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Sample records for california grassland experiment

  1. Variation in soil moisture and N availability modulates carbon and water exchange in a California grassland experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    St. Clair, S.B.; Sudderth, E.; Fischer, M.L.; Torn, M.S.; Stuart, S.; Salve, R.; Eggett, D.; Ackerly, D.

    2009-03-15

    Variability in the magnitude and timing of precipitation is predicted to change under future climate scenarios. The primary objective of this study was to understand how variation in precipitation patterns consisting of soil moisture pulses mixed with intermittent dry down events influence ecosystem gas fluxes. We characterized the effects of precipitation amount and timing, N availability, and plant community composition on whole ecosystem and leaf gas exchange in a California annual grassland mesocosm study system that allowed precise control of soil moisture conditions. Ecosystem CO2 and fluxes increased significantly with greater precipitation and were positively correlated with soil moisture. A repeated 10 day dry down period following 11 days of variable precipitation inputs strongly depressed net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) across a range of season precipitation totals, and plant community types. Ecosystem respiration (Re), evapotranspiration (ET) and leaf level photosynthesis (Amax) showed greatest sensitivity to dry down periods in low precipitation plots. Nitrogen additions significantly increased NEE, Re and Amax, particularly as water availability was increased. These results demonstrate that N availability and intermittent periods of soil moisture deficit (across a wide range of cumulative season precipitation totals) strongly modulate ecosystem gas exchange.

  2. Selenium contamination of the Grasslands, a major California waterfowl area.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ohlendorf, H M; Hothem, R L; Aldrich, T W; Krynitsky, A J

    1987-10-01

    In a recent study at Kesterson Reservoir in California, selenium was shown to cause mortality and deformities in embryos of aquatic birds. The present study was conducted to determine if selenium or other contaminants in agricultural drainwater used for marsh management were likely to cause similar adverse effects in the nearby Grasslands area. Selenium concentrations were elevated (greater than 15 ppm, dry-weight) in livers of some birds of all species collected from the Grasslands. Mean selenium concentrations in all species sampled in the South Grasslands were significantly higher (P less than 0.05) than those from the "control site", the Volta Wildlife Area. Mean selenium levels in black-necked stilts (Himantopus mexicanus) from the South Grasslands (35.6 ppm) were similar (P greater than 0.05) to levels in stilts from Kesterson (46.4 ppm), but means for American avocets (Recurvirostra americana) from the South Grasslands (67.3 ppm) were higher (P less than 0.05) than those from Kesterson (28.4 ppm). Bird eggs and fish from the Grasslands also contained elevated levels of selenium. Concentrations of eight heavy metals in fish generally reflected those patterns previously found in water entering the study areas. Of the organochlorines detected in fish, only DDE occurred at concentrations potentially harmful to birds (6.1 and 3.0 ppm, wet weight, at two South Grassland sites). The effect on avian health or reproduction of the other contaminants, singly or in combination, could not be determined. However, selenium levels were apparently sufficiently elevated in 1984 to have caused adverse effects on avian reproduction in the South Grasslands. PMID:3685947

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-12-01

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

  4. Effects of UV Exposure and Litter Position on Decomposition in a California Grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Lin, Y.; King, JY

    2014-01-01

    The importance of photodegradation in surface litter decomposition has recently been recognized in arid and semi-arid terrestrial ecosystems, yet its importance in decomposing dense litter and the mechanisms through which it acts remain unclear. We investigated how ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure and litter position affected decomposition processes in a California annual grassland. In a split-plot design, we exposed Bromus diandrus litter to two levels of UV radiation (UV pass and UV bloc...

  5. The agrodiversity experiment : three years of data from a multisite study in intensively managed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kirwan, L.; Connolly, J.; Brophy, C.; Elgersma, A.

    2014-01-01

    Intensively managed grasslands are globally prominent ecosystems. We investigated whether experimental increases in plant diversity in intensively managed grassland communities can increase their resource use efficiency. This work consisted of a coordinated, continental-scale 33-site experiment. The

  6. The Effects of Nitrogen Enrichment and a Simulated Rainfall Event on Soil Carbon Dioxide Efflux in an Annual California Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Johnson, T. P.; Strong, A. L.; Chiariello, N.; Field, C. B.

    2013-12-01

    Soils contain the largest pool of carbon in terrestrial ecosystems and play a critical role in the global carbon cycle. Previous studies have shown that enhanced precipitation (projected by climate models) and human activities (such as increased fertilizer use) may alter this cycle by enhancing soil microbial activity, although effects are often variable. Soils in semi-arid grasslands play a vital role in the global carbon cycle and may be responsive to environmental perturbations. Previous studies have demonstrated that wet-up treatments positively influence soil carbon dioxide efflux rates, which are otherwise low during dry summers. A preliminary study performed in a semi-arid annual grassland has shown that long-term nitrogen enrichment (equivalent to 70kg N per hectare) positively influences soil carbon dioxide efflux during peak biomass in the wet season. However, the combined effect and seasonal dynamics of these environmental changes is poorly understood. In order to assess this interaction, we explore the short-term response of soil carbon dioxide efflux rates in a semi-arid grassland to a combination of long-term nitrogen enrichment and a simulated 20-mm rainfall event in the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment (JRCGE), a long-term, multi-factorial experiment in a semi-arid annual grassland located in the foothills of the Santa Cruz mountains in central California. We measured soil carbon dioxide efflux rates from pre-installed soil respiration collars for forty-eight hours after a simulated rainfall event (20mm) during the dry season in late July 2013. Both the enhanced and non-enhanced nitrogen treatments had an immediate pronounced response to the wet-up stimulation in which efflux rates increased by an average of more than six-fold. In contrast with previous studies of soil carbon dioxide efflux at JRGCE during the wet season in which N enrichment elevated efflux rates relative to controls, however, the soil carbon dioxide efflux rates in response

  7. Methane-Oxidizing Bacteria in a California Upland Grassland Soil: Diversity and Response to Simulated Global Change

    OpenAIRE

    Horz, Hans-Peter; Rich, Virginia; Avrahami, Sharon; Bohannan, Brendan J. M.

    2005-01-01

    We investigated the diversity of methane-oxidizing bacteria (i.e., methanotrophs) in an annual upland grassland in northern California, using comparative sequence analysis of the pmoA gene. In addition to identifying type II methanotrophs commonly found in soils, we discovered three novel pmoA lineages for which no cultivated members have been previously reported. These novel pmoA clades clustered together either with clone sequences related to “RA 14” or “WB5FH-A,” which both represent clust...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 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 correlations found between fungal or bacterial mass and enzymatic activity with either of the treatment types. Our results suggest that increased enzymatic activity due to drought could

  9. Response of soil carbon dioxide efflux to fire disturbance in a long-term grassland global change experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strong, A. L.; Chiariello, N.; Tobeck, T.; Field, C. B.

    2012-12-01

    How terrestrial biosphere-atmosphere carbon dioxide exchange responds to global change is an important component to understanding global feedbacks of the carbon cycle. Soils represent a global store of organic carbon on the order of 3000 Pg C. Increased carbon dioxide release from increased respiration of soil C in response to climate warming and other direct and indirect anthropogenic factors could create a positive carbon cycle feedback to climate change. Numerous studies have demonstrated that soil respiration increases under experimental warming and elevated CO2, although the long-term, multi-year dynamics of this feedback remain poorly constrained. Punctuated disturbances, such as fire, are also likely to affect soil C responses, and understanding how fire and other global change factors interact in their influence on soil respiration is important in order to fully characterize climate-carbon cycle feedbacks. Previous studies have found that fire disturbance in semi-arid grasslands reduces soil CO2. The Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment is a thirteen-year continuous full-factorial global change manipulation (elevated carbon dioxide, temperature, precipitation, and nitrogen deposition) located in a clay-loam soil grassland in central coastal California. In summer 2011, an additional treatment condition -- a controlled burn -- was applied to half the experimental plots to provide a fire treatment, and in the following growing season, soil carbon dioxide effluxes were measured at peak aboveground plant biomass (April 2012) and after summer senescence (June 2012) using a LiCOR-6400 soil respiration chamber and infrared gas analyzer. Across all plots and other treatments, CO2 fluxes were greater in burned grassland soils than in non-burned grassland soils (p fertilized with N, than in plots with either single treatment alone. CO2 enrichment had a marginal positive effect on soil CO2 efflux (p 0.10). Neither soil temperature, nor soil moisture appeared to be

  10. Plant species richness and functional composition drive overyielding in a six-year grassland experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Marquard, E.; A. Weigelt; Temperton, V M; Roscher, C; Schumacher, J.; Buchmann, N.; Fischer, M.; Weisser, W. W.; Schmid, B

    2009-01-01

    Plant diversity has been shown to increase community biomass in experimental communities, but the mechanisms resulting in such positive biodiversity effects have remained largely unknown. We used a large-scale six-year biodiversity experiment near Jena, Germany, to examine how aboveground community biomass in grasslands is affected by different components of plant diversity and thereby infer the mechanisms that may underlie positive biodiversity effects. As components of diversity we defined ...

  11. Heterogeneity of water flow in grassland soil during irrigation experiment

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Lichner, Ľ.; Dušek, J.; Tesař, Miroslav; Czachor, H.; Mészároš, I.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 69, č. 11 (2014), s. 1555-1561. ISSN 0006-3088 R&D Projects: GA TA ČR(CZ) TA0201451 Grant ostatní: GA MŠk(CZ) MSM6840770002; ERDF ITMS26240120004 Institutional support: RVO:67985874 Keywords : degree of preferential flow * effective cross section * infiltration experiment * radioactive tracer technique * sandy soil Subject RIV: DA - Hydrology ; Limnology Impact factor: 0.827, year: 2014

  12. Dynamics of ammonia exchange with cut grassland: strategy and implementation of the GRAMINAE Integrated Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Sutton

    2008-08-01

    Full Text Available A major international experiment on ammonia (NH3 biosphere-atmosphere exchange was conducted over intensively managed grassland at Braunschweig, Germany. The experimental strategy was developed to allow an integrated analysis of different features of NH3 exchange including: a quantification of nearby emissions and advection effects, b estimation of net NH3 fluxes with the canopy by a range of micrometeorological measurements, c analysis of the sources and sinks of NH3 within the plant canopy, including soils and bioassay measurements, d comparison of the effects of grassland management options on NH3 fluxes and e assessment of the interactions of NH3 fluxes with aerosol exchange processes. Additional technical objectives included the inter-comparison of different estimates of sensible and latent heat fluxes, as well as continuous-gradient and Relaxed Eddy Accumulation (REA systems for NH3 fluxes.

    The prior analysis established the spatial and temporal design of the experiment, allowing significant synergy between these objectives. The measurements were made at 7 measurement locations, thereby quantifying horizontal and vertical profiles, and covered three phases: a tall grass canopy prior to cutting (7 days, b short grass after cutting (7 days and c re-growing sward following fertilization with ammonium nitrate (10 days. The sequential management treatments allowed comparison of sources-sinks, advection and aerosol interactions under a wide range of NH3 fluxes.

    This paper describes the experimental strategy and reports the grassland management history, soils, environmental conditions and air chemistry during the experiment, finally summarizing how the results are coordinated in the accompanying series of papers.

  13. Invasion of non-native grasses causes a drop in soil carbon storage in California grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Koteen, Laura E; Harte, John [Energy and Resources Group, 310 Barrows Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States); Baldocchi, Dennis D, E-mail: lkoteen@berkeley.edu [Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management, 137 Mulford Hall, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 (United States)

    2011-10-15

    Vegetation change can affect the magnitude and direction of global climate change via its effect on carbon cycling among plants, the soil and the atmosphere. The invasion of non-native plants is a major cause of land cover change, of biodiversity loss, and of other changes in ecosystem structure and function. In California, annual grasses from Mediterranean Europe have nearly displaced native perennial grasses across the coastal hillsides and terraces of the state. Our study examines the impact of this invasion on carbon cycling and storage at two sites in northern coastal California. The results suggest that annual grass invasion has caused an average drop in soil carbon storage of 40 Mg/ha in the top half meter of soil, although additional mechanisms may also contribute to soil carbon losses. We attribute the reduction in soil carbon storage to low rates of net primary production in non-native annuals relative to perennial grasses, a shift in rooting depth and water use to primarily shallow sources, and soil respiratory losses in non-native grass soils that exceed production rates. These results indicate that even seemingly subtle land cover changes can significantly impact ecosystem functions in general, and carbon storage in particular.

  14. Invasion of non-native grasses causes a drop in soil carbon storage in California grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vegetation change can affect the magnitude and direction of global climate change via its effect on carbon cycling among plants, the soil and the atmosphere. The invasion of non-native plants is a major cause of land cover change, of biodiversity loss, and of other changes in ecosystem structure and function. In California, annual grasses from Mediterranean Europe have nearly displaced native perennial grasses across the coastal hillsides and terraces of the state. Our study examines the impact of this invasion on carbon cycling and storage at two sites in northern coastal California. The results suggest that annual grass invasion has caused an average drop in soil carbon storage of 40 Mg/ha in the top half meter of soil, although additional mechanisms may also contribute to soil carbon losses. We attribute the reduction in soil carbon storage to low rates of net primary production in non-native annuals relative to perennial grasses, a shift in rooting depth and water use to primarily shallow sources, and soil respiratory losses in non-native grass soils that exceed production rates. These results indicate that even seemingly subtle land cover changes can significantly impact ecosystem functions in general, and carbon storage in particular.

  15. California's experience with alternative fuel vehicles

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    California is often referred to as a nation-state, and in many aspects fits that description. The state represents the seventh largest economy in the world. Most of California does not have to worry about fuel to heat homes in the winter. What we do worry about is fuel for our motor vehicles, approximately 24 million of them. In fact, California accounts for ten percent of new vehicle sales in the United States each year, much of it used in the transportation sector. The state is the third largest consumer of gasoline in the world, only exceeded by the United States as a whole and the former Soviet Union. California is also a leader in air pollution. Of the nine worst ozone areas in the country cited in the 1990 Clean Air Act Amendments, two areas the Los Angeles Basin and San Diego are located in California. Five of California's cities made the top 20 smoggiest cities in the United States. In reality, all of California's major metropolitan areas have air quality problems. This paper will discuss the beginnings of California's investigations of alternative fuels use in vehicles; the results of the state's demonstration programs; and future plans to improve California's air quality and energy security in the mobile sector

  16. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds and potential nest predators: a removal experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  17. Impacts of tree rows on grassland birds & potential nest predators: A removal experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Reproductive status of western mosquitofish inhabiting selenium- contaminated waters in the Grassland Water District, Merced County, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saiki, M.K.; Martin, B.A.; May, T.W.

    2004-01-01

    This study was implemented to determine if western mosquitofish (Gambusia affinis) populations in the Grassland Water District suffer from impaired reproduction because of seleniferous inflows of agricultural drainwater from the Grassland Bypass Project. During June to July 2001, laboratory trials with pregnant female fish collected from two seleniferous treatment sites exposed to selenium-laden drainwater and two nonseleniferous reference sites yielded fry that averaged >96% survival at birth. In addition, none of the newborn fry exhibited evidence of teratogenesis, a typical consequence of selenium toxicity. Chemical analysis of postpartum female fish and their newborn fry indicated that mosquitofish from seleniferous sites accumulated relatively high body burdens of selenium (3.96 to 17.5 ??g selenium/g in postpartum female fish and 5.35 to 29.2 ??g selenium/g in their fry), whereas those from nonseleniferous sites contained lower body burdens (0.40 to 2.72 ??g selenium/g in postpartum female fish and 0.61 to 4.68 ??g selenium/g in their fry). Collectively, these results strongly suggest that mosquitofish inhabiting selenium- contaminated waters are not experiencing adverse reproductive effects at current levels of selenium exposure.

  19. Seasonal variations in plant nitrogen relations and photosynthesis along a grassland to shrubland gradient in Owens Valley, California

    OpenAIRE

    Goedhart, C. M.; Pataki, D. E.; Billings, S.A.

    2010-01-01

    Community composition in semi-arid ecosystems has largely been explained by water availability; however, nitrogen is a common limiting nutrient, and may be an important control on plant function and carbon uptake. We investigated nitrogen relations and photosynthesis of several dominant species at shallow groundwater sites in Owens Valley, California. We measured soil nitrogen (N) availability, leaf N and isotopes, water isotopes, and gas exchange of dominant shrub species Atriplex torreyi an...

  20. Biogenic and pedogenic controls on Si distributions and cycling in grasslands of the Santa Cruz soil chronosequence, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    White, Art F.; Vivit, Davison V.; Schulz, Marjorie S.; Bullen, Tom D.; Evett, Rand R.; Aagarwal, Jugdeep

    2012-10-01

    Biogenic and pedogenic processes control silica cycling in grasslands growing on a soil chronosequence and dominated by strong seasonal variabilities of a Mediterranean climate. Shallow pore water Si, in spite of significant annual uptake and release by plant growth and dieback, exhibits only moderate seasonal fluctuations reflecting strong buffering from labile biogenic Si, dominated by phytoliths and by secondary pedogenic silicates. Long phytolith residence times (340-900 yrs) reflect the seasonally dry climate and high solute Si concentrations. Water-extractable Si is closely associated with Al, indicating seasonal precipitation and dissolution of a highly labile 1:1 hydroxyaluminosilicate (HAS), probably allophane, which transforms in deeper soil into fine grained, poorly crystalline kaolinite. Shallow plant roots extract greater proportions of biogenic Si and deeper plant roots larger amounts pedogenic Si. High pore water Ge/Si in late winter and spring reflects the reinforcing effects of plant fractionation and concurrent dissolution of Ge-enriched HAS. The same processes produce pore waters with depleted 30Si/28Si. In the summer and fall, Ge/Si declines and 30Si/28Si increases, reflecting the cessation of plant uptake, continued dissolution of soil phytoliths and re-precipitation of less soluble HAS. Si inputs from weathering (2-90 mmol m-2 yr-1) and losses from pore water discharge (18-68 mM m-2 yr-1) are comparable for individual soils, decline with soil age and are significantly less than amounts of Si annual cycled through the vegetation (42-171 mM m-2 yr-1). Mobile Si is generally balanced in the soils with upward bio-pumping by the shallow-rooted grasses efficiently competing against downward leaching and pore water discharge. Small net annual increases in Si in the present day soils could not have been maintained over the time scale represented by the chronosequence (65-225 yrs), implying past changes in environmental conditions.

  1. Validation of SSiB Model over Grassland with CHeRES Field Experiment Data in 2001

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    孙岚; 薛永康

    2004-01-01

    The Simplified Simple Biosphere model (SSiB) is validated in off-line simulations against field measurements in the summer of 2001 from the China Heavy Rainfall Experiment and Study (CHeRES) over a grassland site located in the lower reaches of the Yangtze River. When initialized and driven by the observed atmospheric forcing, the model reproduced the observed surface heat fluxes and surface skin temperature realistically. The model was also able to well simulate the variation of soil water content. The sensitivity experiments found that the leaf reflectance was the most significant parameter in improving the estimation of surface albedo during both wet and dry periods. This study suggests that the model is capable of simulating the physical processes and of assessing the impact of biophysical parameters that relate to land-atmosphere interactions over the eastern Asian monsoon regions, which is crucial for mesoscale atmospheric models.

  2. Ecosystem function enhanced by combining four functional types of plant species in intensively managed grassland mixtures: a 3-year continental-scale field experiment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Finn, J.A.; Connolly, J.; Sebastià, M.T.; Elgersma, A.

    2013-01-01

    1.A coordinated continental-scale field experiment across 31 sites was used to compare the biomass yield of monocultures and four species mixtures associated with intensively managed agricultural grassland systems. To increase complementarity in resource use, each of the four species in the experime

  3. Temperate grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Alba, Christina

    Ipswich: Salem Press - EBSCO Publishing, 2013 - (Howarth, R.), s. 182-187 ISBN 978-1-4298-3813-9 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : grassland * temperate biome * ecology Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  4. Seasonal Variation in the NDVI–Species Richness Relationship in a Prairie Grassland Experiment (Cedar Creek

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ran Wang

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Species richness generally promotes ecosystem productivity, although the shape of the relationship varies and remains the subject of debate. One reason for this uncertainty lies in the multitude of methodological approaches to sampling biodiversity and productivity, some of which can be subjective. Remote sensing offers new, objective ways of assessing productivity and biodiversity. In this study, we tested the species richness–productivity relationship using a common remote sensing index, the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, as a measure of productivity in experimental prairie grassland plots (Cedar Creek. Our study spanned a growing season (May to October, 2014 to evaluate dynamic changes in the NDVI–species richness relationship through time and in relation to environmental variables and phenology. We show that NDVI, which is strongly associated with vegetation percent cover and biomass, is related to biodiversity for this prairie site, but it is also strongly influenced by other factors, including canopy growth stage, short-term water stress and shifting flowering patterns. Remarkably, the NDVI-biodiversity correlation peaked at mid-season, a period of warm, dry conditions and anthesis, when NDVI reached a local minimum. These findings confirm a positive, but dynamic, productivity–diversity relationship and highlight the benefit of optical remote sensing as an objective and non-invasive tool for assessing diversity–productivity relationships.

  5. Strong stoichiometric resilience after litter manipulation experiments; a case study in a Chinese grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. W. Xiao

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available Global climate change has generally increased net primary production which leads to increasing litter inputs. Therefore assessing the impacts of increasing litter inputs on soil nutrients, plant growth and ecological Carbon (C : nitrogen (N : phosphorus (P stoichiometry is critical for an understanding of C, N and P cycling and their feedback processes to climate change. In this study, we added plant litter to the 10–20 cm subsoil layer under a steppe community at rates equivalent to 0, 150, 300, 600 and 1200 g (dry mass m−2 and measured the resulting C, N and P content of different pools (above and below ground plant biomass, litter, microbial biomass. High litter addition (120% of the annual litter inputs significantly increased soil inorganic N and available P, aboveground biomass, belowground biomass and litter. Nevertheless small litter additions, which are more realistic compared to the future predictions, had no effect on the variables examined. Our results suggest that while very high litter addition can strongly affect C : N : P stoichiometry, the grassland studied here is quite resilient to more realistic inputs in terms of stoichiometric functioning. This result highlights the complexity of the ecosystem's response to climate change.

  6. Simulating small-scale climate change effects-lessons from a short-term field manipulation experiment on grassland arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchholz, Sascha; Rolfsmeyer, Dorothee; Schirmel, Jens

    2013-10-01

    Climate change is expected to cause major consequences on biodiversity. Understanding species-specific reactions, such as species shifts, species declines, and changes in population dynamics is a key issue to quantify large-scale impacts of climate change on biotic communities. As it is often impossible or at least impracticable to conduct large-scale experiments on biotic responses to climate change, studies at a smaller scale may be a useful alternative. In our study, we therefore tested responses of grassland arthropods (carabid beetles, spiders, grasshoppers) to simulated climate change in terms of species activity densities and diversity. We conducted a controlled field experiment by changing water and microclimatic conditions at a small scale (16 m(2) ). Roof constructions were used to increase drought-like conditions, whereas water supply was enhanced by irrigation. In all, 2 038 carabid beetles (36 species), 4 893 spiders (65 species), and 303 Orthoptera (4 species) were caught using pitfall traps from May to August, 2010. During our experiment, we created an artificial small-scale climate change; and statistics revealed that these changes had short-term effects on the total number of individuals and Simpson diversity of the studied arthropod groups. Moreover, our results showed that certain species might react very quickly to climate change in terms of activity densities, which in turn might influence diversity due to shifts in abundance patterns. Finally, we devised methodological improvements that may further enhance the validity of future studies. PMID:23956202

  7. The 1994 TIMS airborne calibration experiment: Castaic Lake, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Realmuto, Vincent J.; Hook, Simon J.; Vandenbosch, Jeannette

    1995-01-01

    This summary describes the 9 March 1994 Thermal Infrared Multispectral Scanner (TIMS) airborne calibration experiment conducted at Castaic Lake, California. This experiment was a collaborative effort between the TIMS and Advanced Spaceborne Thermal Emission and Reflection Radiometer (ASTER) science teams at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). TIMS was flown on the NASA/Ames Research Center C130 with the new retractable air fence installed in the TIMS instrument bay. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if the fence would reduce the air turbulence in the TIMS instrument bay, thereby reducing the errors in calibration caused by wind-blast cooling of the blackbody reference sources internal to TIMS. Previous experiments have indicated that the wind blast effect could cause TIMS to over-estimate surface temperatures by more than 10 C. We have examined the TIMS data from twelve lines flown over Castaic Lake. Four of the lines were flown at an altitude of approximately 2.5 km (MSL), four at an altitude of approximately 6.7 km, and four at approximately 8.3 km. At each altitude there were flights with northern and southern headings, with the aircraft level and at a positive pitch (nose-up attitude). The suite of twelve flights was designed to subject the TIMS/air fence system to different wind conditions and air temperatures. The TIMS flights were supported by a ground-truth team, who measured lake surface temperatures from a boat, and an atmosphere characterization team, who launched an airsonde and measured solar irradiance with a Reagan Sun Photometer. The Reagan measurements were used to construct a time-series of estimates of the total abundance of water vapor in the atmospheric column. These estimates were used to constrain modifications of the airsonde water vapor profile measurements made when processing the TIMS data with a customized version of the MODTRAN radiative transfer code.

  8. Biological and climatic controls on leaf litter decomposition across European forests and grasslands revealed by reciprocal litter transplantation experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portillo-Estrada, M.; Pihlatie, M.; Korhonen, J. F. J.; Levula, J.; Frumau, A. K. F.; Ibrom, A.; Lembrechts, J. J.; Morillas, L.; Horváth, L.; Jones, S. K.; Niinemets, Ü.

    2015-11-01

    Projection of carbon and nitrogen cycles to future climates is associated with large uncertainties, in particular due to uncertainties how changes in climate alter soil turnover, including litter decomposition. In addition, future conditions are expected to result in changes in vegetation composition, and accordingly in litter type and quality, but it is unclear how such changes could potentially alter litter decomposition. Litter transplantation experiments were carried out across 6 European sites (4 forest and 2 grasslands) spanning a large geographical and climatic gradient (5.6-11.4 °C in annual temperature 511-878 mm in precipitation) to gain insight into biological (litter origin and type, soil type) and climatic controls on litter decomposition. The decomposition k rates were overall higher in warmer and wetter sites than in colder and drier sites, and positively correlated to the litter total specific leaf area. Also, litter N content increased as less litter mass remained and decay went further. Surprisingly, this study demonstrates that climatic controls on litter decomposition are quantitatively more important than species, litter origin and soil type. Cumulative climatic variables, precipitation and air temperature (ignoring days with air temperatures below 0 °C), were appropriate to predict the litter remaining mass during decomposition (Mr). And Mr and cumulative air temperature were found to be the best predictors for litter carbon and nitrogen remaining during decomposition. We concluded with an equation for predicting the decomposition k rate by using mean annual air temperature and litter total specific leaf area.

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    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 conducte...

  10. Soil phosphorus fractionation in Icelandic long-term grassland field experiments

    OpenAIRE

    Þorsteinn Guðmundsson 1971; Sigurður Þór Guðmundsson 1977; Guðni Þorvaldsson 1952

    2014-01-01

    Long-term fertiliser experiments on hayfields at Sámsstaðir, South Iceland, and Hvanneyri, West Iceland, provided the basis for investigations on phosphorus fractions, the fate of P fertilisers and P sorption in Icelandic soils. Total (Pt), inorganic (Pi), organic (Po), ammonium oxalate extractable (Pox), ammonium lactate extractable (PAL) and anion resin extractable (Pan) fractions were determined. The P sorption was measured and P sorption maximum (Smax) calculated. Ammonium oxalate extract...

  11. Climatic controls on leaf litter decomposition across European forests and grasslands revealed by reciprocal litter transplantation experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Portillo-Estrada, Miguel; Pihlatie, Mari; Korhonen, Janne F. J.; Levula, Janne; Frumau, Arnoud K. F.; Ibrom, Andreas; Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Morillas, Lourdes; Horváth, László; Jones, Stephanie K.; Niinemets, Ülo

    2016-03-01

    Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling under future climate change is associated with large uncertainties in litter decomposition and the turnover of soil C and N. In addition, future conditions (especially altered precipitation regimes and warming) are expected to result in changes in vegetation composition, and accordingly in litter species and chemical composition, but it is unclear how such changes could potentially alter litter decomposition. Litter transplantation experiments were carried out across six European sites (four forests and two grasslands) spanning a large geographical and climatic gradient (5.6-11.4 °C in annual temperature 511-878 mm in precipitation) to gain insight into the climatic controls on litter decomposition as well as the effect of litter origin and species. The decomposition k rates were overall higher in warmer and wetter sites than in colder and drier sites, and positively correlated with the litter total specific leaf area. Also, litter N content increased as less litter mass remained and decay went further. Surprisingly, this study demonstrates that climatic controls on litter decomposition are quantitatively more important than species or site of origin. Cumulative climatic variables, precipitation, soil water content and air temperature (ignoring days with air temperatures below zero degrees Celsius), were appropriate to predict the litter remaining mass during decomposition (Mr). Mr and cumulative air temperature were found to be the best predictors for litter carbon and nitrogen remaining during the decomposition. Using mean annual air temperature, precipitation, soil water content and litter total specific leaf area as parameters we were able to predict the annual decomposition rate (k) accurately.

  12. Dynamics of ammonia exchange with cut grassland: synthesis of results and conclusions of the GRAMINAE Integrated Experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. A. Sutton

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Improved data on biosphere-atmosphere exchange are fundamental to understanding the production and fate of ammonia (NH3 in the atmosphere. The GRAMINAE Integrated Experiment combined novel measurement and modelling approaches to provide the most comprehensive analysis of the interactions to date. Major inter-comparisons of micrometeorological parameters and NH3 flux measurements using the aerodynamic gradient method and relaxed eddy accumulation (REA were conducted. These showed close agreement, though the REA systems proved insufficiently precise to investigate vertical flux divergence. Grassland management had a large effect on fluxes: emissions increased after grass cutting (−50 to 700 ng m−2 s−1 NH3 and after N-fertilization (0 to 3800 ng m−2 s−1 compared with before the cut (−60 to 40 ng m−2 s−1.

    Effects of advection and air chemistry were investigated using horizontal NH3 profiles, acid gas and particle flux measurements. Inverse modelling of NH3 emission from an experimental farm agreed closely with inventory estimates, while advection errors were used to correct measured grassland fluxes. Advection effects were caused both by the farm and by emissions from the field, with an inverse dispersion-deposition model providing a reliable new approach to estimate net NH3 fluxes. Effects of aerosol chemistry on net NH3 fluxes were small, while the measurements allowed NH3-induced particle growth rates to be calculated and aerosol fluxes to be corrected.

    Bioassays estimated the emission potential Γ = [NH4+]/[H+] for different plant pools, with the apoplast having the smallest values (30–1000. The main within-canopy sources of NH3 emission appeared to be leaf litter and the soil surface, with Γ up to 3 million and

  13. Seismic base isolation in practice: The California experience

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Naeim, F. [John A. Martin and Associates, Inc., Los Angeles, CA (United States); Lew, M. [Law/Crandall, Inc., Los Angeles, CA (United States)

    1995-12-01

    Seismic base isolation systems of various forms and features have been implemented in design of many new buildings and in rehabilitation of several existing structures. Currently, at least in California, the seismic isolation option is seriously considered at the onset of design of any hospital or health care facility project. While the design and implementation of seismic isolation systems seem to have been successful, there exist a multitude of problems which need to be addressed during each of the design, manufacturing, and construction processes to ensure a satisfactory end-result. The authors have been involved as structural and geotechnical engineers, as well as peer reviewers and plan checkers for many of the landmark California seismic isolated structures. This paper will provide a summary of state-of-the-practice and its problems for seismic isolated building structures.

  14. Local Transportation Sales Taxes: California's Experiment in Transportation Finance

    OpenAIRE

    Crabbe, Amber; Hiatt, Rachel; Poliwka, Susan D; Wachs, Martin

    2005-01-01

    In the mid-1980's, the California legislature began authorizing sales taxes for transportation projects in individual counties. Since then, residents of 18 counties - representing 80% of the state's population - have voted to raise their sales taxes for limited periods to pay for county and city ground transportation improvements. Collectively, these "local transportation sales taxes" (LTST's) generate roughly$2 billion per year for the support of capital investments in new highways and trans...

  15. Air Pollution and Infant Health : What Can We Learn From California's Recent Experience?

    OpenAIRE

    Currie, Janet; Neidell, Matthew

    2004-01-01

    We examine the impact of air pollution on infant death in California over the 1990s. Our work offers several innovations: First, many previous studies examine populations subject to far greater levels of pollution. In contrast, the experience of California in the 1990s is clearly relevant to current debates over the regulation of pollution. Second, many studies examine a few routinely monitored pollutants in isolation, generally because of data limitations. We examine four criteria' pollutant...

  16. Resuspension and redistribution of radionuclides during grassland and forest fires in the Chernobyl exclusion zone: part I. Fire experiments

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Controlled burning of experimental plots of forest or grassland in the Chernobyl exclusion zone has been carried out in order to estimate the parameters of radionuclide resuspension, transport and deposition during forest and grassland fires and to evaluate the working conditions of firemen. An increase of several orders of magnitude of the airborne radionuclide concentration was observed in the territory near the fire area. The resuspension factor for 137Cs and 9Sr was determined to range from 10-6 to 10-5 m-1, and for the plutonium radionuclides from 10-7 to 10-6 m-1 (related to the nuclides in the combustible biomass). These values are 2 orders of magnitude lower if they are calculated relatively to the total contamination density (including the nuclides in the soil). The radionuclide fallout along the plume axis is negligible in comparison to the existing contamination. However, the additional inhalation dose for firemen exposed in the affected area can reach the level of the additional external irradiation in the period of their mission. The plutonium nuclides constitute the dominating contribution to the inhalation dose

  17. Genetic variation in response to elevated CO 2 in three grassland perennials — a field experiment with two competition regimes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinger, Thomas; Lavigne, Claire; Birrer, Andreas; Groppe, Kathleen; Schmid, Bernhard

    Intraspecific variation in the response to increased concentrations of atmospheric CO 2 was investigated in three plant species ( Bromus erectus, Prunella vulgaris, P. grandiflora) in a calcareous grassland. Genotypes of each species were grown both in multispecies communities and under reduced competition pressure in tubes buried in the soil. Plant growth was reduced in the artificial communities but no significant effect of CO 2 was observed on any of the measured traits. Significant genotype-by-CO 2 interactions were found in two species when plants were grown under reduced competition in the tubes. No genotype-by-CO 2 interactions were found for the same genotypes grown in the multispecies communities indicating that genetic variation was swamped by large environmental variation. Furthermore, no correlations were observed between CO 2 responses of identical genotypes grown individually in tubes and in multispecies communities. This result cautions about the ability to predict CO 2-induced evolutionary changes from data of individually-grown plants.

  18. Summer drought reduces total and litter-derived soil CO2 effluxes in temperate grassland – clues from a 13C litter addition experiment

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. W. I. Schmidt

    2010-03-01

    Full Text Available Current climate change models predict significant changes in rainfall patterns across Europe. To explore the effect of drought on soil CO2 efflux (FSoil and on the contribution of litter to FSoil we used rain shelters to simulate a summer drought (May to July 2007 in an intensively managed grassland in Switzerland by reducing annual precipitation by around 30% similar to the hot and dry year 2003 in Central Europe. We added 13C-depleted as well as unlabelled grass/clover litter to quantify the litter-derived CO2 efflux (FLitter. Soil CO2 efflux and the 13C/12C isotope ratio (δ13C of the respired CO2 after litter addition were measured during the growing season 2007. Drought significantly decreased FSoil in our litter addition experiment by 59% and FLitter by 81% during the drought period itself (May to July, indicating that drought had a stronger effect on the CO2 release from litter than on the belowground-derived CO2 efflux (FBG, i.e. soil organic matter (SOM and root respiration. Despite large bursts in respired CO2 induced by the rewetting after prolonged drought, drought also reduced FSoil and FLitter during the entire 13C measurement period (April to October by 26% and 37%, respectively. Overall, our findings show that drought decreased FSoil and altered its seasonality and its sources. Thus, the C balance of temperate grassland soils respond sensitively to changes in precipitation, a factor that needs to be considered in regional models predicting the impact of climate change on ecosystems C balance.

  19. The sea breeze circulation during the Land Sea Breeze Experiment (LASBEX) in central California.

    OpenAIRE

    Fagan, Michael

    1988-01-01

    The sea breeze circulation was investigated using a combination of acoustic Doppler sodar, Doppler lidar and conventional observations in central California on the coast of Monterey Bay in September 1987. The study was called LASBEX (Land Sea Breeze EXperiment) and used the combined effort and resources of the Naval Postgraduate School (NPS), NOAA Wave Propagation Lab (WPL) and Naval Environmental Prediction Research Facility (NEPRF). A monostatic three-axis phased-array Doppler sodar was...

  20. Experimental Analysis of Nest Predation in a New York Grassland Effects of Habitat and Nest Distribution

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This thesis was the result of two experiments on the depredation of artificial avian ground nests in grasslands and habitat relations of grassland birds on lands in...

  1. Women's childhood and adult adverse experiences, mental health, and binge drinking: The California Women's Health Survey

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavao Joanne

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Abstract Background This study examined sociodemographic, physical and mental health, and adult and childhood adverse experiences associated with binge drinking in a representative sample of women in the State of California. Materials and methods Data were from the 2003 to 2004 (response rates of 72% and 74%, respectively California Women's Health Survey (CWHS, a population-based, random-digit-dial annual probability survey sponsored by the California Department of Health Services. The sample was 6,942 women aged 18 years or older. Results The prevalence of binge drinking was 9.3%. Poor physical health, and poorer mental health (i.e., symptoms of PTSD, anxiety, and depression, feeling overwhelmed by stress, were associated with binge drinking when demographics were controlled, as were adverse experiences in adulthood (intimate partner violence, having been physically or sexually assaulted, or having experienced the death of someone close and in childhood (living with someone abusing substances or mentally ill, or with a mother vicimized by violence, or having been physically or sexually assaulted. When adult mental health and adverse experiences were also controlled, having lived as a child with someone who abused substances or was mentally ill was associated with binge drinking. Associations between childhood adverse experiences and binge drinking could not be explained by women's poorer mental health status in adulthood. Conclusion Identifying characteristics of women who engage in binge drinking is a key step in prevention and intervention efforts. Binge drinking programs should consider comprehensive approaches that address women's mental health symptoms as well as circumstances in the childhood home.

  2. Climatic controls on leaf litter decomposition across European forests and grasslands revealed by reciprocal litter transplantation experiments

    OpenAIRE

    Portillo-Estrada, Miguel; Pihlatie, Mari; Korhonen, Janne F. J.; Levula, Janne; Frumau, Arnoud K. F.; Ibrom, Andreas; Lembrechts, Jonas J.; Morillas, Lourdes; Horvath, Laszlo; Jones, Stephanie K.; Niinemets, Ulo

    2016-01-01

    Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling under future climate change is associated with large uncertainties in litter decomposition and the turnover of soil C and N. In addition, future conditions (especially altered precipitation regimes and warming) are expected to result in changes in vegetation composition, and accordingly in litter species and chemical composition, but it is unclear how such changes could potentially alter litter decomposition. Litter transplantation experiments were carried ...

  3. Grassland Management Plan [Draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This grassland management plan is for Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah. It includes a summary of the refuge, special considerations for endangered species,...

  4. Effects of plant diversity, N fertilization, and elevated carbon dioxide on grassland soil N cycling in a long-term experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mueller, Kevin E; Hobbie, Sarah E; Tilman, David; Reich, Peter B

    2013-04-01

    The effects of global environmental changes on soil nitrogen (N) pools and fluxes have consequences for ecosystem functions such as plant productivity and N retention. In a 13-year grassland experiment, we evaluated how elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), N fertilization, and plant species richness alter soil N cycling. We focused on soil inorganic N pools, including ammonium and nitrate, and two N fluxes, net N mineralization and net nitrification. In contrast with existing hypotheses, such as progressive N limitation, and with observations from other, often shorter, studies, elevated CO2 had relatively static and small, or insignificant, effects on soil inorganic N pools and fluxes. Nitrogen fertilization had inconsistent effects on soil N transformations, but increased soil nitrate and ammonium concentrations. Plant species richness had increasingly positive effects on soil N transformations over time, likely because in diverse subplots the concentrations of N in roots increased over time. Species richness also had increasingly positive effects on concentrations of ammonium in soil, perhaps because more carbon accumulated in soils of diverse subplots, providing exchange sites for ammonium. By contrast, subplots planted with 16 species had lower soil nitrate concentrations than less diverse subplots, especially when fertilized, probably due to greater N uptake capacity of subplots with 16 species. Monocultures of different plant functional types had distinct effects on N transformations and nitrate concentrations, such that not all monocultures differed from diverse subplots in the same manner. The first few years of data would not have adequately forecast the effects of N fertilization and diversity on soil N cycling in later years; therefore, the dearth of long-term manipulations of plant species richness and N inputs is a hindrance to forecasting the state of the soil N cycle and ecosystem functions in extant plant communities. PMID:23504900

  5. Priority effects of time of arrival of plant functional groups override sowing interval or density effects: a grassland experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    von Gillhaussen, Philipp; Rascher, Uwe; Jablonowski, Nicolai D; Plückers, Christine; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Temperton, Vicky M

    2014-01-01

    Priority effects occur when species that arrive first in a habitat significantly affect the establishment, growth, or reproduction of species arriving later and thus affect functioning of communities. However, we know little about how the timing of arrival of functionally different species may alter structure and function during assembly. Even less is known about how plant density might interact with initial assembly. In a greenhouse experiment legumes, grasses or forbs were sown a number of weeks before the other two plant functional types were sown (PFT) in combination with a sowing density treatment. Legumes, grasses or non-legume forbs were sown first at three different density levels followed by sowing of the remaining PFTs after three or six-weeks. We found that the order of arrival of different plant functional types had a much stronger influence on aboveground productivity than sowing density or interval between the sowing events. The sowing of legumes before the other PFTs produced the highest aboveground biomass. The larger sowing interval led to higher asymmetric competition, with highest dominance of the PFT sown first. It seems that legumes were better able to get a head-start and be productive before the later groups arrived, but that their traits allowed for better subsequent establishment of non-legume PFTs. Our study indicates that the manipulation of the order of arrival can create priority effects which favour functional groups of plants differently and thus induce different assembly routes and affect community composition and functioning. PMID:24497995

  6. Conducting a Randomized Field Experiment for the California Department of Corrections: The Experience of the Inmate Classification Experiment

    OpenAIRE

    Berk, Richard

    2004-01-01

    The California Department of Corrections (CDC) has big problems. It houses more prisoners than any other stateís corrections system: 160,000 inmates in 33 prisons and over 50 other facilities. The costs are enormous, including an average of about $30,000 per inmate per year and about $150,000 for each new cell built. The prisons are also very difficult to run. Each year about 25% of the inmates engage in some form of misconduct serious enough to document, and 2.5% commit an offense that would...

  7. Phenylketonuria. Experience at one center in the first year of screening in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, R M; Koch, R; Schaeffler, G E; Wohlers, A; Acosta, P B; Boyle, D

    1968-05-01

    One year's experience with phenylketonuria during the calendar year 1966, the first year for compulsory newborn screening in California, was reviewed. The over-all prevalence rate from reported cases in California during this period was one case per 19,500 persons tested. Fifty-seven persons suspected of having pku were evaluated, and 25 of them were determined to be phenylketonuric. Eleven of the 25 were infants in whom the abnormality was detected through the newborn screening program or because it was detected in a sibling through a screening program. All the newborn phenylketonuric patients were developing normally at the time of last report (although the follow-up periods were short). In nine of the other children, pku was detected because they were retarded. Five retarded children who were diagnosed as phenylketonuric at another clinic were given dietary assistance. Five additional infants had elevated serum phenylalanines but did not have the classic biochemical findings of pku and are being evaluated further. Nine infants with positive screening tests exhibited biochemical and clinical findings consistent with transient tyrosinemia. Eighteen other children were evaluated and found to have no metabolic abnormality. The newborn screening program for pku is of decided benefit in early identification of a group of infants who have a high rate of potentially serious metabolic disease. Early identification permits treatment soon enough to prevent mental retardation. Newly identified patients should be evaluated in a medical setting capable of careful pediatric, biochemical and nutritional surveillance. PMID:5652755

  8. Phenylketonuria—Experience at One Center in the First Year of Screening in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peterson, Raymond M.; Koch, Richard; Schaeffler, Graciela E.; Wohlers, Audrey; Acosta, Phyllis B.; Boyle, David

    1968-01-01

    One year's experience with phenylketonuria during the calendar year 1966, the first year for compulsory newborn screening in California, was reviewed. The over-all prevalence rate from reported cases in California during this period was one case per 19,500 persons tested. Fifty-seven persons suspected of having pku were evaluated, and 25 of them were determined to be phenylketonuric. Eleven of the 25 were infants in whom the abnormality was detected through the newborn screening program or because it was detected in a sibling through a screening program. All the newborn phenylketonuric patients were developing normally at the time of last report (although the follow-up periods were short). In nine of the other children, pku was detected because they were retarded. Five retarded children who were diagnosed as phenylketonuric at another clinic were given dietary assistance. Five additional infants had elevated serum phenylalanines but did not have the classic biochemical findings of pku and are being evaluated further. Nine infants with positive screening tests exhibited biochemical and clinical findings consistent with transient tyrosinemia. Eighteen other children were evaluated and found to have no metabolic abnormality. The newborn screening program for pku is of decided benefit in early identification of a group of infants who have a high rate of potentially serious metabolic disease. Early identification permits treatment soon enough to prevent mental retardation. Newly identified patients should be evaluated in a medical setting capable of careful pediatric, biochemical and nutritional surveillance. PMID:5652755

  9. Limits to nitrogen use on grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Berge, ten H.F.M.; Meer, van der H.G.; Carlier, L.; Baan Hofman, T.; Neeteson, J.J.

    2002-01-01

    Data from nitrogen (N) response experiments on grassland in Belgium and the Netherlands were analysed with the help of a descriptive crop N response model, to identify permissible doses below which no accumulation occurs of residual mineral soil N in autumn, Nmin. Using different years as separate s

  10. Report: Learning And Academic Engagement In The Multiversity - Results Of The First University Of California Undergraduate Experience Survey

    OpenAIRE

    Flacks, Richard; Thomson, Gregg; Douglass, John Aubrey; Kyra Caspary

    2004-01-01

    During the Spring of 2002 and 2003, a team of faculty and institutional researchers conducted an innovative web-based survey on the undergraduate experience at all eight undergraduate campuses of the University of California. This report provides the first formal presentation of preliminary findings from that survey and discusses potential areas of relevance to policy for further research.

  11. Economics of Grassland Conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. How will land use affect air temperature in the surface boundary layer? Lessons learned from a comparative study on the energy balance of an oak savanna and annual grassland in California, USA

    OpenAIRE

    BALDOCCHI, DENNIS; Ma, Siyan

    2013-01-01

    We investigated the effect of land use on differences in air temperature. We based our analysis on a decade of weather and energy flux measurements, collected over two contrasting landscapes, an oak savanna and an annual grassland, growing under the same climate conditions. Over the decade, the daily-averaged, potential air temperature above the aerodynamically rougher and optically darker oak savanna was 0.5°C warmer than that above the aerodynamically smoother and optically brighter annual ...

  13. [Experiences of undocumented Mexican migrant women when accessing sexual and reproductive health services in California, USA: a case study].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deeb-Sossa, Natalia; Díaz Olavarrieta, Claudia; Juárez-Ramírez, Clara; García, Sandra G; Villalobos, Aremis

    2013-05-01

    This study focuses on the experience of Mexican women migrants in California, USA, with the use of formal health services for sexual and reproductive health issues. The authors used a qualitative interpretative approach with life histories, interviewing eight female users of healthcare services in California and seven key informants in Mexico and California. There were three main types of barriers to healthcare: immigration status, language, and gender. Participants reported long waiting times, discriminatory attitudes, and high cost of services. A combination of formal and informal healthcare services was common. The assessment of quality of care was closely related to undocumented immigration status. Social support networks are crucial to help solve healthcare issues. Quality of care should take intercultural health issues into account. PMID:23703003

  14. Study on Soil and Water Conservation Benefit Models of Grassland Ecosystem-A Case Study on Jianou Mountain Grassland Ecosystem

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHU Lian-qi; WANG Yu-biao; ZHAO Qing-liang

    2001-01-01

    This paper studies the mechanism of grassland ecosystem's soil and water conservation function on the basis of two years experiment and inspection in Jianou mountain grassland ecosystem experiment station, Fujian province. After analysis on the data of soil erosion and runoff coefficient, relations between eroded soil. runoff and slope gradient, we establish soil and water conservation benefit models. According to the models, experiment and inspection results, some proposals have been made to decrease the area of soil erosion in Fujian mountainous areas, e. g. , optimizing land use structure in mountainous areas, taking suitable measures for local condition, closing hills for grassland development, accelerating restoration and raising quality of mountain grassland ecosystem, strengthening scientific and technological input, breeding the grass species that are suitable to local physical geographic condition.

  15. Public Outreach and Educational Experiences in Mexico and Latin American communities in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andres De Leo-Winkler, Mario; Canalizo, Gabriela; Pichardo, Barbara; Arias, Brenda

    2015-08-01

    I have created and applied diverse methods in public outreach at National Autonomous Univerisity of Mexico (UNAM) since 2001.A student-led volunteer astronomical club has been created, the biggest in Mexico. We serve over 10,000 people per year. We have created public outreach activities for the general audience: archeo-astronomical outings, scientific movie debates, conferences, courses, public telescope viewings. We have also worked with juvenile delinquents to offer them scientific opportunities when released from jail.I've also created and worked the social media for the Institute of Astronomy UNAM, which is currently the biggest social media site on astronomy in Spanish in the world. I've created and organized a mass photo exhibition (over 1 million people served) for the Institute of Astronomy, UNAM which was citizen-funded through an online platform, the first of its kind in the country. Together with my colleages, we created workshops on astronomy for children with the Mexican's government funding.I've participated in several radio and television programs/capsules designed to bring astronomy to the general audience, one in particular ("Astrophysics for Dummies") was very successful in nation-wide Mexican radio.I am currently applying all experiences to develop a new public outreach project on astronomy for the University of California - Riverside and its on-campus and surrounding Latin American communities. We are offering new workshops for blind and deaf children. We want to integrate the Latino community to our outreach activities and offer science in their language in a simple and entertaining fashion. We have also successfully applied astrophotography as a course which brings social-science and arts undergraduate students into natural sciences.Sharing experiences, success and failure stories will help new and experienced educators and public outreach professionals learn and better from past experiences.

  16. Chicken Farming in Grassland Increases Environmental Sustainability and Economic Efficiency

    OpenAIRE

    Meizhen Liu; Bingxue Wang; Osborne, Colin P; Gaoming Jiang

    2013-01-01

    BACKGROUND: Grassland degradation caused by overgrazing poses a threat to both animal husbandry and environmental sustainability in most semi-arid areas especially north China. Although the Chinese Government has made huge efforts to restore degraded grasslands, a considerable attempt has unfortunately failed due to an inadequate consideration of economic benefits to local communities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A controlled field experiment was conducted to test our hypothesis that util...

  17. Development and Adoption of a Watershed Approach to Compensatory Mitigation: Experiences in Colorado and California

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this article, we examine the adoption of the watershed approach and its technical methods into regulatory programs in Colorado and California. Specific steps and motives for the adoption are explained. Through close collaboration, regulators have systematically been made aware...

  18. Prevention of natural grassland invasion by Eragrostis plana Nees using ecological management practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Telmo Focht

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of different types of disturbance on the ability of the natural grassland to avoid the invasion of Eragrostis plana Nees (South African lovegrass. The experiment was carried out in Dom Pedrito, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in an area free of South African lovegrass, from Feb. 2004 to Apr. 2007. The treatments were: 1 grassland management regimes: exclusion; low grazing intensity (rotational grazing, ±10 cm; and high grazing intensity (continuous grazing, ±5 cm; 2 initial levels of soil disturbance: high grassland, ±10 cm; low grassland, ±5 cm height; and low grassland with scarified soil; 3 fertilization regimes: without fertilization; phosphorus; and nitrogen. The experimental design was a split-split-plot type in complete blocks, with three replicates. Three winter cultivated species - Trefoil repens L., Lotus corniculatus L., Lolium multiflorum Lam. and South African lovegrass -were sown in 54 split-splitplots (split-plots: low grassland, and low grassland with scarified soil. The other 27 split-split-plots (split-plots: high grassland were sown only with South African lovegrass. The grassland height, plant number of South African lovegrass, grassland dry mass and photosynthetic active radiation intercepted (FARint at the soil level were recorded. The fertilization regimes did not influence the South African lovegrass plant number. The initial levels of soil disturbance and grassland management regimes influenced the invasion of South African lovegrass. The invasion was favored by the lower grassland height and lower forage mass, higher intensity of the soil disturbance, and higher FARint due to the continuous grazing. On the contrary, higher grassland height, higher forage mass, lower soil disturbance and lower FARint, associated with rotational grazing or exclusion, showed higher potential to control the invasion of South African lovegrass in the natural grassland.

  19. Deregulation and natural gas trade relationships: lessons from the Alberta-California experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In 1978 the US government moved to deregulate the American natural gas industry. The market changes that resulted from this initial step took time to ripple their way out to regional and subnational gas trading relationships. This ripple effect required subnational governments (state and provincial regulators) to rethink their gas regulatory policies. This article examines the restructuring of the Alberta-California gas trade. It explores how changes in US policy forced California and Alberta regulators to recast their policies. It concludes with several lessons that can be drawn from this case about the complex challenge of restructuring international gas trading relationships. (author)

  20. Land Use and Transportation Planning in Response to Congestion: The California Experience

    OpenAIRE

    Deakin, Elizabeth

    1989-01-01

    This paper reviews land use and transportation planning policies and practices in California and assesses issues raised by various strategies being utilized to address congestion problems. Shrinking revenues, escalating costs, and concerns about social and environmental impacts have combined to constrain state highway building; financial problems and difficulties in attracting riders have deterred transit expansion. Consequently, local governments are having to shoulder greater respo...

  1. Local Control Funding Formula in California: How to Monitor Progress and Learn from a Grand Experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuller, Bruce; Tobben, Laura

    2014-01-01

    The Local Control Funding Formula (LCFF) was enacted by the California legislature in June 2013 and fundamentally changes the distribution of education dollars to districts. The legislation simplifies the formula for sending money to districts and now takes into account the higher costs of educating certain groups of students, specifically those…

  2. Root biomass and carbon storage in differently managed multispecies temporary grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Eriksen, Jørgen; Mortensen, Tine Bloch; Søegaard, Karen

    2012-01-01

    Species-rich grasslands may potentially increase carbon (C) storage in soil, and an experiment was established to investigate C storage in highly productive temporary multi-species grasslands. Plots were established with three mixtures: (1) a herb mixture containing salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor...

  3. Tobacco control advocates must demand high-quality media campaigns: the California experience

    OpenAIRE

    Balbach, E; GLANTZ, S.

    1998-01-01

    OBJECTIVE—To document efforts on the part of public officials in California to soften the media campaign's attack on the tobacco industry and to analyse strategies to counter those efforts on the part of tobacco control advocates.
METHODS—Data were gathered from interviews with programme participants, direct observation, written materials, and media stories. In addition, internal documents were released by the state's Department of Health Services in response to requests made under the Califo...

  4. Local Transportation Sales Taxes: California's Experiment in Transportation Finance (Detailed Research Findings)

    OpenAIRE

    Crabbe, Amber; Hiatt, Rachel; Poliwka, Susan; Watts, Michael

    2002-01-01

    In the mid-1980's, the California legislature began authorizing sales taxes for transportation projects in individual counties. Since then, residents of 18 counties - representing 80% of the state's population - have voted to raise their sales taxes for limited periods to pay for county and city ground transportation improvements. Collectively, these "local transportation sales taxes" (LTSTs) generate roughly $2 billion per year for the support of capital investments in new highways and trans...

  5. Adapting agricultural water governance to climate change: Experiences from Germany, Spain and California

    OpenAIRE

    Theesfeld, Insa; Schmidt, Oscar; Scheumann, Waltina; Herrfahrdt-Pähle, Elke; Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe

    2011-01-01

    This study describes and discusses initiatives taken by public (water) agencies in the state of Brandenburg in Germany, the state of California in the USA and the Ebro River Basin in Spain in response to the challenges which climate change poses for the agricultural water sector. The drivers and actors and the process of changing agricultural water governance are its particular focus. The assumptions discussed are: (i) the degree of planned and anticipatory top-down implementation processes d...

  6. [Vegetation index estimation by chlorophyll content of grassland based on spectral analysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiao, Han; Chen, Xiu-Wan; Yang, Zhen-Yu; Li, Huai-Yu; Zhu, Han

    2014-11-01

    Comparing the methods of existing remote sensing research on the estimation of chlorophyll content, the present paper confirms that the vegetation index is one of the most practical and popular research methods. In recent years, the increasingly serious problem of grassland degradation. This paper, firstly, analyzes the measured reflectance spectral curve and its first derivative curve in the grasslands of Songpan, Sichuan and Gongger, Inner Mongolia, conducts correlation analysis between these two spectral curves and chlorophyll content, and finds out the regulation between REP (red edge position) and grassland chlorophyll content, that is, the higher the chlorophyll content is, the higher the REIP (red-edge inflection point) value would be. Then, this paper constructs GCI (grassland chlorophyll index) and selects the most suitable band for retrieval. Finally, this paper calculates the GCI by the use of satellite hyperspectral image, conducts the verification and accuracy analysis of the calculation results compared with chlorophyll content data collected from field of twice experiments. The result shows that for grassland chlorophyll content, GCI has stronger sensitivity than other indices of chlorophyll, and has higher estimation accuracy. GCI is the first proposed to estimate the grassland chlorophyll content, and has wide application potential for the remote sensing retrieval of grassland chlorophyll content. In addition, the grassland chlorophyll content estimation method based on remote sensing retrieval in this paper provides new research ideas for other vegetation biochemical parameters' estimation, vegetation growth status' evaluation and grassland ecological environment change's monitoring. PMID:25752061

  7. Challenges with controlling varicella in prison settings: Experience of California, 2010–2011

    OpenAIRE

    Leung, Jessica; Lopez, Adriana S.; Tootell, Elena; Baumrind, Nikki; Mohle-Boetani, Janet; Leistikow, Bruce; Harriman, Kathleen H.; Preas, Christopher P.; Cosentino, Giorgio; Bialek, Stephanie R.; Marin, Mona

    2014-01-01

    We describe the epidemiology of varicella in one state prison in California during 2010–2011, control measures implemented, and associated costs. Eleven varicella cases were reported, 9 associated with 2 outbreaks. One outbreak consisted of 3 cases and the second consisted of 6 cases with 2 generations of spread. Among exposed inmates serologically tested, 98% (643/656) were VZV sero-positive. The outbreaks resulted in >1,000 inmates exposed, 444 staff exposures, and >$160,000 in costs. We do...

  8. Chicken farming in grassland increases environmental sustainability and economic efficiency.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meizhen Liu

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Grassland degradation caused by overgrazing poses a threat to both animal husbandry and environmental sustainability in most semi-arid areas especially north China. Although the Chinese Government has made huge efforts to restore degraded grasslands, a considerable attempt has unfortunately failed due to an inadequate consideration of economic benefits to local communities. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: A controlled field experiment was conducted to test our hypothesis that utilizing natural grasslands as both habitat and feed resources for chickens and replacing the traditional husbandry system with chicken farming would increase environmental sustainability and raise income. Aboveground plant biomass elevated from 25 g m(-2 for grazing sheep to 84 g m(-2 for chicken farming. In contrast to the fenced (unstocked grassland, chicken farming did not significantly decrease aboveground plant biomass, but did increase the root biomass by 60% (p<0.01. Compared with traditional sheep grazing, chicken farming significantly improved soil surface water content (0-10 cm, from 5% to 15%. Chicken farming did not affect the soil bulk density, while the traditional sheep grazing increased the soil bulk density in the 0-10 cm soil layer by 35% of the control (p<0.05. Most importantly, the economic income of local herdsmen has been raised about six times compared with the traditional practice of raising sheep. Ecologically, such an innovative solution allowed large degraded grasslands to naturally regenerate. Grasslands also provided a high quality organic poultry product which could be marketed in big cities. CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: Chicken farming is an innovative alternative strategy for increasing environmental sustainability and economic income, rather than a challenge to the traditional nomadic pastoral system. Our approach might be technically applicable to other large degraded grasslands of the world, especially in China.

  9. Geothermal Gases--Community Experiences, Perceptions, and Exposures in Northern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chiu, Cindy H; Lozier, Matthew J; Bayleyegn, Tesfaye; Tait, Karen; Barreau, Tracy; Copan, Lori; Roisman, Rachel; Jackson, Rebecca; Smorodinsky, Svetlana; Kreutzer, Richard A; Yip, Fuyuen; Wolkin, Amy

    2015-12-01

    Lake County, California, is in a high geothermal-activity area. Over the past 30 years, the city of Clearlake has reported health effects and building evacuations related to geothermal venting. Previous investigations in Clearlake revealed hydrogen sulfide at levels known to cause health effects and methane at levels that can cause explosion risks. The authors conducted an investigation in multiple cities and towns in Lake County to understand better the risk of geothermal venting to the community. They conducted household surveys and outdoor air sampling of hydrogen sulfide and methane and found community members were aware of geothermal venting and some expressed concerns. The authors did not, however, find hydrogen sulfide above the California Environmental Protection Agency air quality standard of 30 parts per billion over one hour or methane above explosive thresholds. The authors recommend improving risk communication, continuing to monitor geothermal gas effects on the community, and using community reports and complaints to monitor and document geothermal venting incidents. PMID:26738314

  10. Environmental Assessment for the proposed Induction Linac System Experiments in Building 51B at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) has prepared an Environmental Assessment (EA), (DOE/EA-1087) evaluating the proposed action to modify existing Building 51B at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (LBNL) to install and conduct experiments on a new Induction Linear Accelerator System. LBNL is located in Berkeley, California and operated by the University of California (UC). The project consists of placing a pre-fabricated building inside Building 51B to house a new 10 MeV heavy ion linear accelerator. A control room and other support areas would be provided within and directly adjacent to Building 51B. The accelerator system would be used to conduct tests, at reduced scale and cost, many features of a heavy-ion accelerator driver for the Department of Energy's inertial fusion energy program. Based upon information and analyses in the EA, the DOE has determined that the proposed action is not a major Federal action significantly affecting the quality of the human environment within the meaning of the National Environmental Policy Act of 1969. Therefore, an Environmental Impact Statement is not required. This report contains the Environmental Assessment, as well as the Finding of No Significant Impact (FONSI)

  11. Challenges with controlling varicella in prison settings: Experience of California, 2010–2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Jessica; Lopez, Adriana S.; Tootell, Elena; Baumrind, Nikki; Mohle-Boetani, Janet; Leistikow, Bruce; Harriman, Kathleen H.; Preas, Christopher P.; Cosentino, Giorgio; Bialek, Stephanie R.; Marin, Mona

    2015-01-01

    We describe the epidemiology of varicella in one state prison in California during 2010–2011, control measures implemented, and associated costs. Eleven varicella cases were reported, 9 associated with 2 outbreaks. One outbreak consisted of 3 cases and the second consisted of 6 cases with 2 generations of spread. Among exposed inmates serologically tested, 98% (643/656) were VZV sero-positive. The outbreaks resulted in >1,000 inmates exposed, 444 staff exposures, and >$160,000 in costs. We documented the challenges and costs associated with controlling and managing varicella in a prison setting. A screening policy for evidence of varicella immunity for incoming inmates and staff and vaccination of susceptible persons has the potential to mitigate the impact of future outbreaks and reduce resources necessary for managing cases and outbreaks. PMID:25201912

  12. Challenges with controlling varicella in prison settings: experience of California, 2010 to 2011.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leung, Jessica; Lopez, Adriana S; Tootell, Elena; Baumrind, Nikki; Mohle-Boetani, Janet; Leistikow, Bruce; Harriman, Kathleen H; Preas, Christopher P; Cosentino, Giorgio; Bialek, Stephanie R; Marin, Mona

    2014-10-01

    This article describes the epidemiology of varicella in one state prison in California during 2010 and 2011, control measures implemented, and associated costs. Eleven varicella cases were reported, of which nine were associated with two outbreaks. One outbreak consisted of three cases and the second consisted of six cases with two generations of spread. Among exposed inmates serologically tested, 98% (643/656) were varicella-zoster virus seropositive. The outbreaks resulted in > 1,000 inmates exposed, 444 staff exposures, and > $160,000 in costs. The authors documented the challenges and costs associated with controlling and managing varicella in a prison setting. A screening policy for evidence of varicella immunity for incoming inmates and staff and vaccination of susceptible persons has the potential to mitigate the impact of future outbreaks and reduce resources necessary to manage cases and outbreaks. PMID:25201912

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  14. A transparent oversight policy for human anatomical specimen management: the University of California, Davis experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmitt, Brandi; Wacker, Charlotte; Ikemoto, Lisa; Meyers, Frederick J; Pomeroy, Claire

    2014-03-01

    The authors describe the development and implementation of a University of California (UC) system of oversight, education, tracking, and accountability for human anatomical specimen use in education and research activities. This program was created and initially implemented at UC Davis in 2005. Several incidents arising out of the handling of human anatomical specimens at UC campuses revealed significant challenges in the system for maintaining control of human anatomical specimens used in education and research. These events combined to undermine the public perception for research and educational endeavors involving anatomical materials at public institutions. Risks associated with the acquisition, maintenance, and disposal of these specimens were not fully understood by the faculty, staff, and students who used them. Laws governing sources of specimens are grouped with those that govern organ procurement and tissue banking, and sometimes are found in cemetery and funeral regulations. These variables complicate interpretations and may hinder compliance. To regain confidence in the system, the need to set appropriate and realistic guidelines that mitigate risk and facilitate an institution's research and educational mission was identified. This article chronicles a multiyear process in which diverse stakeholders developed (1) a regulatory policy for oversight, (2) a policy education program, (3) procedures for tracking and accountability, and (4) a reporting and enforcement mechanism for appropriate and ethical use of human anatomical specimens in university education and research. PMID:24448034

  15. The fluorescent tracer experiment on Holiday Beach near Mugu Canyon, Southern California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kinsman, Nicole; Xu, J. P.

    2012-01-01

    After revisiting sand tracer techniques originally developed in the 1960s, a range of fluorescent coating formulations were tested in the laboratory. Explicit steps are presented for the preparation of the formulation evaluated to have superior attributes, a thermoplastic pigment/dye in a colloidal mixture with a vinyl chloride/vinyl acetate copolymer. In September 2010, 0.59 cubic meters of fluorescent tracer material was injected into the littoral zone about 4 kilometers upcoast of Mugu submarine canyon in California. The movement of tracer was monitored in three dimensions over the course of 4 days using manual and automated techniques. Detailed observations of the tracer's behavior in the coastal zone indicate that this tracer successfully mimicked the native beach sand and similar methods could be used to validate models of tracer movement in this type of environment. Recommendations including how to time successful tracer studies and how to scale the field of view of automated camera systems are presented along with the advantages and disadvantages of the described tracer methodology.

  16. Childhood Experiences and Psychosocial Influences on HIV Risk among Adolescent Latinas in Southern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Newcomb, Michael D.; Locke, Thomas F.; Goodyear, Rodney K.

    2003-01-01

    This study determined how adverse childhood experiences influenced risky sexual behavior in a community sample of Latina adolescents in Los Angeles. Psychosocial, sociocultural, and environmental mediators of the relations between childhood experiences and risky sexual behavior were tested. Childhood maltreatment was associated with risky sexual…

  17. The mineral composition in grassland growing in Kosova

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    IMER RUSINOVCI

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands represent a land-use which is effective and has great economical importance in the European agriculture. Grasslands represent an important and effective source of energy and proteins to ruminants, and combine high yield stability and draught resistance with low tillage operations and pesticide use and thus leading to good environmental conditions. Furthermore, good management practice in grasslands provides high potential of carbon sequestration in soils, resulting in climate change mitigation. The field experiment were carried out on a field study was conducted in the central part of Kosovo, respectively Lipjani location 15 km near the capitol city of Prishtina. The plot sizes were 81. 5x 8m per plot or 12 m2. The fertilization also was used in quantity 80 kg N ha -1. In experiment was including four treatments: C- Control (normal cutting without harrowing; Cutting regime include; A-One week early without harrowing, B- One week later without harrowing and H-With harrowing. The samples were decomposed with concentrated HNO3 at 250°C in Ultra-Clave from Milestone (Milestone microwave Ultra clave III. The samples were diluted to 10 % concentrated HNO3 before analysis. The results were obtained in our study demonstrated that substantial differences in mineral composition exist in grasslands. The four treatments had considerable variation in mineral composition. The Aluminum (Al and Calcium (Ca content ranged from 0. 36 to 0. 19 and 5. 07 to 7. 31 g kg-1 respectively.

  18. Operation and maintenance experience at the General Atomic Company's TRIGA reactor facility at San Diego, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Since the startup of the original 250 kW TRIGA Mark I reactor in 1958, General Atomic Company has accumulated nearly 24 years of operation and maintenance experience with this type of reactor. In addition to the nearly 24 years of experience gained on the Mark I, GA has operated the 1.5 MW Advanced Prototype Test Reactor (Mark F) for 22 years and operated a 2 MW below-ground TRIGA Mark III for five years. Information obtained from normal and abnormal operation are presented. (author)

  19. Effects of subalpine grassland management on hydrology and vegetation productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fatichi, Simone; Zeeman, Matthias; Fuhrer, Jürg; Burlando, Paolo

    2014-05-01

    Grassland and pastures are very typical land uses in subalpine and alpine environments. Grass is typically subjected to management practices that can change the biophysical structure of the plant canopy through defoliation and alter soil hydraulic properties. These changes are expected to impact hydrological and energy fluxes as well as vegetation primary productivity. In this study a mechanistic model is used to investigate the effects of management practices (grass cut, grazing, and the consequent soil compaction due to treading by animals) on water and carbon dynamics. The model is first confirmed using energy, water, and carbon fluxes measured at three eddy covariance stations above grasslands in Switzerland and discharge measured in a small experimental catchment. Successively, a series of virtual experiments are conceived to elucidate the impacts of management scenarios at the plot and catchment scales. Numerical results show that only the most severe management actions such as low grass cuts or heavy grazing intensities are able to influence the long-term hydrological behavior. Moderate grassland management practices are unlikely to be effective in modifying the system both at the local and catchment scale. An important exception is represented by the short-term effect of soil compaction that can reduce infiltration capacity leading to peak flow considerably higher than in undisturbed conditions. The productivity of vegetation in absence of nutrient limitation is affected by the different management scenarios with tolerable disturbances that lead to higher aboveground net primary production. Such a result can have important consequences in terms of grassland management planning.

  20. California Bioregions

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — California regions developed by the Inter-agency Natural Areas Coordinating Committee (INACC) were digitized from a 1:1,200,000 California Department of Fish and...

  1. A global comparison of grassland biomass responses to CO2 and nitrogen enrichment

    OpenAIRE

    Lee, Mark; Manning, Pete; Rist, Janna; Power, Sally A.; Marsh, Charles

    2010-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover vast areas of the Earth's surface and provide many ecosystem services including carbon (C) storage, biodiversity preservation and the production of livestock forage. Predicting the future delivery of these services is difficult, because widespread changes in atmospheric CO2 concentration, climate and nitrogen (N) inputs are expected. We compiled published data from global change driver manipulation experiments and combined these with climate data to assess grassland...

  2. Prevention of natural grassland invasion by Eragrostis plana Nees using ecological management practices

    OpenAIRE

    Telmo Focht; Renato Borges de Medeiros

    2012-01-01

    The objective of this research was to evaluate the effects of different types of disturbance on the ability of the natural grassland to avoid the invasion of Eragrostis plana Nees (South African lovegrass). The experiment was carried out in Dom Pedrito, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, in an area free of South African lovegrass, from Feb. 2004 to Apr. 2007. The treatments were: 1) grassland management regimes: exclusion; low grazing intensity (rotational grazing), ±10 cm; and high grazing intensity...

  3. The effect of introducing a winter forage rotation on CO2 fluxes at a temperate grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Leahy, Paul G.; Kiely, Gerard

    2012-01-01

    Temperate grasslands have the potential to sequester carbon, helping to mitigate rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The ability of grasslands to absorb CO2 is influenced by site elevation, soil type, management practices, climate and climatic variability. There is a need for long-term observations and field experiments to quantify the effects of the key drivers of management and climate variability. This paper presents over 4 years of eddy covariance measurements of CO2 flux over a manage...

  4. Airborne In-Situ Measurements of Formaldehyde Over California: First Results from the Compact Formaldehyde Fluorescence Experiment (COFFEE) Instrument

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marrero, Josette Elizabeth; Saint Clair, Jason; Yates, Emma L.; Gore, Warren; Swanson, Andrew K.; Iraci, Laura T.; Hanisco, Thomas F.

    2016-01-01

    Formaldehyde (HCHO) is one of the most abundant oxygenated volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in the atmosphere, playing a role multiple atmospheric processes. Measurements of HCHO can be used to help quantify convective transport, the abundance of VOCs, and ozone production in urban environments. The Compact Formaldehyde FluorescencE Experiment (COFFEE) instrument uses Non-Resonant Laser Induced Fluorescence (NR-LIF) to detect trace concentrations of HCHO as part of the Alpha Jet Atmospheric eXperiment (AJAX) payload. Developed at NASA GSFC, COFFEE is a small, low maintenance instrument with a sensitivity of 100 pptv and a quick response time (1 sec). The COFFEE instrument has been customized to fit in an external wing pod on the Alpha Jet aircraft based at NASA ARC. The instrument can operate over a broad range of altitudes, from boundary layer to lower stratosphere, making it well suited for the Alpha Jet, which can access altitudes from the surface up to 40,000 ft. Results of the first COFFEE science flights preformed over the California's Central Valley will be presented. Boundary layer measurements and vertical profiles in the tropospheric column will both be included. This region is of particular interest, due to its elevated levels of HCHO, revealed in satellite images, as well as its high ozone concentrations. In addition to HCHO, the AJAX payload includes measurements of atmospheric ozone, methane, and carbon dioxide. Formaldehyde is one of the few urban pollutants that can be measured from space. Plans to compare in-situ COFFEE data with satellite-based HCHO observations such as those from OMI (Aura) and OMPS (SuomiNPP) will also be presented.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  6. Songbird abundance in native and planted grassland varies with type and amount of grassland in the surrounding landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Stephen K.; Fisher, Ryan; Skinner, Susan; Shaffer, Terry L.; Brigham, R. Mark

    2013-01-01

    Agriculture and wildlife conservation programs have converted vast amounts of cropland into grasslands planted with exotic species. Understanding how landscape context influences avian use of native and planted grasslands is essential for developing effective conservation strategies in agricultural landscapes. Our primary objective was to determine the extent to which the amount and type of grassland in the surrounding landscape influences the abundance of grassland songbird species on native and planted grassland parcels in southern Saskatchewan and Alberta, Canada. Bird abundance was more strongly influenced by the amount and type of grassland within 400 m of breeding parcels than at larger spatial scales. Grassland specialists responded similarly to habitat and landscape type over both years and provinces. Sprague's pipit (Anthus spragueii) and Baird's sparrow (Ammodramus bairdii) were most common in native grassland parcels surrounded by native grassland and were more likely to occur in planted grasslands surrounded by native grassland. Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorus) were most common in planted grassland parcels, but their abundance increased with the amount of native grassland surrounding these parcels. Our findings indicate that the suitability of planted grasslands for these species is influenced by their proximity to native grassland. Grassland generalists showed mixed responses to habitat and landscape type over the 2 years (Le Conte's sparrow [Ammodramus leconteii]) and between provinces (Savannah sparrow [Passerculus sandwichensis] and western meadowlark [Sturnella neglecta]). Management to benefit grassland specialists should therefore consider the landscape context when seeding cultivated land to non-native grassland and conserve extant native grassland.

  7. Nitrate leaching in grazed grasslands of different composition and age

    OpenAIRE

    Eriksen, J.; Vinther, F.P.

    2002-01-01

    In a field experiment at Research Centre Foulum a suction cup technique was used to investigate nitrate leaching from grassland depending on composition (grass-clover or perennial ryegrass), management (grazing or cutting) and age of the swards. In 1997-2001 was investigated the successive nitrate leaching from 4-7 year old grazed grass-clover and ryegrass with cut plots of similar age and spring barley as reference. In 2000-2001 the simultaneous nitrate leaching from newly established swards...

  8. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Magid, Jakob; Rodeghiero, Mirco;

    2014-01-01

    Background and aims. Grassland abandonment followed by forest succession is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. We studied the impact of current forest expansion on mountain grassland on changes in physical soil organic carbon (SOC) fractions along a land-use and management gradient...

  9. Grasslands Management Plan : Tamarac National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The goal of this Grassland Management Plan for Tamarac NWR is to provide a variety of quality grasslands, by the year 1999 totaling 2,500 acres and eventually 5,000...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Franciska T de Vries

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

  11. Experience with fermentation of grass and grass silage from extensively used grassland. Feasibility study on monofermentation of grass silage from contaminated sites - biomass from grasslands of the Elbe dyke foreland; Betriebserfahrungen mit der Vergaerung von Gras und Grassilagen von extensiv genutztem Gruenland. Machbarkeitsuntersuchung zur Monovergaerung von Grassilagen schadstoffkontaminierter Standorte am Beispiel der eingesetzten Biomasse von Gruenlandflaechen aus dem Deichvorland der Elbe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heuer, Hans-Juergen [Landwirtschaftskammer Niedersachsen, Bezirksstelle Uelzen (Germany)

    2011-07-01

    This feasibility study was concluded in 2011; monofermentation of grass silage from contaminated sites of the Elbe dyke foreland was investigated. It was found that a biogas operated in monofermentation of grass silage from extensively used grasslands is technically and economically feasible in batch operation. It was also shown that the fermentation residue can be used as agricultural fertilizer, provided that it is first turned in a compost turning unit and then worked into the soil. In view of the high pollutant concentration of the soils in the Elbe dyke foreland, the results of the project give the agricultural businesses in the Elbe valley grasslands an alternative use of the land. [German] Die Machbarkeitsuntersuchung zur Monovergaerung von Grassilagen schadstoffkontaminierter Standorte am Beispiel der eingesetzten Biomasse von Gruenlandflaechen aus dem Deichvorland der Elbe wurde Anfang Mai 2011 abgeschlossen. Im Ergebnis wurde herausgearbeitet, dass sich eine Biogaslage im Monovergaerungsverfahren mit ausschliesslich nur Grassilagen von extensiv gefuehrten Gruenlandflaechen technisch und wirtschaftlich in einer Batch-Anlage betreiben laesst. Auch wurde der Nachweis gefuehrt, dass die Biomasse aus dem Deichvorland der Elbe als Gaerrest auf das Gruenland im Deichvorland unter Beruecksichtigung von naturschutzfachlichen Vorgaben und nach den Vorgaben der guten fachlichen Praxis beim Duengen zurueckgefuehrt werden kann. Vor einer Aufbringung auf dem Gruenland sollte der feste Gaerrest jedoch mit einem Kompost-Umsetzer aufbereitet werden. Nach dem Ausstreuen auf dem Gruenland ist der Gaerrest mit einer Wiesenschleppe einzureiben. Vor dem Hintergrund der hohen Schadstoffbelastung der Boeden im Deichvorland der Elbe, tragen die im Projekt erarbeiteten Ergebnisse dazu bei, den landwirtschaftlichen Betriebsleitern in der Elbtalaue eine alternative Nutzung zur bisherigen Lebensmittelproduktion unterbreiten zu koennen.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

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

  13. Implementing Aid in Dying in California: Experiences from Other States Indicates the Need for Strong Implementation Guidance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cain, Cindy L

    2016-05-01

    In late 2015, California passed the End of Life Option Act (AB 15), which allows residents at the terminal stage of an illness to request a prescription for medications meant to hasten death. As California seeks to implement the law in June 2016, findings from other states that practice aid in dying (AID) may guide implementation. This policy brief provides an overview of the use of AID, outlines outstanding questions about practice and ethics, and recommends steps for improving California's implementation of AB 15. Specifically, the implementation of AB 15 would be improved by adjusting surveillance data-collection requirements and encouraging additional research investment, using the legalization of AID to improve knowledge of and practices for end-of-life care generally, and creating ongoing educational opportunities for providers and the general public. PMID:27416645

  14. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Elizabeth T; Seabloom, Eric W; Gruner, Daniel S; Harpole, W Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M; Adler, Peter B; Alberti, Juan; Anderson, T Michael; Bakker, Jonathan D; Biederman, Lori; Blumenthal, Dana; Brown, Cynthia S; Brudvig, Lars A; Buckley, Yvonne M; Cadotte, Marc; Chu, Chengjin; Cleland, Elsa E; Crawley, Michael J; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen I; Davies, Kendi F; DeCrappeo, Nicole M; Du, Guozhen; Firn, Jennifer; Hautier, Yann; Heckman, Robert W; Hector, Andy; HilleRisLambers, Janneke; Iribarne, Oscar; Klein, Julia A; Knops, Johannes M H; La Pierre, Kimberly J; Leakey, Andrew D B; Li, Wei; MacDougall, Andrew S; McCulley, Rebecca L; Melbourne, Brett A; Mitchell, Charles E; Moore, Joslin L; Mortensen, Brent; O'Halloran, Lydia R; Orrock, John L; Pascual, Jesús; Prober, Suzanne M; Pyke, David A; Risch, Anita C; Schuetz, Martin; Smith, Melinda D; Stevens, Carly J; Sullivan, Lauren L; Williams, Ryan J; Wragg, Peter D; Wright, Justin P; Yang, Louie H

    2014-04-24

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles and herbivore communities are affecting global biodiversity dramatically. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light. PMID:24670649

  15. Grassland Degradation, Construction and the Economic-technological Strategies of Sustainable Development of Grassland-agriculture

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WANG Hua; YU Hua-ying; OKAMOTO Chinobu; WANG Yu-sheng

    2004-01-01

    Natural grassland in the West of Northeastern China is located in 40° 0′ - 43° 5′ N latitude and 117° 0′ -127° 5′ Elongitude. It lies in the Lisp River Valley, the Songhua River Valley and Nen River Valley. About 130 years ago, this region had rich natural grassland resources, was numerically 26.67 millions in hectare of grasslands.Since the last stage of Qing Dynasty, the grassland has been destroyed seriously in 3 times. Up to now, this region only preserved about 2 millions in hectare of the grasslands. In addition, 3.33 millions in hectare of the grasslands have changed from primary grassland to desertification, salinizatio-nalkalinization and degeneration grasslands in the form of patches of bare soil (their simple form of a name is "3 kinds of degeneration grasslands"). This paper indicaed that in any period both grasslands destruction and its restoration were relevant to economic changes and economic systems,particularly to market economy in that time. The following agricultural economic-technological strategies have been production bases of concentrated feed crops and coarse herbage crops.

  16. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

    An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites: four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site, usin

  17. Grasslands, Invertebrates, and Precipitation: A Review of the Effects of Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Kirk L.; Facey, Sarah L.

    2016-01-01

    Invertebrates are the main components of faunal diversity in grasslands, playing substantial roles in ecosystem processes including nutrient cycling and pollination. Grassland invertebrate communities are heavily dependent on the plant diversity and production within a given system. Climate change models predict alterations in precipitation patterns, both in terms of the amount of total inputs and the frequency, seasonality and intensity with which these inputs occur, which will impact grassland productivity. Given the ecological, economic and biodiversity value of grasslands, and their importance globally as areas of carbon storage and agricultural development, it is in our interest to understand how predicted alterations in precipitation patterns will affect grasslands and the invertebrate communities they contain. Here, we review the findings from manipulative and observational studies which have examined invertebrate responses to altered rainfall, with a particular focus on large-scale field experiments employing precipitation manipulations. Given the tight associations between invertebrate communities and their underlying plant communities, invertebrate responses to altered precipitation generally mirror those of the plants in the system. However, there is evidence that species responses to future precipitation changes will be idiosyncratic and context dependent across trophic levels, challenging our ability to make reliable predictions about how grassland communities will respond to future climatic changes, without further investigation. Thus, moving forward, we recommend increased consideration of invertebrate communities in current and future rainfall manipulation platforms, as well as the adoption of new technologies to aid such studies. PMID:27547213

  18. Grasslands, Invertebrates, and Precipitation: A Review of the Effects of Climate Change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barnett, Kirk L; Facey, Sarah L

    2016-01-01

    Invertebrates are the main components of faunal diversity in grasslands, playing substantial roles in ecosystem processes including nutrient cycling and pollination. Grassland invertebrate communities are heavily dependent on the plant diversity and production within a given system. Climate change models predict alterations in precipitation patterns, both in terms of the amount of total inputs and the frequency, seasonality and intensity with which these inputs occur, which will impact grassland productivity. Given the ecological, economic and biodiversity value of grasslands, and their importance globally as areas of carbon storage and agricultural development, it is in our interest to understand how predicted alterations in precipitation patterns will affect grasslands and the invertebrate communities they contain. Here, we review the findings from manipulative and observational studies which have examined invertebrate responses to altered rainfall, with a particular focus on large-scale field experiments employing precipitation manipulations. Given the tight associations between invertebrate communities and their underlying plant communities, invertebrate responses to altered precipitation generally mirror those of the plants in the system. However, there is evidence that species responses to future precipitation changes will be idiosyncratic and context dependent across trophic levels, challenging our ability to make reliable predictions about how grassland communities will respond to future climatic changes, without further investigation. Thus, moving forward, we recommend increased consideration of invertebrate communities in current and future rainfall manipulation platforms, as well as the adoption of new technologies to aid such studies. PMID:27547213

  19. Comparative Effectiveness of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fuse: Algebra 1--A Report of Randomized Experiments in Four California Districts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toby, Megan; Ma, Boya; Lai, Garrett; Lin, Li; Jaciw, Andrew

    2012-01-01

    In spring 2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) began planning a pilot of an application for the Apple iPad, "HMH Fuse: Algebra 1," which was then in development. The application was to be piloted in four California school districts during the 2010-2011 school year. HMH contracted with Empirical Education Inc. to conduct a one-year randomized…

  20. Comparative Effectiveness of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Fuse: Algebra 1--A Report of Randomized Experiments in Four California Districts. Research Summary

    Science.gov (United States)

    Empirical Education Inc., 2012

    2012-01-01

    In spring 2010, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) began planning a pilot of an application for the Apple iPad, "HMH Fuse: Algebra 1," which was then in development. The application was to be piloted in four California school districts during the 2010-2011 school year. HMH contracted with Empirical Education Inc. to conduct a one-year randomized…

  1. Job Search, Training, and Work Experience: The Lessons for California from Eight Evaluations of the Work Incentive Program.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Warren, Paul; Johnson, Hadley

    As part of a review of California's strategy for helping recipients of Aid to Families with Dependent Children (AFDC) find jobs through the Work Incentive Program (WIN), eight demonstration programs were analyzed. There were four major findings. First, the Department of Social Services (DSS), which targets AFDC recipients with recent job…

  2. Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) biodiversity and grassland ecosystems

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHONG-WEI GUO; HONG-CHANG LI; YA-LING GAN

    2006-01-01

    Interesting results may arise by combining studies on the structure and function of ecosystems with that of biodiversity for certain species. Grasshopper biodiversity is the result of the evolution of grassland ecosystems; however, it also impacts on the structure and the function of those ecosystems. We consider there to be a close relationship between the health of grassland ecosystems and grasshopper biodiversity. The main problems involved in this relationship are likely to include: (i) grasshopper biodiversity and its spatial pattern; (ii) the effect of grasshopper biodiversity on the ecological processes of grassland ecosystems; (iii) the biodiversity threshold of grasshopper population explosions;(iv) the relationship between grasshopper biodiversity and the natural and human factors that affect grassland ecosystems; and (v) grasshopper biodiversity and the health of grassland ecosystems. The solutions to these problems may provide sound bases for controlling disasters caused by grasshoppers and managing grassland ecosystems in the west of China. In this paper, we introduced two concepts for grasshopper biodiversity, that is, "spatial pattern" and "biodiversity threshold". It is helpful to understand the action of the spatial pattern of grasshopper biodiversity on the ecological processes of grassland ecosystems and the effect of this spatial pattern on the health of those ecosystems, owing to the fact that, in the west of China, grasslands are vast and grasshoppers are widely distributed. Moreover, we inferred that the change in the level of component richness at each type of grasshopper biodiversity can make an impact on grassland ecosystems, and therefore, there is likely to be a threshold to grasshopper biodiversity for the stability and the sustainability of those ecosystems.

  3. Compatibility Determination for Haying for Grassland Management

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The use of haying as a management tool can provide longterm habitat improvements to grasslands that otherwise would degrade through natural succession or though...

  4. Land Protection Plan: Dakota Grassland Conservation Area

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Land Protection Plan for Dakota Grassland Conservation Area provides a description of the project, a description of the area and its resources, threats to the...

  5. Grassland Management Plan : Necedah National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This plan summarizes grassland management on Necedah NWR. A description, objectives, desired habitat conditions, management plans, and an evaluation are provided...

  6. Initial Kaiser Permanente Southern California Experience Embracing the New Technology of Transcatheter Closure of Atrial Septal Defects

    OpenAIRE

    Rosengart, Ronald M; Salem, Morris M; Degner, Timothy L; Sapin, Samuel O

    2004-01-01

    As a result of individual physicians’ initiative, transcatheter closure of secundum atrial septal defects—a new procedure—was made available to patients in the Kaiser Permanente (KP) Southern California Region soon after the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved use of the AMPLATZER Septal Occluder. This ingenious device and the procedure for its implantation are described along with results of implantation in our initial 51 pediatric and adult patients. These results are compared wi...

  7. Nitrogen deposition and greenhouse gas emissions from grasslands: uncertainties and future directions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Casanovas, Nuria; Hudiburg, Tara W; Bernacchi, Carl J; Parton, William J; DeLucia, Evan H

    2016-04-01

    Increases in atmospheric nitrogen deposition (Ndep) can strongly affect the greenhouse gas (GHG; CO2, CH4, and N2O) sink capacity of grasslands as well as other terrestrial ecosystems. Robust predictions of the net GHG sink strength of grasslands depend on how experimental N loads compare to projected Ndep rates, and how accurately the relationship between GHG fluxes and Ndep is characterized. A literature review revealed that the vast majority of experimental N loads were higher than levels these ecosystems are predicted to experience in the future. Using a process-based biogeochemical model, we predicted that low levels of Ndep either enhanced or reduced the net GHG sink strength of most grasslands, but as experimental N loads continued to increase, grasslands transitioned to a N saturation-decline stage, where the sensitivity of GHG exchange to further increases in Ndep declined. Most published studies represented treatments well into the N saturation-decline stage. Our model results predict that the responses of GHG fluxes to N are highly nonlinear and that the N saturation thresholds for GHGs varied greatly among grasslands and with fire management. We predict that during the 21st century some grasslands will be in the N limitation stage where others will transition into the N saturation-decline stage. The linear relationship between GHG sink strength and N load assumed by most studies can overestimate or underestimate predictions of the net GHG sink strength of grasslands depending on their N baseline status. The next generation of global change experiments should be designed at multiple N loads consistent with future Ndep rates to improve our empirical understanding and predictive ability. PMID:26661794

  8. The greenhouse gas balance of European grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Ciais

    2010-08-01

    Full Text Available The long-term carbon balance (NBP of grasslands is estimated by combining scarce multi-year eddy-covariance observations at ecosystem observation sites where information on carbon inputs and harvesting removals is available. Following accounting for carbon leached to rivers, we estimated grasslands to be net carbon sinks of 74±10 g C m−2 yr−1. Uncertainties arise from the small number of sites and the short measurement period. Only 11 sites, out of a total of 20 grassland sites in Europe where eddy covariance systems are installed, were set-up for estimating NBP. These 11 selected sites are representative of intensive management practice and we lack information on disturbance history, such as plowing. This suggests that the grassland NBP estimate is likely biased towards overestimating the sink, compared to the European average. Direct measurements of Net Primary Productivity (NPP are not possible in grasslands given permanent biomass removal by grazing and mowing, uncertainties in rhizodeposition and production of volatile organic carbon compounds lost to the atmosphere. Therefore, the grassland process-based ecosystem model PASIM was used to estimate the spatial-temporal distribution of NPP, providing a European average value of 750±150 g C across extensively grazed, intensively grazed pastures, and forage production systems. In Europe the NPP of grasslands seems higher than that of croplands and forests. The carbon sequestration efficiency of grasslands, defined as the ratio of NBP to NPP, amounts to 0.09±0.10. Therefore, per unit of carbon input, grasslands sequester 3–4 times more carbon in the soil than forests do, making them a good candidate for managing onsite carbon sinks. When using the 100 yr greenhouse warming potential for CH4 and N2O, their emissions due to management of grasslands together offset roughly 70–80% of the carbon sink. Uncertainties on the European grassland

  9. Estimating evaporation from a wet grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Gasca-Tucker, D. L.; Acreman, M. C.; Agnew, C. T.; Thompson, J R

    2007-01-01

    Wet grasslands are being restored across the UK and Europe to reinstate their high biodiversity following over 50 years of drainage and conversion to arable agriculture. The water balance of many wet grasslands is dominated by precipitation and evaporation and it is essential to quantify evaporation rates to understand the hydrological functioning of wetlands and the implications for water resources in catchments where wetlands are being restored. This paper considers data from direct measure...

  10. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-08-01

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

  11. Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: An overview

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bassin, S. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)]. E-mail: seraina.bassin@fal.admin.ch; Volk, M. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland); Fuhrer, J. [Agroscope FAL Reckenholz, Swiss Federal Research Station for Agroecology and Agriculture, Air Pollution/Climate Group, Reckenholzstrasse 191, CH-8046 Zurich (Switzerland)

    2007-04-15

    This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected. - An overview of experimentally induced ozone effects suggests that temperate grasslands could be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity based on physiological and ecological principles.

  12. Factors affecting the ozone sensitivity of temperate European grasslands: An overview

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This overview of experimentally induced effects of ozone aims to identify physiological and ecological principles, which can be used to classify the sensitivity to ozone of temperate grassland communities in Europe. The analysis of data from experiments with single plants, binary mixtures and multi-species communities illustrates the difficulties to relate individual responses to communities, and thus to identify grassland communities most at risk. Although there is increasing evidence that communities can be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity, the database from experiments under realistic conditions with representative systems is too small to draw firm conclusions. But it appears that risk assessments, based on results from individuals or immature mixtures exposed in chambers, are only applicable to intensively managed, productive grasslands, and that the risk of ozone damage for most of perennial grasslands with lower productivity tends to be less than previously expected. - An overview of experimentally induced ozone effects suggests that temperate grasslands could be separated into broad classes of ozone sensitivity based on physiological and ecological principles

  13. Grassland Arthropods Are Controlled by Direct and Indirect Interactions with Cattle but Are Largely Unaffected by Plant Provenance.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kelly Anne Farrell

    Full Text Available Cattle grazing and invasion by non-native plant species are globally-ubiquitous changes occurring to plant communities that are likely to reverberate through whole food webs. We used a manipulative field experiment to quantify how arthropod community structure differed in native and non-native California grassland communities in the presence and absence of grazing. The arthropod community was strongly affected by cattle grazing: the biovolume of herbivorous arthropods was 79% higher in grazed than ungrazed plots, whereas the biovolume of predatory arthropods was 13% higher in ungrazed plots. In plots where non-native grasses were grazed, arthropod biovolume increased, possibly in response to increased plant productivity or increased nutritional quality of rapidly-growing annual plants. Grazing may thus affect plant biomass both through the direct removal of biomass, and through arthropod-mediated impacts. We also expected the arthropod community to differ between native and non-native plant communities; surprisingly, arthropod richness and diversity did not vary consistently between these grass community types, although arthropod abundance was slightly higher in plots with native and ungrazed grasses. These results suggest that whereas cattle grazing affects the arthropod community via direct and indirect pathways, arthropod community changes commonly associated with non-native plant invasions may not be due to the identity or dominance of the invasive species in those systems, but to accompanying changes in plant traits or functional group composition, not seen in this experiment because of the similarity of the plant communities.

  14. Effect of soil coarseness on soil base cations and available micronutrients in a semi-arid sandy grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Lü, Linyou; Wang, Ruzhen; Liu, Heyong; Yin, Jinfei; Xiao, Jiangtao; Wang, Zhengwen; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Guoqing; Han, Xingguo; Jiang, Yong

    2016-01-01

    Soil coarseness is the main process decreasing soil organic matter and threatening the productivity of sandy grasslands. Previous studies demonstrated negative effect of soil coarseness on soil carbon storage, but less is known about how soil base cations (exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, and Na) and available micronutrients (available Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn) response to soil coarseness. In a semi-arid grassland of Northern China, a field experiment was initiated in 2011 to mimic the eff...

  15. Grazing effects on microbial community composition, growth and nutrient cycling in salt marsh and sand dune grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Ford, H.; Rousk, J.; Garbutt, A.; Jones, L; Jones, D. L.

    2013-01-01

    The effect of grazing by large herbivores on the microbial community and the ecosystem functions they provide are relatively unknown in grassland systems. In this study, the impact of grazing upon the size, composition and activity of the soil microbial community was measured in field experiments in two coastal ecosystems: one salt marsh and one sand dune grassland. Bacterial, fungal and total microbial biomass were not systematically affected by grazing across ecosystems, although, within an...

  16. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238Pu and 239Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes

  17. Preliminary Research on Grassland Fine-classification Based on MODIS

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grassland ecosystem is important for climatic regulation, maintaining the soil and water. Research on the grassland monitoring method could provide effective reference for grassland resource investigation. In this study, we used the vegetation index method for grassland classification. There are several types of climate in China. Therefore, we need to use China's Main Climate Zone Maps and divide the study region into four climate zones. Based on grassland classification system of the first nation-wide grass resource survey in China, we established a new grassland classification system which is only suitable for this research. We used MODIS images as the basic data resources, and use the expert classifier method to perform grassland classification. Based on the 1:1,000,000 Grassland Resource Map of China, we obtained the basic distribution of all the grassland types and selected 20 samples evenly distributed in each type, then used NDVI/EVI product to summarize different spectral features of different grassland types. Finally, we introduced other classification auxiliary data, such as elevation, accumulate temperature (AT), humidity index (HI) and rainfall. China's nation-wide grassland classification map is resulted by merging the grassland in different climate zone. The overall classification accuracy is 60.4%. The result indicated that expert classifier is proper for national wide grassland classification, but the classification accuracy need to be improved

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-01

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

  20. Madagascar's grasses and grasslands: anthropogenic or natural?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vorontsova, Maria S; Besnard, Guillaume; Forest, Félix; Malakasi, Panagiota; Moat, Justin; Clayton, W Derek; Ficinski, Paweł; Savva, George M; Nanjarisoa, Olinirina P; Razanatsoa, Jacqueline; Randriatsara, Fetra O; Kimeu, John M; Luke, W R Quentin; Kayombo, Canisius; Linder, H Peter

    2016-01-27

    Grasses, by their high productivity even under very low pCO2, their ability to survive repeated burning and to tolerate long dry seasons, have transformed the terrestrial biomes in the Neogene and Quaternary. The expansion of grasslands at the cost of biodiverse forest biomes in Madagascar is often postulated as a consequence of the Holocene settlement of the island by humans. However, we show that the Malagasy grass flora has many indications of being ancient with a long local evolutionary history, much predating the Holocene arrival of humans. First, the level of endemism in the Madagascar grass flora is well above the global average for large islands. Second, a survey of many of the more diverse areas indicates that there is a very high spatial and ecological turnover in the grass flora, indicating a high degree of niche specialization. We also find some evidence that there are both recently disturbed and natural stable grasslands: phylogenetic community assembly indicates that recently severely disturbed grasslands are phylogenetically clustered, whereas more undisturbed grasslands tend to be phylogenetically more evenly distributed. From this evidence, it is likely that grass communities existed in Madagascar long before human arrival and so were determined by climate, natural grazing and other natural factors. Humans introduced zebu cattle farming and increased fire frequency, and may have triggered an expansion of the grasslands. Grasses probably played the same role in the modification of the Malagasy environments as elsewhere in the tropics. PMID:26791612

  1. Using a Regional Cluster of AmeriFlux Sites in Central California to Advance Our Knowledge on Decadal-Scale Ecosystem-Atmosphere Carbon Dioxide Exchange

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Baldocchi, Dennis [Univ. of California, Berkeley, CA (United States)

    2015-03-24

    Continuous eddy convariance measurements of carbon dioxide, water vapor and heat were measured continuously between an oak savanna and an annual grassland in California over a 4 year period. These systems serve as representative sites for biomes in Mediterranean climates and experience much seasonal and inter-annual variability in temperature and precipitation. These sites hence serve as natural laboratories for how whole ecosystem will respond to warmer and drier conditions. The savanna proved to be a moderate sink of carbon, taking up about 150 gC m-2y-1 compared to the annual grassland, which tended to be carbon neutral and often a source during drier years. But this carbon sink by the savanna came at a cost. This ecosystem used about 100 mm more water per year than the grassland. And because the savanna was darker and rougher its air temperature was about 0.5 C warmer. In addition to our flux measurements, we collected vast amounts of ancillary data to interpret the site and fluxes, making this site a key site for model validation and parameterization. Datasets consist of terrestrial and airborne lidar for determining canopy structure, ground penetrating radar data on root distribution, phenology cameras monitoring leaf area index and its seasonality, predawn water potential, soil moisture, stem diameter and physiological capacity of photosynthesis.

  2. Subalpine grassland carbon balance during 7 years of increased atmospheric N deposition

    OpenAIRE

    Volk, Matthias; Enderle, Jan; Bassin, Seraina

    2016-01-01

    Air pollution agents interact when affecting biological sinks for atmospheric CO2, e.g., the soil organic carbon (SOC) content of grassland ecosystems. Factors favoring plant productivity, like atmospheric N deposition, are usually considered to favor SOC storage. In a 7-year experiment in subalpine grassland under N- and O3-deposition treatment, we examined C fluxes and pools. Total N deposition was 4, 9, 14, 29 and 54 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (N4, N9, etc.); annual mean phytotoxic ...

  3. Grassland Management Plan Union Slough National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Northern Tallgrass Prairie is an endangered ecosystem, and in turn, grassland dependent birds and some forbs are in serious peril. The Grassland Management Plan...

  4. Management of grasslands 1996 : Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge [Draft

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document is a summary of grassland management for Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah, which has recently began acquiring new grassland habitat that will...

  5. Evaluation of the nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) for N2O mitigation after grassland cultivation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kong, Xianwang

    2016-01-01

    soil N availability in combination with locally high O2-demand due to residue decomposition, emissions of potent greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) may increase. So far no specific strategy has been considered to mitigate soil N2O emissions following grassland cultivation. In this thesis, four inter...... grasslands in crop rotations. At the transition phase, the mineralization of grass and clover residues incorporated by grassland cultivation can supply nitrogen to a succeeding crop; however, the plant N-uptake is low for several weeks at the early growth stage. During this period, as a result of increasing......-linked experiments including both simulation and field study were performed to evaluate a potential mitigation strategy for residue-induced N2O emissions. A nitrification inhibitor 3,4-dimethylpyrazole phosphate (DMPP) was applied on grassland by spraying shortly before cultivation. The cultivation was done either...

  6. Hydrogen energy system in California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Results of experiences on the use of hydrogen as a clean burning fuel in California and results of the South Coast Air Quality Management district tests using hydrogen as a clean burning environmentally safe fuel are given. The results of Solar Hydrogen Projects in California and recent medical data documentation of human lung damage of patients living in air polluted urban areas are summarized

  7. California Air Basins

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — Air ResourcesCalifornia Air Resources BoardThe following datasets are from the California Air Resources Board: * arb_california_airbasins - California Air BasinsThe...

  8. Precipitation and soil impacts on partitioning of subsurface moisture in Avena barbata: Observations from a greenhouse experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Salve, R.; Torn, M.S.

    2011-03-01

    The primary objective of this study was to assess the impact of two grassland soils and precipitation regimes on soil-moisture dynamics. We set up an experiment in a greenhouse, and monitored soil moisture dynamics in mesocosms planted with Avena barbata, an annual species found in California grasslands. By repeating the precipitation input at regular intervals, we were able to observe plant manipulation of soil moisture during well-defined periods during the growing season. We found that the amount of water partitioned to evapotranspiration, seepage, and soil storage varied among different growth stages. Further, both soil type and precipitation regimes had a significant impact on redistributing soil moisture. Whereas in the low-precipitation treatments most water was released to the atmosphere as evapotranspiration, major losses from the high-precipitation treatment occurred as gravity drainage. Observations from this study emphasize the importance of understanding intra-seasonal relationships between vegetation, soil, and water.

  9. Soil acidification and liming in grassland production and grassland soil fertility in Slovenia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jure ČOP

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper reviews the evidences on grassland soil acidity and liming in relation to soil processes and herbage production. There is also an outline of the present state of soil acidity and acidity-related traits – contents of organic matter (OM, phosphorus (P and potassium (K in Slovene grassland. In grassland, soil acidification is an ongoing process under humid climate conditions. It is mainly driven by leaching of nutrients, net loss of cations due to retention in livestock products, use of physiologically acid fertilizers, acid rain and N2 fixation. This process is reduced by strong pH buffering capacity of the soil and by physiologically basic fertilizers. Acid grassland soils in Slovenia are widely distributed in spite of the fact that 44% of the total land has developed from a carbonate parent material. Of the 1713 grassland soil samples analysed during 2005-2007 45% were regarded as acid ones (pH < 5.5; in KCl, 57% as soils with very low P status (˂ 6 mg P2O5/100 g soil and 22% as soils with very low K status (˂ 10 mg K2O/100 soil. Increased content of soil organic matter was identified for alpine pastures (˃ 10 % OM in 44% of samples, mainly as a result of low decomposition rate. Liming of acid grassland soils did not always reflect in a higher herbage yield. The cause for this inefficiency is plant composition of grassland. Thus, many grassland plants with relatively high production potential have adapted to acid soil conditions. To illustrate the inconsistent liming effect three researches are reviewed. In the first two researches liming along with fertilizer application did not increase the yield comparing to the fertilized control while in the third research the increase amounted 26 %. Liming improves considerably botanical composition of the acid grassland (e.g. sward where Common Bent – Agrostis tenuis Sibth. – prevails and thus indirectly affects palatability and nutritive value of herbage. Grassland liming has a weak

  10. Research Advance on Carbon Storage of Artificial Grassland in China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Fuping; TIAN; Yongjie; SHI; Yu; HU; Zixuan; CHEN; Yuan; LU; Xiaofu; ZHANG; Runlin; LI

    2013-01-01

    As an essential part of the grassland ecological system,study on the carbon storage has great significances to the carbon reduction in grassland ecological system.The carbon storage in biomass,carbon storage in soil and soil respiration are summarized in this paper to provide scientific reference for the evaluation of carbon storage in artificial grassland.

  11. Post-remedial-action survey report for Kinetic Experiment Water Boiler Reactor Facility, Santa Susana Field Laboratories, Rockwell International, Ventura County, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rockwell International's Santa Susana Laboratories in Ventura County, California, have been the site of numerous federally-funded contracted projects involving the use of radioactive materials. Among these was the Kinetics Experiment Water Boiler (KEWB) Reactor which was operated under the auspices of the US Atomic Energy Commission (AEC). The KEWB Reactor was last operated in 1966. The facility was subsequently declared excess and decontamination and decommissioning operations were conducted during the first half of calendar year 1975. The facility was completely dismantled and the site graded to blend with the surrounding terrain. During October 1981, a post-remedial-action (certification) survey of the KEWB site was conducted on the behalf of the US Department of Energy by the Radiological Survey Group (RSG) of the Occupational Health and Safety Division's Health Physics Section (OHS/HP) of Argonne National Laboratory (ANL). The survey confirmed that the site was free from contamination and could be released for unrestricted use

  12. Dry deposition of pan to grassland vegetation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Doskey, P.V.; Wesely, M.L.; Cook, D.R.; Gao, W.

    1994-01-01

    Peroxyacetyl nitrate or PAN (CH{sub 3}C(O)OONO{sub 2}) is formed in the lower troposphere via photochemical reactions involving nitrogen oxides (NO{sub x}) and non-methane hydrocarbons (NMHCs). PAN has a lifetime in the free troposphere of about three months and is removed by photolysis or reaction with OH. Dry deposition will decrease its lifetime, although the few measurements that have been made indicate that this process is slow. Measurements of the uptake of PAN by alfalfa in growth chambers indicated that the dry deposition velocity (downward flux divided by concentration at a specified height) was 0.75 cm s{sup {minus}1}. Garland and Penkett measured a dry deposition velocity of 0.25 cm s{sup {minus}1} for PAN to grass and soil in a return-flow wind tunnel. Shepson et al. (1992) analyzed trends of PAN and O{sub 3} concentrations in the stable nocturnal boundary layer over mixed deciduous/coniferous forests at night, when leaf stomata were closed, and concluded that the deposition velocity for PAN was at least 0.5 cm s{sup {minus}1}. We measured the dry deposition velocity of PAN to a grassland site in the midwestern United States with a modified Bowen ratio technique. Experiments were conducted on selected days during September, October, and November of 1990. An energy balance Bowen ratio station was used to observe the differences in air temperature and water vapor content between heights of 3.0 and 0.92 m and to evaluate the surface energy balance. Air samples collected at the same two heights in Teflon {reg_sign} bags were analyzed for PAN by a gas chromatographic technique. We present an example of the variations of PAN concentrations and gradients observed during the day and compare measurements of the dry deposition velocity to expectations based on the physicochemical properties of PAN.

  13. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

  14. Relationships between GPP, Satellite Measures of Greenness and Canopy Water Content with Soil Moisture in Mediterranean-Climate Grassland and Oak Savanna

    OpenAIRE

    Shishi Liu; Oliver A. Chadwick; Roberts, Dar A.; Still, Chris J.

    2011-01-01

    We investigated the impact of soil moisture on gross primary production (GPP), chlorophyll content, and canopy water content represented by remotely sensed vegetation indices (VIs) in an open grassland and an oak savanna in California. We found for the annual grassland that GPP late in the growing season was controlled by the declining soil moisture, but there was a 10–20-day lag in the response of GPP to soil moisture. However, during the early and middle part of the growing season, solar ra...

  15. Grassland biodiversity bounces back from long-term nitrogen addition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Storkey, J.; MacDonald, A. J.; Poulton, P. R.; Scott, T.; Köhler, I. H.; Schnyder, H.; Goulding, K. W. T.; Crawley, M. J.

    2015-12-01

    The negative effect of increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) pollution on grassland biodiversity is now incontrovertible. However, the recent introduction of cleaner technologies in the UK has led to reductions in the emissions of nitrogen oxides, with concomitant decreases in N deposition. The degree to which grassland biodiversity can be expected to ‘bounce back’ in response to these improvements in air quality is uncertain, with a suggestion that long-term chronic N addition may lead to an alternative low biodiversity state. Here we present evidence from the 160-year-old Park Grass Experiment at Rothamsted Research, UK, that shows a positive response of biodiversity to reducing N addition from either atmospheric pollution or fertilizers. The proportion of legumes, species richness and diversity increased across the experiment between 1991 and 2012 as both wet and dry N deposition declined. Plots that stopped receiving inorganic N fertilizer in 1989 recovered much of the diversity that had been lost, especially if limed. There was no evidence that chronic N addition has resulted in an alternative low biodiversity state on the Park Grass plots, except where there has been extreme acidification, although it is likely that the recovery of plant communities has been facilitated by the twice-yearly mowing and removal of biomass. This may also explain why a comparable response of plant communities to reduced N inputs has yet to be observed in the wider landscape.

  16. Radioecological sensitivity of permanent grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The project 'SENSIB' of the Institute for Radiological Protection and Nuclear Safety (IRSN) aims at characterizing and classifying parameters with significant impact on the transfer of radioactive contaminants in the environment. This thesis is focused on permanent grassland areas. Its objectives are the analysis of the activity variations of two artificial radionuclides (137Cs and 90Sr) in the chain from soil to dairy products as well as the categorization of ecological and anthropogenic parameters, which determine the sensitivity of the studied area. For this study, in situ sampling is carried out in 15 farms in 3 different French regions (Charente, Puy-de-Dome and Jura). The sampling sites are chosen according to their natural variations (geology, altitude and climate) and the soil types. Additionally to the radiologic measurements, geographic, soil and vegetation data as well as data concerning cattle-rearing and cheese manufacturing processes are gathered. From the soil to the grass vegetation, 137Cs transfer factors vary between 3 x 10-3 and 148 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (dry weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 73). Theses transfer factors are significantly higher in the Puy-de-Dome region than in the Jura region. The 137Cs transfer factor from cattle feed to milk varies from 5.9 x 10-3 to 258 x 10-3 Bq kg-1 (fresh weight) per Bq kg-1 (dry weight) (N = 28). Statistically, it is higher in the Charente region. Finally, the 90Sr transfer factor from milk to cheese ranges from 3.9 to 12.1. The studied site with the highest factor is the Jura (N = 25). The link between milk and dairy products is the stage with the most 137Cs and 90Sr transfers. A nonlinear approach based on a discretization method of the transfer factor with multiple comparison tests admits a classification of the sensitivity factors from soil to grass vegetation. We can determine 20 factors interfering in the 137Cs transfer into the vegetation, for instance, the clay rate of the soils or a marker for soil

  17. Nitrate leaching following cultivation of contrasting temporary grassland.

    OpenAIRE

    Eriksen, J.; Søegaard, K.

    2000-01-01

    The N-surplus in grazed grassland is much higher than in cut grassland. Therefore, the residual effects of three years of temporary grassland on nitrate leaching in the following cereal crop were determined. Grassland managements were either cut leys or grazing with dairy cows in both pure grass and grass-clover mixtures. The cows were fed two levels of N in the supplements. Grassland management had little effect on the subsequent nitrate leaching, which ranged from 6 to 36 kg N ha-1, even th...

  18. Evolution of Grasses and Grassland Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  19. Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Borer, Elizabeth T. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota; et al, et al

    2014-01-01

    Human alterations to nutrient cycles1,2 and herbivore communities3–7 are affecting global biodiversity dramatically2. Ecological theory predicts these changes should be strongly counteractive: nutrient addition drives plant species loss through intensified competition for light, whereas herbivores prevent competitive exclusion by increasing ground-level light, particularly in productive systems8,9. Here we use experimental data spanning a globally relevant range of conditions to test the hypothesis that herbaceous plant species losses caused by eutrophication may be offset by increased light availability due to herbivory. This experiment, replicated in 40 grasslands on 6 continents, demonstrates that nutrients and herbivores can serve as counteracting forces to control local plant diversity through light limitation, independent of site productivity, soil nitrogen, herbivore type and climate. Nutrient addition consistently reduced local diversity through light limitation, and herbivory rescued diversity at sites where it alleviated light limitation. Thus, species loss from anthropogenic eutrophication can be ameliorated in grasslands where herbivory increases ground-level light.

  20. Soil organisms shape the competition between grassland plant species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabais, Alexander C W; Eisenhauer, Nico; König, Stephan; Renker, Carsten; Buscot, François; Scheu, Stefan

    2012-12-01

    Decomposers and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) both determine plant nutrition; however, little is known about their interactive effects on plant communities. We set up a greenhouse experiment to study effects of plant competition (one- and two-species treatments), Collembola (Heteromurus nitidus and Protaphorura armata), and AMF (Glomus intraradices) on the performance (above- and belowground productivity and nutrient uptake) of three grassland plant species (Lolium perenne, Trifolium pratense, and Plantago lanceolata) belonging to three dominant plant functional groups (grasses, legumes, and herbs). Generally, L. perenne benefited from being released from intraspecific competition in the presence of T. pratense and P. lanceolata. However, the presence of AMF increased the competitive strength of P. lanceolata and T. pratense against L. perenne and also modified the effects of Collembola on plant productivity. The colonization of roots by AMF was reduced in treatments with two plant species suggesting that plant infection by AMF was modified by interspecific plant interactions. Collembola did not affect total colonization of roots by AMF, but increased the number of mycorrhizal vesicles in P. lanceolata. AMF and Collembola both enhanced the amount of N and P in plant shoot tissue, but impacts of Collembola were less pronounced in the presence of AMF. Overall, the results suggest that, by differentially affecting the nutrient acquisition and performance of plant species, AMF and Collembola interactively modify plant competition and shape the composition of grassland plant communities. The results suggest that mechanisms shaping plant community composition can only be understood when complex belowground interactions are considered. PMID:22678109

  1. Transient behavior of cadmium in a grassland arthropod food chain

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Biological assimilation and transport of cadmium were determined for an arthropod food chain in an east Tennessee grassland community. Laboratory experiments demonstrated that there were no significant differences (P greater than 0.05) in assimilation rates (17 percent assimilation per day) or biological half-lives (7 days) of 109Cd either as soluble nitrate or insoluble oxide in crickets under identical conditions. Field experiments demonstrated that primary consumers (crickets) accumulated 109Cd much more rapidly (uptake rate = 0.55 day-1) than did the spider predators (uptake rate = 0.08 day-1). Equilibrium concentrations in crickets were obtained in 9 days (0.04 ppM cadmium), while equilibrium was not reached in spiders during the 30-day study. Food-chain concentration of cadmium did not occur as crickets accumulated levels of cadmium 60 percent of that in their vegetation food sources and spiders accumulated only 70 percent of the cadmium present in the cricket tissues

  2. Climate-driven diversity loss in a grassland community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, Susan P; Gornish, Elise S; Copeland, Stella

    2015-07-14

    Local ecological communities represent the scale at which species coexist and share resources, and at which diversity has been experimentally shown to underlie stability, productivity, invasion resistance, and other desirable community properties. Globally, community diversity shows a mixture of increases and decreases over recent decades, and these changes have relatively seldom been linked to climatic trends. In a heterogeneous California grassland, we documented declining plant diversity from 2000 to 2014 at both the local community (5 m(2)) and landscape (27 km(2)) scales, across multiple functional groups and soil environments. Communities became particularly poorer in native annual forbs, which are present as small seedlings in midwinter; within native annual forbs, community composition changed toward lower representation of species with a trait indicating drought intolerance (high specific leaf area). Time series models linked diversity decline to the significant decrease in midwinter precipitation. Livestock grazing history, fire, succession, N deposition, and increases in exotic species could be ruled out as contributing causes. This finding is among the first demonstrations to our knowledge of climate-driven directional loss of species diversity in ecological communities in a natural (nonexperimental) setting. Such diversity losses, which may also foreshadow larger-scale extinctions, may be especially likely in semiarid regions that are undergoing climatic trends toward higher aridity and lower productivity. PMID:26100891

  3. Resilience of acid subalpine grassland to short-term liming and fertilisation

    OpenAIRE

    Spiegelberger, T.; Deléglise, C.; DeDanieli, S.; Bernard-Brunet, C.

    2010-01-01

    A fertilisation experiment was started in the French Alps on an acid grassland at 2000 m in 1989 where lime as calcium carbonate (liming) and Thomas Slag enriched by potassium chloride (fertilisation) was added in a random block design until 1992. Since then, no further amendments were applied. Fifteen years after the last application, we revisited the experiment and observed that soil pH was still significantly higher on limed plots, while nitrogen (N) concentrations were lower. On fertilise...

  4. Effects of vegetation management and raising the water table on nutrient dynamics and vegetation change in a wet grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oomes, M.J.M.; Olff, H.; Altena, H.J.

    1996-01-01

    1. The results of a restoration experiment carried out on a permanent grassland on peaty, heavy clay in the Netherlands are described. The experiment started in 1985, 7 years after fertilizer application had ceased, and was designed to provide insight into ecologically significant processes accompan

  5. A Case Study of a Southern California Elementary School District's Comprehensive School Safety Plan: Experiences and Perceptions of School Leaders and Teachers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Favila, Marisela

    2013-01-01

    For children to be successful, schools must provide a safe and secure environment in which teachers can teach and students can learn (Skiba & Sprague, 2008). In California, state regulations require that schools maintain an appropriate school climate on campus, in classrooms, and at school sponsored events (California Education Code 35294).…

  6. Grassland/atmosphere response to changing climate: Coupling regional and local scales

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 C3 temperate grasslands wig respond more strongly to elevated CO2 than temperate C4 grasslands in the short-term while a large positive N-PP response was predicted for a C4 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 CO2 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 2xCO2 GCM Simulations revealed relatively small differences

  7. Grassland/atmosphere response to changing climate: Coupling regional and local scales. Final report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    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.

  8. Multiscale Trend Analysis for Pampa Grasslands Using Ground Data and Vegetation Sensor Imagery.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scottá, Fernando C; da Fonseca, Eliana L

    2015-01-01

    This study aimed to evaluate changes in the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) of grasslands in the Pampa biome by using experimental plots and changes in the spectral responses of similar vegetation communities obtained by remote sensing and to compare both datasets with meteorological variations to validate the transition scales of the datasets. Two different geographic scales were considered in this study. At the local scale, an analysis of the climate and its direct influences on grassland ANPP was performed using data from a long-term experiment. At the regional scale, the influences of climate on the grassland reflectance patterns were determined using vegetation sensor imagery data. Overall, the monthly variations of vegetation canopy growth analysed using environmental changes (air temperature, total rainfall and total evapotranspiration) were similar. The results from the ANPP data and the NDVI data showed the that variations in grassland growth were similar and independent of the analysis scale, which indicated that local data and the relationships of local data with climate can be considered at the regional scale in the Pampa biome by using remote sensing. PMID:26197320

  9. Feasibility Study on: Reforestation of Degraded Grasslands in Indonesia as a Climate Change Mitigation Option

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Dalfelt, A.; Naess, L.O.; Sutamihardja, R.T.M.; Gintings, N.

    1996-12-31

    The report deals with a cooperation project between Norway and Indonesia dealing with a feasibility study on sustainable reforestation of degraded grasslands in Indonesia. Poor forest management and uncontrolled land use changes contribute a significant share anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases, especially CO{sub 2}, and one of many ways to reduce the CO{sub 2} emission is to encourage reforestation and better forest management. The report contains a brief overview of the issue of Imperata (alang-alang) grasslands, an outline of the present status, a discussion of potential costs and benefits associated with reforestation, and suggestions of strategies which could be applied to reach the desired goals. Case studies are presented from three locations where field work has been undertaken. The case studies provide baseline data about the sites and the imperata grasslands, experiences from earlier efforts to rehabilitate the grasslands, the common attitude to reforestation among the local communities, a discussion of the feasibility of reforestation, and finally, recommendations for the future. 142 refs., 11 figs., 15 tabs.

  10. Relatively stable carbon stocks in China's grasslands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    FANG ChangMing

    2011-01-01

    Global climate change has been predicted to profoundly influence carbon (C) processes and C stock dynamics in terrestrial ecosystems [1].Three papers recently published in Science China Life Science [2-4] studied various aspects of C stock dynamics at different scales in the northern grasslands of China (including the Tibetan alpine meadow).They reported that there has been no significant trend of variation in ecosystem C stocks in Tibetan meadow and temperate grassland since the late 1980s,or significant correlation between variations in C stocks and warming or precipitation.The response of ecosystem C processes and C stocks to global climate change featuring a significant temperature rise was insignificant.

  11. Persistence of biological nitrogen fixation in high latitude grass-clover grasslands under different management practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tzanakakis, Vasileios; Sturite, Ievina; Dörsch, Peter

    2016-04-01

    Biological nitrogen fixation (BNF) can substantially contribute to N supply in permanent grasslands, improving N yield and forage quality, while reducing inorganic N inputs. Among the factors critical to the performance of BNF in grass-legume mixtures are selected grass and legume species, proportion of legumes, the soil-climatic conditions, in particular winter conditions, and management practices (e.g. fertilization and compaction). In high latitude grasslands, low temperatures can reduce the performance of BNF by hampering the legumés growth and by suppressing N2 fixation. Estimation of BNF in field experiments is not straightforward. Different methods have been developed providing different results. In the present study, we evaluated the performance of BNF, in a newly established field experiment in North Norway over four years. The grassland consisted of white clover (Trifolium repens L.) and red clover (Trifolium pretense L.) sawn in three proportions (0, 15 and 30% in total) together with timothy (Pheum pretense L.) and meadow fescue (Festuca pratensis L.). Three levels of compaction were applied each year (no tractor, light tractor, heavy tractor) together with two different N rates (110 kg N/ha as cattle slurry or 170 kg N/ha as cattle slurry and inorganic N fertilizer). We applied two different methods, the 15N natural abundance and the difference method, to estimate BNF in the first harvest of each year. Overall, the difference method overestimated BNF relative to the 15N natural abundance method. BNF in the first harvest was compared to winter survival of red and white clover plants, which decreased with increasing age of the grassland. However, winter conditions did not seem to affect the grassland's ability to fix N in spring. The fraction of N derived from the atmosphere (NdfA) in white and red clover was close to 100% in each spring, indicating no suppression of BNF. BNF increased the total N yield of the grasslands by up to 75%, mainly due to high

  12. The impact of land-cover change on carbon and water cycling in the U.S. central plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buck, Tyler

    Using the eddy covariance technique, the impact of land cover variability on carbon and water cycling was examined at three different grasslands in Northeast Kansas. One site 8 km north of Lawrence, Kansas at the Nelson Environmental Study Area (NESA) experiences woody-encroachment and is burned every three years. The remaining two sites are located at the Konza Prairie Biological Station, 8 km south of Manhattan, Kansas. KZU is located in an annual burned, non-grazed watershed in an upland area. K4B experiences woody encroachment and has prescribed burns every four years. Water-use efficiency was used to examine how the carbon and water cycling of these ecosystems respond to land cover change. Analysis suggest that the two grasslands experiencing woody-encroachment (NESA and K4B) show more efficient water use values than the grassland that is not (KZU). This may be due to a possible difference in rooting depth between woody-vegetation and grasses.

  13. Timing of climate variability and grassland productivity

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

    Future climates are forecast to include greater precipitation variability and more frequent heat waves, but the degree to which the timing of climate variability impacts ecosystems is uncertain. In a temperate, humid grassland, we examined the seasonal impacts of climate variability on 27 y of grass productivity. Drought and high-intensity precipitation reduced grass productivity only during a 110-d period, whereas high temperatures reduced productivity only during 25 d in July. The effects o...

  14. Grassland Degradation and Its Control in Region Around Qinghai Lake

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    JIANGJIANJUN; GongAIQI; 等

    1999-01-01

    A quite severe degradation was found in all seven types of grasslands in the study area involiving 12 counties of the northwestern Qinghai Province.The slightly,modeately and severely degraded grasslands occupied 49.7%,32.0%and 18.3% of the area respectively.The major factors resulting in the degradation were overgrazing,the damages from mice and grasshopper and blown sands,and improper use of grasslands,The measures to deal with these probles should be:1) to make livestock development in accordance with grassland carrying capacity for animals;2) to build more artificial grasslands with a stable and higher grass yield;3) to put more widely the rotation grazing system into practice;4) to clear up the poisonous grass species,and 5)to adopt more effective measures to deal with the damages to grasslands by mice and grasshoppers.

  15. Estimating evaporation from a wet grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Wet grasslands are being restored across the UK and Europe to reinstate their high biodiversity following over 50 years of drainage and conversion to arable agriculture. The water balance of many wet grasslands is dominated by precipitation and evaporation and it is essential to quantify evaporation rates to understand the hydrological functioning of wetlands and the implications for water resources in catchments where wetlands are being restored. This paper considers data from direct measurements of evaporation from the Pevensey Levels wet grassland using the eddy correlation method. Equations are derived to predict actual evaporation using meteorological data on the site or from standard meteorological station observations. It was found that evaporation could be estimated reliably from meteorological variables, such as wind speed, temperature and humidity and by water availability. It was also found that when water availability is high, evaporation is high and may exceed reference evaporation values, raising questions over the deployment of the two-step Penman-Monteith model unless reliable crop coefficients and relative evaporation figures can be determined.

  16. Experiments with Seasonal Forecasts of ocean conditions for the Northern region of the California Current upwelling system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siedlecki, Samantha A.; Kaplan, Isaac C.; Hermann, Albert J.; Nguyen, Thanh Tam; Bond, Nicholas A.; Newton, Jan A.; Williams, Gregory D.; Peterson, William T.; Alin, Simone R.; Feely, Richard A.

    2016-06-01

    Resource managers at the state, federal, and tribal levels make decisions on a weekly to quarterly basis, and fishers operate on a similar timeframe. To determine the potential of a support tool for these efforts, a seasonal forecast system is experimented with here. JISAO’s Seasonal Coastal Ocean Prediction of the Ecosystem (J-SCOPE) features dynamical downscaling of regional ocean conditions in Washington and Oregon waters using a combination of a high-resolution regional model with biogeochemistry and forecasts from NOAA’s Climate Forecast System (CFS). Model performance and predictability were examined for sea surface temperature (SST), bottom temperature, bottom oxygen, pH, and aragonite saturation state through model hindcasts, reforecast, and forecast comparisons with observations. Results indicate J-SCOPE forecasts have measurable skill on seasonal timescales. Experiments suggest that seasonal forecasting of ocean conditions important for fisheries is possible with the right combination of components. Those components include regional predictability on seasonal timescales of the physical environment from a large-scale model, a high-resolution regional model with biogeochemistry that simulates seasonal conditions in hindcasts, a relationship with local stakeholders, and a real-time observational network. Multiple efforts and approaches in different regions would advance knowledge to provide additional tools to fishers and other stakeholders.

  17. Operating and maintenance experience with a 6-kW wind energy conversion system at Naval Station, Treasure Island, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pal, D.

    1982-07-01

    This report describes in detail the experience gained and lessons learned from the 6-kW grid-integrated Wind Energy Conversion System (WECS) demonstration at Naval Station, Treasure Island, San Francisco Bay. The objective of this demonstration was to develop operating experience and maintenance information on the 6-kW WECS using a combination of permanent magnet alternator with a line commutated synchronous inverter. The on-site measurements conducted during the demonstation indicate that the WECS site has annual average windspeeds of about 8 to 10 mph. The test results to data indicate a satisfactory performance of the WECS except for two failures involving arcing at the electrical terminals located on the yaw shaft. Due to wind characteristics encountered at the site, the performance data collected to date are at windspeeds of 20 mph or lower. For evaluating the WECS performance at all windspeeds, location at a windier site with annual average windspeeds of 14 mph or higher is recommended.

  18. A Global Grassland Drought Index (GDI) Product: Algorithm and Validation

    OpenAIRE

    Binbin He; Zhanmang Liao; Xingwen Quan; Xing Li; Junjie Hu

    2015-01-01

    Existing drought indices have been widely used to monitor meteorological drought and agricultural drought; however, few of them are focus on drought monitoring for grassland regions. This study presented a new drought index, the Grassland Drought Index (GDI), for monitoring drought conditions in global grassland regions. These regions are vital for the environment and human society but susceptible to drought. The GDI was constructed based on three measures of water content: precipitation, soi...

  19. The mineral composition in grassland growing in Kosova

    OpenAIRE

    IMER RUSINOVCI; SLI ALIU; SHUKRI FETAHU; KEMAJL BISLIMI; MENTOR THAQI; NIKOLLAQ BARDHI

    2014-01-01

    Grasslands represent a land-use which is effective and has great economical importance in the European agriculture. Grasslands represent an important and effective source of energy and proteins to ruminants, and combine high yield stability and draught resistance with low tillage operations and pesticide use and thus leading to good environmental conditions. Furthermore, good management practice in grasslands provides high potential of carbon sequestration in soils, resulting in climate chang...

  20. The greenhouse gas balance of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-10-01

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

  1. The California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE): an Educational Experience for Undergraduates at the University of Arizona Alumni Association's Astronomy Camp.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lemon, Courtney; McCarthy, D.; Rudolph, A.

    2011-01-01

    The California-Arizona Minority Partnership for Astronomy Research and Education (CAMPARE) is an NSF-funded partnership between the Astronomy Program at Cal Poly Pomona (CPP) and the University of Arizona Steward Observatory designed to promote participation of underrepresented minorities (including women) in astronomy research and education. As part of the education component of the program, CPP undergraduate physics majors and minors are eligible to work as a counselor at the University of Arizona's Astronomy Camp, one of the premier astronomy outreach opportunities in the world. CAMPARE students have the opportunity to work in this learn-by-doing environment with a wide range of students to gain first hand experience of teaching astronomy to students of a wide variety of ages in highly structured educational setting. Cal Poly Pomona students who are interested in education, both formal and informal, work in a variety of camps, from Girl Scout camps to camps for advanced high school students, to further their understanding of what it means to be a professional in the field of education. The CAMPARE student who participated in this program during summer 2010 had the opportunity to work under Dr. Don McCarthy, camp director of University of Arizona's Astronomy Camps for 20 years, and observe the interpersonal relations between campers and staff that is so vital to the learning the students receive. Through these observations, the CAMPARE student was able to learn to gauge students' interest in the material, and experience real life teaching and learning scenarios in the informal education realm.

  2. A Teacher Training Experience Based on Work with Communities in California Una experiencia de formación de profesores a partir del trabajo con comunidades en California Uma experiência de formação de professores que trabalham em comunidades de California

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Rodriguez-Valls

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available This article describes the results of a teacher training model that involves contact with local communities and action-research practices. The study included students enrolled in the education program at a university in southern California during the 2007-08 school year. They were interviewed during the course of their 16-week projects in which they analyzed the global culture of students and parents from various ethnic groups as subsequent input for classroom work and, ultimately, the design of lessons and the development of educational plans pursuant to the requirements of the California Commission on Teacher Credentialing (CCTC. Among other conclusions, it was found that transforming teachers acquire a variety of useful skills for their work as educators in the global village by learning about the community from the inside out.El artículo presenta los resultados de un modelo de formación de profesores en contacto con comunidades locales, según el esquema de investigación-acción. En el estudio participaron los estudiantes del programa de educación en una universidad ubicada en el sur de California, durante el año escolar 2007-08, a quienes se entrevistó durante el desarrollo de sus proyectos, de 16 semanas, en los que analizaron la cultura global desde los estudiantes y padres procedentes de varios grupos étnicos, mediante lo cual se aportó luego al trabajo de aula y, posteriormente, al diseño de lecciones y al desarrollo de planes educativos, siguiendo las normas establecidas por la Comisión de Maestros de California (CCTC. Entre las conclusiones se encontró que al aprender acerca de la comunidad desde adentro hacia afuera, los educadores de la transformación adquirieron diversas competencias, útiles para su trabajo como educadores en la aldea global.O artigo apresenta os resultados de um modelo de formação de professores que trabalham em comunidades locais, de acordo com o esquema de pesquisa-ação. Foram incluidos os

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhuwen Xu

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Contrasting above- and belowground sensitivity of three Great Plains grasslands to altered rainfall regimes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Kevin R; von Fischer, Joseph C; Muscha, Jennifer M; Petersen, Mark K; Knapp, Alan K

    2015-01-01

    Intensification of the global hydrological cycle with atmospheric warming is expected to increase interannual variation in precipitation amount and the frequency of extreme precipitation events. Although studies in grasslands have shown sensitivity of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) to both precipitation amount and event size, we lack equivalent knowledge for responses of belowground net primary productivity (BNPP) and NPP. We conducted a 2-year experiment in three US Great Plains grasslands--the C4-dominated shortgrass prairie (SGP; low ANPP) and tallgrass prairie (TGP; high ANPP), and the C3-dominated northern mixed grass prairie (NMP; intermediate ANPP)--to test three predictions: (i) both ANPP and BNPP responses to increased precipitation amount would vary inversely with mean annual precipitation (MAP) and site productivity; (ii) increased numbers of extreme rainfall events during high-rainfall years would affect high and low MAP sites differently; and (iii) responses belowground would mirror those aboveground. We increased growing season precipitation by as much as 50% by augmenting natural rainfall via (i) many (11-13) small or (ii) fewer (3-5) large watering events, with the latter coinciding with naturally occurring large storms. Both ANPP and BNPP increased with water addition in the two C4 grasslands, with greater ANPP sensitivity in TGP, but greater BNPP and NPP sensitivity in SGP. ANPP and BNPP did not respond to any rainfall manipulations in the C3 -dominated NMP. Consistent with previous studies, fewer larger (extreme) rainfall events increased ANPP relative to many small events in SGP, but event size had no effect in TGP. Neither system responded consistently above- and belowground to event size; consequently, total NPP was insensitive to event size. The diversity of responses observed in these three grassland types underscores the challenge of predicting responses relevant to C cycling to forecast changes in precipitation regimes even

  5. Report on data from the Nearshore Sediment Transport Study experiment at Leadbetter Beach, Santa Barbara, California, January-February 1980 (NODC Accession 8200080)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — THIS DATA SET CONSISTS OF THE RESULTS OF THE NEARSHORE SEDIMENT Nearshore Sediment Transport Study at Leadbetter Beach, Santa Barbara, California. These data from...

  6. Image-guided robotic stereotactic body radiotherapy for benign spinal tumors: theUniversity of California San Francisco preliminary experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sahgal, A; Chou, D; Ames, C; Ma, L; Lamborn, K; Huang, K; Chuang, C; Aiken, A; Petti, P; Weinstein, P; Larson, D

    2007-12-01

    We evaluate our preliminary experience using the Cyberknife Radiosurgery System in treating benign spinal tumors. A retrospective review of 16 consecutively treated patients, comprising 19 benign spinal tumors, was performed. Histologic types included neurofibroma [11], chordoma [4], hemangioma [2], and meningioma [2]. Three patients had Neurofibromatosis Type 1 (NF1). Only one tumor, recurrent chordoma, had been previously irradiated, and as such not considered in the local failure analysis. Local failure, for the remaining 18 tumors, was based clinically on symptom progression and/or tumor enlargement based on imaging. Indications for spine stereotactic body radiotherapy (SBRT) consisted of either adjuvant to subtotal resection (5/19), primary treatment alone (12/19), boost following external beam radiotherapy (1/19), and salvage following previous radiation (1/19). Median tumor follow-up is 25 months (2-37), and one patient (with NF1) died at 12 months from a stroke. The median total dose, number of fractions, and prescription isodose was 21 Gy (10-30 Gy), 3 fx (1-5 fx), 80% (42-87%). The median tumor volume was 7.6 cc (0.2-274.1 cc). The median V100 (volume V receiving 100% of the prescribed dose) and maximum tumor dose was 95% (77-100%) and 26.7 Gy (15.4-59.7 Gy), respectively. Three tumors progressed at 2, 4, and 36 months post-SR (n=18). Two tumors were neurofibromas (both in NF1 patients), and the third was an intramedullary hemangioblastoma. Based on imaging, two tumors had MRI documented progression, three had regressed, and 13 were unchanged (n=18). With short follow-up, local control following Cyberknife spine SBRT for benign spinal tumors appear acceptable. PMID:17994789

  7. Biogenic VOCs emission inventory development of temperate grassland vegetation in Xilin River Basin,Inner Mongolia,China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HE Nian-peng; HAN Xing-guo; SUN Wei; Pan Qing-min

    2004-01-01

    Given the key role of biogenic volatile organic compounds(VOCs) to tropospheric chemistry and regional air quality, it is important to generate accurate VOCs emission inventories. However, only a less fraction of plant species, in temperate grassland of Inner Mongolia, has been characterized by quantitative measurements. A taxonomic methodology, which assigns VOCs measurements to unmeasured species, is an applicable and inexpensive alternation for extensive VOCs emission survey, although data are needed for additional plant families and genera to further validate the taxonomic approach in grassland vegetation. In this experiment, VOCs emission rates of 178 plant species were measured with a portable photoionization detector(PID). The results showed the most of genera and some families have consistent feature of their VOCs emission, especially for isoprene, and provide the basic premise of taxonomic methodology to develop VOCs emission inventories for temperate grassland. Then, the taxonomic methodology was introduced into assigning emission rate to other 96 species, which no measured emission rates available here. A systematical emission inventory of temperate grassland vegetation in Inner Mongolia was provided and further evidence that taxonomy relationship can serve as a useful guide for generalizing the emissions behavior of many, but not all, plant families and genera to grassland vegetation.

  8. Allelopathic effects of Rumex obtusifolius leaf extracts against native grassland species

    OpenAIRE

    Johann G. Zaller

    2006-01-01

    In perennial grasslands R. obtusifolius (broad-leaved dock) is often surrounded by certain plant species. Thus, it is hypothesized for the current study that Rumex can affect their neighbouring plant species by allelopathic interactions. To test this hypothesis, in a series of laboratory and field experiments aqueous extracts of green R. obtusifolius leaves were sprayed on seeds of 14 herbaceous plant species (graminoids, non-leguminuous forbs and leguminuous forbs) commonly native to perenni...

  9. Diversity promotes temporal stability across levels of ecosystem organization in experimental grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    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, Stephan; Hildebrandt, Anke; Kowalski, Esther

    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 (pro...

  10. Impact of invertebrate herbivory in grasslands depends on plant species diversity

    OpenAIRE

    Stein, Claudia; Unsicker, Sybille B; Kahmen, Ansgar; Wagner, Markus; Audorff, Volker; Auge, Harald; Prati, Daniel; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2010-01-01

    Invertebrate herbivores are ubiquitous in most terrestrial ecosystems and theory predicts that their impact on plant community biomass should depend on diversity and productivity of the associated plant communities. To elucidate general patterns in the relationship between invertebrate herbivory, plant diversity, and productivity we carried out a long-term herbivore exclusion experiment at multiple grassland sites in a mountainous landscape of central Germany. Over a period of ...

  11. Intergrating of mechanical and cultural control treatments to manage invasive shrub Chromolaena odorata in grassland area

    OpenAIRE

    Rusdi, Muhammad

    2013-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted in Chromolaena dominated grassland with the objectives of evaluating efficacy of integrated of mechanical and cultural control methods on weed suppression and determining botanical composition of plant species. Results of study showed that in the dry season, digging up of Chromolaena was very effective in suppressing regrowth of Chromolaena but not to other weeds. Digging out of Chromolaena followed by burning and planting with Brachiaria decumb...

  12. Leaf dry matter content predicts herbivore productivity, but its functional diversity is positively related to resilience in grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robin J Pakeman

    Full Text Available This paper addresses whether the ecosystem service of animal production from grasslands depends upon plant functional identity, plant functional diversity or if the resilience of production is a function of this diversity. Using the results of nine grazing experiments the paper shows that productivity is highly dependent on one leaf trait, leaf dry matter content, as well as rainfall. Animal (secondary productivity is not dependent on plant functional diversity, but the variability in productivity of grasslands is related to the functional diversity of leaf dry matter content. This and a range of independent studies have shown that functional diversity is reduced at high levels of grassland productivity, so it appears that there is a trade-off between productivity and the resilience of productivity in the face of environmental variation.

  13. Recent landscape change in California's Central Valley

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soulard, C. E.; Wilson, T. S.

    2012-12-01

    Long term monitoring of land use and land cover in California's intensively farmed Central Valley reveals several key physical and socioeconomic factors driving landscape change. As part of the USGS Land Cover Trends Project, we analyzed modern land-use/land-cover change for the California Central Valley ecoregion between 2000 and 2010, monitoring annual change between 2005 and 2010, while creating two new change intervals (2000-2005 and 2005-2010) to update the existing 27-year, interval-based analysis. Between 2000 and 2010, agricultural lands fluctuated due to changes in water allocations and emerging drought conditions, or were lost permanently to development (240 square km). Land-use pressure from agriculture and development also led to a decline in grasslands and shrublands across the region (280 square km). Overall, 400 square km of new developed lands were added in the first decade of the 21st century. From 2007 to 2010, development only expanded by 50 square km, coinciding with defaults in the banking system, the onset of historic foreclosure crisis in California and the global economic downturn. Our annual LULC change estimates capture landscape-level change in response to regional policy changes, climate, and fluctuations (e.g., growth or decline) in the national and global economy. The resulting change data provide insights into the drivers of landscape change in the California Central Valley and the combination of two consistent mapping efforts represents the first continuous, 37-year endeavor of its kind.

  14. Additional carbon sequestration benefits of grassland diversity restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    De Deyn, G.B.; Shiel, R.S.; Ostle, N.J.; McNamara, N.P.; Oakley, S.; Young, I.; Freeman, C.; Fenner, N.; Quirk, H.; Bardgett, R.D.

    2011-01-01

    1. In Europe, grassland agriculture is one of the dominant land uses. A major aim of European agri-environment policy is the management of grassland for botanical diversity conservation and restoration, together with the delivery of ecosystem services including soil carbon (C) sequestration. 2. To t

  15. Additional carbon sequestration benefits of grassland diversity restoration

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deyn, de G.B.; Shiel, R.S.; Ostle, N.J.; McNamara, N.P.; Oakley, S.; Young, I.; Freeman, C.; Fenner, N.; Quirk, H.; Bardgett, R.D.

    2011-01-01

    1. In Europe, grassland agriculture is one of the dominant land uses. A major aim of European agri-environment policy is the management of grassland for botanical diversity conservation and restoration, together with the delivery of ecosystem services including soil carbon (C) sequestration. 2. To t

  16. Novel margin management to enhance Auchenorrhyncha biodiversity in intensive grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Blake, R.J.; Woodcock, B.A.; Ramsay, A. J.; Pilgrim, E.S.; Brown, V. K.; Tallowin, J.R.; Potts, Simon

    2011-01-01

    Agricultural intensification, including changes in cutting, grazing and fertilizer regimes, has led to declines in UK and NW European grassland biodiversity. We aimed to develop field margin management practices that would support invertebrate diversity and abundance on intensively managed grassland farms, focusing on planthoppers and leafhoppers (Auchenorrhyncha). Replicated across four farms in south-west England, we manipulated conventional management practices (inorganic fertilizer, cutti...

  17. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Olsson, Pål Axel

    2015-01-01

    species composition to develop towards the target vegetation. The disturbance had an immediate and large impact on the vegetation, but the vegetation developed rapidly back towards the control sites. Plant functional composition analysis indicated that the treatments created habitats different both from......, may be most successful in promoting specialist species in calcareous sandy grassland, but that further treatments are needed to reduce nutrient availability. We conclude that a functional trait based analysis provides additional information of the vegetation response and the abiotic conditions created...

  18. Structure and Processes in Temperate Grassland Vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ejrnæs, R.

    of Comparative Plant Ecology at the University of Sheffield constituted invaluable periods. Special thanks to John Philip Grime for his supervision during my visit in Sheffield and for the social and scientific support I received there from Stuart R. Band, Hans Cornelissen, John Hodgson, Ken Thompson, Sarah...... would like to honour John Philip Grime, Stephen Jay Gould, R.H. Whittaker and Eugen Warming....... the uniform bluish green colour of a monotonous rye grass sward with white clover and scattered weeds and the yellowish green colour of seminatural grasslands covered in pleurocarpic mosses and harbouring a diverse array of plant, fungi and insect species. Later, you will maybe also discover how to find...

  19. Decrease in Danish semi-natural grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenningsen, Stig Roar; Levin, Gregor; Jepsen, Martin Rudbeck

    2015-01-01

    During the past century, the western hemisphere has seen a general trend of agricultural expansion on the behalf of semi-natural habitat types, such as heathlands and meadows. This has been documented in numerous studies of land use change. This trend is reflected in today?s European rural...... documentations of land use definitions. For this study, we conducted two change detection studies, covering the same four study areas in Denmark. The first study was based on topographic maps, and indicates a strong decline in the amount of semi-natural grassland (SNG). This was contrasted by the second study...

  20. To what extent does urbanisation affect fragmented grassland functioning?

    Science.gov (United States)

    van der Walt, L; Cilliers, S S; Kellner, K; Du Toit, M J; Tongway, D

    2015-03-15

    Urbanisation creates altered environments characterised by increased human habitation, impermeable surfaces, artificial structures, landscape fragmentation, habitat loss, resulting in different resource loss pathways. The vulnerable Rand Highveld Grassland vegetation unit in the Tlokwe Municipal area, South Africa, has been extensively affected and transformed by urbanisation, agriculture, and mining. Grassland fragments in urban areas are often considered to be less species rich and less functional than in the more untransformed or "natural" exurban environments, and are therefore seldom a priority for conservation. Furthermore, urban grassland fragments are often being more intensely managed than exurban areas, such as consistent mowing in open urban areas. Four urbanisation measures acting as indicators for patterns and processes associated with urban areas were calculated for matrix areas surrounding each selected grassland fragment to quantify the position of each grassland remnant along an urbanisation gradient. The grassland fragments were objectively classified into two classes of urbanisation, namely "exurban" and "urban" based on the urbanisation measure values. Grazing was recorded in some exurban grasslands and mowing in some urban grassland fragments. Unmanaged grassland fragments were present in both urban and exurban areas. Fine-scale biophysical landscape function was determined by executing the Landscape Function Analysis (LFA) method. LFA assesses fine-scale landscape patchiness (entailing resource conserving potential and erosion resistance) and 11 soil surface indicators to produce three main LFA parameters (stability, infiltration, and nutrient cycling), which indicates how well a system is functioning in terms of fine-scale biophysical soil processes and characteristics. The aim of this study was to determine the effects of urbanisation and associated management practices on fine-scale biophysical landscape function of urban and exurban

  1. Plant diversity and functional groups affect Si and Ca pools in aboveground biomass of grassland systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaller, Jörg; Roscher, Christiane; Hillebrand, Helmut; Weigelt, Alexandra; Oelmann, Yvonne; Wilcke, Wolfgang; Ebeling, Anne; Weisser, Wolfgang W

    2016-09-01

    Plant diversity is an important driver of nitrogen and phosphorus stocks in aboveground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems, but plant diversity effects on other elements also important for plant growth are less understood. We tested whether plant species richness, functional group richness or the presence/absence of particular plant functional groups influences the Si and Ca concentrations (mmol g(-1)) and stocks (mmol m(-2)) in aboveground plant biomass in a large grassland biodiversity experiment (Jena Experiment). In the experiment including 60 temperate grassland species, plant diversity was manipulated as sown species richness (1, 2, 4, 8, 16) and richness and identity of plant functional groups (1-4; grasses, small herbs, tall herbs, legumes). We found positive species richness effects on Si as well as Ca stocks that were attributable to increased biomass production. The presence of particular functional groups was the most important factor explaining variation in aboveground Si and Ca stocks (mmol m(-2)). Grass presence increased the Si stocks by 140 % and legume presence increased the Ca stock by 230 %. Both the presence of specific plant functional groups and species diversity altered Si and Ca stocks, whereas Si and Ca concentration were affected mostly by the presence of specific plant functional groups. However, we found a negative effect of species diversity on Si and Ca accumulation, by calculating the deviation between mixtures and mixture biomass proportions, but in monoculture concentrations. These changes may in turn affect ecosystem processes such as plant litter decomposition and nutrient cycling in grasslands. PMID:27164912

  2. Effects of Holocene vegetation change on soils across the forest-grassland transition, northern Minnesota, and implications for erosion processes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mason, Joseph; Kasmerchak, Chase; Keita, Hawa; Liang, Mengyu; Gruley, Kristine

    2016-04-01

    Boundaries between forest and grassland in the midlatitudes and their shifts in response to Holocene climatic change, provide opportunities to detect effects of life on landscapes. In northern Minnesota, USA, paleoecological research has documented that grassland and/or savanna expanded eastward in the dry early to middle Holocene. In the late Holocene, forest cover expanded westward at the expense of savanna and grassland. We studied soils at 20 sites spanning the forest-grassland transition. A dramatic change in soil morphology coincides approximately, though not exactly, with that transition as recorded in 1870s-1880s land surveys, suggesting that soils change rapidly in response to forest expansion (we are attempting to constrain the timescale of response through radiocarbon dating of deep soil organic matter in which stable C isotopes record past presence of grassland). The key changes from grassland to forest are loss of organic matter below a thin surface A horizon and greatly enhanced mobility and downward translocation of clay - particularly smectite - in forest soils. This results in upper soil horizons that have relatively low smectite content and low microaggregate stability (as detected through laser diffraction analysis of aggregate disintegration in laboratory experiments), especially below the thin A horizon. The best explanation for this change appears to involve differences in how OM is added to and accumulated in the soil under forest and grassland; soil acidity and base saturation change more gradually eastward along a gradient more likely to reflect climate than vegetation. Evidence of bioturbation (especially gopher burrowing) is much more common at former grassland sites. In addition to mixing OM downward in the soil, burrowing moves detrital carbonates upward, probably enhancing OM accumulation and aggregate stability. Research on geomorphic response to Holocene climatic change in the Midwestern US has often emphasized higher potential

  3. Monitoring soil greenhouse gas emissions from managed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pinés, Eugenio; Lu, Haiyan; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Kiese, Ralf

    2014-05-01

    Grasslands in Central Europe are of enormous social, ecological and economical importance. They are intensively managed, but the influence of different common practices (i.e. fertilization, harvesting) on the total greenhouse gas budget of grasslands is not fully understood, yet. In addition, it is unknown how these ecosystems will react due to climate change. Increasing temperatures and changing precipitation will likely have an effect on productivity of grasslands and on bio-geo-chemical processes responsible for emissions of carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O). In the frame of the TERENO Project (www.tereno.net), a long-term observatory has been implemented in the Ammer catchment, southern Germany. Acting as an in situ global change experiment, 36 big lysimeters (1 m2 section, 150 cm height) have been translocated along an altitudinal gradient, including three sites ranging from 600 to 860 meters above sea level. In addition, two treatments have been considered, corresponding to different management intensities. The overall aim of the pre-alpine TERENO observatory is improving our understanding of the consequences of climate change and management on productivity, greenhouse gas balance, soil nutritional status, nutrient leaching and hydrology of grasslands. Two of the sites are equipped with a fully automated measurement system in order to continuously and accurately monitor the soil-atmosphere greenhouse gas exchange. Thus, a stainless steel chamber (1 m2 section, 80 cm height) is controlled by a robotized system. The chamber is hanging on a metal structure which can move both vertically and horizontally, so that the chamber is able to be set onto each of the lysimeters placed on the field. Furthermore, the headspace of the chamber is connected with a gas tube to a Quantum Cascade Laser, which continuously measures CO2, CH4, N2O and H2O mixing ratios. The chamber acts as a static chamber and sets for 15 minutes onto each lysimeter

  4. Plant diversity effects on root decomposition in grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Hongmei; Mommer, Liesje; van Ruijven, Jasper; de Kroon, Hans; Gessler, Arthur; Scherer-Lorenzen, Michael; Wirth, Christian; Weigelt, Alexandra

    2016-04-01

    Loss of plant diversity impairs ecosystem functioning. Compared to other well-studied processes, we know little about whether and how plant diversity affects root decomposition, which is limiting our knowledge on biodiversity-carbon cycling relationships in the soil. Plant diversity potentially affects root decomposition via two non-exclusive mechanisms: by providing roots of different substrate quality and/or by altering the soil decomposition environment. To disentangle these two mechanisms, three decomposition experiments using a litter-bag approach were conducted on experimental grassland plots differing in plant species richness, functional group richness and functional group composition (e.g. presence/absence of grasses, legumes, small herbs and tall herbs, the Jena Experiment). We studied: 1) root substrate quality effects by decomposing roots collected from the different experimental plant communities in one common plot; 2) soil decomposition environment effects by decomposing standard roots in all experimental plots; and 3) the overall plant diversity effects by decomposing community roots in their 'home' plots. Litter bags were installed in April 2014 and retrieved after 1, 2 and 4 months to determine the mass loss. We found that mass loss decreased with increasing plant species richness, but not with functional group richness in the three experiments. However, functional group presence significantly affected mass loss with primarily negative effects of the presence of grasses and positive effects of the presence of legumes and small herbs. Our results thus provide clear evidence that species richness has a strong negative effect on root decomposition via effects on both root substrate quality and soil decomposition environment. This negative plant diversity-root decomposition relationship may partly account for the positive effect of plant diversity on soil C stocks by reducing C loss in addition to increasing primary root productivity. However, to fully

  5. Methanol exchange between grassland and the atmosphere

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Brunner

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available Concentrations and fluxes of methanol were measured above two differently managed grassland fields (intensive and extensive in central Switzerland during summer 2004. The measurements were performed with a proton-transfer-reaction mass-spectrometer and fluxes were determined by the eddy covariance method. The observed methanol emission showed a distinct diurnal cycle and was strongly correlated with global radiation and water vapour flux. Mean and maximum daily emissions were found to depend on grassland species composition and, for the intensive field, also on the growing state. The extensive field with a more complex species composition had higher emissions than the graminoid-dominated intensive field, both on an area and on a biomass basis. A simple parameterisation depending on the water vapour flux and the leaf area index allowed a satisfying simulation of the temporal variation of methanol emissions over the growing phase. Accumulated carbon losses due to methanol emissions accounted for 0.024 and 0.048% of net primary productivity for the intensive and extensive field, respectively. The integral methanol emissions over the growing periods were more than one order of magnitude higher than the emissions related to cut and drying events.

  6. California Political Districts

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — This is a series of district layers pertaining to California'spolitical districts, that are derived from the California State Senateand State Assembly information....

  7. Mechanical soil disturbance as a determinant of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities in semi-natural grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schnoor, Tim Krone; Lekberg, Ylva; Rosendahl, Søren;

    2011-01-01

    an ongoing grassland restoration experiment that contained replicated plowed and control plots. The AM fungal community in roots was determined using nested PCR and LSU rDNA primers. We identified 38 phylotypes within the Glomeromycota, of which 29 belonged to Glomus A, six to Glomus B, and three to...... Diversisporaceae. Only three phylotypes were closely related to known morphospecies. Soil disturbance significantly reduced phylotype richness and changed the AM fungal community composition. Most phylotypes, even closely related ones, showed little or no overlap in their distribution and occurred in either the...... control or disturbed plots. We found no evidence of host preference in this system, except for one phylotype that preferentially seemed to colonize Festuca. Our results show that disturbance imposed a stronger structuring force for AM fungal communities than did host plants in this semi-natural grassland....

  8. Competition, resources, and vegetation during 10 years in native grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Scott D

    2007-12-01

    A 10-year experiment tested for variation in competition intensity over time in a natural grassland at the northern edge of the Great Plains. Growing-season precipitation varied fivefold during the study. All ecosystem-level variables varied significantly among years, and most covaried in expected ways. The covers of all common grasses possessing the C3 photosynthetic pathway varied significantly among years; in contrast, all common species with traits associated with drought tolerance (a C4 grass, a lichen, a spikemoss, and a subshrub) did not vary. Annual transplant experiments measured the competitive effects of neighbors on the growth of individuals of the native grass Bouteloua gracilis. A significant interaction between year and competition showed that competition intensity varied among years. The size of this effect, however, was small (eta2 = 0.074) relative to the size of the direct effect of competition (eta2 = 0.20) or the year in which the experiment was conducted (eta2 = 0.51). Further, competition intensity was not significantly related to any variable describing standing crop or resources, or species richness. Species richness was highest in years with high precipitation, standing crop, and individual growth, due to the recruitment of rare species that were absent from dry years. In summary, variation in competition intensity was statistically significant but had small effects relative to the direct effects of climate. PMID:18229830

  9. Organic vs. conventional grassland management: do (15N and (13C isotopic signatures of hay and soil samples differ?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valentin H Klaus

    Full Text Available Distinguishing organic and conventional products is a major issue of food security and authenticity. Previous studies successfully used stable isotopes to separate organic and conventional products, but up to now, this approach was not tested for organic grassland hay and soil. Moreover, isotopic abundances could be a powerful tool to elucidate differences in ecosystem functioning and driving mechanisms of element cycling in organic and conventional management systems. Here, we studied the δ(15N and δ(13C isotopic composition of soil and hay samples of 21 organic and 34 conventional grasslands in two German regions. We also used Δδ(15N (δ(15N plant - δ(15N soil to characterize nitrogen dynamics. In order to detect temporal trends, isotopic abundances in organic grasslands were related to the time since certification. Furthermore, discriminant analysis was used to test whether the respective management type can be deduced from observed isotopic abundances. Isotopic analyses revealed no significant differences in δ(13C in hay and δ(15N in both soil and hay between management types, but showed that δ(13C abundances were significantly lower in soil of organic compared to conventional grasslands. Δδ(15N values implied that management types did not substantially differ in nitrogen cycling. Only δ(13C in soil and hay showed significant negative relationships with the time since certification. Thus, our result suggest that organic grasslands suffered less from drought stress compared to conventional grasslands most likely due to a benefit of higher plant species richness, as previously shown by manipulative biodiversity experiments. Finally, it was possible to correctly classify about two third of the samples according to their management using isotopic abundances in soil and hay. However, as more than half of the organic samples were incorrectly classified, we infer that more research is needed to improve this approach before it can be

  10. Organic vs. Conventional Grassland Management: Do 15N and 13C Isotopic Signatures of Hay and Soil Samples Differ?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klaus, Valentin H.; Hölzel, Norbert; Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara; Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Fischer, Markus; Kleinebecker, Till

    2013-01-01

    Distinguishing organic and conventional products is a major issue of food security and authenticity. Previous studies successfully used stable isotopes to separate organic and conventional products, but up to now, this approach was not tested for organic grassland hay and soil. Moreover, isotopic abundances could be a powerful tool to elucidate differences in ecosystem functioning and driving mechanisms of element cycling in organic and conventional management systems. Here, we studied the δ15N and δ13C isotopic composition of soil and hay samples of 21 organic and 34 conventional grasslands in two German regions. We also used Δδ15N (δ15N plant - δ15N soil) to characterize nitrogen dynamics. In order to detect temporal trends, isotopic abundances in organic grasslands were related to the time since certification. Furthermore, discriminant analysis was used to test whether the respective management type can be deduced from observed isotopic abundances. Isotopic analyses revealed no significant differences in δ13C in hay and δ15N in both soil and hay between management types, but showed that δ13C abundances were significantly lower in soil of organic compared to conventional grasslands. Δδ15N values implied that management types did not substantially differ in nitrogen cycling. Only δ13C in soil and hay showed significant negative relationships with the time since certification. Thus, our result suggest that organic grasslands suffered less from drought stress compared to conventional grasslands most likely due to a benefit of higher plant species richness, as previously shown by manipulative biodiversity experiments. Finally, it was possible to correctly classify about two third of the samples according to their management using isotopic abundances in soil and hay. However, as more than half of the organic samples were incorrectly classified, we infer that more research is needed to improve this approach before it can be efficiently used in practice

  11. Degradation increase responses of priming effects to temperature in Tibetan alpine grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, Yue; Li, Qianru; Schleuss, Per; Hua, Ouyang; Kuzyakov, Yakov

    2016-04-01

    Kobresia grassland in Tibet plateau, with a rich storage of soil organic carbon (SOC), is very important to both ecosystem function and the livelihoods of local pastoral communities. But its intensive degradation in recent decades has led to unclear consequences for SOC stocks and dynamics. Kobresia grassland acts as a critical "first response region" to climate change, where the SOC decomposition is highly sensitive to temperature, and can produce positive C climate feedback. Priming effects, induced by inputs of labile organic carbon (LOC), can also affect SOC dynamic. Therefore, knowledge about how the priming effects response to temperature, and how their interactions affect SOC decomposition are central to understanding the carbon cycle of Tibet plateau under global warming. To this ends, we conducted a laboratory incubation experiment with the non-degraded soil collected from intact Kobresia patches, and degraded soil collected from crust patches, labeled with 14C-glucose in high/low level and incubated under 0 °C, 10 °C and 20 °C for 80 days. Cumulated CO2 emission increased significantly with temperature. Degraded soil showed lower CO2 emission at 0 °C, but significant higher CO2 emission at higher temperature compared to that of non-degraded soil. Priming positively responded to increasing temperature, with 78.9% increment in degraded soil and 12.9% in non-degraded soil on average, and at 20 °C, it was significant higher in degraded soil than non-degraded soil. Low-level glucose input led to the positive priming effects, while high-level glucose induced the negative priming. Higher temperature led to higher microbial activity (i.e., qCO2) and enzyme activity (i.e., β-glucosidases, chitinase, cellobiohydrolase and Xylosidase). Vmax of enzyme was significantly higher in degraded soil than in non-degraded soil, exhibiting a positive linear regression with priming effects. In conclusion, increase in temperature improved priming effects via higher microbe

  12. The Experiences of Low-Income Latino/a Students in the California Community College System at a Time of Education Budget Cuts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chacon, Justin Akers

    2013-01-01

    Budget cuts have reduced courses and student services within California community colleges. This coincides with the growth of low-income Latino male (Latinos) and Latina female (Latinas) student enrollment. Budget cuts have been implemented throughout the system, including in the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS), which…

  13. Andean grasslands are as productive as tropical cloud forests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliveras, I.; Girardin, C.; Doughty, C. E.; Cahuana, N.; Arenas, C. E.; Oliver, V.; Huaraca Huasco, W.; Malhi, Y.

    2014-11-01

    We aim to assess net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon cycling in Andean tropical alpine grasslands (puna) and compare it with NPP of tropical montane cloud forests. We ask the following questions: (1) how do NPP and soil respiration of grasslands vary over the seasonal cycle? (2) how do burning and grazing affect puna productivity? (3) if the montane forest expands into the puna, what will be the resulting change in productivity? The study sites are located at the South-eastern Peruvian Andes; one grassland site and the forest sites are in Wayqecha biological station, and another grassland site in Manu National Park. At each grassland site, we selected a burnt and an unburnt area, installed unfenced and fenced transects in each area, and monitored above-ground productivity (NPPAG), below-ground productivity (NPPBG) and soil respiration (Rs) for 2 yr. In the forest, we monitored NPPAG, NPPBG and Rs for 2-4 yr. Grassland NPP varied between 4.6 ± 0.25 (disturbed areas) to 15.3 ± 0.9 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (undisturbed areas) and cloud forest NPP was between 7.05 ± 0.39 and 8.0 ± 0.47 Mg C ha-1 yr-1, while soil carbon stocks were in the range of 126 ± 22 to 285 ± 31 Mg C ha-1. There were no significant differences on NPP between the puna and forest sites. The most undisturbed site had significantly higher NPP than other grassland sites, but no differences were found when relating grazing and fire at other sites. There were lower residence times of above-ground biomass compared to below-ground biomass. There was a strong seasonal signal on grassland NPPAG and NPPBG, with a shift on allocation at the beginning of the austral summer. High elevation tropical grasslands can be as productive as adjacent cloud forests, but have very different carbon cycling and retention properties than cloud forests.

  14. Soil organic matter dynamics under different land use in grasslands in Inner Mongolia (northern China)

    OpenAIRE

    L. Zhao; Wu, W.; Xu, X; Xu, Y

    2014-01-01

    We examined bulk soil properties and molecular biomarker distributions in surface soils from Inner Mongolian grasslands in order to understand the responses of soil organic matter to different land use. A total of 16 soils were collected from severely degraded grassland by overgrazing (DG), native grassland without apparent anthropogenic disturbance (NG), groundwater-sustaining grassland (GG) and restored grassland from previous potato cropland (RG). Compared to NG, soil org...

  15. Pathways to sustainable grassland development in China: Findings of three case studies

    OpenAIRE

    Li, Yingming; Wang, Yi; Schwarze , Reimund

    2014-01-01

    Grassland development serves as an important part of the national sustainable development strategy in China. This paper defines the strategic objectives of grassland development in China based on the national strategy, the current status of grassland development in China and the status of grassland development internationally. As China is at a transformational stage of implementing an ecological economic system in grassland development, top priorities should be given to enhance the values of ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. Simulated heat waves affected alpine grassland only in combination with drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Boeck, Hans J.; Bassin, Seraina; Verlinden, Maya; Zeiter, Michaela; Hiltbrunner, Erika

    2016-04-01

    The Alpine region is warming fast, leading to an increase in the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. Currently, it is unclear whether alpine ecosystems are sensitive or resistant to such extremes. In an experiment carried out in the Swiss Alps, we subjected Swiss alpine grassland communities to heat waves with varying intensity (5-10 °C warming) by transplanting monoliths to four different elevations (2440-660 m a.s.l.) for 17 days. Half of the monoliths were regularly irrigated while the other half were deprived of irrigation to additionally induce a drought at each site. We found that heat waves had no significant short-term impacts on fluorescence (Fv/Fm, a stress indicator), senescence and aboveground productivity if irrigation was provided. However, when heat waves coincided with drought, plants showed clear signs of stress, resulting in vegetation browning and reduced phytomass production. This likely resulted from direct drought effects, but also, as measurements of stomatal conductance and canopy temperatures suggest, from increased high-temperature stress as water scarcity decreased heat mitigation through transpiration. The immediate responses to heat waves (with or without droughts) recorded in these alpine grasslands were similar to those observed in the more extensively studied grasslands from temperate climates. Climate extreme impacts may differ in the longer run, however, because the short growing season in alpine environments likely constrains recovery.

  18. General stabilizing effects of plant diversity on grassland productivity through population asynchrony and overyielding.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hector, A; Hautier, Y; Saner, P; Wacker, L; Bagchi, R; Joshi, J; Scherer-Lorenzen, M; Spehn, E M; Bazeley-White, E; Weilenmann, M; Caldeira, M C; Dimitrakopoulos, P G; Finn, J A; Huss-Danell, K; Jumpponen, A; Mulder, C P H; Palmborg, C; Pereira, J S; Siamantziouras, A S D; Terry, A C; Troumbis, A Y; Schmid, B; Loreau, M

    2010-08-01

    Insurance effects of biodiversity can stabilize the functioning of multispecies ecosystems against environmental variability when differential species' responses lead to asynchronous population dynamics. When responses are not perfectly positively correlated, declines in some populations are compensated by increases in others, smoothing variability in ecosystem productivity. This variance reduction effect of biodiversity is analogous to the risk-spreading benefits of diverse investment portfolios in financial markets. We use data from the BIODEPTH network of grassland biodiversity experiments to perform a general test for stabilizing effects of plant diversity on the temporal variability of individual species, functional groups, and aggregate communities. We tested three potential mechanisms: reduction of temporal variability through population asynchrony; enhancement of long-term average performance through positive selection effects; and increases in the temporal mean due to overyielding. Our results support a stabilizing effect of diversity on the temporal variability of grassland aboveground annual net primary production through two mechanisms. Two-species communities with greater population asynchrony were more stable in their average production over time due to compensatory fluctuations. Overyielding also stabilized productivity by increasing levels of average biomass production relative to temporal variability. However, there was no evidence for a performance-enhancing effect on the temporal mean through positive selection effects. In combination with previous work, our results suggest that stabilizing effects of diversity on community productivity through population asynchrony and overyielding appear to be general in grassland ecosystems. PMID:20836442

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. De Boeck

    2007-12-01

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

  20. Farmer decision making and its effect on subalpine grassland succession in the Giant Mts., Czech Republic

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michal Hejcman

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogen deposition is generally considered as a main reason for many recent plant expansions, but management changes are often not taken into account. Understanding the effects of agriculture management in the past can be decisive in the explanation of plant expansions at present. In order to understand the spread of Molinia caerulea and Calamagrostis villosa into Nardus stricta dominated subalpine grassland in the Giant Mts. (Krkonoše, Karkonosze, we undertook an experiment to explain farmer decision making and we discussed its effect on grassland succession. We measured mowing productivity, yields, biomass quality and nutrient removal in N. stricta, M. caerulea, and C. villosa dominated swards. With regard to defoliation management performed on the subalpine grasslands for at least 500 years and cancelled after the Second World War, we found the following results and conclusions. 1. Mowing productivity, yield and forage quality were lowest in the N. stricta sward, therefore farmers preferred to harvest C. villosa and M. caerulea stands if they had the possibility to select a sward for mowing. 2. Removal of all nutrients was the lowest in the N. stricta sward. With respect to these facts, the competitive advantage of N. stricta is obvious under long-term scything without fertilization. Consequently, the recent increase of defoliation sensitive species M. caerulea and C. villosa above the timber line must be evaluated with respect to both: termination of agricultural activities and recent nitrogen deposition.

  1. A new framework for evaluating the impacts of drought on net primary productivity of grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lei, Tianjie; Wu, Jianjun; Li, Xiaohan; Geng, Guangpo; Shao, Changliang; Zhou, Hongkui; Wang, Qianfeng; Liu, Leizhen

    2015-12-01

    This paper presented a valuable framework for evaluating the impacts of droughts (single factor) on grassland ecosystems. This framework was defined as the quantitative magnitude of drought impact that unacceptable short-term and long-term effects on ecosystems may experience relative to the reference standard. Long-term effects on ecosystems may occur relative to the reference standard. Net primary productivity (NPP) was selected as the response indicator of drought to assess the quantitative impact of drought on Inner Mongolia grassland based on the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) and BIOME-BGC model. The framework consists of six main steps: 1) clearly defining drought scenarios, such as moderate, severe and extreme drought; 2) selecting an appropriate indicator of drought impact; 3) selecting an appropriate ecosystem model and verifying its capabilities, calibrating the bias and assessing the uncertainty; 4) assigning a level of unacceptable impact of drought on the indicator; 5) determining the response of the indicator to drought and normal weather state under global-change; and 6) investigating the unacceptable impact of drought at different spatial scales. We found NPP losses assessed using the new framework were more sensitive to drought and had higher precision than the long-term average method. Moreover, the total and average losses of NPP are different in different grassland types during the drought years from 1961-2009. NPP loss was significantly increased along a gradient of increasing drought levels. Meanwhile, NPP loss variation under the same drought level was different in different grassland types. The operational framework was particularly suited for integrative assessing the effects of different drought events and long-term droughts at multiple spatial scales, which provided essential insights for sciences and societies that must develop coping strategies for ecosystems for such events. PMID:26204052

  2. Effects of drought on nitrogen turnover and abundances of ammonia-oxidizers in mountain grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Fuchslueger

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Future climate scenarios suggest an increased frequency of summer drought periods in the European Alpine Region. Drought can affect soil nitrogen (N cycling, by altering N transformation rates, as well as the abundances of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea. However, the extent to which drought affects N cycling under in situ conditions is still controversial. The goal of this study was to analyse effects of drought on soil N turnover and ammonia-oxidizer abundances. To this end we conducted a rain-exclusion experiment at two differently managed mountain grassland sites, an annually mown and occasionally fertilized meadow and an abandoned grassland. Soils were sampled before, during and after drought and were analysed for gross rates of N mineralization, microbial uptake of inorganic N, nitrification, and the abundances of bacterial and archaeal ammonia oxidizers based on gene copy numbers of the amoA gene (AOB and AOA, respectively. Our results showed that the response to drought differed between the two sites. Effects were stronger at the managed meadow, where NH4+ immobilization rates increased and AOA abundances decreased. At the abandoned site gross nitrification and NO3− immobilization rates decreased during drought, while neither AOB, nor AOA abundances were affected. The different responses of the two sites to drought were likely related to site specific differences, such as soil organic matter content, nitrogen pools and absolute soil water content, resulting from differences in land-management. At both sites rewetting after drought had only minor short-term effects on the parameters that had been affected by drought, and seven weeks after the drought no effects of drought were detectable anymore. Thus, our findings indicate that drought can have distinct transient effects on soil nitrogen cycling and ammonia-oxidizer abundances in mountain grasslands and that the effect strength could be modulated by grassland management.

  3. Effects of drought on nitrogen turnover and abundances of ammonia-oxidizers in mountain grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fuchslueger, L.; Kastl, E.-M.; Bauer, F.; Kienzl, S.; Hasibeder, R.; Ladreiter-Knauss, T.; Schmitt, M.; Bahn, M.; Schloter, M.; Richter, A.; Szukics, U.

    2014-11-01

    Future climate scenarios suggest an increased frequency of summer drought periods in the European Alpine Region. Drought can affect soil nitrogen (N) cycling, by altering N transformation rates, as well as the abundances of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea. However, the extent to which drought affects N cycling under in situ conditions is still controversial. The goal of this study was to analyse effects of drought on soil N turnover and ammonia-oxidizer abundances in soil without drought history. To this end we conducted rain-exclusion experiments at two differently managed mountain grassland sites, an annually mown and occasionally fertilized meadow and an abandoned grassland. Soils were sampled before, during and after drought and were analysed for potential gross rates of N mineralization, microbial uptake of inorganic N, nitrification, and the abundances of bacterial and archaeal ammonia-oxidizers based on gene copy numbers of the amoA gene (AOB and AOA, respectively). Drought induced different responses at the two studied sites. At the managed meadow drought increased NH4+ immobilization rates and NH4+ concentrations in the soil water solution, but led to a reduction of AOA abundance compared to controls. At the abandoned site gross nitrification and NO3- immobilization rates decreased during drought, while AOB and AOA abundances remained stable. Rewetting had only minor, short-term effects on the parameters that had been affected by drought. Seven weeks after the end of drought no differences to control plots could be detected. Thus, our findings demonstrated that in mountain grasslands drought had distinct transient effects on soil nitrogen cycling and ammonia-oxidizers, which could have been related to a niche differentiation of AOB and AOA with increasing NH4+ levels. However, the effect strength of drought was modulated by grassland management.

  4. Recurrent winter warming pulses enhance nitrogen cycling and soil biotic activity in temperate heathland and grassland mesocosms

    OpenAIRE

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

    2014-01-01

    Winter air temperatures are projected to increase in the temperate zone, whereas snow cover is projected to decrease, leading to more extreme soil temperature variability, and potentially to changes in nutrient cycling. Therefore, we applied six winter warming pulses by infra-red heating lamps and surface heating wires in a field experiment over one winter in temperate heathland and grassland mesocosms. The experiment was replicated at two sites, a colder mountainous upla...

  5. Acidification of sandy grasslands - consequences for plant diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Olsson, Pål Axel; Mårtensson, Linda-Maria; Bruun, Hans Henrik

    2009-01-01

    Questions: (1) Does soil acidification in calcareous sandy grasslands lead to loss of plant diversity? (2) What is the relationship between the soil content of lime and the plant availability of mineral nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in sandy grasslands? Location: Sandy glaciofluvial deposits in...... south-eastern Sweden covered by xeric sand calcareous grasslands (EU habitat directive 6120). Methods: Soil and vegetation were investigated in most of the xeric sand calcareous grasslands in the Scania region (136 sample plots distributed over four or five major areas and about 25 different sites....... Calcareous soils cannot be restored through shallow ploughing, but deep perturbation could increase the limestone content of the topsoil and favour of target species....

  6. Grassland Management Plan : Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The grassland management objectives for Big Stone National Wildlife Refuge are: (1) to provide secure nesting cover for ground nesting waterfowl. The refuge...

  7. Grassland Management Plan Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge 1986

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This management plan provides well defined guidelines to accomplish the following goals: (1) to continue to improve existing grasslands for nesting waterfowl,...

  8. Soil Organic Carbon Responses to Forest Expansion on Mountain Grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia

    Grassland abandonment followed by progressive forest expansion is the dominant land-use change in the European Alps. Contrasting trends in soil organic carbon (SOC) stocks have been reported for mountainous regions following forest expansion on grasslands. Moreover, its effects on SOC properties...... involved into long-term stability are largely unknown. The aim of this PhD thesis was to explore changes in: (i) SOC stocks; (ii) physical SOC fractions; and (iii) labile soil carbon components following forest expansion on mountain grasslands. A land-use gradient located in the Southern Alps (Italy) was....... Changes in labile soil C were assessed by carbohydrate and thermal analyses of soil samples and fractions. Forest expansion on mountain grasslands caused a decrease in SOC stocks within the mineral soil. The SOC accumulation within the organic layers following forest establishment could not fully...

  9. Crop and Grassland Management Plan : Mingo National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Mingo NWR Crop and Grassland Management Plan focuses on the production of supplemental grain and browse foods to maintain wildlife populations. In addition,...

  10. Grassland Management Plan Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge 1989

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This grassland management plan for Wertheim National Wildlife Refuge is presented as an interim document to provide refuge staff in 1989 with management guidelines...

  11. Louisa District Mark Twain NWR : Grassland Management Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Mark Twain National Wildlife Refuge- Louisa District Grassland Management Plan addresses management strategies to provide habitat and food for waterfowl and...

  12. Grasslands Wildlife Management Area : Annual narrative report : Calendar year 1991

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This annual narrative report for Grasslands WMA outlines Refuge accomplishments during the 1991 calendar year. The report begins with a summary of the years...

  13. Effects of Habitat Manipulation on Grassland Bird Populations

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Because of continuing concern over the decline of grassland bird populations in the Northeast, and the fact that many management activities designed to increase...

  14. Field experiences in the prevention of toxic effects for cyanide and mercury in the Mining District of Vetas-California, Santander

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    human body for inhalation, ingestion, and for contact; in the area in mention, it is particularly possible the intoxication for vapors of mercury or quicksilver due to the absolute familiarity with the toxic on the part of the almost the population's entirety, from very early age, and for ancestral practical it is inadequate as they are by hand the manipulation of the amalgams clean and it burns it of the fluffs (amalgamates of gold and mercury) in the own vent of the homelike kitchen, or in fathoms inside of or outside of the house but in any event with direct exhibition of the whole family nucleus to the vapors of the quicksilver, situation that is increased by the fact that, contrary to the cyanide that produces the death almost immediately, the mercury in general causes an insidious square of chronic intoxication that those directly affected, attribute to all less ones to the toxic, although the sharp and chronic squares are grateful as professional illness for the Work ministry and of the social protection. It is calculated that around 2500 people of the Mining District Vetas-California has direct relationship or insinuation with the indexed pollutants and therefore it became necessary to approach the problem like part of the technological re-conversion promoted by the Project Surata that is developed by the auspice of the German BGR and in agreement with the aqueduct enterprise of Bucaramanga, the CDMB and the government of the department. The experiences related this report, pick up the activities developed by a compound team by 2 doctors, a driver and 3 field coordinators, including a sociologist, by means of which was looked for to inform to the most representative focal groups in the district, that is, the own miners, students, housewives, community mothers and municipal authorities on the risks of sharp intoxication and chronicle for the inadequate manipulation of mercury and cyanide, by means of technical of high impact as the presentation of clinical cases

  15. Effects of reproductive experience on central expression of progesterone, oestrogen α, oxytocin and vasopressin receptor mRNA in male California mice (Peromyscus californicus)

    OpenAIRE

    Perea-Rodriguez, JP; Takahashi, EY; Amador, TM; Hao, RC; Saltzman, W; Trainor, BC

    2015-01-01

    © 2015 British Society for Neuroendocrinology. Fatherhood in biparental mammals is accompanied by distinct neuroendocrine changes in males, involving some of the same hormones involved in maternal care. In the monogamous, biparental California mouse (Peromyscus californicus), paternal care has been linked to changes in the central and/or peripheral availability of oestrogen, progesterone, vasopressin and oxytocin, although it is not known whether these endocrine fluctuations are associated wi...

  16. Degradation and invasibility of subtropical grasslands in Southern Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Koch, Christiane

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands in Southern Brazil suffer from degradation caused by conversion to other land uses and changes in management practices. The extent of non-native species’ invasion and possible interactions with processes of land-use changes are largely unknown. In order to develop comprehensive strategies for conservation and restoration of grasslands, these processes need to be quantified and priorities for managing non-native species need to be set.

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

    OpenAIRE

    Zhen WANG; 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 (2.17μmol.m−2.s−1) and clipping (2.06μ...

  18. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Strandberg, M. T.; Strandberg, B.; Erneberg, M.

    The number of non-native plant species in Danish dry acidic grasslands was positively correlated with the cover of disturbance in the form of molehills, anthills, mouseholes and erosion due trampling or digging by large herbivores/livestock. Natural disturbance in acidic grassland ecosystems...... not grazed by livestock therefore is important for the occurrence of non-native species, and probably also for the occurrence of a high native floristic diversity....

  19. Andean grasslands are as productive as tropical cloud forests

    OpenAIRE

    Oliveras Menor, I.; Girardin, C; Doughty, C. E.; Cahuana, N.; Arenas, C. E.; Oliver, V.; Huaraca Huasco, W.; Malhi, Y.

    2014-01-01

    We aim to assess net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon cycling in Andean tropical alpine grasslands (puna) and compare it with NPP of tropical montane cloud forests. We ask the following questions: (1) how do NPP and soil respiration of grasslands vary over the seasonal cycle? (2) how do burning and grazing affect puna productivity? (3) if the montane forest expands into the puna, what will be the resulting change in productivity? The study sites are located at the South-eastern Peruvian ...

  20. Innovative grassland management systems for environmental and livelihood benefits

    OpenAIRE

    Kemp, David R.; Guodong, Han; Xiangyang, Hou; Michalk, David L.; Fujiang, Hou; Jianping, Wu; Yingjun, Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands occupy 40% of the world’s land surface (excluding Antarctica and Greenland) and support diverse groups, from traditional extensive nomadic to intense livestock-production systems. Population pressures mean that many of these grasslands are in a degraded state, particularly in less-productive areas of developing countries, affecting not only productivity but also vital environmental services such as hydrology, biodiversity, and carbon cycles; livestock condition is often poor and ho...

  1. Impacts of Future Grassland Changes on Surface Climate in Mongolia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Zhang

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change caused by land use/cover change (LUCC is becoming a hot topic in current global change, especially the changes caused by the grassland degradation. In this paper, based on the baseline underlying surface data of 1993, the predicted underlying surface data which can be derived through overlaying the grassland degradation information to the map of baseline underlying surface, and the atmospheric forcing data of RCP 6.0 from CMIP5, climatological changes caused by future grassland changes for the years 2010–2020 and 2040–2050 with the Weather Research Forecast model (WRF are simulated. The model-based analysis shows that future grassland degradation will significantly result in regional climate change. The grassland degradation in future could lead to an increasing trend of temperature in most areas and corresponding change range of the annual average temperature of −0.1°C–0.4°C, and it will cause a decreasing trend of precipitation and corresponding change range of the annual average precipitation of 10 mm–50 mm. This study identifies lines of evidence for effects of future grassland degradation on regional climate in Mongolia which provides meaningful decision-making information for the development and strategy plan making in Mongolia.

  2. Disentangling the response of forest and grassland energy exchange to heatwaves under idealized land–atmosphere coupling

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. C. van Heerwaarden

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available This study investigates the difference in land–atmosphere interactions between grassland and forest during typical heat wave conditions in order to understand the controversial results of Teuling et al. (2010 (T10, hereafter, who have found the systematic occurrence of higher sensible heat fluxes over forest than over grassland during heat wave conditions. With a simple, but accurate coupled land–atmosphere model, we are able to reproduce the findings of T10 for both normal summer and heat wave conditions, and to carefully explore the sensitivity of the coupled land–atmosphere system to changes in incoming radiation and early-morning temperature. Our results emphasize the importance of fast processes during the onset of heat waves, since we are able to explain the results of T10 without having to take into account changes in soil moisture. In order to disentangle the contribution of differences in several static and dynamic properties between forest and grassland, we have performed an experiment in which new land use types are created that are equal to grassland, but with one of its properties replaced by that of forest. From these, we conclude that the closure of stomata in the presence of dry air is by far the most important process in creating the different behavior of grassland and forest during the onset of a heat wave. However, we conclude that for a full explanation of the results of T10 also the other properties (albedo, roughness and the ratio of minimum stomatal resistance to leaf-area index play an important, but indirect role; their influences mainly consist of strengthening the feedback that leads to the closure of the stomata by providing more energy that can be converted into sensible heat. The model experiment also confirms that, in line with the larger sensible heat flux, higher atmospheric temperatures occur over forest.

  3. Effects of smectite on the oil-expulsion efficiency of the Kreyenhagen Shale, San Joaquin Basin, California, based on hydrous-pyrolysis experiments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewan, Michael D.; Dolan, Michael P.; Curtis, John B.

    2014-01-01

    The amount of oil that maturing source rocks expel is expressed as their expulsion efficiency, which is usually stated in milligrams of expelled oil per gram of original total organic carbon (TOCO). Oil-expulsion efficiency can be determined by heating thermally immature source rocks in the presence of liquid water (i.e., hydrous pyrolysis) at temperatures between 350°C and 365°C for 72 hr. This pyrolysis method generates oil that is compositionally similar to natural crude oil and expels it by processes operative in the subsurface. Consequently, hydrous pyrolysis provides a means to determine oil-expulsion efficiencies and the rock properties that influence them. Smectite in source rocks has previously been considered to promote oil generation and expulsion and is the focus of this hydrous-pyrolysis study involving a representative sample of smectite-rich source rock from the Eocene Kreyenhagen Shale in the San Joaquin Basin of California. Smectite is the major clay mineral (31 wt. %) in this thermally immature sample, which contains 9.4 wt. % total organic carbon (TOC) comprised of type II kerogen. Compared to other immature source rocks that lack smectite as their major clay mineral, the expulsion efficiency of the Kreyenhagen Shale was significantly lower. The expulsion efficiency of the Kreyenhagen whole rock was reduced 88% compared to that of its isolated kerogen. This significant reduction is attributed to bitumen impregnating the smectite interlayers in addition to the rock matrix. Within the interlayers, much of the bitumen is converted to pyrobitumen through crosslinking instead of oil through thermal cracking. As a result, smectite does not promote oil generation but inhibits it. Bitumen impregnation of the rock matrix and smectite interlayers results in the rock pore system changing from water wet to bitumen wet. This change prevents potassium ion (K+) transfer and dissolution and precipitation reactions needed for the conversion of smectite to

  4. Grassland breeding bird use of managed grasslands on National Wildlife Refuges in Region 5 of the Fish and Wildlife Service

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The overall purpose of this project is to understand the likely capacity of Fish and Wildlife Service land managers to affect grassland bird populations in Region...

  5. Effects of cultivation on N20 emission and seasonal quantitative variations of related microbes in a temperate grassland soil

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2001-01-01

    Laboratory and in situ experiments were done to investigate the influences of cultivation on temperate semi-arid grassland (for 17years spring wheat planted once every two years without fertilization) on soil N2O emission and quantitative variations of related soil microbes.In the laboratory (25℃ and soil moisture 18% ), cultivation increased soil transformations of fertilizer nitrogen ( 100 μg N/g as NaNO3, urea,or as urea with dicyandiamide I μg N/g). The N2O emissions from the cultivated and uncultivated soils with or without nitrogen additions were relatively Iow, and mainly originated from the nitrification. The soil N2O emission due to cultivation decreased somewhat upon no fertilization or NaNO3 addition, but significantly upon urea addition. The role of dicyandiamide as nitrification inhibitor was only considerable in the cultivated soil, and had small influence on decreasing N2O emission in the two soils. The influence of cultivation on soil N2O emission was also reflected by the number variations of microbes related with soil nitrogen transformation in the two soils. Compared to the uncultivated grassland, in situ ammonifiem and denitrifiers in the cultivated grassland quantitatively averagely increased, and aerobic no-symbiotic azotobacters were quantitatively similar, leading to the continued decrease of organic matter content and the decrease of N2O emission from the cultivated grassland soil.

  6. The effects of warming and nitrogen addition on soil nitrogen cycling in a temperate grassland, northeastern China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin-Na Ma

    Full Text Available 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.

  7. Changes in the structure and floristic composition of the limestone grasslands after cutting trees and shrubs and mowing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wojciech Bąba

    2011-04-01

    Full Text Available The calcareous grasslands belong to the species-rich plant communities in Poland. Most of them are of anthropogenic origin and they need specific management (i.e. periodical cutting suckers of trees and shrubs, grazing or mowing in order to protect their floristic diversity. Many of calcareous grasslands have been overgrown by shrubs as a result of cessation of traditional management. The aim of this study was to compare the structure and dynamics of xerothermic hazel shrub patches, which were undergoing secondary succession with patches where different management practices aiming at restoration of species-rich limestone grassland were applied. The managed plots had a significantly higher species richness than the control one. However, they strongly differed in their floristic composition from well-preserved limestone grasslands. There were also significant differences observed between both the managed plots. Too intensive management, particularly frequent mowing of herbs resulted in expansion of grass species such as Brachypodium pinnatum and Calamagrostis arundinacea and caused a sharp decline in species richness. The species composition and turnover rate strongly depended on succesional stage (soil layer thickness of plots at the start of the experiment. The deeper was the soil, the higher was the rate of species turnover and the smaller was the share of xerothermic and thermophilous species. The last mentioned group was dominated by species with a persistent seed bank in the soil, frequently colonizing anthropogenic habitats.

  8. Litter quality, decomposition rates and saprotrophic mycoflora in Fallopia japonica (Houtt.) Ronse Decraene and in adjacent native grassland vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mincheva, T.; Barni, E.; Varese, G. C.; Brusa, G.; Cerabolini, B.; Siniscalco, C.

    2014-01-01

    Fallopia japonica succeeds in invading different ecosystems likely because of its huge biomass production. This biomass is characterized by low nutritional quality and low decomposition rates but knowledge on whether these features are correlated to microbial decomposers is still lacking. The aims of this work were: i) to determine litter decomposition rates of native grassland vegetation and F. japonica under different conditions in a year-round experiment; ii) to evaluate litter quality and/or site effect on the decomposition of the invader and native vegetation and iii) to characterize mycoflora isolated from F. japonica and native vegetation litter. The results showed that F. japonica litter decomposes 3-4 times slower than that of native grassland, mainly due to its low N content and consequently high C/N ratio both in leaves and stems. As decomposition proceeds C/N in F. japonica litter decreases to values approaching those of the grassland litter. Site had no effect on the decomposition rates of F. japonica and grassland litter. Total fungal load and composition differed between F. japonica and native litter, and also varied across sites. These results indicate that the successful invasive plant F. japonica affects the structure and functions of the invaded ecosystem through a huge production of low quality, slow-decomposing litter that selects saprotrophic fungi.

  9. Recommendations on the use of prescribed burning practices in grassland conservation - An evidence-based study from Hungary

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

    Fire as a natural disturbance has been present in most European grasslands. In parallel controlled use of burning was an important part of the traditional landscape management for millennia. It was used to reduce litter and suppress woody vegetation as well as to maintain open landscapes suitable for farming. Recently, human activities have a considerable impact on natural fire regimes through habitat fragmentation, cessation of traditional grassland management and climate change. Nowadays the majority of human-ignited fires are uncontrolled burnings and arson, which have serious negative impacts on human life, property and can be detrimental also from the nature conservation point of view. Despite fire was widely applied in the past and the considerable extension and frequency of current grassland fires, the impact of fire on the grassland biodiversity is still scarcely documented in Europe. The aim of our study was to gather practical knowledge and experiences from Hungary concerning the effects of fire on grasslands. To fulfil this aim we sent questionnaires to experts from Hungarian national park directorates to gather unpublished data and field observations concerning the effects of burning on grasslands. Based on the answers for the questionnaires fire regularly occur in almost every grassland types in Hungary. We found that effects of fire are habitat-specific. One hand uncontrolled burning and arson have serious detrimental impacts on many endangered species (ground-dwelling birds, such as Asio flammeus, Tringa totanus and Vanellus vanellus; or lizards, such as Ablepharus kitaibelii). On the other hand in several cases fire has a positive effect on the habitat structure and favours species of high nature conservation interest (plant species, such as Adonis volgensis, Chamaecytisus supinus and Pulsatilla grandis; butterflies, such as Euphydryas aurinia; bird species such as Circus aeruginosus and Larus cachinnans). Our results suggest that even uncontrolled

  10. Impact of Reduced Diurnal Temperature Range (DTR) on Grassland Mesocosms

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gregg, J. W.; Phillips, C.; Wilson, J.

    2010-12-01

    treatments compared to AMB. Lupinus albicaulus, the lone N-fixing perennial forb, exhibited low (48%) survival for the ambient treatment in the N-rich grassland soils after one year, but even lower survival (8% and 11%) for the SYM and ASYM treatments. There were no differences in soil N availability between treatments, so reduced survival for this and other late spring emerging species appeared to be due to substantially reduced growing season due to the earlier senescence for the warmer treatments. These results suggest that species that take advantage of enhanced fall growth conditions are likely to have a competitive advantage as grasslands become warmer. Overall, our results show no differences in assimilation, respiration, NEP, phenology, or species composition/diversity for ASYM compared to SYM warming treatments. Future research should determine if these lack of treatment effects persist for reverse-ASYM treatments that experience an increase in DTR where greatest temperature increase occurs at the hottest time of day. It will also be important to determine the robustness of these results for woody species or higher latitudes where winter dormancy would play an important role for altering season length.

  11. The sensitivity of carbon exchanges in Great Plains grasslands to precipitation variability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, M. D.; Brunsell, N. A.; Vargas, R.; Collins, S. L.; Flanagan, L. B.; Hanan, N. P.; Litvak, M. E.; Suyker, A. E.

    2016-02-01

    In the Great Plains, grassland carbon dynamics differ across broad gradients of precipitation and temperature, yet finer-scale variation in these variables may also affect grassland processes. Despite the importance of grasslands, there is little information on how fine-scale relationships compare between them regionally. We compared grassland C exchanges, energy partitioning and precipitation variability in eight sites in the eastern and western Great Plains using eddy covariance and meteorological data. During our study, both eastern and western grasslands varied between an average net carbon sink and a net source. Eastern grasslands had a moderate vapor pressure deficit (VPD = 0.95 kPa) and high growing season gross primary productivity (GPP = 1010 ± 218 g C m-2 yr-1). Western grasslands had a growing season with higher VPD (1.43 kPa) and lower GPP (360 ± 127 g C m-2 yr-1). Western grasslands were sensitive to precipitation at daily timescales, whereas eastern grasslands were sensitive at monthly and seasonal timescales. Our results support the expectation that C exchanges in these grasslands differ as a result of varying precipitation regimes. Because eastern grasslands are less influenced by short-term variability in rainfall than western grasslands, the effects of precipitation change are likely to be more predictable in eastern grasslands because the timescales of variability that must be resolved are relatively longer. We postulate increasing regional heterogeneity in grassland C exchanges in the Great Plains in coming decades.

  12. Relationships between GPP, Satellite Measures of Greenness and Canopy Water Content with Soil Moisture in Mediterranean-Climate Grassland and Oak Savanna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shishi Liu

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of soil moisture on gross primary production (GPP, chlorophyll content, and canopy water content represented by remotely sensed vegetation indices (VIs in an open grassland and an oak savanna in California. We found for the annual grassland that GPP late in the growing season was controlled by the declining soil moisture, but there was a 10–20-day lag in the response of GPP to soil moisture. However, during the early and middle part of the growing season, solar radiation accounted for most of the variation in GPP. In the oak savanna, the grass understory exhibited a similar response, but oak trees were not sensitive to soil moisture in the upper 50 cm of the soil profile. Furthermore, while we found most VIs to be more or less related to soil moisture, the Visible Atmospherically Resistance Index (VARI was the most sensitive to the change of soil moisture.

  13. Improvement of native grassland by legumes introduction and tillage techniques

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Syamsu Bahar

    1999-10-01

    Full Text Available A factorial design using three species of legumes (Siratro, Centro and Stylo and three different of tillage techniques (no-tillage, minimum tillage and total tillage was applied in this experiment. The results showed that there was no interaction between species and tillage techniques. There was significant reductions on bulk density from 1.23±0.03 g/cm3 (no-tillage to 1.07±0.02 g/cm3 (minimum tillage and 1.05±0.03 g/cm3 (total tillage. Also reductions on penetration resistance from 17.47±3.84 kg/cm2 (no-tillage to 3.31±0.43 kg/cm2 (minimum tillage and 3.19±0.45 kg/cm2 (total tillage. Otherwise significant increasing on aeration porosity from 12.80±0.80% vol. (no-tillage to 21.70±0.95% vol. (minimum tillage and 20.70±0.35% vol. (total tillage. Total tillage gives increased dry matter yield. Also both total tillage and minimum tillage give yields with a higher percentage of legumes compared with no-tillage. It was concluded that total tillage and minimum tillage could be used for improving native grassland.

  14. Application of relaxed eddy accumulation (REA on managed grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Riederer

    2014-05-01

    Full Text Available Relaxed eddy accumulation is applied for measuring fluxes of trace gases for which there is a lack of sensors fast enough in their resolution for eddy-covariance. 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 thereby 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. This enabled the evaluation of the 13CO2 flux portion of the entire CO2 flux, in order to estimate potential influences on tracer experiments in ecosystem sciences and to compare a common method for the partitioning of the net ecosystem exchange into assimilation and respiration based on temperature and light response with an isotopic approach directly based on the isotope discrimination of the biosphere.

  15. Response of grassland ecosystems to prolonged soil moisture deficit

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  16. California`s schedule coordinator : market maker with advantage?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Woychik, E.C. [Strategy Integration, Oakland, CA (United States)

    1998-07-01

    The new role for Schedule Coordinators (SCs) in California`s newly restructured electric power industry was discussed. The SC concept and its complex roles in the physical (as opposed to financial) markets for power was described. The role of the SC is to negotiate generator and load changes with its client participants. The SC can reflect any contracted-for arrangement in its next set of schedules to the ISO. The SC is free to negotiate any bilateral contract with or between client participants and can combine any or all contracts between market participants. California`s Power Exchange (PX) is also considered a SC, but compared to other SCs, it has restricted capabilities. The PX is a market maker that accepts day-ahead and hour-ahead energy bids (supply and demand) and loads. If market power abuse becomes evident, FERC can re-regulate the ISO and PX. The implications of this experiment for electricity reforms are enormous. In the past the concern was on concentration of generation ownership. In the future competitors may have to focus on concentration of generation control through SCs. The industry will have to be vigilant to ensure that the experiment leads to dynamic rivalry of companies and not to the pursuit and capture of monopoly powers.

  17. Locally rare species influence grassland ecosystem multifunctionality.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-19

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

  18. Recent changes in mountain grasslands: a vegetation resampling study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillet, François; Mauchamp, Leslie; Badot, Pierre-Marie; Mouly, Arnaud

    2016-04-01

    Understanding how land-use changes affect different facets of plant biodiversity in seminatural European grasslands is of particular importance for biodiversity conservation. As conclusions of previous experimental or synchronic observational studies did not converge toward a general agreement, assessing the recent trends in vegetation change in various grassland systems using a diachronic approach is needed. In this resurvey study, we investigated the recent changes in grassland vegetation of the French Jura Mountains, a region with a long tradition of pastoralism. We compared the floristic composition of 150 grassland plots recorded between 1990 and 2000 with new relevés made in 2012 on the same plots. We considered taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional diversity as well as ecological characteristics of the plant communities derived from ecological indicator values and life strategies of the species. PCA of the floristic composition revealed a significant general trend linked to the sampling year. Wilcoxon paired tests showed that contemporary communities were generally more dominated by grass species and presented a higher tolerance to defoliation, a higher pastoral value, and a higher nutrient indicator value. Comparisons revealed a decrease in phylogenetic and functional diversity. By contrast, local species richness has slightly increased. The intensity of change in species composition, measured by Hellinger distance between pairs of relevés, was dependent on neither the time lag between the two surveys, the author of the first relevé nor its location or elevation. The most important changes were observed in grasslands that previously presented low pastoral value, low grass cover, low tolerance to defoliation, and high proportion of stress-tolerant species. This trend was likely linked to the intensification of grassland management reported in the region, with a parallel increase in mowing frequency, grazing pressure, and fertilization level. More

  19. Responses of plant diversity and primary productivity to nutrient addition in aStipa baicalensis grassland, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YU Li; SONG Xiao-long; ZHAO Jian-ning; WANG Hui; BAI Long; YANG Dian-lin

    2015-01-01

    Nutrient addition can affect the structure and diversity of grassland plant communities, thus alter the grassland productivity. Studies on grassland plant community composition, structure and diversity in response to nutrient addition have an import-ant theoretical and practical signiifcance for the scientiifc management of grassland, protection of plant diversity and the recovery of degraded grassland. A randomized block design experiment was conducted with six blocks of eight treatments each: control (no nutrient addition) and K, P, N, PK, NK, NP, and NPK addition. We evaluated plant composition, height, coverage, density, and aboveground biomass to estimate primary productivity and plant diversity. Results showed that al treatments increased primary productivity signiifcantly (P<0.05) with the exception of the K and the NPK treatments had the greatest effect, increasing aboveground biomass 2.46 times compared with the control (P<0.05). One-way ANOVA and factorial analysis were used for the species richness, Shannon-Wiener index, Pielou index and aboveground biomass, and the relationships between the diversity indices and aboveground biomass were determined through linear regression. We found that fertilization altered the community structure; N (but not P or K) addition increased the proportion of perennial rhizome grasses and signiifcantly reduced that of perennial forbs (P<0.05), thus it presented a trend of decrease in species richness, Shannon-Wiener and Pielou indexex, respectively. Only the main effects of N had signiifcant impacts on both the diversity indices and the aboveground biomass (P<0.05), and the interactions between N-P, N-K, P-K and N-P-K could be neglected. With fertilization, plant diversity (correlation coefifcient, –0.61), species richness (–0.49), and species even-ness (–0.51) were al negatively linearly correlated with primary productivity. The correlations were al signiifcant (P<0.01). Scientiifc nutrient management is an effective

  20. Andean grasslands are as productive as tropical cloud forests

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    We aim to assess net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon cycling in Andean tropical alpine grasslands (puna) and compare it with NPP of tropical montane cloud forests. We ask the following questions: (1) how do NPP and soil respiration of grasslands vary over the seasonal cycle? (2) how do burning and grazing affect puna productivity? (3) if the montane forest expands into the puna, what will be the resulting change in productivity? The study sites are located at the South-eastern Peruvian Andes; one grassland site and the forest sites are in Wayqecha biological station, and another grassland site in Manu National Park. At each grassland site, we selected a burnt and an unburnt area, installed unfenced and fenced transects in each area, and monitored above-ground productivity (NPPAG), below-ground productivity (NPPBG) and soil respiration (Rs) for 2 yr. In the forest, we monitored NPPAG, NPPBG and Rs for 2–4 yr. Grassland NPP varied between 4.6 ± 0.25 (disturbed areas) to 15.3 ± 0.9 Mg C ha−1 yr−1 (undisturbed areas) and cloud forest NPP was between 7.05 ± 0.39 and 8.0 ± 0.47 Mg C ha−1 yr−1, while soil carbon stocks were in the range of 126 ± 22 to 285 ± 31 Mg C ha−1. There were no significant differences on NPP between the puna and forest sites. The most undisturbed site had significantly higher NPP than other grassland sites, but no differences were found when relating grazing and fire at other sites. There were lower residence times of above-ground biomass compared to below-ground biomass. There was a strong seasonal signal on grassland NPPAG and NPPBG, with a shift on allocation at the beginning of the austral summer. High elevation tropical grasslands can be as productive as adjacent cloud forests, but have very different carbon cycling and retention properties than cloud forests. (paper)

  1. Teale California shoreline

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — California Spatial Information System (CaSIL) is a project designed to improve access to geo-spatial and geo-spatial related data information throughout the state...

  2. California Condor Critical Habitat

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — These Data identify (in general) the areas where critical habitat for the California Condor occur. Critical habitat for the species consists of the following 10...

  3. Experiencias de mujeres mexicanas migrantes indocumentadas en California, Estados Unidos, en su acceso a los servicios de salud sexual y reproductiva: estudio de caso Experiências de mulheres mexicanas migrantes sem documentação na Califórnia, Estados Unidos, no acesso aos serviços de saúde sexual e reprodutiva: estudo de caso Experiences of undocumented Mexican migrant women when accessing sexual and reproductive health services in California, USA: a case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra G. García

    2013-05-01

    Full Text Available El objetivo de este estudio fue conocer la experiencia de mujeres mexicanas migrantes en California, Estados Unidos, en torno a la utilización de los servicios formales de salud para resolver problemas relacionados con su salud sexual y reproductiva. El diseño fue cualitativo, con enfoque teórico metodológico de antropología interpretativa. Las técnicas utilizadas fueron historias de vida con mujeres usuarias de los servicios de salud en California y entrevistas breves con informantes clave. Se encontraron tres tipos de barreras principales para el acceso al sistema de salud: condición migratoria, idioma y género. Los tiempos de espera, actitudes discriminatorias y costo del servicio se expresaron como características que más incomodaron a las migrantes. La percepción de calidad de atención estuvo relacionada con la condición de ilegalidad migratoria. La red de apoyo tanto en México, como en California, colabora en la resolución de enfermedades. Se debe incorporar la perspectiva intercultural en los servicios.O objetivo deste estudo foi conhecer a experiência de mulheres imigrantes mexicanas na Califórnia, Estados Unidos, sobre a utilização de serviços formais de saúde para resolver problemas relacionados com a saúde sexual e reprodutiva. O desenho foi qualitativo, com enfoque teórico-metodológico da Antropologia Interpretativa. As técnicas utilizadas foram relatos de histórias de vida de mulheres usuárias dos serviços de saúde na Califórnia e entrevistas breves com informantes-chave. Encontraram-se três tipos de barreiras principais para o acesso ao serviço de saúde: condições de imigração, idioma e gênero. Tempo de espera, atitudes discriminatórias e custo do serviço foram as características que mais incomodaram as imigrantes. A percepção de qualidade da atenção esteve relacionada com a condição de ilegalidade migratória. A rede de apoio, tanto no México quanto na Califórnia, colabora na resolu

  4. Simulation of Effects of Grassland Degradation on Regional Climate over Sanjiangyuan Region in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LIAN Lishu; SHU Jiong

    2009-01-01

    Regional climate model (RegCM3) was applied to explore the possible effects of land use changes (e.g., grassland degradation in this study) on local and regional climate over the Sanjiangyuan region in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Two multiyear (1991-1999) numerical simulation experiments were conducted: one was a control experiment with current land use and the other was a desertification experiment with potential grassland degradation. Preliminary analysis indicated that RegCM3 is appropriate for simulating land-climate interactions, as the patterns of the simulated surface air temperature, the summer precipitation, and the geopotential height fields are consistent with the observed values. The desertification over the Sanjiangyuan region will cause different climate effects in different regions depending on the surrounding environment and climate characteristics. The area with obvious change in surface air temperature inducing by grassland degradation over the Sanjiangyuan region is located in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. A winter surface air temperature drop and the other seasons' surface air temperature increase will be observed over the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau based on two numerical simulation experiments. Surface air temperature changes in spring are the largest (0.46℃), and in winter are the smallest (smaller than 0.03℃), indicating an increasing mean annual surface air temperature over the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Surface air temperature changes will be smaller and more complex over the surrounding region, with minor winter changes for the regions just outside the plateau and notable summer changes over the north of the Yangtze River. The reinforced summer heat source in the plateau will lead to an intensification of heat low, causing the West Pacific subtropical high to retreat eastward. This will be followed by a decrease of precipitation in summer. The plateau's climate tends to become warm and dry due to the grassland degradation over the Sanjiangyuan

  5. Variation in dry grassland communities along a heavy metals gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woch, Marcin W; Kapusta, Paweł; Stefanowicz, Anna M

    2016-01-01

    The aim of this study was to investigate the variation in plant communities growing on metal-enriched sites created by historical Zn–Pb mining. The study sites were 65 small heaps of waste rock covered by grassland vegetation and scattered mostly over agricultural land of southern Poland. The sites were described in terms of plant coverage, species richness and composition, and the composition of plant traits. They were classified using phytosociological methods and detrended correspondence analysis. Identified plant communities were compared for vegetation parameters and habitat properties (soil characteristics, distance from the forest) by analysis of variance. The variation in plant community parameters was explained by multiple regression, in which the predictors were properties of the habitat selected on the basis of factor analysis. Grasslands that developed at low and high concentrations of heavy metals in soil were similar to some extent: they were composed on average of 17–20 species (per 4 m(2)), and their total coverage exceeded 90%. The species composition changed substantially with increasing contamination with heavy metals; metal-sensitive species withdrew, while the metal-tolerant became more abundant. Other important predictors of community structure were: proximity to the forest (responsible for the encroachment of competitive forest species and ruderals), and the thickness of the surface soil (shallow soil favored the formation of the heavy metal grassland). The heavy metal grassland was closely related to the dry calcareous grasslands. The former was an earlier succession stage of the latter at low contamination with heavy metals. PMID:26493699

  6. Bioenergy from permanent grassland--a review: 2. Combustion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prochnow, A; Heiermann, M; Plöchl, M; Amon, T; Hobbs, P J

    2009-11-01

    The aim of this review is to summarize current knowledge on suitability and sustainability of grassland biomass for combustion. In the first section grassland management for solid biofuel as well as information on harvest, postharvest and firing technology are described. An extensive grassland management system with one late cut and low level of fertilization is favored for grass as a solid biofuel. The grass harvest usually involves drying in the field and clearing with conventional farm machinery. Pelleting or briquetting improves the biofuel quality. Grass combustion is possible as stand-alone biomass-firing or co-firing with other fuels. Firing herbaceous biomass requires various specific adaptations of the different combustion technologies. In the second section economic and environmental aspects are discussed. Costs for biomass supply mainly depend on yields and harvesting technologies, while combustion costs are influenced by the size and technical design of the plant. Market prices for grass and possible subsidies for land use are crucial for profitability. Regarding biogeochemical cycles a specific feature of combustion is the fact that none of the biomass carbon and nitrogen removed at harvest is available for return to the grassland. These exports can be compensated for by fixation from the air given legumes in the vegetation and sufficient biomass production. Greenhouse gas emissions can be considerably reduced by grass combustion. Solid biofuel production has a potential for predominantly positive impacts on biodiversity due to the extensive grassland management. PMID:19546000

  7. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Möckel

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available Plant communities differ in their species composition, and, thus, also in their functional trait composition, at different stages in the succession from arable fields to grazed grassland. We examine whether aerial hyperspectral (414–2501 nm remote sensing can be used to discriminate between grazed vegetation belonging to different grassland successional stages. Vascular plant species were recorded in 104.1 m2 plots on the island of Öland (Sweden and the functional properties of the plant species recorded in the plots were characterized in terms of the ground-cover of grasses, specific leaf area and Ellenberg indicator values. Plots were assigned to three different grassland age-classes, representing 5–15, 16–50 and >50 years of grazing management. Partial least squares discriminant analysis models were used to compare classifications based on aerial hyperspectral data with the age-class classification. The remote sensing data successfully classified the plots into age-classes: the overall classification accuracy was higher for a model based on a pre-selected set of wavebands (85%, Kappa statistic value = 0.77 than one using the full set of wavebands (77%, Kappa statistic value = 0.65. Our results show that nutrient availability and grass cover differences between grassland age-classes are detectable by spectral imaging. These techniques may potentially be used for mapping the spatial distribution of grassland habitats at different successional stages.

  8. Ecology and Conservation of Steppes and Semi-Natural Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valkó Orsolya

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Palaearctic grasslands encompass a diverse variety of habitats, many of high nature value and vulnerability. The main challenges are climate-change, land-use change, agricultural intensification and abandonment. Many measures are in place to address these challenges, through restoration and appropriate management, though more work is necessary. We present eight studies from China/Germany, Greece, Kazakhstan, Russia and Ukraine. The papers cover a wide range of grassland and steppe habitats and cover vegetation ecology, syntaxonomy and zoology. We also conducted a systematic search on steppe and grassland diversity. The greatest number of studies was from China, followed by Germany and England. We conclude that the amount of research being carried out on Eurasian grasslands is inadequate considering their high levels of biodiversity and vulnerability. We hope to encourage readers to address current major challenges, such as how to manage grasslands for the benefit of diverse taxa, to ensure that conservation initiatives concentrate on sites where there is good potential for success and for the generation of realistic and viable conservation strategies.

  9. Agricultural practices in grasslands detected by spatial remote sensing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusseux, Pauline; Vertès, Françoise; Corpetti, Thomas; Corgne, Samuel; Hubert-Moy, Laurence

    2014-12-01

    The major decrease in grassland surfaces associated with changes in their management that has been observed in many regions of the earth during the last half century has major impacts on environmental and socio-economic systems. This study focuses on the identification of grassland management practices in an intensive agricultural watershed located in Brittany, France, by analyzing the intra-annual dynamics of the surface condition of vegetation using remotely sensed and field data. We studied the relationship between one vegetation index (NDVI) and two biophysical variables (LAI and fCOVER) derived from a series of three SPOT images on one hand and measurements collected during field campaigns achieved on 120 grasslands on the other. The results show that the LAI appears as the best predictor for monitoring grassland mowing and grazing. Indeed, because of its ability to characterize vegetation status, LAI estimated from remote sensing data is a relevant variable to identify these practices. LAI values derived from the SPOT images were then classified based on the K-Nearest Neighbor (KNN) supervised algorithm. The results points out that the distribution of grassland management practices such as grazing and mowing can be mapped very accurately (Kappa index = 0.82) at a field scale over large agricultural areas using a series of satellite images. PMID:25182683

  10. Projected Changes of Grassland Productivity along the Representative Concentration Pathways during 2010–2050 in China

    OpenAIRE

    Feng Wu; Xiangzheng Deng; Fang Yin; Yongwei Yuan

    2013-01-01

    The grassland is an important land use type that plays an important role in the ecosystem services supply in China. It is of great significance to the grassland management to determine the changing trend of grassland productivity and its response to climate change. Firstly, the relationship between grassland productivity and climate change, geographical conditions, and human activities was analyzed with the panel data of the whole China during 1980–2010 in this study. The result indicated tha...

  11. Is grazing exclusion effective in restoring vegetation in degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet, China?

    OpenAIRE

    Yan Yan; Xuyang Lu

    2015-01-01

    Overgrazing is considered one of the key disturbance factors that results in alpine grassland degradation in Tibet. Grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely used as an approach to restore degraded grasslands in Tibet since 2004. Is the grazing exclusion management strategy effective for the vegetation restoration of degraded alpine grasslands? Three alpine grassland types were selected in Tibet to investigate the effect of grazing exclusion on plant community structure and biomass. Our re...

  12. Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evidence from an international survey in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is reducing plant species richness in acid grasslands. Across the deposition gradient in this region (2-44 kg N ha-1 yr-1) species richness showed a curvilinear response, with greatest reductions in species richness when deposition increased from low levels. This has important implications for conservation policies, suggesting that to protect the most sensitive grasslands resources should be focussed where deposition is currently low. Soil pH is also an important driver of species richness indicating that the acidifying effect of nitrogen deposition may be contributing to species richness reductions. The results of this survey suggest that the impacts of nitrogen deposition can be observed over a large geographical range. - Atmospheric nitrogen deposition is reducing biodiversity in grasslands across Europe.

  13. Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Stevens, C.J. [Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Gowing, D.J.G. [Department of Life Sciences, The Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Dupre, C.; Diekmann, M. [Institute of Ecology, FB 2, University of Bremen, Leobener Str., DE-28359 Bremen (Germany); Dorland, E. [Section of Landscape Ecology, Department of Geobiology, Utrecht University, P.O. Box 80084, 3508 TB Utrecht (Netherlands); Gaudnik, C.; Alard, D.; Corcket, E. [University of Bordeaux 1. UMR INRA 1202 Biodiversity, Genes and Communities, Equipe Ecologie des Communautes, Batiment B8 - Avenue des Facultes, F-33405 Talence (France); Bleeker, A. [Department of Air Quality and Climate Change, Energy Research Centre of the Netherlands, P.O. Box 1, 1755 ZG Petten (Netherlands); Bobbink, R. [B-WARE Research Centre, Radboud University, P.O. Box 9010, 6525 ED Nijmegen (Netherlands); Fowler, D. [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Bush Estate, Penicuik, Midlothian EH26 0QB (United Kingdom); Mountford, J.O. [NERC Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, MacLean Building, Benson Lane, Crowmarsh Gifford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire OX10 8BB (United Kingdom); Vandvik, V. [Department of Biology, University of Bergen, Box 7800, N-5020 Bergen (Norway); Aarrestad, P.A. [Norwegian Institute for Nature Research, NO-7485 Trondheim (Norway); Muller, S. [Laboratoire des Interactions Ecotoxicologie, Biodiversite et Ecosystemes LIEBE, UMR CNRS 7146, U.F.R. Sci. F.A., Campus Bridoux, Universite Paul Verlaine, Avenue du General Delestraint, F-57070 Metz (France); Dise, N.B. [Department of Environmental and Geographical Science, Manchester Metropolitan University, Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom)

    2010-09-15

    Evidence from an international survey in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is reducing plant species richness in acid grasslands. Across the deposition gradient in this region (2-44 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1}) species richness showed a curvilinear response, with greatest reductions in species richness when deposition increased from low levels. This has important implications for conservation policies, suggesting that to protect the most sensitive grasslands resources should be focussed where deposition is currently low. Soil pH is also an important driver of species richness indicating that the acidifying effect of nitrogen deposition may be contributing to species richness reductions. The results of this survey suggest that the impacts of nitrogen deposition can be observed over a large geographical range. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition is reducing biodiversity in grasslands across Europe.

  14. Nitrogen deposition threatens species richness of grasslands across Europe

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Evidence from an international survey in the Atlantic biogeographic region of Europe indicates that chronic nitrogen deposition is reducing plant species richness in acid grasslands. Across the deposition gradient in this region (2-44 kg N ha-1 yr-1) species richness showed a curvilinear response, with greatest reductions in species richness when deposition increased from low levels. This has important implications for conservation policies, suggesting that to protect the most sensitive grasslands resources should be focussed where deposition is currently low. Soil pH is also an important driver of species richness indicating that the acidifying effect of nitrogen deposition may be contributing to species richness reductions. The results of this survey suggest that the impacts of nitrogen deposition can be observed over a large geographical range. Atmospheric nitrogen deposition is reducing biodiversity in grasslands across Europe.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  16. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Neau, Jordan L.; Euliss, Ned H.

    2014-01-01

    Amphibians provide many ecosystem services valued by society. However, populations have declined globally with most declines linked to habitat change. Wetlands and surrounding terrestrial grasslands form habitat for amphibians in the North American Prairie Pothole Region (PPR). Wetland drainage and grassland conversion have destroyed or degraded much amphibian habitat in the PPR. However, conservation grasslands can provide alternate habitat. In the United States, the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest program maintaining grasslands on agricultural lands. We used an ecosystem services model (InVEST) parameterized for the PPR to quantify amphibian habitat over a six-year period (2007–2012). We then quantified changes in availability of amphibian habitat under various land-cover scenarios representing incremental losses (10%, 25%, 50%, 75%, and 100%) of CRP grasslands from 2012 levels. The area of optimal amphibian habitat in the four PPR ecoregions modeled (i.e., Northern Glaciated Plains, Northwestern Glaciated Plains, Lake Agassiz Plain, Des Moines Lobe) declined by approximately 22%, from 3.8 million ha in 2007 to 2.9 million ha in 2012. These losses were driven by the conversion of CRP grasslands to croplands, primarily for corn and soybean production. Our modeling identified an additional 0.8 million ha (26%) of optimal amphibian habitat that would be lost if remaining CRP lands are returned to crop production. An economic climate favoring commodity production over conservation has resulted in substantial losses of amphibian habitat across the PPR that will likely continue into the future. Other regions of the world face similar challenges to maintaining amphibian habitats.

  17. Effects of the nematofauna on microbial energy and matter transformation rates in European grassland soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ekschmitt, K.; Bakonyi, G.; Bongers, M.; Bongers, T.; Bostrom, S.; Dogan, H.; Harrison, A.; Kallimanis, A.; Nagy, P.; O'Donnell, G.; Sohlenius, B.; Stamou, G.

    1999-01-01

    The effect of the nematofauna on the microbiology and soil nitrogen status was studied in 6 major European grassland types (Northern tundra (Abisko, Sweden), Atlantic heath (Otterburn, UK), wet grassland (Wageningen, Netherlands), semi-natural temperate grassland (Linden, Germany), East European ste

  18. Bacterial Community in Natural Grassland of Uruguay: Assessment of Effects caused by Cattle Grazing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The Campos in Uruguay, the Pampa in Argentina and southern Brazil comprise one of the largest areas of natural temperate sub-humid grasslands. In Uruguay 87% of the country is occupied by natural grasslands grazed by domestic herbivores, mainly cattle and sheep. Grazing is a key disturbance that shapes grassland communities, drastically altering plant species composition. (Author)

  19. Bifurcation analysis of a forest-grassland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russo, Lucia; Spiliotis, Konstantinos G.

    2016-06-01

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

  20. Global warming potential from French grassland / livestock systems

    OpenAIRE

    Graux, Anne-Isabelle; Lardy, Romain; Bellocchi, Gianni; Soussana, Jean-François

    2010-01-01

    Grassland/livestock systems differ in their wherewithal to enhance the magnitude of GHG fluxes (CO2, CH4, N2O) and their global warming potential (GWP). A simulation study was performed using the model PASIM to extrapolate potential emissions from grassland/livestock systems under alternative climate/soil/plant/management regimes at 12 French sites. Fluxes of CO2 associated with those of N2O indicate that both gases may be controlled by similar or concomitant environmental factors. In particu...

  1. Grassland management affects belowground carbon allocation in mountain grasslands and its resistance and resilience to drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlowsky, Stefan; Augusti, Angela; Ingrisch, Johannes; Hasibeder, Roland; Bahn, Michael; Gleixner, Gerd

    2015-04-01

    Future climate scenarios do not only forecast increased extreme events during summer, but also more frequent drought events in the early season. In mountain grasslands, different land uses may contribute to the response of the ecosystem to climate changes, like drought in May and June. In this study, we examined the drought response of two differently managed grasslands, 1) a more intensive used meadow and 2) a less intensive used abandoned area. Our aim was to highlight differences in both resistance and resilience of ecosystem functioning, based on carbon (C) belowground allocation as a key function in the plant-rhizosphere continuum. Therefore, we used an isotopic approach and in particular, we used 13C pulse labelling to track the fate of newly assimilated C from leaves, to roots and to soil, up to different microbial communities. We performed two 13C pulse labellings, the first during the acute phase of drought, when the water status of soil was drastically decreased compared to the control; and the second during the recovery phase, when the soil water status was restored to control level. We followed the kinetics of 13C incorporation in above- and below-ground bulk material as well as non-structural sugars, in general soil microbial biomass, in different soil microbial communities and in CO2 respired from roots, up to 5 days from each labelling. Preliminary results from the 13C analyses of bulk phytomass material and soil microbial biomass indicate, as expected, different kinetics of aboveground 13C incorporation and its belowground allocation. During the acute phase of drought, 13C incorporation shows a decrease compared to the control for both land uses, with generally higher reductions in meadow treatments. Root 13C tracer dynamics follow the leaf 13C enrichment with a delay. High label amounts are found in leaves directly after labelling, whereas in roots high 13C incorporation is found first after 24 hours, accompanied by a fast decrease of 13C label in

  2. Soil degradation in semi-arid grasslands due to intensive grazing in Northern China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesmeier, M.; Steffens, M.; Kölbl, A.; Kögel-Knabner, I.

    2012-04-01

    Degradation of semi-arid grasslands is a global environmental problem, particularly in Inner Mongolia, Northern China, where up to 70% of the total area is classified as degraded steppe. The main cause of grassland degradation in Northern China is overgrazing as a result of increasing stocking rates and a static grazing management during the last 50 years. The aim of this study was to investigate the impact of intensive grazing on the stabilization processes, the amount and the spatial distribution of soil organic matter (SOM) in the grasslands of Inner Mongolia. Within the Xilin River Catchment, intensively grazed sites were compared with ungrazed experimental sites at different spatial and temporal scales. In order to determine short-term effects of intensive grazing, a controlled grazing experiment was established in 2005. Topsoil samples were taken in 2005 and again in 2008 from ungrazed (UG05), moderately grazed (MG) and heavily grazed plots (HG) and analyzed for chemical and physical soil properties. The effects of long-term grazing were investigated in detail at continuously grazed sites (CG) and compared to adjacent ungrazed sites that were fenced in 1979 (UG79). To elucidate the spatial structure of selected topsoil parameters at the field scale, 100 grid points with spacings of 5 m and 15 m were sampled. For detection of small-scale variability at the plant scale, 40 randomly selected points were sampled inside areas of 2 m × 2 m at each plot. Semivariances were calculated for the determined soil properties. To quantify the contribution of single soil fractions to total SOC stocks, a combined density and particle size fractionation was applied. Carbon mineralization was determined in an incubation experiment for a period of one month for UG79 and CG sites. Grazing exclusion led to a significant decrease of SOC in the topsoil already three years after grazing exclusion and resulted in 25-30% lower amounts after 30 years. This decrease was related to lower

  3. Community assembly in experimental grasslands: suitable environment or timely arrival?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ejrnaes, Rasmus; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Graae, Bente J

    2006-05-01

    It is hard to defend the view that biotic communities represent a simple and predictable response to the abiotic environment. Biota and the abiotic environment interact, and the environment of an individual certainly includes its neighbors and visitors in the community. The complexity of community assembly calls forth a quest for general principles, yet current results and theories on assembly rules differ widely. Using a grassland microcosm as a model system, we manipulated fertility, disturbance by defoliation, soil/microclimate, and arrival order of species belonging to two groups differing in functional attributes. We analyzed the outcome of community assembly dynamics in terms of species richness, invasibility, and species composition. The analyses revealed strong environmental control over species richness and invasibility. Species composition was mainly determined by the arrival order of species, indicating that historical contingency may change the outcome of community assembly. The probability for multiple equilibria appeared to increase with productivity and environmental stability. The importance of arrival order offers an explanation of the difficulties in predicting local occurrences of species in the field. In our experiment, variation in fertility and disturbance was controlling colonization with predictable effects on emergent community properties such as species richness. The key mechanism is suggested to be asymmetric competition, and our results show that this mechanism is relatively insensitive to the species through which it works. While our analyses indicate a positive and significant correlation between richness and invasibility, the significance disappears after accounting for the effect of the environment. The importance of arrival order (historical contingency) and environmental control supports the assumption of the unified neutral theory that different species within a trophic level can be considered functionally equivalent when it comes

  4. Ammonia sources and sinks in an intensively managed grassland using dynamic chambers

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. David

    2009-02-01

    Full Text Available Grassland is a canopy with a complex structure where sources and sinks of ammonia may coexist at the plant level. Moreover, management practices such as mowing, hay production and grazing, may change the composition of the sward and hence the source-sinks relationship at the canopy level as well as the interaction with the atmosphere. There is therefore a need to better understand the exchanges of ammonia between grasslands and the atmosphere, especially regarding the locations of sources and sinks and their magnitudes.

    Fluxes of atmospheric ammonia (NH3 within a grassland canopy were assessed in the field and under controlled conditions using a dynamic chamber technique (cuvette. These cuvette measurements were combined with extraction techniques to estimate the ammonium (NH4+ concentration and the pH of a given part of the plant or soil, leading to an estimated ammonia compensation point (Cp. The combination of the cuvette and the extraction techniques was used to identify the potential sources and sinks of NH3 within the different compartments of the grassland: the soil, the litter or "litter leaves", and the functioning "green leaves". A set of 6 field experiments and 6 laboratory experiments were performed in which the different compartments were either added or removed from the cuvettes.

    This study shows that the cuvette measurements agree with the extraction technique in ordering the strength of compartment sources. It suggests that in the studied grassland the green leaves were mostly a sink for NH3 with a compensation point around 0.1–0.4 μg m−3 NH3 and an NH3 flux of 6 to 7 ng m−2 s−1 NH3. Cutting of the grass did not increase the NH3 fluxes of the green leaves. The litter was found to be the largest source of NH3 in the canopy, with a compensation

  5. Plant diversity drives soil microbial biomass carbon in grasslands irrespective of global environmental change factors.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thakur, Madhav Prakash; Milcu, Alexandru; Manning, Pete; Niklaus, Pascal A; Roscher, Christiane; Power, Sally; Reich, Peter B; Scheu, Stefan; Tilman, David; Ai, Fuxun; Guo, Hongyan; Ji, Rong; Pierce, Sarah; Ramirez, Nathaly Guerrero; Richter, Annabell Nicola; Steinauer, Katja; Strecker, Tanja; Vogel, Anja; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-11-01

    Soil microbial biomass is a key determinant of carbon dynamics in the soil. Several studies have shown that soil microbial biomass significantly increases with plant species diversity, but it remains unclear whether plant species diversity can also stabilize soil microbial biomass in a changing environment. This question is particularly relevant as many global environmental change (GEC) factors, such as drought and nutrient enrichment, have been shown to reduce soil microbial biomass. Experiments with orthogonal manipulations of plant diversity and GEC factors can provide insights whether plant diversity can attenuate such detrimental effects on soil microbial biomass. Here, we present the analysis of 12 different studies with 14 unique orthogonal plant diversity × GEC manipulations in grasslands, where plant diversity and at least one GEC factor (elevated CO2 , nutrient enrichment, drought, earthworm presence, or warming) were manipulated. Our results show that higher plant diversity significantly enhances soil microbial biomass with the strongest effects in long-term field experiments. In contrast, GEC factors had inconsistent effects with only drought having a significant negative effect. Importantly, we report consistent non-significant effects for all 14 interactions between plant diversity and GEC factors, which indicates a limited potential of plant diversity to attenuate the effects of GEC factors on soil microbial biomass. We highlight that plant diversity is a major determinant of soil microbial biomass in experimental grasslands that can influence soil carbon dynamics irrespective of GEC. PMID:26118993

  6. Colchicum autumnale - Control strategies and their impact on vegetation composition of species-rich grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Seither, Melanie

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available The meadow saffron Colchicum autumnale occurs on agricultural land predominantly in extensively managed grassland, often underlying nature preservation regulations. Due to its high toxicity if fresh or conserved (hay and silage, there is a need of control measures to ensure the future management and sward utilization of sites with occurrence of C. autumnale. Until now it is unclear, to what extent common management recommendations affect the vegetation composition of species-rich grassland. In this study, the effect of different management measures (late hay cut with or without rolling, early hay cut, late mulching in May, early mulching in April, herbicide application with or without reseeding on the number of C. autumnale and the vegetation composition of a moderately species-rich Dauco-Arrhenatheretum elatioris (31 ± 4 species per m², mean ± standard deviation was examined since 2006. The number of C. autumnale was first significantly reduced three years after the start of the experiment in the early and late mulching treatments; in the next three experimental years treatment differences in C. autumnale reduction did not increase significantly. With respect to vegetation composition, herbicide application had the overriding effect, as it decreased the plant species number and proportions of forbs significantly. The late hay cut preserved the original plant diversity, no negative effect of rolling or the early hay cut was observed. Early mulching resulted in an increase in Dactylis glomerata and Trisetum flavescens and in the decrease of Crepis biennis, Vicia sepium, Tragopogon pratense and Trifolium pratense; it had no negative effect on the total proportion of high nature value (HNV species. Late mulching resulted in a significantly lower yield proportion of high nature value species in 2012 and less similar in vegetation composition compared to the late hay cut treatment than early mulching; therefore it seems not to be a suitable

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  8. Using plant functional traits to guide restoration: A case study in California coastal grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sandel, Brody Steven; Corbin, Jeffrey; Krupa, Monica

    2011-01-01

    Restoration ecology can benefit greatly from developments in trait-based ecology that enable improved predictions of how the composition of plant communities will respond to changes in environmental conditions. Plant functional traits can be used to guide the restoration of degraded habitats by...... generally from the treatments. Carbon addition led to large intraspecific trait shifts, with individuals in C addition plots having smaller, denser leaves and shorter stature. Species' trait plasticity, however, was not related to the community composition response to C addition.   Our study indicates that...

  9. Remote Sensing Estimates of Grassland Aboveground Biomass Based on MODIS Net Primary Productivity (NPP: A Case Study in the Xilingol Grassland of Northern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fen Zhao

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The precise and rapid estimation of grassland biomass is an important scientific issue in grassland ecosystem research. In this study, based on a field survey of 1205 sites together with biomass data of the Xilingol grassland for the years 2005–2012 and the “accumulated” MODIS productivity starting from the beginning of growing season, we built regression models to estimate the aboveground biomass of the Xilingol grassland during the growing season, then further analyzed the overall condition of the grassland and the spatial and temporal distribution of the aboveground biomass. The results are summarized as follows: (1 The unitary linear model based on the field survey data and “accumulated” MODIS productivity data is the optimum model for estimating the aboveground biomass of the Xilingol grassland during the growing period, with the model accuracy reaching 69%; (2 The average aboveground biomass in the Xilingol grassland for the years 2005–2012 was estimated to be 14.35 Tg, and the average aboveground biomass density was estimated to be 71.32 g∙m−2; (3 The overall variation in the aboveground biomass showed a decreasing trend from the eastern meadow grassland to the western desert grassland; (4 There were obvious fluctuations in the aboveground biomass of the Xilingol grassland for the years 2005–2012, ranging from 10.56–17.54 Tg. Additionally, several differences in the interannual changes in aboveground biomass were observed among the various types of grassland. Large variations occurred in the temperate meadow-steppe and the typical grassland; whereas there was little change in the temperate desert-steppe and temperate steppe-desert.

  10. Mechanisms of plant invasions of North American and European grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Seastedt, T. R.; Pyšek, Petr

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 42, - (2011), s. 133-153. ISSN 1543-592X R&D Projects: GA MŠk LC06073; GA ČR(CZ) GAP505/11/1112 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : plant invasions * grasslands * North America and Europe Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 14.373, year: 2011

  11. Ecological dynamic model of grassland and its practical verification

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZENG Xiaodong; WANG Aihui; ZHAO Gang; SHEN Samuel S.P.; ZENG Xubin; ZENG Qingcun

    2005-01-01

    Based on the physico-biophysical considerations, mathematical analysis and some approximate formulations generally adopted in meteorology and ecology, an ecological dynamic model of grassland is developed. The model consists of three interactive variables, I.e. The biomass of living grass, the biomass of wilted grass, and the soil wetness. The major biophysical processes are represented in parameterization formulas, and the model parameters can be determined inversely by using the observational climatological and ecological data. Some major parameters are adjusted by this method to fit the data (although incomplete) in the Inner Mongolia grassland, and other secondary parameters are estimated through sensitivity studies. The model results are well agreed with reality, e.g., (I) the maintenance of grassland requires a minimum amount of annual precipitation (approximately 300 mm); (ii) there is a significant relationship between the annual precipitation and the biomass of living grass; and (iii) the overgrazing will eventually result in desertification. A specific emphasis is put on the shading effect of the wilted grass accumulated on the soil surface. It effectively reduces the soil surface temperature and the evaporation, hence benefits the maintenance of grassland and the reduction of water loss in the soil.

  12. Predicting parameters of degradation succession processes of Tibetan Kobresia grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lin, L.; Li, Y. K.; Xu, X. L.; Zhang, F. W.; Du, Y. G.; Liu, S. L.; Guo, X. W.; Cao, G. M.

    2015-11-01

    In the past two decades, increasing human activity (i.e., overgrazing) in the Tibetan Plateau has strongly influenced plant succession processes, resulting in the degradation of alpine grasslands. Therefore, it is necessary to diagnose the degree of degradation to enable implementation of appropriate management for sustainable exploitation and protection of alpine grasslands. Here, we investigated environmental factors and plant functional group (PFG) quantity factors during the alpine grassland succession processes. Principal component analysis (PCA) was used to identify the parameters indicative of degradation. We divided the entire degradation process into six stages. PFG types shifted from rhizome bunchgrasses to rhizome plexus and dense-plexus grasses during the degradation process. Leguminosae and Gramineae plants were replaced by sedges during the advanced stages of degradation. The PFGs were classified into two reaction groups: the grazing-sensitive group, containing Kobresia humilis Mey, and Gramineae and Leguminosae plants, and the grazing-insensitive group, containing Kobresia pygmaea Clarke. The first group was correlated with live root biomass in the surface soil (0-10 cm), whereas the second group was strongly correlated with mattic epipedon thickness and K. pygmaea characteristics. The degree of degradation of alpine meadows may be delineated by development of mattic epipedon and PFG composition. Thus, meadows could be easily graded and their use adjusted based on our scaling system, which would help prevent irreversible degradation of important grasslands. Because relatively few environmental factors are investigated, this approach can save time and labor to formulate a conservation management plan for degraded alpine meadows.

  13. Potassium cycling and losses in grassland systems : a review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kayser, M; Isselstein, J

    2005-01-01

    Cycling of potassium in grassland systems has received relatively little attention in research and practice in recent years. Balanced nutrient systems require consideration of nutrients other than nitrogen (N). Potassium (K) is needed in large amounts and is closely related to N nutrition. In intens

  14. Evaluation of SPOT imagery for the estimation of grassland biomass

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dusseux, P.; Hubert-Moy, L.; Corpetti, T.; Vertès, F.

    2015-06-01

    In many regions, a decrease in grasslands and change in their management, which are associated with agricultural intensification, have been observed in the last half-century. Such changes in agricultural practices have caused negative environmental effects that include water pollution, soil degradation and biodiversity loss. Moreover, climate-driven changes in grassland productivity could have serious consequences for the profitability of agriculture. The aim of this study was to assess the ability of remotely sensed data with high spatial resolution to estimate grassland biomass in agricultural areas. A vegetation index, namely the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and two biophysical variables, the Leaf Area Index (LAI) and the fraction of Vegetation Cover (fCOVER) were computed using five SPOT images acquired during the growing season. In parallel, ground-based information on grassland growth was collected to calculate biomass values. The analysis of the relationship between the variables derived from the remotely sensed data and the biomass observed in the field shows that LAI outperforms NDVI and fCOVER to estimate biomass (R2 values of 0.68 against 0.30 and 0.50, respectively). The squared Pearson correlation coefficient between observed and estimated biomass using LAI derived from SPOT images reached 0.73. Biomass maps generated from remotely sensed data were then used to estimate grass reserves at the farm scale in the perspective of operational monitoring and forecasting.

  15. Vegetation diversity of salt-rich grasslands in Southeast Europe

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Eliáš, P. Jr.; Sopotlieva, D.; Dítě, D.; Hájková, Petra; Apostolova, I.; Senko, D.; Melečková, Z.; Hájek, Michal

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 16, č. 3 (2013), s. 521-537. ISSN 1402-2001 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/09/0329 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : salt marshes * vegetation survey * grasslands Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.416, year: 2013

  16. Complexity in rodent community responses to grassland-shrubland transitions

    Science.gov (United States)

    It is believed that the abundance and diversity of Chihuahuan Desert rodents increases with shrub encroachment accompanying desertification although grassland specialist species decline with loss of perennial grasses. It has been reported, however, that a suite of biotic-abiotic interactions may inf...

  17. Families in the making: gestational surrogate mothers in California

    OpenAIRE

    Bjørn, Henriette Hårseide

    2014-01-01

    This thesis is based on a field work I conducted in California from January to June 2012, where I explore how gestational surrogate mothers experience the process of surrogacy and how California law has dealt with ART-cases. Through exploring surrogacy from different view point, and in particular from the view of surrogate mothers, this has given an insightful view into surrogacy in California. I have identified two court cases which are important for the establishment of parental rights in s...

  18. Rapid transfer of photosynthetic carbon through the plant-soil system in differently managed grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. B. De Deyn

    2011-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant-soil interactions are central to short-term carbon (C cycling through the rapid transfer of recently assimilated C from plant roots to soil biota. In grassland ecosystems, changes in C cycling are likely to be influenced by land use and management that changes vegetation and the associated soil microbial communities. Here we tested whether changes in grassland vegetation composition resulting from management for plant diversity influences short-term rates of C assimilation, retention and transfer from plants to soil microbes. To do this, we used an in situ 13C-CO2 pulse-labeling approach to measure differential C uptake among different plant species and the transfer of the plant-derived 13C to key groups of soil microbiota across selected treatments of a long-term plant diversity grassland restoration experiment. Results showed that plant taxa differed markedly in the rate of 13C assimilation and retention: uptake was greatest and retention lowest in Ranunculus repens, and assimilation was least and retained longest in mosses. Incorporation of recent plant-derived 13C was maximal in all microbial phosopholipid fatty acid (PLFA markers at 24 h after labeling. The greatest incorporation of 13C was in the PLFA 16:1ω5, a marker for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF, while after one week most 13C was retained in the PLFA 18:2ω6,9 which is indicative of assimilation of plant-derived 13C by saprophytic fungi. Our results of 13C assimilation, transfer and retention within plant species and soil microbes were consistent across management treatments. Overall, our findings suggest that changes in vegetation and soil microbial composition resulting from differences in long-term grassland management will affect short-term cycling of photosynthetic C, but that restoration management does not alter the short-term C uptake and transfer within plant

  19. Rapid transfer of photosynthetic carbon through the plant-soil system in differently managed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Deyn, G. B.; Quirk, H.; Oakley, S.; Ostle, N.; Bardgett, R. D.

    2011-02-01

    Plant-soil interactions are central to short-term carbon (C) cycling through the rapid transfer of recently assimilated C from plant roots to soil biota. In grassland ecosystems, changes in C cycling are likely to be influenced by land use and management that changes vegetation and the associated soil microbial communities. Here we tested whether changes in grassland vegetation composition resulting from management for plant diversity influences short-term rates of C assimilation, retention and transfer from plants to soil microbes. To do this, we used an in situ 13C-CO2 pulse-labeling approach to measure differential C uptake among different plant species and the transfer of the plant-derived 13C to key groups of soil microbiota across selected treatments of a long-term plant diversity grassland restoration experiment. Results showed that plant taxa differed markedly in the rate of 13C assimilation and retention: uptake was greatest and retention lowest in Ranunculus repens, and assimilation was least and retained longest in mosses. Incorporation of recent plant-derived 13C was maximal in all microbial phosopholipid fatty acid (PLFA) markers at 24 h after labeling. The greatest incorporation of 13C was in the PLFA 16:1ω5, a marker for arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), while after one week most 13C was retained in the PLFA 18:2ω6,9 which is indicative of assimilation of plant-derived 13C by saprophytic fungi. Our results of 13C assimilation, transfer and retention within plant species and soil microbes were consistent across management treatments. Overall, our findings suggest that changes in vegetation and soil microbial composition resulting from differences in long-term grassland management will affect short-term cycling of photosynthetic C, but that restoration management does not alter the short-term C uptake and transfer within plant species and within key groups of soil microbes. Moreover, across all treatments we found that plant-derived C is rapidly

  20. The extended occurrence of Maputaland Woody Grassland further south in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. J. Siebert

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available The distinctiveness of Maputaland Woody Grassland lies within its richness of geoxylic suffrutices and herbaceous flora. Since it is well documented in the literature and easy to distinguish from other grassland types, it was possible to confirm a locality of this unique vegetation unit west of Richards Bay, where it probably forms the southernmost outlier population of this vegetation unit in the Indian Ocean Coastal Belt Biome. Phytosociological data obtained from the study area were analysed to identify plant communities and subsequent mapping units. Floristic gradients obtained through ordination techniques revealed the relationship that exists between the Woody Grassland of the study area and the Maputaland Woody Grassland of Sileza Nature Reserve. This confirms the occurrence of Maputaland Woody Grassland at Richards Bay. Two of the plant communities identified from the Richards Bay site are distinctively different, despite previously being lumped together by different authorities as either Kwambonambi Grassland or Maputaland Woody Grassland.

  1. Legacy effects of grassland management on soil carbon to depth.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ward, Susan E; Smart, Simon M; Quirk, Helen; Tallowin, Jerry R B; Mortimer, Simon R; Shiel, Robert S; Wilby, Andrew; Bardgett, Richard D

    2016-08-01

    The importance of managing land to optimize carbon sequestration for climate change mitigation is widely recognized, with grasslands being identified as having the potential to sequester additional carbon. However, most soil carbon inventories only consider surface soils, and most large-scale surveys group ecosystems into broad habitats without considering management intensity. Consequently, little is known about the quantity of deep soil carbon and its sensitivity to management. From a nationwide survey of grassland soils to 1 m depth, we show that carbon in grassland soils is vulnerable to management and that these management effects can be detected to considerable depth down the soil profile, albeit at decreasing significance with depth. Carbon concentrations in soil decreased as management intensity increased, but greatest soil carbon stocks (accounting for bulk density differences), were at intermediate levels of management. Our study also highlights the considerable amounts of carbon in subsurface soil below 30 cm, which is missed by standard carbon inventories. We estimate grassland soil carbon in Great Britain to be 2097 Tg C to a depth of 1 m, with ~60% of this carbon being below 30 cm. Total stocks of soil carbon (t ha(-1) ) to 1 m depth were 10.7% greater at intermediate relative to intensive management, which equates to 10.1 t ha(-1) in surface soils (0-30 cm), and 13.7 t ha(-1) in soils from 30 to 100 cm depth. Our findings highlight the existence of substantial carbon stocks at depth in grassland soils that are sensitive to management. This is of high relevance globally, given the extent of land cover and large stocks of carbon held in temperate managed grasslands. Our findings have implications for the future management of grasslands for carbon storage and climate mitigation, and for global carbon models which do not currently account for changes in soil carbon to depth with management. PMID:26854892

  2. Phosphorus and Nitrogen Co-Limit Global Grassland Productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, P. A.; Prober, S. M.; Harpole, W. S.; Knops, J. M. H.; Bakker, J. D.; Borer, E. T.; MacDougall, A. S.; Seabloom, E. W.; Wragg, P. D.; Lind, E. M.

    2014-12-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem primary productivity has been considered to be primarily nitrogen (N) - limited, but may be co-limited by phosphorus (P), and possibly by potassium and micronutrients (K+m). The frequency, magnitude, and global extent of single or multiple nutrient limitations are poorly understood in natural systems, but can influence how anthropogenic nutrient enrichment affects ecosystem productivity and provisioning of ecosystem goods and services. We examined the occurrence and magnitude of nutrient limitation of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) by N, P, and K+m at 42 grassland sites on five continents in the Nutrient Network (https://www.nutnet.umn.edu). N, P, and K+m were factorially applied annually in a randomized block design at all sites. ANPP was measured annually for 3 to 5 years by clipping and weighing standing aboveground biomass. We found clear evidence for nutrient limitation of ANPP in these grasslands. Across all sites and years, the combined addition of N and P increased ANPP by 39% over controls, more than occurred if either was added alone (N: 18%; P: 9%), suggesting co-limitation of ANPP by both nutrients. Co-limitation by other nutrient combinations was not detected. At individual sites, ANPP limitation was most often alleviated by adding N and P together, but K+m addition alleviated ANPP limitation at three sites. Also, site-level limitation of ANPP by any one nutrient was positively correlated (R2 0.07 to 0.21) with limitation by other single or multiple nutrients, suggesting generalized multiple nutrient limitation. We found no differences in nutrient limitation of ANPP among continents or management practices, between native and previously cultivated grasslands, or with site soil properties or climate. These novel patterns of nutrient limitation of ANPP in grasslands around the global contradict the long-held idea that N is the primary nutrient limiting productivity in these ecosystems. Grasslands are globally important

  3. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Schrier-Uijl

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available An intercomparison is made of the Net Ecosystem Exchange of CO2, NEE, for eight Dutch grassland sites; four natural grasslands, two production grasslands and two meteorological stations within a rotational grassland region. At all sites the NEE was determined during at least 10 months per site, using the eddy-covariance (EC technique, but in different years. The photosynthesis-light response analysis technique is used along with the respiration-temperature response technique to partition NEE among Gross Primary Production (GPP and Ecosystem Respiration (Re and to obtain the eco-physiological characteristics of the sites at the field scale. Annual sums of NEE, GPP and Re are then estimated using the fitted response curves with observed radiation and air temperature from a meteorological site in the centre of The Netherlands as drivers. These calculations are carried out for four years (2002–2005. The estimated annual Re for all individual sites is more or less constant per site and the average for all sites amounts to 1390±30 gC m−2 a−1. The narrow uncertainty band (±2% reflects the small differences in the mean annual air temperature. The mean annual GPP was estimated to be 1325 g C m−2 a−1, and displays a much higher standard deviation, of ±100 gC m−2 a−1 (8%, which reflects the relatively large variation in annual solar radiation. The mean annual NEE amounts to –65±85 gC m−2 a−1, which implies that on average the grasslands act as a source, with a relatively large standard deviation. From two sites, four-year records of CO2 flux were available and analyzed (2002–2005. Using the weather record of 2005 with optimizations from the other years, standard deviation of annual GPP was estimated to be 171–206 gC m−2 a−1 (8–14%, of annual Re 227–247 gC m−2 a−1 (14–16% and of annual NEE 176–276 gC m−2 a−1. The inter-site standard deviation was higher for GPP and Re, 534 gC m−2 a−1 (37.3% and 486 gC m

  4. Slug responses to grassland cutting and fertilizer application under plant functional group removal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Everwand, Georg; Scherber, Christoph; Tscharntke, Teja

    2013-04-01

    Current studies on trophic interactions in biodiversity experiments have largely relied on artificially sown gradients in plant diversity, but removal experiments with their more natural plant community composition are more realistic. Slugs are a major part of the invertebrate herbivore community, with some species being common pests in agriculture. We therefore investigated how strongly slugs are influenced by grassland management, plant biodiversity and composition. Here we analysed the effects of cutting frequency, fertilizer application and plant functional group composition on slug densities and their contribution to herbivory on Rumex acetosa in a removal experiment within a >100-year old grassland in Northern Germany. The experiment was laid out as a Latin rectangle with full factorial combinations of (i) plant functional group removal (3 levels) using herbicides, (ii) fertilizer application (2 levels) and (iii) cutting frequency (2 levels). The resulting 12 treatment combinations were replicated 6 times, resulting in 72 plots. We collected a total of 1020 individuals belonging to three species Arion distinctus (60.4% of individuals), Deroceras reticulatum (34.7%) and Arion lusitanicus (4.9%) using a cover board technique and additionally measured herbivore damage to R. acetosa. We found the highest slug abundance on plots with a low cutting frequency and high food resource availability (increased cover of forbs and taller vegetation). Fertilizer application had no significant effect on slug abundance, but caused higher herbivore damage to on R. acetosa, possibly as a result of increased tissue quality. The negative effect of higher cutting frequency on slug abundance was lowest in control plots with their naturally developed graminoid-forb communities (cutting reduced slug density by 6% in the control vs. 29% in herbicide plots). Our experiments therefore support the idea that more natural plant species compositions reduce the impact of disturbances (e

  5. Bottom-up, decision support system development : a wetland salinity management application in California's San Joaquin Valley

    OpenAIRE

    Quinn, Nigel W. T.

    2006-01-01

    Seasonally managed wetlands in the Grasslands Basin of California's San Joaquin Valley provide food and shelter for migratory wildfowl during winter months and sport for waterfowl hunters during the annual duck season. Surface water supply to these wetland contain salt which, when drained to the San Joaquin River during the annual drawdown period, negatively impacts downstream agricultural riparian water diverters. Recent environmental regulation, limiting discharges salinity to the San ...

  6. Effects of reproductive experience on central expression of progesterone, oestrogen α, oxytocin and vasopressin receptor mRNA in male California mice (Peromyscus californicus).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perea-Rodriguez, J P; Takahashi, E Y; Amador, T M; Hao, R C; Saltzman, W; Trainor, B C

    2015-04-01

    Fatherhood in biparental mammals is accompanied by distinct neuroendocrine changes in males, involving some of the same hormones involved in maternal care. In the monogamous, biparental California mouse (Peromyscus californicus), paternal care has been linked to changes in the central and/or peripheral availability of oestrogen, progesterone, vasopressin and oxytocin, although it is not known whether these endocrine fluctuations are associated with changes in receptor availability in the brain. Thus, we compared mRNA expression of oestrogen receptor (ER)α, progesterone receptor (PR), vasopressin receptor (V1a) and oxytocin receptor (OTR) in brain regions implicated in paternal care [i.e. medial preoptic area (MPOA)], fear [i.e. medial amygdala (MeA)] and anxiety [i.e. bed nucleus of the stria terminalis (BNST)] between first-time fathers (n = 8) and age-matched virgin males (n = 7). Males from both reproductive conditions behaved paternally towards unrelated pups, whereas fathers showed significantly shorter latencies to behave paternally and less time investigating pups. Furthermore, fathers showed significantly lower PR, OTR and V1a receptor mRNA expression in the BNST compared to virgins. Fathers also showed a marginally significant (P = 0.07) reduction in progesterone receptor mRNA expression in the MPOA, although fatherhood was not associated with any other changes in receptor mRNA in the MPOA or MeA. The results of the present study indicate that behavioural and endocrine changes associated with the onset of fatherhood, and/or with cohabitation with a (breeding) female, are accompanied by changes in mRNA expression of hormone and neuropeptide receptors in the brain. PMID:25659593

  7. Migratory monarchs wintering in California experience low infection risk compared to monarchs breeding year-round on non-native milkweed.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Satterfield, Dara A; Villablanca, Francis X; Maerz, John C; Altizer, Sonia

    2016-08-01

    Long-distance migration can lower infection risk for animal populations by removing infected individuals during strenuous journeys, spatially separating susceptible age classes, or allowing migrants to periodically escape from contaminated habitats. Many seasonal migrations are changing due to human activities including climate change and habitat alteration. Moreover, for some migratory populations, sedentary behaviors are becoming more common as migrants abandon or shorten their journeys in response to supplemental feeding or warming temperatures. Exploring the consequences of reduced movement for host-parasite interactions is needed to predict future responses of animal pathogens to anthropogenic change. Monarch butterflies (Danaus plexippus) and their specialist protozoan parasite Ophryocystis elektroscirrha (OE) provide a model system for examining how long-distance migration affects infectious disease processes in a rapidly changing world. Annual monarch migration from eastern North America to Mexico is known to reduce protozoan infection prevalence, and more recent work suggests that monarchs that forego migration to breed year-round on non-native milkweeds in the southeastern and south central Unites States face extremely high risk of infection. Here, we examined the prevalence of OE infection from 2013 to 2016 in western North America, and compared monarchs exhibiting migratory behavior (overwintering annually along the California coast) with those that exhibit year-round breeding. Data from field collections and a joint citizen science program of Monarch Health and Monarch Alert showed that infection frequency was over nine times higher for monarchs sampled in gardens with year-round milkweed as compared to migratory monarchs sampled at overwintering sites. Results here underscore the importance of animal migrations for lowering infection risk and motivate future studies of pathogen transmission in migratory species affected by environmental change. PMID

  8. Reemerging Leptospirosis, California

    OpenAIRE

    Meites, Elissa; Jay, Michele T.; Deresinski, Stanley; Shieh, Wun-Ju; Zaki, Sherif R.; Tompkins, Lucy; Smith, D. Scott

    2004-01-01

    Leptospirosis is a reemerging infectious disease in California. Leptospirosis is the most widespread zoonosis throughout the world, though it is infrequently diagnosed in the continental United States. From 1982 to 2001, most reported California cases occurred in previously healthy young adult white men after recreational exposures to contaminated freshwater. We report five recent cases of human leptospirosis acquired in California, including the first documented common-source outbreak of hum...

  9. California's congestion management program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    One of the hottest topics in transportation planning today is California's Congestion Management Program (CMP). California's program has been suggested as a model to the rest of the United States for addressing transportation problems and for conforming to the federal Clean Air Act. This article introduces California's Congestion Management Program, describes some problems related to California's CMP legislation, outlines the major CMP elements, and briefly explains the issue of the environmental impact of CMPs. This information might assist others in developing their own CMP programs

  10. Using Shrub Clearing, Draining, and Herbivory to Control Bramble Invasion in Mediterranean Dry Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masson, Solène; Mesléard, François; Dutoit, Thierry

    2015-10-01

    For centuries, the dry grassland of the plain of La Crau (south-eastern France) has been subjected to numerous disturbances resulting in the destruction and the fragmentation of this emblematic rangeland ecosystem of the Mediterranean. Today, this ecosystem is facing a new threat from a proliferating native species, the bramble ( Rubus ulmifolius Schott), which preferentially colonizes areas that were formerly cultivated and/or exposed to water infiltration. To identify a strategy for effective control of this colonization, in situ experiments testing disturbance regimes (shrub clearing and/or mixed grazing by sheep and goats) combined with the control of access to water resources (with or without drainage trenches) were undertaken between 2010 and 2013. Only clearing and grazing combined over 3 years led to significant changes in vegetation height and bramble cover as well as modifications in the floristic composition, diversity, similarity, and richness of the plant community. Neither a clearing operation carried out in 2010 alone, nor grazing alone, reduced bramble cover, and neither treatment increased the species richness of the plant community. Similarly, digging drainage trenches had no significant impact either on the plant community or on bramble cover. Our study suggests that only annual mechanical clearing coupled with sheep and goats grazing can significantly reduce bramble cover. This combined restoration treatment needs to be applied for at least 3 consecutive years to induce significant changes and enable this ecosystem to return to the dry grassland succession.

  11. Long-term decline in grassland productivity driven by increasing dryness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookshire, E N J; Weaver, T

    2015-01-01

    Increasing aridity and drought severity forecast for many land areas could reduce the land carbon (C) sink. However, with limited long-term direct measures, it is difficult to distinguish direct drying effects from counter effects of CO2 enrichment and nitrogen (N) deposition. Here, we document a >50% decline in production of a native C3 grassland over four decades and assign the forcing and timing to increasing aridity and specifically to declining late-summer rainfall. Analysis of C and N stable isotopes in biomass suggests that enhanced water use efficiency via CO2 enrichment may have slightly ameliorated the productivity decline but that changes in N had no effects. Identical declines in a long-term snow-addition experiment definitively identified increasing late-summer dryness as the cause. Our results demonstrate lasting consequences of recent climate change on grassland production and underscore the importance of understanding past climate-ecosystem coupling to predicting future responses to changing climate. PMID:25972300

  12. Does drought modify the decomposability of grassland species ? An incubation study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gouskov, B.; Heim, A.; Abiven, S.

    2009-04-01

    Climate projections in Europe predict an increase in length and frequency of droughts within the next decades. This might be particularly an issue in sensitive ecosystems that are considered as carbon sink, like for example alpine grasslands. A variation in moisture content directly affects both litter decomposition and biomass production. Additionally, drought may alsopotentially affect the biochemical quality of plant litter reaching the soil. Under water limiting conditions, significant modifications of plant tissues composition have been observed (for example an increase of the cutin content), which could modify decomposition dynamics of the litter layer. In this study, we followed the decomposition of three grassland species (Poa pratensis L., Lolium multiflorum et Trifolium repens L.) that grew i/ under real climate and ii/ during an artificial drought. These plants were sampled on an experimental site (Chamau, Switzerland) during a three-year drought simulation experiment. The biochemical characteristics of the different plants were estimated by C, N content, water-soluble C, Diffuse Reflectance Infrared Fourier Transform Spectroscopy and lignin CuO oxidation. We followed the microbial community structure before and after the decomposition study using a Biolog system. The decomposition of the organic matter was followed under controlled conditions (23°C, water level regularly adjusted). The decomposition dynamics were measured by CO2 trapping in NaOH. First results show that Trifolium litter that grew under drought decomposes more slowly than one that grew under regular conditions. No significant difference was found for the other species.

  13. Taxonomic and Functional Resilience of Grasshoppers (Orthoptera, Caelifera) to Fire in South Brazilian Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ferrando, C P R; Podgaiski, L R; Costa, M K M; Mendonça, M D S

    2016-08-01

    Fire is a frequent disturbance in grassland ecosystems enabling variability in habitat characteristics and creating important environmental filters for community assembly. Changes in vegetation have a large influence on herbivore insect assemblages. Here, we explored the responses of grasshoppers to disturbance by fire in grasslands of southern Brazil through a small-scale experiment based in paired control and burned plots. The resilience of grasshoppers was assessed by monitoring changes to their abundance, taxonomic, and functional parameters along time. Burned patches have been already recolonized by grasshoppers 1 month after fire and did not differ in terms of abundance and richness from control areas in any evaluated time within 1 year. Simpson diversity decreased 1 month after fire due to the increased dominance of Dichroplus misionensis (Carbonell) and Orphulella punctata (De Geer). In this period, grasshoppers presented in average a smaller body and a larger relative head size; these are typically nymph characteristics, which are possibly indicating a preference of juveniles for the young high-quality vegetation, or a diminished vulnerability to predation in open areas. Further, at 6 months after fire grasshoppers with smaller relative hind femur and thus lower dispersal ability seemed to be benefitted in burned patches. Finally, 1 year after fire grasshoppers became more similar to each other in relation to their set of traits. This study demonstrates how taxonomic and functional aspects of grasshopper assemblages can be complementary tools to understand their responses to environmental change. PMID:26957086

  14. Plant diversity effects on grassland productivity are robust to both nutrient enrichment and drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Manning, Pete; Connolly, John; Bruelheide, Helge; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Wilsey, Brian; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; de Luca, Enrica; Griffin, John N.; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtech; Loreau, Michel; Meyer, Sebastian T.; Mori, Akira S.; Naeem, Shahid; Palmborg, Cecilia; Polley, H. Wayne; Reich, Peter B.; Schmid, Bernhard; Siebenkäs, Alrun; Seabloom, Eric; Thakur, Madhav P.; Tilman, David; Vogel, Anja; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2016-01-01

    Global change drivers are rapidly altering resource availability and biodiversity. While there is consensus that greater biodiversity increases the functioning of ecosystems, the extent to which biodiversity buffers ecosystem productivity in response to changes in resource availability remains unclear. We use data from 16 grassland experiments across North America and Europe that manipulated plant species richness and one of two essential resources—soil nutrients or water—to assess the direction and strength of the interaction between plant diversity and resource alteration on above-ground productivity and net biodiversity, complementarity, and selection effects. Despite strong increases in productivity with nutrient addition and decreases in productivity with drought, we found that resource alterations did not alter biodiversity–ecosystem functioning relationships. Our results suggest that these relationships are largely determined by increases in complementarity effects along plant species richness gradients. Although nutrient addition reduced complementarity effects at high diversity, this appears to be due to high biomass in monocultures under nutrient enrichment. Our results indicate that diversity and the complementarity of species are important regulators of grassland ecosystem productivity, regardless of changes in other drivers of ecosystem function. PMID:27114579

  15. Plant diversity effects on grassland productivity are robust to both nutrient enrichment and drought.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Craven, Dylan; Isbell, Forest; Manning, Pete; Connolly, John; Bruelheide, Helge; Ebeling, Anne; Roscher, Christiane; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Wilsey, Brian; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; de Luca, Enrica; Griffin, John N; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtech; Loreau, Michel; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Palmborg, Cecilia; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Schmid, Bernhard; Siebenkäs, Alrun; Seabloom, Eric; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Vogel, Anja; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2016-05-19

    Global change drivers are rapidly altering resource availability and biodiversity. While there is consensus that greater biodiversity increases the functioning of ecosystems, the extent to which biodiversity buffers ecosystem productivity in response to changes in resource availability remains unclear. We use data from 16 grassland experiments across North America and Europe that manipulated plant species richness and one of two essential resources-soil nutrients or water-to assess the direction and strength of the interaction between plant diversity and resource alteration on above-ground productivity and net biodiversity, complementarity, and selection effects. Despite strong increases in productivity with nutrient addition and decreases in productivity with drought, we found that resource alterations did not alter biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Our results suggest that these relationships are largely determined by increases in complementarity effects along plant species richness gradients. Although nutrient addition reduced complementarity effects at high diversity, this appears to be due to high biomass in monocultures under nutrient enrichment. Our results indicate that diversity and the complementarity of species are important regulators of grassland ecosystem productivity, regardless of changes in other drivers of ecosystem function. PMID:27114579

  16. Fluxes of CO2,CH4 and N2O from alpine grassland in the Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PEIZhiyong; OUYANGHua; ZHOUCaiping; XUXingliang

    2003-01-01

    Using static chamber technique,fluxes of CO2,CH4 and N2O were measured in the alpine grassland area from July 2000 to July 2001,determinations of mean fluxes showed that CO2 and N2O were generally released from the soil,while the alpine grassland accounted for a weak CH4 sink.Fluxes of CO2,CH4 and N2O ranged widely.The highest CO2 emission occurred in August,whereas almost 90?of the whole year emission occurred in the growing season.But the variations of CH4 and N2O fluxes did not show any clear patterns over the one-year-experiment.During a daily variation,the maximum CO2 emission occurred at 16:00,and then decreased to the minimum emission in the early morning.Daily pattern analyses indicated that the variation in CO2 fluxes was positively related to air temperatures(R2=0.73)and soil temperatures at a depth of 5 cm(R2=0.86),whereas daily variations in CH4 and N2O fluxes were poorly explained by soil temperatures and climatic variables.CO2 emissions in this area were much lower than other grasslands in plain areas.

  17. Mesocarnivore Surveys on Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Site 300, Alameda and San Joaquin Counties, California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, H O; Smith, D A; Cypher, B L; Kelly, P A; Woollett, J S

    2004-11-16

    Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL), operated under cooperative agreement between the University of California and the U. S. Department of Energy, administers and operates an approximately 11 mi{sup 2} (28 km{sup 2}) test site in the remote hills at the northern end of the South Coast Ranges of Central California (Figure 1). Known as Site 300, this expanse of rolling hills and canyons supports a diverse array of grassland communities typical of lowland central California. The facility serves a variety of functions related to testing non-nuclear explosives, lasers, and weapons subsystems. The primary purpose of this project was to determine the presence of any mesocarnivores on Site 300 that use the property for foraging, denning, and other related activities. The surveys occurred from mid-September to mid-October, 2002.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W.-M. Bai

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

  20. Balancing forest-regeneration probabilities and maintenance costs in dry grasslands of high conservation priority

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bolliger, Janine; Edwards, Thomas C., Jr.; Eggenberg, Stefan; Ismail, Sascha; Seidl, Irmi; Kienast, Felix

    2011-01-01

    Abandonment of agricultural land has resulted in forest regeneration in species-rich dry grasslands across European mountain regions and threatens conservation efforts in this vegetation type. To support national conservation strategies, we used a site-selection algorithm (MARXAN) to find optimum sets of floristic regions (reporting units) that contain grasslands of high conservation priority. We sought optimum sets that would accommodate 136 important dry-grassland species and that would minimize forest regeneration and costs of management needed to forestall predicted forest regeneration. We did not consider other conservation elements of dry grasslands, such as animal species richness, cultural heritage, and changes due to climate change. Optimal sets that included 95–100% of the dry grassland species encompassed an average of 56–59 floristic regions (standard deviation, SD 5). This is about 15% of approximately 400 floristic regions that contain dry-grassland sites and translates to 4800–5300 ha of dry grassland out of a total of approximately 23,000 ha for the entire study area. Projected costs to manage the grasslands in these optimum sets ranged from CHF (Swiss francs) 5.2 to 6.0 million/year. This is only 15–20% of the current total estimated cost of approximately CHF30–45 million/year required if all dry grasslands were to be protected. The grasslands of the optimal sets may be viewed as core sites in a national conservation strategy.

  1. Assemblages of breeding birds as indicators of grassland condition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browder, S.F.; Johnson, D.H.; Ball, I.J.

    2002-01-01

    We developed a measure of biological integrity for grasslands (GI) based on the most influential habitat types in the Prairie Pothole Region of North Dakota. GI is based on proportions of habitat types and the relationships of these habitat types to breeding birds. Habitat types were identified by digital aerial photography, verified on the ground, and quantified using GIS. We then developed an index to GI based on the presence or abundance of breeding bird species. Species abundance data were obtained from 3 min roadside point counts at 889 points in 44, 4050 ha study plots over a 2-year period. Using a modified North American Breeding Bird Survey protocol, species were recorded in each of four quadrants at each point. Fifty species selected for analysis included all grassland species that occurred in at least 15 quadrants and all other bird species that occurred in at least 1% of quadrants. We constructed preliminary models using data from each of the 2 years, then tested their predictive ability by cross-validation with data from the other year. These cross-validation tests indicated that the index consistently predicted grassland integrity. The final four models (presence and abundance models at 200 and 400 m scales) included only those species that were statistically significant (P 0.05) in all preliminary models. Finally we interpreted the components of the indices by examining associations between individual species and habitat types. Logistic regression identified 386 statistically significant relationships between species and habitat types at 200 and 400 m scales. This method, though labor-intensive, successfully uses the presence of grassland-dependent species and absence of species associated with woody vegetation or cropland to provide an index to grassland integrity. Once regional associations of species with habitat types have been identified, such indices can be applied relatively inexpensively to monitor grassland integrity over large geographic

  2. Reforestation or conservation? The attributes of old growth grasslands in South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaloumis, Nicholas P; Bond, William J

    2016-09-19

    Deforestation as a result of burning and land conversion in the tropics and subtropics has been widely studied and active restoration of forests has been widely promoted. Besides other benefits, reforestation can sequester carbon thereby reducing CO2 emissions to the atmosphere. However, before grasslands are targeted for 'reforestation', it is necessary to distinguish whether they are ancient natural grasslands or secondary vegetation colonizing deforested areas. Here we report the results of a study comparing primary grasslands in South Africa with 4-40 year old secondary grasslands recovering from afforestation with Pinus species. Primary grasslands had significantly higher plant species richness overall, especially of forb species. Ground cover of primary grasslands was more evenly distributed among species than secondary grasslands which tended to mono-dominance. Forbs with underground storage organs (USOs) were common in primary grasslands but conspicuously absent in the recovering systems. Comparison of secondary grasslands of different ages (up to 40 years) showed negligible recovery of the original species composition. Three key features distinguish old growth primary from secondary grasslands: total and forb species numbers, evenness of species contributions to cover and the presence of USOs. Old growth grasslands also differed in their fire response, showing significant post-burn resprouting and fire-stimulated flowering in contrast to secondary grasslands. Though similar contrasting attributes of ancient and secondary grasslands have been reported in South America, more studies are needed to explore their generality in other geographical regions.This article is part of the themed issue 'Tropical grassy biomes: linking ecology, human use and conservation'. PMID:27502375

  3. Quantification of Water Erosion on Subalpine Grassland with Rain Simulators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schindler, Y.; Alewell, Ch.; Burri, K.; Bänninger, D.

    2009-04-01

    Intensive land use and increasing storm events trigger rain erosion, thus its quantification is important. The aim of this study was to asses the influence of the vegetation on runoff and water erosion in an alpine grassland area. Further, we estimated the influence of vegetation on the soil characteristics matrix stability and C/N ratio and assessed the relationship between those parameters as well as the grain size distribution with erosion and runoff rate. To test the above hypotheses a field spray nozzles drop former hybrid simulator, consisting of a full-core Lechler nozzle and a meshed fixed below to improve the rain drop distribution, was used. Prior to the field experiment, we compared this simulator with a drop former simulator in the laboratory at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL) in terms of drop size distribution and kinetic energy. Thereby, we could estimate the accuracy of the field simulator. The rain drop size distribution and the total kinetic energy of the drops at a rain intensity of 60 mm h-1 were measured with a Joss-Waldvogel distrometer. To compare the effect of the two rain simulators as well as the influence of the soil texture on erosion and runoff rate, we used 6 silty soil monoliths and 6 clayish monoliths. To get comparable initial conditions, every soil monolith was irrigated only one time, starting at field capacity. The soil moisture was continuously recorded by TDR probes during the simulation. The comparison of the two rain simulators showed a close similarity in the drop size distributions. For both simulators, the most frequent drop size class is in the range of 1 mm in diameter. Natural rain typically shows a larger mean drop size at an intensity of 60 mm h-1. In comparison to the natural rain, the total kinetic energy of the simulated rain of both of the simulators was too small as well. These results lead to the conclusion, that the true simulation of a natural rain is hardly realizable

  4. California's English Learner Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hill, Laura E.

    2012-01-01

    English Learner (EL) students in California's schools are numerous and diverse, and they lag behind their native-English-speaking peers. Closing the achievement gap for EL students has been a long-standing goal for California educators, and there are some signs of success. Now that EL funding and curriculum issues are receiving a fresh level of…

  5. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in grassland soils used for cattle husbandry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bannert

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available While the importance of anaerobic methane oxidation has been reported for marine ecosystems, the role of this process in soils is still questionable. Grasslands used as pastures for cattle overwintering show an increase in anaerobic soil micro-sites caused by animal treading and excrement deposition. Therefore, anaerobic potential methane oxidation activity of severely impacted soil from a cattle winter pasture was investigated in an incubation experiment under anaerobic conditions using 13C-labelled methane. We were able to detect a high microbial activity utilizing CH4 as nutrient source shown by the respiration of 13CO2. Measurements of possible terminal electron acceptors for anaerobic oxidation of methane were carried out. Soil sulfate concentrations were too low to explain the oxidation of the amount of methane added, but enough nitrate and iron(III were detected. However, only nitrate was consumed during the experiment. 13C-PLFA analyses clearly showed the utilization of CH4 as nutrient source mainly by organisms harbouring 16:1ω7 PLFAs. These lipids were also found as most 13C-enriched fatty acids by Raghoebarsing et al. (2006 after addition of 13CH4 to an enrichment culture coupling denitrification of nitrate to anaerobic oxidation of methane. This might be an indication for anaerobic oxidation of methane by relatives of "Candidatus Methylomirabilis oxyfera" in the investigated grassland soil under the conditions of the incubation experiment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-04-01

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

  7. Resuspension and redistribution of radionuclides during grassland and forest fires in the Chernobyl exclusion zone: part II. Modeling the transport process

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    To predict parameters of radionuclide resuspension, transport and deposition during forest and grassland fires, several model modules were developed and adapted. Experimental data of controlled burning of prepared experimental plots in the Chernobyl exclusion zone have been used to evaluate the prognostic power of the models. The predicted trajectories and elevations of the plume match with those visually observed during the fire experiments in the grassland and forest sites. Experimentally determined parameters could be successfully used for the calculation of the initial plume parameters which provide the tools for the description of various fire scenarios and enable prognostic calculations. In summary, the model predicts a release of some per mille from the radionuclide inventory of the fuel material by the grassland fires. During the forest fire, up to 4% of 137Cs and 9Sr and up to 1% of the Pu isotopes can be released from the forest litter according to the model calculations. However, these results depend on the parameters of the fire events. In general, the modeling results are in good accordance with the experimental data. Therefore, the considered models were successfully validated and can be recommended for the assessment of the resuspension and redistribution of radionuclides during grassland and forest fires in contaminated territories

  8. Grazing Resource Management and Grassland Degradation in Northern China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    LI Ying; HAO Ruimin

    2011-01-01

    1 Introduction Grassland degradation in China's northem steppe has been a major and increasingly serious problem affecting the productivity and sustainability of pastoral systems.The economic and property rights reforms in the early 1980s dramatically modified grazing management and resource institutions in the area.Livestock were privatized,but most of the pastures were jointly used by all herding households or small groups within villages.When a seemingly accelerating deterioration of grassland condition was observed through the 1980s and 1990s,numerous research and government reports suggested that the reform had created the classic problem of resource degradation from privately owned animals grazing on common land (Hardin 1968).At the same time,pastures allocated to and actually controlled by individual households also were subject to overexploitation caused by perceived institutional uncertainties (Longworth and Williamson 1993).

  9. Terrestrial ecology. Comprehensive study of the grassland biome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Terrestrial ecology and grassland biome studies are designed to characterize the biota of the Hanford Reservation, elucidate seasonal dynamics of plant productivity, decomposition and mineral behavior patterns of important plant communities, and, to study the response of these communities to important natural environmental stresses, such as weather, wildfire and man-induced alterations of communities (influenced by grazing cattle and severe mechanical disturbance of the soil, such as affected by plowing or burial of waste materials or construction activities). A detailed account of the important findings of a 5-yr study is currently being prepared by the terrestrial ecology section staff for publication as a contribution to the International Biological Program Grassland Biome project

  10. Knowledge gained from video-monitoring grassland passerine nests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pietz, Pamela J.; Granfors, D.A.; Ribic, Christine A.

    2012-01-01

    In the mid-1990s, researchers began using miniature cameras to videotape activities at cryptic passerine nests in grasslands.In subsequent years, use of these video surveillance systems spread dramatically, leading to major strides in our knowledge of nest predation and nesting ecology of many species.Studies using video nest surveillance have helped overturn or substantiate many long-standing assumptions and have provided insights on a wide range of topics.Using examples from grasslands, we highlight the accumulated knowledge about activities at nests documented with video; we also discuss implications of this knowledge for our understanding of avian ecology.Like all tools, video nest surveillance has potential limitations, and users must take precautions to minimize possible sources of bias in data collection and interpretation.

  11. The biological transport of radionuclides in grassland and freshwater ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    This thesis examines the biological transport of radionuclides through terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, with particular reference to radiocaesium. The semi-natural grassland habitat was located at Drigg, W. Cumbria, contaminated primarily by radioactive fallout, from several sources over the past decade. Advantage was made of the deposition of radionuclides from the Chernobyl reactor incident, which occurred during the early stages of the investigation. The study examined the distribution of radiocaesium for the major components of the grassland ecosystem, within the soil-plant-invertebrate-small mammal food chain. Data concerning temporal fluctuation of radionuclide transfer factors between food chain components are presented. The final section examines the spatial distribution of radiocaesium in sediment and the freshwater eel (Anguilla anguilla) in a small stream contaminated by radioactive effluent. The relationship between activity levels in eels and the sediments in which they rest and forage was investigated. Factors influencing uptake of radiocaesium in freshwater fish were also examined. (author)

  12. Climatic change controls productivity variation in global grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Qingzhu Gao; Wenquan Zhu; Schwartz, Mark W.; Hasbagan Ganjurjav; Yunfan Wan; Xiaobo Qin; Xin Ma; Williamson, Matthew A.; Yue Li

    2016-01-01

    Detection and identification of the impacts of climate change on ecosystems have been core issues in climate change research in recent years. In this study, we compared average annual values of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) with theoretical net primary productivity (NPP) values based on temperature and precipitation to determine the effect of historic climate change on global grassland productivity from 1982 to 2011. Comparison of trends in actual productivity (NDVI) with ...

  13. Making Grasslands Sustainable in Mongolia: Herders' Livelihoods and Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Asian Development Bank

    2014-01-01

    The threats posed by climate change have significant impacts on Mongolia’s grassland ecosystems and herders’ livelihoods. This publication discusses the auses of climate change and its impacts on livelihoods and ecosystems for herders and the general public. It explains how good pasture management and livestock roductivity are important for increasing incomes and provides information on adaptation practices. It also identifies sustainable management practices that can increase communities’ re...

  14. Experimental control of Spanish broom (Spartium junceum) invading natural grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Cristina Sanhueza; Sergio M. Zalba

    2012-01-01

    A group of legumes generically known as brooms are among the most successful shrubs invading grasslands in South America and otherregions. These species share a set of biological features that enhance their invasiveness, such as abundant and long-lasting seed banks,aggressive root systems and rapid growth, combined with their ability for re-sprouting after cutting or burning and for avoiding herbivores.They grow in dense stands that exclude native vegetation and are able to change ecological ...

  15. Carbon balance of renovated grasslands: input- or output-driven?

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; CRUZ, Pablo

    2015-01-01

    Fabaceae species play a key role in ecosystem functioning through their capacity to fix atmospheric nitrogen via their symbiosis with Rhizobium bacteria. To increase benefits of using Fabaceae in agricultural systems, it is necessary to find ways to evaluate species or genotypes having potential adaptations to sub-optimal growth conditions. We evaluated the relevance of phylogenetic distance, absolute trait distance and hierarchical trait distance for comparing the adaptation of 13 grassland ...

  17. Effect of Nitrogen Fertilizer on Photosynthetic Rate of Leymus chinensis in Grassland of Different Degrading Degrees

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Mingming WANG; Yajing BAO; Zhenghai LI; Shaohuan YANG; Jingping JIAO; Yanyu GUO

    2012-01-01

    [Objective] This study aimed to investigate the effect of nitrogen fertilizer on photosynthetic rate of Leymus chinensis in the grasslands of different degrading degrees. [Method] With the L. chinensis in Inner Mongolia Baiyinxile Ranch as the research object, different rations of nitrogen fertilizer were applied to the grassland (0, 30, 50, 80 g/m^2). The effect of different gradients of nitrogen fertilizer on photo- synthetic rate of Leymus chinensis, and the effect on grasslands of different degrading degrees were analyzed. [Result] The photosynthetic rate of L. chinensis in- creased with the increase of nitrogen gradients; in the grassland communities with different degrading degrees, the responses of the photosynthetic rate of L. chinensis to nitrogen fertilizer were different, and the response in the grassland with severe degradation was the best. [Conclusion] Nitrogen fertilizer played an important role in enhancing the restoration degree of grassland.

  18. Effects of wind turbines on upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leddy, K.L.; Higgins, K.F.; Naugle, D.E.

    1999-01-01

    Grassland passerines were surveyed during summer 1995 on the Buffalo Ridge Wind Resource Area in southwestern Minnesota to determine the relative influence of wind turbines on overall densities of upland nesting birds in Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) grasslands. Birds were surveyed along 40 m fixed width transects that were placed along wind turbine strings within three CRP fields and in three CRP fields without turbines. Conservation Reserve Program grasslands without turbines and areas located 180 m from turbines supported higher densities (261.0-312.5 males/100 ha) of grassland birds than areas within 80 m of turbines (58.2-128.0 males/100 ha). Human disturbance, turbine noise, and physical movements of turbines during operation may have disturbed nesting birds. We recommend that wind turbines be placed within cropland habitats that support lower densities of grassland passerines than those found in CRP grasslands.

  19. A Global Grassland Drought Index (GDI Product: Algorithm and Validation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Binbin He

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Existing drought indices have been widely used to monitor meteorological drought and agricultural drought; however, few of them are focus on drought monitoring for grassland regions. This study presented a new drought index, the Grassland Drought Index (GDI, for monitoring drought conditions in global grassland regions. These regions are vital for the environment and human society but susceptible to drought. The GDI was constructed based on three measures of water content: precipitation, soil moisture (SM, and canopy water content (CWC. The precipitation information was extracted from the available precipitation datasets, and SM was estimated by downscaling exiting soil moisture data to a 1 km resolution, and CWC was retrieved based on the PROSAIL (PROSPECT + SAIL model. Each variable was scaled from 0 to 1 for each pixel based on absolute minimum and maximum values over time, and these scaled variables were combined with the selected weights to construct the GDI. According to validation at the regional scale, the GDI was correlated with the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI to some extent, and captured most of the drought area identified by the United States Drought Monitor (USDM maps. In addition, the global GDI product at a 1 km spatial resolution substantially agreed with the global Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI product throughout the period 2005–2010, and it provided detailed and accurate information about the location and the duration of drought based on the evaluation using the known drought events.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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

  1. The Effect of Timing of Grassland Management on Plant Reproduction

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tommy Lennartsson

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Seminatural grasslands are maintained by regular anthropogenic disturbance, usually grazing or mowing. Management action late in the growing season was historically more common than today. Two experimental grazing regimes, continuous stocking from May to September and late-onset grazing from mid-July, were compared in two Swedish grasslands. Effects on flowering and fruit production were studied and related to plant functional traits. Change in vegetation composition over six years was analysed in one grassland. Delayed onset of grazing enhanced fruit production up to four times. Phenology of reproduction was the most important plant trait explaining differences in reproduction among species. Diversity of vascular plant species was higher after six years of late-onset grazing. No differences in vegetation height or proportion of grazed shoots were found by the end of the season. The results suggest that early reproduction may function as an escape from damage and that late onset of grazing may be used as a substitute for labour-intense traditional mowing.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Wang

    Full Text Available 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  4. Cultural competence in psychosocial and psychiatric care: a critical perspective with reference to research and clinical experiences in California, US and in Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schultz, Dagmar

    2004-01-01

    The impact of culture and ethnicity on the diagnosis and treatment of patients with mental disorders has been of growing interest and concern to professionals in the United States and also in Germany. This contribution intends to give an overview of key aspects regarding competence in intercultural situations using research and clinical experiences from the United States and from Germany. The issue of racism and discrimination as contributing factors in the development of mental disorders will be critically examined from a US and a German perspective. PMID:15774394

  5. Grassland Growth in Response to Climate Variability in the Upper Indus Basin, Pakistan

    OpenAIRE

    Sawaid Abbas; Faisal M. Qamer; Manchiraju S.R. Murthy; Tripathi, Nitin K.; Wu Ning; Eklabya Sharma; Ghaffar Ali

    2015-01-01

    Grasslands in the upper Indus basin provide a resource base for nomadic livestock grazing which is one of the major traditional livelihood practices in the area. The study presents climate patterns, grassland phenology, productivity and spatio-temporal climate controls on grassland growth using satellite data over the upper Indus basin of the Himalayan region, Pakistan. Phenology and productivity metrics of the grasses were estimated using a combination of derivative and threshold methods app...

  6. The microbe-mediated mechanisms affecting topsoil carbon stock in Tibetan grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Yue, Haowei; Wang, Mengmeng; Wang, Shiping; Gilbert, Jack A.; Sun, Xin; Wu, Linwei; Lin, Qiaoyan; Hu, Yigang; Li, Xiangzhen; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2015-01-01

    Warming has been shown to cause soil carbon (C) loss in northern grasslands owing to accelerated microbial decomposition that offsets increased grass productivity. Yet, a multi-decadal survey indicated that the surface soil C stock in Tibetan alpine grasslands remained relatively stable. To investigate this inconsistency, we analyzed the feedback responses of soil microbial communities to simulated warming by soil transplant in Tibetan grasslands. Whereas microbial functional diversity decrea...

  7. Estimating plant traits of grasslands from UAV-acquired hyperspectral images

    OpenAIRE

    Capolupo, Alessandra; Kooistra, Lammert; Berendonk, Clara; Boccia, Lorenzo; Suomalainen, Juha

    2015-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover around 40% of the entire Earth's surface. Therefore, it is necessary to guarantee good grassland management at field scale in order to improve its conservation and to achieve optimal growth. This study identified the most appropriate statistical strategy, between partial least squares regression (PLSR) and narrow vegetation indices, for estimating the structural and biochemical grassland traits from UAV-acquired hyperspectral images. Moreover, the influence of ferti...

  8. Estimating Plant Traits of Grasslands from UAV-Acquired Hyperspectral Images: A Comparison of Statistical Approaches

    OpenAIRE

    Alessandra Capolupo; Lammert Kooistra; Clara Berendonk; Lorenzo Boccia; Juha Suomalainen

    2015-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover around 40% of the entire Earth’s surface. Therefore, it is necessary to guarantee good grassland management at field scale in order to improve its conservation and to achieve optimal growth. This study identified the most appropriate statistical strategy, between partial least squares regression (PLSR) and narrow vegetation indices, for estimating the structural and biochemical grassland traits from UAV-acquired hyperspectral images. Moreover, the influence of ferti...

  9. Making Grasslands Sustainable in Mongolia: Adapting to Climate and Environmental Change

    OpenAIRE

    Asian Development Bank

    2013-01-01

    Climate change threatens grassland ecosystems and herders’ livelihoods in Mongolia. Herders depend on pasture and water resources for their livestock, and are thus among the most vulnerable groups to climate change impacts. However, although climate change impacts on grassland ecosystems are measurable, current institutional capacity and financial resources limit implementation of adaptation practices. This publication reviews grassland management and traditional nomadic pastoralism in the lo...

  10. Relevant Analysis of Grassland Temperature and Ground Net Radiation in Guilin

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2011-01-01

    [Objective] The aim was to study the relevance of grassland temperature and ground net radiation in Guilin.[Method] By dint of ground observation data and net radiation of national benchmark climate station in Guilin from 2007 to 2009,the changes of grassland temperature and ground net radiation were expounded and their relations were pointed out.[Result] The annual changes trends of grassland temperature and ground net radiation in Guilin were basically the same.Monthly average maximum value all appeared i...

  11. Potential Effects of the Loss of Native Grasses on Grassland Invertebrate Diversity in Southeastern Australia

    OpenAIRE

    Roger Edgcumbe Clay

    2014-01-01

    Reduction in area of the southeastern temperate grasslands of Australia since European settlement has been accompanied by degradation of remaining remnants by various factors, including the replacement of native plant species by introduced ones. There are suggestions that these replacements have had deleterious effects on the invertebrate grassland community, but there is little evidence to support these suggestions. In the eastern Adelaide Hills of South Australia, four grassland invertebrat...

  12. Macromycetes indicator species for xerothermic grasslands of the Chęciny district

    OpenAIRE

    Justyna Jaworska; Janusz Łuszczyński; Bożena Łuszczyńska; Agnieszka Tomaszewska

    2012-01-01

    In the Chęciny district, xerothermic grasslands developed on deforested slopes of limestone hills, truncated folds, and mounds. Their origin is directly connected with agricultural and pastoral farming of man. Xerothermic grassland belongs to the class Festuco-Brometea, and the alliance Cirsio-Brachypodion. The plant association Thalictro-Salvietum pratensis is the most widespread in this area. The xerothermic grasslands have their own characteristic biota of macromycetes. The following stepp...

  13. SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT MANAGEMENT OF THE GRASSLAND AGROECOSYSTEM IN THE CONTEXT OF BIODIVERSITY CONSERVATION AND IMPROVEMENT OF PERMANENT GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pompilica IAGARU

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available The agricultural enterprise, seen from a sustainable development perspective, operates within an ecosystem, and aims to achieve a harmonious interpenetration and integration with it. The way in which this interpenetration and integration is realized depends on the level achieved by its performances, which requires the adoption of policies and strategies and the economic organization of biotechnical processes. The paper emphasizes an interdisciplinary approach to issues like management and sustainable development of the grassland agro ecosystem and shows that promoting ecological techniques in the grassland agro ecosystem can ensure its versatility. All these supported by obtaining appropriate pastoral values, namely biodiversity conservation and improvement of meadows, and knowing that Romania has a variety of floral structures with high biodiversity indices.

  14. Vegetation and Soil Characteristics of Different Desertification Grasslands in Northwest Sichuan

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Wan; Ting; Tu; Weiguo; Xi; Huan; Li; Yudong; Tang; Xuefang; Yang; Yichuan

    2014-01-01

    [Objective]The paper was to study vegetation and soil characteristics of different desertification grasslands in northwest Sichuan. [Method]By taking different desertification grasslands as the research object,the characteristic factors of vegetation community,biomass,soil moisture content,volume weight and porosity were analyzed through scientific investigation,sampling and formula calculation to reveal the changes in vegetation and soil characteristics of different desertification grasslands in Northwest Sichuan. [Result]Community succession presented the pattern of " hygrophyte-mesophyte-xerophyte" with the aggravation of grassland desertification. The height and coverage of community decreased,species richness was declined by 88%,and composition of dominant species also changed greatly. The diversity index of light-desertification grassland was the highest among tested grasslands. Total biomass was decreased by 90. 4%,and the underground biomass decreased far more than aboveground biomass. In desertification progress,both soil moisture content and water holding capacity decreased,while volume weight showed upward trend and porosity showed downward trend; soil characteristics had large variation in early stage of desertification,so restoration treatment of desertification grassland should be carried out in the early stage of desertification. [Conclusion]The study provided a theoretical basis for researches on causes and management programs of desertification grassland,having an important meaning for ecological restoration of regional grassland and maintenance of ecological security.

  15. Grassland carbon sequestration and emissions following cultivation in a mixed crop rotation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Acharya, Bharat Sharma; Rasmussen, Jim; Eriksen, Jørgen

    2012-01-01

    grassland and a pea field as reference. Aboveground and root biomass were determined and soils were incubated to study CO2 emissions after soil disturbance. Aboveground biomass was highest in 1-year-old grassland with slurry application and lowest in 4-year-old grassland without slurry application. Root...... biomass was highest in 4-year-old grassland, but all 1–4-year-old grasslands were in between the pea field (0.81 ± 0.094 g kg−1 soil) and the 17-year-old grassland (3.17 ± 0.22 g kg−1 soil). Grazed grasslands had significantly higher root biomass than cut grasslands. There was no significant difference in......Grasslands are potential carbon sinks to reduce unprecedented increase in atmospheric CO2. Effect of age (1–4-year-old) and management (slurry, grazing multispecies mixture) of a grass phase mixed crop rotation on carbon sequestration and emissions upon cultivation was compared with 17-year-old...

  16. Is grazing exclusion effective in restoring vegetation in degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet, China?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Yan

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available Overgrazing is considered one of the key disturbance factors that results in alpine grassland degradation in Tibet. Grazing exclusion by fencing has been widely used as an approach to restore degraded grasslands in Tibet since 2004. Is the grazing exclusion management strategy effective for the vegetation restoration of degraded alpine grasslands? Three alpine grassland types were selected in Tibet to investigate the effect of grazing exclusion on plant community structure and biomass. Our results showed that species biodiversity indicators, including the Pielou evenness index, the Shannon–Wiener diversity index, and the Simpson dominance index, did not significantly change under grazing exclusion conditions. In contrast, the total vegetation cover, the mean vegetation height of the community, and the aboveground biomass were significantly higher in the grazing exclusion grasslands than in the free grazed grasslands. These results indicated that grazing exclusion is an effective measure for maintaining community stability and improving aboveground vegetation growth in alpine grasslands. However, the statistical analysis showed that the growing season precipitation (GSP plays a more important role than grazing exclusion in which influence on vegetation in alpine grasslands. In addition, because the results of the present study come from short term (6–8 years grazing exclusion, it is still uncertain whether these improvements will be continuable if grazing exclusion is continuously implemented. Therefore, the assessments of the ecological effects of the grazing exclusion management strategy on degraded alpine grasslands in Tibet still need long term continued research.

  17. A comparison of landscapes occupied by increasing and decreasing populations of grassland birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Veech, Joseph A

    2006-10-01

    For several decades, many grassland bird species have been declining in abundance throughout the Midwest and Great Plains regions of the United States, possibly due to loss of natural grassland habitat and increasing urbanization. I used 20 years of data from the North American Breeding Bird Survey to identify increasing, decreasing, and stable populations of 36 grassland-nesting bird species. I characterized the immediate landscape (circle with radius = 30 km) surrounding each population based on data from the National Resources Inventory. For each landscape, I calculated the proportion of eight different land-cover types: restored grassland, rangeland, cultivated cropland, pasture, noncultivated cropland, forest, urban land, and water. Using a null model, I compared landscape composition of increasing, decreasing, and stable populations. As predicted on the basis of the habitat preferences of grassland birds, increasing populations inhabited landscapes that contained significantly more restored grassland and rangeland but significantly less forest land and urban land than landscapes inhabited by decreasing populations. There was no significant difference in the proportion of cropland within the landscapes of increasing and decreasing populations, although cropland composed a large proportion (>30%) of many landscapes. In contrast, restored grassland typically composed a very small proportion (land cover, yet it was significantly more common in the landscapes of increasing than decreasing populations. These results suggest that grassland birds may benefit from government initiatives, such as the Conservation Reserve Program, that promote the restoration of grassland at a landscape scale. PMID:17002760

  18. Impact of varying disturbances on the structure and composition of grassland vegetation in Anantnag, Kashmir Himalayas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Ahmad

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands known for their aesthetic, biological and cultural values are being subjected to varied disturbances like grazing, moving, trampling etc. Owing to overgrazing, degradation of pastures has achieved critical dimensions all across the globe. Jammu and Kashmir with significant population of Gujjar and Bakerwal communities is facing more intense problem of grazing and consequently grasslands have degraded. In fact during the present study mild grazing was found to promote growth of more species in grasslands as against heavy grazing which decreases species number. However total protection from grazers also leads to decrease in species number in grasslands.

  19. Estimating net primary production of natural grassland and its spatio-temporal distribution in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Meiling; Lal, Rattan; Zhao, Youyi; Jiang, Wenlan; Chen, Quangong

    2016-05-15

    The net primary production (NPP) of grassland largely determines terrestrial carbon (C) sinks, and thus plays an important role in the global C cycle. Comprehensive and sequential classification system of grasslands (CSCS) is a unique vegetation classification system (mainly for grassland) that is dependent on quantitative measurement indices [>0°C annual cumulative temperature (Σθ) and moisture index (K-value)]. Based on the relationship of the quantitative classification of CSCS and grassland NPP, a modified model of Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA) was used to predict the grassland NPP and its temporal and spatial distribution in China from 2004 to 2008. The scatter plot of the estimated NPP and the observed NPP showed that the estimated data can be accepted with correlation coefficient of 0.896 (Pwater and thermal regimes in determining the grassland NPP (i.e. water and thermal are key limited factors for the grassland production), which is also confirmed by a cluster analysis. The mean annual NPP and the total annual NPP differed significantly among grassland classes corresponding with different Σθ and K-value. The results demonstrate that the grassland NPP and the classes/super-classes in CSCS achieve the optimum coupling. PMID:26925730

  20. Census Snapshot: California

    OpenAIRE

    Romero, Adam P; Rosky, Clifford J; Badgett, M. V. Lee; Gates, Gary J.

    2008-01-01

    Using data from the U.S. Census Bureau, this report provides demographic and economic information about same-sex couples and same-sex couples raising children in California. We compare same-sex “unmarried partners,” which the Census Bureau defines as an unmarried couple who “shares living quarters and has a close personal relationship,” to different-sex married couples in California. In many ways, the more than 107,000 same-sex couples living in California are similar to married coup...

  1. California Immigrants Today

    OpenAIRE

    Cornelius, Wayne A.

    1990-01-01

    This paper will focus on the Mexico-origin component of the California immigrant population. Drawing on the results of field studies conducted throughout California and in west-central Mexico during the last ten years,the paper will describe how the profile of Mexican migration to California has changed since the 197Os, suggest explanations for these changes, and discuss their implications for public policy. Effects of the long-running economic crisis in Mexico and of the 1986 U.S. immigra-ti...

  2. Long-term resistance to simulated climate change in an infertile grassland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Askew, A.P. [Unit of Comparative Plant Ecology, Department of Biology, Syracuse University, 130 College Place, Syracuse, NY (United States); Bennett, C.R. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield (United Kingdom); Fridley, J.D. [Unit of Comparative Plant Ecology, Department of Biology, Syracuse University, 130 College Place, Syracuse, NY (United States); Grime, J.P. [Unit of Comparative Plant Ecology, Department of Biology, Syracuse University, 130 College Place, Syracuse, NY (United States); Hodgson, J.G. [Peak Science and Environment, Station House, Leadmill, Hathersage, Hope Valley (United Kingdom); Thompson, K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Sheffield (United Kingdom)

    2008-07-15

    Climate shifts over this century are widely expected to alter the structure and functioning of temperate plant communities. However, long-term climate experiments in natural vegetation are rare and largely confined to systems with the capacity for rapid compositional change. In unproductive, grazed grassland at Buxton in northern England (U.K.), one of the longest running experimental manipulations of temperature and rainfall reveals vegetation highly resistant to climate shifts maintained over 13 yr. Here we document this resistance in the form of: (i) constancy in the relative abundance of growth forms and maintained dominance by long-lived, slow-growing grasses, sedges, and small forbs; (ii) immediate but minor shifts in the abundance of several species that have remained stable over the course of the experiment; (iii) no change in productivity in response to climate treatments with the exception of reduction from chronic summer drought; and (iv) only minor species losses in response to drought and winter heating. Overall, compositional changes induced by 13-yr exposure to climate regime change were less than short-term fluctuations in species abundances driven by interannual climate fluctuations. The lack of progressive compositional change, coupled with the long-term historical persistence of unproductive grasslands in northern England, suggests the community at Buxton possesses a stabilizing capacity that leads to long-term persistence of dominant species. Unproductive ecosystems provide a refuge for many threatened plants and animals and perform a diversity of ecosystem services. Our results support the view that changing land use and overexploitation rather than climate change per se constitute the primary threats to these fragile ecosystems.

  3. A more holistic understanding of soil organic matter pools of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia Franco, Noelia; Wiesmeier, Martin; Kiese, Ralf; Dannenmann, Michael; Wolf, Benjamin; Brandhuber, Robert; Beck, Robert; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2016-04-01

    In southern Germany, the alpine and pre-alpine grassland systems (> 1 Mio ha) provide an important economic value via fodder used for milk and meat production and grassland soils support environmental key functions (C and N storage, water retention, erosion control and biodiversity hot spot). In addition, these grassland soils constitute important regions for tourism and recreation. However, the different land use and management practices in this area introduce changes which are likely to accelerate due to climate change. The newly launched SUPSALPS project within the BonaRes Initiative of the German Ministry for Education and Research is focused on the development and evaluation of innovative grassland management strategies under climate change with an emphasis on soil functions, which are on the one hand environmental sustainable and on the other hand economically viable. Several field experiments of the project will be initialized in order to evaluate grassland soil functioning for a range of current and climate adapted management practices. A multi-factorial design combines ongoing and new plant-soil meso-/macrocosm and field studies at a multitude of existing long-term research sites along an elevation gradient in Bavaria. One of the specific objectives of the project is to improve our knowledge on the sensitivity of specific soil organic matter (SOM) fractions to climate change. Moreover, the project aims to determine the processes and mechanisms involved in the build-up and stabilization of C and N pools under different management practices. In order to derive sensitive SOM pools, a promising physical fractionation method was developed that enables the separation of five different SOM fractions by density, ultrasonication and sieving separation: fine particulate organic matter (fPOM), occluded particulate organic matter (oPOM>20μm and oPOM 20 μm; medium + fine silt and clay, management changes.

  4. California Hydrogen Infrastructure Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Heydorn, Edward C

    2013-03-12

    Air Products and Chemicals, Inc. has completed a comprehensive, multiyear project to demonstrate a hydrogen infrastructure in California. The specific primary objective of the project was to demonstrate a model of a real-world retail hydrogen infrastructure and acquire sufficient data within the project to assess the feasibility of achieving the nation's hydrogen infrastructure goals. The project helped to advance hydrogen station technology, including the vehicle-to-station fueling interface, through consumer experiences and feedback. By encompassing a variety of fuel cell vehicles, customer profiles and fueling experiences, this project was able to obtain a complete portrait of real market needs. The project also opened its stations to other qualified vehicle providers at the appropriate time to promote widespread use and gain even broader public understanding of a hydrogen infrastructure. The project engaged major energy companies to provide a fueling experience similar to traditional gasoline station sites to foster public acceptance of hydrogen. Work over the course of the project was focused in multiple areas. With respect to the equipment needed, technical design specifications (including both safety and operational considerations) were written, reviewed, and finalized. After finalizing individual equipment designs, complete station designs were started including process flow diagrams and systems safety reviews. Material quotes were obtained, and in some cases, depending on the project status and the lead time, equipment was placed on order and fabrication began. Consideration was given for expected vehicle usage and station capacity, standard features needed, and the ability to upgrade the station at a later date. In parallel with work on the equipment, discussions were started with various vehicle manufacturers to identify vehicle demand (short- and long-term needs). Discussions included identifying potential areas most suited for hydrogen fueling

  5. Surplus Facilities Management Program. Post remedial action survey report for the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) facility, Santa Susana Field Laboratories, Rockwell International, Ventura County, California

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Decontamination of the Sodium Reactor Experiment (SRE) began in 1976 and was completed in 1982. In view of the concurrent and post-remedial-action surveys, the following conclusions can be stated. All the buildings and areas included in this decommissioning project have been decontaminated to below the limits specified in the draft ANSI Standard N13.12 and the NRC Guidelines for Decontamination of Facilities and Equipment Prior to Release for Unrestricted Use or Termination of Licenses for By-Product, Source, or Special Nuclear Material, dated July 1982. Radioactive contamination was found in appropriate access points of the sanitary sewer and storm drain systems included within the boundaries of this decommissioning project. One sample indicated a 90Sr concentration dissolved in the water of approximately half the recommended water concentration for controlled areas and approximately 15 times the recommended water concentration for uncontrolled areas as stated in DOE-5480.1 Chg. 6, Chapter XI. Therefore, the interior inaccessible surfaces of these systems must be considered contaminated in accordance with statements found in the NRC Regulatory Guidelines issued in July 1982. Effluent from the outfall of this drain system must also be considered as being potentially contaminated. 1 reference, 32 figures, 8 tables

  6. California Data Exchange Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    ... to make July &28;Water Smart Month.&29; &28;Conserving ... Remote sensors today indicate that statewide, snowpack water content is 54 percent of ... California ranked first, along with Texas, on ...

  7. Earthquakes in Southern California

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — There have been many earthquake occurrences in Southern California. This set of slides shows earthquake damage from the following events: Imperial Valley, 1979,...

  8. Coastal California Digital Imagery

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This digital ortho-imagery dataset is a survey of coastal California. The project area consists of approximately 3774 square miles. The project design of the...

  9. California Ocean Uses Atlas

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This dataset is a result of the California Ocean Uses Atlas Project: a collaboration between NOAA's National Marine Protected Areas Center and Marine Conservation...

  10. Kelp distribution off California

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set delineates kelp beds (Nereocystis leutkeana and Macrocystis spp.) along the Pacific Coast of California. Multiple years of kelp mapping data for the...

  11. California Harpoon Fishery

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — This data set contains vessel logbook and landings data from harpoon vessels that fish within 200 miles of the California coast, from 1974 to present. The harpoon...

  12. California Watershed Hydrologic Units

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — This dataset is intended to be used as a tool for water-resource management and planning activities, particularly for site-specific and localized studies requiring...

  13. Seed banks in desert grasslands and implications for management with an application to education and outreach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz-Barney, Elena

    Large areas of desert grasslands in the southwestern United States have been converted to shrublands through mismanagement. Land managers are interested in the potential for restoring these areas to grasslands. One possible source of new individuals of desirable grasses is the soil seed bank. This study was designed to investigate the quantity and spatial distribution of seeds in the soil seed bank and to estimate the possible effects of fire on the seed bank. To investigate the seed bank, soil samples were collected from sites with different vegetative cover representing a range of grassland conditions. At each site samples were collected from 3 microsites (under grasses, under shrubs, and interspaces) and separated into 3 depths (litter, 0--2 cm and 2--5 cm). Samples were grown in a growth chamber and plants were identified after emergence and flowering. To investigate the effects of prescribed burns on the seed bank, soil and surface temperatures during burns were measured at each microsite. Also, the heat tolerance of seeds of 8 species of perennial grasses was assessed by quantifying germination rates across a temperature gradient. Eleven species of perennial grasses germinated from soil and litter samples. Only 5 were abundant: the exotics Eragrostis curvula and E. Lehmanniana, and the natives E. intermedia, Lycurus setosus and Sporobolus cryptandrus. Most seed, as well as highest species richness, occurred in the litter layer and under shrubs. Temperatures during prescribed burns were highest in these same microsites, reaching averages between 100° and 250° Celsius (C). None of the species tolerated temperatures above 100°C. The implication of these results is that most grass seed reserves are stored in microsites that are likely to experience temperatures above their heat tolerance. Land managers should take this into account as a possible risk associated with using prescribed burns as part of their restoration efforts. As an application of this work to

  14. Sustainable use of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate (SUSALPS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Beck, Robert; Brandhuber, Robert; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Garcia Franco, Noelia; von Gillhaußen, Phillip; Jentsch, Anke; Kiese, Ralf; Krämer, Alexander; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid; Köllner, Thomas; Poppenborg, Patrick; Schloter, Michael; Schulz, Stefanie; Wiesmeier, Martin; Wolf, Benjamin; Dannenmann, Michael

    2016-04-01

    The development of ecologically as well as economically sustainable management options for the carbon- and nitrogen rich alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate poses a grand scientific and socio- economical challenge. The transdisciplinary SUSALPS project starting in 2016 aims to essentially improve the knowledge on the functionality of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils using both natural-scientific/ technical and socio economical approaches. The project is building on existing infrastructure of German grassland-ecosystem-research like the pre-alpine TERENO (Terrestrial ecosystem observation network observatory) observatory sites, the EVENT and SIGNAL sites as well as long term LfL (Bayerische Landesanstalt für Landwirtschaft) sites, plus a new additional high elevation (1400m a.s.l) site in the Bavarian Alps. The site setup along the elevational gradient on the edge of the Alps (1400 m to 300 m) is used for space-for-time climate change experiments which are combined with extensive and intensive management treatments. A key focus of SUSALPS will be the characterization of combined climate change/management effects on carbon and nitrogen biogeochemistry. Hence, we will evaluate the influence of different management options and current and future climate changes on the soil microbiome and associated biogeochemical processes in the plant-soil-system, on nitrogen use efficiency, on biosphere-atmosphere exchange of greenhouse gases as well as on leaching of environmentally relevant compounds. For this purpose, we simulate the predicted climate change in the region by translocation of large lysimeters (1m2, 1.4m depth; TERENO lysimeters, translocated in 2011) for measurements of biosphere-atmosphere hydrosphere exchange of environmentally relevant C and N compounds as well as by newly transferred smaller plant-soil-mesocosms used for destructive biogeochemical process studies. By closely linking this experimental work with biogeochemical and

  15. What went wrong in California's electricity market?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The California electricity market reform promised to deliver reliable service at low and stable prices. Frequent capacity shortages and the ensuing rolling black-outs, price spikes, and large price volatility since Summer 2000 raise a simple but substantive question: what went wrong? The answer to this question will help countries contemplating electricity market reform not to commit similar mistakes. We find the answer by identifying the major factors that have turned the California dream into a nightmare. Such factors include poor market design, market power, sustained demand growth not matched by new capacity, rising marginal cost, and financial insolvency. Proposed remedies include an alternative market settlement process, long-term contract, fast licensing and siting process for new generation and transmission, conservation and energy-efficiency, distributed resources, rate options, and debt restructuring. The California experience suggests that a reversible regulatory reform is a safe alternative to an irreversible market reform. (Author)

  16. Effects of nitrogen deposition and cattle grazing on productivity, invasion impact, and soil microbial processes in a serpentine grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pasari, J.; Hernandez, D.; Selmants, P. C.; Keck, D.

    2010-12-01

    In recent decades, human activities have vastly increased the amount of biologically available nitrogen (N) in the biosphere. The resulting increase in N availability has broadly affected ecosystems through increased productivity, changes in species composition, altered nutrient cycles, and increases in invasion by exotic plant species, especially in systems that were historically low in N. California serpentine grasslands are N-limited ecosystems historically dominated by native species including several threatened and endangered plants and animals. Cattle grazing has emerged as the primary tool for controlling the impact of nitrophilic exotic grasses whose increased abundance has paralleled the regional traffic-derived increase in atmospheric N deposition. We examined the interactive effects of cattle grazing and N deposition on plant community composition, productivity, invasion resistance, and microbial processes in the Bay Area's largest serpentine grassland to determine the efficacy of current management strategies as well as the biogeochemical consequences of exotic species invasion. In the first two years of the study, aboveground net primary productivity decreased in response to grazing and increased in response to nitrogen addition. However, contrary to our hypotheses the change in productivity was not due to an increase in exotic species cover as there was little overall effect of grazing or N addition on species composition. Microbial activity was more responsive to grazing and N. Potential net N mineralization rates increased with N addition, but were not affected by grazing. In contrast, soil respiration rates were inhibited by grazing, but were not affected by N addition; suggesting strong carbon-limitation of soil microbial activity, particularly under grazing. Site differences in soil depth and grazing intensity were often more important than treatment effects. We suspect that the unusually dry conditions in the first two growing seasons inhibited

  17. Treatment results and prognostic factors of advanced T3-4 laryngeal carcinoma: the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) and Stanford University Hospital (SUH) experience

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Purpose: To review the UCSF-SUH experience in the treatment of advanced T3-4 laryngeal carcinoma and to evaluate the different factors affecting locoregional control and survival. Methods and Materials: We reviewed the records of 223 patients treated for T3-4 squamous cell carcinoma of the larynx between October 1, 1957, and December 1, 1999. There were 187 men and 36 women, with a median age of 60 years (range, 28-85 years). The primary site was glottic in 122 and supraglottic in 101 patients. We retrospectively staged the patients according to the 1997 AJCC staging system. One hundred and twenty-seven patients had T3 lesions, and 96 had T4 lesions; 132 had N0, 29 had N1, 45 had N2, and 17 had N3 disease. The overall stage was III in 93 and IV in 130 patients. Seventy-nine patients had cartilage involvement, and 144 did not. Surgery was the primary treatment modality in 161 patients, of which 134 had postoperative radiotherapy (RT), 11 had preoperative RT, 7 had surgery followed by RT and chemotherapy (CT), and 9 had surgery alone. Forty-one patients had RT alone, and 21 had CT with RT. Locoregional control (LRC) and overall survival (OS) were estimated using the Kaplan-Meier method. Log-rank statistics were employed to identify significant prognostic factors for OS and LRC. Results: The median follow-up was 41 months (range, 2-367 months) for all patients and 78 months (range, 6-332 months) for alive patients. The LRC rate was 69% at 5 years and 68% at 10 years. Eighty-four patients relapsed, of which 53 were locoregional failures. Significant prognostic factors for LRC on univariate analysis were primary site, N stage, overall stage, the lowest hemoglobin (Hgb) level during RT, and treatment modality. Favorable prognostic factors for LRC on multivariate analysis were lower N stage and primary surgery. The overall survival rate was 48% at 5 years and 34% at 10 years. Significant prognostic factors for OS on univariate analysis were: primary site, age, overall

  18. Simulating Spatiotemporal Dynamics of Sichuan Grassland Net Primary Productivity Using the CASA Model and In Situ Observations

    OpenAIRE

    Chuanjiang Tang; Xinyu Fu; Dong Jiang; Jingying Fu; Xinyue Zhang; Su Zhou

    2014-01-01

    Net primary productivity (NPP) is an important indicator for grassland resource management and sustainable development. In this paper, the NPP of Sichuan grasslands was estimated by the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford Approach (CASA) model. The results were validated with in situ data. The overall precision reached 70%; alpine meadow had the highest precision at greater than 75%, among the three types of grasslands validated. The spatial and temporal variations of Sichuan grasslands were analyzed. The...

  19. Carbon monoxide fluxes from natural, managed, or cultivated savannah grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanhueza, Eugenio; Donoso, Loreto; Scharffe, Dieter; Crutzen, Paul J.

    1994-08-01

    As part of a comprehensive study on tropical land use change and its effect on atmospheric trace gas fluxes, we report the CO fluxes recorded at a natural grassland site and the changes produced when this ecosystem was managed or cultivated. The field site is located in the central part of the savannah climatic region of Venezuela. Fluxes were measured in the dark using the enclosed chamber technique. CO was analyzed with a reduction-gas detector in combination with a molecular sieve 5A columm for CO separation. At all sites, CO fluxes exhibited a strong diurnal variation, with net emission during daytime and consumption or no fluxes during nightime. In unplowed soils no differences were observed between dry and rainy season. A large disparity was observed between unplowed and plowed grassland soils. Plowed soil shows a much smaller emission during daytime and a larger consumption at night. The 24-hour integrated fluxes indicate that the nonperturbed grassland switches from being a net source of CO (3.4×1010 molecules cm-2 s-1) to being a net sink (-1.6×1010 molecules cm-2s-1) after plowing. It is likely that burial of surface litter reduces the production of CO in the top soil and that the diffusion of CO to deeper layers (where CO is consumed by microbiological processes) is promoted in decompacted soils. As the rainy season progressed the plowed soil gradually compacted and CO fluxes changed back, and after 3 months the fluxes from plowed soils and the original unplowed soils were equal. Even though the various cultivated fields (corn, sorghum, and pasture) received differing inorganic fertilization treatments, no significant difference in the CO fluxes resulted. Measurements during the dry season suggest that "degrading dry (dead) vegetation" produces CO under dark conditions.

  20. Machine Learning to Assess Grassland Productivity in Southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce-Campos, G. E.; Heilman, P.; Armendariz, G.; Moser, E.; Archer, V.; Vaughan, R.

    2015-12-01

    We present preliminary results of machine learning (ML) techniques modeling the combined effects of climate, management, and inherent potential on productivity of grazed semi-arid grasslands in southeastern Arizona. Our goal is to support public land managers determine if agency management policies are meeting objectives and where to focus attention. Monitoring in the field is becoming more and more limited in space and time. Remotely sensed data cover the entire allotments and go back in time, but do not consider the key issue of species composition. By estimating expected vegetative production as a function of site potential and climatic inputs, management skill can be assessed through time, across individual allotments, and between allotments. Here we present the use of Random Forest (RF) as the main ML technique, in this case for the purpose of regression. Our response variable is the maximum annual NDVI, a surrogate for grassland productivity, as generated by the Google Earth Engine cloud computing platform based on Landsat 5, 7, and 8 datasets. PRISM 33-year normal precipitation (1980-2013) was resampled to the Landsat scale. In addition, the GRIDMET climate dataset was the source for the calculation of the annual SPEI (Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index), a drought index. We also included information about landscape position, aspect, streams, ponds, roads and fire disturbances as part of the modeling process. Our results show that in terms of variable importance, the 33-year normal precipitation, along with SPEI, are the most important features affecting grasslands productivity within the study area. The RF approach was compared to a linear regression model with the same variables. The linear model resulted in an r2 = 0.41, whereas RF showed a significant improvement with an r2 = 0.79. We continue refining the model by comparison with aerial photography and to include grazing intensity and infrastructure from units/allotments to assess the

  1. Non-native plant litter enhances soil carbon dioxide emissions in an invaded annual grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Ling; Wang, Hong; Zou, Jianwen; Rogers, William E; Siemann, Evan

    2014-01-01

    Litter decomposition is a fundamental ecosystem process in which breakdown and decay of plant detritus releases carbon and nutrients. Invasive exotic plants may produce litter that differs from native plant litter in quality and quantity. Such differences may impact litter decomposition and soil respiration in ways that depend on whether exotic and native plant litters decompose in mixtures. However, few field experiments have examined how exotic plants affect soil respiration via litter decomposition. Here, we conducted an in situ study of litter decomposition of an annual native grass (Eragrostis pilosa), a perennial exotic forb (Alternanthera philoxeroides), and their mixtures in an annual grassland in China to examine potential invasion effects on soil respiration. Alternanthera litter decomposed faster than Eragrostis litter when each was incubated separately. Mass loss in litter mixes was more rapid than predicted from rates in single species bags (only 35% of predicted mass remained at 8 months) showing synergistic effects. Notably, exotic plant litter decomposition rate was unchanged but native plant litter decomposition rate was accelerated in mixtures (decay constant k = 0.20 month(-1)) compared to in isolation (k = 0.10 month(-1)). On average, every litter type increased soil respiration compared to bare soil from which litter was removed. However, the increases were larger for mixed litter (1.82 times) than for Alternanthera litter (1.58 times) or Eragrostis litter (1.30 times). Carbon released as CO2 relative to litter carbon input was also higher for mixed litter (3.34) than for Alternathera litter (2.29) or Eragrostis litter (1.19). Our results indicated that exotic Alternanthera produces rapidly decomposing litter which also accelerates the decomposition of native plant litter in litter mixtures and enhances soil respiration rates. Thus, this exotic invasive plant species will likely accelerate carbon cycling and increase soil respiration

  2. Subalpine grassland carbon balance during 7 years of increased atmospheric N deposition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Volk, Matthias; Enderle, Jan; Bassin, Seraina

    2016-07-01

    Air pollution agents interact when affecting biological sinks for atmospheric CO2, e.g., the soil organic carbon (SOC) content of grassland ecosystems. Factors favoring plant productivity, like atmospheric N deposition, are usually considered to favor SOC storage. In a 7-year experiment in subalpine grassland under N- and O3-deposition treatment, we examined C fluxes and pools. Total N deposition was 4, 9, 14, 29 and 54 kg N ha-1 yr-1 (N4, N9, etc.); annual mean phytotoxic O3 dose was 49, 65 and 89 mmol m-2 projected leaf area. We hypothesized that between years SOC of this mature ecosystem would not change in control treatments and that effects of air pollutants are similar for plant yield, net ecosystem productivity (NEP) and SOC content, leading to SOC content increasing with N deposition. Cumulative plant yield showed a significant N and N × N effect (+38 % in N54) but no O3 effect. In the control treatment SOC increased significantly by 9 % in 7 years. Cumulative NEP did show a strong, hump-shaped response pattern to N deposition with a +62 % increase in N14 and only +39 % increase in N54 (N effect statistically not significant, N × N interaction not testable). SOC had a similar but not significant response to N, with highest C gains at intermediate N deposition rates, suggesting a unimodal response with a marginal (P = 0.09) N × N interaction. We assume the strong, pollutant-independent soil C sink developed as a consequence of the management change from grazing to cutting. The non-parallel response of SOC and NEP compared to plant yield under N deposition is likely the result of increased respiratory SOC losses, following mitigated microbial N-limitation or priming effects, and a shift in plant C allocation leading to smaller C input from roots.

  3. Aerosol fluxes and particle growth above managed grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Nemitz

    2009-08-01

    Full Text Available Particle deposition velocities (11–3000 nm diameter measured above grassland by eddy covariance during the EU GRAMINAE experiment in June 2000 averaged 0.24 and 0.03 mm s−1 to long (0.75 m and short (0.07 m grass, respectively. After fertilisation with 108 kg N ha−1 as calcium ammonium nitrate, sustained apparent upward fluxes of particles were observed. Analysis of concentrations and fluxes of potential precursor gases, including NH3, HNO3, HCl and selected VOCs, shows that condensation of HNO3 and NH3 on the surface of existing particles is responsible for this effect. A novel approach is developed to derive particle growth rates at the field scale, from a combination of measurements of vertical fluxes and particle size-distributions. For the first 9 days after fertilization, growth rates of 11 nm particles of 7.04 nm hr−1 and 1.68 nm hr−1 were derived for day and night-time conditions, respectively. This implies total NH4NO3 production rates of 1.11 and 0.44 μg m−3 h−1, respectively. The effect translates into a small error in measured ammonia fluxes (0.06% day, 0.56% night and a large error in NH4+ and NO3 aerosol fluxes of 3.6% and 10%, respectively. By converting rapidly exchanged NH3 and HNO3 into slowly depositing NH4NO3, the reaction modifies the total N budget, though this effect is small (<1% for the 10 days following fertilization, as NH3 emission dominates the net flux. It is estimated that 3.8% of the fertilizer N was volatilised as NH3, of which 0.05% re-condensed to form NH4NO3 particles within the lowest 2 m of the surface layer. This surface induced process would at least scale up to a global NH4NO3 formation of ca. 0.21 kt N yr

  4. Aerosol fluxes and particle growth above managed grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. Nemitz

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available Particle deposition velocities (11–3000 nm diameter measured above grassland by eddy covariance during the EU GRAMINAE experiment in June 2000 averaged 0.24 and 0.03 mm s−1 to long (0.75 m and short (0.07 m grass, respectively. After fertilisation with 108 kg N ha−1 as calcium ammonium nitrate, sustained apparent upward fluxes of particles were observed. Analysis of concentrations and fluxes of potential precursor gases, including NH3, HNO3, HCl and selected VOCs, shows that condensation of HNO3 and NH3 on the surface of existing particles is responsible for this effect. A novel approach is developed to derive particle growth rates at the field scale, from a combination of measurements of vertical fluxes and particle size-distributions. For the first 9 days after fertilization, growth rates of 11 nm particles of 3.5 nm hr−1 and 0.89 nm hr−1 were derived for day and night-time conditions, respectively. This implies total NH4NO3 production rates of 1.1 and 0.44 μg m−3 h−1, respectively. The effect translates into a small error in measured ammonia fluxes (0.06% day, 0.56% night and a larger error in NH4+ and NO3- aerosol fluxes of 3.6% and 10%, respectively. By converting rapidly exchanged NH3 and HNO3 into slowly depositing NH4NO3, the reaction modifies the total N budget, though this effect is small (<1% for the 10 days following fertilization, as NH3 emission dominates the net flux. It is estimated that 3.8% of the fertilizer N was volatilised as NH3, of which 0.05% re-condensed to form NH4NO3 particles within the lowest 2 m of the surface layer. This surface induced process would at least scale up to a global NH4NO3 formation of ca. 0.21 kt N yr

  5. Cowbird parasitism in grassland and cropland in the northern Great Plains: Chapter 27

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koford, Rolf R.; Bowen, B.S.; Lokemoen, John T.; Kruse, Arnold D.

    2000-01-01

    The landscape of the Great Plains has been greatly altered by human activities in the past century, and several grassland passerines have experienced significant population declines in recent decades. We explore here whether brood parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds, which are abundant in the Great Plains, has contributed to these declines. We measured the frequency of cowbird parasitism of passerine species in seeded grassland, natural grassland, and cropland in studies conducted in North Dakota during 1981-1993. The proportions of parasitized nests were 25%, 34%, and 39% in seeded grassland, natural grassland, and cropland, respectively. We speculate that much of the variation in parasitism rate among these habitats is related to the local abundance of cowbirds, to nest visibility, and to the presence of suitable perches for female cowbirds. Local abundance of cowbirds may be high in areas with cattle pastures. Nests and nesting behavior are probably more visible to female cowbirds in cropland than in grassland. Female cowbirds may use shrubs as perches while searching for host nests, and shrubs are more common in natural grasslands than in the other habitats we examined. Experimental work on the determinants of cowbird abundance in grasslands is needed.

  6. Biodiversity, productivity, and management of grasslands in northeastern USA for bioenergy on marginal cropland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conservation grasslands reduce soil loss, improve water quality, are important wildlife habitat, and have the potential to be a source of biomass for biofuel production. Although the importance of biodiversity to maximize biomass yield on degraded land has been described in experimental grasslands, ...

  7. Barren fallows as small areas with potential for increasing grassland biodiversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Vymyslický, T.; Fabšičová, Martina; Entová, M.; Kůrová, J.

    Irdning : Organising Committee and Agricultural Research and Education Centre, 2011 - (Potsch, E.; Krautzer, B.; Hopkins, A.), s. 514-516 ISBN 978-3-902559-65-4. [Symposium of the European Grassland Federation /16th/. Gempenstein (AT), 29.08.2011-31.08.2011] Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : grasslands * barrens * diversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  8. Differentiating climate- and human-induced drivers of grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chunyang; Tian, Jie; Gao, Bin; Zhao, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    Quantitatively distinguishing grassland degradation due to climatic variations from that due to human activities is of great significance to effectively governing degraded grassland and realizing sustainable utilization. The objective of this study was to differentiate these two types of drivers in the Liao River Basin during 1999-2009 using the residual trend (RESTREND) method and to evaluate the applicability of the method in semiarid and semihumid regions. The relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and each climatic factor was first determined. Then, the primary driver of grassland degradation was identified by calculating the change trend of the normalized residuals between the observed and the predicted NDVI assuming that climate change was the only driver. We found that the RESTREND method can be used to quantitatively and effectively differentiate climate and human drivers of grassland degradation. We also found that the grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin was driven by both natural processes and human activities. The driving factors of grassland degradation varied greatly across the study area, which included regions having different precipitation and altitude. The degradation in the Horqin Sandy Land, with lower altitude, was driven mainly by human activities, whereas that in the Kungl Prairie, with higher altitude and lower precipitation, was caused primarily by climate change. Therefore, the drivers of degradation and local conditions should be considered in an appropriate strategy for grassland management to promote the sustainability of grasslands in the Liao River Basin. PMID:25512244

  9. SOIL HYDRAULIC PROPERTIES OF CROPLAND COMPARED WITH REESTABLISHED AND NATIVE GRASSLAND

    Science.gov (United States)

    Conversion of cropland to perennial grasses will, over time, produce changes in soil hydraulic properties. We conducted a study to characterize and compare soil hydraulic properties on adjacent native grassland, recently tilled cropland, and reestablished grassland in the Conservation Reserve Progra...

  10. Estimating plant traits of grasslands from UAV-acquired hyperspectral images

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Capolupo, Alessandra; Kooistra, Lammert; Berendonk, Clara; Boccia, Lorenzo; Suomalainen, Juha

    2015-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover around 40% of the entire Earth's surface. Therefore, it is necessary to guarantee good grassland management at field scale in order to improve its conservation and to achieve optimal growth. This study identified the most appropriate statistical strategy, between partia

  11. Intensified agricultural use of grasslands reduces growth and survival of precocial shorebird chicks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kentie, Rosemarie; Hooijmeijer, Jos C.E.W.; Trimbos, Krijn B.; Groen, Niko M.; Piersma, Theunis

    2013-01-01

    Intensification of agricultural use of grassland habitats has been linked to the declines of many farmland bird species, several of whom have been in decline for multiple decades despite agri-environmental schemes. In the Netherlands, where most grasslands have been transformed into well-drained mon

  12. Restoration of species-rich grasslands on reconstructed river dikes

    OpenAIRE

    Liebrand, C.I.J.M.

    1999-01-01

    Up until 30 years ago an extensive, flower-rich grassland vegetation containing many species rare in the Netherlands used to be common on Dutch river dikes. However, the deterioration of the flora on dikes was already being reported at the end of the 1960s. At that time too, ecologists warned that the planned reinforcement of the dikes along the Rhine, Waal, Lek and IJssel would adversely affect the flora. Their gloomy forecasts have proved to be correct. Between 1968 and 1992 as much as 89% ...

  13. Mineralogical Controls over Carbon Storage and Residence Times in Grassland Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, D.; Riley, W. J.; Torn, M. S.; Spycher, N.

    2014-12-01

    Globally, soil organic matter (SOM) contains approximately three times more carbon than the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation contain combined. However, it is not well understood why some SOM persists for a long time while other SOM decomposes quickly. For future climate predictions, representing soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics accurately in Earth system models is essential. Soil minerals stabilize organic carbon in soil; however, there are gaps in our understanding of how soil mineralogy controls the quantity and turnover of long-residence-time organic carbon. To investigate the impact of soil mineralogy on SOM dynamics, we used a new model (Biotic and Abiotic Model of SOM—BAMS1 [Riley et al., 2014]) integrated with a three-dimensional, multiphase reactive transport solver (TOUGHREACT). The model represents bacterial and fungal activity, archetypal polymer and monomer carbon substrate groups, aqueous chemistry, gaseous diffusion, aqueous advection and diffusion, and adsorption and desorption processes. BAMS1 can predict bulk SOM and radiocarbon signatures without resorting to an arbitrary depth-dependent decline in SOM turnover rates. Results show a reasonable match between observed and simulated depth-resolved SOM and ∆14C in grassland ecosystems (soils formed on terraces south of Eureka, California, and the Central Chernozem Region of Russia) and were consistent with expectations of depth-resolved profiles of lignin content and fungi:aerobic bacteria ratios. Results also suggest that clay-mineral surface area and soil sorption coefficients constitute dominant controls over organic carbon stocks and residence times, respectively. Bibliography: Riley, W.J., F.M. Maggi, M. Kleber, M.S. Torn, J.Y. Tang, D. Dwivedi, and N. Guerry (2014), Long residence times of rapidly decomposable soil organic matter: application of a multi-phase, multi-component, and vertically resolved model (BAMS1) to soil carbon dynamics, Geoscientific Model Development, vol. 7, 1335

  14. Influence of Agropastoral System Components on Mountain Grassland Vulnerability Estimated by Connectivity Loss

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fillat, Federico; Pérez-Cabello, Fernando; Alados, Concepción L.

    2016-01-01

    Over the last decades, global changes have altered the structure and properties of natural and semi-natural mountain grasslands. Those changes have contributed to grassland loss mainly through colonization by woody species at low elevations, and increases in biomass and greenness at high elevations. Nevertheless, the interactions between agropastoral components; i.e., ecological (grassland, environmental, and geolocation properties), social, and economic components, and their effects on the grasslands are still poorly understood. We estimated the vulnerability of dense grasslands in the Central Pyrenees, Spain, based on the connectivity loss (CL) among grassland patches that has occurred between the 1980s and the 2000s, as a result of i) an increase in biomass and greenness (CL-IBG), ii) woody encroachment (CL-WE), or iii) a decrease in biomass and greenness (CL-DBG). The environmental and grassland components of the agropastoral system were associated with the three processes, especially CL-IBG and CL-WE, in relation with the succession of vegetation toward climax communities, fostered by land abandonment and exacerbated by climate warming. CL-IBG occurred in pasture units that had a high proportion of dense grasslands and low current livestock pressure. CL-WE was most strongly associated with pasture units that had a high proportion of woody habitat and a large reduction in sheep and goat pressure between the 1930s and the 2000s. The economic component was correlated with the CL-WE and the CL-DBG; specifically, expensive pastures were the most productive and could maintain the highest rates of livestock grazing, which slowed down woody encroachment, but caused grassland degradation and DBG. In addition, CL-DBG was associated with geolocation of grasslands, mainly because livestock tend to graze closer to passable roads and buildings, where they cause grassland degradation. To properly manage the grasslands, an integrated management plan must be developed that

  15. Damage and Control of Poisonous Weeds in Western Grassland of China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHAO Bao-yu; SHI Zhi-cheng; LIU Zhong-yan; LU Hao; WANG Zhan-xin; SUN Li-sha; WAN Xue-pan; GUO Xi; ZHAO Yan-tao; WANG Jian-jun

    2010-01-01

    Western grassland is the main source of living and means of production of western inhabitants. For many years,desertification and poisonous-weeds growth in grassland were resulted from over-grazing, over-reclaiming, over-spading and population growth. Western natural ecological environment is destroyed severly. Meanwhile, it has restricted the sustainable development of animal husbandry. The fast spreading poisonous-weeds, which caused grassland ecology unbalance, is one of the considerable bioecology problems and an important index of grassland degeneration. Based on analysis and induction of previous data, this article introduced the situation of poisonous-weeds disaster of western grassland in recent decades, category and distribution of poisonous-weeds, integrated control and reasonable utilization.

  16. The California Hazards Institute

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rundle, J. B.; Kellogg, L. H.; Turcotte, D. L.

    2006-12-01

    California's abundant resources are linked with its natural hazards. Earthquakes, landslides, wildfires, floods, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, severe storms, fires, and droughts afflict the state regularly. These events have the potential to become great disasters, like the San Francisco earthquake and fire of 1906, that overwhelm the capacity of society to respond. At such times, the fabric of civic life is frayed, political leadership is tested, economic losses can dwarf available resources, and full recovery can take decades. A patchwork of Federal, state and local programs are in place to address individual hazards, but California lacks effective coordination to forecast, prevent, prepare for, mitigate, respond to, and recover from, the harmful effects of natural disasters. Moreover, we do not know enough about the frequency, size, time, or locations where they may strike, nor about how the natural environment and man-made structures would respond. As California's population grows and becomes more interdependent, even moderate events have the potential to trigger catastrophes. Natural hazards need not become natural disasters if they are addressed proactively and effectively, rather than reactively. The University of California, with 10 campuses distributed across the state, has world-class faculty and students engaged in research and education in all fields of direct relevance to hazards. For that reason, the UC can become a world leader in anticipating and managing natural hazards in order to prevent loss of life and property and degradation of environmental quality. The University of California, Office of the President, has therefore established a new system-wide Multicampus Research Project, the California Hazards Institute (CHI), as a mechanism to research innovative, effective solutions for California. The CHI will build on the rich intellectual capital and expertise of the Golden State to provide the best available science, knowledge and tools for

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

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anwar; MOHAMMAT

    2010-01-01

    Grassland covers approximately one-third of the area of China and plays an important role in the global terrestrial carbon(C) cycle.However,little is known about biomass C stocks and dynamics in these grasslands.During 2001-2005,we conducted five consecutive field sampling campaigns to investigate above-and below-ground biomass for northern China’s grasslands.Using measurements obtained from 341 sampling sites,together with a NDVI(normalized difference vegetation index) time series dataset over 1982-2006,we examined changes in biomass C stock during the past 25 years.Our results showed that biomass C stock in northern China’s grasslands was estimated at 557.5 Tg C(1 Tg=1012 g),with a mean density of 39.5 g C m-2 for above-ground biomass and 244.6 g C m-2 for below-ground biomass.An increasing rate of 0.2 Tg C yr-1 has been observed over the past 25 years,but grassland biomass has not experienced a significant change since the late 1980s.Seasonal rainfall(January-July) was the dominant factor driving temporal dynamics in biomass C stock;however,the responses of grassland biomass to climate variables differed among various grassland types.Biomass in arid grasslands(i.e.,desert steppe and typical steppe) was significantly associated with precipitation,while biomass in humid grasslands(i.e.,alpine meadow) was positively correlated with mean January-July temperatures.These results suggest that different grassland ecosystems in China may show diverse responses to future climate changes.

  18. Ecosystem carbon stocks and their changes in China’s grasslands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Anwar; MOHAMMAT

    2010-01-01

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

  19. Archaeal Ammonia Oxidizers Dominate in Numbers, but Bacteria Drive Gross Nitrification in N-amended Grassland Soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sterngren, Anna E.; Hallin, Sara; Bengtson, Per

    2015-01-01

    Both ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) play an important role in nitrification in terrestrial environments. Most often AOA outnumber AOB, but the relative contribution of AOA and AOB to nitrification rates remains unclear. The aim of this experiment was to test the hypotheses that high nitrogen availability would favor AOB and result in high gross nitrification rates, while high carbon availability would result in low nitrogen concentrations that favor the activity of AOA. The hypotheses were tested in a microcosm experiment where sugars, ammonium, or amino acids were added regularly to a grassland soil for a period of 33 days. The abundance of amoA genes from AOB increased markedly in treatments that received nitrogen, suggesting that AOB were the main ammonia oxidizers here. However, AOB could not account for the entire ammonia oxidation activity observed in treatments where the soil was deficient in available nitrogen. The findings suggest that AOA are important drivers of nitrification under nitrogen-poor conditions, but that input of easily available nitrogen results in increased abundance, activity, and relative importance of AOB for gross nitrification in grassland soil. PMID:26648926

  20. The Story of California = La Historia de California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bartel, Nick

    "The Story of California" is a history and geography of the state of California, intended for classroom use by limited-English-proficient, native Spanish-speaking students in California's urban middle schools. The book is designed with the left page in English and the right page in Spanish to facilitate student transition into comfortable use of…

  1. California's Future Carbon Flux

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, L.; Pyles, R. D.; Paw U, K.; Gertz, M.

    2008-12-01

    The diversity of the climate and vegetation systems in the state of California provides a unique opportunity to study carton dioxide exchange between the terrestrial biosphere and the atmosphere. In order to accurately calculate the carbon flux, this study couples the sophisticated analytical surface layer model ACASA (Advance Canopy-Atmosphere-Soil Algorithm, developed in the University of California, Davis) with the newest version of mesoscale model WRF (the Weather Research & Forecasting Model, developed by NCAR and several other agencies). As a multilayer, steady state model, ACASA incorporates higher-order representations of vertical temperature variations, CO2 concentration, radiation, wind speed, turbulent statistics, and plant physiology. The WRF-ACASA coupling is designed to identify how multiple environmental factors, in particularly climate variability, population density, and vegetation distribution, impact on future carbon cycle prediction across a wide geographical range such as in California.

  2. Permanent grassland history researches in Maramureş

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adela Lacrimioara Botis

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available In the main part of the 20th century, research on plant nutrition was focused on inorganic nutrients, its foundations being laid by the 19th century chemist Justus von Liebing who identified the essential nutrients responsible with plant growth and promoted the use of mineral fertilizers. Although in the middle of the 20th century plant nutrition was focused on mineral fertilizers, organic nutrients still have a long history of use in agriculture and research in this field established fundamental knowledge. Permanent grasslands in Maramureş were the object of study and research from old times because of the vast area and the richness in herbal and wood species – as a result of the influence of the ecological conditions. The research conducted in the area can be divided in three periods - independent on the type of fertilizers used in the process - studies carried out during the 19th century, studies held in the 20th century and the ones in the 21st century which are developed on the concepts of ecology and sustainability to support public policies and provide environmental benefits. Although the first two periods of research in Maramureş are rich in providing information on the flora in Rodna Mountains, ţibleş Mountains, Borşa etc. and on grassland development in the area, in the last century the research scale decreased making this space auspicious for developing new data in the field.

  3. BETA DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY DIFFERENTIATION IN DRY PERENNIAL SAND GRASSLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. KOVACS-LANG

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial variability of species composition was studied in perennial sand grasslands in Hungary at multiple scales. Three sites were compared along an aridity gradient. Existing differences in climate along this ca. 200 km gradient correspond to regional climate changes predicted for the next 20-30 years. Six stands of Festucetum vaginatae grasslands were selected at each site within 400 x 1200 m areas for representing the coarse-scale within-site heterogeneity. Fine-scale compositional heterogeneity of vegetation within stands was sampled by recording the presence of species along 52 m long circular belt transects of 1040 units of 5 cm x 5 cm contiguous microquadrats. This sampling design enabled us to study the patterns of species combinations at a wide range of scales. The highest variability of plant species combinations appeared at very fine scales, between 10 cm and 25 cm. Differences in beta diversity along the gradient were scale-dependent. We found a decreasing trend of beta diversity with increasing aridity at fine scale, and on the contrary, an increasing trend at landscape scale. We conclude that the major trend of the vegetation differentiation due to aridity is the decrease of compositional variability at fine-scale accompanied by a coarse-scale diversification.

  4. Modelling nitrous oxide emissions from grazed grassland systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Grazed grassland systems are an important component of the global carbon cycle and also influence global climate change through their emissions of nitrous oxide and methane. However, there are huge uncertainties and challenges in the development and parameterisation of process-based models for grazed grassland systems because of the wide diversity of vegetation and impacts of grazing animals. A process-based biogeochemistry model, DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC), has been modified to describe N2O emissions for the UK from regional conditions. This paper reports a new development of UK-DNDC in which the animal grazing practices were modified to track their contributions to the soil nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry. The new version of UK-DNDC was tested against datasets of N2O fluxes measured at three contrasting field sites. The results showed that the responses of the model to changes in grazing parameters were generally in agreement with observations, showing that N2O emissions increased as the grazing intensity increased. - Highlights: ► Parameterisation of grazing system using grazing intensity. ► Modification of UKDNDC for the UK soil and weather conditions. ► Validation of the UKDNDC against measured data of N2O emissions in three UK sites. ► Estimating influence of animal grazing practises on N2O emissions. - Grazing system was parameterised using grazing intensity and UK-DNDC model was modified and validated against measured data of N2O emissions in three UK sites.

  5. Weathering controls on mechanisms of carbon storage in grassland soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Masiello, C.A.; Chadwick, O.A.; Southon, J.; Torn, M.S.; Harden, J.W.

    2004-09-01

    On a sequence of soils developed under similar vegetation, temperature, and precipitation conditions, but with variations in mineralogical properties, we use organic carbon and 14C inventories to examine mineral protection of soil organic carbon. In these soils, 14C data indicate that the creation of slow-cycling carbon can be modeled as occurring through reaction of organic ligands with Al3+ and Fe3+ cations in the upper horizons, followed by sorption to amorphous inorganic Al compounds at depth. Only one of these processes, the chelation of Al3+ and Fe3+ by organic ligands, is linked to large carbon stocks. Organic ligands stabilized by this process traverse the soil column as dissolved organic carbon (both from surface horizons and root exudates). At our moist grassland site, this chelation and transport process is very strongly correlated with the storage and long-term stabilization of soil organic carbon. Our 14C results show that the mechanisms of organic carbon transport and storage at this site follow a classic model previously believed to only be significant in a single soil order (Spodosols), and closely related to the presence of forests. The presence of this process in the grassland Alfisol, Inceptisol, and Mollisol soils of this chronosequence suggests that this process is a more significant control on organic carbon storage than previously thought.

  6. Complementary effects of soil organism and plant propagule introductions in restoration of species-rich grassland communities.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL; Bezemer, T Martijn [Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW); van der Putten, Wim H. [Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW)

    2009-01-01

    A common practice in biodiversity conservation is restoration of former species-rich grassland on ex-arable land. Major constraints for grassland restoration are high soil fertility and limited dispersal ability of plant species to target sites. Usually, studies focus on soil fertility or on methods to introduce plant seeds. However, the question is whether soil fertility reduction is always necessary for getting plant species established on target sites. In a three-year field experiment with ex-arable soil with intensive farming history, we tested single and combined effects of soil fertility reduction and sowing mid-successional plant species on plant community development and soil biological properties. A controlled microcosm study was performed to test short-term effects of soil fertility reduction measures on biomass production of mid-successional species. Soil fertility was manipulated by adding carbon (wood or straw) to incorporate plant-available nutrients into organic matter, or by removing nutrients through top soil removal (TSR). The sown species established successfully and their establishment was independent of carbon amendments. TSR reduced plant biomass, and effectively suppressed arable weeds, however, created a desert-like environment, inhibiting the effectiveness of sowing mid-successional plant species. Adding straw or wood resulted in short-term reduction of plant biomass, suggesting a temporal decrease in plant-available nutrients by microbial immobilisation. Straw and wood addition had little effects on soil biological properties, whereas TSR profoundly reduced numbers of bacteria, fungal biomass and nematode abundance. In conclusion, in ex-arable soils, on a short term sowing is more effective for grassland restoration than strategies aiming at soil fertility reduction.

  7. Restoration of species-rich grasslands on ex-arable land: seed addition outweighs soil fertility reduction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kardol, Paul [ORNL

    2008-01-01

    A common practice in biodiversity conservation is restoration of former species-rich grassland on ex-arable land. Major constraints for grassland restoration are high soil fertility and limited dispersal ability of plant species to target sites. Usually, studies focus on soil fertility or on methods to introduce plant seeds. However, the question is whether soil fertility reduction is always necessary for getting plant species established on target sites. In a three-year field experiment with ex-arable soil with intensive farming history, we tested single and combined effects of soil fertility reduction and sowing mid-successional plant species on plant community development and soil biological properties. A controlled microcosm study was performed to test short-term effects of soil fertility reduction measures on biomass production of mid-successional species. Soil fertility was manipulated by adding carbon (wood or straw) to incorporate plant-available nutrients into organic matter, or by removing nutrients through top soil removal (TSR). The sown species established successfully and their establishment was independent of carbon amendments. TSR reduced plant biomass, and effectively suppressed arable weeds, however, created a desert-like environment, inhibiting the effectiveness of sowing mid-successional plant species. Adding straw or wood resulted in short-term reduction of plant biomass, suggesting a temporal decrease in plant-available nutrients by microbial immobilisation. Straw and wood addition had little effects on soil biological properties, whereas TSR profoundly reduced numbers of bacteria, fungal biomass and nematode abundance. In conclusion, in ex-arable soils, on a short term sowing is more effective for grassland restoration than strategies aiming at soil fertility reduction.

  8. Community shifts and carbon translocation within metabolically-active rhizosphere microorganisms in grasslands under elevated CO2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Müller

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to identify the microbial communities that are actively involved in the assimilation of rhizosphere-C and are most sensitive in their activity to elevated atmospheric CO2 in grassland ecosystems. For this, we analyzed 13C signatures in microbial biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA from an in situ 13CO2 pulse-labeling experiment in the Gießen Free-Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment grasslands (GiFACE, Germany exposed to ambient and elevated (i.e. 50% above ambient CO2 concentrations. Carbon-13 PLFA measurements at 3 h, 10 h and 11 months after the pulse-labeling indicated a much faster transfer of newly produced rhizosphere-C to fungal compared to bacterial PLFA. After 11 months, the proportion of 13C had decreased in fungal PLFA but had increased in bacterial PLFA compared to a few hours after the pulse-labeling. Nevertheless, a significant proportion of the rapidly assimilated rhizosphere-C was still present in fungal PLFA after 11 months. These results demonstrate the dominant role of fungi in the immediate assimilation of rhizodeposits in grassland ecosystems, while also suggesting a long-term retention of rhizosphere-C in the fungal mycelium as well as a possible translocation of the rhizosphere-C from the fungal to bacterial biomass. Elevated CO2 caused an increase in the relative abundance of root-derived PLFA-C in the saprotrophic fungal PLFA 18:2ω6,9 as well as arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal PLFA 16:1ω5, but a decrease in the saprotrophic fungal biomarker PLFA 18:1ω9. This suggests enhanced rhizodeposit-C assimilation only by selected fungal communities under elevated CO2.

  9. Ammonia emission from a permanent grassland on volcanic soil after the treatment with dairy slurry and urea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, F.; Martínez-Lagos, J.; Alfaro, M.; Misselbrook, T.

    2014-10-01

    Ammonia (NH3) is an air pollutant largely emitted from agricultural activities including the application of livestock manures and fertilizers to grassland. This gas has been linked with important negative impacts on natural ecosystems. In southern Chile, the use of inorganic and organic fertilizers (e.g. slurries) has increased in cattle production systems over recent years, heightening the risk of N losses to the wider environment. The objectives of this study were to evaluate on permanent grasslands on a volcanic ash soil in southern Chile: 1) the N loss due to NH3 volatilization following surface application of dairy slurry and urea fertilizer; and 2) the effect of a urease inhibitor on NH3 emissions from urea fertilizer application. Small plot field experiments were conducted over spring, fall, winter and summer seasons, using a system of wind tunnels to measure ammonia emissions. Ammonia losses ranged from 1.8 (winter) to 26.0% (fall) and 3.1 (winter) to 20.5% (summer) of total N applied for urea and slurry, respectively. Based on the readily available N applied (ammoniacal N for dairy slurry and urea N for urea fertilizer), losses from dairy slurry were much greater, at 16.1 and 82.0%, for winter and summer, respectively. The use of a urease inhibitor proved to be an effective option to minimize the N loss due NH3 volatilization from urea fertilizer, with an average reduction of 71% across all seasons. The results of this and other recent studies regarding N losses suggest that ammonia volatilization is the main pathway of N loss from grassland systems in southern Chile on volcanic ash soils when urea and slurry are used as an N source. The use of good management practices, such as the inclusion of a urease inhibitor with urea fertilizer could have a beneficial impact on reducing N losses due NH3 volatilization and the environmental and economic impact of these emissions.

  10. The conversion of grassland to acacia forest as an effective option for net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Godoi, Stefânia Guedes; Neufeld, Ângela Denise Hubert; Ibarr, Mariana Alves; Ferreto, Décio Oscar Cardoso; Bayer, Cimélio; Lorentz, Leandro Homrich; Vieira, Frederico Costa Beber

    2016-03-15

    This study aimed to evaluate the effect of forestation with leguminous Acacia mearnsii De Wild in native grasslands on the soil greenhouse (GHG) fluxes and their main driving factors. The experiment was conducted in the Brazilian Pampa over the period of one year in a six-year-old Acacia plantation, evaluating four treatments: Acacia (AM), Acacia with litter periodically removed (A-l), Acacia after harvest (AH) and native grassland (NG) (reference treatment). Air samples were obtained by the static chamber method, and gas concentrations were evaluated by gas chromatography. Soil and climate factors were monitored. The accumulated fluxes of methane (CH4) and nitrous oxide (N2O) were statistically similar between the soils in the AM and NG treatments, which tended to oxidize CH4 (-1445 and -1752 g C-CH4 ha(-1) yr(-1), respectively) and had low emission of N2O (242 and 316 g N-N2O ha(-1) yr(-1)), most likely influenced by the low water-filled pore space and the low content of mineral N in the soil. However, the soil in the AH treatment presented higher emissions of both gases, totaling 1889 g C-CH4 ha(-1) yr(-1) and 1250 g N-N2O ha(-1) yr(-1). Afforestation neither significantly affected the total organic C stocks nor their lability, keeping the C management index for the forested area similar to that in the NG treatment. The conversion from grassland to Acacia forest represents an effective option for mitigating the net reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, which is basically determined by C accumulation in biomass and wood products. PMID:26731308

  11. N Management of European Grasslands: Can the Exchange of Gaseous N Species Be Influenced at the Operational Level?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. Calanca

    2001-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems can be regarded as biochemical reactors in which large amounts of organic nitrogen (N are converted into inorganic N, and vice versa. If managed in a sustainable manner, grasslands should operate in a quasi steady state, characterized by an almost perfect balance between total N input and output. As a consequence, the exchange of gaseous N species (NH3, NO, NO2, N2O, and N2 between grasslands and the atmosphere is very small compared to the total N turnover. In this study, the effects of two management options (mowing and fertilization on production and emission of nitrous oxide (N2O from a grass/clover crop were examined on the basis of observations and model results referring to an experiment carried out on the Swiss Plateau in late summer of 2000. It was found that production and emission of N2O induced by mowing were of the same order of magnitude as those brought about by fertilization, suggesting a possible transfer of N from clover to the soil after defoliation. Emissions were strongly modulated by precipitation on time scales ranging from 1 day to 1 week. This indicates that effective control of N2O emissions through management on a day-to-day basis requires reliable medium-range weather forecasts. Model calculations were not able to reproduce essential characteristics of the emissions. The model slightly overestimated the background emissions, but severely underestimated the emission peaks following fertilizer application, and largely failed to reproduce emission induced by mowing. Shortfalls in the model used for this study were found in relation to the description of soil-water fluxes, soil organic matter, and the physiology of clover.

  12. Not all droughts are created equal: the impacts of interannual drought pattern and magnitude on grassland carbon cycling.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoover, David L; Rogers, Brendan M

    2016-05-01

    Climate extremes, such as drought, may have immediate and potentially prolonged effects on carbon cycling. Grasslands store approximately one-third of all terrestrial carbon and may become carbon sources during droughts. However, the magnitude and duration of drought-induced disruptions to the carbon cycle, as well as the mechanisms responsible, remain poorly understood. Over the next century, global climate models predict an increase in two types of drought: chronic but subtle 'press-droughts', and shorter term but extreme 'pulse-droughts'. Much of our current understanding of the ecological impacts of drought comes from experimental rainfall manipulations. These studies have been highly valuable, but are often short term and rarely quantify carbon feedbacks. To address this knowledge gap, we used the Community Land Model 4.0 to examine the individual and interactive effects of pulse- and press-droughts on carbon cycling in a mesic grassland of the US Great Plains. A series of modeling experiments were imposed by varying drought magnitude (precipitation amount) and interannual pattern (press- vs. pulse-droughts) to examine the effects on carbon storage and cycling at annual to century timescales. We present three main findings. First, a single-year pulse-drought had immediate and prolonged effects on carbon storage due to differential sensitivities of ecosystem respiration and gross primary production. Second, short-term pulse-droughts caused greater carbon loss than chronic press-droughts when total precipitation reductions over a 20-year period were equivalent. Third, combining pulse- and press-droughts had intermediate effects on carbon loss compared to the independent drought types, except at high drought levels. Overall, these results suggest that interannual drought pattern may be as important for carbon dynamics as drought magnitude and that extreme droughts may have long-lasting carbon feedbacks in grassland ecosystems. PMID:26568424

  13. From facilitation to competition: temperature-driven shift in dominant plant interactions affects population dynamics in seminatural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olsen, Siri L; Töpper, Joachim P; Skarpaas, Olav; Vandvik, Vigdis; Klanderud, Kari

    2016-05-01

    Biotic interactions are often ignored in assessments of climate change impacts. However, climate-related changes in species interactions, often mediated through increased dominance of certain species or functional groups, may have important implications for how species respond to climate warming and altered precipitation patterns. We examined how a dominant plant functional group affected the population dynamics of four co-occurring forb species by experimentally removing graminoids in seminatural grasslands. Specifically, we explored how the interaction between dominants and subordinates varied with climate by replicating the removal experiment across a climate grid consisting of 12 field sites spanning broad-scale temperature and precipitation gradients in southern Norway. Biotic interactions affected population growth rates of all study species, and the net outcome of interactions between dominants and subordinates switched from facilitation to competition with increasing temperature along the temperature gradient. The impacts of competitive interactions on subordinates in the warmer sites could primarily be attributed to reduced plant survival. Whereas the response to dominant removal varied with temperature, there was no overall effect of precipitation on the balance between competition and facilitation. Our findings suggest that global warming may increase the relative importance of competitive interactions in seminatural grasslands across a wide range of precipitation levels, thereby favouring highly competitive dominant species over subordinate species. As a result, seminatural grasslands may become increasingly dependent on disturbance (i.e. traditional management such as grazing and mowing) to maintain viable populations of subordinate species and thereby biodiversity under future climates. Our study highlights the importance of population-level studies replicated under different climatic conditions for understanding the underlying mechanisms of climate

  14. Effect of soil coarseness on soil base cations and available micronutrients in a semi-arid sandy grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Linyou; Wang, Ruzhen; Liu, Heyong; Yin, Jinfei; Xiao, Jiangtao; Wang, Zhengwen; Zhao, Yan; Yu, Guoqing; Han, Xingguo; Jiang, Yong

    2016-04-01

    Soil coarseness is the main process decreasing soil organic matter and threatening the productivity of sandy grasslands. Previous studies demonstrated negative effect of soil coarseness on soil carbon storage, but less is known about how soil base cations (exchangeable Ca, Mg, K, and Na) and available micronutrients (available Fe, Mn, Cu, and Zn) response to soil coarseness. In a semi-arid grassland of Northern China, a field experiment was initiated in 2011 to mimic the effect of soil coarseness on soil base cations and available micronutrients by mixing soil with different mass proportions of sand: 0 % coarse elements (C0), 10 % (C10), 30 % (C30), 50 % (C50), and 70 % (C70). Soil coarseness significantly increased soil pH in three soil depths of 0-10, 10-20 and 20-40 cm with the highest pH values detected in C50 and C70 treatments. Soil fine particles (smaller than 0.25 mm) significantly decreased with the degree of soil coarseness. Exchangeable Ca and Mg concentrations significantly decreased with soil coarseness degree by up to 29.8 % (in C70) and 47.5 % (in C70), respectively, across three soil depths. Soil available Fe, Mn, and Cu significantly decreased with soil coarseness degree by 62.5, 45.4, and 44.4 %, respectively. As affected by soil coarseness, the increase of soil pH, decrease of soil fine particles (including clay), and decline in soil organic matter were the main driving factors for the decrease of exchangeable base cations (except K) and available micronutrients (except Zn) through soil profile. Developed under soil coarseness, the loss and redistribution of base cations and available micronutrients along soil depths might pose a threat to ecosystem productivity of this sandy grassland.

  15. Priming of soil carbon decomposition in two inner Mongolia grassland soils following sheep dung addition: A study using13C natural abundance approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Xiuzhi; Ambus, Per; Wang, Shiping;

    2013-01-01

    To investigate the effect of sheep dung on soil carbon (C) sequestration, a 152 days incubation experiment was conducted with soils from two different Inner Mongolian grasslands, i.e. a Leymus chinensis dominated grassland representing the climax community (2.1% organic matter content) and a...... heavily degraded Artemisia frigida dominated community (1.3% organic matter content). Dung was collected from sheep either fed on L. chinensis (C3 plant with δ13C = -26.8‰; dung δ13C = -26.2‰) or Cleistogenes squarrosa (C4 plant with δ13C = -14.6‰; dung δ13C = -15.7‰). Fresh C3 and C4 sheep dung was mixed...

  16. Local adaptation to temperature conserves top-down control in a grassland food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barton, Brandon T

    2011-10-22

    A fundamental limitation in many climate change experiments is that tests represent relatively short-term 'shock' experiments and so do not incorporate the phenotypic plasticity or evolutionary change that may occur during the gradual process of climate change. However, capturing this aspect of climate change effects in an experimental design is a difficult challenge that few studies have accomplished. I examined the effect of temperature and predator climate history in food webs composed of herbaceous plants, generalist grasshopper herbivores and spider predators across a natural 4.8°C temperature gradient spanning 500 km in northeastern USA. In these grasslands, the effects of rising temperatures on the plant community are indirect and arise via altered predator-herbivore interactions. Experimental warming had no direct effect on grasshoppers, but reduced predation risk effects by causing spiders from all study sites to seek thermal refuge lower in the plant canopy. However, spider thermal tolerance corresponded to spider origin such that spiders from warmer study sites tolerated higher temperatures than spiders from cooler study sites. As a consequence, the magnitude of the indirect effect of spiders on plants did not differ along the temperature gradient, although a reciprocal transplant experiment revealed significantly different effects of spider origin on the magnitude of top-down control. These results suggest that variation in predator response to warming may maintain species interactions and associated food web processes when faced with long term, chronic climate warming. PMID:21367789

  17. California Indian Food and Culture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001

    This learning kit begins with a glossary of terms to help students learn about California Indians and their food. The kit explains that California Indians were the first people to live in the area now known as California, and that these tribes differed in the languages they spoke, the regions they lived in, and the foods that they ate. It explains…

  18. California wind energy development: environmental support -and opposition

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Quantitative and qualitative research was conducted during 1988 and 1989 with regard to California's large wind energy developments. Environmental support and opposition were studied. Environmental concerns, especially those of local environmentalists and activists within the host communities, are limiting wind energy well below its potential in California. ''Visual Intrusion'' is by far the most salient environmental concern. Tradeoffs between scenic preservation and windpower's reliable, economical, pollution-free electricity production need to be realistically addressed. This can not occur until perceptions regarding windpower catch up with its technology. An understanding of the California experience may prove beneficial to those who are currently engaged in wind energy programs. (author)

  19. Priming of soil carbon decomposition in two Inner Mongolia grassland soils following sheep dung addition: a study using ¹³C natural abundance approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiuzhi Ma

    Full Text Available To investigate the effect of sheep dung on soil carbon (C sequestration, a 152 days incubation experiment was conducted with soils from two different Inner Mongolian grasslands, i.e. a Leymus chinensis dominated grassland representing the climax community (2.1% organic matter content and a heavily degraded Artemisia frigida dominated community (1.3% organic matter content. Dung was collected from sheep either fed on L. chinensis (C3 plant with δ¹³C = -26.8‰; dung δ¹³C = -26.2‰ or Cleistogenes squarrosa (C₄ plant with δ¹³C = -14.6‰; dung δ¹³C = -15.7‰. Fresh C₃ and C₄ sheep dung was mixed with the two grassland soils and incubated under controlled conditions for analysis of ¹³C-CO₂ emissions. Soil samples were taken at days 17, 43, 86, 127 and 152 after sheep dung addition to detect the δ¹³C signal in soil and dung components. Analysis revealed that 16.9% and 16.6% of the sheep dung C had decomposed, of which 3.5% and 2.8% was sequestrated in the soils of L. chinensis and A. frigida grasslands, respectively, while the remaining decomposed sheep dung was emitted as CO₂. The cumulative amounts of C respired from dung treated soils during 152 days were 7-8 times higher than in the un-amended controls. In both grassland soils, ca. 60% of the evolved CO₂ originated from the decomposing sheep dung and 40% from the native soil C. Priming effects of soil C decomposition were observed in both soils, i.e. 1.4 g and 1.6 g additional soil C kg⁻¹ dry soil had been emitted as CO₂ for the L. chinensis and A. frigida soils, respectively. Hence, the net C losses from L. chinensis and A. frigida soils were 0.6 g and 0.9 g C kg⁻¹ soil, which was 2.6% and 7.0% of the total C in L. chinensis and A. frigida grasslands soils, respectively. Our results suggest that grazing of degraded Inner Mongolian pastures may cause a net soil C loss due to the positive priming effect, thereby accelerating soil

  20. Priming of Soil Carbon Decomposition in Two Inner Mongolia Grassland Soils following Sheep Dung Addition: A Study Using 13C Natural Abundance Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiuzhi; Ambus, Per; Wang, Shiping; Wang, Yanfen; Wang, Chengjie

    2013-01-01

    To investigate the effect of sheep dung on soil carbon (C) sequestration, a 152 days incubation experiment was conducted with soils from two different Inner Mongolian grasslands, i.e. a Leymus chinensis dominated grassland representing the climax community (2.1% organic matter content) and a heavily degraded Artemisia frigida dominated community (1.3% organic matter content). Dung was collected from sheep either fed on L. chinensis (C3 plant with δ13C = −26.8‰; dung δ13C = −26.2‰) or Cleistogenes squarrosa (C4 plant with δ13C = −14.6‰; dung δ13C = −15.7‰). Fresh C3 and C4 sheep dung was mixed with the two grassland soils and incubated under controlled conditions for analysis of 13C-CO2 emissions. Soil samples were taken at days 17, 43, 86, 127 and 152 after sheep dung addition to detect the δ13C signal in soil and dung components. Analysis revealed that 16.9% and 16.6% of the sheep dung C had decomposed, of which 3.5% and 2.8% was sequestrated in the soils of L. chinensis and A. frigida grasslands, respectively, while the remaining decomposed sheep dung was emitted as CO2. The cumulative amounts of C respired from dung treated soils during 152 days were 7–8 times higher than in the un-amended controls. In both grassland soils, ca. 60% of the evolved CO2 originated from the decomposing sheep dung and 40% from the native soil C. Priming effects of soil C decomposition were observed in both soils, i.e. 1.4 g and 1.6 g additional soil C kg−1 dry soil had been emitted as CO2 for the L. chinensis and A. frigida soils, respectively. Hence, the net C losses from L. chinensis and A. frigida soils were 0.6 g and 0.9 g C kg−1 soil, which was 2.6% and 7.0% of the total C in L. chinensis and A. frigida grasslands soils, respectively. Our results suggest that grazing of degraded Inner Mongolian pastures may cause a net soil C loss due to the positive priming effect, thereby accelerating soil deterioration. PMID:24236024

  1. A more holistic understanding of soil organic matter pools of alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia Franco, Noelia; Wiesmeier, Martin; Kiese, Ralf; Dannenmann, Michael; Wolf, Benjamin; Brandhuber, Robert; Beck, Robert; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2016-04-01

    In southern Germany, the alpine and pre-alpine grassland systems (> 1 Mio ha) provide an important economic value via fodder used for milk and meat production and grassland soils support environmental key functions (C and N storage, water retention, erosion control and biodiversity hot spot). In addition, these grassland soils constitute important regions for tourism and recreation. However, the different land use and management practices in this area introduce changes which are likely to accelerate due to climate change. The newly launched SUPSALPS project within the BonaRes Initiative of the German Ministry for Education and Research is focused on the development and evaluation of innovative grassland management strategies under climate change with an emphasis on soil functions, which are on the one hand environmental sustainable and on the other hand economically viable. Several field experiments of the project will be initialized in order to evaluate grassland soil functioning for a range of current and climate adapted management practices. A multi-factorial design combines ongoing and new plant-soil meso-/macrocosm and field studies at a multitude of existing long-term research sites along an elevation gradient in Bavaria. One of the specific objectives of the project is to improve our knowledge on the sensitivity of specific soil organic matter (SOM) fractions to climate change. Moreover, the project aims to determine the processes and mechanisms involved in the build-up and stabilization of C and N pools under different management practices. In order to derive sensitive SOM pools, a promising physical fractionation method was developed that enables the separation of five different SOM fractions by density, ultrasonication and sieving separation: fine particulate organic matter (fPOM), occluded particulate organic matter (oPOM>20μm and oPOMmineral associated organic matter (sand and coarse silt, > 20 μm; medium + fine silt and clay, < 20 μm). Methods to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

    Full Text Available 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.

  4. Practice environment for nurse practitioners in California. Identifying barriers.

    OpenAIRE

    Anderson, A.L.; Gilliss, C L; Yoder, L

    1996-01-01

    Barriers exist that prevent nurse practitioners from using their primary health care knowledge and skills. We present the incidence of and specific barriers experienced by nurse practitioner respondents in California, the state with the largest number of nurse practitioners in the nation. A January 1995 survey was sent to all nurse practitioners certified in California to elicit their experiences regarding legal or social barriers in their practice, with space for an open-ended response. Of a...

  5. Single Mothers in California: Understanding Their Health Insurance Coverage

    OpenAIRE

    Wyn, Roberta; Ojeda, Victoria

    2002-01-01

    This policy brief examines the health insurance coverage of single mothers in California, addressing the factors affecting their coverage, as well as changes in coverage between 1994-95 and 1998-99. The descriptive data for this study were obtained from analyses of the 1995, 1996, 1999 and 2000 March Current Population Surveys. The findings in this study illustrate the disadvantage that many single mothers in California experience in their access to heath insurance coverage. Nearly one in thr...

  6. SOUTH WARNER WILDERNESS, CALIFORNIA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duffield, Wendell A.; Weldin, Robert E.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral appraisal utilized geologic, geochemical, and geophysical data and an examination of mining claims in the South Warner Wilderness, California. Results of this study indicate that little promise for the occurrence of mineral resources exists within the area. Small veins of optical quality calcite occur on the east side of the area but, are not considered a resource.

  7. The Immigrant University: Assessing the Dynamics of Race, Major and Socioeconomic Characteristics at the University of California

    OpenAIRE

    Douglass, John Aubrey; Heinke Roebken; Thomson, Gregg

    2007-01-01

    The University of California has long been a major source of socioeconomic mobility in California. Data from the University of California’s Undergraduate Experience Survey (UCUES) indicates that more than half the undergraduate students in the UC system have at least one parent that is an immigrant. The ratio is even higher at UC Berkeley. What do such a high percentage of students with recent immigrant backgrounds tell us about the University of California and socioeconomic mobility? How i...

  8. Relationships between Duck and Grassland Bird Relative Abundance and Species Richness in Southern Saskatchewan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Susan P. Skinner

    2008-06-01

    Full Text Available Digital map products that integrate long-term duck population and land-use data are currently being used to guide conservation program delivery on the Canadian Prairies. However, understanding the inter-relationships between ducks and other grassland bird species would greatly enhance program planning and delivery. We hypothesized that ducks, and Northern Pintail (Anas acuta in particular, may function as an umbrella guild for the overall breeding habitat quality for other grassland bird species. We compared grassland bird species richness and relative abundance among areas of low, moderate, and high predicted waterfowl breeding densities (i.e., duck density strata in the southern Missouri Coteau, Saskatchewan. We conducted roadside point counts and delineated habitats within a 400 m radius of each point. The duck high-density stratum supported greater avian species richness and abundance than did the duck low-density stratum. Overall, duck and other grassland bird species richness and abundance were moderately correlated, with all r between 0.37 and 0.69 (all P < 0.05. Although the habitat requirements of Northern Pintail may overlap with those of other grassland endemics, priority grassland bird species richness was only moderately correlated with total pintail abundance in both years, and the abundances of pintail and grassland songbirds listed by the Committee on the Status of Endangered Wildlife in Canada were not correlated. No differences in the mean number of priority grassland species were detected among the strata. Adequate critical habitat for several priority species may not be protected if conservation is focused only in areas of moderate to high wetland density because large tracts of contiguous, dry grassland habitat (e.g., pasture occur infrequently in high-quality duck habitat.

  9. Designing a Regional Nitrogen Cycle Module of Grassland for the IAP-N Model

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YUE Jin; HAN Shenghui; ZHENG Xunhua

    2012-01-01

    Assessment of the nitrogen (N) balance and its long-term trend is necessary for management practices because of the negative environmental effects caused by an imbalance of reactive N in grassland ecosystems.In this study,we designed a module for the IAP-N (Improving Anthropogenic Practices of managing reactive Nitrogen) model to enable it to assess the N budget of regional grasslands.The module was developed to quantify the individual components of the N inputs and outputs for grassland ecosystems using livestock and human populations,grassland area,and fossil-energy consumption data as the model inputs.In this paper,the estimation approaches for individual components of N budget,data acquisition,and parameter selection are described in detail.The model was applied to assess the N budget of Inner Mongolia in 2006 at the county scale.The simulation results show that the most important pathway of N outputs from the grassland was livestock intake.The N output from livestock intake was especially large in the middle of Inner Mongolia.Biological fixation,atmospheric deposition,and livestock excreta deposition were comparably important for the N inputs into the grassland.The N budget for Inner Mongolia grassland in 2006 was -1.7× 108±0.6× 108 kg.The case study for Inner Mongolia shows that the new grassland module for the IAP-N model can capture the characteristics of the N budget in a semiarid grassland.

  10. Estimating Plant Traits of Grasslands from UAV-Acquired Hyperspectral Images: A Comparison of Statistical Approaches

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alessandra Capolupo

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems cover around 40% of the entire Earth’s surface. Therefore, it is necessary to guarantee good grassland management at field scale in order to improve its conservation and to achieve optimal growth. This study identified the most appropriate statistical strategy, between partial least squares regression (PLSR and narrow vegetation indices, for estimating the structural and biochemical grassland traits from UAV-acquired hyperspectral images. Moreover, the influence of fertilizers on plant traits for grasslands was analyzed. Hyperspectral data were collected from an experimental field at the farm Haus Riswick, near Kleve in Germany, for two different flight campaigns in May and October. The collected image blocks were geometrically and radiometrically corrected for surface reflectance. Spectral signatures extracted for the plots were adopted to derive grassland traits by computing PLSR and the following narrow vegetation indices: the MERIS Terrestrial Chlorophyll Index (MTCI, the ratio of the Modified Chlorophyll Absorption in Reflectance and Optimized Soil-Adjusted Vegetation Index (MCARI/OSAVI modified by Wu, the Red-edge Chlorophyll Index (CIred-edge, and the Normalized Difference Red Edge (NDRE. PLSR showed promising results for estimating grassland structural traits and gave less satisfying outcomes for the selected chemical traits (crude ash, crude fiber, crude protein, Na, K, metabolic energy. Established relations are not influenced by the type and the amount of fertilization, while they are affected by the grassland health status. PLSR is found to be the best strategy, among the approaches analyzed in this paper, for exploring structural and biochemical features of grasslands. Using UAV-based hyperspectral sensing allows for the highly detailed assessment of grassland experimental plots.

  11. Effects of 10-year management regimes on the soil seed bank in saline-alkaline grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hongyuan Ma

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

  12. The Changing California Coast: The Effect of a Variable Water Budget on Coastal Vegetation Succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Wei-Chen; Remar, Alex; McClure, Adam; Williams, Emily; Kannan, Soumya; Steers, Robert; Schmidt, Cindy; Skiles, Joseph W.; Hsu, Wei-Chen

    2011-01-01

    The land-ocean interface along the central coast of California is one of the most diverse biogeographic regions of the state. This area is composed of a species-rich mosaic of coastal grassland, shrubland, and forest vegetation types. An acceleration of conifer encroachment into shrublands and shrub encroachment into grasslands along the coast has been recently documented. These vegetation changes are believed to be driven primarily by fire suppression and changing grazing patterns. Climatic variables such as precipitation, fog, cloud cover, temperature, slope, and elevation also play an important role in vegetation succession. Our study area is located along the central California coast, which is characterized by a precipitation gradient from the relatively wetter and cooler north to the drier and warmer south. Some studies indicate changing fog patterns along this coast, which may greatly impact vegetation. A decrease in water availability could slow succession processes. The primary objective of this project is to determine if vegetation succession rates are changing for the study area and to identify climate and ecosystem variables which contribute to succession, specifically the transition among grassland, shrubland, and forest. To identify vegetation types and rates of succession, we classified two Landsat TM 5 scenes from 1985 to 2010 with a resulting overall accuracy of 82.4%. Vegetation succession was correlated to changes in maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, and elevation for each sub-region of the study area. Fog frequency was then compared between the northern and southern regions of the study area for determining the spatial relation between fog frequency and the percent of vegetation change.

  13. Design and Implementation of an Information System for Grassland Soil Management

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    WEI Zhi-yuan; QI Zhi-ping

    2010-01-01

    With grassland as the object of study,we briefly described the significance,main functions,characteristics and the implementation methods of spatial database and attribute database for grassland soil management information system and analyzed the systematical functional modules.Based on this we hold that establishment of this system can not only provide reference information for the decision-making government departments involving in the pasture industrialization system management but also provide guidance for grassland operators to intentionally choose variety and to scientifically fertilize.

  14. Anaerobic oxidation of methane in grassland soils used for cattle husbandry

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Bannert

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available While the importance of anaerobic methane oxidation has been reported for marine ecosystems, the role of this process in soils is still questionable. Grasslands used as pastures for cattle-overwintering show an increase in anaerobic soil micro-sites caused by animal treading and excrement deposition. Therefore anaerobic potential methane oxidation activity of severely impacted soil from a cattle winter pasture was investigated in an incubation experiment under anaerobic conditions using 13C-labeled methane. We were able to detect a high microbial activity utilizing CH4 as nutrient source shown by the respiration of 13CO2. Measurements of possible terminal electron acceptors for anaerobic oxidation of methane were carried out. Soil sulfate concentrations were too low to explain the oxidation of the amount of methane added, but enough nitrate and iron(III were detected. However, only nitrate was consumed during the experiment. 13C-PLFA analyses clearly showed the utilization of CH4 as nutrient source mainly by organisms harbouring 16:1ω7 PLFAs. These lipids were found in Gram-negative microorganisms and anaerobes. The fact that these lipids are also typical for type I methanotrophs, known as aerobic methane oxidizers, might indicate a link between aerobic and anaerobic methane oxidation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  16. Fire and grazing in grasslands of the Argentine Caldenal: Effects on plant and soil carbon and nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harris, Wylie N.; Moretto, Alicia S.; Distel, Roberto A.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Bóo, Roberto M.

    2007-09-01

    ire and grazing can modulate feedbacks between pools of carbon and nitrogen of plant and soil, altering cycles of these elements in grassland ecosystems. The magnitude of these effects may be limited by climate and by limited plasticity in tissue chemistry within a given photosynthetic pathway. We tested the hypotheses that (1) fire reduces rates of C and N cycling, while grazing increases them, and (2) these changes are due to intraspecific changes in plant tissue chemistry rather than competitive replacements by species with differing tissue chemistry. Plant and soil C and N content and isotopic ratios, soil microbial biomass C, and potential C mineralization were measured in areas of the southern Caldenal region of central Argentina with known histories of fire and grazing. Results support the hypothesis that fire reduces rates of N cycling via intraspecific increases in plant tissue C/N. Contrary to our first hypothesis, grazing also reduced plant tissue N. Fire and grazing effects on plant tissue chemistry resulted primarily from changes in dynamics of soil inorganic N. These changes were due to intraspecific changes in plant tissue chemistry, which was in agreement with our second hypothesis. Potential C mineralization experiments revealed little difference between treatments in pool sizes and mean residence times of labile soil organic carbon. Livestock grazing and fire have significant influences on soil N dynamics, particularly as mediated by soil microbes, in managed grasslands of the southern Caldenal in Argentina.

  17. Leaf area controls on energy partitioning of a mountain grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. Hammerle

    2007-10-01

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

  18. The effect of grassland management on enchytraeids (Oligochaeta) communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maraldo, Kristine; Schmelz, Rüdiger; Christensen, Bent Tolstrup;

    2012-01-01

    enchytraeid community was determined at three sampling occasions (before slurry application in October 2010 and March 2011, and after slurry application in May 2011) in 1-yr-old grass-clover field with three managements: 1) cut without manure, 2) cut with cattle slurry, and 3) grazed by heifers. We observed a......Enchytraeids (small white earthworms between 3 to 35 mm) are important regulators of nitrogen turnover in grasslands, as their activities accelerate the decomposition and nutrient recycling processes. In this study, the effect of management on species composition, abundance and biomass of the...... significant effect of management on the enchytraeid biomass and density but no significant changes in their species composition. The slurry plot had the significantly highest biomass for the three management practices, in particular when compared to the grazed plots. We suggest that the lower enchytraeids...

  19. Experimental control of Spanish broom (Spartium junceum invading natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sanhueza

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A group of legumes generically known as brooms are among the most successful shrubs invading grasslands in South America and otherregions. These species share a set of biological features that enhance their invasiveness, such as abundant and long-lasting seed banks,aggressive root systems and rapid growth, combined with their ability for re-sprouting after cutting or burning and for avoiding herbivores.They grow in dense stands that exclude native vegetation and are able to change ecological processes, increasing fire frequency and intensity,and fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The Spanish broom (Spartium junceum is a shrub native form the Mediterranean that was introduced intothe Argentine Pampas grasslands where it spreads over remnants of pristine ecosystems, threatening their biodiversity. This paper reports theresults obtained after an adaptive management strategy aimed at controlling this species in a nature reserve, and compares the efficiency ofdifferent mechanical and chemical control techniques in terms of the number of plants killed and the effects on surrounding vegetation andon the recruitment of broom seedlings. Control was implemented in two phases, the first included three treatments: i cut at the base of theplant, ii cut followed by the immediate application of Togar (Picloram 3% + Triclopyr 6%, at a 5% dilution in diesel oil on top of the cut stump, and iii foliar spraying with Togar. The follow-up treatments, implemented one year later, consisted of spraying the re-sprouts with Togar (5% in diesel oil or Glyphosate 36% (2% in water. The best option in terms of controlling Spanish broom was spraying the resprouts with Togar which gave 100% mortality of the treated plants, compared with values of 40% - 100% re-sprouting for the other optionstested. None of the methods was associated with an increase in seedling recruitment, nor with significant changes in the vegetation in the immediate vicinity of the controlled brooms.

  20. Are old Mediterranean grasslands resilient to human disturbances?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coiffait-Gombault, Clémentine; Buisson, Elise; Dutoit, Thierry

    2012-08-01

    Many dry herbaceous ecosystems suffer damage and are characterized by low resilience after disturbance. Among these forms of disturbance, soil excavation due to the construction of underground pipelines affects vegetation at plant community and landscape scales. Synchronic studies are the best approach for more rapid study of plant succession on ecosystems with low resilience. In order to better understand plant succession in a Mediterranean dry grassland, we compared the effect of a recent disturbance caused by the digging of a pipeline in 2006 with that of a pipeline created in 1972 in the same area. Surveys of floristic composition and richness were carried out along both pipelines in order to understand the succession after this single disturbance, one that does not drastically change soil chemical properties unlike former agricultural practices. Nevertheless, this type of disturbance still changes the floristic composition in the long term (>30 years). The first stage begins just after disturbance with the occurrence of many weed species. Another level between the first and the mature stage was characterized in our study, 30 years after the disturbance, by an assemblage of annual and perennial species but still lacking species typical of the reference steppe. The reference steppe is described as the mature level of the succession with an assemblage of typical grasses, forbs and a few small chamaephytes and, in particular, by the presence of Brachypodium retusum. This community corresponds to a very old Mediterranean grassland that has evolved under the Mediterranean climate and traditional sheep grazing management systems since the Neolithic Age. This study confirms the low resilience of this steppe community and shows the importance of pursuing research on this steppe and in particular on the biotic and abiotic processes involved in community assembly.

  1. Relative effects of precipitation variability and warming on grassland ecosystem function

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    P. A. Fay

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Precipitation and temperature drive many aspects of terrestrial ecosystem function. Climate change scenarios predict increasing precipitation variability and temperature, and long term experiments are required to evaluate the ecosystem consequences of interannual climate variation, increased growing season (intra-annual rainfall variability, and warming. We present results from an experiment applying increased growing season rainfall variability and year round warming in native perennial grassland. During ten years of study, total growing season rainfall varied 2-fold, and we found ~50–200 % interannual variability in plant growth and aboveground net primary productivity, leaf carbon assimilation (ACO2, and soil CO2 efflux (JCO2 despite only ∼40 % variation in mean volumetric soil water content (0–15 cm, Θ15. Interannual variation in soil moisture was thus amplified in most measures of ecosystem response. Differences between years in Θ15 explained the greatest portion (14–52 % of the variation in these processes. Experimentally increased intra-annual rainfall variability doubled the amplitude of intra-annual soil moisture variation and reduced Θ15 by 15 %, causing most ecosystem processes to decrease 8–40 % in some or all years with increased rainfall variability compared to ambient rainfall timing, suggesting reduced ecosystem rainfall use efficiency. Warming treatments increased 5 cm soil temperature, particularly during spring, fall, and winter. Warming advanced canopy green up in spring, increased winter JCO2, and reduced summer JCO2 and forb ANPP, suggesting that the effects of warming differed in cooler versus warmer parts of the year. We conclude that (1 major ecosystem processes in this grassland may be substantially altered by predicted changes in interannual climate variability, intra

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kai Riess

    Full Text Available 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.

  3. Temporal dynamics of available and microbial phosphorus and organic phosphorus mineralization in a grassland soil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebisch, Frank; Keller, Fabrizio; Frossard, Emmanuel; Huguenin-Elie, Olivier; Oberson, Astrid; Bünemann, Else

    2010-05-01

    Turnover of phosphorus (P) through the microbial biomass and P mineralization have been reported as two main biological factors controlling P availability in soils. This is particularly true for grassland soils where organic matter is accumulated in the topsoil and microbial activity is high. The amounts of plant available inorganic P and microbial P can fluctuate over the season, but their interaction and responses to changes in environmental conditions, fertilization and cutting are not yet well understood. Also, gross P mineralization has not yet been measured in grassland soils. We studied P mineralization and immobilization in a species rich grassland managed at low intensity (with three harvests per season) under different P inputs. The trial was established in 1992 in Watt (Switzerland). Three different P input treatments were selected: no P (NK), mineral P (NPK) and organic P (NPKorg) fertilization, with 17 kg P ha-1yr-1 applied as superphosphate and slurry, respectively (rates according to Swiss fertilizer recommendations). We used two different approaches. Firstly, available (anion exchange resin extractable) and microbial P (hexanol labile P) were measured in fresh samples periodically taken throughout the vegetation period. Secondly, an isotopic dilution technique was applied on composite topsoil samples (0-5 cm) to determine rates of basal P mineralization and microbial immobilization of P in an incubation experiment. During the season available P ranged from 0.9-3.5, 5.3-11.2 and 1.9-6.7 mg kg-1 soil-1 and microbial P from 20-44, 43-59 and 61-93 mg kg-1 soil-1 in NK, NPK and NPKorg, respectively. Thus, microbial P was highest in NPKorg whereas available P was highest in NPK. Both P pools were lowest in NK. Average annual yield was lowest in NK (4.5 t ha-1), NPKorg (6.5 kg ha-1) and highest in NPK (7.5 t ha-1). However, no consistent relationship between changes in microbial and available P and plant productivity was found. Changes in weather

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan G Drum

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  6. Growth Rings of Roots in Perennial Forbs in Duolun Grassland, Inner Mongolia, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Yong-Bo Liu; Qi-Bin Zhang

    2007-01-01

    Annual growth rings of roots in perennial forbs have been used in studies of climate change and the ecology of grasslands. However, little has been done in this aspect of research in China. In this study, we report the characteristics of growth rings in the main roots of 13 herb species sampled in Duolun of the Inner Mongolia grassland in northern China. The results show that around two thirds of the species possess clearly demarcated annual rings in the root xylem. Some species of the same genera show different patterns in anatomical structure of the root xylem. Standardized annual ring widths of three species, Potentilla anserine L., Cymbaria dahurica L. and Lespedeza daurica (Laxm.) Schindl., show a common linear trend, indicating a continued favorable growth condition in the sampling sites. Our results provide evidence that growth rings in roots of some perennial forbs in the Inner Mongolia grassland can serve as a new and useful indicator of past changes in the grassland environment.

  7. PCDD/F and Aromatic Emissions from Simulated Forest and Grassland Fires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emissions of polychlorinated dibenzodioxin and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) from simulated grassland and forest fires were quantitatively sampled to derive emission factors in support of PCDD/F inventory development. Grasses from Kentucky and Minnesota; forest shrubs fro...

  8. Grassland bird surveys in support of the Michigan Breeding Bird Atlas II: Final report

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Grassland birds, as a group, have suffered the most severe population declines of any other North American birds (Herkert 1995, Herkert et al. 1996). Compared to...

  9. Grassland Expansion and Establishment Plan for Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge 2004

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This detailed plan provides methods and a time frame for creating 40-60 acres of warm-season grassland at Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge using seed sources, both...

  10. The effects of prairie management techniques, burning and mowing, on Iowa grassland breeding bird communities

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report investigates the effects of burning and mowing on the grassland breeding bird community of Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge in central Iowa. Two...

  11. Grassland Conservation Opportunity Areas - Liberal Model (ECO_RES.COA_GRASS33)

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This layer designates areas with potential for grassland conservation. These are areas of natural or semi-natural grass land cover patches that are at least 75...

  12. On sustaining the ecology and livestock industry of the Bayanbuluk Grasslands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Adrian; R; WILLIAMS

    2010-01-01

    A short visit to the Bayanbuluk Grassland in the Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang, PRC, revealed a number of environmental and livestock production problems, including grassland degradation, loss of grassland biodiversity, soil erosion and flash flooding downstream, decreased pasture productivity, and poor livestock nutrition (especially in winter) leading to stock losses and flocks and herds of low productivity. This paper describes those problems and then suggests some solutions. Short duration, high intensity grazing could be one of the solutions to both improving grassland condition and improving livestock nutrition. Local production of fodder crops for feeding in winter and spring deserves testing, using adapted strains of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) and trialling fodder root crop production. It is important to realise that the land management objectives of scientists, administrators, herders and farmers may be similar, and that there are opportunities for land improvement through working together.

  13. Proposed North Dakota Wildlife Management Area: Grassland Easement Program Environmental Assessment

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The focus for this project will primarily be on high quality grasslands not only for waterfowl, but also for the myriad of other bird species, plants, and mammals...

  14. Notes on Monitoring Grassland Birds at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge 2011

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a memo from a birding expert from the University of Vermont with suggestions on how to conduct surveys on grassland birds at Missisquoi National Wildlife...

  15. Grasslands Wildlife Management Area proposed expansion: Environmental Assessment, Land Protection Plan, and Conceptual Management Plan

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This document discusses the proposed expansion of the Services easement program for protection of the wildlife habitat of Merced Countys Grasslands Ecological Area....

  16. Small mammal diversity and abundances in three central Iowa grassland habitat types

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Small mammals were studied in three central Iowa grassland habitat types to test the hypothesis that species diversity and abundances are lower in relatively pure...

  17. Selenium in a Wyoming grassland community receiving wastewater from an in situ uranium mine

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Water, soil, vegetation, grasshoppers (Family Acrididae), bird eggs and bird livers collected at a 23.5 hectare (5 8 acres) grassland irrigated with wastewater from...

  18. Integrating Shrubland and Grassland breeding bird habitat management at Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge 2005

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This is a series of reports and emails that attempt to answer the question “Is it possible to integrate grassland breeding bird and shrub land bird management in...

  19. Management Options for Grassland areas at the Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge 1990

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — There has been a major loss of grassland areas on Long Island over the past century. The Seatuck National Wildlife Refuge can make a significant contribution to the...

  20. Influence of Distance to Habitat Edge on Depredation Rates of Simulated Grassland Bird Nests

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report outlines the results of artificial nest studies that were conducted in 2004 and 2005 in two grassland management units at Iroquois National Wildlife...

  1. Plant Trait Assembly Affects Superiority of Grazer's Foraging Strategies in Species-Rich Grasslands.

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Mládek, J.; Mladonický, P.; Hejcmanová, P.; Dvorský, M.; Pavlů, V.; de Bello, Francesco; Duchoslav, M.; Hejcman, M.; Pakeman, R. J.

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 7 (2013), e69800. E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : species-rich grasslands * plant functional traits * grazing Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.534, year: 2013

  2. Section 7 Biological Evaluation for Sandplain Gerardia for Prescribed Burn at Sayville Grasslands

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Sandplain gerardia is an endangered annual plant found on loamy soils of coastal grasslands and serpentine barrens in the northeast. Since the mid-1980's, the...

  3. Effects of Grassland Bird Management on Nongame Bird Community Structure and Productivity

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The report includes data on bird/habitat relations, breeding biology, and effects of succession and current management practices on grassland bird communities in...

  4. Grasslands contaminant study selenium in algae and wintering and resident waterfowl and waterbirds : preliminary summary

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — A preliminary summary of a study of contaminants in waterbirds and in the western grasslands of Merced County. The purpose of this study was two-fold: 1) to...

  5. Monitoring Grassland Tourist Season of Inner Mongolia, China Using Remote Sensing Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Quansheng Ge

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Phenology-driven events, such as spring wildflower displays or fall tree colour, are generally appreciated by tourists for centuries around the world. Monitoring when tourist seasons occur using satellite data has been an area of growing research interest in recent decades. In this paper, a valid methodology for detecting the grassland tourist season using remote sensing data was presented. On average, the beginning, the best, and the end of grassland tourist season of Inner Mongolia, China, occur in late June (±30 days, early July (±30 days, and late July (±50 days, respectively. In south region, the grassland tourist season appeared relatively late. The length of the grassland tourist season is about 90 days with strong spatial trend. South areas exhibit longer tourist season.

  6. Accounting for California Water

    OpenAIRE

    Escriva-Bou, Alvar; McCann, Henry; Hanak, Ellen; Lund, Jay; Gray, Brian

    2016-01-01

    Understanding California’s water balance sheet—how much there is, who has claims to it, and what is actually being “spent”—is key to effectively managing the state’s limited water supply in support of a healthy economy and environment. The latest drought has spotlighted serious gaps in California’s water accounting system. California is a large, geographically diverse state, and its water systems are physically interconnected and institutionally fragmented. Water infrastructure connects the s...

  7. Grassland Resistance and Resilience after Drought Depends on Management Intensity and Species Richness

    OpenAIRE

    Anja Vogel; Michael Scherer-Lorenzen; Alexandra Weigelt

    2012-01-01

    The degree to which biodiversity may promote the stability of grasslands in the light of climatic variability, such as prolonged summer drought, has attracted considerable interest. Studies so far yielded inconsistent results and in addition, the effect of different grassland management practices on their response to drought remains an open question. We experimentally combined the manipulation of prolonged summer drought (sheltered vs. unsheltered sites), plant species loss (6 levels of 60 do...

  8. Energy production from grassland - Assessing the sustainability of different process chains under German conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    In many regions of Europe, grassland shapes the landscape and fulfils important functions in protecting nature, soil, and water. However, the traditional uses of grassland for forage production are vanishing with progress in breeding and structural adaptations in agriculture. On the other hand, the demand for biomass energy is rising due to political sustainability goals and financial measures to support renewable energy. Against this background, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis investigated the applicability, economic efficiency, and sustainability of different techniques for energy production from grassland as well as from grassland converted into maize fields or short-rotation poplars under German conditions. The results show that despite relatively high energy prices and the financial support for bioenergy, the effects of energy production from grassland on employment in agriculture and farmers' income are modest. What is beneficial are savings in non-renewable energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and local provision of energy carriers. If grassland biomass (grass silage or hay) is used for energy purposes, this brings the further advantages of preserving biodiversity and the cultural landscape and protecting of soil and groundwater. Negative impacts on sustainable development result from an increase in emissions, which leads to acidification, eutrophication, and risks to human health. The overall evaluation indicates that short-rotation poplars are comparatively advantageous from the economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, a development plan for grassland is required to identify areas where grassland could be used as an energy resource or where it would be favourable to install energy plantations with fast-growing perennial plants

  9. Unique soil microbial assemblages associated with grassland ant species with different nesting and foraging strategies

    OpenAIRE

    Boots, Bas; Keith, Aidan M.; Niechoj, Robin; Breen, John; Schmidt, Olaf; Clipson, Nicholas

    2012-01-01

    Ants are important ecosystem engineers and can be abundant in extensively managed grassland ecosystems. Different ant species create nests varying in structure and size, and tend to have a variety of feeding strategies. Differences in food imported to the nest and contrasting nest behaviour may control soil microbial community structure in nest soil, with cascading effects on nutrient cycling, but this has not been tested in grassland ants. Soil and ants were sampled from nests of three ant s...

  10. Agricultural Set-aside Programs and Grassland Birds: Insights from Broad-scale Population Trends

    OpenAIRE

    S. Riffell; McIntyre, N; Hayes, R.

    2008-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary set-aside program in the United States designed to amelioratesoil erosion, control crop overproduction, enhance water quality, and provide wildlife habitat by replacing crops with other forms of land cover. Because CRP includes primarily grass habitats, it has great potential to benefitdeclining North American grassland bird populations. We looked at the change in national and state population trends of grassland birds and related changes ...

  11. Regulation of Meadow Saffron (Colchicum autumnale L.) in non-intensively managed grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Jung, Linda S.

    2014-01-01

    During the last decades, the toxic grassland species C. autumnale has become an increasing problem in extensively managed semi-natural grasslands of some Central European regions (Briemle, 2006; Winter et al., 2011). Farmers with high population densities of the plant have increasing difficulties to market their hay. As C. autumnale is sensitive to an increased cutting frequency, there is a risk that farmers intensify or abandon management. This would inevitably lead to high losses of biodive...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

    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 s...

  14. Herbs in grasslands - effect of slurry and grazing/cutting on species composition and nutritive value

    OpenAIRE

    Søegaard, Karen; Eriksen, Jørgen; Askegaard, Margrethe

    2008-01-01

    Herbs are established in many organic grasslands due to their expected beneficial properties for nutritive value and biodiversity. However, knowledge about grassland herbs is limited. Three mixtures were therefore established at different grazing/cutting management and slurry applications. The competitiveness of the species varied greatly. Plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and lucerne (Medicago sativa) competed best under cutting; in contrast, chicory (Cichorium intybus) competed best under graz...

  15. Radionuclides uptake and mineral fertilization in a grassland of Carnic Alps (NE Italy)

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    The uptake of radionuclides in a mountain mown grassland (elevation 800 m) of NE Italy has been carried out by considering different levels of NPK chemical fertilization. The grassland, belonging to the order Arrhenatheretalia, was subjected to factorial experimental design of fertilizers application with three levels of each fertilizer supplied. Two mowings were made every year; at the end of June and the beginning of September. This paper shows the effect of fertilizers on Cs-137 vegetation uptake after the Chernobyl accident. (author)

  16. Global warming potential of French grassland-based dairy livestock systems under climate change.

    OpenAIRE

    GRAUX Anne-Isabelle; Lardy, Romain; Bellocchi, Gianni; Soussana, Jean-François

    2012-01-01

    Despite the increasing interest in assessing the greenhouse gas (GHG) budget of livestock production systems, little is known about the possible impacts of climate change on the future contribution of such systems to global warming. The aim of this study was to assess the global warming potential (GWP) of differently managed grassland-based dairy systems, based either on permanent or on sown grasslands, under climate change at two sites: Avignon (sub-arid/arid) and Mirecourt (sub-humid/humid)...

  17. Calandra lark habitat selection: strong fragmentation effects in a grassland specialist

    OpenAIRE

    Morgado, Rui; Beja, Pedro; Reino, Luís; Gordinho, Luís; Delgado, Ana; Borralho, Rui; Moreira, Francisco

    2010-01-01

    Conserving grassland birds in farmed landscapes requires the maintenance of favourable agricultural land uses over a range of spatial and temporal scales. Here we examined the field and landscape-scale habitat requirements of the calandra lark (Melanocorypha calandra), an obligate grassland bird often associated with open Mediterranean farmland. Breeding and wintering lark densities were assessed in 42 fallowfields in southern Portugal, and related to three sets of variables refle...

  18. Key challenges and priorities for modelling European grasslands under climate change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kipling, Richard P; Virkajärvi, Perttu; Breitsameter, Laura; Curnel, Yannick; De Swaef, Tom; Gustavsson, Anne-Maj; Hennart, Sylvain; Höglind, Mats; Järvenranta, Kirsi; Minet, Julien; Nendel, Claas; Persson, Tomas; Picon-Cochard, Catherine; Rolinski, Susanne; Sandars, Daniel L; Scollan, Nigel D; Sebek, Leon; Seddaiu, Giovanna; Topp, Cairistiona F E; Twardy, Stanislaw; Van Middelkoop, Jantine; Wu, Lianhai; Bellocchi, Gianni

    2016-10-01

    Grassland-based ruminant production systems are integral to sustainable food production in Europe, converting plant materials indigestible to humans into nutritious food, while providing a range of environmental and cultural benefits. Climate change poses significant challenges for such systems, their productivity and the wider benefits they supply. In this context, grassland models have an important role in predicting and understanding the impacts of climate change on grassland systems, and assessing the efficacy of potential adaptation and mitigation strategies. In order to identify the key challenges for European grassland modelling under climate change, modellers and researchers from across Europe were consulted via workshop and questionnaire. Participants identified fifteen challenges and considered the current state of modelling and priorities for future research in relation to each. A review of literature was undertaken to corroborate and enrich the information provided during the horizon scanning activities. Challenges were in four categories relating to: 1) the direct and indirect effects of climate change on the sward 2) climate change effects on grassland systems outputs 3) mediation of climate change impacts by site, system and management and 4) cross-cutting methodological issues. While research priorities differed between challenges, an underlying theme was the need for accessible, shared inventories of models, approaches and data, as a resource for stakeholders and to stimulate new research. Developing grassland models to effectively support efforts to tackle climate change impacts, while increasing productivity and enhancing ecosystem services, will require engagement with stakeholders and policy-makers, as well as modellers and experimental researchers across many disciplines. The challenges and priorities identified are intended to be a resource 1) for grassland modellers and experimental researchers, to stimulate the development of new research

  19. Water Management Supporting the Delivery of Ecosystem Services for Grassland, Heath and Moorland

    OpenAIRE

    Henk Ritzema; Hilary Kirkpatrick; Jakub Stibinger; Hans Heinhuis; Heinrich Belting; Raymond Schrijver; Herbert Diemont

    2016-01-01

    In the present era, permanent grasslands and other grazed habitats, i.e., moorlands and heath, are appreciated as avant la lettre green infrastructure (GI) resources, providing a wide range of ecosystem services, the delivery of many of which require water management to be in place. This paper discusses the role of water management and, in particular, that of drainage. We contend that controlled drainage and drainage-irrigation systems can contribute to the sustainable use of grasslands and a...

  20. THE SPECIFIC STRUCTURE, FUNCTIONAL ROLE AND ORGANISATION OF LUMBRICIDAE IN A SECONDARY NATURAL GRASSLAND

    OpenAIRE

    Gheorghiţa Brînzea

    2012-01-01

    The present work analyses the indices of aggregation, dispersion, expansion, dominance and receptivity of lumbricidae fauna in a grassland located in the high hills of Piedmont Candesti in the south-east of Arges County. The higher aggregation of species in the grassland, in certain months expressed a lower number of points with optimal food and physiological conditions. It also emerges the idea that, a higher density of the population caused a higher degree of expansion, which gave the speci...

  1. Grassland bird responses to land management in the largest remaining tallgrass prairie.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rahmig, Corina J; Jensen, William E; With, Kimberly A

    2009-04-01

    Extensive habitat loss and changing agricultural practices have caused widespread declines in grassland birds throughout North America. The Flint Hills of Kansas and Oklahoma--the largest remaining tallgrass prairie--is important for grassland bird conservation despite supporting a major cattle industry. In 2004 and 2005, we assessed the community, population, and demographic responses of grassland birds to the predominant management practices (grazing, burning, and haying) of the region, including grasslands restored under the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP). We targeted 3 species at the core of this avian community: the Dickcissel (Spiza americana), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna). Bird diversity was higher in native prairie hayfields and grazed pastures than CRP fields, which were dominated by Dickcissels. Although Dickcissel density was highest in CRP, their nest success was highest and nest parasitism by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Moluthrus ater) lowest in unburned hayfields (in 2004). Conversely, Grasshopper Sparrow density was highest in grazed pastures, but their nest success was lowest in these pastures and highest in burned hayfields, where cowbird parasitism was also lowest (in 2004). Management did not influence density and nest survival of Eastern Meadowlarks, which were uniformly low across the region. Nest success was extremely low (5-12%) for all 3 species in 2005, perhaps because of a record spring drought. Although the CRP has benefited grassland birds in agricultural landscapes, these areas may have lower habitat value in the context of native prairie. Hayfields may provide beneficial habitat for some grassland birds in the Flint Hills because they are mowed later in the breeding season than elsewhere in the Midwest. Widespread grazing and annual burning have homogenized habitat-and thus grassland-bird responses-across the Flint Hills. Diversification of management practices could increase

  2. Effects of changed grazing regimes and habitat fragmentation on Mediterranean grassland birds

    OpenAIRE

    Reino, Luís; Porto, Miguel; Morgado, Rui; Moreira, Francisco; Fabião, António; Santana, Joana; Delgado, Ana; Gordinho, Luís; Cal, João; Beja, Pedro

    2010-01-01

    In Iberian cereal-steppes, decoupling of payments from current production levels through the Single Farm Payment raised concerns regarding the potential for land abandonment and replacement of sheep by cattle, with eventual negative consequences for declining grassland birds. This study addressed this issue by analysing the responses of five grassland bird species of conservation concern to spatial land use gradients, which are expected to reflect changes potentially associated wi...

  3. More Stable Productivity of Semi Natural Grasslands than Sown Pastures in a Seasonally Dry Climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ospina, Sonia; Rusch, Graciela M.; Pezo, Danilo; Casanoves, Fernando; Sinclair, Fergus L.

    2012-01-01

    In the Neotropics the predominant pathway to intensify productivity is generally thought to be to convert grasslands to sown pastures, mostly in monoculture. This article examines how above-ground net primary productivity (ANPP) in semi-natural grasslands and sown pastures in Central America respond to rainfall by: (i) assessing the relationships between ANPP and accumulated rainfall and indices of rainfall distribution, (ii) evaluating the variability of ANPP between and within seasons, and (iii) estimating the temporal stability of ANPP. We conducted sequential biomass harvests during 12 periods of 22 days and related those to rainfall. There were significant relationships between ANPP and cumulative rainfall in 22-day periods for both vegetation types and a model including a linear and quadratic term explained 74% of the variation in the data. There was also a significant correlation between ANPP and the number of rainfall events for both vegetation types. Sown pastures had higher ANPP increments per unit rainfall and higher ANPP at the peak of the rainy season than semi-natural grasslands. In contrast, semi-natural grasslands showed higher ANPP early in the dry season. The temporal stability of ANPP was higher in semi-natural grasslands than in the sown pastures in the dry season and over a whole annual cycle. Our results reveal that, contrary to conventional thinking amongst pasture scientists, there appears to be no increase in ANPP arising from replacing semi-natural grasslands with sown pastures under prevailing pasture management practices in seasonally dry climates, while the temporal distribution of ANPP is more even in semi-natural grasslands. Neither sown pastures nor semi-natural grasslands are productive towards the end of the dry season, indicating the potential importance of the widespread practice of retaining tree cover in pastures. PMID:22590506

  4. Beef cattle on semi-natural grasslands - production of meat and nature conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Hessle, Anna

    2007-01-01

    Beef production is performed in varying systems, with or without grazing, but the common goal is to obtain high-quality carcasses. Semi-natural grasslands are characterized by specific flora and fauna and they are dependent on grazing management to be maintained. The aim of this thesis was to evaluate factors influencing nature conservation, animal performance and meat quality in beef production using semi-natural grasslands in summer. In a first study, effects of breed and season on foraging...

  5. Would multi-peril grassland insurance improve French suckler cow farm sustainability?

    OpenAIRE

    Mosnier, Claire

    2014-01-01

    The French government and private companies are currently working on a scheme to insure grassland production. Objectives of this study are first to analyse how grassland yield insurance would substitute to self insurance in suckler cow farms and with which effects on profit distribution, second to test effects of public supports. To meet these objectives, simulations have been performed thanks to a bio-economic model applied to French suckler cow farms. Market insurance is found to decrease p...

  6. Striking a Balance: Socioeconomic Development and Conservation in Grassland through Community-Based Zoning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leisher, Craig; Brouwer, Roy; Boucher, Timothy M.; Vogelij, Rogier; Bainbridge, W. R.; Sanjayan, M.

    2011-01-01

    The goal of preserving nature is often in conflict with economic development and the aspirations of the rural poor. Nowhere is this more striking than in native grasslands, which have been extensively converted until a mere fraction of their original extent remains. This is not surprising; grasslands flourish in places coveted by humans, primed for agriculture, plantations, and settlements that nearly always trump conservation efforts. The Umgano grassland conservation and poverty reduction project in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa uses community-based spatial planning to balance the conversion of its lower-conservation value grasslands to a timber plantation, while conserving higher-value grasslands for heritage purposes and managed livestock grazing. Ten years after project launch, we measured the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the project using Normalized Differential Vegetation Index remote sensing data and over 500 household interviews, as compared with similar non-conserved areas. Zoned management of the Umgano area had resulted in between 9% and 17% greater average peak production in the grassland areas compared to control sites. There was also a 21% gain in incomes for the roughly one hundred people employed by the forestry efforts, when compared to others in their village. Community-based spatial zoning is an overlooked tool for balancing conservation and development but may require, as we found in Umgano, certain critical factors including strong local leadership, an accountable financial management mechanism to distribute income, outside technical expertise for the zoning design, and community support. PMID:22216114

  7. Assessing restoration potential of semi-natural grasslands by landscape change trajectories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitkänen, Timo P; Mussaari, Maija; Käyhkö, Niina

    2014-04-01

    Species-rich semi-natural grasslands have rapidly declined and become fragmented in Northern Europe due to ceased traditional agricultural practices and animal husbandry. Restoration actions have been introduced in many places to improve the habitat conditions and increase the area to prevent any further losses of their ecological values. However, given the limited resources and long time span needed for successful restoration, it is essential to target activities on sites having a suitable initial state and where the effects of restoration are most beneficial for the habitat network. In this paper we present a conceptual framework for evaluating the restoration potential of partially overgrown and selectively managed semi-natural grasslands in a moderately transformed agricultural environment in south-western Finland. On the basis of the spatio-temporal landscape trajectory analysis, we construct potential restoration scenarios based on expected semi-natural grassland characteristics that are derived from land productivity, detected grassland continuum, and date of overgrowth. These scenarios are evaluated using landscape metrics, their feasibility is discussed and the effects of potential restoration are compared to the present extent of open semi-natural grasslands. Our results show that landscape trajectory analysis and scenario construction can be valuable tools for the restoration planning of semi-natural grasslands with limited resources. The approach should therefore be considered as an essential tool to find the most optimal restoration sites and to pre-evaluate the effects. PMID:24481945

  8. The microbe-mediated mechanisms affecting topsoil carbon stock in Tibetan grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yue, Haowei; Wang, Mengmeng; Wang, Shiping; Gilbert, Jack A; Sun, Xin; Wu, Linwei; Lin, Qiaoyan; Hu, Yigang; Li, Xiangzhen; He, Zhili; Zhou, Jizhong; Yang, Yunfeng

    2015-09-01

    Warming has been shown to cause soil carbon (C) loss in northern grasslands owing to accelerated microbial decomposition that offsets increased grass productivity. Yet, a multi-decadal survey indicated that the surface soil C stock in Tibetan alpine grasslands remained relatively stable. To investigate this inconsistency, we analyzed the feedback responses of soil microbial communities to simulated warming by soil transplant in Tibetan grasslands. Whereas microbial functional diversity decreased in response to warming, microbial community structure did not correlate with changes in temperature. The relative abundance of catabolic genes associated with nitrogen (N) and C cycling decreased with warming, most notably in genes encoding enzymes associated with more recalcitrant C substrates. By contrast, genes associated with C fixation increased in relative abundance. The relative abundance of genes associated with urease, glutamate dehydrogenase and ammonia monoxygenase (ureC, gdh and amoA) were significantly correlated with N2O efflux. These results suggest that unlike arid/semiarid grasslands, Tibetan grasslands maintain negative feedback mechanisms that preserve terrestrial C and N pools. To examine whether these trends were applicable to the whole plateau, we included these measurements in a model and verified that topsoil C stocks remained relatively stable. Thus, by establishing linkages between microbial metabolic potential and soil biogeochemical processes, we conclude that long-term C loss in Tibetan grasslands is ameliorated by a reduction in microbial decomposition of recalcitrant C substrates. PMID:25689025

  9. Population of Humic Acid Degrading Microorganisms in Andosols under Different Vegetation Types and Grassland Management Regimens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yanagi, Yukiko; Yoda, Kaori; Ogura, Kazuhiko; Fujitake, Nobuhide

    2008-01-01

    To examine the effect of vegetation type and grassland management regimen on the distribution of humus-degrading microorganisms, populations of humic acid-degrading (HAD) bacteria and fungi at three Andosol sites were investigated using the dilution plate method. Each site had three different vegetation types (Eulalia grassland, bamboo grassland, and coniferous plantations). Among the six grassland sites, two were maintained by burning and the others by cutting. HAD microorganisms were found in all soil samples. Low densities and small percentages of HAD bacteria were detected with no significant differences in the number of bacteria found between different vegetation types and grasslands managed in different ways. In contrast, the densities and percentages of HAD fungi differed according to vegetation type and management regimen. Specifically, the percentages of HAD fungi were significantly higher for burned grasslands. At burned sites, the numbers and percentages of HAD bacteria remained at a consistently low level, and no distinct seasonal changes were observed. In contrast, marked seasonal fluctuations in HAD fungi were detected. The percentages of these fungi remained relatively high between April and December. These fluctuations are likely due to the effects of burning on soil microorganisms. PMID:21558687

  10. Long Term Positive Effect of Grassland Restoration on Plant Diversity - Success or Not?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindborg, Regina

    2016-01-01

    Restoration is important for biodiversity conservation worldwide, but surprisingly little is known about its efficiency in a long-term perspective. In this study, we re-examined Swedish semi-natural grasslands 12–20 years after the restoration, by comparing field inventories of vascular plant species diversity made in 2001 with follow-up inventories in 2012. We also analysed restoration effect in relation to six environmental factors and used continuously managed semi-natural grasslands as references of desired state after restoration. We found that total species richness increased over time but not to reference levels, while there were no significant changes in species density or number of grassland specialists. However, the overall species composition in the restored sites, as well as grassland specialist composition, now largely resembled reference conditions. Fertilisation and time between abandonment and restoration were the only environmental variables that affected total species composition change, while site area affected change in grassland specialist composition. Our results show that restoration of semi-natural grasslands can contribute to conservation of semi-natural habitats and their associated biodiversity. Yet, due to the vague restoration goals for these sites, it is difficult to evaluate the restoration success, which emphasise the general need for clear and measurable goals. PMID:27196748

  11. Role of net radiation on energy balance closure in heterogeneous grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Shao

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available Low energy balance closure (EBC at a particular eddy-covariance flux site increased the uncertainties of carbon, water and energy measurements and thus hampered the urgent research of scaling up and modeling analysis through site combinations. A series of manipulative experiments were conducted in this study to explore the role of net radiation (Rn in the EBC in relation to spatial variability of vegetation characteristics, source area, sensor type, and dome condition in the Inner Mongolian grassland of Northern China. At all three sites, the daytime peak residual fluxes of EBC were consistently about 100 W m−2 regardless of radiometers (i.e., REBS Q7.1 or CNR1. The spatial variability in net radiation was 19 W m−2 (5% of Rn during the day and 7 W m−2 (16% at night, with an average of 13 W m−2 (11% from eight plot measurements across the three sites. Net radiation results were affected more by measurement source area in unclipped heterogeneous system than in clipped homogeneous vegetation. Large area measurement significantly (P<0.0001 increased by 9 W m−2 during the day and decreased by 4 W m−2 at night in unclipped treatments. With an increase in clipping intensity, net radiation decreased by 25 W m−2 (6% of Rn at midday and 81 MJ m−2 (6% during a growing season with heavier regular clipping than that in unclipped treatments. Additional effort in EBC between 9:00 and 15:00 LT is needed for future research because of high variation. Using this method, the EBC difference derived from the two types of net radiometers was only 6 W m−2. Results from Q7.1 with new domes were higher during the day but lower at night than those with used domes. Overall, the inclusion of the uncertainty in available energy accounted for 60% of the 100 W m−2 shortfalls in the lack

  12. The effect of warming on grassland evapotranspiration partitioning using laser-based isotope monitoring techniques

    KAUST Repository

    Wang, Lixin

    2013-06-01

    The proportion of transpiration (T) in total evapotranspiration (ET) is an important parameter that provides insight into the degree of biological influence on the hydrological cycles. Studies addressing the effects of climatic warming on the ecosystem total water balance are scarce, and measured warming effects on the T/ET ratio in field experiments have not been seen in the literature. In this study, we quantified T/ET ratios under ambient and warming treatments in a grassland ecosystem using a stable isotope approach. The measurements were made at a long-term grassland warming site in Oklahoma during the May-June peak growing season of 2011. Chamber-based methods were used to estimate the δ2H isotopic composition of evaporation (δE), transpiration (δT) and the aggregated evapotranspiration (δET). A modified commercial conifer leaf chamber was used for δT, a modified commercial soil chamber was used for δE and a custom built chamber was used for δET. The δE, δET and δT were quantified using both the Keeling plot approach and a mass balance method, with the Craig-Gordon model approach also used to calculate δE. Multiple methods demonstrated no significant difference between control and warming plots for both δET and δT. Though the chamber-based estimates and the Craig-Gordon results diverged by about 12‰, all methods showed that δE was more depleted in the warming plots. This decrease in δE indicates that the evaporation flux as a percentage of total water flux necessarily decreased for δET to remain constant, which was confirmed by field observations. The T/ET ratio in the control treatment was 0.65 or 0.77 and the ratio found in the warming treatment was 0.83 or 0.86, based on the chamber method and the Craig-Gordon approach. Sensitivity analysis of the Craig-Gordon model demonstrates that the warming-induced decrease in soil liquid water isotopic composition is the major factor responsible for the observed δE depletion and the temperature

  13. [Application of near-infrared spectroscopy to management of vegetation for natural grassland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dong-mei; Wang, Kun

    2007-10-01

    Vegetation is a major index for monitoring the grassland condition and productivity. The change in vegetation directly reflects degradation and restoration of grassland ecosystem. It is important to monitoring the information of vegetation changes to prevent degradation and realize sustainable development of grassland. Predication of vegetation was often completed by field investigation and laboratory analysis in the past, and could not satisfy the needs for inspecting of grassland degradation and restoration. Near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) is a rapid, convenient, high-efficiency, non-destructive and low-cost analytical technique, and has been widely used in various fields for quantitative and qualitative analysis. It has been one of the most important techniques for monitoring the succession of grassland ecosystem, and has great potential for applying in natural grassland management. Botanical composition is a major index of the vegetation community structure. The change in botanical composition indicates the developing stage of the plant community. Determining the botanical composition during vegetation succession can provide sound basis for establishing feasible measure of grassland management. NIRS can be successfully used as a rapid method to predict the grass, legume and other plant proportion in natural or semi-natural grasslands. The legume content in multi-species mixtures and the species composition in root mixtures can accurately be estimated by means of NIRS. Leaf/stem ratio of grass stands is an important factor affecting forage quality, diet selection, intake, and the intensity of photosynthesis. Estimates of leaf/stem ratios commonly are based on a labor intensive process of hand separating leaf and stem fractions. NIRS can be used successfully to predict leaf/stem ratios and mineral contents. The results of NIRS technique were well correlated with labor separating method. The decomposition of litter in grasslands is an important aspect of

  14. CO2 processes in an alpine grassland ecosystem on the Tibetan Plateau

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    PEIZhiyong; OUYANGHua; ZHOUCaiping; XUXingliang

    2003-01-01

    In this paper, the CO2 concentrations profile from 1.5 m depth in soil to 32 m height in atmosphere were measured from July 2000 to July 2001 in an alpine grassland ecosystem located in the permafrost area on the Tibetan Plateau, which revealed that CO2 concentrations varied greatly during this study period. Mean concentrations during the whole experiment in the atmosphere were absolutely lower than the CO2 concentrations in soil, which resulted in CO2 emissions from the alpine steppe soil to the atmosphere. The highest CO2 concentration was found at a depth of 1.5 m in soil while the lowest CO2 concentration occurred in the atmosphere. Mean CO2 concentrations in soil generally increased with depth. This was the compositive influence of the increasing soil moistures and decreasing soil pH, which induced the increasing biological activities with depth. Temporally, the CO2 concentrations at different layers in air remained a more steady state because of the atmospheric turbulent milking. During the seasonal variations, CO2 concentrations at surface soil interface showed symmetrical patterns, with the lowest accumulation of CO2 occurring in the late winter and the highest CO2 concentration in the growine seasons.

  15. Impact of Grassland Reseeding, Herbicide Spraying and Ploughing on Diversity and Abundance of Soil Arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Zhang, Junling; Norris, Stuart L; Murray, Philip J

    2016-01-01

    In order to determine the interactive effect of reseeding, herbicide spraying and ploughing on soil fauna communities, we conducted a grassland reseeding experiment combined with pre-reseed management to examine how with the whole reseeding process affects soil faunal composition. Sampling occasions and exact treatments were as follows: (1) before chemical herbicide spray; (2) after spray but before ploughing; (3) after ploughing but before reseeding; and (4) after 1 year of recovery. Our results demonstrate that, Acari and Collembola were the two soil fauna taxa with the highest abundance and accounted for around 96% of the relative total abundance among the various managements. Herbicide application tended to increase soil invertebrate abundance. Conversely, subsequent ploughing significantly reduced soil invertebrate abundance and had an obvious negative effect on soil primary and secondary decomposers, which were mainly due to the variations of Acari (especially Oribatida) and Coleoptera group abundance. Moreover, reseeding also reduced the individual number of the groups mentioned above, and favored those predators with a larger body size and individual weight. After 1 year recovery, Collembola abundance recovered to the pre-treatment levels, while with Arthropod and Acari groups were still fluctuating. PMID:27555863

  16. Consistent responses of soil microbial communities to elevated nutrient inputs in grasslands across the globe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leff, Jonathan W; Jones, Stuart E; Prober, Suzanne M; Barberán, Albert; Borer, Elizabeth T; Firn, Jennifer L; Harpole, W Stanley; Hobbie, Sarah E; Hofmockel, Kirsten S; Knops, Johannes M H; McCulley, Rebecca L; La Pierre, Kimberly; Risch, Anita C; Seabloom, Eric W; Schütz, Martin; Steenbock, Christopher; Stevens, Carly J; Fierer, Noah

    2015-09-01

    Soil microorganisms are critical to ecosystem functioning and the maintenance of soil fertility. However, despite global increases in the inputs of nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) to ecosystems due to human activities, we lack a predictive understanding of how microbial communities respond to elevated nutrient inputs across environmental gradients. Here we used high-throughput sequencing of marker genes to elucidate the responses of soil fungal, archaeal, and bacterial communities using an N and P addition experiment replicated at 25 globally distributed grassland sites. We also sequenced metagenomes from a subset of the sites to determine how the functional attributes of bacterial communities change in response to elevated nutrients. Despite strong compositional differences across sites, microbial communities shifted in a consistent manner with N or P additions, and the magnitude of these shifts was related to the magnitude of plant community responses to nutrient inputs. Mycorrhizal fungi and methanogenic archaea decreased in relative abundance with nutrient additions, as did the relative abundances of oligotrophic bacterial taxa. The metagenomic data provided additional evidence for this shift in bacterial life history strategies because nutrient additions decreased the average genome sizes of the bacterial community members and elicited changes in the relative abundances of representative functional genes. Our results suggest that elevated N and P inputs lead to predictable shifts in the taxonomic and functional traits of soil microbial communities, including increases in the relative abundances of faster-growing, copiotrophic bacterial taxa, with these shifts likely to impact belowground ecosystems worldwide. PMID:26283343

  17. Woody plants in grasslands: post-encroachment stand dynamics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, Dawn M; Archer, Steven R; Asner, Gregory P; McClaran, Mitchel P; Wessman, Carol A

    2008-06-01

    Woody plant abundance is widely recognized to have increased in savannas and grasslands worldwide. The lack of information on the rates, dynamics, and extent of increases in shrub abundance is a major source of uncertainty in assessing how this vegetation change has influenced biogeochemical cycles. Projecting future consequences of woody cover change on ecosystem function will require knowledge of where shrub cover in present-day stands lies relative to the realizable maximum for a given soil type within a bioclimatic region. We used time-series aerial photography (1936, 1966, and 1996) and field studies to quantify cover and biomass of velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina Woot.) following its proliferation in a semidesert grassland of Arizona. Mapping of individual shrubs indicated an encroachment phase characterized by high rates of bare patch colonization. Upon entering a stabilization phase, shrub cover increases associated with recruitment and canopy expansion were largely offset by contractions in canopy area of other shrub patches. Instances of shrub disappearance coincided with a period of below-average rainfall (1936-1966). Overall, shrub cover (mean +/- SE) on sandy uplands with few and widely scattered shrubs in 1902 was dynamically stable over the 1936-1996 period averaging approximately 35% +/- 5%. Shrub cover on clayey uplands in 1936 was 17% +/- 2% but subsequently increased twofold to levels comparable to those on sandy uplands by 1966 (36% +/- 7%). Cover on both soils then decreased slightly between 1966 and 1996 to 28% +/- 3%. Thus, soil properties influenced the rate at which landscapes reached a dynamic equilibrium, but not the apparent endpoint. Although sandy and clayey landscapes appear to have stabilized at comparable levels of cover, shrub biomass was 1.4 times greater on clayey soils. Declines in shrub cover between 1966 and 1996 were accompanied by a shift to smaller patch sizes on both sandy and clayey landscapes. Dynamics observed during

  18. The Subtropical Grasslands LTAR: balancing agricultural production and conservation goals

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gomez-Casanovas, N.; Boughton, E.; Bernacchi, C.; DeLucia, E. H.; Sparks, J. P.; Silveira, M.; Boughton, R. K.; Swain, H.

    2015-12-01

    Subtropical grazing lands of peninsular Florida have been shaped by a long evolutionary history of lightning ignited fire followed by flooding resulting in a vast treeless prairie region in south-central Florida. In these grassland ecosystems fire return intervals are between 1-3 years. Beginning in the 1500's, Andalusian cattle began grazing in this region and the cattle industry began in earnest in the late 1800s/early 1900s. Today, Florida's prairie region is largely occupied by cow/calf ranch operations and also occupies the Northern Everglades watershed where water quality/quantity issues are at the forefront of environmental concerns. Florida ranches are characterized by a gradient of management intensities, ranging from sown pastures (most intensively managed) to semi-native pastures with a mix of introduced and native grasses, and rangeland (least managed ecosystem). Located at Archbold Biological Station, MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center, and University of Florida Range Cattle Research Center (www.maerc.org; www.rcrec-ona.ifas.ufl.edu), a primary goal of the Subtropical Grasslands US Department of Agriculture Long-term Agro-Ecosystem Research LTAR is to balance intensification of sown pastures while enhancing management of native systems in a way that maximizes other ecosystem services (regulating, supporting, cultural, biodiversity). Here, we describe our proposed experimental design to compare ecosystem delivery from conventional and aspirational management regimes in sown pastures and native systems. Aspirational management goals are to (i) maximize productivity in sown pastures with a neutral effect on other ecosystem services, and (ii) manage native systems in a way that maximizes regulating, supporting, and biodiversity ecosystem services by utilizing patch burn grazing. Ultimately, we will determine if enhanced production in sown pasture under the aspirational management system can offset any reduction in productivity in semi

  19. Result of storage term measurements at a sandy grassland site

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pintér, Krisztina; Barcza, Zoltán; Balogh, János; Nagy, Zoltán

    2015-04-01

    Eddy covariance (EC) technique is common technique to investigate fluxes over ecosystems. In the past 20 years the focus was on the carbon dioxide (CO2) budget of ecosystems measured as net ecosystem exchange (NEE). Night underestimation of fluxes is a frequent problem, addressed by several EC studies. When the turbulence is low the accumulation of CO2 close to the ground can be significant, so the storage term (rate of change of storage, RCS) has to be taken into account. In the case of tall vegetation storage measurements are routinely done, but in the case of short vegetation it is often neglected based on the assumption that its positive values after sunset and negative values at dawn extinguish each other when calculating daily and yearly sums. The EC system at the sandy grassland (Bugacpuszta, Hungary) was complemented by a 5-level (0.2, 0.5, 1, 2 and 4m) concentration profile measuring system and the storage term was calculated from the profile at half-hourly intervals. RCS was also calculated using only the concentration measurements of the EC system assuming linear concentration profile between the surface and the level of the measurement (linear approach). When comparing the uncorrected and the corrected (profile method) half-hourly fluxes storage correction did not affect the daytime NEE values (slope=1.0084, const=-0.0053, R2=0.9922) and had only a minor effect on the measured Reco values (slope=0.9577, const=0.0066, R2=0.9173). Yearly sums were calculated for the first whole year (August, 2013 - July, 2014) of the concentration profile measurement. Application of the linear approach storage correction enhanced the sink (more negative NEE) by 12 gC m-2 year-1 as compared to the uncorrected yearly sum. On the other hand, the use of storage terms calculated from the concentration profile measurements increased the sink activity by 54 gC m-2 year-1. Considering this more than 4 fold difference, concentration profiling should also be considered in case of

  20. Obesity in California, 2012 and 2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Department of Health & Human Services — These data are from the 2013 California Dietary Practices Surveys (CDPS), 2012 California Teen Eating, Exercise and Nutrition Survey (CalTEENS), and 2013 California...

  1. California community water systems inventory dataset, 2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Environmental Health Tracking Program — This data set contains information about all Community Water Systems in California. Data are derived from California Office of Drinking Water (ODW) Water Quality...

  2. Grassland responses to increased rainfall depend on the timescale of forcing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sullivan, Martin J P; Thomsen, Meredith A; Suttle, K B

    2016-04-01

    Forecasting impacts of future climate change is an important challenge to biologists, both for understanding the consequences of different emissions trajectories and for developing adaptation measures that will minimize biodiversity loss. Existing variation provides a window into the effects of climate on species and ecosystems, but in many places does not encompass the levels or timeframes of forcing expected under directional climatic change. Experiments help us to fill in these uncertainties, simulating directional shifts to examine outcomes of new levels and sustained changes in conditions. Here, we explore the translation between short-term responses to climate variability and longer-term trajectories that emerge under directional climatic change. In a decade-long experiment, we compare effects of short-term and long-term forcings across three trophic levels in grassland plots subjected to natural and experimental variation in precipitation. For some biological responses (plant productivity), responses to long-term extension of the rainy season were consistent with short-term responses, while for others (plant species richness, abundance of invertebrate herbivores and predators), there was pronounced divergence of long-term trajectories from short-term responses. These differences between biological responses mean that sustained directional changes in climate can restructure ecological relationships characterizing a system. Importantly, a positive relationship between plant diversity and productivity turned negative under one scenario of climate change, with a similar change in the relationship between plant productivity and consumer biomass. Inferences from experiments such as this form an important part of wider efforts to understand the complexities of climate change responses. PMID:26833671

  3. Intraguild interactions between spiders and ants and top-down control in a grassland food web.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanders, Dirk; Platner, Christian

    2007-01-01

    In most terrestrial ecosystems ants (Formicidae) as eusocial insects and spiders (Araneida) as solitary trappers and hunters are key predators. To study the role of predation by these generalist predators in a dry grassland, we manipulated densities of ants and spiders (natural and low density) in a two-factorial field experiment using fenced plots. The experiment revealed strong intraguild interactions between ants and spiders. Higher densities of ants negatively affected the abundance and biomass of web-building spiders. The density of Linyphiidae was threefold higher in plots without ant colonies. The abundance of Formica cunicularia workers was significantly higher in spider-removal plots. Also, population size of springtails (Collembola) was negatively affected by the presence of wandering spiders. Ants reduced the density of Lepidoptera larvae. In contrast, the abundance of coccids (Ortheziidae) was positively correlated with densities of ants. To gain a better understanding of the position of spiders, ants and other dominant invertebrate groups in the studied food web and important trophic links, we used a stable isotope analysis ((15)N and (13)C). Adult wandering spiders were more enriched in (15)N relative to (14)N than juveniles, indicating a shift to predatory prey groups. Juvenile wandering and web-building spiders showed delta(15)N ratios just one trophic level above those of Collembola, and they had similar delta(13)C values, indicating that Collembola are an important prey group for ground living spiders. The effects of spiders demonstrated in the field experiment support this result. We conclude that the food resource of spiders in our study system is largely based on the detrital food web and that their effects on herbivores are weak. The effects of ants are not clear-cut and include predation as well as mutualism with herbivores. Within this diverse predator guild, intraguild interactions are important structuring forces. PMID:17091284

  4. Community shifts and carbon translocation within metabolically-active rhizosphere microorganisms in grasslands under elevated CO2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Müller

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to identify the microbial communities that are actively involved in the assimilation of rhizosphere-C and are most sensitive in their activity to elevated atmospheric CO2 in a temperate semi-natural low-input grassland ecosystem. For this, we analyzed 13C signatures in microbial biomarker phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA from an in-situ 13CO2 pulse-labeling experiment in the Giessen Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment grasslands (GiFACE, Germany exposed to ambient and elevated (i.e. 50% above ambient CO2 concentrations. Short-term 13C PLFA measurements at 3 h and 10 h after the pulse-labeling revealed very little to no 13C enrichment after 3 h in biomarker PLFAs and a much greater incorporation of new plant-C into fungal compared to bacterial PLFAs after 10 h. After a period of 11 months following the pulse-labeling experiment, the 13C enrichment of fungal PLFAs was still largely present but had decreased, while bacterial PLFAs were much more enriched in 13C compared to a few hours after the pulse-labeling. These results imply that new rhizodeposit-C is rapidly processed by fungal communities and only much later by the bacterial communities, which we attributed to either a fungal-mediated translocation of rhizosphere-C from the fungal to bacterial biomass or a preferential bacterial use of dead root or fungal necromass materials as C source over the direct utilization of fresh root-exudate C in these N-limited grassland ecosystems. Elevated CO2 caused an increase in the proportional 13C enrichment (relative to the universal biomarker 16:0 of the arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal biomarker PLFA 16:1ω5 and one gram-positive bacterial biomarker PLFA i16:0, but a decrease in the proportional 13C enrichment of 18:1ω9c, a commonly used though questionable fungal biomarker PLFA. This suggests enhanced fungal rhizodeposit-C assimilation only by arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal species under elevated CO2.

  5. Nitrate leaching and spring wheat bread making quality following cultivation of grasslands of different composition, age and management

    OpenAIRE

    Eriksen, J.; Pedersen, L.; Jørgensen, J.R.

    2006-01-01

    The influence of sward botanical composition and ley age on grassland residual effects, quality of spring wheat and subsequent nitrate leaching was investigated. Grazed grasslands of different age (1, 2 and 8 production years) and composition (unfertilised grass-clover and fertilised perennial ryegrass) were ploughed and followed by spring wheat and spring barley. For reference, an adjacent field without grassland history but with the same crop sequence in 2002-2003 was treated with increasin...

  6. Studies Concerning the Productivity and Quality of Permanent Grasslands in the Caraş-Severin County (Romania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Sauer

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Study results show that over 70% of the permanent grasslands are affected by soil acidity and moisture excess. In addition, 54% of the floristic structure of these grasslands is made up of invasive species of no value as fodder plants. Among these species, (common bracken (Pteridium aquilinum (L. Kuhn has spread extensively these 20 years, covering about 20% of the floristically degraded grassland areas.

  7. Nonlinearly combined impacts of initial perturbation from human activities and parameter perturbation from climate change on the grassland ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Sun

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Human activities and climate change are important factors that affect grassland ecosystems. A new optimization approach, the approach of conditional nonlinear optimal perturbation (CNOP related to initial and parameter perturbations, is employed to explore the nonlinearly combined impacts of human activities and climate change on a grassland ecosystem using a theoretical grassland model. In our study, it is assumed that the initial perturbations and parameter perturbations are regarded as human activities and climate change, respectively. Numerical results indicate that the climate changes causing the maximum effect in the grassland ecosystem are different under disparate intensities of human activities. This implies the pattern of climate change is very critical to the maintenance or degradation of grassland ecosystem in light of high intensity of human activities and that the grassland ecosystem should be rationally managed when the moisture index decreases. The grassland ecosystem influenced by the nonlinear combination of human activities and climate change undergoes abrupt change, while the grassland ecosystem affected by other types of human activities and climate change fails to show the abrupt change under a certain range of perturbations with the theoretical model. The further numerical analyses also indicate that the growth of living biomass and the evaporation from soil surface shaded by the wilted biomass may be crucial factors contributing to the abrupt change of the grassland equilibrium state within the theoretical model.

  8. Measuring denitrification after grassland renewal and grassland conversion to cropland by using the 15N gas-flux method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Buchen, Caroline; Eschenbach, Wolfram; Flessa, Heinz; Giesemann, Anette; Lewicka-Szczebak, Dominika; Well, Reinhard

    2015-04-01

    Denitrification, the reduction of oxidized forms of inorganic N to N2O and N2 is an important pathway of gaseous nitrogen losses. Measuring denitrification, especially the reduction of N2O to N2, expressed in the product ratio (N2O/(N2O + N2)), is rather difficult and hence rarely performed under field conditions. But using the 15N gas-flux method allows determining N transformation processes in their natural environment. In order to develop effective climate mitigation strategies understanding the N2O source is essential. We used the 15N gas-flux method to determine N2O and N2 emissions following grassland renewal and conversion techniques. Therefore we selected three different treatments: control (C), mechanical grassland renovation (GR) (autumn 2013) and grassland conversion to maize (GM) (spring 2014) from field plot trials on two different sites (Histic Gleysoil and Plaggic Anthrosol) near Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. We applied 15N labeled KNO3- (60 atom. % 15N) at a rate equivalent to common farming practices (150 kg N*ha-1) using needle injection of fertilizer solution in three different depths (10 cm, 15 cm, 20 cm) for homogeneous soil labeling up to 30 cm in microplots. During the first 10 days after application (May 2014) gas flux measurements from closed chambers were performed every second day and then weekly following a period of 8 weeks. Gas samples were analyzed for δ15N of N2 and N2O by IRMS according to Lewicka-Szczebak et al. (2013). Concentration and 15N enrichment of NO3- in soil water was determined on weekly samples using the SPIN-MAS technique (Stange et al. 2007). Fluxes of N2 and N2O evolved from the 15N labeled soil nitrogen pool were calculated using the equations of Spott et al. (2006). Peak events of N2 and N2O emissions occurred during the first 10 days of measurement, showing differences in soil types, as well as treatment variations. N2 fluxes up to 178 g*ha-1*day-1 and N2O fluxes up to 280 g*ha-1*day-1 were measured on the

  9. California's geothermal resource potential

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leibowitz, L. P.

    1978-01-01

    According to a U.S. Geological Survey estimate, recoverable hydrothermal energy in California may amount to 19,000 MW of electric power for a 30-year period. At present, a geothermal installation in the Geysers region of the state provides 502 MWe of capacity; an additional 1500 MWe of electric generating capacity is scheduled to be in operation in geothermal fields by 1985. In addition to hydrothermal energy sources, hot-igneous and conduction-dominated resources are under investigation for possible development. Land-use conflicts, environmental concerns and lack of risk capital may limit this development.

  10. California Tiger Salamander Range - CWHR [ds588

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — Vector datasets of CWHR range maps are one component of California Wildlife Habitat Relationships (CWHR), a comprehensive information system and predictive model...

  11. California Fish Passage Assessment Database [ds69

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — The Passage Assessment Database shapefile contains locations of known and potential barriers to salmonid migration in California streams with additional information...

  12. Giant Reed Distribution - Northern California [ds333

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Department of Resources — The Arundo Distribution layer is a compilation of Arundo donax observations in northern and central California, obtained from several sources, including Arundo...

  13. Airborne Hyperspectral Remote Sensing for Identification Grassland Vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burai, P.; Tomor, T.; Bekő, L.; Deák, B.

    2015-08-01

    In our study we classified grassland vegetation types of an alkali landscape (Eastern Hungary), using different image classification methods for hyperspectral data. Our aim was to test the applicability of hyperspectral data in this complex system using various image classification methods. To reach the highest classification accuracy, we compared the performance of traditional image classifiers, machine learning algorithm, feature extraction (MNF-transformation) and various sizes of training dataset. Hyperspectral images were acquired by an AISA EAGLE II hyperspectral sensor of 128 contiguous bands (400-1000 nm), a spectral sampling of 5 nm bandwidth and a ground pixel size of 1 m. We used twenty vegetation classes which were compiled based on the characteristic dominant species, canopy height, and total vegetation cover. Image classification was applied to the original and MNF (minimum noise fraction) transformed dataset using various training sample sizes between 10 and 30 pixels. In the case of the original bands, both SVM and RF classifiers provided high accuracy for almost all classes irrespectively of the number of the training pixels. We found that SVM and RF produced the best accuracy with the first nine MNF transformed bands. Our results suggest that in complex open landscapes, application of SVM can be a feasible solution, as this method provides higher accuracies compared to RF and MLC. SVM was not sensitive for the size of the training samples, which makes it an adequate tool for cases when the available number of training pixels are limited for some classes.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grace, J.B.; Anderson, T.M.; Smith, M.D.; Seabloom, E.; Andelman, S.J.; Meche, G.; Weiher, E.; Allain, L.K.; Jutila, H.; Sankaran, M.; Knops, J.; Ritchie, M.; Willig, M.R.

    2007-01-01

    Theoretical analyses and experimental studies of synthesized assemblages indicate that under particular circumstances species diversity can enhance community productivity through niche complementarity. It remains unclear whether this process has important effects in mature natural ecosystems where competitive feedbacks and complex environmental influences affect diversity-productivity relationships. In this study, we evaluated diversity-productivity relationships while statistically controlling for environmental influences in 12 natural grassland ecosystems. Because diversity-productivity relationships are conspicuously nonlinear, we developed a nonlinear structural equation modeling (SEM) methodology to separate the effects of diversity on productivity from the effects of productivity on diversity. Meta-analysis was used to summarize the SEM findings across studies. While competitive effects were readily detected, enhancement of production by diversity was not. These results suggest that the influence of small-scale diversity on productivity in mature natural systems is a weak force, both in absolute terms and relative to the effects of other controls on productivity. ?? 2007 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  15. The nutritive value of Valjevac grassland - Zasavica reservation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Grdović Svetlana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Valjevac pasture of Zasavica reservation with its area of 300 ha presents a significant area for grazing cattle. In order to evaluate its potential for livestock production, the botanical and chemical composition of hay in three different time periods was observed (spring, summer and autumn. The determined plants species confirmed the richness of Zasavica grasslands, as well as the presence of dry, moist and forest habitat plants. The analyzed plants mostly belong to the Poaceae, Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Plantaginaceae families. Chemical analysis determined that the protein content decreased (P<0.01 from April (17.22±0.40 % to October (10.30±0.16 %, and cellulose content increased (P<0.01 (from 19.07±0.38 % in April to 21.65±0.41 % in October. The calculated energy density of hay samples ranged from 0.425 Starch Units (SU in October, 0.443 SU in April to 0.448 SU in June. The Valjevac pasture with its numerous plant species is of great importance in upkeeping biodiversity and also presents a solid base for livestock production. The determined levels of manganese and copper point out to the need of copper supplementation especially during the late summer and autumn periods. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III46002

  16. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem. [Rocky Flats Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

    A study was made of plutonium contamination of grassland at the Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geographical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, /sup 238/Pu and /sup 239/Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for Pu analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99 percent of the total plutonium was contained in the soil and the concentrations were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes.

  17. Seasonal methane dynamics in three temperate grasslands on peat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schäfer, Carolyn; Elsgaard, Lars; Hoffmann, Carl Christian;

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Drained peatlands are considered to be insignificant CH4 sources, but the effect of drainage on CH4 dynamics has not been extensively studied. We investigated seasonal dynamics of CH4 in two fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark. Methods Soil......, even though soil CH4 concentrations of up to 155 and 1000 μmol CH4 dm−3 were measured in one of the fen peats and in the bog peat, respectively. Significant CH4 concentrations were observed above the water table. Methane production assays confirmed the presence of viable methanogens in the upper parts...... of the bog peat soil. The aerenchymous plant Juncus effusus L. liberated CH4 from the peat at rates of up to 3.3 mg CH4 m−2 h−1. No CH4 dynamics were observed in the second fen peat which, in contrast to the other two sites, had high sulfate concentrations. Conclusions Peat type and the distribution...

  18. Microbial Enzyme Activity and Carbon Cycling in Grassland Soil Fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, S. D.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2004-12-01

    Extracellular enzymes are necessary to degrade complex organic compounds present in soils. Using physical fractionation procedures, we tested whether old soil carbon is spatially isolated from degradative enzymes across a prairie restoration chronosequence in Illinois, USA. We found that carbon-degrading enzymes were abundant in all soil fractions, including macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the clay fraction, which contains carbon with a mean residence time of ~200 years. The activities of two cellulose-degrading enzymes and a chitin-degrading enzyme were 2-10 times greater in organic matter fractions than in bulk soil, consistent with the rapid turnover of these fractions. Polyphenol oxidase activity was 3 times greater in the clay fraction than in the bulk soil, despite very slow carbon turnover in this fraction. Changes in enzyme activity across the restoration chronosequence were small once adjusted for increases in soil carbon concentration, although polyphenol oxidase activity per unit carbon declined by 50% in native prairie versus cultivated soil. These results are consistent with a `two-pool' model of enzyme and carbon turnover in grassland soils. In light organic matter fractions, enzyme production and carbon turnover both occur rapidly. However, in mineral-dominated fractions, both enzymes and their carbon substrates are immobilized on mineral surfaces, leading to slow turnover. Soil carbon accumulation in the clay fraction and across the prairie restoration chronosequence probably reflects increasing physical isolation of enzymes and substrates on the molecular scale, rather than the micron to millimeter scale.

  19. Changing patterns of basic household consumption in the Inner Mongolian grasslands: a case study of policy-oriented adoptive changes in the use of grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, B.; Zhen, L.; Groot, de R.S.; Goulden, C.E.; Long, X.; Cao, X.; Wu, R.; Sun, C.

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems, as the basic natural resources in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, are becoming increasingly sensitive to human intervention, leading to deterioration in fragile ecosystems. The goal of this study was to describe the restoration policy-oriented adoptive changes to basic ho

  20. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Fire History of the California Islands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scott, A. C.; Hardiman, M.; Pinter, N.; Anderson, R.

    2013-12-01

    Charcoal has been recovered from a range of late Pleistocene and Holocene sites on Santa Cruz Island and Santa Rosa Island, both islands part of California's Northern Channel Islands, U.S.A. Sediments have been dated using radiocarbon measurements based on wood charcoal, fungal sclerotia, glassy carbon and fecal pellets and are given as calendar years BP. This charcoal has been used to interpret the fire history of the Islands. Charcoal assemblages from samples dating from 24,690 to 12,900 years are dominated by coniferous wood charcoal. Little angiosperm charcoal was recovered in any of the samples. Fungal sclerotia are frequent in a number of samples from a range of ages both on Santa Cruz and Santa Rosa. Fecal pellets are common in most samples and abundant in others. Some of the fecal pellets have hexagonal sides and are likely to represent termite frass. The sediments are fluvial in origin and the distribution of charcoal is irregular making interpretation of fire return intervals and fire frequency difficult. The charcoal indicates a significant record of fire before the earliest documented human arrival on the islands. Charcoal reflectance data shows the occurrence of predominantly low temperature charcoals suggesting common surface fires in the coniferous forest. Soledad Pond sediments from Santa Rosa Island (Anderson et al., 2010) dating from 11,800 cal years BP show a distinctively different vegetation dominated by angiosperms and showing a very different fire history. Pinus stands, coastal sage scrub dominated by Baccharis sp. and grassland replaced the conifer forest as the climate warmed. The early Holocene became increasingly drier, particularly after ca. 9150 cal yr BP. By ca. 6900 cal yr BP grasslands recovered. Introduction of non-native species by ranchers occurred subsequent to AD 1850. Charcoal influx is high early in the Soledad Pond record, but declines during the early Holocene when minimal biomass suggests extended drought. A general