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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. Soil moisture and fungi affect seed survival in California grassland annual plants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Erin A Mordecai

    Full Text Available Survival of seeds in the seed bank is important for the population dynamics of many plant species, yet the environmental factors that control seed survival at a landscape level remain poorly understood. These factors may include soil moisture, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil pathogens. Because many soil fungi respond to moisture and host species, fungi may mediate environmental drivers of seed survival. Here, I measure patterns of seed survival in California annual grassland plants across 15 species in three experiments. First, I surveyed seed survival for eight species at 18 grasslands and coastal sage scrub sites ranging across coastal and inland Santa Barbara County, California. Species differed in seed survival, and soil moisture and geographic location had the strongest influence on survival. Grasslands had higher survival than coastal sage scrub sites for some species. Second, I used a fungicide addition and exotic grass thatch removal experiment in the field to tease apart the relative impact of fungi, thatch, and their interaction in an invaded grassland. Seed survival was lower in the winter (wet season than in the summer (dry season, but fungicide improved winter survival. Seed survival varied between species but did not depend on thatch. Third, I manipulated water and fungicide in the laboratory to directly examine the relationship between water, fungi, and survival. Seed survival declined from dry to single watered to continuously watered treatments. Fungicide slightly improved seed survival when seeds were watered once but not continually. Together, these experiments demonstrate an important role of soil moisture, potentially mediated by fungal pathogens, in driving seed survival.

  3. Soil moisture and fungi affect seed survival in California grassland annual plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mordecai, Erin A

    2012-01-01

    Survival of seeds in the seed bank is important for the population dynamics of many plant species, yet the environmental factors that control seed survival at a landscape level remain poorly understood. These factors may include soil moisture, vegetation cover, soil type, and soil pathogens. Because many soil fungi respond to moisture and host species, fungi may mediate environmental drivers of seed survival. Here, I measure patterns of seed survival in California annual grassland plants across 15 species in three experiments. First, I surveyed seed survival for eight species at 18 grasslands and coastal sage scrub sites ranging across coastal and inland Santa Barbara County, California. Species differed in seed survival, and soil moisture and geographic location had the strongest influence on survival. Grasslands had higher survival than coastal sage scrub sites for some species. Second, I used a fungicide addition and exotic grass thatch removal experiment in the field to tease apart the relative impact of fungi, thatch, and their interaction in an invaded grassland. Seed survival was lower in the winter (wet season) than in the summer (dry season), but fungicide improved winter survival. Seed survival varied between species but did not depend on thatch. Third, I manipulated water and fungicide in the laboratory to directly examine the relationship between water, fungi, and survival. Seed survival declined from dry to single watered to continuously watered treatments. Fungicide slightly improved seed survival when seeds were watered once but not continually. Together, these experiments demonstrate an important role of soil moisture, potentially mediated by fungal pathogens, in driving seed survival.

  4. 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

  5. Soil Microbial Community Responses to Long-Term Global Change Factors in a California Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qin, K.; Peay, K.

    2015-12-01

    Soil fungal and bacterial communities act as mediators of terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycling, and interact with the aboveground plant community as both pathogens and mutualists. However, these soil microbial communities are sensitive to changes in their environment. A better understanding of the response of soil microbial communities to global change may help to predict future soil microbial diversity, and assist in creating more comprehensive models of terrestrial carbon and nutrient cycles. This study examines the effects of four global change factors (increased temperature, increased variability in precipitation, nitrogen deposition, and CO2 enrichment) on soil microbial communities at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment (JRGCE), a full-factorial global change manipulative experiment on three hectares of California grassland. While similar studies have examined the effects of global change on soil microbial communities, few have manipulated more factors or been longer in duration than the JRGCE, which began field treatments in 1998. We find that nitrogen deposition, CO2 enrichment, and increased variability in precipitation significantly affect the structure of both fungal and bacterial communities, and explain more of the variation in the community structures than do local soil chemistry or aboveground plant community. Fungal richness is correlated positively with soil nitrogen content and negatively with soil water content. Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF), which associate closely with herbaceous plants' roots and assist in nutrient uptake, decrease in both richness and relative abundance in elevated CO2 treatments.

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  8. 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

  9. 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 closely tailoring treatments to the local species pool. We tested this approach in two heavily invaded coastal California grasslands. We asked whether native plant abundance and plant community trait composition respond to (1) experimental soil fertility reduction in the form of twice-yearly carbon (C......) amendments and (2) disturbance in the form of mowing. We measured height, specific leaf area, leaf thickness and leaf density from individuals of 39 species in the control and C addition plots, and supplemented these trait values with database information on growth form, lifespan, nitrogen-fixing ability...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Stein

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

  11. 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...

  12. Changes in vegetation types and Ellenberg indicator values after 65 years of fertilizer application in the Rengen Grassland Experiment, Germany

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chytry, M.; Hejcman, M.; Hennekens, S.M.; Schellberg, J.

    2009-01-01

    Question: How does semi-natural grassland diversify after 65 years of differential application of Ca, N, P, and K fertilizers? Is fertilizer application adequately reflected by the Ellenberg indicator values (EIVs)? Location: Eifel Mountains, West Germany. Methods: The Rengen Grassland Experiment (R

  13. Temporal variability in California grasslands: soil type and species functional traits mediate response to precipitation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fernandez-Going, B M; Anacker, B L; Harrison, S P

    2012-09-01

    Plant communities on infertile soils may be relatively resistant to climatic variation if species in these communities have "stress-tolerant" functional traits that limit their ability to respond to climate. Alternatively, such communities may be more sensitive to climatic variation if their relatively sparse vegetative cover exposes species to more extreme changes in factors such as temperature or wind. We compared temporal variability in species richness and composition over 10 years between grasslands on infertile serpentine and "normal" sedimentary soils. Variability in species richness and species composition tracked mean annual precipitation on both soils, but variability was lower in serpentine grasslands. Communities on serpentine had lower functional diversity and had species with more "stress-tolerant" traits than non-serpentine communities (i.e., shorter stature, lower specific leaf area, and lower leaf area). Within and between soils, variability in species richness and temporal turnover were lower in communities scoring as more stress tolerant on a multivariate index of these traits; however, community variability was unrelated to functional diversity. Within 41 species found commonly on both soils, variability in occurrence and cover were also lower on serpentine soils, even though intraspecific trait differences between soils were minimal; this suggests a direct effect of soil type on species variability in addition to the indirect, trait-mediated effect. Communities with higher biomass had higher annual variability in species occurrence and cover. Our results suggest that infertile soils reduce compositional variability indirectly by selecting for stress-tolerant traits and directly by limiting productivity. We conclude that communities on infertile soils may respond more conservatively to predicted changes in precipitation, including increased variability, than communities on soils of normal fertility.

  14. 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.

  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. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christopher M Clark

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

  19. BUGS in the analysis of biodiversity experiments: species richness and composition are of similar importance for grassland productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Andy Hector

    Full Text Available The idea that species diversity can influence ecosystem functioning has been controversial and its importance relative to compositional effects hotly debated. Unfortunately, assessing the relative importance of different explanatory variables in complex linear models is not simple. In this paper we assess the relative importance of species richness and species composition in a multilevel model analysis of net aboveground biomass production in grassland biodiversity experiments by estimating variance components for all explanatory variables. We compare the variance components using a recently introduced graphical Bayesian ANOVA. We show that while the use of test statistics and the R² gives contradictory assessments, the variance components analysis reveals that species richness and composition are of roughly similar importance for primary productivity in grassland biodiversity experiments.

  20. Schooling Experiences of Central California Indian People across Generations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Tara

    2012-01-01

    This exploratory study took a post-colonialist lens to record, examine and document schooling experiences of California Indian people across several generations representing three Central Valley tribes: the Mono, the Tachi Yokuts of Santa Rosa Rancheria, and the Tule River Tribe. Past and present perceptions of Indian schooling were elicited…

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Rutog Grasslands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    YANEFNG

    2005-01-01

    The Rutog Grasslands lie at the foot of Milha in between the Lhasa and Gongbo areas,and are relatively close to Lhasa. To appreciate the scenery there, we left the Lhasa River Valley, and struck out upstream along the Mezhumi River to the Wose River that cuts through the Rutog Grasslands.

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  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. Microbial lipid and amino sugar responses to long-term simulated global environmental changes in a California annual grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Chao; Gutknecht, Jessica L M; Balser, Teri C

    2015-01-01

    Global environmental change is predicted to have major consequences for carbon cycling and the functioning of soil ecosystems. However, we have limited knowledge about its impacts on the microorganisms, which act as a "valve" between carbon sequestered in soils versus released into the atmosphere. In this study we examined microbial response to continuous 9-years manipulation of three global change factors (elevated CO2, warming, and nitrogen deposition), singly and in combination using two methods: lipid and amino sugar biomarkers at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment (JRGCE). The two methods yielded important distinctions. There were limited microbial lipid differences, but many significant effects for microbial amino sugars. We found that CO2 was not a direct factor influencing soil carbon and major amino sugar pools, but had a positive impact on bacterial-derived muramic acid. Likewise, warming and nitrogen deposition appeared to enrich residues specific to bacteria despite an overall depletion in total amino sugars. The results indicate that elevated CO2, warming, and nitrogen deposition all appeared to increase bacterial-derived residues, but this accumulation effect was far offset by a corresponding decline in fungal residues. The sensitivity of microbial residue biomarker amino sugars to warming and nitrogen deposition may have implications for our predictions of global change impacts on soil stored carbon. PMID:25999926

  8. Microbial lipid and amino sugar responses to long-term simulated global environmental changes in a California annual grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chao eLIANG

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global environmental change is predicted to have major consequences for carbon cycling and the functioning of soil ecosystems. However, we have limited knowledge about its impacts on the microorganisms, which act as a valve between carbon sequestered in soils versus released into the atmosphere. In this study we examined microbial response to continuous 9-year manipulation of three global change factors (elevated CO2, warming, and nitrogen deposition, singly and in combination using two methods: lipid and amino sugar biomarkers at the Jasper Ridge Global Change Experiment (JRGCE. The two methods yielded important distinctions. There were limited microbial lipid differences, but many significant effects for microbial amino sugars. We found that CO2 was not a direct factor influencing soil carbon and major amino sugar pools, but had a positive impact on bacterial-derived muramic acid. Likewise, warming and nitrogen deposition appeared to enrich residues specific to bacteria despite an overall depletion in total amino sugars. The results indicate that elevated CO2, warming, and nitrogen deposition all appeared to increase bacterial-derived residues, but this accumulation effect was far offset by a corresponding decline in fungal residues. The sensitivity of microbial residue biomarker amino sugars to warming and nitrogen deposition may have implications for our predictions of global change impacts on soil stored carbon.

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. Using wildfires as a natural experiment to evaluate the effect of fire on southern California vernal pool plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Charles H. Black

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Fires in Mediterranean-type ecosystems (MTEs have been studied widely with emphasis on shrub and grassland vegetation types. Although vernal pools comprise a very small fraction of MTEs, they are important to regional biodiversity due to high local endemism. Fire frequency has been increasing in MTEs and while altered fire regimes have been shown to threaten native shrub communities, their effect on vernal pools is uncertain. Due to the number of at-risk species in this habitat, experiments with potentially harmful effects are problematic. Therefore, we initiated this study to take advantage of two anthropogenic but unplanned fire events. The analysis uses data collected from 2001 to 2009 on a site burned in 2000 and 2003. We analyzed the data in an exploratory framework and applied unadjusted and adjusted models using different parameterizations of the exposure variables. The results did not provide evidence that fire reduced the abundance of native vernal pool species in southern California. There is provisional evidence of a positive but temporary effect of fire on native vernal pool species. Our analysis demonstrates an exploratory analytical approach for use with problematic data sets that can arise when conservation objectives constrain opportunities for experimental studies.

  12. Successive sheep grazing reduces population density of Brandt's voles in steppe grassland by altering food resources: a large manipulative experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Guoliang; Yin, Baofa; Wan, Xinrong; Wei, Wanhong; Wang, Guiming; Krebs, Charles J; Zhang, Zhibin

    2016-01-01

    Livestock grazing has shaped grassland ecosystems around the world. Previous studies indicated grazing showed various impacts on small rodents; however, most studies were conducted over 1-2 years without controlling for confounding factors such as immigration/emigration and predation in rodents. Brandt's voles (Lasiopodomys brandtii) are generally recognized as pests because of food overlap with domestic herbivores, but are also important for biodiversity conservation because they provide nests or food to many birds. Fully understanding the ecological relationship between domestic herbivores and small mammals is essential to making ecosystem management decisions. To address these needs, we carried out a field experiment during the period 2010-2013 to assess the effects of sheep grazing on vegetation and the population density of Brandt's voles along a gradient of three grazing intensities by using 12 large-scale enclosures. Responses of Brandt's voles to livestock grazing varied with grazing intensity and year. As compared to the control group, sheep grazing had no effect on vole abundance in the first year but an overall negative effect on vole abundance in the following 3 years. Successive grazing caused decreases in survival and male body mass of voles, but had no significant effect on fecundity. Negative effects of grazing were associated with a grazing-induced deterioration in both food quantity (reflected by biomass and cover of less-preferred plants), and food quality (measured by tannin and total phenol content). Our findings highlight the urgent need for more flexible management of yearly rotational grazing to optimize livestock production while maintaining species diversity and ecosystem health.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. Energy balance comparison of the Hartheim forest and an adjacent grassland site during the HartX experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wicke, W.; Bernhofer, Ch.

    1996-03-01

    Energy balance components over a grassland surface were compared to those obtained above an adjacent, uniform Scots pine plantation during a five-day period of fine, sunny, spring weather. Soils were judged to contain ample water. Shortwave and total radiation flux densities were measured at both sites with pyranometers and total pyrradiometers. Soil heat flux densities were measured with heat flux plates at both sites, and additional storage changes were estimated for air and canopy at the forest site. The forest gained more shortwave energy than the grassland during daytime because of its lower albedo, but it lost more longwave radiation at night. The turbulent fluxes of sensible and latent energy were evaluated with the Bowen ratio energy balance (BREB) method at both sites. Temperature and humidity gradients were measured with fixed psychrometers at the grassland site, and with interchanging psychrometers at the forest site. Mean daily evapotranspiration (ET) averaged 2.26 mm over the five days for the Scots pine, or only 57 percent of the 3.94 mm measured at the grassland site. The mean Bowen ratios were 2.6 and 0.8, respectively. An error analysis was carried out for the BREB estimates of latent heat flux at the two sites. For a given error in latent heat flux and at a specified Bowen ratio the demands on accuracy of dry- and wet-bulb temperature gradients above the rough forest canopy was found to be 10 times higher than above the smoother grassland. If additionally the observed differences in transpiration rates between the two sites were taken into account, the precision for temperature gradient measurements above the slowly transpiring forest becomes fortyfold greater than required above the rapidly transpiring grass. At present, BREB precision requirements for gradients above rougher, drier canopies appear achievable only through use of specialized instrumentation, such as measurement systems that incorporate interchangeable psychrometers into their

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Spatial relationship with the grazing pressure and alpine grassland degradation base on the GPS tracing experiment: a case study in the source region of Yellow River

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Zhang, Y.

    2014-12-01

    It is hard to distinguish the affects from the human activities and climate change on the grassland degradation, especially to quantification the human activities. Grazing is the main kind of human activities on the alpine grassland. To investigate the relationship of the grazing activities and grassland degradation will help the understanding of the effects of human impacts. A GPS tracing experiment was designed to tracing the activities of the Yaks. The spatial distribution of the grazing pressure was simulated under Geographic Information System. The biomass distribution and grazing pressure was compared to judge the distribution of overgrazing. The main research results are: (1) The tracing experiment could record the track of the Yaks very well, and it could be a good tool for the quantification research of grazing pressure. (2) The grazing activities have good relationship with vegetation, residents and landform. The worse vegetation is, the grazing time is longer and the radius is bigger. The closer to the residents, the grazing intensive is higher. The grazing route is influenced by the landform. Usually the herds would like to choose the least cost way. And the grazing intensive is higher in sunny slope. (3) The grazing probability is higher while the elevation is lower and the vegetation is better. The numbers of livestock of different villages determine the spatial distribution of the grazing pressure but it has very big heterogeneity in the same village. It seems the forage is enough in the research area since the available biomass is about 1190058t and the total demand is only 603700t. But because of the heterogeneity of the grazing pressure, there are still overgrazing in some villages. The area of overgrazing is 6 percent in the winter rangeland and 11 percent in summer rangeland. It is important to take care of the spatial heterogeneity of the grazing pressure and grass production in the management of the grassland ecosystem. It should improve the

  19. Effects of herbivores on grassland plant diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, Han; Ritchie, Mark E.

    1998-01-01

    The role of herbivores in controlling plant species richness is a critical issue in the conservation and management of grassland biodiversity. Numerous field experiments in grassland plant communities show that herbivores often, but not always, increase plant diversity. Recent work suggests that the

  20. Effects of herbivores on grassland plant diversity.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Ritchie, M.E.

    1998-01-01

    The role of herbivores in controlling plant species richness is a critical issue in the conservation and management of grassland biodiversity. Numerous field experiments in grassland plant communities show that herbivores often, but not always, increase plant diversity. Recent work suggests that the

  1. Response of aboveground biomass and diversity to nitrogen addition – a five-year experiment in semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Kejian; Qi, Yu; Huang, Yongmei; Chen, Huiying; Sheng, Zhilu; Xu, Xia; Duan, Lei

    2016-08-01

    Understanding the response of the plant community to increasing nitrogen (N) deposition is helpful for improving pasture management in semi-arid areas. We implemented a 5-year N addition experiment in a Stipa krylovii steppe of Inner Mongolia, northern China. The aboveground biomass (AGB) and species richness were measured annually. Along with the N addition levels, the species richness declined significantly, and the species composition changed noticeably. However, the total AGB did not exhibit a noticeable increase. We found that compensatory effects of the AGB occurred not only between the grasses and the forbs but also among Gramineae species. The plant responses to N addition, from the community to species level, lessened in dry years compared to wet or normal years. The N addition intensified the reduction of community productivity in dry years. Our study indicated that the compensatory effects of the AGB among the species sustained the stability of grassland productivity. However, biodiversity loss resulting from increasing N deposition might lead the semi-arid grassland ecosystem to be unsustainable, especially in dry years.

  2. Non-native plants and soil microbes: potential contributors to the consistent reduction in soil aggregate stability caused by the disturbance of North American grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duchicela, Jessica; Vogelsang, Keith M; Schultz, Peggy A; Kaonongbua, Wittaya; Middleton, Elizabeth L; Bever, James D

    2012-10-01

    • Soil aggregate stability is an important ecosystem property that is altered by anthropogenic disturbance. Yet, the generalization of these alterations and the identification of the main contributors are limited by the absence of cross-site comparisons and the application of inconsistent methodologies across regions. • We assessed aggregate stability in paired remnant and post-disturbance grasslands across California, shortgrass and tallgrass prairies, and in manipulative experiments of plant composition and soil microbial inoculation. • Grasslands recovering from anthropogenic disturbance consistently had lower aggregate stability than remnants. Across all grasslands, non-native plant diversity was significantly associated with reduced soil aggregate stability. A negative effect of non-native plants on aggregate stability was also observed in a mesocosm experiment comparing native and non-native plants from California grasslands. Moreover, an inoculation study demonstrated that the degradation of the microbial community also contributes to the decline in soil aggregate stability in disturbed grasslands. • Anthropogenic disturbance consistently reduced water-stable aggregates. The stability of aggregates was reduced by non-native plants and the degradation of the native soil microbial community. This latter effect might contribute to the sustained decline in aggregate stability following anthropogenic disturbance. Further exploration is advocated to understand the generality of these potential mechanisms.

  3. A multiisotope C and N modeling analysis of soil organic matter turnover and transport as a function of soil depth in a California annual grassland soil chronosequence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baisden, W.T.; Amundson, Ronald; Brenner, D.L.; Cook, A.C.; Kendall, C.; Harden, J.W.

    2002-01-01

    We examine soil organic matter (SOM) turnover and transport using C and N isotopes in soil profiles sampled circa 1949, 1978, and 1998 (a period spanning pulse thermonuclear 14C enrichment of the atmosphere) along a 3-million-year annual grassland soil chronosequence. Temporal differences in soil ??14C profiles indicate that inputs of recently living organic matter (OM) occur primarily in the upper 20-30 cm but suggest that OM inputs can occur below the primary rooting zone. A three-pool SOM model with downward transport captures most observed variation in ??14C, percentages of C and N, ??13C, and ??15N, supporting the commonly accepted concept of three distinct SOM pools. The model suggests that the importance of the decadal SOM pool in N dynamics is greatest in young and old soils. Altered hydrology and possibly low pH and/or P dynamics in highly developed old soils cause changes in soil C and N turnover and transport of importance for soil biogeochemistry models.

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Management experiences and trends for water reuse implementation in Northern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bischel, Heather N; Simon, Gregory L; Frisby, Tammy M; Luthy, Richard G

    2012-01-01

    In 2010, California fell nearly 300,000 acre-ft per year (AFY) short of its goal to recycle 1,000,000 AFY of municipal wastewater. Growth of recycled water in the 48 Northern California counties represented only 20% of the statewide increase in reuse between 2001 and 2009. To evaluate these trends and experiences, major drivers and challenges that influenced the implementation of recycled water programs in Northern California are presented based on a survey of 71 program managers conducted in 2010. Regulatory requirements limiting discharge, cited by 65% of respondents as a driver for program implementation, historically played an important role in motivating many water reuse programs in the region. More recently, pressures from limited water supplies and needs for system reliability are prevalent drivers. Almost half of respondents (49%) cited ecological protection or enhancement goals as drivers for implementation. However, water reuse for direct benefit of natural systems and wildlife habitat represents just 6-7% of total recycling in Northern California and few financial incentives exist for such projects. Economic challenges are the greatest barrier to successful project implementation. In particular, high costs of distribution systems (pipelines) are especially challenging, with $1 to 3 million/mile costs experienced. Negative perceptions of water reuse were cited by only 26% of respondents as major hindrances to implementation of surveyed programs.

  7. Farm-gate budget of energy crops: an experiment to assess changes in GHGs balance due to a land use change from grassland to short rotation coppice of poplar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabbatini, S.; Arriga, N.; Baiocco, A.; Boschi, A.; Castaldi, S.; Consalvo, C.; Gioli, B.; Matteucci, G.; Tomassucci, M.; Zaldei, A.; Papale, D.

    2012-04-01

    Over the last decades the rising in the prices of oil pushed many farmers all over the Europe to exploit part of their fields to produce biomass for energy. Government funding promoted this trend in order to contrast global warming and Green-House Gases (GHG) emissions. Nevertheless energy crops entail, in addition to a land use change, a sum of treatments that leads again to emissions of GHG. In the context of the GHG-Europe FP7 project we set-up an experiment to study a case of land use change from grassland to Short Rotation Coppice (SRC) of poplar clones in central Italy. Through the Eddy Covariance (EC) technique, we measure carbon and energy fluxes over two different poplar SRC with different ages, and over a reference site (grassland) representing the original land use. Furthermore, we measured additional fluxes such as soil respiration, CH4 and N2O fluxes using chambers. To compute the Farm-Gate Budget (FGB) of both the grassland and the poplar plantations, we collect also additional data that contribute to GHG budget such as management (tillage, fertilizations, irrigations, harvesting) and disturbances. In this poster we present the experiment set-up and the first results resulting from the measurements.

  8. Fungal and bacterial growth responses to N fertilization and pH in the 150-year 'Park Grass' UK grassland experiment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rousk, Johannes; Brookes, Philip C; Bååth, Erland

    2011-04-01

    The effects of nitrogen (N) fertilization (0-150 kg N ha⁻¹ year⁻¹ since 1865) and pH (3.3-7.4) on fungal and bacterial growth, biomass and phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) composition were investigated in grassland soils from the 'Park Grass Experiment', Rothamsted Research, UK. Bacterial growth decreased and fungal growth increased with lower pH, resulting in a 50-fold increase in the relative importance of fungi between pH 7.4 and 3.3. The PLFA-based fungal:bacterial biomass ratio was unchanged between pH 4.5 and 7.4, and decreased only below pH 4.5. Respiration and substrate-induced respiration biomass both decreased three- to fourfold with lower pH, but biomass concentrations estimated using PLFAs were unaffected by pH. N fertilization did not affect bacterial growth and marginally affected fungal growth while PLFA biomass marker concentrations were all reduced by higher N additions. Respiration decreased with higher N application, suggesting a reduced quality of the soil organic carbon. The PLFA composition was strongly affected by both pH and N. A comparison with a pH gradient in arable soil allowed us to generalize the pH effect between systems. There are 30-50-fold increases in the relative importance of fungi between high (7.4-8.3) and low (3.3-4.5) pH with concomitant reductions of respiration by 30-70%.

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Reconstructing the Past: Historical Interpretations and Native Experiences at Contemporary California Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lorimer, Michelle Marie

    2013-01-01

    Spanish missions that dot the landscape in California today exist as centers of historical interpretation. Visitors to California, residents of the state, and school children often turn to these sites to learn about the early history of the region. Unbeknownst to many visitors, the history presented at many contemporary California mission sites…

  15. 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,...

  16. Native grasslands fertilize themselves

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — News article about Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge and how the native soils and plants function to stimulate the system, creating a more productive grassland.

  17. 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.

  18. [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

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. The Effects of Carbon Dioxide Sequestration on Deep-sea Foraminifera in two California Margin Experiments

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ricketts, Erin R

    2006-01-01

    ABSTRACT Deep-sea sequestration of CO2 is being considered as a possible mitigation tool to decrease atmospheric CO2 concentrations and its associated negative effects. This study is the first to investigate potential effects of liquid carbon dioxide (CO2) injection on deep-sea foraminiferal assemblages. Foraminifera are ideal for this ecological impact investigation because of differing test composition (calcareous and non-calcareous) and thickness, and diverse epifaunal and infaunal depth preferences. The experiment was conducted August-September 2003, at 3600m off the coast of Monterey Bay, California, aboard the R/V Western Flyer using the ROV Tiburon. The pH of the site was monitored throughout the experiment by Seabird CTDs. Sediment push-cores were collected (both from the experimental and control sites) and stained to distinguish live (stained) from dead (unstained) individuals. Effects of CO2 injection on assemblages have been tracked both vertically (to 10cm depth below sea floor) and horizontally (up to 10m from CO2 injection sites), as well as between live and dead individuals. Within the corrals and underlying sediments severe pH changes (to near 4.0) were seen while over the experimental area small average reductions in ocean pH (-0.05 units) and large episodic excursions (-1.7 units) were measured resulting from CO2 injection. Exposure to this gradient of low pH caused increased mortality and dissolution of calcareous forms within corrals, as far as 5m from the injection site, and to at least 10cm depth in the sediments. This experiment revealed several major effects of CO2 injection on foraminiferal assemblages in surficial sediments: 1) total number of foraminifera in a sample decreases; 2) foraminiferal species richness decreases in both stained and unstained specimens; and 3) percentage of stained (live) forms increases. Down-core trends (to 10cm below sea floor) have revealed: 1) percent agglutinated forms decline and calcareous forms increase

  5. 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...

  6. 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)

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Does interspecific competition alter effects of early season ozone exposure on plants from wet grasslands? Results of a three-year experiment in open-top chambers

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tonneijck, A.E.G.; Franzaring, J.; Brouwer, G.; Metselaar, K.; Dueck, Th.A

    2004-09-01

    Chronic effects of ozone on wet grassland species early in the growing season might be altered by interspecific competition. Individual plants of Holcus lanatus, Lychnis flos-cuculi, Molinia caerulea and Plantago lanceolata were grown in monocultures and in mixed cultures with Agrostis capillaris. Mesocosms were exposed to charcoal-filtered air plus 25 nl l{sup -1} ozone (CF + 25), non-filtered air (NF), non-filtered air plus 25 nl l{sup -1} ozone (NF + 25) and non-filtered air plus 50 nl l{sup -1} ozone (NF + 50) early in the growing seasons of 2000 through 2002. Ozone-enhanced senescence and visible foliar injury were recorded on some of the target plants in the first year only. Ozone effects on biomass production were minimal and plant response to ozone did not differ between monocultures and mixed cultures. After three years, above-ground biomass of the plants in mixed culture compared to monocultures was three times greater for H. lanatus and two to four times smaller for the other species.

  10. Data from a solute transport experiment in the Leviathan Mine drainage, Alpine County, California, October 1982

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flint, M.R.; Bencala, K.E.; Zellweger, G.W.; Hammermeister, D.P.

    1985-01-01

    A twenty-four hour injection of chloride and sodium was made into Leviathan Creek, Alpine County, California to aid interpretation of the coupled interactions between physical transport processes and geochemical reactions. Leviathan Creek was chosen because it receives acid mine drainage from Leviathan Mine, an abandoned open-pit sulfur mine. Water samples were collected at 15 sites along a 4.39 kilometer reach and analyzed for chloride, sodium, sulfate and fluoride. Dissolved concentrations are presented in tabular format and time-series plots. Duplicate samples were analyzed by two laboratories: the Central Laboratory, Denver, Colorado and a research laboratory in Menlo Park, California. A tabular comparison of the analyses and plots of the differences between the two laboratories is presented. Hydrographs and instantaneous discharge measurements are included. (USGS)

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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 mino...

  15. 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

  16. 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.

  17. Importance and Functions of Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lucien CARLIER

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands, mixture of grass, clover and other leguminous species, dicotyledonous, herbs and shrubs, contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity and they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants, grasslands have opportunities for an adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1 the provision of forage for livestock, (2 protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3 furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4 contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements. In this article the focus is limited to the grass and clover components of the grasslands.

  18. [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.

  19. [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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Systemic implementation strategies to improve hypertension: the Kaiser Permanente Southern California experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sim, John J; Handler, Joel; Jacobsen, Steven J; Kanter, Michael H

    2014-05-01

    The past decade has seen hypertension improving in the United States where control is approximately 50%. Kaiser Permanente has mirrored and exceeded these national advances in control. Integrated models of care such as Kaiser Permanente and the Veterans Administration health systems have demonstrated the greatest hypertension outcomes. We detail the story of Kaiser Permanente Southern California (KPSC) to illustrate the success that can be achieved with an integrated health system model that uses implementation, dissemination, and performance feedback approaches to chronic disease care. KPSC, with a large ethnically diverse population of more than 3.6 million, has used a stepwise approach to achieve control rates greater than 85% in those recognized with hypertension. This was accomplished through systemic implementations of specific strategies: (1) capturing hypertensive members into a hypertension registry; (2) standardization of blood pressure measurements; (3) drafting and disseminating an internal treatment algorithm that is evidence-based and is advocating of combination therapy; and (4) a multidisciplinary approach using medical assistants, nurses, and pharmacists as key stakeholders. The infrastructure, support, and involvement across all levels of the health system with rapid and continuous performance feedback have been pivotal in ensuring the follow-through and maintenance of these strategies. The KPSC hypertension program is continually evolving in these areas. With these high control rates and established infrastructure, they are positioned to take on different innovations and study models. Such potential projects are drafting strategies on resistant hypertension or addressing the concerns about overtreatment of hypertension.

  3. 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…

  4. Climatic change controls productivity variation in global grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-05-31

    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 climate-induced potential productivity showed that the trends in average productivity in nearly 40% of global grassland areas have been significantly affected by climate change. The contribution of climate change to variability in grassland productivity was 15.2-71.2% during 1982-2011. Climate change contributed significantly to long-term trends in grassland productivity mainly in North America, central Eurasia, central Africa, and Oceania; these regions will be more sensitive to future climate change impacts. The impacts of climate change on variability in grassland productivity were greater in the Western Hemisphere than the Eastern Hemisphere. Confirmation of the observed trends requires long-term controlled experiments and multi-model ensembles to reduce uncertainties and explain mechanisms.

  5. Grassland Management Plan : Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — The Trempealeau National Wildlife Refuge Grassland Management Plan provides guidelines for grassland habitat preservation and management. The goals of this plan aim...

  6. 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

  7. Interracial dating: attitudes and experience among American college students in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiebert, M S; Karamol, H; Kasdan, M

    2000-12-01

    Dating and marriage crossing ethnic, racial, and cultural lines have become increasingly common in the United States. This study examined two aspects, interracial dating behavior and attitudes toward romantic involvement, in four ethnic groups of college students: Euro-American, Latino, Asian-American, and African-American. Subjects (196 men, 367 women) were surveyed with regard to their willingness to be romantically involved interracially or interculturally along with their actual interracial dating experience. Analysis indicated a high willingness in all ethnic groups to be romantically involved as well as an absence of sex difference with regard to both attitude and experience. However, there were differences in both attitude and experience among ethnic groups.

  8. 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)

  9. Nonlinear, interacting responses to climate limit grassland production under global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Kai; Chiariello, Nona R; Tobeck, Todd; Fukami, Tadashi; Field, Christopher B

    2016-09-20

    Global changes in climate, atmospheric composition, and pollutants are altering ecosystems and the goods and services they provide. Among approaches for predicting ecosystem responses, long-term observations and manipulative experiments can be powerful approaches for resolving single-factor and interactive effects of global changes on key metrics such as net primary production (NPP). Here we combine both approaches, developing multidimensional response surfaces for NPP based on the longest-running, best-replicated, most-multifactor global-change experiment at the ecosystem scale-a 17-y study of California grassland exposed to full-factorial warming, added precipitation, elevated CO2, and nitrogen deposition. Single-factor and interactive effects were not time-dependent, enabling us to analyze each year as a separate realization of the experiment and extract NPP as a continuous function of global-change factors. We found a ridge-shaped response surface in which NPP is humped (unimodal) in response to temperature and precipitation when CO2 and nitrogen are ambient, with peak NPP rising under elevated CO2 or nitrogen but also shifting to lower temperatures. Our results suggest that future climate change will push this ecosystem away from conditions that maximize NPP, but with large year-to-year variability.

  10. Nonlinear, interacting responses to climate limit grassland production under global change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Kai; Chiariello, Nona R.; Tobeck, Todd; Fukami, Tadashi; Field, Christopher B.

    2016-01-01

    Global changes in climate, atmospheric composition, and pollutants are altering ecosystems and the goods and services they provide. Among approaches for predicting ecosystem responses, long-term observations and manipulative experiments can be powerful approaches for resolving single-factor and interactive effects of global changes on key metrics such as net primary production (NPP). Here we combine both approaches, developing multidimensional response surfaces for NPP based on the longest-running, best-replicated, most-multifactor global-change experiment at the ecosystem scale—a 17-y study of California grassland exposed to full-factorial warming, added precipitation, elevated CO2, and nitrogen deposition. Single-factor and interactive effects were not time-dependent, enabling us to analyze each year as a separate realization of the experiment and extract NPP as a continuous function of global-change factors. We found a ridge-shaped response surface in which NPP is humped (unimodal) in response to temperature and precipitation when CO2 and nitrogen are ambient, with peak NPP rising under elevated CO2 or nitrogen but also shifting to lower temperatures. Our results suggest that future climate change will push this ecosystem away from conditions that maximize NPP, but with large year-to-year variability. PMID:27601643

  11. Nonlinear, interacting responses to climate limit grassland production under global change.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, Kai; Chiariello, Nona R; Tobeck, Todd; Fukami, Tadashi; Field, Christopher B

    2016-09-20

    Global changes in climate, atmospheric composition, and pollutants are altering ecosystems and the goods and services they provide. Among approaches for predicting ecosystem responses, long-term observations and manipulative experiments can be powerful approaches for resolving single-factor and interactive effects of global changes on key metrics such as net primary production (NPP). Here we combine both approaches, developing multidimensional response surfaces for NPP based on the longest-running, best-replicated, most-multifactor global-change experiment at the ecosystem scale-a 17-y study of California grassland exposed to full-factorial warming, added precipitation, elevated CO2, and nitrogen deposition. Single-factor and interactive effects were not time-dependent, enabling us to analyze each year as a separate realization of the experiment and extract NPP as a continuous function of global-change factors. We found a ridge-shaped response surface in which NPP is humped (unimodal) in response to temperature and precipitation when CO2 and nitrogen are ambient, with peak NPP rising under elevated CO2 or nitrogen but also shifting to lower temperatures. Our results suggest that future climate change will push this ecosystem away from conditions that maximize NPP, but with large year-to-year variability. PMID:27601643

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. Distance to semi-natural grassland influences seed production of insect-pollinated herbs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jakobsson, Anna; Ågren, Jon

    2014-05-01

    Marginal grassland fragments, such as road verges and field margins, may act as important supplemental habitats for grassland plants in the modern agricultural landscape. However, abundance of pollinators in such fragments has been found to decline with distance to larger natural and semi-natural habitats, and this could have corresponding effects on plant pollination. In this study, we performed a field experiment on road verges with three insect-pollinated grassland herbs to examine the relationship between distance to semi-natural grassland and plant reproductive success in two landscapes with contrasting farming intensities. In Lychnis viscaria and Lotus corniculatus, seed production tended to decrease with increasing distance to semi-natural grassland, but only in the landscape with high farming intensity. Seed production in Armeria maritima spp. maritima decreased with distance in both landscapes. Although many studies have investigated effects of natural habitat on crop pollination, little is known about the impact on pollination in native plants. The results from this study indicate that management of semi-natural grasslands improves not only biodiversity within the actual grassland but also pollination of native plants in the surrounding agricultural landscape.

  16. 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...

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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…

  1. 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…

  2. Assessing Information Literacy among Undergraduates: A Discussion of the Literature and the University of California-Berkeley Assessment Experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maughan, Patricia Davitt

    2001-01-01

    Since 1994, the Teaching Library at the University of California-Berkeley has conducted an ongoing Survey of Information Literacy Competencies in selected academic departments to measure the "lower-order" information literacy skills of graduating seniors. The survey reveals that students think they know more about accessing information and…

  3. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koerner, Sally E; Collins, Scott L

    2014-01-01

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

  5. BVOC fluxes above mountain grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Bamberger

    2010-05-01

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

  6. 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...

  7. Competitive forbs in high-producing temporary grasslands with perennial ryegrass and red clover can increase plant diversity and herbage yield

    OpenAIRE

    Nawa Raj, Dhamala; Karen, Søegaard; Jørgen , Eriksen

    2015-01-01

    In highly productive temporary grasslands in Europe, plant diversity is usually low. Some non-leguminous species have shown a high competitive ability in temporary grasslands and can increase plant diversity without compromising yields. In an experiment, the competitiveness and productivity of three forb species: chicory (Cichorium intybus), ribwort plantain (Plantago lanceolata) and caraway (Carum carvi), grown in different proportions in mixtures including traditional sown grassland species...

  8. Effect of four plant species on soil 15N-access and herbage yield in temporary agricultural grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirhofer-Walzl, Karin; Eriksen, J.; Høgh-Jensen, H.;

    2013-01-01

    Abstract Background and aims We carried out field experiments to investigate if an agricultural grassland mixture comprising shallow- (perennial ryegrass: Lolium perenne L.; white clover: Trifolium repens L.) and deep- (chicory: Cichorium intybus L.; Lucerne: Medicago sativa L.) rooting grassland...... species has greater herbage yields than a shallow-rooting two-species mixture and pure stands, if deep-rooting grassland species are superior in accessing soil 15N from 1.2 m soil depth compared with shallow-rooting plant species and vice versa, if a mixture of deep- and shallow-rooting plant species has......-access of pure stands, two-species and four-species grassland communities. Results Herbage yield and soil 15N-access of the mixture including deep- and shallow-rooting grassland species were generally greater than the pure stands and the two-species mixture, except for herbage yield in pure stand lucerne...

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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.; Alder, 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, Cheng-Jin; Cleland, Elsa E.; Crawley, Michael J.; Daleo, Pedro; Damschen, Ellen Ingman; 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.

    2014-01-01

    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.

  12. Herbage intake regulation and growth of rabbits raised on grasslands: back to basics and looking forward.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martin, G; Duprat, A; Goby, J-P; Theau, J-P; Roinsard, A; Descombes, M; Legendre, H; Gidenne, T

    2016-10-01

    Organic agriculture is developing worldwide, and organic rabbit production has developed within this context. It entails raising rabbits in moving cages or paddocks, which enables them to graze grasslands. As organic farmers currently lack basic technical information, the objective of this article is to characterize herbage intake, feed intake and the growth rate of rabbits raised on grasslands in different environmental and management contexts (weather conditions, grassland type and complete feed supplementation). Three experiments were performed with moving cages at an experimental station. From weaning, rabbits grazed a natural grassland, a tall fescue grassland and a sainfoin grassland in experiments 1, 2 and 3, respectively. Rabbit diets were supplemented with a complete pelleted feed limited to 69 g dry matter (DM)/rabbit per day in experiment 1 and 52 g DM/rabbit per day in experiments 2 and 3. Herbage allowance and fiber, DM and protein contents, as well as rabbit intake and live weight, were measured weekly. Mean herbage DM intake per rabbit per day differed significantly (P<0.001) between experiments. It was highest in experiment 1 (78.5 g DM/day) and was 43.9 and 51.2 g DM/day in experiments 2 and 3, respectively. Herbage allowance was the most significant determinant of herbage DM intake during grazing, followed by rabbit metabolic weight (live weight0.75) and herbage protein and fiber contents. Across experiments, a 10 g DM increase in herbage allowance and a 100 g increase in rabbit metabolic weight corresponded to a mean increase of 6.8 and 9.6 g of herbage DM intake, respectively. When including complete feed, daily mean DM intakes differed significantly among experiments (P<0.001), ranging from 96.1 g DM/rabbit per day in experiment 2 to 163.6 g DM/rabbit per day in experiment 1. Metabolic weight of rabbits raised on grasslands increased linearly over time in all three experiments, yielding daily mean growth rates of 26.2, 19.2 and 28.5 g/day in

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Drought and Carbon Cycling of Grassland Ecosystems under Global Change: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tianjie Lei

    2016-10-01

    Full Text Available In recent years, the increased intensity and duration of droughts have dramatically altered the structure and function of grassland ecosystems, which have been forced to adapt to this change in climate. Combinations of global change drivers such as elevated atmospheric CO2 concentration, warming, nitrogen (N deposition, grazing, and land-use change have influenced the impact that droughts have on grassland C cycling. This influence, to some extent, can modify the relationship between droughts and grassland carbon (C cycling in the multi-factor world. Unfortunately, prior reviews have been primarily anecdotal from the 1930s to the 2010s. We investigated the current state of the study on the interactive impacts of multiple factors under drought scenarios in grassland C cycling and provided scientific advice for dealing with droughts and managing grassland C cycling in a multi-factor world. Currently, adequate information is not available on the interaction between droughts and global change drivers, which would advance our understanding of grassland C cycling responses. It was determined that future experiments and models should specifically test how droughts regulate grassland C cycling under global changes. Previous multi-factor experiments of current and future global change conditions have studied various drought scenarios poorly, including changes in precipitation frequency and amplitude, timing, and interactions with other global change drivers. Multi-factor experiments have contributed to quantifying these potential changes and have provided important information on how water affects ecosystem processes under global change. There is an urgent need to establish a systematic framework that can assess ecosystem dynamic responses to droughts under current and future global change and human activity, with a focus on the combined effects of droughts, global change drivers, and the corresponding hierarchical responses of an ecosystem.

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Variation characteristics of soil respiration fluxes in four types of grassland communities under different precipitation intensity

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    DONG Yunshe; QI Yuchun; LIU Jiyuan; GENG Yuanbo; Manfred Domroes; YANG Xiaohong; LIU Lixin

    2005-01-01

    A two consecutive years' field experiment was carried out on four types of semiarid grassland along precipitation gradient in Xilin River Basin of Inner Mongolia during 2001-2003 using a static enclosed black chamber technique. The variation characteristics of soil respiration fluxes from four different types of grassland along precipitation gradient were compared. The possible effect of water-heat factors on characteristics of grassland soil respiration was statistically analyzed and the numerical relational model between soil respiration and water-heat factors was established. Meanwhile the soil CO2 annual emissions of different types of grassland were estimated based on the consecutive and complete set of field observation data. The results indicate that soil respiration has apparent seasonal variation laws, seasonal variation patterns of soil respiration from different types of grassland along precipitation gradient are basically the same, soil respiration fluxes of various grassland communities are relatively high in late spring and summer but relatively low in autumn and winter, negative fluxes of soil respiration were observed from different types of grassland in winter and the further study of their mechanism is favorable for the accurate estimation of soil respiration amount; soil annual (or growth season) respiration amount of four types of grassland along precipitation gradient decreases progressively along the gradient in the order of Stipa baicalensis meadow steppe > Aneurolepidium chinense steppe > Stipa grandis steppe > Stipa krylovii steppe; soil respiration of different types of grassland during growth season is positively correlated with soil water content at depths of 0-10 and 10-20 cm to different degrees but the correlativity with air temperature and top depth soil temperature is relatively weak, variations of surface soil water content of four types of grassland during growth season can normally explain 70.2%-94.7% of the variations of soil

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. [Perspectives in researches on grassland ecology for the early 21st century in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Cunzhu; Zhu, Tingcheng; Wang, Deli; Lü, Xinlong

    2002-06-01

    Grassland degeneration is a prominent problem in China. More in-depth studies should be carried out on the key problem--grassland degeneration for Chinese grassland ecologists in the early 21st century. Some hot research fields were restoration ecology, interface ecology, grazing ecology, health diagnoses and evaluation for grasslands. Among them, restoration ecology was the foundation for restoring degenerative grasslands; interface ecology involved with the point of contact for analyzing degenerative grasslands; grazing ecology was the effective way to control degenerative grasslands; diagnoses of grassland health benefited accurately appraising degenerative levels of grasslands; and evaluation for grassland was also considered as an estimation on services and benefits of grassland ecosystems.

  11. 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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carlier, L; De Vliegher, A; Van Cleemput, O; Boeckx, P

    2005-01-01

    The European agricultural policy is not simple and needs to accommodate also social and environmental requirements. Grassland will continue to be an important form of land use in Europe, but with increased diversity in management objectives and systems used. Besides its role as basic nutrient for herbivores and ruminants grasslands have opportunities for adding value by exploiting positive health characteristics in animal products from grassland and through the delivery of environmental benefits. In fact grasslands contribute to a high degree to the struggle against erosion and to the regularizing of water regimes, to the purification of fertilizers and pesticides and to biodiversity. Finally they have aesthetic role and recreational function as far as they provide public access that other agricultural uses do not allow. But even for grassland it is very difficult to create a good frame for its different tasks (1) the provision of forage for livestock, (2) protection and conservation of soil and water resources, (3) furnishing a habitat for wildlife, both flora and fauna and (4) contribution to the attractiveness of the landscape. Nevertheless it is the only crop, able to fulfil so many tasks and to fit so many requirements.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

  1. Biodiversity loss in grasslands : consequences for ecosystem functioning and interactions with above- and belowground organisms

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ruijven, van J.

    2005-01-01

    Considering the current rate of extinctions, it is crucial to understand the consequences of these losses of biodiversity for the functioning of ecosystems. Grasslands proved a very suitable ecosystem for biodiversity-ecosystem functioning research.In earlier experiments, nitrogen-

  2. Dissimilar response of plant and soil biota communities to long-term nutrient adition in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wal, van der A.; Geerts, R.H.E.M.; Korevaar, H.; Schouten, A.J.; Jagers op Akkerhuis, G.A.J.M.; Rutgers, M.; Mulder, C.

    2009-01-01

    The long-term effect of fertilizers on plant diversity and productivity is well known, but long-term effects on soil biota communities have received relatively little attention. Here, we used an exceptional long-lasting (>40 years) grassland fertilization experiment to investigate the long-term e

  3. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blank, Peter J; Sample, David W; Williams, Carol L; Turner, Monica G

    2014-01-01

    Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields), and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  4. Bird communities and biomass yields in potential bioenergy grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

    Full Text Available Demand for bioenergy is increasing, but the ecological consequences of bioenergy crop production on working lands remain unresolved. Corn is currently a dominant bioenergy crop, but perennial grasslands could produce renewable bioenergy resources and enhance biodiversity. Grassland bird populations have declined in recent decades and may particularly benefit from perennial grasslands grown for bioenergy. We asked how breeding bird community assemblages, vegetation characteristics, and biomass yields varied among three types of potential bioenergy grassland fields (grass monocultures, grass-dominated fields, and forb-dominated fields, and assessed tradeoffs between grassland biomass production and bird habitat. We also compared the bird communities in grassland fields to nearby cornfields. Cornfields had few birds compared to perennial grassland fields. Ten bird Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN were observed in perennial grassland fields. Bird species richness and total bird density increased with forb cover and were greater in forb-dominated fields than grass monocultures. SGCN density declined with increasing vertical vegetation density, indicating that tall, dense grassland fields managed for maximum biomass yield would be of lesser value to imperiled grassland bird species. The proportion of grassland habitat within 1 km of study sites was positively associated with bird species richness and the density of total birds and SGCNs, suggesting that grassland bioenergy fields may be more beneficial for grassland birds if they are established near other grassland parcels. Predicted total bird density peaked below maximum biomass yields and predicted SGCN density was negatively related to biomass yields. Our results indicate that perennial grassland fields could produce bioenergy feedstocks while providing bird habitat. Bioenergy grasslands promote agricultural multifunctionality and conservation of biodiversity in working landscapes.

  5. Multi-factor long-term global change impacts on grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhu, K.; Chiariell0, N.; Tobeck, T.; Fukami, T.; Field, C. B.

    2015-12-01

    Global change is intrinsically multi-factor, critically interacting with changes in the composition of the atmosphere, land use, nitrogen deposition, and the abundance of invasives. Global change also occurs against a background of ecosystem dynamics over the long term. We followed ecosystem production of an annual grassland in California to all possible combinations of experimentally warming (+80 W/m2), added precipitation (+50%), elevated CO2 (+300 ppm), nitrogen deposition (+7 g/m2), and fire disturbances over 17 years. We examined ecosystem-level net primary production (NPP) and its aboveground (ANPP) and belowground components (BNPP), by integrating both the temporal and experimental dimensions as a modulator of responses and as a way to transform treatments from categorical to continuous scales. We developed a model-based approach to investigate these high-dimensional spatial-temporal data. Across the experiment, we found that main effects of the four long-term treatment factors were substantial, increasing or decreasing production by up to 20%. Temperature had negative effects; precipitation had a positive effect on BNPP, but a negative effect on ANPP; CO2 had a positive effect on ANPP, a slight negative effect on BNPP; and nitrogen had positive effects. Relative to their main effects, most interactions among these four global change factors were small, particularly for ANPP and NPP, indicating that most responses to the global change factors were additive. As single factor effects, the 2003 wildfire and 2011 prescribed burn were similar, with strong positive effects on ecosystem productivity in the following growing season by up to 40%, especially for ANPP. All these multi-factor long-term ecosystem productivity results provide a starting point and a foundation to understand ecosystem performance in a wide range of future global change scenarios.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. Grassland birds: An overview of threats and recommended management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vickery, P.D.; Herkert, J.R.; Knopf, F.L.; Ruth, J.; Keller, C.E.; Bonney, Rick; Pashley, David N.; Cooper, Robert; Niles, Larry

    2000-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems are dependent on periodic disturbance for habitat maintenance. Historically, grazing by native herbivores and prairie fires were the agents principally responsible for maintaining grassland areas. However, elimination of native herbivores, wide-spread fire suppression, and conversion for agriculture have greatly altered grasslands in the United States and Canada. Because of these landscape changes, many grassland birds are increasingly dependent on land managers for habitat creation, maintenance, and health. Grazing, prescribed burning, and mowing/haying are the most frequently used, and versatile, grassland management techniques. Grassland birds prefer a wide range of grass heights and densities, with some species preferring short sparse vegetation, and others preferring taller, more dense vegetation. Due to differences in species habitat preferences and regional differences in soils and floristics, the responses of individual grassland species to specific grassland management practices can be variable and often are regionally dependent. As a result, management of grassland areas is best directed toward the creation of a mosaic of grassland habitat types. This habitat mosaic is probably best maintained through some type of rotational management system in which sections of large grassland areas receive management on a regular schedule. Such a rotational system would provide a variety of habitat types in every year, would ensure the availability of suitable habitat for birds at either end of the grassland management spectrum, and also would provide habitat for birds whose preferences lie between these extremes.

  9. 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...

  10. Overview of the Focused Isoprene eXperiments at California Institute of Technology (FIXCIT: mechanistic chamber studies on the oxidation of biogenic compounds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. B. Nguyen

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The Focused Isoprene eXperiment at the California Institute of Technology (FIXCIT was a collaborative atmospheric chamber campaign that occurred during January 2014. FIXCIT was the laboratory component of a synergistic field and laboratory effort aimed toward (1 better understanding the chemical details behind ambient observations relevant to the Southeastern United States, (2 advancing the knowledge of atmospheric oxidation mechanisms of important biogenic hydrocarbons, and (3 characterizing the behavior of field instrumentation using authentic standards. Approximately 20 principal scientists from 14 academic and government institutions performed parallel measurements at a forested site in Alabama and at the atmospheric chambers at Caltech. During the four-week campaign period, a series of chamber experiments was conducted to investigate the dark- and photo-induced oxidation of isoprene, α-pinene, methacrolein, pinonaldehyde, acylperoxy nitrates, isoprene hydroxy nitrates (ISOPN, isoprene hydroxy hydroperoxides (ISOPOOH, and isoprene epoxydiols (IEPOX in a highly-controlled and atmospherically-relevant manner. Pinonaldehyde and isomer-specific standards of ISOPN, ISOPOOH, and IEPOX were synthesized and contributed by campaign participants, which enabled explicit exploration into the oxidation mechanisms and instrument responses for these important atmospheric compounds. The present overview describes the goals, experimental design, instrumental techniques, and preliminary observations from the campaign. Insights from FIXCIT are anticipated to significantly aid in interpretation of field data and the revision of mechanisms currently implemented in regional and global atmospheric models.

  11. 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

    2015-12-17

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. Vegetation Responses to A Long-term Grazing Intensity Experiment in Alpine Shrub Grassland on Qinghai-Tibet Plateau%青藏高原高寒灌丛植被对长期放牧强度试验的响应特征

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周华坤; 赵新全; 汪诗平; 赵亮; 徐世晓

    2008-01-01

    在青藏高原中国科学院海北高寒草甸生态系统定位研究站对金露梅高寒灌丛草场植被开展了长期不同放牧强度试验,分别在短期(4年)、中期(11年)和长期(18年)放牧阶段研究不同放牧干扰强度对草地植物物种多样性、群落结构、地上生物量和草场质量的影响.研究表明,在不同放牧阶段,随着放牧强度增加植物群落的高度和盖度都降低.在中期放牧干扰阶段,物种多样性数和均匀度指数随着放牧强度增加呈现典型的单峰曲线模式;在长期放牧干扰阶段,随着放牧强度增加,占优势地位的灌木和禾草被典型杂类草替代,其中的重度放牧干扰简化了高寒灌丛植被群落结构,减少了地上现存生物量,特别是可食优良牧草生物量.植被对放牧的响应除了与放牧强度和放牧时间阶段密切相关外,还与该地区水热条件的变化有一定的相关性.针对长期放牧干扰的反应特性可将金露梅灌丛草场中植物划分为增加型、敏感型、忍耐型和无反应型4种类型.除了丰富度指数、多样性指数和均匀度指数外,其它一些特征参数并不支持著名的中度干扰假说.本研究发现,长期重度放牧促进了青藏高原高寒草地退化,适度放牧有利于高寒灌丛草场的生物多样性保护和牧草利用;"取半留半"的放牧原则在青藏高原草场放牧管理实践中值得推荐,它将有利于防止草场退化,提高牧草利用率和维持较高的生物多样性.%The grassland of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is one of the world's most remarkable grazing lands. Livestock grazing appears to exert significant effects on the vegetation and ecosystem processes on the plat-eau,although the effects of livestock grazing on grasslands are in need of further study. In this study,a long-term grazing experiment with different stocking rates in alpine Potentilla fruticosa shrubland was carried out at Haibei Alpine Meadow Ecosystem

  14. 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

  15. Responses of grassland production to single and multiple global environmental changes.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeffrey S Dukes

    2005-10-01

    Full Text Available In this century, increasing concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2 and other greenhouse gases in the Earth's atmosphere are expected to cause warmer surface temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns. At the same time, reactive nitrogen is entering natural systems at unprecedented rates. These global environmental changes have consequences for the functioning of natural ecosystems, and responses of these systems may feed back to affect climate and atmospheric composition. Here, we report plant growth responses of an ecosystem exposed to factorial combinations of four expected global environmental changes. We exposed California grassland to elevated CO2, temperature, precipitation, and nitrogen deposition for five years. Root and shoot production did not respond to elevated CO2 or modest warming. Supplemental precipitation led to increases in shoot production and offsetting decreases in root production. Supplemental nitrate deposition increased total production by an average of 26%, primarily by stimulating shoot growth. Interactions among the main treatments were rare. Together, these results suggest that production in this grassland will respond minimally to changes in CO2 and winter precipitation, and to small amounts of warming. Increased nitrate deposition would have stronger effects on the grassland. Aside from this nitrate response, expectations that a changing atmosphere and climate would promote carbon storage by increasing plant growth appear unlikely to be realized in this system.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. 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).…

  18. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2001-01-01

    Recent years have seen a renewed interest in the use of white clover (Trifolium repens) in grasslands, as a more sustainable alternative to fertiliser nitrogen inputs. However, mixtures of grasses and white clover have frequently been associated with unstable and hence unreliable herbage yields. The

  19. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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. PMID:27273473

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Effects of grazing and climate change on species diversity in sandy grassland, Inner Mongolia, China

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    Toshiya; Okuro

    2009-01-01

    To understand the effects of animal grazing activities and climate change on sandy grassland vegetation in northern China, a field grazing and protected enclosure experiment was conducted from 1992 through 2006 in Horqin Sand Land, Inner Mongolia. The results showed that (1) the grazing was primary responsible for changes of the vegetation richness and diversity in the grazing grassland and that changing climate was the main reason for changes in the species richness and diversity in the grassland protected from grazing; (2) light and moderate grazing can promote restoration of the richness and the diversity in the degraded grassland, and heavy grazing could result in a decrease of the richness and diversity; (3) heavy grazing can result in significant decrease of the perennial diversity, and moderate and light grazing promotes increase of the perennial diversity; the grazing, whether heavy or moderate and light grazing, was beneficial to increase of the annual diversity; (4) heavy grazing was not beneficial to diversity of Graminean and Chenopodiaceae, and moderate and light grazing was favorable the diversity of Compositae and Chenopodiaceae; (5) the warm-humid climate was favorable to increase of the richness and the diversity, and the warm-drought climate could result in decease of the richness and the diversity; (6) increased precipitation was favorable to perennial diversity and the diversity of Graminean, Leguminosae, and Compositae, and decreased precipitation had few effects on the annual diversity and Chenopodiaceae diversity.

  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. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    of particular species will not inform on how plant communities respond ecologically to disturbance. We therefore evaluated vegetation development following disturbance by quantifying species richness, species composition and functional trait composition. Degraded calcareous sandy grassland was subjected...... target. Species richness and functional diversity both increased in response to soil disturbance, and rotavation, but not ploughing, had a persistent positive effect on the occurrence of specialist species of calcareous sandy grassland. However, no type of soil disturbance caused the plant 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 control sites...

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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...

  15. 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.

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Three-dimensional imaging, change detection, and stability assessment during the centerline trench levee seepage experiment using terrestrial light detection and ranging technology, Twitchell Island, California, 2012

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bawden, Gerald W.; Howle, James; Bond, Sandra; Shriro, Michelle; Buck, Peter

    2014-01-01

    A full scale field seepage test was conducted on a north-south trending levee segment of a now bypassed old meander belt on Twitchell Island, California, to understand the effects of live and decaying root systems on levee seepage and slope stability. The field test in May 2012 was centered on a north-south trench with two segments: a shorter control segment and a longer seepage test segment. The complete length of the trench area measured 40.4 meters (m) near the levee centerline with mature trees located on the waterside and landside of the levee flanks. The levee was instrumented with piezometers and tensiometers to measure positive and negative porewater pressures across the levee after the trench was flooded with water and held at a constant hydraulic head during the seepage test—the results from this component of the experiment are not discussed in this report. We collected more than one billion three-dimensional light detection and ranging (lidar) data points before, during, and after the centerline seepage test to assess centimeter-scale stability of the two trees and the levee crown. During the seepage test, the waterside tree toppled (rotated 20.7 degrees) into the water. The landside tree rotated away from the levee by 5 centimeters (cm) at a height of 2 m on the tree. The paved surface of the levee crown had three regions that showed subsidence on the waterside of the trench—discussed as the northern, central, and southern features. The northern feature is an elongate region that subsided 2.1 cm over an area with an average width of 1.35 m that extends 15.8 m parallel to the trench from the northern end of the trench to just north of the trench midpoint, and is associated with a crack 1 cm in height that formed during the seepage test on the trench wall. The central subsidence feature is a semicircular region on the waterside of the trench that subsided by as much as 6.2 cm over an area 3.4 m wide and 11.2 m long. The southern feature is an elongate

  19. 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.

  20. Grassland Degradation Alters Soil Carbon Turnover through Depth

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creamer, C.; Prober, S. M.; Chappell, A.; Farrell, M.; Baldock, J.

    2015-12-01

    Ecosystem degradation is widespread and changes in aboveground plant communities alter belowground soil processes. In Australia, grassy eucalyptus woodlands dominated by kangaroo grasses (Themeda trianda) were widely cleared during European settlement for agriculture, with only fragments remaining of this now threatened ecosystem. As remnant grassland fragments are used for livestock grazing, Themeda transitions through states of degradation, starting with red grasses (Bothriochloa spp) and then proceeding to less productive, increasingly degraded states dominated by either annual exotic weeds or native wallaby grasses (Rytidosperma spp) and spear grasses (Austrastipa spp). The aim of our experiment was to determine how soil organic matter dynamics (including erosion, root biomass, C storage and turnover) have been altered by the transition from deeply-rooted Themeda grass systems to more shallowly-rooted annual exotic weeds and wallaby/spear grass states. We sampled soils in five depth-based increments (0-5, 5-15, 15-30, 30-60, 60-100 cm) across this ecosystem transition at five sites across New South Wales, Australia. Caseium-137 analysis indicated erosion rates were similar among all ecosystems and were consistent with levels for grasslands in the region. Compared to the remnant Themeda grass systems, the degraded states had lower root biomass, lower carbon stocks and C:N ratios in the coarse fraction (> 50 μm), lower fungal : bacterial ratios, higher available phosphate, higher alkyl : O-alkyl C ratios, and faster mineralization of synthetic root-exudate carbon. All these metrics indicate the surprising finding of more microbially processed OM and faster turnover of newly added C in the degraded sites. Compared to one another, the two degraded sites differed in both C and N turnover, with the exotic weeds having higher dissolved organic N, inorganic N, and coarse fraction N, higher fine fraction C stocks, and greater microbial biomass. These differences likely

  1. 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...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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.

  4. 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....

  5. 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.

  6. Reclaimed water reuse experiences in California and hints to China%美国加州再生水利用经验剖析及对我国的启示

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    陈卫平

    2011-01-01

    开发利用再生水具有巨大的社会经济价值,是实现可持续发展的重要环节.在美国加州,再生水利用已经成为其水资源的重要组成部分,具有详细的规划、系统地法律法规和完备的管理体系,走在了世界的前列.总结分析了加州再生水利用相关的法律法规与灌溉终端用户管理的一些经验,并对2个典型案例进行了剖析.科学的再生水利用规划、严格的源水水质控制方案、简单易操作的再生水水质标准、明确的管理体系以及完备的风险控制体系都是加州再生水成功利用的关键环节.基于对加州再生水利用经验的分析,提出了4条建议以推动我国再生水利用事业的发展.%For the water shortage regions, water reuse has many advantages and is the key step for sustainable development. In California, reclaimed water is extensively used and is an integral part of the water management plan. California is the leader for water reuse around the world for its systemic policies and laws as well as advanced management experiences. In this study, the water reuse experiences in California were summarized.The successful use of reclaimed water in California can be attributed to its scientific water planning, strict source control, simply and handleable reclaimed water quality, clear-cut responsibilities and detail risk management plans. Based on California's water reuse experiences, four suggestions were put forward for water reuse in China.

  7. Long-Term Dynamics of Standing Crop and Species Composition after the Cessation of Fertilizer Application to Mown Grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Bakker, J.P.

    1991-01-01

    (1) Current agricultural overproduction in Western Europe has led to an increase in the area of unfertilized grassland. This paper reports an experiment where fertilizer application was stopped to try to restore former species-rich vegetation. (2) Standing crop and species composition of three diffe

  8. Long term BVOC fluxes above mountain grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    I. Bamberger

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands comprise natural tropical savannah over managed temperate fields to tundra and cover over a quarter of the Earth's land surface. Plant growth, maintenance and decay result in volatile organic compound (VOCs emissions to the atmosphere. Furthermore, biogenic VOCs (BVOCs are emitted due to various environmental stresses including cutting and drying during harvesting. Fluxes of BVOCs were measured with a proton-transfer-reaction – mass-spectrometer (PTR-MS over temperate mountain grassland in Stubai Valley (Tyrol, Austria over one growing season (2008. VOC fluxes were calculated from the disjunct PTR-MS data using the virtual disjunct eddy covariance method and the gap filling method. The two independent methods obtained methanol fluxes following a regression line of y=0.94x−0.06 (correlation factor: R2=0.94. Methanol showed strong daytime emissions throughout the growing season. With maximal values of 9.7 nmol m−2 s−1 the methanol fluxes from growing grassland were considerably higher at the beginning of the growing season in June compared to those measured during October (2.5 nmol m−2 s−1. During the growth only methanol emissions were observed. The cutting and drying of the grass increased the emissions of methanol, up to 30 nmol m−2 s−2. In addition, emissions of acetaldehyde, up to 10 nmol m−2 s−1, and hexenal (leaf aldehyde were detected during harvesting.

  9. 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…

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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...

  13. Andean grasslands are as productive as tropical cloud forests

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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

  14. Response of predominant soil bacteria to grassland succession

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Felske, A.

    1999-01-01

    The research described in this thesis was aimed to provide insight into the effects of grassland succession on the composition of the soil bacteria community in the Drentse A agricultural research area. The Drentse A meadows represent grassland succession at different stages. Since 30 years particul

  15. Dairy cow performance on silage from semi-natural grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinenberg, M.H.; Geerts, R.H.E.M.; Struik, P.C.; Valk, H.

    2006-01-01

    The effects of including forage from semi-natural grassland in the diet of dairy cows were studied in a feeding trial with cows in mid-lactation. Diets were compared in which part of the silage from intensively managed grassland was replaced with 0% (100IM), 20% (20SPP), 40% (40SPP) or 60% (60SPP) s

  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. 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.

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Aphid fecundity and grassland invasion: invader life history is the key.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Elizabeth T; Adams, Vincent T; Engler, Gareth A; Adams, Autumn L; Schumann, Canan B; Seabloom, Eric W

    2009-07-01

    Loss or gain of pathogens can determine the trajectory of biological invasions, and invasion by novel hosts also can alter pathogen dynamics to facilitate invasion. Recent empirical and theoretical work has implicated infection by barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDV), a group of generalist pathogens of the Poaceae family (grasses), as a necessary precursor to the invasion of over 9 million hectares of California's perennial grasslands by exotic annual grasses. The mechanism underlying this pathogen-mediated invasion hypothesis is elevated vector fecundity on exotic annual grasses. While empirical evidence supports this hypothesis, the links between aphid fecundity, host identity, and host resource supply have not been thoroughly assessed. We performed field and laboratory experiments to examine the fecundity and preference responses of three of the most common aphid vectors of B/CYDV, Rhopalosiphum padi (L.), R. maidis (Fitch), and Sitobion avenae (Fab.), to a combination of host life history (annual and perennial), host provenance (native and exotic), and nutrient supply (mineral N and P fertilization), controlling for host phylogenetic lineage. Aphids consistently had higher fecundity on annual grasses than perennials, regardless of host provenance, age, or nutrient fertilization. In addition, aphids preferentially colonized annual hosts when offered a choice among host species. Multi-generation studies have found that nutrient addition affects both host quality and composition in natural communities; our experimental results indicate that the indirect effects of nutrient fertilization in determining host community composition are of more importance than are the direct effects on host quality to aphid population dynamics. To summarize the applications of our results, we demonstrate that, in contrast to the current focus on the qualitative differences between invaders and natives, the impact of invasive exotic grasses is not due to host provenance, per

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-10-01

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

  2. Nematode Faunal Response to Grassland Degradation in Horqin Sandy Land

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    The responses of soil nematode communities to grassland degradation were studied under undegraded grassland (UG),degraded grassland (DG), and improved grassland (IG), in Horqin Sandy Land, Inner Mongolia, Northeast China. Soil samples were collected at depths of 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm. Total organic carbon (TOC) and total nitrogen (TN)exhibited positive effects on the total number of nematodes and trophic groups. Significant treatment effects were found in the total number of nematodes, plant parasites, and omnivores-predators. Measures taken in the improved grassland could improve the number of omnivore-predators, especially in the deeper soil layers. Nematode richness was lower in the DG treatment than in the IG and UG treatments. The food web structure index (SI) was significantly higher in the UG and IG treatments than in the DG treatment. A higher SI suggested a food web with more trophic linkages and relatively healthy ecosystems.

  3. 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

  4. The response of sward-dwelling arthropod communities to reduced grassland management intensity in pastures

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Helden Alvin J.

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available We compared arthropod taxon richness, diversity and community structure of two replicated grassland husbandry experiments to investigate effects of reduced management intensity, as measured by nutrient input levels (390, 224 and 0 kg/ha per year N in one experiment, and 225 and 88 kg/ha per year N in another. Suction sampling was used to collect Araneae, Coleoptera, Hemiptera and Hymenoptera, with Araneae and Coleoptera also sampled with pitfall trapping. Univariate analyses found no significant differences in abundance and species density between treatments. However, with multivariate analysis, there were significant differences in arthropod community structure between treatments in both experiments.

  5. 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

  6. Method and timing of grassland renovation affects herbage yield, nitrate leaching, and nitrous oxide emission in intensively managed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Velthof, G.L.; Hoving, I.E.; Dolfing, J.; Smit, A.; Kuikman, P.J.; Oenema, O.

    2010-01-01

    Managed grasslands are occasionally ploughed up and reseeded in order to maintain or increase the sward productivity. It has been reported that this renovation of grassland is associated with a flush of soil organic nitrogen (N) mineralization and with a temporary increase in soil mineral N contents

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Soil phosphorus constrains biodiversity across European grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceulemans, Tobias; Stevens, Carly J; Duchateau, Luc; Jacquemyn, Hans; Gowing, David J G; Merckx, Roel; Wallace, Hilary; van Rooijen, Nils; Goethem, Thomas; Bobbink, Roland; Dorland, Edu; Gaudnik, Cassandre; Alard, Didier; Corcket, Emmanuel; Muller, Serge; Dise, Nancy B; Dupré, Cecilia; Diekmann, Martin; Honnay, Olivier

    2014-12-01

    Nutrient pollution presents a serious threat to biodiversity conservation. In terrestrial ecosystems, the deleterious effects of nitrogen pollution are increasingly understood and several mitigating environmental policies have been developed. Compared to nitrogen, the effects of increased phosphorus have received far less attention, although some studies have indicated that phosphorus pollution may be detrimental for biodiversity as well. On the basis of a dataset covering 501 grassland plots throughout Europe, we demonstrate that, independent of the level of atmospheric nitrogen deposition and soil acidity, plant species richness was consistently negatively related to soil phosphorus. We also identified thresholds in soil phosphorus above which biodiversity appears to remain at a constant low level. Our results indicate that nutrient management policies biased toward reducing nitrogen pollution will fail to preserve biodiversity. As soil phosphorus is known to be extremely persistent and we found no evidence for a critical threshold below which no environmental harm is expected, we suggest that agro-environmental schemes should include grasslands that are permanently free from phosphorus fertilization.

  10. Plant response traits mediate the effects of subalpine grasslands on soil moisture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gross, N; Robson, T M; Lavorel, S; Albert, C; Le Bagousse-Pinguet, Y; Guillemin, R

    2008-01-01

    * In subalpine grasslands, changes in abiotic conditions with decreased management intensity alter the functional composition of plant communities, leading to modifications of ecosystem properties. Here, it is hypothesized that the nature of plant feedbacks on soil moisture is determined by the values of key traits at the community level. * As community functional parameters of grasslands change along a gradient of land uses, those traits that respond most to differences in abiotic conditions produced by land use changes were identified. A vegetation removal experiment was then conducted to determine how each plant community affected soil moisture. * Soil moisture was negatively correlated with community root length and positively correlated with canopy height, whereas average leaf area was associated with productivity. These traits were successfully used to predict the effects on soil moisture of each plant community in the removal experiment. This result was validated using data from an additional set of fields. * These findings demonstrate that the modification of soil moisture following land use change in subalpine grasslands can be mediated through those plant functional traits that respond to water availability.

  11. 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

  12. 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

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. GHGs balance in a land use change process from grassland to short rotation coppice of poplar

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sabbatini, Simone; Arriga, Nicola; Baiocco, Andrea; Boschi, Alessio; Castaldi, Simona; Consalvo, Claudia; Gioli, Beniamino; Matteucci, Giorgio; Tomassucci, Michele; Zaldei, Alessandro; Papale, Dario

    2013-04-01

    At present one of the fastest spreading renewable energy sources are bioenergy cultivations. Millions of hectares of traditional crops all over the Europe are expected to be converted in energy crops in the near future, in order to produce green energy and contrast global warming. Last year, in the context of the GHG-Europe FP7 project we set up an experiment to verify the effects on the green-house gases balance of a land use change from traditional agriculture to short rotation coppice of poplar clones in central Italy. CO2 fluxes measured during the last growing season through three Eddy Covariance masts - two on poplar plantations of different ages and one over a reference site (grassland) - have been analysed. We also monitored CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes from soil measured using chambers in order to better understand the contribution of other GHGs. The two poplar plantations showed a similar uptake of Carbon, 368 g C m-2 year-1 and 358 g C m-2 year-1, while the grassland absorbed 220 g C m-2 year-1 during the same period. Soil respiration in average was higher for the youngest plantation of poplar and for the grassland, lower for the oldest one, where soil is undisturbed from more time. In all the sites we measured low emissions during the winter (between 80 and 150 mg CO2 m-2 h-1), progressively higher in the spring and early summer with growing temperatures (up to 650 mg CO2 m-2 h-1), quite low during the summer because of a strong drought, while the highest values were recorded in September (ca. 1100 mg CO2 m-2 h-1 in the grassland and youngest poplar) after important rain events. Fluxes of N2O and CH4 from soil are very low: little absorption of CH4 in the grassland (values between 0 and -18.75 μg m-2 h-1), with peak after fertilization; in the SRC little absorption or emission with no clear seasonal pattern. Insignificant fluxes of N2O in all crops (even in the grassland after fertilization). The carbon fluxes measured are strongly related to the particular

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. Structure and Processes in Temperate Grassland Vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ejrnæs, R.

    these lies the question of the origin of species. [This English text (Warming 1909) is a word for word translation of the original Danish text] The present thesis is the outcome of a three year PhD-study intended to cast light on the occurrence, nature and management of seminatural grasslands on well...... been formed in a vacuum. The constant exchange of ideas with other researchers is essential, and I am indebted to those of my colleagues who helped me, corrected me and widened my intellectual horizon during the process, notably my supervisors Ib Johnsen, Anna Bodil Hald, my near friend and colleague...... Moora. Not least, I acknowledge the coherent and inspiring studies and writing of scientists, that masters the admirable project of creating and pursuing original ideas incorporating research results from within many scientific disciplines. They make it worth carrying on doing research, and for this, I...

  2. Decrease in Danish semi-natural grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Svenningsen, Stig Roar; Levin, Gregor Philipp; 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......, which was based on an interpretation of aerial photos, and which indicated a much less pronounced reduction of SNGs. Year to year comparisons of these two analyses also revealed large discrepancies in the coverage of SNGs. Our results indicate that change detection studies must account for uncertainties...

  3. The Canopy Conductance of a Humid Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, C. T.; Hsieh, C. I.

    2015-12-01

    Penman-Monteith equation is widely used for estimating latent heat flux. The key parameter for implementing this equation is the canopy conductance (gc). Recent research (Blaken and Black, 2004) showed that gc could be well parameterized by a linear function of An/ (D0* X0c), where An represents net assimilation, D0 is leaf level saturation deficit, and X0c is CO2 mole fraction. In this study, we tried to use the same idea for estimating gcfor a humid grassland. The study site was located in County Cork, southwest Ireland (51o59''N 8o46''W), and perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne L.) was the dominant grass species in this area. An eddy covariance system was used to measure the latent heat flux above this humid grassland. The measured gc was calculated by rearranging Penman-Monteith equation combined with the measured latent heat flux. Our data showed that the gc decreased as the vapor pressure deficit and temperature increased. And it increased as the net radiation increased. Therefore, we found out that the best parameterization of gc was a linear function of the product of the vapor deficit, temperature, and net radiation. Also, we used the gc which was estimated by this linear function to predict the latent heat flux by Penman-Monteith equation and compared the predictions with those where the gc was chosen to be a fixed value. Our analysis showed that this simple linear function for gc can improve the latent heat flux predictions (R square increased from 0.48 to 0.66).

  4. A semi-ellipsoid-model based fuzzy classifier to map grassland in Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lan, Hai; Xie, Yichun

    2013-11-01

    Remote sensing techniques offer effective means for mapping plant communities. However, mapping grassland with fine vegetative classes over large areas has been challenging for either the coarse resolutions of remotely sensed images or the high costs of acquiring images with high-resolutions. An improved hybrid-fuzzy-classifier (HFC) derived from a semi-ellipsoid-model (SEM) is developed in this paper to achieve higher accuracy for classifying grasslands with Landsat images. The Xilin River Basin, Inner Mongolia, China, is chosen as the study area, because an acceptable volume of ground truthing data was previously collected by multiple research communities. The accuracy assessment is based on the comparison of the classification outcomes from four types of image sets: (1) Landsat ETM+ August 14, 2004, (2) Landsat TM August 12, 2009, (3) the fused images of ETM+ with CBERS, and (4) TM with CBERS, respectively, and by three classifiers, the proposed HFC-SEM, the tetragonal pyramid model (TPM) based HFC, and the support vector machine method. In all twelve classification experiments, the HFC-SEM classifier had the best overall accuracy statistics. This finding indicates that the medium resolution Landsat images can be used to map grassland vegetation with good vegetative detail when the proper classifier is applied.

  5. 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.

  6. Scale-dependent feedbacks between patch size and plant reproduction in desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svejcar, Lauren N.; Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.; Duniway, Michael C.; James, Darren K.

    2015-01-01

    Theoretical models suggest that scale-dependent feedbacks between plant reproductive success and plant patch size govern transitions from highly to sparsely vegetated states in drylands, yet there is scant empirical evidence for these mechanisms. Scale-dependent feedback models suggest that an optimal patch size exists for growth and reproduction of plants and that a threshold patch organization exists below which positive feedbacks between vegetation and resources can break down, leading to critical transitions. We examined the relationship between patch size and plant reproduction using an experiment in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. We tested the hypothesis that reproductive effort and success of a dominant grass (Bouteloua eriopoda) would vary predictably with patch size. We found that focal plants in medium-sized patches featured higher rates of grass reproductive success than when plants occupied either large patch interiors or small patches. These patterns support the existence of scale-dependent feedbacks in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and indicate an optimal patch size for reproductive effort and success in B. eriopoda. We discuss the implications of these results for detecting ecological thresholds in desert grasslands.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  9. Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Steven R Woods

    Full Text Available Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d⁻¹. Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling⁻¹ than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling⁻¹, but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling⁻¹, respectively. Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands.

  10. Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woods, Steven R; Archer, Steven R; Schwinning, Susan

    2014-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d) and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d⁻¹). Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling⁻¹) than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling⁻¹), but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling⁻¹, respectively). Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands.

  11. A test of catastrophic transition mechanisms in the Chihuahuan Desert Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Svejcar, L.; Bestelmeyer, B.; Duniway, M.

    2012-12-01

    Dryland ecosystems are known to undergo transitions from grassland or savanna states to shrub-dominated and/or eroded states with persistent loss of herbaceous vegetation. Theoretical models for predicting critical thresholds between states have been examined in drylands to search for early warning indicators, yet there is scant empirical evidence for the mechanisms. The models postulate that larger patches are favorable environments for plant growth in arid ecosystems due to short-range facilitation. The breakdown of large patches is thought to trigger catastrophic transitions. We tested assumptions underpinning these models using an experiment in black grama grassland (Bouteloua eriopoda Torr.) of the Chihuahuan Desert in which variable grazing intensities produced a wide range of patch sizes in plots with differing mesquite shrub (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) densities. We tested the hypothesis that growth, reproductive capability, and reproductive success of black grama plants would be greater in larger plant patches than in smaller patches. From 2010-2012 we measured numbers of stolons, ramets, rooted ramets and young individual plants associated with focal black grama plants and fixed areas within each patch. We found that the largest patches did not always feature the highest rates of grass reproduction across years, suggesting that patch size does not consistently indicate the patch persistence mechanisms proposed in catastrophic transition models. Other factors, such as resource competition within patches, may play important roles in black grama grasslands. When assessing rangeland conditions in the Chihuahuan desert grasslands, theoretical models of critical thresholds and early warning indicators should be applied with caution.

  12. BVOCs emission in a semi-arid grassland under climate warming and nitrogen deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Wang

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs profoundly affect atmospheric chemistry and ecosystem functioning. BVOCs emission and their responses to global change are still unclear in grasslands, which cover one quarter of the Earth's land surface and are currently undergoing the largest changes. Over two growing seasons, we conducted a field experiment in a semi-arid grassland (Inner Mongolia, China to examine the emission and the responses of BVOCs emissions to warming and nitrogen deposition. The natural emission rate (NER of monoterpene (dominant BVOCs here is 107 ± 16 μg m−2 h−1 in drought 2007, and 266 ± 53 μg m−2 h−1 in wet 2008, respectively. Warming decreased the standard emission factor (SEF by 24% in 2007, while increased it by 43% in 2008. The exacerbated soil moisture loss caused by warming in dry season might be responsible for the decrease of SEF in 2007. A possible threshold of soil moisture (8.2% (v/v, which controls the direction of warming effects on monoterpene emission, existed in the semiarid grassland. Nitrogen deposition decreased the coverage of Artemisia frigida and hence reduced the NER by 24% across the two growing seasons. These results suggest that the grasslands dominated by the extended Artemisia frigida are an important source for BVOCs, while the responses of their emissions to global changes are more uncertain since they depend on multifactorial/in-situ/conditions.

  13. BVOCs emission in a semi-arid grassland under climate warming and nitrogen deposition

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. J. Wang

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available Biogenic volatile organic compounds (BVOCs profoundly affect atmospheric chemistry and ecosystem functioning. BVOCs emission and their responses to global change are still unclear in grasslands, which cover one quarter of the Earth's land surface and are currently undergoing the largest changes. Over two growing seasons, we conducted a field experiment in a semi-arid grassland (Inner Mongolia, China to examine the emission and the responses of BVOCs emissions to warming and nitrogen deposition. The natural emission rate (NER of monoterpene (dominant BVOCs here is 107 ± 16 μg m−2 h−1 in drought 2007, and 266 ± 53 μg m−2 h−1 in wet 2008, respectively. Warming decreased the standard emission factor (SEF by 24% in 2007, while it increased by 43% in 2008. The exacerbated soil moisture loss caused by warming in dry season might be responsible for the decrease of SEF in 2007. A possible threshold of soil moisture (8.2% (v/v, which controls the direction of warming effects on monoterpene emission, existed in the semiarid grassland. Nitrogen deposition decreased the coverage of Artemisia frigida and hence reduced the NER by 24% across the two growing seasons. These results suggest that the grasslands dominated by the extended Artemisia frigida are an important source for BVOCs, while the responses of their emissions to global changes are more uncertain since they depend on multifactorial in-situ conditions.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Project kicks off for the recovery of depleted frigid grasslands

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    2007-01-01

    @@ A research project on the reclaiming technology for degenerated ecosystems on alpine & frigid grasslands was launched on 19 April at the CAS Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology (NIPB) in Lanzhou.

  18. 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...

  19. The effect of grassland management on enchytraeids (Oligochaeta) communities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Maraldo, Kristine; Schmelz, Rüdiger; Christensen, Bent Tolstrup;

    2012-01-01

    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...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. Grassland Management Plan Erie National Wildlife Refuge 1981

    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 at Erie National Wildlife Refuge : 1) to manage existing grasslands, 2)...

  3. 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...

  4. 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 year's...

  5. 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,...

  6. 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,...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...... of aerenchymous plants should be considered before dismissing grasslands on peat as CH4 sources....

  9. Grassland Evolution Under Soil Degradation: Numerical Simulation and Test

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    QI Xiang-Zhen; LIN Zhen-Shan

    2005-01-01

    Both theoretical and field observations were examined to study the close relationship between soil degeneration and the evolution of grassland vegetation. A general n-species model of equal competition under different degrees of soil degradation was applied to field data in order to probe the dynamic processes and mechanisms of vegetation evolution due to the effects of the soil's ecological deterioration on grassland vegetation. Comparisons were made between the theoretical results and the practical surveys with satisfactory results.

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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 ...... grasslands, which can be explained by lower accumulation of binding agents of microbial origin. This can have implications for the accumulation of atmospheric CO2 in soil and for the susceptibility of SOC to external disturbances such as management and environmental changes.......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...

  12. 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.

  13. Soil-occupancy effects of invasive and native grassland plant species on composition and diversity of mycorrhizal associations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jordan, Nicholas R.; Aldrich-Wolfe, Laura; Huerd, Sheri C.; Larson, Diane L.; Muehlbauer, Gary

    2012-01-01

    Diversified grasslands that contain native plant species can produce biofuels, support sustainable grazing systems, and produce other ecosystem services. However, ecosystem service production can be disrupted by invasion of exotic perennial plants, and these plants can have soil-microbial “legacies” that may interfere with establishment and maintenance of diversified grasslands even after effective management of the invasive species. The nature of such legacies is not well understood, but may involve suppression of mutualisms between native species and soil microbes. In this study, we tested the hypotheses that legacy effects of invasive species change colonization rates, diversity, and composition of arbuscular-mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) associated with seedlings of co-occurring invasive and native grassland species. In a glasshouse, experimental soils were conditioned by cultivating three invasive grassland perennials, three native grassland perennials, and a native perennial mixture. Each was grown separately through three cycles of growth, after which we used T-RFLP analysis to characterize AMF associations of seedlings of six native perennial and six invasive perennial species grown in these soils. Legacy effects of soil conditioning by invasive species did not affect AMF richness in seedling roots, but did affect AMF colonization rates and the taxonomic composition of mycorrhizal associations in seedling roots. Moreover, native species were more heavily colonized by AMF and roots of native species had greater AMF richness (number of AMF operational taxonomic units per seedling) than did invasive species. The invasive species used to condition soil in this experiment have been shown to have legacy effects on biomass of native seedlings, reducing their growth in this and a previous similar experiment. Therefore, our results suggest that successful plant invaders can have legacies that affect soil-microbial associations of native plants and that these effects

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. Social and Ecological Factors Influencing Attitudes Toward the Application of High-Intensity Prescribed Burns to Restore Fire Adapted Grassland Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Toledo

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Fire suppression in grassland systems that are adapted to episodic fire has contributed to the recruitment of woody species in grasslands worldwide. Even though the ecology of restoring these fire prone systems back to grassland states is becoming clearer, a major hurdle to the reintroduction of historic fires at a landscape scale is its social acceptability. Despite the growing body of literature on the social aspects of fire, an understanding of the human dimensions of applying high-intensity prescribed burns in grassland and savanna systems is lacking. We used structural equation modeling to examine how landowners' attitudes toward high-intensity prescribed burns are affected by previous experience with burning, perceptions of brush encroachment, land condition, proximity constraints, risk orientation, fire management knowledge and skill, access to fire management equipment, and subjective norms. Our results suggest that experience, risk taking orientation, and especially social norms, i.e., perceived support from others, when implementing prescribed burns play an important role in determining the attitudes of landowners toward the use of high-intensity prescribed burns. Concern over lack of skill, knowledge, and insufficient resources have a moderately negative effect on these attitudes. Our results highlight the importance of targeted engagement strategies to address risk perceptions, subjective norms, and landowner's concerns. With these concerns allayed, it is possible to increase the adoption of high-intensity prescribed burns that lead to landscape-scale grassland restoration and conservation.

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. Building Code Compliance and Enforcement: The Experience of SanFrancisco's Residential Energy Conservation Ordinanace and California'sBuildign Standards for New Construction

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vine, E.

    1990-11-01

    As part of Lawrence Berkeley Laboratory's (LBL) technical assistance to the Sustainable City Project, compliance and enforcement activities related to local and state building codes for existing and new construction were evaluated in two case studies. The analysis of the City of San Francisco's Residential Energy Conservation Ordinance (RECO) showed that a limited, prescriptive energy conservation ordinance for existing residential construction can be enforced relatively easily with little administrative costs, and that compliance with such ordinances can be quite high. Compliance with the code was facilitated by extensive publicity, an informed public concerned with the cost of energy and knowledgeable about energy efficiency, the threat of punishment (Order of Abatement), the use of private inspectors, and training workshops for City and private inspectors. The analysis of California's Title 24 Standards for new residential and commercial construction showed that enforcement of this type of code for many climate zones is more complex and requires extensive administrative support for education and training of inspectors, architects, engineers, and builders. Under this code, prescriptive and performance approaches for compliance are permitted, resulting in the demand for alternative methods of enforcement: technical assistance, plan review, field inspection, and computer analysis. In contrast to existing construction, building design and new materials and construction practices are of critical importance in new construction, creating a need for extensive technical assistance and extensive interaction between enforcement personnel and the building community. Compliance problems associated with building design and installation did occur in both residential and nonresidential buildings. Because statewide codes are enforced by local officials, these problems may increase over time as energy standards change and become more complex and as other standards

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. Grassland Degradation Decrease the Diversity of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi Species in Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao-Bu CAI

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM fungi play a vital role in restoration of an ecosystem. Grassland degradation in alpine steppe is severe, but the influence of grassland degradation on AM fungi composition in Tibetan Plateau is still not well understood. This research studied the diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi in degraded alpine steppe, dominated by Stipa purpurea. The results showed that the species richness and abundance of AM fungi in degraded grasslands significantly decreased. In different typical grasslands species, diversity of AM fungi genus Glomus was much higher than other genera (Acaulospora and Scutellospora. Compared with normal grassland, the AM fungal species diversity in moderately degraded grassland decreased by 30%, but in lightly degraded and severely degraded grassland, it highly increased with 15.3% and 13.3%, respectively. The species diversity of genus Glomus in moderately degraded grassland and lightly degraded grassland were higher than for normal grassland. Significant differences were observed in a relative abundance of common dominant species among different degraded grasslands. The proportion of dominant species highly increased with the aggravation of grassland degradation. The results suggest that the grassland mild degradation increased the adaptability and stress resistance of species.

  15. 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

  16. 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)

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. The rationale for and implementation of learner-centered education: experiences at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Navazesh, Mahvash; Rich, Sandra K; Tiber, Arnold

    2014-02-01

    This report describes the design, implementation, and function of integrated, learner-centered education at the Ostrow School of Dentistry of the University of Southern California. The 190 required courses of the previous curriculum have been condensed to forty-four courses. Four courses, presented for each of eleven trimesters of the four-year D.D.S. program, are entitled Human Structure, Human Function, Human Behavior, and Human Clinical Dentistry. An integrated biomedical sciences curriculum is supported by small-group, facilitator-based, problem-based learning (PBL) and an electronic PBL case library. Modules, rotations, and preclinical and clinical sessions make up remaining instructional units of the curriculum. Selected assessment outcomes measuring student knowledge, behavior, and skill development are discussed. As an external measure, first-attempt pass rates on the National Board Dental Examination (NBDE) Part I show a range of 87-96 percent over a ten-year period (for Classes 2005-14). First-attempt pass rates on the NBDE Part II for Classes 2005-12 ranged from 74 percent to 93 percent. Perceived barriers and opportunities for better performance on the NBDE Part II are addressed. Additionally, an exit survey, administered over the past four years, indicates a high level of student satisfaction with "depth and breadth" of their education (82-93 percent) and that graduates feel well prepared to enter the practice of dentistry (94-97 percent).

  1. Restoring Tropical Grassland Productivity with Facilitated Biofertilisation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Wendy; Büdel, Burkhard

    2015-04-01

    Grazing is the major economic activity in northern Australia's subtropical grasslands, savannah and shrublands that cover >1.9 million km2 however; there has been significant decline in soil fertility that has led to the need to consider ways to improve management. Terrestrial cyanobacteria primarily inhabit complex soil microbial communities that drive physical and biological processes in the topsoil. These microbes facilitate resilience to drought and maintain soil function. They transform their environment through the secretion of mucilaginous organic compounds that improve aggregate stability, porosity, rainfall infiltration rates and water storage, reduce evaporation and soil erosion and, improve seedling emergence. In the northern Australian savannah cyanobacterial communities dominate soil surfaces of the perennial tussock grasslands. The core focus of this research has been to better understand the function of cyanobacteria within the climate-soil-plant ecosystem. The recent discovery that cyanobacteria are programmed to detect and respond only to wet season rains, and remain inactive and unproductive during the dry season even if it rains, has rewritten our understanding of soil nutrient cycles in the northern Australian savannah. In this project we have established: 1. For the wet season trials (Dec 2009-May 2010) the mean values of cyanobacterial crust (0-1 cm depth; n=100) plant-available N fluctuated, yet significantly increased incrementally from Dec to Feb (2.74 ± 0.37SE-5.62 ± 0.82 mg NH4+ kg-1 soil; p = 0.003) and peaked from Mar-May (9.59 ± 1.5SE-16.04 ± 3.2SE mg NH4+ kg-1 soil; p = 0.127) that represented the concluding stages of the wet season. 2. Cyanobacterial rates of N-fixation (determined by Acetylene Reduction assays, n=6 per month), increased significantly from the commencement to the height of the wet season (13.2 ± 2.9SE-30.2 ± 1.9SE kg N ha-1; p = 0.001) and decreased towards the end of the wet season (10.4 ± 1.8SE kg N ha-1; p

  2. Long-term climate change mitigation potential with organic matter management on grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ryals, Rebecca; Hartman, Melannie D; Parton, William J; DeLonge, Marcia S; Silver, Whendee L

    2015-03-01

    Compost amendments to grasslands have been proposed as a strategy to mitigate climate change through carbon (C) sequestration, yet little research exists exploring the net mitigation potential or the long-term impacts of this strategy. We used field data and the DAYCENT biogeochemical model to investigate the climate change mitigation potential of compost amendments to grasslands in California, USA. The model was used to test ecosystem C and greenhouse gas responses to a range of compost qualities (carbon to nitrogen [C:N] ratios of 11.1, 20, or 30) and application rates (single addition of 14 Mg C/ha or 10 annual additions of 1.4 Mg C · ha(-1) · yr(-1)). The model was parameterized using site-specific weather, vegetation, and edaphic characteristics and was validated by comparing simulated soil C, nitrous oxide (N2O), methane (CH4), and carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes, and net primary production (NPP) with three years of field data. All compost amendment scenarios led to net greenhouse gas sinks that persisted for several decades. Rates of climate change mitigation potential ranged from 130 ± 3 g to 158 ± 8 g CO2-eq · m(-2) ·yr(-1) (where "eq" stands for "equivalents") when assessed over a 10-year time period and 63 ± 2 g to 84 ± 10 g CO2- eq · m(-2) · yr(-1) over a 30-year time period. Both C storage and greenhouse gas emissions increased rapidly following amendments. Compost amendments with lower C:N led to higher C sequestration rates over time. However, these soils also experienced greater N20 fluxes. Multiple smaller compost additions resulted in similar cumulative C sequestration rates, albeit with a time lag, and lower cumulative N2O emissions. These results identify a trade-off between maximizing C sequestration and minimizing N2O emissions following amendments, and suggest that compost additions to grassland soils can have a long-term impact on C and greenhouse gas dynamics that contributes to climate change mitigation. PMID:26263673

  3. Effects of different diets on utilization of nitrogen from cattle slurry applied to grassland on a sandy soil in the Netherlands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reijs, J.W.; Sonneveld, M.P.W.; Sorensen, P.; Schils, R.L.M.; Groot, J.C.J.; Lantinga, E.A.

    2007-01-01

    Dietary adjustments have been suggested as a means to reduce N losses from dairy systems. Differences in fertilizing value of dairy slurry as a result of dietary adjustments were evaluated in a 1-year grassland experiment and by long-term modelling. Slurry composition of non-lactating dairy cows was

  4. 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...

  5. Woody Plant Encroachment into Grasslands: Spatial Patterns of Functional Group Distribution and Community Development

    OpenAIRE

    Feng Liu(Central China Normal University); Archer, Steven R.; Frances Gelwick; Edith Bai; Boutton, Thomas W.; Xinyuan Ben Wu

    2013-01-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has been globally widespread. The woody species invading grasslands represent a variety of contrasting plant functional groups and growth forms. Are some woody plant functional types (PFTs) better suited to invade grasslands than others? To what extent do local patterns of distribution and abundance of woody PFTs invading grasslands reflect intrinsic topoedaphic properties versus plant-induced changes in soil properties? We addressed these questions in...

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Energy potential of biomass from conservation grasslands in Minnesota, USA.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jacob M Jungers

    Full Text Available Perennial biomass from grasslands managed for conservation of soil and biodiversity can be harvested for bioenergy. Until now, the quantity and quality of harvestable biomass from conservation grasslands in Minnesota, USA, was not known, and the factors that affect bioenergy potential from these systems have not been identified. We measured biomass yield, theoretical ethanol conversion efficiency, and plant tissue nitrogen (N as metrics of bioenergy potential from mixed-species conservation grasslands harvested with commercial-scale equipment. With three years of data, we used mixed-effects models to determine factors that influence bioenergy potential. Sixty conservation grassland plots, each about 8 ha in size, were distributed among three locations in Minnesota. Harvest treatments were applied annually in autumn as a completely randomized block design. Biomass yield ranged from 0.5 to 5.7 Mg ha(-1. May precipitation increased biomass yield while precipitation in all other growing season months showed no affect. Averaged across all locations and years, theoretical ethanol conversion efficiency was 450 l Mg(-1 and the concentration of plant N was 7.1 g kg(-1, both similar to dedicated herbaceous bioenergy crops such as switchgrass. Biomass yield did not decline in the second or third year of harvest. Across years, biomass yields fluctuated 23% around the average. Surprisingly, forb cover was a better predictor of biomass yield than warm-season grass with a positive correlation with biomass yield in the south and a negative correlation at other locations. Variation in land ethanol yield was almost exclusively due to variation in biomass yield rather than biomass quality; therefore, efforts to increase biomass yield might be more economical than altering biomass composition when managing conservation grasslands for ethanol production. Our measurements of bioenergy potential, and the factors that control it, can serve as parameters for assessing

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

    The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a voluntary program that is available to agricultural producers to help protect environmentally sensitive or highly erodible land. Management disturbances of CRP grasslands generally are not allowed unless authorized to provide relief to livestock producers during severe drought or a similar natural disaster (i.e., emergency haying and grazing) or to improve the quality and performance of the CRP cover (i.e., managed haying and grazing). Although CRP grasslands may not be hayed or grazed during the primary bird-nesting season, these disturbances may have short-term (1 yr after disturbance) and long-term (≥2 yr after disturbance) effects on grassland bird populations. We assessed the effects of haying on 20 grassland bird species in 483 CRP grasslands in 9 counties of 4 states in the northern Great Plains, USA between 1993 and 2008. We compared breeding bird densities (as determined by total-area counts) in idle and hayed fields to evaluate changes 1, 2, 3, and 4 years after haying. Haying of CRP grasslands had either positive or negative effects on grassland birds, depending on the species, the county, and the number of years after the initial disturbance. Some species (e.g., horned lark [Eremophila alpestris], bobolink [Dolichonyx oryzivorus]) responded positively after haying, and others (e.g., song sparrow [Melospiza melodia]) responded negatively. The responses of some species changed direction as the fields recovered from haying. For example, densities for common yellowthroat (Geothlypis trichas), sedge wren (Cistothorus platensis), and clay-colored sparrow (Spizella pallida) declined the first year after haying but increased in the subsequent 3 years. Ten species showed treatment × county interactions, indicating that the effects of haying varied geographically. This long-term evaluation on the effects of haying on breeding birds provides important information on the strength and direction of changes in

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. Increase in ammonia volatilization from soil in response to N deposition in Inner Mongolia grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; Han, Xu; He, Nianpeng; Long, Min; Huang, Jianhui; Zhang, Guangming; Wang, Qibing; Han, Xingguo

    2014-02-01

    Ammonia (NH3) is an important component of the nitrogen (N) cycle in terrestrial ecosystems and is a significant atmospheric pollutant. Results from studies of ammonia emissions from semi-arid grasslands have been infrequently reported although these emissions may be increasing rapidly with a subsequent increase in atmospheric N deposition. Moreover, whether N deposition regimes (fertilization vs. atmospheric N deposition) influence NH3 volatilization from soil is unclear. We conducted an N deposition experiment in an Inner Mongolian grassland with nine levels of N addition (0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 50 g N m-2 yr-1) and two additional N regimes: a two-pulse addition (N2) simulating fertilization and monthly addition (N12) simulating atmospheric N deposition. We investigated NH3 volatilization from the soil in 2010 and 2011 after the addition of N. NH3 volatilization rates significantly increased with increasing intensities of N addition for both the two-pulse (R2 = 0.993, P soil ammonium concentration in both N addition regimes. Overall, a higher level of N application at a higher frequency resulted in higher NH3 emissions indicating that the assessments made in most N fertilization experiments will underestimate the effects of N deposition on NH3 emissions from soils as well as on N cycles.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ellen L Fry

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

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keuter, A.

    2012-04-01

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

  5. 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

  6. 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

    2008-04-01

    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. Complementarity effects, likely mostly through both increased aboveground spatial complementarity and facilitative effects of legumes, led to higher shoot and root biomass in multi-species communities, regardless of the induced warming. Surprisingly, warming suppressed productivity the most in 9-species communities, which may be attributed to negative impacts of intense interspecific competition for resources under conditions of high abiotic stress. Our results suggest that warming and the associated soil drying could reduce primary production in many temperate grasslands, and that this will not necessarily be mitigated by efforts to maintain or increase species richness.

  7. Co-evolving Physical and Biological Organization in Step-pool Channels: Experiments from a Restoration Reach on Wildcat Creek, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chin, A.; O'Dowd, A. P.; Mendez, P. K.; Velasco, K. Z.; Leventhal, R. D.; Storesund, R.; Laurencio, L. R.

    2014-12-01

    Step-pools are important features in fluvial systems. Through energy dissipation, step-pools provide stability in high-energy environments that otherwise may erode and degrade. Although research has focused on geomorphological aspects of step-pool channels, the ecological significance of step-pool streams is increasingly recognized. Step-pool streams often contain higher density and diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates and are critical habitats for organisms such as salmonids and tailed frogs. Step-pools are therefore increasingly used to restore eroding channels and improve ecological conditions. This paper addresses a restoration reach of Wildcat Creek in Berkeley, California that featured an installation of step-pools in 2012. The design framework recognized step-pool formation as a self-organizing process that produces a rhythmic morphology. After placing step particles at locations where step-pools are expected to form according to hydraulic theory, the self-organizing approach allowed fluvial processes to refine the rocks into adjusted sequences over time. In addition, a 30-meter "experimental" reach was created to explore the co-evolution of geomorphological and ecological characteristics. After constructing a plane bed channel, boulders and cobbles piled at the upstream end allowed natural flows to mobilize and sort them into step-pool sequences. Ground surveys and LiDAR recorded the development of step-pool sequences over several seasons. Concurrent sampling of benthic macroinvertebrates documented the formation of biological communities in conjunction with habitat. Biological sampling in an upstream reference reach provided a comparison with the restored reach over time. Results to date show an emergent step-pool channel with steps that segment the plane bed into initial step and pool habitats. Biological communities are beginning to form, showing more distinction among habitat types during some seasons, although they do not yet approach reference

  8. 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.

  9. Long-term nutrient fertilization and the carbon balance of permanent grassland: any evidence for sustainable intensification?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fornara, Dario A.; Wasson, Elizabeth-Anne; Christie, Peter; Watson, Catherine J.

    2016-09-01

    Sustainable grassland intensification aims to increase plant yields while maintaining the ability of soil to act as a sink rather than sources of atmospheric CO2. High biomass yields from managed grasslands, however, can be only maintained through long-term nutrient fertilization, which can significantly affect soil carbon (C) storage and cycling. Key questions remain about (1) how long-term inorganic vs. organic fertilization influences soil C stocks, and (2) how soil C gains (or losses) contribute to the long-term C balance of managed grasslands. Using 43 years of data from a permanent grassland experiment, we show that soils not only act as significant C sinks but have not yet reached C saturation. Even unfertilized control soils showed C sequestration rates of 0.35 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (i.e. 35 g C m-2 yr-1; 0-15 cm depth) between 1970 and 2013. High application rates of liquid manure (i.e. cattle slurry) further increased soil C sequestration to 0.86 Mg C ha-1 yr-1 (i.e. 86 g C m-2 yr-1) and a key cause of this C accrual was greater C inputs from cattle slurry. However, average coefficients of slurry-C retention in soils suggest that 85 % of C added yearly through liquid manure is lost possibly via CO2 fluxes and organic C leaching. Inorganically fertilized soils (i.e. NPK) had the lowest C-gain efficiency (i.e. unit of C gained per unit of N added) and lowest C sequestration (similar to control soils). Soils receiving cattle slurry showed higher C-gain and N-retention efficiencies compared to soils receiving NPK or pig slurry. We estimate that net rates of CO2-sequestration in the top 15 cm of the soil can offset 9-25 % of GHG (greenhouse gas) emissions from intensive management. However, because of multiple GHG sources associated with livestock farming, the net C balance of these grasslands remains positive (9-12 Mg CO2-equivalent ha-1 yr-1), thus contributing to climate change. Further C-gain efficiencies (e.g. reduced enteric fermentation and use of feed

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol - Van Dasselaar, Van Den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.

    2014-01-01

    The European project MultiSward aimed to increase the reliance of farmers on grasslands and on multi-species swards for competitive and sustainable ruminant production systems. Active participation of stakeholders was one of the key objectives of the project. The aim of the current study was to get

  13. Restoration of species-rich grasslands on reconstructed river dikes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    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 t

  14. Regional dynamics of grassland change in the western Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drummond, M.A.

    2007-01-01

    This paper examines the contemporary land-cover changes in two western Great Plains ecoregions between 1973 and 2000. Agriculture and other land uses can have a substantial effect on grassland cover that varies regionally depending on the primary driving forces of change. In order to better understand change, the rates, types, and causes of land conversion were examined for 1973, 1980, 1986, 1992, and 2000 using Landsat satellite data and a statistical sampling strategy. The overall estimated rate of land-cover change between 1973 and 2000 was 7.4% in the Northwestern Great Plains and 11.5% in the Western High Plains. Trends in both ecoregions have similarities, although the dynamics of change differ temporally depending on driving forces. Between 1973 and 1986, grassland cover declined when economic opportunity drove an expansion of agriculture. Between 1986 and 2000, grassland expanded as public policy and a combination of socioeconomic factors drove a conversion from agriculture to grassland. ?? 2007 Copyright by the Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

  15. Feedbacks between woody plant encroachment and microclimate in desert grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    D'Odorico, P.; He, Y.; De Wekker, S.; Fuentes, J. D.; Collins, S. L.; Pockman, W.

    2011-12-01

    The encroachment of woody plants into grasslands is a global phenomenon that results from a variety of drivers related to land use and global environmental change. In the southwestern U.S., shrub encroachment can be associated with land degradation, soil erosion, and the formation of coppice dunes. In this region, the relatively abrupt character of grassland-to-shrubland transitions - both in time and in space - suggests that arid and semiarid rangelands may exhibit two alternative stable states characterized by either grass or shrub dominance. In these bistable landscapes, even small changes in environmental drivers may cause abrupt state transitions from grassland to shrubland, sustained by positive feedbacks with environmental drivers. We show that positive feedbacks between land cover change and microclimate may contribute to shrub encroachment in the southwestern US. Thus, we investigate changes in surface air temperature and energy balance resulting from grass-to-shrub transitions in the northern Chiuhuahuan desert. We find that the encroachment of native shrubs into desert grasslands modifies the surface energy balance with the overall net effect of increasing nighttime air temperatures, thereby favoring the establishment and growth of freeze-sensitive Larrea plants.

  16. Bird Use of Grassland Habitat Patches at a Military Airfield

    Science.gov (United States)

    In light of reported declines in grassland bird populations in North America, information about their use of airfield habitats can help inform management decisions in the context of conflicting objectives of minimizing wildlife-aircraft collisions and helping to conserve grasslan...

  17. 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.

  18. 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

  19. Forage herbs improve mineral composition of grassland herbage

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirhofer-Walzl, Karin; Søegaard, Karen; Jensen, Henning Høgh;

    2011-01-01

    Provision of an adequate mineral supply in the diets of ruminants fed mainly on grassland herbage can present a challenge if mineral concentrations are suboptimal for animal nutrition. Forage herbs may be included in grassland seed mixtures to improve herbage mineral content, although there is li......Provision of an adequate mineral supply in the diets of ruminants fed mainly on grassland herbage can present a challenge if mineral concentrations are suboptimal for animal nutrition. Forage herbs may be included in grassland seed mixtures to improve herbage mineral content, although...... groups (grasses, legumes and herbs). Herb species included chicory (Cichorium intybus L.), plantain (Plantago lanceolata L.), caraway (Carum carvi L.) and salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor L.). We also investigated the effect of slurry application on the macro- and micromineral concentration of grasses......, legumes and herbs. In general, herbs had greater concentrations of the macrominerals P, Mg, K and S and the microminerals Zn and B than grasses and legumes. Slurry application indirectly decreased Ca, S, Cu and B concentrations of total herbage because of an increase in the proportion of mineral-poor...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. Mycorrhizal Productivity Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutton, T. W.; Rowe, H. I.; Ariza, M. C.; Miller, R. M.; Filley, T. R.

    2008-12-01

    Mycorrhizal fungi play an important role in soil carbon storage and dynamics through the production of recalcitrant organic compounds (e.g., glomalin and chitin), and through the production of hyphae which entangle and enmesh soil particles to form aggregates which physically protect organic matter from decomposer organisms. Despite these important functions, little is known regarding rates of mycorrhizal productivity and how these rates might be influenced by changes in plant community composition. We quantified mycorrhizal production in a subtropical savanna parkland in southern Texas where woody plants have invaded areas that were once open grassland. Mycorrhizal ingrowth bags (3 x 10 cm) were made from 50 μm nylon mesh, filled with sterile sand (200-600 μm particle size), and deployed in the field in triplicate in remnant grasslands (n=15), and in woody plant stands (n=13) ranging in age from 15 to 86 yrs. Ingrowth bags were installed in May and harvested in Oct 2007 after 156 days. Hyphae were isolated by flotation/filtration, cleaned thoroughly to remove sand, freeze-dried, and weighed. Microscopic examination indicated that nearly all hyphae recovered from ingrowth bags were from arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. During the ingrowth period, nearly 4X more hyphal biomass accumulated in wooded areas (9.00 ± 3.84 g m- 2) compared to remnant grasslands (2.35 ± 0.56 g m-2). Hyphal productivity rates increased linearly with woody plant stand age (r = 0.89) from 15 ± 4 mg m-2 day-1 in grasslands (time 0) up to 58-98 mg m-2 day-1 in wooded areas >65 yrs old. When these productivity rates are annualized, we find that hyphal productivity represents approximately 4% of aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in wooded areas, and 2% of ANPP in remnant grasslands. These observations are consistent with concurrent studies showing that glomalin concentrations and chitinase enzyme activity both increase in soils with time following woody encroachment into grassland

  3. Empirically Modeling Carbon Fluxes over the Northern Great Plains Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, L.; Wylie, B. K.; Ji, L.; Gilmanov, T.; Tieszen, L. L.

    2007-12-01

    Grasslands cover nearly one-fifth of the global terrestrial surface and store most of their carbon below ground. The grassland ecosystem in the Great Plains occupies over 1.5 million km2 of land area and is the primary resource for livestock production in North America. However, the contributions of grasslands to local and regional carbon budgets remain uncertain due to the lack of carbon flux data for the expansive grassland ecosystems under various managements, land uses, and climate variability. A quantitative understanding of carbon fluxes across these systems is essential for developing regional, national, and global carbon budgets and providing guidance to policy makers and managers when substantial conversion to biofuels are implemented. Additionally, these estimates will provide insights into how the grassland ecosystem will respond to future climate and what systems are sustainable and offer net carbon sinks. This knowledge base and decisions support tools are needed for developing land management strategies for the region under a variety of environmental conditions and land use options. In the past, we used a remote sensing-based piecewise regression (PWR) model to estimate the grassland carbon fluxes in the northern Great Plains using the 1-km SPOT VEGETATION normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) data. We estimated the carbon fluxes through integrated spatial databases and remotely sensed extrapolations of flux tower data to regional scales. The PWR model was applied to derive an empirical relationship between environmental variables and tower-based measurements. The PWR equations were then applied through time and space to estimate carbon fluxes across the study area at 1-km resolution. We now improve this modeling approach by 1) using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data with higher temporal, spatial, and spectral resolutions (8-day, 500-m, and 7-band) as input; 2) incorporating the actual vegetation evapotranspiration

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

  9. Authentic Assessment in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Educational Leadership, 1989

    1989-01-01

    Describes the teacher-developed California Assessment Program (CAP) writing measure, designed to support California's reform curriculum and based on matrix sampling techniques. This program will be supplemented by literature and mathematics assessments. The greatest challenge is designing an assessment to match the state's new history and social…

  10. 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…

  11. 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.

  12. 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

  13. Nitrogen deposition effects on subalpine grassland: The role of nutrient limitations and changes in mycorrhizal abundance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanke, Verena; Bassin, Seraina; Volk, Matthias; Fuhrer, Jürg

    2012-11-01

    To better understand how increasing atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition may affect subalpine grassland, we carried out a nutrient addition experiment in the Swiss Alps. N addition (+N) was combined with phosphorus (P) addition (+P) to determine nutrient limitations in plant functional groups. To examine responses of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and AMF effects on plant growth, in-growth cores containing local plant species (phytometers) were inserted, and in half of them the external mycelium was disrupted weekly to impede mycorrhizal functioning. At harvest, aboveground biomass and element concentrations of the established vegetation were measured, as well as phytometer shoot and root mass, and the percentage of root length colonized (%RLC) by AMF. Only productivity of grasses increased under +N and +P, while other groups showed no or negative growth responses. +P decreased %RLC in all phytometers, whereas +N increased %RLC in the most abundant grass species, and reduced the relative abundance of arbuscules to total intraradical mycelium in the other species. Weekly destruction of the external mycelium reduced %RLC in most species, but did not affect plant biomass. The results suggest that increased N deposition in such N- and P-co-limited grassland will lead to shifts in plant functional group composition due to differences in the plants' nutrient demand, that +N will affect AMF abundance and mutualistic functioning, but that changes in AMF abundance may not considerably affect plant growth.

  14. 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.

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

    -old 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 the CO2 emissions within 1–4-year-old grasslands. Only the 17-year-old grassland showed markedly higher CO2 emissions (4.9 ± 1.1 g CO2 kg−1 soil). Differences in aboveground and root biomass did not affect CO2 emissions, and slurry application did not either. The substantial increase in root biomass...

  1. 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.

  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. 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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...... 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 δ 13C 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 CO 2. The cumulative amounts of C respired from dung treated soils during 152 days were 7-8 times higher than in the un...

  6. 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).

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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

  10. Management options to limit nitrate leaching from grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cuttle, S. P.; Scholefield, D.

    1995-12-01

    Nitrate leaching can be reduced by the adoption of less intensive grassland systems which, though requiring a greater land area to achieve the same agricultural output, result in less nitrate leaching per unit of production than do intensively managed grasslands. The economic penalties associated with reductions in output can be partly offset by greater reliance on symbiotic nitrogen fixation and the use of clover-based swards in place of synthetic N fertilisers. Alternatively, specific measures can be adopted to improve the efficiency of nitrogen use in intensively managed systems in order to maintain high outputs but with reduced losses. Controls should take account of other forms of loss and flows of nitrogen between grassland and other components of the whole-farm system and, in most instances, should result in an overall reduction in nitrogen inputs. Removing stock from the fields earlier in the grazing season will reduce the accumulation of high concentrations of potentially leachable nitrate in the soil of grazed pastures but will increase the quantity of manure produced by housed animals and the need to recycle this effectively. Supplementing grass diets with low-nitrogen forages such as maize silage will reduce the quantity of nitrogen excreted by livestock but may increase the potential for nitrate leaching elsewhere on the farm if changes to cropping patterns involve more frequent cultivation of grassland. Improved utilisation by the sward of nitrogen in animal excreta and manures and released by mineralisation of soil organic matter will permit equivalent reductions to be made in fertiliser inputs, provided that adequate information is available about the supply of nitrogen from these non-fertiliser sources.

  11. 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...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

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

  17. 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.

  18. Dairy farming on permanent grassland: can it keep up?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kellermann, M; Salhofer, K

    2014-10-01

    Based on an extensive data set for southern Germany, we compared the productive performance of dairy farms that operate solely on permanent grassland and dairy farms using fodder crops from arable land. We allowed for heterogeneous production technologies and identified more intensive and extensive production systems for both types of farms, whereby we based our notion of intensive versus extensive dairy production on differences in stocking density and milk yield per cow and year. To be able to compare the productivity levels and productivity developments of the various groups of farms, we developed a group- and chain-linked multilateral productivity index. We also analyzed how technical change, technical efficiency change, and a scale change effect contribute to productivity growth between the years 2000 and 2008. Our results revealed that permanent grassland farms can generally keep up with fodder-crop farms, even in an intensive production setting. However, extensively operating farms, especially those on permanent grassland, significantly lag behind in productivity and productivity change and run the risk of losing ground.

  19. 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.

  20. 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

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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,...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. The Oxbow School, California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, Clifford A.

    2003-01-01

    Describes the design of the Oxbow School, an art- and design-oriented high school in Napa, California, including the educational context and design goals. Includes information on the architects, as well as floor plans and photographs. (EV)

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. Increased competition does not lead to increased phylogenetic overdispersion in a native grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Jonathan A; Lamb, Eric G; Hall, Jocelyn C; Cardinal-McTeague, Warren M; Cahill, James F

    2013-09-01

    That competition is stronger among closely related species and leads to phylogenetic overdispersion is a common assumption in community ecology. However, tests of this assumption are rare and field-based experiments lacking. We tested the relationship between competition, the degree of relatedness, and overdispersion among plants experimentally and using a field survey in a native grassland. Relatedness did not affect competition, nor was competition associated with phylogenetic overdispersion. Further, there was only weak evidence for increased overdispersion at spatial scales where plants are likely to compete. These results challenge traditional theory, but are consistent with recent theories regarding the mechanisms of plant competition and its potential effect on phylogenetic structure. We suggest that specific conditions related to the form of competition and trait conservatism must be met for competition to cause phylogenetic overdispersion. Consequently, overdispersion as a result of competition is likely to be rare in natural communities.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Relationships between tree-ring width index and NDVI of grassland in Delingha

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HE Jicheng; SHAO Xuemei

    2006-01-01

    Using five well-replicated Qilian juniper (Sabina przewalskii Kom.) tree-ring width index series, monthly normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of grassland, and climatic data from 1982 to 2001, the relationships between tree-ring width index, NDVI of grassland, and climatic data were analyzed firstly. Then, the relationship between tree-ring width index and NDVI of grassland was explored. The results showed that: (1) Temperature and precipitation in June influenced tree-ring width index and NDVI of grassland deeply in Delingha. (2) There were significant relationships between five tree-ring width index series (DLH1-DLH5) and monthly NDVI of grassland from June to September, with the most significant relationship being between tree-ring width index series and NDVI of grassland in August. (3) The PC1 (the first principal component derived from DLH1-DLH5 series) exhibited good agreement with monthly NDVI of grassland in the grass growth season (from June to September) and the averaged NDVI in the growth season, which was attributed to their common responses to water-supply limit in Delingha. This study may allow an increase in studying the past dynamics of grassland in Delingha in that the variation of grassland NDVI during the last millennium has been reconstructed from PC1.

  19. 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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  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. Impacts of cattle grazing on spatio-temporal variability of soil moisture and above-ground live plant biomass in mixed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Virk, Ravinder

    Areas with relatively high spatial heterogeneity generally have more biodiversity than spatially homogeneous areas due to increased potential habitat. Management practices such as controlled grazing also affect the biodiversity in grasslands, but the nature of this impact is not well understood. Therefore this thesis studies the impacts of variation in grazing on soil moisture and biomass heterogeneity. These are not only important in terms of management of protected grasslands, but also for designing an effective grazing system from a livestock management point of view. This research is a part of the cattle grazing experiment underway in Grasslands National Park (GNP) of Canada since 2006, as part of the adaptive management process for restoring ecological integrity of the northern mixed-grass prairie region. An experimental approach using field measurements and remote sensing (Landsat) was combined with modelling (CENTURY) to examine and predict the impacts of grazing intensity on the spatial heterogeneity and patterns of above-ground live plant biomass (ALB) in experimental pastures in a mixed grassland ecosystem. The field-based research quantified the temporal patterns and spatial variability in both soil moisture (SM) and ALB, and the influence of local intra-seasonal weather variability and slope location on the spatio-temporal variability of SM and ALB at field plot scales. Significant impacts of intra-seasonal weather variability, slope position and grazing pressure on SM and ALB across a range of scales (plot and local (within pasture)) were found. Grazing intensity significantly affected the ALB even after controlling for the effect of slope position. Satellite-based analysis extended the scale of interest to full pastures and the surrounding region to assess the effects of grazing intensity on the spatio-temporal pattern of ALB in mixed grasslands. Overall, low to moderate grazing intensity showed increase in ALB heterogeneity whereas no change in ALB

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Simulating spatiotemporal dynamics of sichuan grassland net primary productivity using the CASA model and in situ observations.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    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 absorbed photosynthetic active radiation (APAR), light use efficiency (ε), and NPP of Sichuan grasslands peaked in August, which was a vigorous growth period during 2011. High values of APAR existed in the southwest regions in altitudes from 2000 m to 4000 m. Light use efficiency (ε) varied in the different types of grasslands. The Sichuan grassland NPP was mainly distributed in the region of 3000-5000 m altitude. The NPP of alpine meadow accounted for 50% of the total NPP of Sichuan grasslands.

  10. 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…

  11. Higher-order interaction between molluscs and sheep affecting seedling numbers in grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clear Hill, B. H.; Silvertown, J.

    Vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores are both important in mesotrophic grasslands and these two different classes of herbivore potentially interact in their effect upon plant populations. We used two field experiments to test for higher order interactions (HOIs) among sheep, slugs and seedlings, using the mechanistic definition that an HOI occurs when the presence of one species modifies the interaction between two others. In each experiment slug addition and slug-removal treatments were nested inside treatments that altered sheep grazing intensity and timing, and the emergence, of seedlings from experimentally sown seeds was monitored. In Experiment 1, seedling numbers of Cerastium fontanum were increased by intense summer grazing by sheep in both slug-addition and slugremoval treatment, but winter grazing by sheep only increased seedling emergence if slugs were removed. In Experiment 2, winter grazing by sheep significantly reduced total seedling emergence of four species sown ( Lotus corniculatus, Plantago lanceolata, Leucanthemum vulgare, Achillea millefolium), but the effect was only seen where slugs were removed. Though the experimental system is a relatively simple one with only four components (sheep, slugs, seedlings and the matrix vegetation), higher order interactions, a combination of direct and indirect effects and possible switching behaviour by slugs are all suggested by our results.

  12. 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.

  13. Herbivore trampling as an alternative pathway for explaining differences in nitrogen mineralization in moist grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schrama, Maarten; Heijning, Pieter; Bakker, Jan P; van Wijnen, Harm J; Berg, Matty P; Olff, Han

    2013-05-01

    Studies addressing the role of large herbivores on nitrogen cycling in grasslands have suggested that the direction of effects depends on soil fertility. Via selection for high quality plant species and input of dung and urine, large herbivores have been shown to speed up nitrogen cycling in fertile grassland soils while slowing down nitrogen cycling in unfertile soils. However, recent studies show that large herbivores can reduce nitrogen mineralization in some temperate fertile soils, but not in others. To explain this, we hypothesize that large herbivores can reduce nitrogen mineralization in loamy or clay soils through soil compaction, but not in sandy soils. Especially under wet conditions, strong compaction in clay soils can lead to periods of soil anoxia, which reduces decomposition of soil organic matter and, hence, N mineralization. In this study, we use a long-term (37-year) field experiment on a salt marsh to investigate the hypothesis that the effect of large herbivores on nitrogen mineralization depends on soil texture. Our results confirm that the presence of large herbivores decreased nitrogen mineralization rate in a clay soil, but not in a sandy soil. By comparing a hand-mown treatment with a herbivore-grazed treatment, we show that these differences can be attributed to herbivore-induced changes in soil physical properties rather than to above-ground biomass removal. On clay soil, we find that large herbivores increase the soil water-filled porosity, induce more negative soil redox potentials, reduce soil macrofauna abundance, and reduce decomposition activity. On sandy soil, we observe no changes in these variables in response to grazing. We conclude that effects of large herbivores on nitrogen mineralization cannot be understood without taking soil texture, soil moisture, and feedbacks through soil macrofauna into account. PMID:23271034

  14. Novel In vitro Procedures for Rearing a Root-Feeding Pest (Heteronychus arator) of Grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiltpold, Ivan; Moore, Ben D; Johnson, Scott N

    2016-01-01

    Optimizing plant protection against insect herbivory relies on testing plant defense mechanisms and how the insect response to these defensive strategies. Such experiments benefit from using insects generated from standardized rearing protocols since this reduces stochastic variation. Such protocols can be challenging to devise, however, especially for root herbivores. These insects generally have complex and long life cycles, which are often only poorly described. Moreover, using field-captured root herbivores is often suboptimal because it involves extensive excavation from sites selected by chance (their location is not obvious) and larval stages are frequently indistinguishable beyond the family level. We investigated in vitro procedures to improve the availability of the African Black Beetle (ABB) Heteronychus arator, an invasive alien pest in both Australia and New Zealand. Native to Africa, this scarab beetle has established in Australian and New Zealand grasslands, pastures, and crops. Adults feed on the stem of young plants just beneath the soil surface. During the mating season, gravid females lay eggs in the soil, giving rise to larvae feeding on grass roots, causing severe damage, and impairing plant growth. Here, we propose laboratory approaches to collect eggs from field-captured adult beetles, to hatch eggs, and to rear neonate larvae to adults. We propose that these methods will provide plant scientists and entomologists with a better and more controlled supply of ABB larvae for laboratory and field assays. In turn, this will assist with the collection of important information for the management of this insect pest and enhanced protection of plants in crop and grassland ecosystems. PMID:27625673

  15. 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

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. 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

  19. 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...

  20. 78 FR 19444 - Pawnee National Grassland, Colorado; Oil and Gas Leasing Analysis Environmental Impact Statement

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-04-01

    ... National Grassland, which may require a plan amendment. DATES: Scoping is an early and open process for... public is welcome to comment at any time throughout the process; however, comments received prior to 05...; ] DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Pawnee National Grassland, Colorado; Oil and Gas Leasing...

  1. Effect of soil properties and hydrology on Archaeal community composition in three temperate grasslands on peat

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands established on drained peat soils are regarded as negligible methane (CH4) sources; however, they can still exhibit considerable soil CH4 dynamics. We investigated archaeal community composition in two different fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark...

  2. 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.

  3. 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, ...

  4. 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

  5. Impact of different-sized herbivores on recruitment opportunities for subordinate herbs in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bakker, Elisabeth S.; Olff, Han

    2003-01-01

    Potential effects of herbivores on plant species diversity depend on herbivore size, species and density. In this study we examine the effect of different-sized herbivores (cattle and rabbits) on recruitment of subordinate herbs in grasslands. We show that in a grazed floodplain, grassland plant spe

  6. Long-term after-effects of fertilisation on restoration of calcareous grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Smits, N.A.C.; Bobbink, R.; Willems, J.H.

    2008-01-01

    Question: What are the long-term implications of former fertilisation for the ecological restoration of calcareous grasslands? Location: Gerendal, Limburg, The Netherlands. Methods: In 1970, ten permanent plots were established in just abandoned agricultural calcareous grassland under a regime of an

  7. Spatial probability models of fire in the desert grasslands of the southwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fire is an important driver of ecological processes in semiarid environments; however, the role of fire in desert grasslands of the Southwestern US is controversial and the regional fire distribution is largely unknown. We characterized the spatial distribution of fire in the desert grassland region...

  8. 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

  9. 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% ...

  10. 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…

  11. Influence of Agropastoral System Components on Mountain Grassland Vulnerability Estimated by Connectivity Loss.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maite Gartzia

    Full Text Available 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

  12. Influence of Agropastoral System Components on Mountain Grassland Vulnerability Estimated by Connectivity Loss.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gartzia, Maite; 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

  13. California Hydrogen Infrastructure Project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Edward C. Heydorn

    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

  14. Effects of Climate Change and Various Grassland Management Practices on Grasshopper (Orthoptera Assemblages

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zoltán Kenyeres

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Influence of different grassland management practices on Orthoptera assemblages inhabiting humid grassland areas was studied since 2003 to 2011. The examined sites were within the protected area of Balaton Uplands National Park. The physiognomy and climatic conditions of the studied habitats were similar but their land use types were significantly different. After the preliminary analyses of Nonmetric multidimensional scaling, neighbour joining clustering, and Spearman rank correlation, we examined the possible effects of such independent variables as land use (nonmanagement, mowing, grazing, microclimate (humidity and temperature, regional macroclimate (annual and monthly mean temperatures and rainfall, using General Linear Mixed Models, and canonical correlation analysis. Our results showed that the effect of grassland management practices on the organization of Orthoptera assemblages was at least as important as that of macro- and microclimate. Furthermore, grassland management could intensify the influence of several local and regional parameters. These results can help finding the most suitable type of grassland management to conserve the grasshopper assemblages.

  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. Grassland birds wintering at U.S. Navy facilities in southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Woodin, Marc C.; Skoruppa, Mary Kay; Bryan, Pearce D.; Ruddy, Amanda J.; Hickman, Graham C.

    2010-01-01

    Grassland birds have undergone widespread decline throughout North America during the past several decades. Causes of this decline include habitat loss and fragmentation because of conversion of grasslands to cropland, afforestation in the East, brush and shrub invasion in the Southwest and western United States, and planting of exotic grass species to enhance forage production. A large number of exotic plant species, including grasses, have been introduced in North America, but most research on the effects of these invasions on birds has been limited to breeding birds, primarily those in northern latitudes. Research on the effects of exotic grasses on birds in winter has been extremely limited. This is the first study in southern Texas to examine and compare winter bird responses to native and exotic grasslands. This study was conducted during a period of six years (2003-2009) on United States Navy facilities in southern Texas including Naval Air Station-Corpus Christi, Naval Air Station-Kingsville, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Waldron, Naval Auxiliary Landing Field Orange Grove, and Escondido Ranch, all of which contained examples of native grasslands, exotic grasslands, or both. Data from native and exotic grasslands were collected and compared for bird abundance and diversity; ground cover, vegetation density, and floristic diversity; bird and vegetation relationships; diversity of insects and arachnids; and seed abundance and diversity. Effects of management treatments in exotic grasslands were evaluated by comparing numbers and diversity of birds and small mammals in mowed, burned, and control areas. To determine bird abundance and bird species richness, birds were surveyed monthly (December-February) during the winters of 2003-2008 in transects (100 meter ? 20 meter) located in native and exotic grasslands distributed at all five U.S. Navy facilities. To compare vegetation in native and exotic grasslands, vegetation characteristics were measured during 2003

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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.

  20. Assessing coexisting plant extinction debt and colonization credit in a grassland-forest change gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bagaria, Guillem; Helm, Aveliina; Rodà, Ferran; Pino, Joan

    2015-11-01

    Changes in species richness along the ecological succession gradient may be strongly determined by coexisting extinction debts of species from the original habitats and colonization credits of those from the replacing habitats. The magnitude of these processes and their causes remain largely unknown. We explored the extinction debt and colonization credit for grassland and forest specialist plants, respectively, and the local and landscape factors associated to the richness of these species groups in a 50-year process of forest encroachment into semi-natural Mediterranean grasslands. A set of sampling plots of persistent grasslands and forests and their transitional habitat (wooded grasslands) was selected within fixed-area sites distributed across the landscape. Our results confirm the extinction debt and suggest colonization credit (according to observed trends and model predictions) in wooded grasslands when compared to persistent forests, despite wooded grasslands and persistent forests having similar tree cover. Grassland connectivity and solar radiation had opposing effects on the richness of both grassland and forest specialists, and it is possible that the availability of seed sources from old forests may have accelerate the payment of colonization credit in the wooded grasslands. These results suggest that extinction debt and colonization credit have driven species turnover during the 50 years of forest encroachment, but at different rates, and that local and landscape factors have opposing effects on these two phenomena. They also highlight the importance of documenting biodiversity time lags following habitat change when they are still in progress in order to timely and adequately manage habitats of high conservation value such as the grasslands studied here.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roch, Laura; Jaeger, Jochen A G

    2014-04-01

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

  3. Warming rather than increased precipitation increases soil recalcitrant organic carbon in a semiarid grassland after 6 years of treatments.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaoqi Zhou

    Full Text Available Improved understanding of changes in soil recalcitrant organic carbon (C in response to global warming is critical for predicting changes in soil organic C (SOC storage. Here, we took advantage of a long-term field experiment with increased temperature and precipitation to investigate the effects of warming, increased precipitation and their interactions on SOC fraction in a semiarid Inner Mongolian grassland of northern China since April 2005. We quantified labile SOC, recalcitrant SOC and stable SOC at 0-10 and 10-20 cm depths. Results showed that neither warming nor increased precipitation affected total SOC and stable SOC at either depth. Increased precipitation significantly increased labile SOC at the 0-10 cm depth. Warming decreased labile SOC (P = 0.038 and marginally but significantly increased recalcitrant SOC at the 10-20 cm depth (P = 0.082. In addition, there were significant interactive effects of warming and increased precipitation on labile SOC and recalcitrant SOC at the 0-10 cm depth (both P<0.05, indicating that that results from single factor experiments should be treated with caution because of multi-factor interactions. Given that the absolute increase of SOC in the recalcitrant SOC pool was much greater than the decrease in labile SOC, and that the mean residence time of recalcitrant SOC is much greater, our results suggest that soil C storage at 10-20 cm depth may increase with increasing temperature in this semiarid grassland.

  4. 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

  5. Stability of grassland soil C and N pools despite 25 years of an extreme climatic and disturbance regime

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Kevin R.; Blair, John M.; Knapp, Alan K.

    2016-07-01

    Global changes are altering many important drivers of ecosystem functioning, with precipitation amount and disturbance frequency being especially important. Carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools are key contemporary attributes of ecosystems that can also influence future C uptake via plant growth. Thus, understanding the impacts of altered precipitation amounts (through controls of primary production inputs) and disturbance regimes (through losses of C and N in biomass) is important to project how ecosystem services will respond to future global changes. A major difficulty inherent within this task is that drivers of ecosystem function and processes often interact, resulting in novel ecosystem responses. To examine how changes in precipitation affect grassland ecosystem responses under a frequent disturbance regime (annual fire), we assessed the biogeochemical and ecological consequences of more than two decades of irrigation in an annually burned mesic grassland in the central United States. In this experiment, precipitation amount was increased by 31% relative to ambient and 1 in 3 years were statistically extreme relative to the long-term historical record. Despite evidence that irrigation decreased root:shoot ratios and increased rates of N cycling—each expected to reduce soil C and N with annual burning—we detected no changes in these biogeochemical pools. This surprising biogeochemical resistance highlights the need to explore additional mechanisms within long-term experiments concerning the consequences of global change impacts on ecosystems.

  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. Indians of California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bureau of Indian Affairs (Dept. of Interior), Washington, DC.

    A brief historical review of the American Indian in California from prehistoric to modern times indicates the hardships and economic disadvantages which the Indians have suffered in the acculturation process. Discussion of the treaties which were negotiated and the Federal legislation which was passed indicates an attempt on the part of modern day…

  8. Computerevolution in California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kobryn, Nancy M.

    The introduction of the microcomputer is producing complex changes in the cosmopolitan culture of Californians, including the way people live and learn at home, in school, and at the office. Recently, many bills have been proposed in California to introduce computer science and technology into the public education system; in addition, tax credits…

  9. Relating Sentinel-1 Interferometric Coherence to Mowing Events on Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tanel Tamm

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available In this study, the interferometric coherence calculated from 12-day Sentinel-1 image pairs was analysed in relation to mowing events on agricultural grasslands. Results showed that after a mowing event, median VH (vertical transmit, horizontal receive and VV (vertical transmit, vertical receive polarisation coherence values were statistically significantly higher than those from before the event. The shorter the time interval after the mowing event and the first interferometric acquisition, the higher the coherence. The coherence tended to stay higher, even 24 to 36 days after a mowing event. Precipitation caused the coherence to decrease, impeding the detection of a mowing event. Given the three analysed acquisition geometries, it was concluded that afternoon acquisitions and steeper incidence angles were more useful in the context of this study. In the case of morning acquisitions, dew might have caused a decrease of coherence for mowed and unmowed grasslands. Additionally, an increase of coherence after a mowing event was not evident during the rapid growth phase, due to the 12-day separation between the interferometric acquisitions. In future studies, six-day pairs utilising Sentinel-1A and 1B acquisitions should be considered.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Taraxacum species as environmental indicators for grassland management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oosterveld, P

    1983-09-01

    A classification of the microspecies of the genus Taraxacum was made in a range from low to highly dynamic habitats based on qualitative inventories of grasslands under different management conditions. After several years of constant management, a characteristic species composition occurs. Under mowing (hayfield) conditions, dandelions disappear over a period of about twenty years in a sequence where the low-dynamic species T. adamii and T. nordstedtii are the last to vanish. Different microspecies in the section Vulgaria in one field can show small differences in response to environmental conditions, even where no other directly visible indication exists. New appearance of highly dynamic species can indicate disturbance of some kind or other within a relatively short period.The classification adopted seems to be correlated with the phosphate content of the soil. Differences in two easily perceptible morphological characteristics, namely position of the outer bracts and colour of the leaf-stem, fit into the established sequence. Small changes in these characteristics indicate conditions in the field that are improving or worsening from a nature-conservation point of view. A system is introduced in which merely these two morphological characters, without further taxonomical knowledge, can be used for an evaluation of grasslands and the impact of management practice.

  13. 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.

  14. Soil aeration status in a lowland wet grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barber, K. R.; Leeds-Harrison, P. B.; Lawson, C. S.; Gowing, D. J. G.

    2004-02-01

    The maintenance or development of plant community diversity in species-rich wet grasslands has been a focus of water management considerations in the UK for the past 20 years. Much attention has been given to the control of water levels in the ditch systems within these wet grassland systems. In this paper we report measurements of aeration status and water-table fluctuation made on a peat soil site at Tadham Moor in Somerset, UK, where water management has focused on the maintenance of wet conditions that often result in flooding in winter and wet soil conditions in the spring and summer. Measurement and modelling of the water-table fluctuation indicates the possibility of variability in the aeration of the root environment and anoxic conditions for much of the winter period and for part of the spring and summer. We have used water content and redox potential measurements to characterize the aeration status of the peat soil. We find that air-filled porosity is related to water-table depth in these situations. Redox potentials in the spring were generally found to be low, implying a reducing condition for nitrate and iron. A significant relationship (p < 0.01) between redox potential and water-table depth exists for data measured at 0.1 m depth, but no relationship could be found for data from 0.4 m depth.

  15. Weathering controls on mechanisms of carbon storage in grassland soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Masiello, C.A.; Chadwick, O.A.; Southon, J.; Torn, M.S.; Harden, J.W.

    2004-01-01

    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 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. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

  16. Greenhouse gas emissions from grasslands: current knowledge and challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merbold, L. M.; Wohlfahrt, G. W.

    2012-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems in a wider sense cover up to 40% of the global terrestrial surface (White et al. 2000). Knowledge about the exchange of the major greenhouse gases (GHG's, carbon dioxide - CO2, methane - CH4 and nitrous oxide - N2O) remains still limited for grasslands, while other ecosystems such as forests and peatlands (particularly systems storing large amounts of carbon) have been investigated more intensively. Here, we give an overview of the current state of GHG measurements in the alpine region of Europe (Switzerland, Austria) and the associated challenges in deriving annual GHG budgets as well as determining the abiotic and biotic variables driving the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O. In particular the importance of management activities, that is fertilization and removal of above-ground biomass through harvesting and grazing, besides climate, the challenges when trying to measure small fluxes of CH4 and N2O using chamber or micrometeorological methods and the need of including winter emissions in annual balances will be stressed.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-12-01

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

  5. 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.

    2016-01-01

    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.

  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. 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

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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, < 20 μm). Methods to further characterize SOM (NMR, 13C and 15N stable isotopes

  12. Temporal variability of nitrous oxide fluxes from a fertilized grassland in Belgium: preliminary results from dynamic closed chambers.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beekkerk van Ruth, Joran; Moureaux, Christine; Degré, Aurore; Jérome, Elisabeth; Beckers, Yves; Bodson, Bernard; Aubinet, Marc

    2013-04-01

    This work presents preliminary results of nitrous oxide (N2O) fluxes measured by dynamic closed chambers from a fertilized grassland grazed by the Belgian Blue breed of cattle. It is part of a project funded by the public service of Wallonia (SPW-DGARNE), whose objectives are to make a carbon/CO2 balance of the grassland (Jérôme et al., 2013) and to quantify CH4 (Dumortier et al., 2013) and N2O fluxes. The site is located in Dorinne (Dorinne Terrestrial Observatory), Belgium (50° 18' 44" N; 4° 58' 07" E; 248 m al.). It is a permanent grassland of ca. 4.2 ha with a moderate slope of 1 to 2 %. Mineral fertilisation took place in March and May 2012. Two cylindrical chambers of 19,2 cm diameter and 11,5 cm height were placed inside a protected area around a micrometeorological station. An infrared gas analyser (Thermofischer 46i) was used in order to measure the N2O concentrations inside of the chambers, closed by automatically controlled lids and ventilated by a constant air flow of 1liter/min. These devices were completed by adjacent soil humidity and temperature sensors. The first measurement campaign took place during June and July 2012. The chambers were installed in the field and N2O fluxes were followed without manipulation. N2O fluxes were characterised by a background emission (between 2 and 10 ngN.m2s-1) on which intense but time limited peaks (between 50 and 300 ngN.m2s-1) superimposed. Peaks were found to be mainly linked to fertilisation and driven by precipitation. Background fluxes were found to correlate positively with soil temperature. Secondly, a manipulation experiment took place in November 2012: two different fertilizer treatments were applied to the chambers. Doses of respectively 100 and 200 kg N/ha of ammonium nitrate were sprayed in the chambers (equivalent to a 8 mm precipitation). N2O fluxes peaked shortly after fertiliser application (respectively 300 and 550 ngN.m2s-1), as well as after a posterior rain event (respectively 800 and 1500

  13. 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.

  14. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the United States?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robertson, Bruce A.; Rice, Robert A.; Ribic, Christine; Babcock, Bruce A.; Landis, Douglas A.; Herkert, James R.; Fletcher, Robert J.; Fontaine, Joseph J; Doran, Patrick J.; Schemske, Douglas W.

    2012-01-01

    In the United States, government-mandated growth in the production of crops dedicated to biofuel (agrofuels) is predicted to increase the demands on existing agricultural lands, potentially threatening the persistence of populations of grassland birds they support. We review recently published literature and datasets to (1) examine the ability of alternative agrofuel crops and their management regimes to provide habitat for grassland birds, (2) determine how crop placement in agricultural landscapes and agrofuel-related land-use change will affect grassland birds, and (3) identify critical research and policy-development needs associated with agrofuel production. We find that native perennial plants proposed as feedstock for agrofuel (switchgrass, Panicum virgatum, and mixed grass—forb prairie) have considerable potential to provide new habitat to a wide range of grassland birds, including rare and threatened species. However, industrialization of agrofuel production that maximizes biomass, homogenizes vegetation structure, and results in the cultivation of small fields within largely forested landscapes is likely to reduce species richness and/or abundance of grassland-dependent birds. Realizing the potential benefits of agrofuel production for grassland birds' conservation will require the development of new policies that encourage agricultural practices specifically targeting the needs of grassland specialists. The broad array of grower-incentive programs in existence may deliver new agrofuel policies effectively but will require coordination at a spatial scale broader than currently practiced, preferably within an adaptive-management framework.

  15. 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.

  16. Traditional cattle grazing in a mosaic alkali landscape: effects on grassland biodiversity along a moisture gradient.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter Török

    Full Text Available Extensively managed pastures are of crucial importance in sustaining biodiversity both in local- and landscape-level. Thus, re-introduction of traditional grazing management is a crucial issue in grassland conservation actions worldwide. Traditional grazing with robust cattle breeds in low stocking rates is considered to be especially useful to mimic natural grazing regimes, but well documented case-studies are surprisingly rare on this topic. Our goal was to evaluate the effectiveness of traditional Hungarian Grey cattle grazing as a conservation action in a mosaic alkali landscape. We asked the following questions: (i How does cattle grazing affect species composition and diversity of the grasslands? (ii What are the effects of grazing on short-lived and perennial noxious species? (iii Are there distinct effects of grazing in dry-, mesophilous- and wet grassland types? Vegetation of fenced and grazed plots in a 200-ha sized habitat complex (secondary dry grasslands and pristine mesophilous- and wet alkali grasslands was sampled from 2006-2009 in East-Hungary. We found higher diversity scores in grazed plots compared to fenced ones in mesophilous- and wet grasslands. Higher cover of noxious species was typical in fenced plots compared to their grazed counterparts in the last year in every studied grassland type. We found an increasing effect of grazing from the dry- towards the wet grassland types. The year-to-year differences also followed similar pattern: the site-dependent effects were the lowest in the dry grassland and an increasing effect was detected along the moisture gradient. We found that extensive Hungarian Grey cattle grazing is an effective tool to suppress noxious species and to create a mosaic vegetation structure, which enables to maintain high species richness in the landscape. Hungarian Grey cattle can feed in open habitats along long moisture gradient, thus in highly mosaic landscapes this breed can be the most suitable

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Response of soil respiration to experimental warming and precipitation manipulation in a northern Great Plains grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, L. B.; Sharp, E. J.; Letts, M. G.

    2012-12-01

    The interacting effects of altered temperature and precipitation are expected to have significant consequences for ecosystem net carbon storage. Here we report the results of an experiment that evaluated the effects of elevated temperature and altered precipitation, alone and in combination, on plant biomass production and soil respiration rates in a northern Great Plains grassland, near Lethbridge, Alberta Canada. Open-top chambers and rain shelters were used to establish an experiment with two temperature treatments (warmed and control), each combined with three precipitation treatments (minus 50%, ambient (no manipulation), and plus 50%). Our objectives were to determine the sensitivity of plant biomass production and soil respiration to temperature and moisture manipulations, and to test for direct and indirect effects of the environmental changes on soil respiration rates. The experimental manipulations resulted primarily in a significant increase in air temperature in the warmed treatment. There were no significant treatment effects on soil moisture content. Aboveground biomass was not significantly affected by the experimental manipulations, but the warmed plots of the ambient precipitation treatment showed an increase in root biomass relative to the control plots. The warmed treatment increased the cumulative loss of carbon in soil respiration by approximately 400 g C m-2 compared to the control during July-September. This higher soil respiration rate was not directly caused by differences among treatments in soil temperature or soil moisture, but was likely an indirect result of increased carbon substrate availability in the warmed relative to the control treatment.

  4. VENTANA WILDERNESS, CALIFORNIA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pearson, R.C.; Fillo, P.V.

    1984-01-01

    A mineral survey of the Ventana Primitive Area (now the Ventana Wilderness) in California was made. On the basis of known mineral occurrences and geologic and geochemical studies, this part of the Coast Ranges of central California contains little evidence for the existence of mineral resources. Small bodies of good quality marble are scattered through parts of the wilderness. Because of their small size these marble occurrences are not considered as having resource potential. Detailed mapping and sampling of the sulfide-bearing gneiss and schist will be needed to determine the grade and extent of these rocks and the possibility that they, in fact, could represent significant resources. The numerous thermal springs in and near the area suggest a high geothermal gradient and that geothermal-energy resources should be investigated.

  5. The impact of black wattle encroachment of indigenous grasslands on soil carbon, Eastern Cape, South Africa

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oelofse, Myles; Birch-Thomsen, Torben; Magid, Jakob;

    2016-01-01

    adverse environmental impacts in South Africa. Little is known about the effects of black wattle encroachment on soil carbon, therefore the aim of this study was to investigate the impact of black wattle encroachment of natural grassland on soil carbon stocks and dynamics. Focussing on two sites...... in the Eastern Cape, South Africa, the study analysed carbon stocks in soil and litter on a chronosequence of black wattle stands of varying ages (up to >50 years) and compared these with adjacent native grassland. The study found that woody encroachment of grassland at one site had an insignificant effect...

  6. 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.

  7. Effects of adding water on seasonal variation of soil nitrogen availability under sandy grasslands in semi-arid region

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    HUANG Xiao-xing; YU Zhan-yuan; QIAN Wei; XU Da-yong; AI Gui-yan

    2007-01-01

    Water is usally thought of a limiting factor for the restoration of semi-arid ecosystem. In the growing season of 2006, a study was conducted to determine the effects of modeling precipitation on seasonal patterns in concentrations of soil-available nitrogen and to describe the seasonal patterns in soil nitrogen availability and seasonal variation in the rates of net nitrogen mineralization of topsoil at Daqinggou ecological station in Keerqin sand lands, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China. Manipulation of water (80 mm) was designed to be added to experiment plots of sandy grasslands in dry season. Water addition (W) treatment and control (CK) treatment were separately taken in six replications and randomly assigned in 12 plots (4 m×4 m for each) with 2-m buffers betweens. Results showed that the content of soil inorganic nitrogen and net nitrogen mineralization rate were not affected by adding water in sandy grassland of Keerqin sand lands. Net nitrogen mineralization rates ranged from 0.5 μg·g-1·month-1 to 4 μg·g-1·month-1. The highest values of soil inorganic nitrogen and net nitrogen mineralization occurred on October 15 in control plots. The seasonal changes of soil inorganic nitrogen contents exhibited "V" shape pattern that was related to seasonal patterns of soil ammonium-N (ascending trend) and nitrate-N transformation (descending trend).

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. Grassland birds orient nests relative to nearby vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoekman, S.T.; Ball, I.J.; Fondell, T.E.

    2002-01-01

    We studied orientation of nest sites relative to nearby vegetation for dabbling ducks (Cinnamon Teal, Anas cyanoptera; Blue-winged Teal, A. discors; Gadwall, A. strepera; Mallard, A. platyrhynchos; and Northern Shoveler, A. clypeata) and Short-eared Owls (Asio flammeus) in ungrazed grassland habitat during 1995-1997 in westcentral Montana. We estimated an index of vegetation height and density in intercardinal directions (NE, SE, SW, NW) immediately around nests. All species oriented nests with the least vegetation to the southeast and the most vegetation to either the southwest or northwest. Furthermore, maximum vegetation around nests shifted from the southwest to the northwest with increasing nest initiation date, apparently as a response of individuals tracking seasonal change in the afternoon solar path. Thus, nests were relatively exposed to solar insolation during cool morning hours but were shaded from intense insolation in the afternoon throughout the breeding season. We suggest that nest microhabitat was selected in part to moderate the thermal environment.

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-08-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Ecoregions of California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Griffith, Glenn E.; Omernik, James M.; Smith, David W.; Cook, Terry D.; Tallyn, Ed; Moseley, Kendra; Johnson, Colleen B.

    2016-02-23

    Ecoregions denote areas of general similarity in ecosystems and in the type, quality, and quantity of environmental resources. They are designed to serve as a spatial framework for the research, assessment, management, and monitoring of ecosystems and ecosystem components. By recognizing the spatial differences in the capacities and potentials of ecosystems, ecoregions stratify the environment by its probable response to disturbance (Bryce and others, 1999). These general purpose regions are critical for structuring and implementing ecosystem management strategies across Federal agencies, State agencies, and nongovernment organizations that are responsible for different types of resources in the same geographical areas (Omernik and others, 2000).The approach used to compile this map is based on the premise that ecological regions are hierarchical and can be identified through the analysis of the spatial patterns and the composition of biotic and abiotic phenomena that affect or reflect differences in ecosystem quality and integrity (Wiken, 1986; Omernik, 1987, 1995). These phenomena include geology, physiography, vegetation, climate, soils, land use, wildlife, and hydrology. The relative importance of each characteristic varies from one ecological region to another regardless of the hierarchical level. A Roman numeral hierarchical scheme has been adopted for different levels of ecological regions. Level I is the coarsest level, dividing North America into 15 ecological regions. Level II divides the continent into 50 regions (Commission for Environmental Cooperation Working Group, 1997, map revised 2006). At level III, the continental United States contains 105 ecoregions and the conterminous United States has 85 ecoregions (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 2013). Level IV, depicted here for California, is a further refinement of level III ecoregions. Explanations of the methods used to define these ecoregions are given in Omernik (1995), Omernik and others

  18. 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.

  19. Grassland Conservation Opportunity Areas - Conservative Model (ECO_RES.COA_GRASS66)

    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 395...

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  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. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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 Service's easement program for protection of the wildlife habitat of Merced County's Grasslands Ecological...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. Sandy grassland blowouts in Hulunbuir,northeast China:geomorphology,distribution,and causes

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    ZHANG Altan MunkhDalai; FENG Zongwei; WANG Xiaoke; SUN Hongwei; ZHAO Jiaming; U Hurlee

    2007-01-01

    A sandy grassland blowout consists of an aeolian depression formed in top soil and the underlying sand deposit underlie,and the adjoining redeposit of sand derived from the depression. Research based on field survey and topographic mapping combined with aerophotograph interpretation reveals that: (1) All the three sand land tracts in Hulunbuir Grasslands are composed of blowout depressions and adjoining dunes, with interlaying remnants of sandy grasslands as background; (2) blowout depressions and their adjoining dunes can be classified according to their morphometric characteristics, development stages, and initiating factors; (3) blowouts develop mostly in the upper parts of sidelong aweather and sunward slopes inclining southwestward when west wind prevails; (4) initiation of blowouts is closely related with the coupling of extreme droughts and wide spread intense human disturbance to the fragile topsoil layer. The investigations indicate that key factors to prevent desertification are to protect grassland vegetation and topsoil.

  17. Grassland Management Plan : Upper Mississippi River National Wildlife and Fish Refuge

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This Grassland Management Plan for Upper Mississippi River NWFR provides a description of the Refuge, the purpose for establishing the Refuge, the Refuge’s mission...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.