Goulding, K W T; Griffith, B A; Gurr, S J; Harris, P; Hawkins, J M B; Misselbrook, T H; Rawlings, C; Shepherd, A; Sint, H; Takahashi, T; Tozer, K N; Whitmore, A P; Wu, L; Lee, M R F

    2016-07-01

    The North Wyke Farm Platform was established as a United Kingdom national capability for collaborative research, training and knowledge exchange in agro-environmental sciences. Its remit is to research agricultural productivity and ecosystem responses to different management practices for beef and sheep production in lowland grasslands. A system based on permanent pasture was implemented on three 21-ha farmlets to obtain baseline data on hydrology, nutrient cycling and productivity for 2 years. Since then two farmlets have been modified by either (i) planned reseeding with grasses that have been bred for enhanced sugar content or deep-rooting traits or (ii) sowing grass and legume mixtures to reduce nitrogen fertilizer inputs. The quantities of nutrients that enter, cycle within and leave the farmlets were evaluated with data recorded from sensor technologies coupled with more traditional field study methods. We demonstrate the potential of the farm platform approach with a case study in which we investigate the effects of the weather, field topography and farm management activity on surface runoff and associated pollutant or nutrient loss from soil. We have the opportunity to do a full nutrient cycling analysis, taking account of nutrient transformations in soil, and flows to water and losses to air. The NWFP monitoring system is unique in both scale and scope for a managed land-based capability that brings together several technologies that allow the effect of temperate grassland farming systems on soil moisture levels, runoff and associated water quality dynamics to be studied in detail.

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  8. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-02-17

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

  10. 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

  11. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  13. The rise of C4 grassland ecosystems, a climate puzzle

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Henderson, A.; Fox, D.; Freeman, K. H.

    2011-12-01

    The expansion of grasslands was one of the most profound ecological changes in the Cenozoic. Understanding the history of forest to grassland transitions, and the development of C4 grasslands in particular, is critical for understanding the relationship between land surface climate feedbacks, seasonality, and temperature. Modern distributions and ecological experiments demonstrate a strong correlation between C4 biogeography and high growing season temperatures and precipitation, as well as low pCO2 concentrations. The rise of C4 grasses in North America, as documented by carbonate nodule and mammal teeth δ13C values, began during a warm period with relatively stable pCO2 in the late Miocene. Surprisingly, C4 grasses continued to expand and then rose to dominance in the Great Plains as climates progressively cooled, moisture availability increased, and ice sheets formed further north on the continent. To understand this seemingly paradoxical scenario, we need constraints on the rate and character of increasing abundances of C4 vegetation. To this end, we use molecular and isotopic tools from terrestrial plant leaf wax n-alkanes extracted from carbonate nodules in the Meade Basin, Kansas and sites in Texas for the past 12 Ma. These records offer site-specific reconstructions tied directly to vegetation source. We compare our results to published continental-scale reconstructions of n-alkanes from the Mississippi River drainage basin and to climate records. From the distribution of C27 to C33 n-alkane abundances and patterns in δ13C values, we infer that C4 grasses coexisted with patches of C3 vegetation, including both grasses and trees. C4 grasses increasingly dominated the landscape, reaching modern abundances as ice sheets were reaching their southern limit in North America. Our results confirm that C4 grasslands emerged under cool and wet conditions, something we would not predict based on modern analogues, raising questions about our understanding of the

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. [Advances in study of factors affecting soil N mineralization in grassland ecosystems].

    PubMed

    Wang, Changhui; Xing, Xuerong; Han, Xingguo

    2004-11-01

    The biological and non-biological factors affecting soil N availability in grassland ecosystems were reviewed in this paper. Nitrogen cycling in grassland ecosystems is one of the focuses widely concerned. Nitrogen mineralization is affected by many factors in grassland ecosystem, which can be classified into biological and non-biological ones. Biological factors include soil animals, soil microorganisms and plants. Soil animals could accelerate the organic matter to degrade. The species, structure and function of soil microorganisms correlate significantly with N degradation and mineralization. Different vegetation has different effects on soil nitrogen mineralization. The non-biological factors include environmental factors and anthropogenic disturbance, which have direct and obvious effects on N mineralization. The effects of soil temperature and moisture on N mineralization are given more attention, but many phenomena, such as the effects of soil type, soil structure and vegetation type on N mineralization still could not be explained clearly, and no general agreements were reached. Anthropogenic disturbance such as grazing, firing and fertilization influence N mineralization evidently. It is of great significance to understand the N cycling pattern and N availability in different grassland ecosystems all around the world.

  17. 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

  18. 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

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

    PubMed

    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.

  20. Grazing intensity significantly affects belowground carbon and nitrogen cycling in grassland ecosystems: a meta-analysis.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Guiyao; Zhou, Xuhui; He, Yanghui; Shao, Junjiong; Hu, Zhenhong; Liu, Ruiqiang; Zhou, Huimin; Hosseinibai, Shahla

    2017-03-01

    Livestock grazing activities potentially alter ecosystem carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycles in grassland ecosystems. Despite the fact that numerous individual studies and a few meta-analyses had been conducted, how grazing, especially its intensity, affects belowground C and N cycling in grasslands remains unclear. In this study, we performed a comprehensive meta-analysis of 115 published studies to examine the responses of 19 variables associated with belowground C and N cycling to livestock grazing in global grasslands. Our results showed that, on average, grazing significantly decreased belowground C and N pools in grassland ecosystems, with the largest decreases in microbial biomass C and N (21.62% and 24.40%, respectively). In contrast, belowground fluxes, including soil respiration, soil net N mineralization and soil N nitrification increased by 4.25%, 34.67% and 25.87%, respectively, in grazed grasslands compared to ungrazed ones. More importantly, grazing intensity significantly affected the magnitude (even direction) of changes in the majority of the assessed belowground C and N pools and fluxes, and C : N ratio as well as soil moisture. Specifically,light grazing contributed to soil C and N sequestration whereas moderate and heavy grazing significantly increased C and N losses. In addition, soil depth, livestock type and climatic conditions influenced the responses of selected variables to livestock grazing to some degree. Our findings highlight the importance of the effects of grazing intensity on belowground C and N cycling, which may need to be incorporated into regional and global models for predicting effects of human disturbance on global grasslands and assessing the climate-biosphere feedbacks.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2011-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Amino acids as a nitrogen source in temperate upland grasslands: the use of dual labelled ((13)C, (15)N) glycine to test for direct uptake by dominant grasses.

    PubMed

    Streeter, T C; Bol, R; Bardgett, R D

    2000-01-01

    It is becoming increasingly apparent that soil amino acids are a principal source of nitrogen (N) for certain plants, and especially those of N-limited environments. This study of temperate upland grasslands used glycine-2-(13)C-(15)N and ((15)NH4)(2)SO(4) labelling techniques to test the hypothesis that plant species which dominate 'unimproved' semi-natural grasslands (Festuca-Agrostis-Galium) are able to utilise amino acid N for growth, whereas those plants which dominate 'improved' grasslands (Lolium-Cynosurus), that receive regular applications of inorganic fertiliser, use inorganic N forms as their main N source. Data from field experiments confirmed that 'free' amino acids were more abundant in 'unimproved' than 'improved' grassland and that glycine was the dominant amino acid type (up to 42% of total). Secondly, the injection of representative amounts of glycine-2-(13)C-(15)N (4.76 and 42.86 mM) into intact soil cores from the two grassland types provided evidence of direct uptake of glycine by plants, with both (15)N and (13)C being detected in plant material of both grasslands. Finally, a microcosm experiment demonstrated no preferential uptake of amino acid N by the grasses which dominate the grassland types, namely Holcus lanatus, Festuca rubra, Agrostis capillaris from the 'unimproved' grassland, and Lolium perenne from the 'improved' grassland. Again, both (13)C and (15)N were detected in all grass species suggesting uptake of intact glycine by these plants.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  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.

    2014-04-01

    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 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 two-year study of the net ecosystem carbon balance (NECB) of two such sites. We determined greenhouse gas (GHG) fluxes and waterborne carbon 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. GHG fluxes (CO2, CH4 and N2O) 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 (NEE 233 g C m-2yr-1), CH4 neutral, and a small source of nitrous oxide (1.6 kg N2O-N ha-1yr-1). NEE at the shallow drained site was -89 and -99 g C m-2yr-1 in Years 1 and 2 respectively, and NEE at the deep drained site was +85 and -26 g C m-2yr-1 respectively. Low CH4 emissions (1.3 g C m-2yr-1) were recorded at the shallow drained nutrient poor site. Fluvial exports from the nutrient rich site totalled 69.8 g C m-2yr-1 with 54% as dissolved organic C (DOC). Waterborne C losses from the nutrient poor site reflected differences in annual runoff totalling 44 g C m-2yr-1 in Year 1 and 30.8 g C m-2yr-1 in Year 2. The NECB of the nutrient rich grassland was 663 g C m-2yr-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-2yr-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 NECB 103 g C m-2yr-1). While the impacts of the nutrient and drainage

  11. [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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2016-02-01

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

  13. Land use affects the net ecosystem CO(2) exchange and its components in mountain grasslands.

    PubMed

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

    2010-08-01

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

  14. 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.

  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

    PubMed Central

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

    2015-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Invasive Plants Rapidly Reshape Soil Properties in a Grassland Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Lekberg, Ylva; Mummey, Daniel L.; Sangwan, Naseer; Ramsey, Philip W.; Gilbert, Jack A.

    2017-01-01

    ABSTRACT Plant invasions often reduce native plant diversity and increase net primary productivity. Invaded soils appear to differ from surrounding soils in ways that impede restoration of diverse native plant communities. We hypothesize that invader-mediated shifts in edaphic properties reproducibly alter soil microbial community structure and function. Here, we take a holistic approach, characterizing plant, prokaryotic, and fungal communities and soil physicochemical properties in field sites, invasion gradients, and experimental plots for three invasive plant species that cooccur in the Rocky Mountain West. Each invader had a unique impact on soil physicochemical properties. We found that invasions drove shifts in the abundances of specific microbial taxa, while overall belowground community structure and functional potential were fairly constant. Forb invaders were generally enriched in copiotrophic bacteria with higher 16S rRNA gene copy numbers and showed greater microbial carbohydrate and nitrogen metabolic potential. Older invasions had stronger effects on abiotic soil properties, indicative of multiyear successions. Overall, we show that plant invasions are idiosyncratic in their impact on soils and are directly responsible for driving reproducible shifts in the soil environment over multiyear time scales. IMPORTANCE In this study, we show how invasive plant species drive rapid shifts in the soil environment from surrounding native communities. Each of the three plant invaders had different but consistent effects on soils. Thus, there does not appear to be a one-size-fits-all strategy for how plant invaders alter grassland soil environments. This work represents a crucial step toward understanding how invaders might be able to prevent or impair native reestablishment by changing soil biotic and abiotic properties. PMID:28289729

  20. 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.

  1. [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.

  2. Trade-offs in water and carbon ecosystem services with land-use changes in grasslands.

    PubMed

    Kim, John H; Jobbágy, Esteban G; Jackson, Robert B

    2016-09-01

    Increasing pressures for food, fiber, and fuel continue to drive global land-use changes. Efforts to optimize ecosystem services under alternative land uses are often hampered by the complex interactions and trade-offs among them. We examined the effects of land-use changes on ecosystem carbon storage and groundwater recharge in grasslands of Argentina and the United States to (1) understand the relationships between both services, (2) predict their responses to vegetation shifts across environmental gradients, and (3) explore how market or policy incentives for ecosystem services could affect land-use changes. A trade-off of ecosystem services was evident in most cases, with woody encroachment increasing carbon storage (+29 Mg C/ha) but decreasing groundwater recharge (-7.3 mm/yr) and conversions to rain-fed cultivation driving opposite changes (-32 Mg C/ha vs. +13 mm/yr). In contrast, crops irrigated with ground water tended to reduce both services compared to the natural grasslands they replaced. Combining economic values of the agricultural products together with the services, we highlight potentials for relatively modest financial incentives for ecosystem services to abate land-use changes and for incentives for carbon to drive land-use decisions over those of water. Our findings also identify key opportunities and caveats for some win-win and lose-lose land-use changes for more integrative and sustainable strategies for land management.

  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. 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

    2014-08-07

    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.

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

    PubMed Central

    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.

    2014-01-01

    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. PMID:24966312

  6. Land use change and ecosystem service provision in Pampas and Campos grasslands of southern South America

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Modernel, P.; Rossing, W. A. H.; Corbeels, M.; Dogliotti, S.; Picasso, V.; Tittonell, P.

    2016-11-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of external inputs. We synthesised 242 references from peer-reviewed and grey literature published between 1945 and mid-2015 and analysed secondary data to examine the evidence on the ecosystem services provided by this grassland biodiversity hotspot and the way they are affected by land use changes and their drivers. The analysis followed the requirements of systematic review from the PRISMA statement (Moher et al 2009 Acad. Clin. Ann. Intern. Med. 151 264-9). The Pampas and Campos provide feed for 43 million heads of cattle and 14 million sheep. The biome is habitat of 4000 native plant species, 300 species of birds, 29 species of mammals, 49 species of reptiles and 35 species of amphibians. The soils of the region stock 5% of the soil organic carbon of Latin America on 3% of its area. Driven by high prices of soybean, the soybean area increased by 210% between 2000 and 2010, at the expense of 2 million ha (5%) of native grassland, mostly in the Pampas. Intensification of livestock production was apparent in two spatially distinct forms. In subregions where cropping increased, intensification of livestock production was reflected in an increased use of grains for feed as part of feedlots. In subregions dominated by native grasslands, stocking rates increased. The review showed that land use change and grazing regimes with low forage allowances were predominantly associated with negative effects on ecosystem service provision by reducing soil organic carbon stocks and the diversity of plants, birds and mammals, and by increasing soil erosion. We found little quantitative information on changes in the ecosystem services water provision, nutrient cycling and erosion control

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    PubMed

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

    2015-10-01

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

  3. Variations in dust contributions to air quality impairment in a temperate grassland of Inner Mongolia, China

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Baolin; Guan, Chunzhu; Zhao, Junling; Li, Jiannan

    2017-01-01

    Dust associated visibility impairment is the most noticeable air pollution phenomena, has important implications regarding air quality in developing cities. We integrated the commonly reported visibility with remote sensing, found that dust emission tended to decrease over Xilingol grassland. The temporal coherency between dust event and visibility reduction demonstrated dust was an important factor responsible for air quality impairment, but the differences in seasonal patterns and long-term trends among stations manifested some drops in visibility couldn’t be solely attributed to dust activity. It is urgent to conclude the causes of visibility reduction in developing cities susceptible to dust impact in recent years.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Choler, P.

    2015-02-01

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

  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. Carbon balance of a grazed savanna grassland ecosystem in South Africa

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Räsänen, Matti; Aurela, Mika; Vakkari, Ville; Beukes, Johan P.; Tuovinen, Juha-Pekka; Van Zyl, Pieter G.; Josipovic, Miroslav; Venter, Andrew D.; Jaars, Kerneels; Siebert, Stefan J.; Laurila, Tuomas; Rinne, Janne; Laakso, Lauri

    2017-03-01

    Tropical savannas and grasslands are estimated to contribute significantly to the total primary production of all terrestrial vegetation. Large parts of African savannas and grasslands are used for agriculture and cattle grazing, but the carbon flux data available from these areas are limited. This study explores carbon dioxide fluxes measured with the eddy covariance method for 3 years at a grazed savanna grassland in Welgegund, South Africa. The tree cover around the measurement site, grazed by cattle and sheep, was around 15 %. The night-time respiration was not significantly dependent on either soil moisture or soil temperature on a weekly temporal scale, whereas on an annual timescale higher respiration rates were observed when soil temperatures were higher. The carbon dioxide balances of the years 2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2012-2013 were -85 ± 16, 67 ± 20 and 139 ± 13 gC m-2 yr-1, respectively. The yearly variation was largely determined by the changes in the early wet season fluxes (September to November) and in the mid-growing season fluxes (December to January). Early rainfall enhanced the respiratory capacity of the ecosystem throughout the year, whereas during the mid-growing season high rainfall resulted in high carbon uptake.

  13. 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.

  14. [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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Biology, chance, or history? The predictable reassembly of temperate grassland communities.

    PubMed

    Petermann, Jana S; Fergus, Alexander J F; Roscher, Christiane; Turnbull, Lindsay A; Weigelt, Alexandra; Schmid, Bernhard

    2010-02-01

    Many studies have examined invasion resistance in plant communities, but few have explored the mechanisms of invasion and how subsequent community reassembly affects community functioning. Using natural dispersal and deliberate seed addition into grassland communities with different compositional and richness histories, we show that invaders establish in a nonrandom manner due to negative effects of resident functional groups on invading species from the same functional group. Invaders hence complement communities with originally low richness levels. Consequently, communities converge toward similar levels of species richness, high functional richness, and evenness, but not always maximum productivity. Invasion processes are faster but qualitatively similar when the effect of chance, in the form of dispersal stochasticity, is reduced by seed addition. Thus, dispersal limitation may influence community assembly, but it does not override functionally predictable assembly mechanisms. Some of the most productive communities prior to invasion are unstable in the face of invasion, leading to decreased productivity following invasion. We suggest that invasion into such communities occurs possibly because a pathogen-free niche is available rather than a resource niche. Thus, pathogens in addition to resource niches may be important biological drivers of community assembly.

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

    PubMed

    Jonasson, Sara; Eriksson, Johan; Berntzon, Lotta; Spácil, Zdenek; Ilag, Leopold L; Ronnevi, Lars-Olof; Rasmussen, Ulla; Bergman, Birgitta

    2010-05-18

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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2010-01-01

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

  5. Disturbance, complexity, and succession of net ecosystem production in North America’s temperate deciduous forests

    SciTech Connect

    Gough, Christopher; Curtis, Peter; Hardiman, Brady; Scheuermann, Cynthia; Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin

    2016-06-29

    Century-old forests in the U.S. upper Midwest and Northeast power much of North Amer- ica’s terrestrial carbon (C) sink, but these forests’ production and C sequestration capacity are expected to soon decline as fast-growing early successional species die and are replaced by slower growing late successional species. But will this really happen? Here we marshal empirical data and ecological theory to argue that substantial declines in net ecosystem production (NEP) owing to reduced forest growth, or net primary production (NPP), are not imminent in regrown temperate deciduous forests over the next several decades. Forest age and production data for temperate deciduous forests, synthesized from published literature, suggest slight declines in NEP and increasing or stable NPP during middle successional stages. We revisit long-held hypotheses by EP Odum and others that suggest low-severity, high-frequency disturbances occurring in the region’s aging forests will, against intuition, maintain NEP at higher-than- expected rates by increasing ecosystem complexity, sustaining or enhancing NPP to a level that largely o sets rising C losses as heterotrophic respiration increases. This theoretical model is also supported by biological evidence and observations from the Forest Accelerated Succession Experiment in Michigan, USA. Ecosystems that experience high-severity disturbances that simplify ecosystem complexity can exhibit substantial declines in production during middle stages of succession. However, observations from these ecosystems have exerted a disproportionate in uence on assumptions regarding the trajectory and magnitude of age-related declines in forest production. We conclude that there is a wide ecological space for forests to maintain NPP and, in doing so, lessens the declines in NEP, with signi cant implications for the future of the North American carbon sink. Our intellectual frameworks for understanding forest C cycle dynamics and resilience need to

  6. Grassland and cropland net ecosystem production of the U.S. Great Plains: Regression tree model development and comparative analysis

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Wylie, Bruce K.; Howard, Daniel; Dahal, Devendra; Gilmanov, Tagir; Ji, Lei; Zhang, Li; Smith, Kelcy

    2016-01-01

    This paper presents the methodology and results of two ecological-based net ecosystem production (NEP) regression tree models capable of up scaling measurements made at various flux tower sites throughout the U.S. Great Plains. Separate grassland and cropland NEP regression tree models were trained using various remote sensing data and other biogeophysical data, along with 15 flux towers contributing to the grassland model and 15 flux towers for the cropland model. The models yielded weekly mean daily grassland and cropland NEP maps of the U.S. Great Plains at 250 m resolution for 2000–2008. The grassland and cropland NEP maps were spatially summarized and statistically compared. The results of this study indicate that grassland and cropland ecosystems generally performed as weak net carbon (C) sinks, absorbing more C from the atmosphere than they released from 2000 to 2008. Grasslands demonstrated higher carbon sink potential (139 g C·m−2·year−1) than non-irrigated croplands. A closer look into the weekly time series reveals the C fluctuation through time and space for each land cover type.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilgen, A. K.; Buchmann, N.

    2009-11-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Gilgen, A. K.; Buchmann, N.

    2009-05-01

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

  13. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Li, Junran

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

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

  16. Shifts and oscillations in a forest-grassland ecosystem affected by fire

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Spiliotis, Konstantinos G.; Russo, Lucia

    2016-12-01

    The existence of periodic regimes of a forest-grassland ecosystem is here investigated as the main parameters are changed. The model consists of a couple of nonlinear ordinary differential equations which describes the evolution of the forest densities and includes the feed-back mechanisms induced by fires, coupled with the human perceptions of the forest/grassland value. The system shows a rich dynamic behavior such as: transient oscillations; the presence of dynamic regimes which are characterized by periodic oscillations in time; and shifts between steady and dynamic regimes as the parameters are perturbed. Focusing on the periodic regimes, we performed the bifurcation analysis of the system to detect the critical points which are responsible of the appearance of the periodic regimes. In particular, considering as bifurcation parameter the one that regulates the feed-back mechanism induced by fires, we found that Hopf bifurcations are responsible for appearance of periodic regimes, whereas the sudden appearance/ disappearance is related to the presence of catastrophic bifurcations (limit points of the periodic regimes).

  17. Modeling Aboveground Biomass in Hulunber Grassland Ecosystem by Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Discrete Lidar

    PubMed Central

    Wang, Dongliang; Xin, Xiaoping; Shao, Quanqin; Brolly, Matthew; Zhu, Zhiliang; Chen, Jin

    2017-01-01

    Accurate canopy structure datasets, including canopy height and fractional cover, are required to monitor aboveground biomass as well as to provide validation data for satellite remote sensing products. In this study, the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) discrete light detection and ranging (lidar) was investigated for modeling both the canopy height and fractional cover in Hulunber grassland ecosystem. The extracted mean canopy height, maximum canopy height, and fractional cover were used to estimate the aboveground biomass. The influences of flight height on lidar estimates were also analyzed. The main findings are: (1) the lidar-derived mean canopy height is the most reasonable predictor of aboveground biomass (R2 = 0.340, root-mean-square error (RMSE) = 81.89 g·m−2, and relative error of 14.1%). The improvement of multiple regressions to the R2 and RMSE values is unobvious when adding fractional cover in the regression since the correlation between mean canopy height and fractional cover is high; (2) Flight height has a pronounced effect on the derived fractional cover and details of the lidar data, but the effect is insignificant on the derived canopy height when the flight height is within the range (<100 m). These findings are helpful for modeling stable regressions to estimate grassland biomass using lidar returns. PMID:28106819

  18. Modeling Aboveground Biomass in Hulunber Grassland Ecosystem by Using Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Discrete Lidar.

    PubMed

    Wang, Dongliang; Xin, Xiaoping; Shao, Quanqin; Brolly, Matthew; Zhu, Zhiliang; Chen, Jin

    2017-01-19

    Accurate canopy structure datasets, including canopy height and fractional cover, are required to monitor aboveground biomass as well as to provide validation data for satellite remote sensing products. In this study, the ability of an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) discrete light detection and ranging (lidar) was investigated for modeling both the canopy height and fractional cover in Hulunber grassland ecosystem. The extracted mean canopy height, maximum canopy height, and fractional cover were used to estimate the aboveground biomass. The influences of flight height on lidar estimates were also analyzed. The main findings are: (1) the lidar-derived mean canopy height is the most reasonable predictor of aboveground biomass (R² = 0.340, root-mean-square error (RMSE) = 81.89 g·m(-2), and relative error of 14.1%). The improvement of multiple regressions to the R² and RMSE values is unobvious when adding fractional cover in the regression since the correlation between mean canopy height and fractional cover is high; (2) Flight height has a pronounced effect on the derived fractional cover and details of the lidar data, but the effect is insignificant on the derived canopy height when the flight height is within the range (<100 m). These findings are helpful for modeling stable regressions to estimate grassland biomass using lidar returns.

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-05-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Weiss, S.; Luth, D.

    2003-12-01

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

  3. [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

  4. Soil bacterial and fungal diversity differently correlated with soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems in response to environmental changes

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Zhang, Yong; Dong, Shikui; Gao, Qingzhu; Liu, Shiliang; Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Wang, Xuexia; Su, Xukun; Wu, Xiaoyu

    2017-03-01

    To understand effects of soil microbes on soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems under environmental changes, we explored relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil total nitrogen, organic carbon, available nitrogen and phosphorus, soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities in alpine meadow, alpine steppe and cultivated grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau under three-year warming, enhanced precipitation and yak overgrazing. Soil total nitrogen, organic carbon and NH4-N were little affected by overgrazing, warming or enhanced precipitation in three types of alpine grasslands. Soil microbial biomass carbon and phosphorus along with the sucrase and phosphatase activities were generally stable under different treatments. Soil NO3-N, available phosphorus, urease activity and microbial biomass nitrogen were increased by overgrazing in the cultivated grassland. Soil bacterial diversity was positively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity negatively with soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities. Soil bacterial diversity was negatively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity positively with soil available nutrients. Our findings indicated soil bacteria and fungi played different roles in affecting soil nutrients and microbiological activities that might provide an important implication to understand why soil biochemistry was generally stable under environmental changes in alpine grassland ecosystems.

  5. Soil bacterial and fungal diversity differently correlated with soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems in response to environmental changes

    PubMed Central

    Zhang, Yong; Dong, Shikui; Gao, Qingzhu; Liu, Shiliang; Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Wang, Xuexia; Su, Xukun; Wu, Xiaoyu

    2017-01-01

    To understand effects of soil microbes on soil biochemistry in alpine grassland ecosystems under environmental changes, we explored relationships between soil microbial diversity and soil total nitrogen, organic carbon, available nitrogen and phosphorus, soil microbial biomass and soil enzyme activities in alpine meadow, alpine steppe and cultivated grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan plateau under three-year warming, enhanced precipitation and yak overgrazing. Soil total nitrogen, organic carbon and NH4-N were little affected by overgrazing, warming or enhanced precipitation in three types of alpine grasslands. Soil microbial biomass carbon and phosphorus along with the sucrase and phosphatase activities were generally stable under different treatments. Soil NO3-N, available phosphorus, urease activity and microbial biomass nitrogen were increased by overgrazing in the cultivated grassland. Soil bacterial diversity was positively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity negatively with soil microbial biomass and enzyme activities. Soil bacterial diversity was negatively correlated with, while soil fungal diversity positively with soil available nutrients. Our findings indicated soil bacteria and fungi played different roles in affecting soil nutrients and microbiological activities that might provide an important implication to understand why soil biochemistry was generally stable under environmental changes in alpine grassland ecosystems. PMID:28262753

  6. 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.

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

    PubMed

    Saraswathi, S Gnaana; Paliwal, Kailash

    2011-05-01

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

  8. Prerequisites for application of hyperbolic relaxed eddy accumulation on managed grasslands and alternative net ecosystem exchange flux partitioning

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Riederer, M.; Hübner, J.; Ruppert, J.; Brand, W. A.; Foken, T.

    2014-12-01

    Relaxed eddy accumulation is still applied in ecosystem sciences for measuring trace gas fluxes. On managed grasslands, the length of time between management events and the application of relaxed eddy accumulation has an essential influence on the determination of the proportionality factor b and thus on the resulting flux. In this study this effect is discussed for the first time. Also, scalar similarity between proxy scalars and scalars of interest is affected until the ecosystem has completely recovered. Against this background, CO2 fluxes were continuously measured and 13CO2 isofluxes were determined with a high measurement precision on two representative days in summer 2010. Moreover, a common method for the partitioning of the net ecosystem exchange into assimilation and respiration based on temperature and light response was compared with an isotopic approach directly based on the isotope discrimination of the biosphere. This approach worked well on the grassland site and could enhance flux partitioning results by better reproducing the environmental conditions.

  9. 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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. The contribution of trees to ecosystem methane emissions in a temperate forested wetland.

    PubMed

    Pangala, Sunitha R; Hornibrook, Edward R C; Gowing, David J; Gauci, Vincent

    2015-02-09

    Wetland-adapted trees are known to transport soil-produced methane (CH4 ), an important greenhouse gas to the atmosphere, yet seasonal variations and controls on the magnitude of tree-mediated CH4 emissions remain unknown for mature forests. We examined the spatial and temporal variability in stem CH4 emissions in situ and their controls in two wetland-adapted tree species (Alnus glutinosa and Betula pubescens) located in a temperate forested wetland. Soil and herbaceous plant-mediated CH4 emissions from hollows and hummocks also were measured, thus enabling an estimate of contributions from each pathway to total ecosystem flux. Stem CH4 emissions varied significantly between the two tree species, with Alnus glutinosa displaying minimal seasonal variations, while substantial seasonal variations were observed in Betula pubescens. Trees from each species emitted similar quantities of CH4 from their stems regardless of whether they were situated in hollows or hummocks. Soil temperature and pore-water CH4 concentrations best explained annual variability in stem emissions, while wood-specific density and pore-water CH4 concentrations best accounted for between-species variations in stem CH4 emission. Our study demonstrates that tree-mediated CH4 emissions contribute up to 27% of seasonal ecosystem CH4 flux in temperate forested wetland, with the largest relative contributions occurring in spring and winter. Tree-mediated CH4 emissions currently are not included in trace gas budgets of forested wetland. Further work is required to quantify and integrate this transport pathway into CH4 inventories and process-based models.

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. Morphological, physiological and anatomical traits of plant functional types in temperate grasslands along a large-scale aridity gradient in northeastern China

    PubMed Central

    Guo, Chengyuan; Ma, Linna; Yuan, Shan; Wang, Renzhong

    2017-01-01

    At the species level, plants can respond to climate changes by changing their leaf traits; however, there is scant information regarding the responses of morphological, physiological and anatomical traits of plant functional types (PFTs) to aridity. Herein, the leaf traits of five PFTs representing 17 plant species in temperate grasslands were examined along a large-scale aridity gradient in northeastern China. The results show that leaf thickness in shrubs, perennial grasses and forbs increased with heightened aridity. Trees increased soluble sugar content, but shrubs, perennials and annual grasses enhanced proline accumulation due to increasing aridity. Moreover, vessel diameter and stomatal index in shrubs and perennial grasses decreased with increasing aridity, but stomatal density and vascular diameter of five PFTs were not correlated with water availability. In conclusion, divergences in adaptive strategies to aridity among these PFTs in temperate grasslands were likely caused by differences in their utilization of water resources, which have different temporal and spatial distribution patterns. Leaf traits of shrubs and perennial grasses had the largest responses to variability of aridity through regulation of morphological, physiological and anatomical traits, which was followed by perennial forbs. Trees and annual grasses endured aridity only by adjusting leaf physiological processes. PMID:28106080

  3. 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

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

    PubMed Central

    Li, Dejun; Lanigan, Gary; Humphreys, James

    2011-01-01

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

  5. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-04-01

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

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

    PubMed Central

    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

    2014-01-01

    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 (r2 = 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 (ΔNPP/ΔN) 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

  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. 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.

  12. [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.

  13. Integrated mercury monitoring program for temperate estuarine and marine ecosystems on the North American Atlantic coast.

    PubMed

    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

    2008-12-01

    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 U.S. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2015-04-01

    The 14CO2 composition of plant and soil respiration can be used to determine the residence time of photosynthetically fixed carbon before it is released back to the atmosphere. To estimate the residence time of actively cycled carbon in a temperate forest, we employed two approaches for estimating the 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of grazing on spatiotemporal variations in community structure and ecosystem function on the grasslands of Inner Mongolia, China.

    PubMed

    Su, Rina; Cheng, Junhui; Chen, Dima; Bai, Yongfei; Jin, Hua; Chao, Lumengqiqige; Wang, Zhijun; Li, Junqing

    2017-12-01

    Grasslands worldwide are suffering from overgrazing, which greatly alters plant community structure and ecosystem functioning. However, the general effects of grazing on community structure and ecosystem function at spatial and temporal scales has rarely been examined synchronously in the same grassland. Here, during 2011-2013, we investigated community structure (cover, height, and species richness) and aboveground biomass (AGB) using 250 paired field sites (grazed vs. fenced) across three vegetation types (meadow, typical, and desert steppes) on the Inner Mongolian Plateau. Grazing, vegetation type, and year all had significant effects on cover, height, species richness, and AGB, although the primary factor influencing variations in these variables was vegetation type. Spatially, grazing significantly reduced the measured variables in meadow and typical steppes, whereas no changes were observed in desert steppe. Temporally, both linear and quadratic relationships were detected between growing season precipitation and cover, height, richness, or AGB, although specific relationships varied among observation years and grazing treatments. In each vegetation type, the observed community properties were significantly correlated with each other, and the shape of the relationship was unaffected by grazing treatment. These findings indicate that vegetation type is the most important factor to be considered in grazing management for this semi-arid grassland.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

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

    PubMed

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

    2016-01-21

    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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. Invasion by the Alien Tree Prunus serotina Alters Ecosystem Functions in a Temperate Deciduous Forest.

    PubMed

    Aerts, Raf; Ewald, Michael; Nicolas, Manuel; Piat, Jérôme; Skowronek, Sandra; Lenoir, Jonathan; Hattab, Tarek; Garzón-López, Carol X; Feilhauer, Hannes; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Rocchini, Duccio; Decocq, Guillaume; Somers, Ben; Van De Kerchove, Ruben; Denef, Karolien; Honnay, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Alien invasive species can affect large areas, often with wide-ranging impacts on ecosystem structure, function, and services. Prunus serotina is a widespread invader of European temperate forests, where it tends to form homogeneous stands and limits recruitment of indigenous trees. We hypotesized that invasion by P. serotina would be reflected in the nutrient contents of the native species' leaves and in the respiration of invaded plots as efficient resource uptake and changes in nutrient cycling by P. serotina probably underly its aggressive invasiveness. We combined data from 48 field plots in the forest of Compiègne, France, and data from an experiment using 96 microcosms derived from those field plots. We used general linear models to separate effects of invasion by P. serotina on heterotrophic soil and litter respiration rates and on canopy foliar nutrient content from effects of soil chemical properties, litter quantity, litter species composition, and tree species composition. In invaded stands, average respiration rates were 5.6% higher for soil (without litter) and 32% higher for soil and litter combined. Compared to indigenous tree species, P. serotina exhibited higher foliar N (+24.0%), foliar P (+50.7%), and lower foliar C:N (-22.4%) and N:P (-10.1%) ratios. P. serotina affected foliar nutrient contents of co-occuring indigenous tree species leading to decreased foliar N (-8.7 %) and increased C:N ratio (+9.5%) in Fagus sylvatica, decreased foliar N:P ratio in Carpinus betulus (-13.5%) and F. sylvatica (-11.8%), and increased foliar P in Pinus sylvestris (+12.3%) in invaded vs. uninvaded stands. Our results suggest that P. serotina is changing nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycles to its own advantage, hereby increasing carbon turnover via labile litter, affecting the relative nutrient contents in the overstory leaves, and potentially altering the photosynthetic capacity of the long-lived indigenous broadleaved species. Uncontrolled invasion of

  17. Invasion by the Alien Tree Prunus serotina Alters Ecosystem Functions in a Temperate Deciduous Forest

    PubMed Central

    Aerts, Raf; Ewald, Michael; Nicolas, Manuel; Piat, Jérôme; Skowronek, Sandra; Lenoir, Jonathan; Hattab, Tarek; Garzón-López, Carol X.; Feilhauer, Hannes; Schmidtlein, Sebastian; Rocchini, Duccio; Decocq, Guillaume; Somers, Ben; Van De Kerchove, Ruben; Denef, Karolien; Honnay, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    Alien invasive species can affect large areas, often with wide-ranging impacts on ecosystem structure, function, and services. Prunus serotina is a widespread invader of European temperate forests, where it tends to form homogeneous stands and limits recruitment of indigenous trees. We hypotesized that invasion by P. serotina would be reflected in the nutrient contents of the native species' leaves and in the respiration of invaded plots as efficient resource uptake and changes in nutrient cycling by P. serotina probably underly its aggressive invasiveness. We combined data from 48 field plots in the forest of Compiègne, France, and data from an experiment using 96 microcosms derived from those field plots. We used general linear models to separate effects of invasion by P. serotina on heterotrophic soil and litter respiration rates and on canopy foliar nutrient content from effects of soil chemical properties, litter quantity, litter species composition, and tree species composition. In invaded stands, average respiration rates were 5.6% higher for soil (without litter) and 32% higher for soil and litter combined. Compared to indigenous tree species, P. serotina exhibited higher foliar N (+24.0%), foliar P (+50.7%), and lower foliar C:N (−22.4%) and N:P (−10.1%) ratios. P. serotina affected foliar nutrient contents of co-occuring indigenous tree species leading to decreased foliar N (−8.7 %) and increased C:N ratio (+9.5%) in Fagus sylvatica, decreased foliar N:P ratio in Carpinus betulus (−13.5%) and F. sylvatica (−11.8%), and increased foliar P in Pinus sylvestris (+12.3%) in invaded vs. uninvaded stands. Our results suggest that P. serotina is changing nitrogen, phosphorus, and carbon cycles to its own advantage, hereby increasing carbon turnover via labile litter, affecting the relative nutrient contents in the overstory leaves, and potentially altering the photosynthetic capacity of the long-lived indigenous broadleaved species. Uncontrolled

  18. Rapid top-down regulation of plant C:N:P stoichiometry by grasshoppers in an Inner Mongolia grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Zhang, Guangming; Han, Xingguo; Elser, James J

    2011-05-01

    Understanding how food web interactions alter the processing of limiting nutrient elements is an important goal of ecosystem ecology. An experiment manipulating densities of the grasshopper Oedaleus asiaticus was performed to assess top-down effects of grasshoppers on C:N:P stoichiometry of plants and soil in a grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia (China). With increased grasshopper feeding, plant biomass declined fourfold, litter abundance increased 30%, and the plant community became dominated by non-host plant taxa. Plant stoichiometric response depended on whether or not the plant was a grasshopper host food species: C:N and C:P ratios increased with increasing grasshopper density (GD) for host plants but decreased in non-host plants. These data suggest either a direct transfer of grasshopper-recycled nutrients from host to non-host plants or a release of non-host plants from nutrient competition with heavily grazed host plants. Litterfall C:N and C:P decreased across moderate levels of grasshopper density but no effects on C:N:P stoichiometry in the surface soil were observed, possibly due to the short experimental period. Our observations of divergent C:N:P stoichiometric response among plant species highlight the important role of grasshopper herbivory in regulating plant community structure and nutrient cycling in grassland ecosystems.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Whelan, M.; Rhew, R. C.

    2013-12-01

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

  20. 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

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

    DOE PAGES

    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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. The VATO project: Development and validation of a dynamic transfer model of tritium in grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Le Dizès, S; Aulagnier, C; Maro, D; Rozet, M; Vermorel, F; Hébert, D; Voiseux, C; Solier, L; Godinot, C; Fievet, B; Laguionie, P; Connan, O; Cazimajou, O; Morillon, M

    2017-02-12

    In this paper, a dynamic compartment model with a high temporal resolution has been investigated to describe tritium transfer in grassland ecosystems exposed to atmospheric (3)H releases from nuclear facilities under normal operating or accidental conditions. TOCATTA-χ model belongs to the larger framework of the SYMBIOSE modelling and simulation platform that aims to assess the fate and transport of a wide range of radionuclides in various environmental systems. In this context, the conceptual and mathematical models of TOCATTA-χ have been designed to be relatively simple, minimizing the number of compartments and input parameters required. In the same time, the model achieves a good compromise between easy-to-use (as it is to be used in an operational mode), explicative power and predictive accuracy in various experimental conditions. In the framework of the VATO project, the model has been tested against two-year-long in situ measurements of (3)H activity concentration monitored by IRSN in air, groundwater and grass, together with meteorological parameters, on a grass field plot located 2 km downwind of the AREVA NC La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant, as was done in the past for the evaluation of transfer of (14)C in grass. By considering fast exchanges at the vegetation-air canopy interface, the model correctly reproduces the observed variability in TFWT activity concentration in grass, which evolves in accordance with spikes in atmospheric HTO activity concentration over the previous 24 h. The average OBT activity concentration in grass is also correctly reproduced. However, the model has to be improved in order to reproduce punctual high concentration of OBT activity, as observed in December 2013. The introduction of another compartment with a fast kinetic (like TFWT) - although outside the model scope - improves the predictions by increasing the correlation coefficient from 0.29 up to 0.56 when it includes this particular point. Further experimental

  5. 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.

  6. Forest ecosystems of temperate climatic regions: from ancient use to climate change.

    PubMed

    Gilliam, Frank S

    2016-12-01

    871 I. 871 II. 874 III. 875 IV. 878 V. 882 884 References 884 SUMMARY: Humans have long utilized resources from all forest biomes, but the most indelible anthropogenic signature has been the expanse of human populations in temperate forests. The purpose of this review is to bring into focus the diverse forests of the temperate region of the biosphere, including those of hardwood, conifer and mixed dominance, with a particular emphasis on crucial challenges for the future of these forested areas. Implicit in the term 'temperate' is that the predominant climate of these forest regions has distinct cyclic, seasonal changes involving periods of growth and dormancy. The specific temporal patterns of seasonal change, however, display an impressive variability among temperate forest regions. In addition to the more apparent current anthropogenic disturbances of temperate forests, such as forest management and conversion to agriculture, human alteration of temperate forests is actually an ancient phenomenon, going as far back as 7000 yr before present (bp). As deep-seated as these past legacies are for temperate forests, all current and future perturbations, including timber harvesting, excess nitrogen deposition, altered species' phenologies, and increasing frequency of drought and fire, must be viewed through the lens of climate change.

  7. Monitoring of carbon dioxide fluxes in a subalpine grassland ecosystem of the Italian Alps using a multispectral sensor

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakowska, K.; Vescovo, L.; Marcolla, B.; Juszczak, R.; Olejnik, J.; Gianelle, D.

    2014-03-01

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

  8. Ecological Controls on Net Ecosystem Productivity of a Seasonally Dry Annual Grassland under Current and Future Climates: Modelling with Ecosys

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Grant, R.

    2012-04-01

    Net ecosystem productivity (NEP) of seasonally dry grasslands in Mediterranean climate zones is determined by the duration and intensity of rainy vs. dry seasons. Precipitation in these zones is expected to decline with climate change during the next century, possibly reducing NEP. Ecosystem models used to study climate change impacts on grasslands in these zones need first to simulate effects of soil wetting and drying on the duration and intensity of net C uptake and emission during rainy and dry seasons under current climate. Continuous eddy covariance (EC) measurements of CO2 and energy exchange provide well constrained tests of such models. In this study, hourly CO2 and energy exchange from the ecosystem model ecosys were tested against EC measurements recorded over an annual grassland at Vaira Ranch, CA in a Mediterranean climate zone during eight years (2001 - 2008) with variable rainy seasons. Variation in measured CO2 and latent heat fluxes was sufficiently well simulated during each year of the study (0.7 < R2 < 0.9) that most of the variation unexplained by the model could be attributed to uncertainty in the measurements. Interannual variation in NEP from the model was also correlated with that from EC measurements (R2 = 0.75). Annual NEP from both the model and EC were correlated with the duration of net C uptake, but not with the amount of precipitation, during the rainy seasons. Average annual NEP of the grassland modelled from 2001 to 2008 was 29 g C m-2 y-1 with an interannual variation of ± 110 g C m-2 y-1 caused by that in the duration of net C uptake. During climate change (SRES A1fi and B1 under HadCM3), changes in modelled NEP were determined by changes in duration and intensity of net C uptake in rainy seasons vs. net C emission in dry seasons. In years with briefer rainy seasons, modelled NEP rose because rates of net C uptake increased with higher temperature and CO2 concentration, while the duration of net C uptake remained limited by that

  9. 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

  10. Statistic-mathematical interpretation of some assessment parameters of the grassland ecosystem according to soil characteristics

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Samfira, Ionel; Boldea, Marius; Popescu, Cosmin

    2012-09-01

    Significant parameters of permanent grasslands are represented by the pastoral value and Shannon and Simpson biodiversity indices. The dynamics of these parameters has been studied in several plant associations in Banat Plain, Romania. From the point of view of their typology, these permanent grasslands belong to the steppe area, series Festuca pseudovina, type Festuca pseudovina-Achilea millefolium, subtype Lolium perenne. The methods used for the purpose of this research included plant cover analysis (double meter method, calculation of Shannon and Simpson indices), and statistical methods of regression and correlation. The results show that, in the permanent grasslands in the plain region, when the pastoral value is average to low, the level of interspecific biodiversity is on the increase.

  11. 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

  12. Ecosystem-atmosphere exchange of CO2 in a temperate herbaceous peatland in the Sanjiang Plain of northeast China

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Zhu, Xiaoyan; Song, Changchun; Swarzenski, Christopher M.; Guo, Yuedong; Zhang, Xinhow; Wang, Jiaoyue

    2015-01-01

    Northern peatlands contain a considerable share of the terrestrial carbon pool, which will be affected by future climatic variability. Using the static chamber technique, we investigated ecosystem respiration and soil respiration over two growing seasons (2012 and 2013) in a Carex lasiocarpa-dominated peatland in the Sanjiang Plain in China. We synchronously monitored the environmental factors controlling CO2 fluxes. Ecosystem respiration during these two growing seasons ranged from 33.3 to 506.7 mg CO2–C m−2 h−1. Through step-wise regression, variations in soil temperature at 10 cm depth alone explained 73.7% of the observed variance in log10(ER). The mean Q10 values ranged from 2.1 to 2.9 depending on the choice of depth where soil temperature was measured. The Q10 value at the 10 cm depth (2.9) appears to be a good representation for herbaceous peatland in the Sanjiang Plain when applying field-estimation based Q10values to current terrestrial ecosystem models due to the most optimized regression coefficient (63.2%). Soil respiration amounted to 57% of ecosystem respiration and played a major role in peatland carbon balance in our study. Emphasis on ecosystem respiration from temperate peatlands in the Sanjiang Plain will improve our basic understanding of carbon exchange between peatland ecosystem and the atmosphere.

  13. [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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. Gross primary production variability associated with meteorology, physiology, leaf area, and water supply in contrasting woodland and grassland semiarid riparian ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Jenerette, G. D.; Scott, R. L.; Barron-Gafford, G. A.; Huxman, T. E.

    2009-12-01

    Understanding ecosystem-atmosphere carbon exchanges in dryland environments has been more challenging than in mesic environments, likely due to more pronounced nonlinear responses of ecosystem processes to environmental variation. To better understand diurnal to interannual variation in gross primary productivity (GPP) variability, we coupled continuous eddy-covariance derived whole ecosystem gas exchange measurements with an ecophysiologic model based on fundamental principles of diffusion, mass balance, reaction kinetics, and biochemical regulation of photosynthesis. We evaluated the coupled data-model system to describe and understand the dynamics of 3 years of growing season GPP from a riparian grassland and woodland in southern Arizona. The data-model fusion procedure skillfully reproduced the majority of daily variation GPP throughout three growing seasons. While meteorology was similar between sites, the woodland site had consistently higher GPP rates and lower variability at daily and interannual timescales relative to the grassland site. We examined the causes of this variation using a new state factor model analysis that partitioned GPP variation into four factors: meteorology, physiology, leaf area, and water supply. The largest proportion of GPP variation was associated with physiological differences. The woodland showed a greater sensitivity than the grassland to water supply, while the grassland showed a greater sensitivity to leaf area. These differences are consistent with hypotheses of woody species using resistance mechanisms, stomatal regulation, and grassland species using resilience mechanisms, leaf area regulation, in avoiding water stress and have implications for future GPP sensitivity to climate variability following wood-grass transitions.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Substantial variation in leaf senescence times among 1360 temperate woody plant species: implications for phenology and ecosystem processes

    PubMed Central

    Panchen, Zoe A.; Primack, Richard B.; Gallinat, Amanda S.; Nordt, Birgit; Stevens, Albert-Dieter; Du, Yanjun; Fahey, Robert

    2015-01-01

    Background and Aims Autumn leaf senescence marks the end of the growing season in temperate ecosystems. Its timing influences a number of ecosystem processes, including carbon, water and nutrient cycling. Climate change is altering leaf senescence phenology and, as those changes continue, it will affect individual woody plants, species and ecosystems. In contrast to spring leaf out times, however, leaf senescence times remain relatively understudied. Variation in the phenology of leaf senescence among species and locations is still poorly understood. Methods Leaf senescence phenology of 1360 deciduous plant species at six temperate botanical gardens in Asia, North America and Europe was recorded in 2012 and 2013. This large data set was used to explore ecological and phylogenetic factors associated with variation in leaf senescence. Key Results Leaf senescence dates among species varied by 3 months on average across the six locations. Plant species tended to undergo leaf senescence in the same order in the autumns of both years at each location, but the order of senescence was only weakly correlated across sites. Leaf senescence times were not related to spring leaf out times, were not evolutionarily conserved and were only minimally influenced by growth habit, wood anatomy and percentage colour change or leaf drop. These weak patterns of leaf senescence timing contrast with much stronger leaf out patterns from a previous study. Conclusions The results suggest that, in contrast to the broader temperature effects that determine leaf out times, leaf senescence times are probably determined by a larger or different suite of local environmental effects, including temperature, soil moisture, frost and wind. Determining the importance of these factors for a wide range of species represents the next challenge for understanding how climate change is affecting the end of the growing season and associated ecosystem processes. PMID:25808654

  4. Trace metal mobility and microbial community structure in tropical soils: examples from adjacent forest and grassland ecosystems

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Wilson, A. D.; Roberts, J. A.; MacPherson, G. L.; Mauck, B. S.; Stallard, R. F.

    2004-12-01

    Many factors determine the quality and sustainability of a soil environment and changes in land use can impact significantly soil geochemistry and the associated soil microbial communities. Native tropical forests and human-constructed grasslands on Barro Colorado Island provide an excellent setting for comparing changes in soil ecosystems in undisturbed and altered landscapes. The goals of this study were to examine biological, chemical, and mineralogical changes in soil properties as a function of land use changes during the wet and dry seasons. Soil pits were excavated at two study sites, a tropical forest and an adjacent plot that has been converted to grassland, during March 2002 and August 2003. The 1 meter deep pits were sampled at 5 cm intervals and characterized for soil organic matter content, soil moisture, community structure and total lipid biomass of the soil microbial community, mineralogy, and trace metal distribution using a sequential extraction method. Results demonstrate that forested soils exhibit higher organic matter content than grassland soils regardless of soil moisture content. Total lipid biomass of the active soil microbial population decreases with depth in both soils, but is elevated in the forested soil, likely correlating with the organic matter content in this system. Diversity of the soil microbial community, determined by PLFA analysis, decreases sharply at the base of the root zone and general trends in community structure are similar in both soils. XRD analysis of the soils reveal that the weathering profile in the forest has extended to a greater depth, but these differences in the mineralogy profile do not exert significant control on trace element mobility. Vanadium, copper, zinc, and aluminum show strong affinities for the organically bound fraction in both soils.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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 (...

  9. 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...

  10. Ecosystem-scale measurements of nitrous oxide fluxes for an intensely grazed, fertilized grassland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Scanlon, Todd M.; Kiely, Ger

    2003-08-01

    An eddy covariance (EC) system with a tunable diode laser trace gas analyzer was used in a field setting in Ireland to measure N2O emissions on a continuous basis over an eight-month period, spanning a range of seasonal conditions. Intensely-grazed grassland fields within the footprint area of the EC sensors were subject to chemical fertilizer and slurry applications in order to boost grassland yield, and the amounts of these applications were documented by the farmers on a monthly basis. Three major emission events, covering a timeframe of 16 days (6.6% of the measurement period) contributed to over half (51.1%) of the observed cumulative flux. Two of these events occurred during the summer, while the third occurred during the winter, with vastly different soil moisture and soil temperature conditions associated with these times of the year. The type of N applications (fertilizer vs. slurry), soil moisture and temperature status had implications for controlling the short-term rates of N2O emissions. Cumulative N2O emissions, however, were driven by fertilizer and slurry N applications, as the emission factor of approximately 3.0% displayed consistency throughout the eight-month period.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    1993-06-01

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

  12. Land management influences trade-offs and the total supply of ecosystem services in alpine grassland in Tibet, China.

    PubMed

    Wu, Junxi; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Chengqun; Luo, Liming; Pan, Ying

    2017-05-15

    Developing sustainable use patterns for alpine grassland in Tibet is the primary challenge related to conserving these vulnerable ecosystems of the 'world's third pole' and guaranteeing the well-being of local inhabitants. This challenge requires researchers to think beyond the methods of most current studies that are limited to a single aspect of conservation or productivity, and focus on balancing various needs. An analysis of trade-offs involving ecosystem services provides a framework that can be used to quantify the type of balancing needed. In this study, we measured variations in four types of ecosystem services under five types of grassland management including grazing exclusion, sowing, combined plowing and grazing exclusion, combined plowing and sowing, and natural grassland, from 2013 to 2015. In addition, we accessed the existence and changing patterns of ecosystem service trade-offs using Spearman coefficients and a trade-off index. The results revealed the existence of trade-offs among provisioning and regulating services. Plowing and sowing could convert the trade-off relationships into synergies immediately. Grazing exclusion reduced the level of trade-offs gradually over time. Thus, the combined plowing and sowing treatment promoted the total supply of multiple ecosystem services when compared with natural grassland. We argue that the variations in dry matter allocation to above- and belowground serve as one cause of the variation in trade-off relationships. Another cause for variation in trade-offs is the varied species competition between selection effects and niche complementarity. Our study provides empirical evidence that the effects of trade-offs among ecosystem services could be reduced and even converted into synergies by optimizing management techniques.

  13. 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

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Ten-year variability in ecosystem water use efficiency in an oak-dominated temperate forest under a warming climate

    SciTech Connect

    Xie, Jing; Chen, Jiquan; Sun, Ge; Zha, Tianshan; Yang, Bai; Chu, Housen; Liu, Junguo; Wan, Shiqiang; Zhou, Caixian; Ma, Hong; Bourque, Charles; Shao, Changliang; John, Ranjeet; Ouyang, Zutao

    2016-01-07

    The impacts of extreme weather events on water-carbon (C) coupling and ecosystem-scale water use efficiency (WUE) over a long term are poorly understood. We analyzed the changes in ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE) from 10 years of eddy-covariance measurements (2004-2013) over an oak-dominated temperate forest in Ohio, USA. The aim was to investigate the long-term response of ecosystem WUE to measured changes in site-biophysical conditions and ecosystem attributes. The oak forest produced new plant biomass of 2.5 +/- 0.2 gC kg(-1) of water loss annually. Monthly evapotranspiration (ET) and gross ecosystem production (GEP) were tightly coupled over the 10-year study period (R-2=0.94). Daily WUE had a linear relationship with air temperature (T-a) in low-temperature months and a unimodal relationship with T-a in high-temperature months during the growing season. On average, daily WUE ceased to increase when T-a exceeded 22 degrees C in warm months for both wet and dry years. Monthly WUE had a strong positive linear relationship with leaf area index (LAI), net radiation (R-n), and T-a and weak logarithmic relationship with water vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and precipitation (P) on a growing-season basis. When exploring the regulatory mechanisms on WUE within each season, spring LAI and P, summer R-n and T-a, and autumnal VPD and R-n were found to be the main explanatory variables for seasonal variation in WUE. The model developed in this study was able to capture 78% of growing-season variation in WUE on a monthly basis. The negative correlation between WUE and A in spring was mainly due to the high precipitation amounts in spring, decreasing GEP and WUE when LAI was still small, adding ET being observed to increase with high levels of evaporation as a result of high SWC in spring. Summer WUE had a significant decreasing trend across the 10 years mainly due to the combined effect of seasonal drought and increasing potential and available energy increasing ET, but

  10. Ten-year variability in ecosystem water use efficiency in an oak-dominated temperate forest under a warming climate

    DOE PAGES

    Xie, Jing; Chen, Jiquan; Sun, Ge; ...

    2016-01-07

    The impacts of extreme weather events on water-carbon (C) coupling and ecosystem-scale water use efficiency (WUE) over a long term are poorly understood. We analyzed the changes in ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE) from 10 years of eddy-covariance measurements (2004-2013) over an oak-dominated temperate forest in Ohio, USA. The aim was to investigate the long-term response of ecosystem WUE to measured changes in site-biophysical conditions and ecosystem attributes. The oak forest produced new plant biomass of 2.5 +/- 0.2 gC kg(-1) of water loss annually. Monthly evapotranspiration (ET) and gross ecosystem production (GEP) were tightly coupled over the 10-year studymore » period (R-2=0.94). Daily WUE had a linear relationship with air temperature (T-a) in low-temperature months and a unimodal relationship with T-a in high-temperature months during the growing season. On average, daily WUE ceased to increase when T-a exceeded 22 degrees C in warm months for both wet and dry years. Monthly WUE had a strong positive linear relationship with leaf area index (LAI), net radiation (R-n), and T-a and weak logarithmic relationship with water vapor pressure deficit (VPD) and precipitation (P) on a growing-season basis. When exploring the regulatory mechanisms on WUE within each season, spring LAI and P, summer R-n and T-a, and autumnal VPD and R-n were found to be the main explanatory variables for seasonal variation in WUE. The model developed in this study was able to capture 78% of growing-season variation in WUE on a monthly basis. The negative correlation between WUE and A in spring was mainly due to the high precipitation amounts in spring, decreasing GEP and WUE when LAI was still small, adding ET being observed to increase with high levels of evaporation as a result of high SWC in spring. Summer WUE had a significant decreasing trend across the 10 years mainly due to the combined effect of seasonal drought and increasing potential and available energy increasing

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  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. Effects of Increased Nitrogen and Phosphorus Deposition on Offspring Performance of Two Dominant Species in a Temperate Steppe Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Li, Yang; Hou, Longyu; Song, Bing; Yang, Liuyi; Li, Linghao

    2017-01-01

    Plants adapt to environment by plastic growth which will be transferred to offspring through transgenerational effect. Performance and response of maternal and offspring plant will affect population dynamics and community composition. However, it is scarcely understood how maternal nutrient environment affect the performance and response of offspring through transgenerational effect. Here we studied the impacts of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) enrichment on maternal and offspring performances and responses of Stipa krylovii and Artemisia frigida. Seeds were collected from maternal plant experiencing N or/and P addition for three years in Inner Mongolia grassland. We found that maternal nutrient addition significantly affected seed traits, offspring biomass, and offspring responses of A. frigida. Maternal N addition significantly affected maternal reproductive biomass, seed traits of S. kryloii. Maternal P addition of S. kryloii significantly affected seed qualities, seedling biomass and seeding response to N addition. Our results suggested that transgenerational effects of N and P enrichment to the two dominant plant species existed in this ecosystem. Furthermore, the two species exhibited different adaptive strategies to future nutrient addition. These findings indicate that maternal environmental effect should be considered into the model projection of vegetation dynamics in response to ongoing environmental change. PMID:28102339

  16. 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.

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

    SciTech Connect

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

    2016-09-06

    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. In this study, 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. Finally, our data suggest that microbial biofilms predictably develop both functionally and structurally indicating distinct successional trajectories of bacterial communities in this ecosystem.

  18. 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.

  19. Bacterial Diversity Patterns Differ in Soils Developing in Sub-tropical and Cool-Temperate Ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Shanmugam, Shankar G; Magbanua, Zenaida V; Williams, Mark A; Jangid, Kamlesh; Whitman, William B; Peterson, Daniel G; Kingery, William L

    2017-04-01

    Microbial diversity patterns have been surveyed in many different soils and ecosystems, but we are unaware of studies comparing similar soils developing from similar parent materials in contrasting climates. In 2008, developmental chronosequences with ages ranging from 105 to 500,000 years across Georgia (GA) and Michigan (MI) were studied to investigate how bacterial community composition and diversity change as a result of local environmental gradients that develop during pedogenesis. Geographic factors were studied between and within locations spanning two scales: (1) regionally between 0.1 and 50 and (2) ∼1700 km apart. The diversity was surveyed using high-throughput pyrosequencing, and variance partitioning was used to describe the effects of spatial, environmental, and spatio-environmental factors on bacterial community composition. At the local scale, variation in bacterial communities was most closely related to environmental factors (rM = 0.59, p = 0.0001). There were differences in bacterial communities between the two locations, indicating spatial biogeography. Estimates of bacterial diversity were much greater in MI (numbers of OTU, ACE, and Chao1) and remained 2-3× greater in MI than GA after removing the effect of soil properties. The large differences in diversity between geographically separated bacterial communities in different climates need further investigation. It is not known if the rare members of the community, which contributed to greater bacterial diversity in GA relative to MI, play an important role in ecosystem function but has been hypothesized to play a role in ecosystem resiliency, resistance, and stability. Further research on the link between bacterial diversity and spatial variability related to climate needs further investigation.

  20. The role of grasslands in food security and climate change

    PubMed Central

    O'Mara, F. P.

    2012-01-01

    Background Grasslands are a major part of the global ecosystem, covering 37 % of the earth's terrestrial area. For a variety of reasons, mostly related to overgrazing and the resulting problems of soil erosion and weed encroachment, many of the world's natural grasslands are in poor condition and showing signs of degradation. This review examines their contribution to global food supply and to combating climate change. Scope Grasslands make a significant contribution to food security through providing part of the feed requirements of ruminants used for meat and milk production. Globally, this is more important in food energy terms than pig meat and poultry meat. Grasslands are considered to have the potential to play a key role in greenhouse gas mitigation, particularly in terms of global carbon storage and further carbon sequestration. It is estimated that grazing land management and pasture improvement (e.g. through managing grazing intensity, improved productivity, etc) have a global technical mitigation potential of almost 1·5 Gt CO2 equivalent in 2030, with additional mitigation possible from restoration of degraded lands. Milk and meat production from grassland systems in temperate regions has similar emissions of carbon dioxide per kilogram of product as mixed farming systems in temperate regions, and, if carbon sinks in grasslands are taken into account, grassland-based production systems can be as efficient as high-input systems from a greenhouse gas perspective. Conclusions Grasslands are important for global food supply, contributing to ruminant milk and meat production. Extra food will need to come from the world's existing agricultural land base (including grasslands) as the total area of agricultural land has remained static since 1991. Ruminants are efficient converters of grass into humanly edible energy and protein and grassland-based food production can produce food with a comparable carbon footprint as mixed systems. Grasslands are a very

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

    DOE PAGES

    Veach, Allison M.; Stegen, James C.; Brown, Shawn P.; ...

    2016-09-06

    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. In this study, 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 didmore » 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. Finally, our data suggest that microbial biofilms predictably develop both functionally and structurally indicating distinct successional trajectories of bacterial communities in this ecosystem.« less

  2. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions in grassland ecosystems of the Central Lithuania: multi-criteria evaluation on a basis of the ARAS method.

    PubMed

    Balezentiene, Ligita; Kusta, Albinas

    2012-01-01

    N(2)O, CH(4), and CO(2) 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 (N(180)P(120)K(150)) and seminatural grassland fertilizing rates N(180)P(120)K(150) and N(60)P(40)K(50) 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. The relation between productivity and species diversity in temperate-Arctic marine ecosystems.

    PubMed

    Witman, Jon D; Cusson, Mathieu; Archambault, Philippe; Pershing, Andrew J; Mieszkowska, Nova

    2008-11-01

    Energy variables, such as evapotranspiration, temperature, and productivity explain significant variation in the diversity of many groups of terrestrial plants and animals at local to global scales. Although the ocean represents the largest continuous habitat on earth with a vast spectrum of primary productivity and species richness, little is known about how productivity influences species diversity in marine systems. To search for general relationships between productivity and species richness in the ocean, we analyzed data from three different benthic marine ecosystems (epifaunal communities on subtidal rock walls, on navigation buoys in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, and Canadian Arctic macrobenthos) across local to continental spatial scales (<20 to >1000 km) using a standardized proxy for productivity, satellite-derived chlorophyll a. Theoretically, the form of the function between productivity and species richness is either monotonically increasing or decreasing, or curvilinear (hump- or U-shaped). We found three negative linear and three hump-shaped relationships between chlorophyll a and species richness out of 10 independent comparisons. Scale dependence was suggested by more prevalent diversity-productivity relationships at smaller (local, landscape) than larger (regional, continental) spatial scales. Differences in the form of the functions were more closely allied with community type than with scale, as negative linear functions were restricted to sessile epifauna while hump-shaped functions occurred in Arctic macrobenthos (mixed epifauna, infauna). In two of the data sets, (St. Lawrence epifauna and Arctic macrobenthos) significant effects of chlorophyll a co-varied with the effects of salinity, suggesting that environmental stress as well as productivity influences diversity in these marine systems. The co-varying effect of salinity may commonly arise in broad-scale studies of productivity and diversity in marine ecosystems when attempting to sample the

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. Interactive effects of elevated CO2, warming, and drought on photosynthesis of Deschampsia flexuosa in a temperate heath ecosystem.

    PubMed

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

    2011-08-01

    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 CO(2) [CO2; free air CO(2) enrichment (FACE)], drought (D; water-excluding curtains), and night-time warming (T; infrared-reflective curtains) in a temperate heath. A/C(i) curves were measured, allowing analysis of light-saturated net photosynthesis (P(n)), light- and CO(2)-saturated net photosynthesis (P(max)), stomatal conductance (g(s)), the maximal rate of Rubisco carboxylation (V(cmax)), and the maximal rate of ribulose bisphosphate (RuBP) regeneration (J(max)) along with leaf δ(13)C, and carbon and nitrogen concentration on a monthly basis in the grass Deschampsia flexuosa. Seasonal drought reduced P(n) via g(s), but severe (experimental) drought decreased P(n) via a reduction in photosynthetic capacity (P(max), J(max), and V(cmax)). The effects were completely reversed by rewetting and stimulated P(n) via photosynthetic capacity stimulation. Warming increased early and late season P(n) via higher P(max) and J(max). Elevated CO(2) did not decrease g(s), but stimulated P(n) via increased C(i). 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 CO(2) depended on soil water availability, with additive effects when the soil water content was low and D×CO2 synergistic stimulation of P(n) 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

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  10. The VATO project: An original methodology to study the transfer of tritium as HT and HTO in grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Maro, D; Vermorel, F; Rozet, M; Aulagnier, C; Hébert, D; Le Dizès, S; Voiseux, C; Solier, L; Cossonnet, C; Godinot, C; Fiévet, B; Laguionie, P; Connan, O; Cazimajou, O; Morillon, M; Lamotte, M

    2017-02-01

    Tritium ((3)H) is mainly released into the environment by nuclear power plants, military nuclear facilities and nuclear reprocessing plants. The construction of new nuclear facilities in the world as well as the evolution of nuclear fuel management might lead to an increase of (3)H discharges from the nuclear industry. The VATO project was set up by IRSN (Institut de Radioprotection et de Sûreté Nucléaire) and EDF (Electricité de France) to reduce the uncertainties in the knowledge about transfers of (3)H from an atmospheric source (currently releasing HT and HTO) to a grassland ecosystem. A fully instrumented technical platform with specifically designed materials was set up downwind of the AREVA NC La Hague reprocessing plant (Northwest of the France). This study, started in 2013, was conducted in four main steps to provide an hourly data set of (3)H concentrations in the environment, adequate to develop and/or validate transfer models. It consisted first in characterizing the physico-chemical forms of (3)H present in the air around the plant. Then, (3)H transfer kinetics to grass were quantified regarding contributions from various compartments of the environment. For this purpose, an original experimental procedure was provided to take account for biases due to rehydration of freeze-dried samples for the determination of OBT activity concentrations in biological samples. In a third step, the (3)H concentrations measured in the air and in rainwater were reconstructed at hourly intervals. Finally, a data processing technique was used to determine the biological half-lives of OBT in grass.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Modelling grassland phenology and growth using near-surface remote sensing derived time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hufkens, Koen; Chen, Min; Richardson, Andrew D.

    2014-05-01

    Both the size and the duration of rain events have a significant influence on the phenology and growth of grasslands. This pulse-response nature of grasslands makes quantifying intra and inter-annual variability in grassland growth challenging and large uncertainties remain on which precipitation characteristics have the greatest influence on grassland phenology, growth and ecosystem productivity. Here we present modeled results of soil water content and grassland growth on a daily timestep from 16 grassland sites (40 site years) across arid, temperate and tropical biomes. We build upon a simple threshold-delay concept with provisions for influences of soil temperature and photoperiod on plant growth. Modelled soil water content and grassland growth are based upon limited set of widely available climatic drivers such as daily precipitation, minimum and maximum temperature, to facilitate scaling, and validated against near-surface remote sensing (PhenoCam) data of vegetation greenness. This simple model framework allows us to explore future effects of changes in the size and duration of precipitation events as well as temperature on grassland phenology and growth across different biome types.

  16. Modelling grassland phenology and growth using near-surface remote sensing derived time series

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Hufkens, K.; Chen, M.; Richardson, A. D.

    2014-12-01

    Both size and the duration of rain events have a significant influence on the phenology and growth of grasslands. This pulse-response nature of grasslands makes quantifying intra and inter-annual variability in grassland growth challenging and large uncertainties remain on which precipitation characteristics have the greatest influence on grassland phenology, growth and ecosystem productivity. Here we present modeled results of soil water content and grassland growth on a daily timestep from 16 grassland sites (40 site years) across arid, temperate and tropical biomes. We build upon a simple threshold-delay concept with provisions for influences of soil temperature and photoperiod on plant growth. Modelled soil water content and grassland growth are based upon limited set of widely available climatic drivers such as daily precipitation, minimum and maximum temperature, to facilitate scaling, and validated against near-surface remote sensing (PhenoCam) data of vegetation greenness. This simple model framework allows us to explore future effects of changes in the size and duration of precipitation events as well as temperature on grassland phenology and growth across different biome types.

  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

    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.

  20. 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

  1. Habitat requirements of weasels Mustela nivalis constrain their impact on prey populations in complex ecosystems of the temperate zone.

    PubMed

    Zub, K; Sönnichsen, L; Szafrańska, P A

    2008-10-01

    Differences in habitat use by prey and predator may lead to a shift of occupied niches and affect dynamics of their populations. The weasel Mustela nivalis specializes in hunting rodents, therefore habitat preferences of this predator may have important consequences for the population dynamics of its prey. We investigated habitat selection by weasels in the Białowieza Forest in different seasons at the landscape and local scales, and evaluated possible consequences for the population dynamics of their prey. At the landscape scale, weasels preferred open habitats (both dry and wet) and avoided forest. In open areas they selected habitats with higher prey abundance, except during the low-density phase of the vole cycle, when the distribution of these predators was more uniform. Also in winter, the distribution of weasels at the landscape scale was proportional to available resources. In summer, within open dry and wet habitats, weasels preferred areas characterised by dense vegetation, but avoided poor plant cover. In winter, weasels used wet open areas proportionally to availability of habitats when hunting, but in contrast to summer, they rested only in habitats characterized by a lower water level, which offered better thermal conditions. At the local scale, the abundance of voles was a less important factor affecting the distribution of these predators. Although we were not able to provide direct evidence for the existence of refuges for voles, our results show that they may be located within habitat patches, where availability of dense plant cover and physiological constraints limit the activity of weasels. Our results indicate that in complex ecosystems of the temperate zone, characterized by a mosaic pattern of vegetation types and habitat specific dynamics of rodents, impact of weasels on prey populations might be limited.

  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. 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.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Scale-Dependent Effects of Grazing on Plant C: N: P Stoichiometry and Linkages to Ecosystem Functioning in the Inner Mongolia Grassland

    PubMed Central

    Zheng, Shuxia; Ren, Haiyan; Li, Wenhuai; Lan, Zhichun

    2012-01-01

    Background Livestock grazing is the most prevalent land use of grasslands worldwide. The effects of grazing on plant C, N, P contents and stoichiometry across hierarchical levels, however, have rarely been studied; particularly whether the effects are mediated by resource availability and the underpinning mechanisms remain largely unclear. Methodology/Principal Findings Using a multi-organization-level approach, we examined the effects of grazing on the C, N, and P contents and stoichiometry in plant tissues (leaves and roots) and linkages to ecosystem functioning across three vegetation types (meadow, meadow steppe, and typical steppe) in the Inner Mongolia grassland, China. Our results showed that the effects of grazing on the C, N, and P contents and stoichiometry in leaves and roots differed substantially among vegetation types and across different hierarchical levels (species, functional group, and vegetation type levels). The magnitude of positive effects of grazing on leaf N and P contents increased progressively along the hierarchy of organizational levels in the meadow, whereas its negative effect on leaf N content decreased considerably along hierarchical levels in both the typical and meadow steppes. Grazing increased N and P allocation to aboveground in the meadow, while greater N and P allocation to belowground was found in the typical and meadow steppes. The differences in soil properties, plant trait-based resource use strategies, tolerance or defense strategies to grazing, and shifts in functional group composition are likely to be the key mechanisms for the observed patterns among vegetation types. Conclusions/Significance Our findings suggest that the enhanced vegetation-type-level N contents by grazing and species compensatory feedbacks may be insufficient to prevent widespread declines in primary productivity in the Inner Mongolia grassland. Hence, it is essential to reduce the currently high stocking rates and restore the vast degraded steppes

  8. 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).

  9. 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

  10. 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

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

    PubMed

    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 of NPP

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  13. Soil warming effect on net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide during the transition from winter carbon source to spring carbon sink in a temperate urban lawn.

    PubMed

    Zhou, Xiaoping; Wang, Xiaoke; Tong, Lei; Zhang, Hongxing; Lu, Fei; Zheng, Feixiang; Hou, Peiqiang; Song, Wenzhi; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2012-01-01

    The significant warming in urban environment caused by the combined effects of global warming and heat island has stimulated widely development of urban vegetations. However, it is less known of the climate feedback of urban lawn in warmed environment. Soil warming effect on net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon dioxide during the transition period from winter to spring was investigated in a temperate urban lawn in Beijing, China. The NEE (negative for uptake) under soil warming treatment (temperature was about 5 degrees C higher than the ambient treatment as a control) was -0.71 micromol/(m2 x sec), the ecosytem was a CO2 sink under soil warming treatment, the lawn ecosystem under the control was a CO2 source (0.13 micromol/(m2 x sec)), indicating that the lawn ecosystem would provide a negative feedback to global warming. There was no significant effect of soil warming on nocturnal NEE (i.e., ecosystem respiration), although the soil temperature sensitivity (Q10) of ecosystem respiration under soil warming treatment was 3.86, much lower than that in the control (7.03). The CO2 uptake was significantly increased by soil warming treatment that was attributed to about 100% increase of alpha (apparent quantum yield) and Amax (maximum rate of photosynthesis). Our results indicated that the response of photosynthesis in urban lawn is much more sensitive to global warming than respiration in the transition period.

  14. Consequences of cool-season drought induced plant mortality to Chihuahuan Desert grassland ecosystem and soil respiration dynamics

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Global climate change is predicted to increase the severity and frequency of cool-season drought across the arid Southwest US. We quantified net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and gross ecosystem photosynthesis (GEP) in response to interannual seasonal precip...

  15. Elevated CO2 and warming influence ecosystem carbon dynamics and evapotranspiration in a semi-arid grassland

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Ecosystem carbon dynamics are sensitive to rising CO2 concentrations and warming, but the combined effects of these global change drivers on ecosystem carbon uptake and loss remain a critical uncertainty. Northern mixed grass prairie is expected to be among the most responsive ecosystems to the effe...

  16. Impacts of Precipitation Diurnal Timing on Ecosystem Carbon Exchanges in Grasslands: A Synthesis of AmeriFlux Data

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Song, X.; Xu, X.; Tweedie, C. E.

    2015-12-01

    Drylands have been found playing an important role regulating the seasonality of global atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations. Precipitation is a primary control of ecosystem carbon exchanges in drylands where a large proportion of the annual total rainfall arrives through a small number of episodic precipitation events. While a large number of studies use the concept of "precipitation pulses" to explore the effects of short-term precipitation events on dryland ecosystem function, few have specifically evaluated the importance of the diurnal timing of these events. The primary goal of this study was to determine how the diurnal timing of rainfall events impacts land-atmosphere net ecosystem CO2 exchanges (NEE) and ecosystem respiration in drylands. Our research leverages a substantial and existing long-term database (AmeriFlux) that describes NEE, Reco and meteorological conditions at 11 sites situated in different dryland ecosystems in South West America. All sites employ the eddy covariance technique to measure land-atmosphere the CO2 exchange rates between atmosphere and ecosystem. Data collected at these sites range from 4 to 10 years, totaling up to 73 site-years. We found that episodic precipitation events stimulate not only vegetation photosynthesis but also ecosystem respiration. Specifically, the morning precipitation events decrease photosynthesis function at daytime and increase ecosystem respiration at nighttime; the afternoon precipitation events do not stimulate ecosystem photosynthesis at daytime, while stimulate ecosystem respiration; the night precipitations suppress photosynthesis at daytime, and enhance ecosystem respiration at nighttime.

  17. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide

    USGS Publications Warehouse

    Prober, Suzanne M.; Leff, Jonathan W.; Bates, Scott T.; Borer, Elizabeth T.; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W. Stanley; Lind, Eric M.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Adler, Peter B.; Bakker, Jonathan D.; Cleland, Elsa E.; DeCrappeo, Nicole; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S.; Kirkman, Kevin P.; Knops, Johannes M. H.; La Pierre, Kimberly J.; MacDougall, Andrew S.; McCulley, Rebecca L.; Mitchell, Charles E.; Risch, Anita C.; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J.; Williams, Ryan J.; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground–belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m2 plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity.

  18. Plant diversity predicts beta but not alpha diversity of soil microbes across grasslands worldwide.

    PubMed

    Prober, Suzanne M; Leff, Jonathan W; Bates, Scott T; Borer, Elizabeth T; Firn, Jennifer; Harpole, W Stanley; Lind, Eric M; Seabloom, Eric W; Adler, Peter B; Bakker, Jonathan D; Cleland, Elsa E; DeCrappeo, Nicole M; DeLorenze, Elizabeth; Hagenah, Nicole; Hautier, Yann; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Kirkman, Kevin P; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J; MacDougall, Andrew S; McCulley, Rebecca L; Mitchell, Charles E; Risch, Anita C; Schuetz, Martin; Stevens, Carly J; Williams, Ryan J; Fierer, Noah

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground-belowground interactions exert critical controls on the composition and function of terrestrial ecosystems, yet the fundamental relationships between plant diversity and soil microbial diversity remain elusive. Theory predicts predominantly positive associations but tests within single sites have shown variable relationships, and associations between plant and microbial diversity across broad spatial scales remain largely unexplored. We compared the diversity of plant, bacterial, archaeal and fungal communities in one hundred and forty-five 1 m(2) plots across 25 temperate grassland sites from four continents. Across sites, the plant alpha diversity patterns were poorly related to those observed for any soil microbial group. However, plant beta diversity (compositional dissimilarity between sites) was significantly correlated with the beta diversity of bacterial and fungal communities, even after controlling for environmental factors. Thus, across a global range of temperate grasslands, plant diversity can predict patterns in the composition of soil microbial communities, but not patterns in alpha diversity.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2007-01-01

    In this study, we have analyzed the productivity of a grassland ecosystem in Kherlenbayan-Ulaan (KBU), Mongolia under non-grazing and grazing conditions using a new simulation model, Sim-CYCLE grazing. The model was obtained by integrating the Sim-CYCLE [Ito, A., Oikawa, T., 2002. A simulation model of carbon cycle in land ecosystems (Sim-CYCLE): a description based on dry-matter production theory and plot-scale validation. Ecological Modeling, 151, pp. 143-176] and a defoliation formulation [Seligman, N.G., Cavagnaro, J.B., Horno, M.E., 1992. Simulation of defoliation effects on primary production of warm-season, semiarid perennial- species grassland. Ecological Modelling, 60, pp. 45-61]. The results from the model have been validated against a set of field data obtained at KBU showing that both above-ground biomass (AB) and above-ground net primary production ( Np,a) decrease with increasing grazing intensity. The simulated maximum AB for a year maintains a nearly constant value of 1.15 Mg DM ha -1 under non-grazing conditions. The AB decreases and then reaches equilibrium under a stocking rate ( Sr) of 0.4 sheep ha -1 and 0.7 sheep ha -1. The AB decreases all the time if Sr is greater than 0.7 sheep ha -1. These results suggest that the maximum sustainable Sr is 0.7 sheep ha -1. A similar trend is also observed for the simulated Np,a. The annual Np,a is about 1.25 Mg DM ha -1 year -1 and this value is also constant under non-grazing conditions. The annual Np,a decreases and then reaches equilibrium under an Sr of 0.4 sheep ha -1 and 0.7 sheep ha -1, but the Np,a decreases all the time when Sr is greater than 0.7 sheep ha -1. It also indicates that the maximum sustainable Sr is 0.7 sheep ha -1. Transpiration ( ET) and evaporation ( EE) rates were determined by the Penman-Monteith method. Simulated results show that ET decreases with increasing Sr, while EE increases with increasing Sr. At equilibrium, the annual mean evapotranspiration ( E) is 189.11 mm year -1

  20. The importance of phenology for the evaluation of impact of climate change on growth of boreal, temperate and Mediterranean forests ecosystems: an overview.

    PubMed

    Kramer, K; Leinonen, I; Loustau, D

    2000-08-01

    An overview is presented of the phenological models relevant for boreal coniferous, temperate-zone deciduous and Mediterranean coniferous forest ecosystems. The phenology of the boreal forests is mainly driven by temperature, affecting the timing of the start of the growing season and thereby its duration, and the level of frost hardiness and thereby the reduction of foliage area and photosynthetic capacity by severe frost events. The phenology of temperate-zone forests is also mainly driven by temperature. Since temperate-zone forests are mostly mixed-species deciduous forests, differences in phenological response may affect competition between tree species. The phenology of Mediterranean coniferous forests is mainly driven by water availability, affecting the development of leaf area, rather than the timing of phenological events. These phenological models were subsequently coupled to the process-based forest model FORGRO to evaluate the effect of different climate change scenarios on growth. The results indicate that the phenology of each of the forest types significantly affects the growth response to a given climate change scenario. The absolute responses presented in this study should, however, be used with caution as there are still uncertainties in the phenological models, the growth models, the parameter values obtained and the climate change scenarios used. Future research should attempt to reduce these uncertainties. It is recommended that phenological models that describe the mechanisms by which seasonality in climatic drivers affects the phenological aspects of trees should be developed and carefully tested. Only by using such models may we make an assessment of the impact of climate change on the functioning and productivity of different forest ecosystems.

  1. The origin of grasslands in the temperate forest zone of east-central Europe: long-term legacy of climate and human impact

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Kuneš, Petr; Svobodová-Svitavská, Helena; Kolář, Jan; Hajnalová, Mária; Abraham, Vojtěch; Macek, Martin; Tkáč, Peter; Szabó, Péter

    2015-05-01

    The post-glacial fate of central European grasslands has stimulated palaeoecological debates for a century. Some argued for the continuous survival of open land, while others claimed that closed forest had developed during the Middle Holocene. The reasons behind stability or changes in the proportion of open land are also unclear. We aim to reconstruct regional vegetation openness and test the effects of climate and human impact on vegetation change throughout the Holocene. We present a newly dated pollen record from north-western fringes of the Pannonian Plain, east-central Europe, and reconstruct Holocene regional vegetation development by the REVEALS model for 27 pollen-equivalent taxa. Estimated vegetation is correlated in the same area with a human activity model based on all available archaeological information and a macrophysical climate model. The palaeovegetation record indicates the continuous presence of open land throughout the Holocene. Grasslands and open woodlands were probably maintained by local arid climatic conditions during the early Holocene delaying the spread of deciduous (oak) forests. Significantly detectable human-made landscape transformation started only after 2000 BC. Our analyses suggest that Neolithic people spread into a landscape that was already open. Humans probably contributed to the spread of oak, and influenced the dynamics of hazel and hornbeam.

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

    PubMed Central

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

    2013-01-01

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

  3. Concentrations and δ²H values of cuticular n-alkanes vary significantly among plant organs, species and habitats in grasses from an alpine and a temperate European grassland.

    PubMed

    Gamarra, Bruno; Kahmen, Ansgar

    2015-08-01

    n-Alkanes are long-chained hydrocarbons contained in the cuticle of terrestrial plants. Their hydrogen isotope ratios (δ(2)H) have been used as a proxy for environmental and plant ecophysiological processes. Calibration studies designed to resolve the mechanisms that determine the δ(2)H values of n-alkanes have exclusively focused on n-alkanes derived from leaves. It is, however, unclear in which quantities n-alkanes are also produced by other plant organs such as roots or inflorescences, or whether different plant organs produce distinct n-alkane δ(2)H values. To resolve these open questions, we sampled leaves, sheaths, stems, inflorescences and roots from a total of 15 species of European C3 grasses in an alpine and a temperate grassland in Switzerland. Our data show slightly increased n-alkane concentrations and n-alkane δ(2)H values in the alpine compared to the temperate grassland. More importantly, inflorescences had typically much higher n-alkane concentrations than other organs while roots had very low n-alkane concentrations. Most interestingly, the δ(2)H values of the carbon autonomous plant organs leaves, sheaths and stems were in general depleted compared to the overall mean δ(2)H value of a species, while non-carbon autonomous organs such as roots and inflorescences show δ(2)H values that are higher compared to the overall mean δ(2)H value of a species. We attribute organ-specific δ(2)H values to differences in the H-NADPH biosynthetic origin in different plant organs as a function of their carbon relationships. Finally, we employed simple mass balance calculations to show that leaves are in fact the main source of n-alkanes in the sediment. As such, studies assessing the environmental and physiological drivers of n-alkanes that focus on leaves produce relationships that can be employed to interpret the δ(2)H values of n-alkanes derived from sediments. This is despite the significant differences that we found among the δ(2)H values in the

  4. Grassland responses to precipitation extremes

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Grassland ecosystems are naturally subjected to periods of prolonged drought and sequences of wet years. Climate change is expected to enhance the magnitude and frequency of extreme events at the intraannual and multiyear scales. Are grassland responses to extreme precipitation simply a response to ...

  5. The CROSTVOC project - an integrated approach to study the effect of stress on BVOC exchange between agricultural crops and grassland ecosystems and the atmosphere

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Amelynck, Crist; Heinesch, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc; Bachy, Aurélie; Delaplace, Pierre; Digrado, Anthony; du Jardin, Patrick; Fauconnier, Marie-Laure; Mozaffar, Ahsan; Schoon, Niels

    2015-04-01

    Global changes in atmospheric composition and climate are expected to affect BVOC exchange between terrestrial vegetation and the atmosphere through changes in the drivers of constitutive BVOC emissions and by increases in frequency and intensity of biotic or abiotic stress episodes. Indeed, several studies indicate changes in the emission patterns of constitutive BVOCs and emission of stress-induced BVOCs following heat, drought and oxidative stress, amongst others. Relating changes in BVOC emissions to the occurrence of one or multiple stressors in natural environmental conditions is not straightforward and only few field studies have dealt with it, especially for agricultural crop and grassland ecosystems. The CROSTVOC project aims to contribute in filling this knowledge gap in three ways. Firstly, it aims at performing long-term BVOC emission field measurements from maize (Zea mays L.) and wheat (Triticum aestivum L.), two important crop species on the global scale, and from grassland. This should lead to a better characterization of (mainly oxygenated) BVOC emissions from these understudied ecosystems, allowing a better representation of those emissions in air quality and atmospheric chemistry and transport models. BVOC fluxes are obtained by the Disjunct Eddy Covariance by mass scanning (DEC-MS) technique, using a hs-PTR-MS instrument for BVOC analysis. Secondly, the eddy covariance BVOC flux measurements (especially at the grassland site) will be accompanied by ozone flux, chlorophyll fluorescence, photosynthesis and soil moisture measurements, amongst others, to allow linking alterations in BVOC emissions to stress episodes. Simultaneously, automated dynamic enclosures will be deployed in order to detect specific abiotic and biotic stress markers by PTR-MS and identify them unambiguously by GC-MS. Thirdly, the field measurements will be accompanied by laboratory BVOC flux measurements in an environmental chamber in order to better disentangle the responses

  6. Community structure, trophic position and reproductive mode of soil and bark-living oribatid mites in an alpine grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Fischer, Barbara M; Schatz, Heinrich; Maraun, Mark

    2010-11-01

    The community structure, stable isotope ratios ((15)N/(14)N, (13)C/(12)C) and reproductive mode of oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida) were investigated in four habitats (upper tree bark, lower tree bark, dry grassland soil, forest soil) at two sites in the Central Alps (Tyrol, Austria). We hypothesized that community structure and trophic position of oribatid mites of dry grassland soils and bark of trees are similar since these habitats have similar abiotic characteristics (open, dry) compared with forest soil. Further, we hypothesized that derived taxa of oribatid mites reproducing sexually dominate on the bark of trees since species in this habitat consume living resources such as lichens. In contrast to our hypothesis, the community structure of oribatid mites differed among grassland, forest and bark indicating the existence of niche differentiation in the respective oribatid mite species. In agreement with our hypothesis, sexually reproducing taxa of oribatid mites dominated on the bark of trees whereas parthenogenetic species were more frequent in soil. Several species of bark-living oribatid mites had stable isotope signatures that were similar to lichens indicating that they feed on lichens. However, nine species that frequently occurred on tree bark did not feed on lichens according to their stable isotope signatures. No oribatid mite species could be ascribed to moss feeding. We conclude that sexual reproduction served as preadaptation for oribatid mites allowing them to exploit new habitats and new resources on the bark of trees. Abiotic factors likely are of limited importance for bark-living oribatid mites since harsh abiotic conditions are assumed to favor parthenogenesis.

  7. Different Land Use Intensities in Grassland Ecosystems Drive Ecology of Microbial Communities Involved in Nitrogen Turnover in Soil

    PubMed Central

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity. PMID:24039974

  8. Community structure, trophic position and reproductive mode of soil and bark-living oribatid mites in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Schatz, Heinrich; Maraun, Mark

    2010-01-01

    The community structure, stable isotope ratios (15N/14N, 13C/12C) and reproductive mode of oribatid mites (Acari, Oribatida) were investigated in four habitats (upper tree bark, lower tree bark, dry grassland soil, forest soil) at two sites in the Central Alps (Tyrol, Austria). We hypothesized that community structure and trophic position of oribatid mites of dry grassland soils and bark of trees are similar since these habitats have similar abiotic characteristics (open, dry) compared with forest soil. Further, we hypothesized that derived taxa of oribatid mites reproducing sexually dominate on the bark of trees since species in this habitat consume living resources such as lichens. In contrast to our hypothesis, the community structure of oribatid mites differed among grassland, forest and bark indicating the existence of niche differentiation in the respective oribatid mite species. In agreement with our hypothesis, sexually reproducing taxa of oribatid mites dominated on the bark of trees whereas parthenogenetic species were more frequent in soil. Several species of bark-living oribatid mites had stable isotope signatures that were similar to lichens indicating that they feed on lichens. However, nine species that frequently occurred on tree bark did not feed on lichens according to their stable isotope signatures. No oribatid mite species could be ascribed to moss feeding. We conclude that sexual reproduction served as preadaptation for oribatid mites allowing them to exploit new habitats and new resources on the bark of trees. Abiotic factors likely are of limited importance for bark-living oribatid mites since harsh abiotic conditions are assumed to favor parthenogenesis. PMID:20490626

  9. Different land use intensities in grassland ecosystems drive ecology of microbial communities involved in nitrogen turnover in soil.

    PubMed

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Keil, Daniel; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Boch, Steffen; Marhan, Sven; Kandeler, Ellen; Schloter, Michael

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions, which have been continuously treated for many years as intensely used meadows (IM), intensely used mown pastures (IP) and extensively used pastures (EP), respectively. The obtained data were linked to above ground biodiversity pattern as well as water extractable fractions of nitrogen and carbon in soil. Shifts in land use intensity changed plant community composition from systems dominated by s-strategists in extensive managed grasslands to c-strategist dominated communities in intensive managed grasslands. Along the different types of land use intensity, the availability of inorganic nitrogen regulated the abundance of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers. In contrast, the amount of dissolved organic nitrogen determined the abundance of denitrifiers (nirS and nirK). The high abundance of nifH carrying bacteria at intensive managed sites gave evidence that the amounts of substrates as energy source outcompete the high availability of inorganic nitrogen in these sites. Overall, we revealed that abundance and function of microorganisms involved in key processes of inorganic N cycling (nitrification, denitrification and N fixation) might be independently regulated by different abiotic and biotic factors in response to land use intensity.

  10. Climate warming increases biodiversity of small rodents by favoring rare or less abundant species in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Jiang, Guangshun; Liu, Jun; Xu, Lei; Yu, Guirui; He, Honglin; Zhang, Zhibin

    2013-06-01

    Our Earth is facing the challenge of accelerating climate change, which imposes a great threat to biodiversity. Many published studies suggest that climate warming may cause a dramatic decline in biodiversity, especially in colder and drier regions. In this study, we investigated the effects of temperature, precipitation and a normalized difference vegetation index on biodiversity indices of rodent communities in the current or previous year for both detrended and nondetrended data in semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia during 1982-2006. Our results demonstrate that temperature showed predominantly positive effects on the biodiversity of small rodents; precipitation showed both positive and negative effects; a normalized difference vegetation index showed positive effects; and cross-correlation function values between rodent abundance and temperature were negatively correlated with rodent abundance. Our results suggest that recent climate warming increased the biodiversity of small rodents by providing more benefits to population growth of rare or less abundant species than that of more abundant species in Inner Mongolia grassland, which does not support the popular view that global warming would decrease biodiversity in colder and drier regions. We hypothesized that higher temperatures might benefit rare or less abundant species (with smaller populations and more folivorous diets) by reducing the probability of local extinction and/or by increasing herbaceous food resources.

  11. The effects of climatic and CO[sub 2] changes on grassland storage of soil carbon

    SciTech Connect

    Ojima, D.S.; Parton, W.J. ); Schimel, D.S. ); Scurlock, J.M.O. )

    1993-06-01

    We present results from analysis of the sensitivity of global grassland ecosystems to modified climate. We assess over 30 grassland sites from around the world under two different GCM double CO[sub 2] climates. The results indicate that soil C losses occur in Ar grassland regions (losses range from 1.6 to 8.8% of current soil C levels for the surface 20 cm). The Eurasian grasslands lost the greatest amount of soil C ([approximately]700 g C/m[sub 2]) and the other temperate grasslands lost approximately half this amount. The tropical grasslands and savannas lost the least amount of soil C per unit area (ranging from no change to 130 g C/m[sub 2] losses). Plant production varies according to modifications in rainfall amounts under the altered climate and to altered nitrogen mineralization rates. The two GCM's differed in predictions of rainfall with a doubling of CO[sub 2], and this difference is reflected in plant production. Soil decomposition rates responded most predictably to changes in temperature. CO[sub 2] fertilization effects on soil C loss and plant production tended to reduce the net impact of climate alterations.

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

    SciTech Connect

    Norby, Richard J

    2007-01-01

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

  13. Warmer temperatures stimulate respiration and reduce net ecosystem productivity in a northern Great Plains grassland: Analysis of CO2 exchange in automatic chambers

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Flanagan, L. B.

    2013-12-01

    The interacting effects of altered temperature and precipitation are expected to have significant consequences for ecosystem net carbon storage. Here I report the results of an experiment that evaluated the effects of elevated temperature and altered precipitation on ecosystem CO2 exchange in a northern Great Plains grassland, near Lethbridge, Alberta Canada. Open-top chambers were used to establish an experiment in 2012 with three treatments (control, warmed, warmed plus 50% of normal precipitation input). A smaller experiment with only the two temperature treatments (control and warmed) was conducted in 2013. Continuous half-hourly net CO2 exchange measurements were made using nine automatic chambers during May-October in both years. My objectives were to determine the sensitivity of the ecosystem carbon budget to temperature and moisture manipulations, and to test for direct and indirect effects of the environmental changes on ecosystem CO2 exchange. The experimental manipulations resulted primarily in a significant increase in air temperature in the warmed treatment plots. A cumulative net loss of carbon or negative net ecosystem productivity (NEP) occurred during May through September in the warmed treatment (NEP = -659 g C m-2), while in the control treatment there was a cumulative net gain of carbon (NEP = +50 g C m-2). An eddy covariance system that operated at the site, over a footprint region that was not influenced by the experimental treatments, also showed a net gain of carbon by the ecosystem. The reduced NEP was due to higher plant and soil respiration rates in the warmed treatment that appeared to be caused by a combination of: (i) higher carbon substrate availability indirectly stimulating soil respiration in the warmed relative to the control treatment, and (ii) a strong increase in leaf respiration likely caused by a shift in electron partitioning to the alternative pathway respiration in the warmed treatment, particularly when exposed to high

  14. Predicting the response of a temperate forest ecosystem to atmospheric CO{sub 2} increase. Annual report, 1992--1993

    SciTech Connect

    Bazzaz, F.A.

    1993-03-01

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

  15. Interactive Effects of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and Cattle on Shrub Encroachment in a Desert Grassland Ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Davidson, Ana; Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread encroachment of woody plants throughout the semi-arid grasslands in North America has largely resulted from overgrazing by domestic livestock, fire suppression, and loss of native large and small mammalian herbivores. Burrowing-herbivorous mammals, such as prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), help control shrub encroachment through clipping of shrubs and consumption of their seedlings, but little is known about how this important ecological role interacts with and may be influenced by co-existing large herbivores, especially domestic livestock. Here, we established a long-term manipulative experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design to assess the independent and interactive effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) on honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) abundance and structure. We found that, after five years, mesquite abundance was three to five times greater in plots where prairie dogs were removed compared to plots where they occurred together or alone, respectively. While both prairie dogs and cattle reduced mesquite cover, the effect of prairie dogs on reducing mesquite abundance, cover, and height was significantly greater than that by cattle. Surprisingly, cattle grazing enhanced prairie dog abundance, which, in turn, magnified the effects of prairie dogs on mesquite shrubs. Mesquite canopy cover per hectare was three to five times greater where prairie dogs and cattle were absent compared to where they occurred together or by themselves; whereas, cumulative mesquite height was two times lower on sites where prairie dog and cattle occurred together compared to where they occurred alone or where neither occurred. Data from our experimental study demonstrate that prairie dogs and moderate grazing by cattle can suppress mesquite growth, and, when their populations are properly managed, they may interact synergistically to significantly limit mesquite encroachment in desert grasslands. PMID:27144274

  16. Interactive Effects of Black-Tailed Prairie Dogs and Cattle on Shrub Encroachment in a Desert Grassland Ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Ponce-Guevara, Eduardo; Davidson, Ana; Sierra-Corona, Rodrigo; Ceballos, Gerardo

    2016-01-01

    The widespread encroachment of woody plants throughout the semi-arid grasslands in North America has largely resulted from overgrazing by domestic livestock, fire suppression, and loss of native large and small mammalian herbivores. Burrowing-herbivorous mammals, such as prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.), help control shrub encroachment through clipping of shrubs and consumption of their seedlings, but little is known about how this important ecological role interacts with and may be influenced by co-existing large herbivores, especially domestic livestock. Here, we established a long-term manipulative experiment using a 2 × 2 factorial design to assess the independent and interactive effects of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) and cattle (Bos taurus) on honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) abundance and structure. We found that, after five years, mesquite abundance was three to five times greater in plots where prairie dogs were removed compared to plots where they occurred together or alone, respectively. While both prairie dogs and cattle reduced mesquite cover, the effect of prairie dogs on reducing mesquite abundance, cover, and height was significantly greater than that by cattle. Surprisingly, cattle grazing enhanced prairie dog abundance, which, in turn, magnified the effects of prairie dogs on mesquite shrubs. Mesquite canopy cover per hectare was three to five times greater where prairie dogs and cattle were absent compared to where they occurred together or by themselves; whereas, cumulative mesquite height was two times lower on sites where prairie dog and cattle occurred together compared to where they occurred alone or where neither occurred. Data from our experimental study demonstrate that prairie dogs and moderate grazing by cattle can suppress mesquite growth, and, when their populations are properly managed, they may interact synergistically to significantly limit mesquite encroachment in desert grasslands.

  17. Development of simplified ecosystem models for applications in Earth system studies: The Century experience

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Parton, William J.; Ojima, Dennis S.; Schimel, David S.; Kittel, Timothy G. F.

    1992-01-01

    During the past decade, a growing need to conduct regional assessments of long-term trends of ecosystem behavior and the technology to meet this need have converged. The Century model is the product of research efforts initially intended to develop a general model of plant-soil ecosystem dynamics for the North American central grasslands. This model is now being used to simulate plant production, nutrient cycling, and soil organic matter dynamics for grassland, crop, forest, and shrub ecosystems in various regions of the world, including temperate and tropical ecosystems. This paper will focus on the philosophical approach used to develop the structure of Century. The steps included were model simplification, parameterization, and testing. In addition, the importance of acquiring regional data bases for model testing and the present regional application of Century in the Great Plains, which focus on regional ecosystem dynamics and the effect of altering environmental conditions, are discussed.

  18. The impacts of land-use change from grassland to bioenergy Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) Willow on the crop and ecosystem greenhouse gas balance

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Harris, Zoe M.; Alberti, Giorgio; Dondini, Marta; Smith, Pete; Taylor, Gail

    2014-05-01

    The aim of this research is to better understand the greenhouse gas balance of land-use transition to bioenergy cropping systems in a UK context. Given limited land availability, addressing the food-energy-water nexus remains a challenge, and it is imperative that bioenergy crops are sited appropriately and that competition with food crops is minimized. Here we present the results of a years' worth of soil and GHG data for a conversion from ex-set aside grassland to short rotation coppice (SRC) willow for bioenergy on a commercial scale. Initial results indicate that willow was a net sink for CO2 in comparison to grassland which was a net source of CO2. This provides evidence that the GHG balance of transitions to SRC bioenergy crops will potentially result in increased soil carbon. The empirical findings from this study have been combined with modelled estimates for the site to both test and validate the ECOSSE model. Initial comparisons show that the model is able to accurately predict the respiration occurring at the field site, suggesting that it is a valuable approach for up-scaling from point sites such as this to wider geographical areas and for considering future climate scenarios. The modelling output will also provide a user-friendly tool for land owners which will determine the GHG and soil carbon effects of changing land to bioenergy for UK. This work is based on the Ecosystem Land Use Modelling & Soil Carbon GHG Flux Trial (ELUM) project, which was commissioned and funded by the Energy Technologies Institute (ETI). This work was also jointly funded by the Carbo Biocrop Project.

  19. Emergent climate and CO2 sensitivities of net primary productivity in ecosystem models do not agree with empirical data in temperate forests of eastern North America.

    PubMed

    Rollinson, Christine R; Liu, Yao; Raiho, Ann; Moore, David J P; McLachlan, Jason; Bishop, Daniel A; Dye, Alex; Matthes, Jaclyn H; Hessl, Amy; Hickler, Thomas; Pederson, Neil; Poulter, Benjamin; Quaife, Tristan; Schaefer, Kevin; Steinkamp, Jörg; Dietze, Michael C

    2017-01-13

    Ecosystem models show divergent responses of the terrestrial carbon cycle to global change over the next century. Individual model evaluation and multimodel comparisons with data have largely focused on individual processes at subannual to decadal scales. Thus far, data-based evaluations of emergent ecosystem responses to climate and CO2 at multidecadal and centennial timescales have been rare. We compared the sensitivity of net primary productivity (NPP) to temperature, precipitation, and CO2 in ten ecosystem models with the sensitivities found in tree-ring reconstructions of NPP and raw ring-width series at six temperate forest sites. These model-data comparisons were evaluated at three temporal extents to determine whether the rapid, directional changes in temperature and CO2 in the recent past skew our observed responses to multiple drivers of change. All models tested here were more sensitive to low growing season precipitation than tree-ring NPP and ring widths in the past 30 years, although some model precipitation responses were more consistent with tree rings when evaluated over a full century. Similarly, all models had negative or no response to warm-growing season temperatures, while tree-ring data showed consistently positive effects of temperature. Although precipitation responses were least consistent among models, differences among models to CO2 drive divergence and ensemble uncertainty in relative change in NPP over the past century. Changes in forest composition within models had no effect on climate or CO2 sensitivity. Fire in model simulations reduced model sensitivity to climate and CO2 , but only over the course of multiple centuries. Formal evaluation of emergent model behavior at multidecadal and multicentennial timescales is essential to reconciling model projections with observed ecosystem responses to past climate change. Future evaluation should focus on improved representation of disturbance and biomass change as well as the feedbacks

  20. Some Insights on Grassland Health Assessment Based on Remote Sensing

    PubMed Central

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment. PMID:25643060

  1. Some insights on grassland health assessment based on remote sensing.

    PubMed

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

    Grassland ecosystem is one of the largest ecosystems, which naturally occurs on all continents excluding Antarctica and provides both ecological and economic functions. The deterioration of natural grassland has been attracting many grassland researchers to monitor the grassland condition and dynamics for decades. Remote sensing techniques, which are advanced in dealing with the scale constraints of ecological research and provide temporal information, become a powerful approach of grassland ecosystem monitoring. So far, grassland health monitoring studies have mostly focused on different areas, for example, productivity evaluation, classification, vegetation dynamics, livestock carrying capacity, grazing intensity, natural disaster detecting, fire, climate change, coverage assessment and soil erosion. However, the grassland ecosystem is a complex system which is formed by soil, vegetation, wildlife and atmosphere. Thus, it is time to consider the grassland ecosystem as an entity synthetically and establish an integrated grassland health monitoring system to combine different aspects of the complex grassland ecosystem. In this review, current grassland health monitoring methods, including rangeland health assessment, ecosystem health assessment and grassland monitoring by remote sensing from different aspects, are discussed along with the future directions of grassland health assessment.

  2. Shrub encroachment in North American grasslands: Shifts in growth form dominance rapidly alters control of ecosystem carbon inputs

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Shrub encroachment into grass-dominated biomes is occurring globally due to a variety of anthropogenic activities, but the consequences for carbon (C) inputs, storage and cycling remain unclear. We studied eight North American graminoid-dominated ecosystems invaded by shrubs, from arctic tundra to ...

  3. Breaks in MODIS time series portend vegetation change – verification using long-term data in an arid grassland ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Frequency and severity of extreme climatic events are forecast to increase in the 21st century. Predicting how managed ecosystems may respond to climatic extremes is intensified by uncertainty associated with knowing when, where, and how long effects of the extreme events will be manifest in the eco...

  4. A CO2 concentration gradient facility for testing CO2 enrichment and soil effects on grassland ecosystem function

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Continuing increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations mandate techniques for examining impacts on terrestrial ecosystems. Most experiments examine only two or a few levels of CO2 concentration and a single soil type, but if CO2 can be varied as a gradient from subambient to superambient concentra...

  5. Soil-specific C and N responses to changing atmospheric CO2 concentrations in a mesic grassland ecosystem

    Technology Transfer Automated Retrieval System (TEKTRAN)

    Long-term increases in ecosystem productivity under elevated atmospheric CO2 can be expected only when the increased assimilation of carbon (C) is not limited by soil nutrients, namely nitrogen (N). We examined how changes in atmospheric CO2 concentrations affect C and N dynamics in a mesic grasslan...

  6. Contributions of Understory and Overstory to Ecosystem CO2 Fluxes in a Temperate Mixed Forest in Switzerland

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Paul-Limoges, E.; Wolf, S.; Hörtnagl, L. J.; Eugster, W.; Buchmann, N. C.

    2015-12-01

    Forests play an important role in the global carbon cycle by sequestering large amounts of atmospheric CO2. The CO2 sequestered by a forest varies depending on many factors including climate, species composition, growth strategy, stand age and structure. Forests are structurally complex ecosystems, both horizontally and vertically. In many cases, several canopy layers with distinct functional properties and sun exposure contribute differently to the ecosystem CO2exchange. Only a few studies thus far have investigated the contribution of understory to overstory fluxes, and large variations have been found among sites. Our study focused on partitioning the net ecosystem CO2 flux of a mixed deciduous forest in Switzerland into its understory and overstory components using below and above canopy eddy-covariance (EC) measurements over two years. CO2 concentration profile measurements made at eight levels within the canopy complemented those measurements. We quantified the CO2flux contribution from the understory to the overstory, both in terms of photosynthesis and respiration, and assessed the differences between understory and overstory functional responses to environmental drivers. On an annual basis, the understory was a CO2 source, while the overstory was a CO2 sink. The understory was a CO2 sink only in spring with the early emergence of understory plants before overstory canopy leaf-out. Overall, the understory contributed 54% to annual ecosystem respiration but only 7% to annual ecosystem photosynthesis. Moreover, understory and overstory fluxes became decoupled at full canopy closure, thus leading to unaccounted EC fluxes when measured only above the canopy. CO2 concentration profile measurements supported this finding. Our results showed that understory EC measurements are essential in this mixed deciduous forest, and likely in many other forests, to fully understand the carbon dynamics within structurally complex ecosystems.

  7. Methane fluxes in wetland and forest soils, beaver ponds, and low-order streams of a temperate forest ecosystem

    NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS)

    Yavitt, J. B.; Lang, G. E.; Sexstone, A. J.

    1990-01-01

    This study was conducted to determine whether temperate wetlands and forests play important roles in the global balances of atmospheric methane. Flux measurements for methane in several different wetland, forest, and open-water (e.g., beaver pond and low-order stream) sites were determined using collection chambers placed over the soil- or water-air interface. All of the sites were located in the Appalachian Mountain region of West Virginia and western Maryland. Between June 1987 and April 1989 the wetland sites acted as small sources of atmospheric methane, with emission rates for methane usually lower than 200 mg CH4/sq m per day; consumption of atmospheric methane in the wetland soils was observed frequently.

  8. Spatial and Temporal Dynamics of Flora in Forest, Grassland and Common Land Ecosystems of Western Chitwan, Nepal

    PubMed Central

    DANGOL, Dharma Raj; MAHARJAN, Keshav Lall

    2013-01-01

    This paper describes changes of species composition and population of flora in space and time in western Chitwan, Nepal. This paper also discusses on the changes in flora due to flood and human activities. To illustrate these changes, we used survey data collected from January to April of 1996, 2000, and 2007 from the Barandabhar forest, National Park forest and the forests along the Narayani River banks, grasslands of National Park and common lands of western Chitwan as a part of longitudinal study on “reciprocal relation of population and the environment”. From these data, density values were calculated to analyze spatial and temporal changes in flora species composition and population. We also noted the changes of top species in time and space in due course of time. If the species and its rank not changed, their densities (population) values of flora species changed. We found that changes in species composition, population, appearance or disappearance of flora from a particular space (research plot) were noted as a result of natural forces or human activities. PMID:25061414

  9. Cascading effects of artificial light at night: resource-mediated control of herbivores in a grassland ecosystem

    PubMed Central

    Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W.; Cruse, David; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J.

    2015-01-01

    Artificial light at night has a wide range of biological effects on both plants and animals. Here, we review mechanisms by which artificial light at night may restructure ecological communities by modifying the interactions between species. Such mechanisms may be top-down (predator, parasite or grazer controlled), bottom-up (resource-controlled) or involve non-trophic processes, such as pollination, seed dispersal or competition. We present results from an experiment investigating both top-down and bottom-up effects of artificial light at night on the population density of pea aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum in a diverse artificial grassland community in the presence and absence of predators and under low-level light of different spectral composition. We found no evidence for top-down control of A. pisum in this system, but did find evidence for bottom-up effects mediated through the impact of light on flower head density in a leguminous food plant. These results suggest that physiological effects of light on a plant species within a diverse plant community can have detectable demographic effects on a specialist herbivore. PMID:25780243

  10. Cascading effects of artificial light at night: resource-mediated control of herbivores in a grassland ecosystem.

    PubMed

    Bennie, Jonathan; Davies, Thomas W; Cruse, David; Inger, Richard; Gaston, Kevin J

    2015-05-05

    Artificial light at night has a wide range of biological effects on both plants and animals. Here, we review mechanisms by which artificial light at night may restructure ecological communities by modifying the interactions between species. Such mechanisms may be top-down (predator, parasite or grazer controlled), bottom-up (resource-controlled) or involve non-trophic processes, such as pollination, seed dispersal or competition. We present results from an experiment investigating both top-down and bottom-up effects of artificial light at night on the population density of pea aphids Acyrthosiphon pisum in a diverse artificial grassland community in the presence and absence of predators and under low-level light of different spectral composition. We found no evidence for top-down control of A. pisum in this system, but did find evidence for bottom-up effects mediated through the impact of light on flower head density in a leguminous food plant. These results suggest that physiological effects of light on a plant species within a diverse plant community can have detectable demographic effects on a specialist herbivore.

  11. Whole-farm models to quantify greenhouse gas emissions and their potential use for linking climate change mitigation and adaptation in temperate grassland ruminant-based farming systems.

    PubMed

    Del Prado, A; Crosson, P; Olesen, J E; Rotz, C A

    2013-06-01

    The farm level is the most appropriate scale for evaluating options for mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, because the farm represents the unit at which management decisions in livestock production are made. To date, a number of whole farm modelling approaches have been developed to quantify GHG emissions and explore climate change mitigation strategies for livestock systems. This paper analyses the limitations and strengths of the different existing approaches for modelling GHG mitigation by considering basic model structures, approaches for simulating GHG emissions from various farm components and the sensitivity of GHG outputs and mitigation measures to different approaches. Potential challenges for linking existing models with the simulation of impacts and adaptation measures under climate change are explored along with a brief discussion of the effects on other ecosystem services.

  12. Regional variation in the temperature sensitivity of soil organic matter decomposition in China's forests and grasslands.

    PubMed

    Liu, Yuan; He, Nianpeng; Zhu, Jianxing; Xu, Li; Yu, Guirui; Niu, Shuli; Sun, Xiaomin; Wen, Xuefa

    2017-01-05

    How to assess the temperature sensitivity (Q10 ) of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and its regional variation with high accuracy is one of the largest uncertainties in determining the intensity and direction of the global carbon (C) cycle in response to climate change. In this study, we collected a series of soils from 22 forest sites and 30 grassland sites across China to explore regional variation in Q10 and its underlying mechanisms. We conducted a novel incubation experiment with periodically changing temperature (5-30 °C), while continuously measuring soil microbial respiration rates. The results showed that Q10 varied significantly across different ecosystems, ranging from 1.16 to 3.19 (mean 1.63). Q10 was ordered as follows: alpine grasslands (2.01) > temperate grasslands (1.81) > tropical forests (1.59) > temperate forests (1.55) > subtropical forests (1.52). The Q10 of grasslands (1.90) was significantly higher than that of forests (1.54). Furthermore, Q10 significantly increased with increasing altitude and decreased with increasing longitude. Environmental variables and substrate properties together explained 52% of total variation in Q10 across all sites. Overall, pH and soil electrical conductivity primarily explained spatial variation in Q10 . The general negative relationships between Q10 and substrate quality among all ecosystem types supported the C quality temperature (CQT) hypothesis at a large scale, which indicated that soils with low quality should have higher temperature sensitivity. Furthermore, alpine grasslands, which had the highest Q10 , were predicted to be more sensitive to climate change under the scenario of global warming.

  13. Ecosystem-scale volatile organic compound fluxes during an extreme drought in a broadleaf temperate forest of the Missouri Ozarks (central USA).

    PubMed

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Guenther, Alex; Hosman, Kevin P; Pallardy, Stephen G; Gu, Lianhong; Geron, Chris; Harley, Peter; Kim, Saewung

    2015-10-01

    Considerable amounts and varieties of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between vegetation and the surrounding air. These BVOCs play key ecological and atmospheric roles that must be adequately represented for accurately modeling the coupled biosphere-atmosphere-climate earth system. One key uncertainty in existing models is the response of BVOC fluxes to an important global change process: drought. We describe the diurnal and seasonal variation in isoprene, monoterpene, and methanol fluxes from a temperate forest ecosystem before, during, and after an extreme 2012 drought event in the Ozark region of the central USA. BVOC fluxes were dominated by isoprene, which attained high emission rates of up to 35.4 mg m(-2)  h(-1) at midday. Methanol fluxes were characterized by net deposition in the morning, changing to a net emission flux through the rest of the daylight hours. Net flux of CO2 reached its seasonal maximum approximately a month earlier than isoprenoid fluxes, which highlights the differential response of photosynthesis and isoprenoid emissions to progressing drought conditions. Nevertheless, both processes were strongly suppressed under extreme drought, although isoprene fluxes remained relatively high compared to reported fluxes from other ecosystems. Methanol exchange was less affected by drought throughout the season, confirming the complex processes driving biogenic methanol fluxes. The fraction of daytime (7-17 h) assimilated carbon released back to the atmosphere combining the three BVOCs measured was 2% of gross primary productivity (GPP) and 4.9% of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on average for our whole measurement campaign, while exceeding 5% of GPP and 10% of NEE just before the strongest drought phase. The meganv2.1 model correctly predicted diurnal variations in fluxes driven mainly by light and temperature, although further research is needed to address model BVOC fluxes during drought events.

  14. Dom Export from Coastal Temperate Bog Forest Watersheds to Marine Ecosystems: Improving Understanding of Watershed Processes and Terrestrial-Marine Linkages on the Central Coast of British Columbia

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Oliver, A. A.; Giesbrecht, I.; Tank, S. E.; Hunt, B. P.; Lertzman, K. P.

    2014-12-01

    The coastal temperate bog forests of British Columbia, Canada, export high amounts of dissolved organic matter (DOM) relative to the global average. Little is known about the factors influencing the quantity and quality of DOM exported from these forests or the role of this terrestrially-derived DOM in near-shore marine ecosystems. The objectives of this study are to better understand patterns and controls of DOM being exported from bog forest watersheds and its potential role in near-shore marine ecosystems. In 2013, the Kwakshua Watershed Ecosystems Study at Hakai Beach Institute (Calvert Island, BC) began year-round routine collection and analysis of DOM, nutrients, and environmental variables (e.g. conductivity, pH, temperature, dissolved oxygen) of freshwater grab samples from the outlets of seven watersheds draining directly to the ocean, as well as near-shore marine samples adjacent to freshwater outflows. Dissolved organic carbon (DOC) varied across watersheds (mean= 11.45 mg L-1, sd± 4.22) and fluctuated synchronously with seasons and storm events. In general, higher DOC was associated with lower specific UV absorbance (SUVA254; mean= 4.59 L mg-1 m-1, sd± 0.55). The relationship between DOC and SUVA254 differed between watersheds, suggesting exports in DOM are regulated by individual watershed attributes (e.g. landscape classification, flow paths) as well as precipitation. We are using LiDAR and other remote sensing data to examine watershed controls on DOC export. At near-shore marine sites, coupled CTD (Conductivity Temperature Depth) and optical measures (e.g. spectral slopes, slope ratios (SR), EEMs), showed a clear freshwater DOM signature within the system following rainfall events. Ongoing work will explore the relationship between bog forest watershed attributes and DOM flux and composition, with implications for further studies on biogeochemical cycling, carbon budgets, marine food webs, and climate change.

  15. Ecosystem-scale volatile organic compound fluxes during an extreme drought in a broadleaf temperate forest of the Missouri Ozarks (central USA)

    SciTech Connect

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Guenther, Alex B.; Hosman, Kevin P.; Pallardy, Stephen G.; Gu, Lianhong; Geron, Chris; Harley, Peter; Kim, Saewung

    2015-07-07

    Considerable amounts and varieties of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between vegeta-tion and the surrounding air. These BVOCs play key ecological and atmospheric roles that must be adequately repre-sented for accurately modeling the coupled biosphere–atmosphere–climate earth system. One key uncertainty in existing models is the response of BVOC fluxes to an important global change process: drought. We describe the diur-nal and seasonal variation in isoprene, monoterpene, and methanol fluxes from a temperate forest ecosystem before, during, and after an extreme 2012 drought event in the Ozark region of the central USA. BVOC fluxes were domi-nated by isoprene, which attained high emission rates of up to 35.4 mg m-2h-1 at midday. Methanol fluxes were characterized by net deposition in the morning, changing to a net emission flux through the rest of the daylight hours. Net flux of CO2 reached its seasonal maximum approximately a month earlier than isoprenoid fluxes, which high-lights the differential response of photosynthesis and isoprenoid emissions to progressing drought conditions. Never-theless, both processes were strongly suppressed under extreme drought, although isoprene fluxes remained relatively high compared to reported fluxes from other ecosystems. Methanol exchange was less affected by drought throughout the season, conflrming the complex processes driving biogenic methanol fluxes. The fraction of daytime (7–17 h) assimilated carbon released back to the atmosphere combining the three BVOCs measured was 2% of gross primary productivity (GPP) and 4.9% of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on average for our whole measurement cam-paign, while exceeding 5% of GPP and 10% of NEE just before the strongest drought phase. The MEGANv2.1 model correctly predicted diurnal variations in fluxes driven mainly by light and temperature, although further research is needed to address model BVOC fluxes

  16. Ecosystem-scale volatile organic compound fluxes during an extreme drought in a broadleaf temperate forest of the Missouri Ozarks (central USA)

    DOE PAGES

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Guenther, Alex; ...

    2015-07-07

    Considerable amounts and varieties of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between vegetation and the surrounding air. These BVOCs play key ecological and atmospheric roles that must be adequately represented for accurately modeling the coupled biosphere–atmosphere–climate earth system. One key uncertainty in existing models is the response of BVOC fluxes to an important global change process: drought. Here, we describe the diurnal and seasonal variation in isoprene, monoterpene, and methanol fluxes from a temperate forest ecosystem before, during, and after an extreme 2012 drought event in the Ozark region of the central USA. BVOC fluxes were dominated by isoprene,more » which attained high emission rates of up to 35.4 mg m 2 h 1 at midday. Methanol fluxes were characterized by net deposition in the morning, changing to a net emission flux through the rest of the daylight hours. Net flux of CO2 reached its seasonal maximum approximately a month earlier than isoprenoid fluxes, which highlights the differential response of photosynthesis and isoprenoid emissions to progressing drought conditions. Nevertheless, both processes were strongly suppressed under extreme drought, although isoprene fluxes remained relatively high compared to reported fluxes from other ecosystems. Methanol exchange was less affected by drought throughout the season, confirming the complex processes driving biogenic methanol fluxes. The fraction of daytime (7–17 h) assimilated carbon released back to the atmosphere combining the three BVOCs measured was 2% of gross primary productivity (GPP) and 4.9% of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on average for our whole measurement campaign, while exceeding 5% of GPP and 10% of NEE just before the strongest drought phase. In conclusion, the MEGANv2.1 model correctly predicted diurnal variations in fluxes driven mainly by light and temperature, although further research is needed to address model BVOC fluxes during drought events.« less

  17. Ecosystem-scale volatile organic compound fluxes during an extreme drought in a broadleaf temperate forest of the Missouri Ozarks (central USA)

    SciTech Connect

    Seco, Roger; Karl, Thomas; Guenther, Alex; Hosman, Kevin P.; Pallardy, Stephen G.; Gu, Lianhong; Geron, Chris; Harley, Peter; Kim, Saewung

    2015-07-07

    Considerable amounts and varieties of biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs) are exchanged between vegetation and the surrounding air. These BVOCs play key ecological and atmospheric roles that must be adequately represented for accurately modeling the coupled biosphere–atmosphere–climate earth system. One key uncertainty in existing models is the response of BVOC fluxes to an important global change process: drought. Here, we describe the diurnal and seasonal variation in isoprene, monoterpene, and methanol fluxes from a temperate forest ecosystem before, during, and after an extreme 2012 drought event in the Ozark region of the central USA. BVOC fluxes were dominated by isoprene, which attained high emission rates of up to 35.4 mg m 2 h 1 at midday. Methanol fluxes were characterized by net deposition in the morning, changing to a net emission flux through the rest of the daylight hours. Net flux of CO2 reached its seasonal maximum approximately a month earlier than isoprenoid fluxes, which highlights the differential response of photosynthesis and isoprenoid emissions to progressing drought conditions. Nevertheless, both processes were strongly suppressed under extreme drought, although isoprene fluxes remained relatively high compared to reported fluxes from other ecosystems. Methanol exchange was less affected by drought throughout the season, confirming the complex processes driving biogenic methanol fluxes. The fraction of daytime (7–17 h) assimilated carbon released back to the atmosphere combining the three BVOCs measured was 2% of gross primary productivity (GPP) and 4.9% of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) on average for our whole measurement campaign, while exceeding 5% of GPP and 10% of NEE just before the strongest drought phase. In conclusion, the MEGANv2.1 model correctly predicted diurnal variations in fluxes driven mainly by light and temperature, although further research is needed to address model BVOC fluxes during drought

  18. Evapotranspiration and water balance of high-elevation grassland on the Tibetan Plateau

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Coners, Heinz; Babel, Wolfgang; Willinghöfer, Sandra; Biermann, Tobias; Köhler, Lars; Seeber, Elke; Foken, Thomas; Ma, Yaoming; Yang, Yongping; Miehe, Georg; Leuschner, Christoph

    2016-02-01

    High-elevation grasslands of the Cyperaceae Kobresia pygmaea cover nearly half a million km2 on the Tibetan Plateau. As a consequence of climate change, precipitation patterns in this monsoon-influenced region may change with possible consequences for grassland productivity. Yet, not much is known about the water cycle in this second largest alpine ecosystem of the world. We measured the evapotranspiration of a high-elevation Kobresia pasture system at 4400 m a.s.l. in the south-eastern part of the plateau in two summers using three different approaches, weighable micro-lysimeters, eddy covariance measurements, and water balance modeling with the soil-plant-atmosphere transfer model SEWAB. In good agreement among the three approaches, we found ET rates of 4-6 mm d-1 in moist summer periods (June-August) and ∼2 mm d-1 in dry periods, despite the high elevation and a leaf area index of only ∼1. Measured ET rates were comparable to rates reported from alpine grasslands at 1500-2500 m a.s.l. in temperate mountains, and also matched ET rates of managed lowland grasslands in the temperate zone. At the study site with 430 mm annual precipitation, low summer rainfall reduced ET significantly and infiltration into the subsoil occurred only in moist periods. Our results show that the evapotranspiration of high-elevation grasslands at 4400 m can be as high as in lowland grasslands despite large elevational changes in abiotic and biotic drivers of ET, and periodic water shortage is likely to influence large parts of the Tibetan Kobresia pastures.

  19. Effect of land management on ecosystem carbon fluxes at a subalpine grassland site in the Swiss Alps

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Rogiers, N.; Eugster, W.; Furger, M.; Siegwolf, R.

    2005-04-01

    The influence of agricultural management on the CO2 budget of a typical subalpine grassland was investigated at the Swiss CARBOMONT site at Rigi-Seebodenalp (1025 m a.s.l.) in Central Switzerland. Eddy covariance flux measurements obtained during the first growing season from the mid of spring until the first snow fall (17 Mai to 25 September 2002) are reported. With respect to the 10-year average 1992 2001, we found that this growing season had started 10 days earlier than normal, but was close to average temperature with above-normal precipitation (100 255% depending on month). Using a footprint model we found that a simple approach using wind direction sectors was adequate to classify our CO2 fluxes as being controlled by either meadow or pasture. Two significantly different light response curves could be determined: one for periods with external interventions (grass cutting, cattle grazing) and the other for periods without external interventions. Other than this, meadow and pasture were similar, with a net carbon gain of -128 ± 17 g C m-2 on the undisturbed meadow, and a net carbon loss of 79 ± 17 g C m-2 on the managed meadow, and 270 ± 24 g C m-2 on the pasture during 131 days of the growing season, respectively. The grass cut in June reduced the gross CO2 uptake of the meadow by 50 ± 2% until regrowth of the vegetation. Cattle grazing reduced gross uptake over the whole vegetation period (37 ± 2%), but left respiration at a similar level as observed in the meadow.

  20. Is the Invasive Species Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) (Argentine Stem Weevil) a Threat to New Zealand Natural Grassland Ecosystems?

    PubMed Central

    Barratt, Barbara I. P.; Barton, Diane M.; Philip, Bruce A.; Ferguson, Colin M.; Goldson, Stephen L.

    2016-01-01

    Listronotus bonariensis (Argentine stem weevil) is a stem-boring weevil that has become a major pasture pest in New Zealand, and cool climate turf grass in Australia. This species is also frequently found in native tussock grassland in New Zealand. Laboratory and field trials were established to determine the risk posed to both seedlings and established plants of three native grass species compared to what happens with a common host of this species, hybrid ryegrass (L. perenne X L. multiflorum). Adult weevil feeding damage scores were higher on Poa colensoi and Festuca novae-zelandiae than Chionochloa rigida. Oviposition was lower on P. colensoi than hybrid ryegrass, and no eggs were laid on F. novae-zelandiae. In field trials using the same four species established as spaced plants L. bonariensis laid more eggs per tiller in ryegrass in a low altitude pasture site than in ryegrass in a higher altitude site. No eggs were found on the three native grass species at the tussock sites, and only low numbers were found on other grasses at the low altitude pasture site. Despite this, numbers of adult weevils were extracted from the plants in the field trials. These may have comprised survivors of the original weevils added to the plants, together with new generation weevils that had emerged during the experiment. Irrespective, higher numbers were recovered from the tussock site plants than from those from the pasture site. It was concluded that L. bonariensis is likely to have little overall impact, but a greater impact on native grass seedling survival than on established plants. PMID:27507979

  1. Is the Invasive Species Listronotus bonariensis (Kuschel) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) (Argentine Stem Weevil) a Threat to New Zealand Natural Grassland Ecosystems?

    PubMed

    Barratt, Barbara I P; Barton, Diane M; Philip, Bruce A; Ferguson, Colin M; Goldson, Stephen L

    2016-01-01

    Listronotus bonariensis (Argentine stem weevil) is a stem-boring weevil that has become a major pasture pest in New Zealand, and cool climate turf grass in Australia. This species is also frequently found in native tussock grassland in New Zealand. Laboratory and field trials were established to determine the risk posed to both seedlings and established plants of three native grass species compared to what happens with a common host of this species, hybrid ryegrass (L. perenne X L. multiflorum). Adult weevil feeding damage scores were higher on Poa colensoi and Festuca novae-zelandiae than Chionochloa rigida. Oviposition was lower on P. colensoi than hybrid ryegrass, and no eggs were laid on F. novae-zelandiae. In field trials using the same four species established as spaced plants L. bonariensis laid more eggs per tiller in ryegrass in a low altitude pasture site than in ryegrass in a higher altitude site. No eggs were found on the three native grass species at the tussock sites, and only low numbers were found on other grasses at the low altitude pasture site. Despite this, numbers of adult weevils were extracted from the plants in the field trials. These may have comprised survivors of the original weevils added to the plants, together with new generation weevils that had emerged during the experiment. Irrespective, higher numbers were recovered from the tussock site plants than from those from the pasture site. It was concluded that L. bonariensis is likely to have little overall impact, but a greater impact on native grass seedling survival than on established plants.

  2. [Spatiotemporal characteristics of MODIS NDVI in Hulunber Grassland].

    PubMed

    Zhang, Hong-Bin; Yang, Gui-Xia; Wu, Wen-Bin; Li, Gang; Chen, Bao-Rui; Xin, Xiao-Ping

    2009-11-01

    Time-series MODIS NDVI datasets from 2000 to 2008 were used to study the spatial change trend, fluctuation degree, and occurrence time of the annual NDVImax of four typical grassland types, i.e., lowland meadow, temperate steppe, temperate meadow steppe, and upland meadow, in Hulunber Grassland. In 2000-2008, the vegetation in Hulunber Grassland presented an obvious deterioration trend. The mean annual NDVImax of the four grassland types had a great fluctuation, especially in temperate steppe where the maximum change in the mean value of annual NDVImax approximated to 50%. As for the area change of different grade grasslands, the areas with NDVImax between 0.4 and 1 accounted for about 91% of the total grassland area, which suggested the good vegetation coverage in the Grassland. However, though the areas with NDVImax values in (0.4, 0.8) showed an increasing trend, the areas with NDVImax values in (0.2, 0.4) and (0.8, 1) decreased greatly in the study period. Overall, the deteriorating grassland took up about 66.25% of the total area, and the restoring grassland took the rest. There was about 62.85% of the grassland whose NDVImax occurred between the 193rd day and the 225th day in each year, indicating that this period was the most important vegetation growth season in Hulunber Grassland.

  3. The isotopic signature of ecosystem respiration and Eddy Covariance measurements of stable CO2 isotopologues in a temperate beech forest

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Braden-Behrens, Jelka; Knohl, Alexander; Jost, Hans-Jürg

    2016-04-01

    Analyzing the isotopic composition of CO2 fluxes has provided valuable insights into ecosystem gas exchange. Stable isotopes in CO2 have been used for example to analyze different influencing factors of ecosystem respiration and to partition CO2 fluxes into assimilation and respiration e.g. by directly measuring the isotopic composition of CO2 net fluxes on ecosystem scale. During a three month measurement campaign in autumn 2015, we measured the isotopic composition of CO2 in nine different heights using a new, easy-to-use Isotope Ratio Infrared Spectrometer (IRIS) Delta Ray (Thermo Scientific, Bremen) developed for high precision measurements of 13C and 18O in CO2with automatic calibration. Based on a Keeling Plot approach we calculated the isotopic signal of ecosystem respiration in 13C as well as in 18O. Additionally, we performed high frequency (4 Hz) measurements of the isotopic composition of CO2 in 35 m height using a quantum cascade laser based spectrometer (QCLAS, Aerodyne Research) with thermoelectrically cooled detectors. The Delta Ray Analyzer had a cell turnover time of approximately 12s and high temporal stability of a target measurement under field conditions as well as high precision. The minimum of its Allan variance was 0.02‰ for 13δC and 0.03‰ for 18δO with averaging times of app. 290s. The high frequency QCLAS was used to perform 4Hz measurements and showed maximum precision for averaging periods of app. 90s with an Allan Deviation of 0.04‰ for 13δC and 0.06‰ for 18δO. The measured isotopic signal of respired CO2 showed large seasonal variability with nighttime values (taken between 22h and 2h) ranging from -25 to -38‰ for 13δC and from -7.7 to -48.7 ‰ for 18δO. For both δ-values we find large day-to-day variability that exceeds the error of the underlying linear regression. We also show to which extent the two different laser spectrometers which were calibrated completely independently give consistent results and test the

  4. Predicting Ecosystem-scale CO2 Fluxes and Vegetation Biophysical Parameters of a Subalpine Grassland with Continuous Canopy Hyperspectral Reflectance Measurements.

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

    Sakowska, K.; Vescovo, L.; Marcolla, B.; Cavagna, M.; Zampedri, R.; Gianelle, D.

    2015-12-01

    in grassland ecosystem and further upscaling of the observations.

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

    NASA Astrophysics Data System (ADS)

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

    2013-12-01

    This study describes how management of grasslands is included in the Organizing Carbon and Hydrology in Dynamic Ecosystems (ORCHIDEE) process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (grassland management) is enabled with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), with two grassland management practices being considered, cutting and grazing. The evaluation of the results from ORCHIDEE compared with those of ORCHIDEE-GM at 11 European sites, equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, shows that ORCHIDEE-GM can realistically capture the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: leaf area index; AGB: aboveground biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: gross primary productivity; TER: total ecosystem respiration; and NEE: net ecosystem exchange). However, improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM due to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better