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Sample records for grassland ecosystems electronic

  1. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

  2. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-01-01

    This study was concerned with plutonium contamination of grassland at the U.S. Energy Research and Development Administration Rocky Flats plant northwest of Denver, Colorado. Of interest were: the definition of major plutonium-containing ecosystem compartments; the relative amounts in those compartments; how those values related to studies done in other geogrphical areas; whether or not the predominant isotopes, 238 Pu and 239 Pu, behaved differently; and what mechanisms might have allowed for the observed patterns of contamination. Samples of soil, litter, vegetation, arthropods, and small mammals were collected for plutonium analysis and mass determination from each of two macroplots. Small aliquots (5 g or less) were analyzed by a rapid liquid scintillation technique and by alpha spectrometry. Of the compartments sampled, greater than 99% of the total plutonium was contained in the soil. The concentrations of plutonium in soil were significantly inversely correlated with distance from the contamination source, depth of the sample, and particle size of the sieved soil samples. The soil data suggested that the distribution of contamination largely resulted from physical transport processes. A mechanism of agglomerated submicron plutonium oxide particles and larger (1-500 μm) host soil particles was proposed. Concentrations of Pu in litter and vegetation were inversely correlated to distance from the source and directly correlated to soil concentrations at the same location. Comparatively high concentration ratios of vegetation to soil suggested wind resuspension of contamination as an important transport mechanism. Arthropod and small mammal samples were highly skewed, kurtotic, and quite variable, having coefficients of variation (standard deviation/mean) as high as 600%. Bone Pu concentrations were lower than other tissues. Hide, GI, and lung were generally not higher in Pu than kidney, liver and muscle

  3. Impact intensities of climatic changes on grassland ecosystems in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. NJ TONUKARI

    2012-03-22

    Mar 22, 2012 ... Construction of the impact intensity model of climatic changes on grassland ecosystem ... the temperature and rainfall (Sun and Mu, 2011). Thus, the study ... of the equation, the study transformed the measurement unit Mu of.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudge, S.A.

    1989-12-01

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

  5. Tools for Management for Grassland Ecosystem Sustainability: Thinking "Outside the Box"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

    Grassland ecosystem management is dynamic and has adapted to the development of new tools and ideas. Our ancestors were indirectly managing grasslands when they learned to move livestock to take advantage of better water and greener forage. One could argue that even their hunting of grassland wildlife, especially the use of fire to drive animals to waiting hunters, had...

  6. Evapotranspiration and soil moisture dynamics in a temperate grassland ecosystem in Inner Mongolia China

    Science.gov (United States)

    L. Hao; Ge Sun; Yongqiang Liu; G. S. Zhou; J. H.   Wan;  L. B. Zhang; J. L. Niu; Y. H. Sang;  J. J He

    2015-01-01

    Precipitation, evapotranspiration (ET), and soil moisture are the key controls for the productivity and functioning of temperate grassland ecosystems in Inner Mongolia, northern China. Quantifying the soil moisture dynamics and water balances in the grasslands is essential to sustainable grassland management under global climate change. We...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-06-01

    Grasslands provide many ecosystem services required to support human well-being and are home to a diverse fauna and flora. Degradation of grasslands due to agriculture and other forms of land use threaten biodiversity and ecosystem services. Various efforts are underway around the world to stem these declines. The Grassland Programme in South Africa is one such initiative and is aimed at safeguarding both biodiversity and ecosystem services. As part of this developing programme, we identified spatial priority areas for ecosystem services, tested the effect of different target levels of ecosystem services used to identify priority areas, and evaluated whether biodiversity priority areas can be aligned with those for ecosystem services. We mapped five ecosystem services (below ground carbon storage, surface water supply, water flow regulation, soil accumulation and soil retention) and identified priority areas for individual ecosystem services and for all five services at the scale of quaternary catchments. Planning for individual ecosystem services showed that, depending on the ecosystem service of interest, between 4% and 13% of the grassland biome was required to conserve at least 40% of the soil and water services. Thirty-four percent of the biome was needed to conserve 40% of the carbon service in the grassland. Priority areas identified for five ecosystem services under three target levels (20%, 40%, 60% of the total amount) showed that between 17% and 56% of the grassland biome was needed to conserve these ecosystem services. There was moderate to high overlap between priority areas selected for ecosystem services and already-identified terrestrial and freshwater biodiversity priority areas. This level of overlap coupled with low irreplaceability values obtained when planning for individual ecosystem services makes it possible to combine biodiversity and ecosystem services in one plan using systematic conservation planning. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All

  8. Balance matters : N:P stoichiometry and plant diversity in grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

    Eutrophication of Nitrogen (N) and Phosphorus (P) is threatening the functioning and biodiversity of grassland ecosystems. A well known effect of eutrophication on grasslands is an increase of above-ground productivity, which intensifies light competition and allows only a few competitive species to

  9. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lu Wen

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem. [Rocky Flats Plant

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brazier, Richard E.

    2015-04-01

    Grassland ecosystems cover significant areas of the terrestrial land mass, across a range of geoclimates, from arctic tundra, through temperate and semi-arid landscapes. In very few locations, such grasslands may be termed 'pristine' in that they remain undamaged by human activities and resilient to changing climates. In far more cases, grasslands are being degraded, often irreversibly so, with significant implications for a number of ecosystem services related to water resources, soil quality, nutrient cycles, and therefore both global food and water security. This paper draws upon empirical research that has been undertaken over the last decade to characterise a range of different grasslands in terms of soil properties, vegetation structure and geomorphology and to understand how these structures or patterns might interact or control how the grassland ecosystems function. Particular emphasis is placed upon quantifying fluxes of water, within and from grasslands, but also fluxes of sediment, via the processes of soil erosion and finally fluxes of the macronutrients Nitrogen, Phosphorus and Carbon from the landscape to surface waters. Data are presented from semi-arid grasslands, which are subject to severe encroachment by woody species, temperate upland grasslands that have been 'improved' via drainage to support grazing, temperate lowland grasslands, that are unimproved (Culm or Rhôs pastures) and finally intensively managed grasslands in temperate regions, that have been significantly modified via land management practices to improve productivity. It is hypothesised that, once degraded, the structure and function of these very diverse grassland ecosystems follows the same negative trajectory, resulting in depleted soil depths, nutrient storage capacities and therefore reduced plant growth and long-term carbon sequestration. Results demonstrate that similar, but highly complex and non-linear responses to perturbation of the ecosystem are observed, regardless of

  14. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Field, Christopher [Carnegie Inst. of Science, Stanford, CA (United States); Mooney, Harold [Stanford Univ., CA (United States); Vitousek, Peter [Stanford Univ., CA (United States)

    2015-02-02

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

  16. Alternative states of a semiarid grassland ecosystem: implications for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Mark E.; Belote, R. Travis; Bowker, Matthew A.; Garman, Steven L.

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystems can shift between alternative states characterized by persistent differences in structure, function, and capacity to provide ecosystem services valued by society. We examined empirical evidence for alternative states in a semiarid grassland ecosystem where topographic complexity and contrasting management regimes have led to spatial variations in levels of livestock grazing. Using an inventory data set, we found that plots (n = 72) cluster into three groups corresponding to generalized alternative states identified in an a priori conceptual model. One cluster (biocrust) is notable for high coverage of a biological soil crust functional group in addition to vascular plants. Another (grass-bare) lacks biological crust but retains perennial grasses at levels similar to the biocrust cluster. A third (annualized-bare) is dominated by invasive annual plants. Occurrence of grass-bare and annualized-bare conditions in areas where livestock have been excluded for over 30 years demonstrates the persistence of these states. Significant differences among all three clusters were found for percent bare ground, percent total live cover, and functional group richness. Using data for vegetation structure and soil erodibility, we also found large among-cluster differences in average levels of dust emissions predicted by a wind-erosion model. Predicted emissions were highest for the annualized-bare cluster and lowest for the biocrust cluster, which was characterized by zero or minimal emissions even under conditions of extreme wind. Results illustrate potential trade-offs among ecosystem services including livestock production, soil retention, carbon storage, and biodiversity conservation. Improved understanding of these trade-offs may assist ecosystem managers when evaluating alternative management strategies.

  17. 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.

  18. Carbon fluxes of surfaces vs. ecosystems. Advantages of measuring eddy covariance and soil respiration simultaneously in dry grassland ecosystems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Nagy, Z.; Pintér, K.; Pavelka, Marian; Dařenová, Eva; Balogh, J.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 8, č. 9 (2011), s. 2523-2534 ISSN 1726-4170 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : carbon fluxes * ecosystems * grassland ecoystems * measuring eddy covariance * soil respiration Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.859, year: 2011

  19. Ecosystem services in grassland associated with biotic and abiotic soil parameters

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eekeren, van N.J.M.; Boer, de Herman; Hanegraaf, M.C.; Bokhorst, J.; Nierop, D.; Bloem, J.; Schouten, T.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Brussaard, L.

    2010-01-01

    Biotic soil parameters have so far seldom played a role in practical soil assessment and management of grasslands. However, the ongoing reduction of external inputs in agriculture would imply an increasing reliance on ecosystem self-regulating processes. Since soil biota play an important role in

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

    New livestock production models need to simultaneously meet the increasing global demand for meat and preserve biodiversity and ecosystem services. Since the 16th century beef cattle has been produced on the Pampas and Campos native grasslands in southern South America, with only small amounts of

  1. Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States. Vol. 1

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2004-01-01

    This report is volume 1 of a two-volume ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States. Broadscale assessments are syntheses of current scientific knowledge, including a description of uncertainties and assumptions, to provide a characterization and comprehensive description of ecological, social, and economic components within an...

  2. Assessment of grassland ecosystem conditions in the Southwestern United States: Wildlife and fish. Vol. 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2005-01-01

    This report is volume 2 of a two-volume ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States. Broad-scale assessments are syntheses of current scientific knowledge, including a description of uncertainties and assumptions, to provide a characterization and comprehensive description of ecological, social, and economic components within an...

  3. Simulation of the decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of aboveground plant material in two unfertilized grassland ecosystems.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bloemhof, H.S.; Berendse, F.

    1995-01-01

    A simple model of the decomposition and nitrogen mineralization of plant material from two unfertilized grassland ecosystems has been developed, with only the proportion of leaves and stems in the original material, the initial nitrogen contents of these plant parts and temperature as input data.

  4. Biotic, abiotic, and management controls on the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of European mountain grassland ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Wohlfahrt, Georg; Anderson-Dunn, Margaret; Bahn, Michael

    2008-01-01

    The net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange (NEE) of nine European mountain grassland ecosystems was measured during 2002-2004 using the eddy covariance method. Overall, the availability of photosynthetically active radiation (PPFD) was the single most important abiotic influence factor for NEE....... Its role changed markedly during the course of the season, PPFD being a better predictor for NEE during periods favorable for CO2 uptake, which was spring and autumn for the sites characterized by summer droughts (southern sites) and (peak) summer for the Alpine and northern study sites. This general...... pattern was interrupted by grassland management practices, that is, mowing and grazing, when the variability in NEE explained by PPFD decreased in concert with the amount of aboveground biomass (BMag). Temperature was the abiotic influence factor that explained most of the variability in ecosystem...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant–soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0–2, 7–9 and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts [BSCs], and soil microbial functional diversity [soil microorganisms] affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant–soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: 1) maintain well-conserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Palacios, P.; Bowker, M.A.; Maestre, F.T.; Soliveres, S.; Valladares, F.; Papadopoulos, J.; Escudero, A.

    2011-01-01

    Roadside grasslands undergoing secondary succession are abundant, and represent ecologically meaningful examples of novel, human-created ecosystems. Interactions between plant and soil communities (hereafter plant-soil interactions) are of major importance in understanding the role of biotic control in ecosystem functioning, but little is known about these links in the context of ecosystem restoration and succession. The assessment of the key biotic communities and interactions driving ecosystem development will help practitioners to better allocate the limited resources devoted to roadside grassland restoration. We surveyed roadside grasslands from three successional stages (0-2, 7-9, and > 20 years) in two Mediterranean regions of Spain. Structural equation modeling was used to evaluate how interactions between plants, biological soil crusts (BSCs), and soil microbial functional diversity (soil microorganisms) affect indicators of ecosystem development and restoration: plant similarity to the reference ecosystem, erosion control, and soil C storage and N accumulation. Changes in plant community composition along the successional gradient exerted the strongest influence on these indicators. High BSC cover was associated with high soil stability, and high soil microbial functional diversity from late-successional stages was associated with high soil fertility. Contrary to our expectations, the indirect effects of plants, mediated by either BSCs or soil microorganisms, were very weak in both regions, suggesting a minor role for plant-soil interactions upon ecosystem development indicators over long periods. Our results suggest that natural vegetation dynamics effectively improved ecosystem development within a time frame of 20 years in the grasslands evaluated. They also indicate that this time could be shortened if management actions focus on: (1) maintaining wellconserved natural areas close to roadsides to enhance plant compositional changes towards late

  7. A Satellite-Based Model for Simulating Ecosystem Respiration in the Tibetan and Inner Mongolian Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rong Ge

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available It is important to accurately evaluate ecosystem respiration (RE in the alpine grasslands of the Tibetan Plateau and the temperate grasslands of the Inner Mongolian Plateau, as it serves as a sensitivity indicator of regional and global carbon cycles. Here, we combined flux measurements taken between 2003 and 2013 from 16 grassland sites across northern China and the corresponding MODIS land surface temperature (LST, enhanced vegetation index (EVI, and land surface water index (LSWI to build a satellite-based model to estimate RE at a regional scale. First, the dependencies of both spatial and temporal variations of RE on these biotic and climatic factors were examined explicitly. We found that plant productivity and moisture, but not temperature, can best explain the spatial pattern of RE in northern China’s grasslands; while temperature plays a major role in regulating the temporal variability of RE in the alpine grasslands, and moisture is equally as important as temperature in the temperate grasslands. However, the moisture effect on RE and the explicit representation of spatial variation process are often lacking in most of the existing satellite-based RE models. On this basis, we developed a model by comprehensively considering moisture, temperature, and productivity effects on both temporal and spatial processes of RE, and then, we evaluated the model performance. Our results showed that the model well explained the observed RE in both the alpine (R2 = 0.79, RMSE = 0.77 g C m−2 day−1 and temperate grasslands (R2 = 0.75, RMSE = 0.60 g C m−2 day−1. The inclusion of the LSWI as the water-limiting factor substantially improved the model performance in arid and semi-arid ecosystems, and the spatialized basal respiration rate as an indicator for spatial variation largely determined the regional pattern of RE. Finally, the model accurately reproduced the seasonal and inter-annual variations and spatial variability of RE, and it avoided

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stein, Claudia; Hallett, Lauren M; Harpole, W Stanley; Suding, Katharine N

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-06-01

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

  10. Imaging spectroscopy for ecological analysis in forest and grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Homolova, L.

    2014-01-01

    Terrestrial vegetation is an important component of the Earth’s biosphere and therefore playing an essential role in climate regulation, carbon sequestration, and it provides large variety of services to humans. For a sustainable management of terrestrial ecosystems it is essential to understand

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  12. Phosphorus cycles of forest and upland grassland ecosystems and some effects of land management practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harrison, A F

    The distribution of phosphorus capital and net annual transfers of phosphorus between the major components of two unfertilized phosphorus-deficient UK ecosystems, an oak--ash woodland in the Lake District and an Agrostis-Festuca grassland in Snowdonia (both on acid brown-earth soils), have been estimted in terms of kg P ha--1. In both ecosystems less than 3% of the phosphorus, totalling 1890 kg P ha--1 and 3040 kg P ha--1 for the woodland and grassland, respectively, is contained in the living biomass and half that is below ground level. Nearly all the phosphorus is in the soil matrix. Although the biomass phosphorus is mostly in the vegetation, the soil fauna and vegetation is slower (25%) than in the grassland vegetatation (208%). More than 85% of the net annual vegetation uptake of phosphorus from the soil is returned to the soil, mainly in organic debris, which in the grassland ecosystem is more than twice as rich in phosphorus (0.125% P) as in the woodland ecosystem (0.053% P). These concentrations are related to the rates of turnover (input/P content) of phosphorus in the litter layer on the soil surface; it is faster in the grassland (460%) than in the woodland (144%). In both cycles plant uptake of phosphorus largely depends on the release of phosphorus through decomposition of the organic matter returned to soil. In both the woodland and the grassland, the amount of cycling phosphorus is potentially reduced by its immobilization in tree and sheep production and in undecomposed organic matter accumulating in soil. It is assumed that the reductions are counterbalanced by the replenishment of cycling phosphorus by (i) some mineralization of organically bound phosphorus in the mineral soil, (ii) the income in rainfall and aerosols not being effectively lost in soil drainage waters and (iii) rock weathering. The effects of the growth of conifers and sheep grazing on the balance between decomposition and accumulation of organic matter returned to soil are

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-13

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Yan

    Full Text Available Estimate of net ecosystem carbon exchange (NEE between the atmosphere and terrestrial ecosystems, the balance of gross primary productivity (GPP and ecosystem respiration (Reco has significant importance for studying the regional and global carbon cycles. Using models driven by satellite data and climatic data is a promising approach to estimate NEE at regional scales. For this purpose, we proposed a semi-empirical model to estimate NEE in this study. In our model, the component GPP was estimated with a light response curve of a rectangular hyperbola. The component Reco was estimated with an exponential function of soil temperature. To test the feasibility of applying our model at regional scales, the temporal variations in the model parameters derived from NEE observations in an alpine grassland ecosystem on Tibetan Plateau were investigated. The results indicated that all the inverted parameters exhibit apparent seasonality, which is in accordance with air temperature and canopy phenology. In addition, all the parameters have significant correlations with the remote sensed vegetation indexes or environment temperature. With parameters estimated with these correlations, the model illustrated fair accuracy both in the validation years and at another alpine grassland ecosystem on Tibetan Plateau. Our results also indicated that the model prediction was less accurate in drought years, implying that soil moisture is an important factor affecting the model performance. Incorporating soil water content into the model would be a critical step for the improvement of the model.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-11-01

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

  17. Analysis of the production stability of mixed grasslands. II. A mathematical framework for the quantification of production stability of grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2003-01-01

    The analysis of the intrinsic properties and processes of ecosystems, which regulate the production stability of mixed grasslands, has been complicated by the environmental noise caused by stochastic weather fluctuations. A mathematical framework is presented to deduct the actual, the extrinsic and

  18. The false promises of coal exploitation: How mining affects herdsmen well-being in the grassland ecosystems of Inner Mongolia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dai, G.S.; Ulgiati, S.; Zhang, Y.S.; Yu, B.H.; Kang, M.Y.; Jin, Y.; Dong, X.B.; Zhang, X.S.

    2014-01-01

    The grasslands of Inner Mongolia are not only the source of the necessary resources for the survival and development of herdsmen, but also represent a significant green ecological barrier in North China. Coal-mining production is important in maintaining GDP growth in Inner Mongolia. However, over-exploitation has created serious problems, such as pollution of the environment and significant decreases in grassland ecosystem services, in addition to impacting the well-being of herdsmen and other humans. Based on questionnaires survey performed among 864 herdsmen addressing the relationship between coal exploitation in grasslands and human well-being in Xilinguole League in Inner Mongolia, we found that (1) coal resource exploitation in these grasslands does not benefit the herdsmen by increasing their income; (2) the rapid development of this resource has not obviously materially improved the life of the herdsmen; and (3) these activities have increased the risks that herdsman will have to endure in the future. Overall, coal resource exploitation in grasslands has more negative than positive effects on the well-being of herdsmen. We propose the conservation of coal resources and improvement of ecological compensation should be carried out without blindly pursuing economic growth, instead of focusing on economic development and structural adjustments. - Highlights: • Evaluation of the human well-being of the Xilinguole grassland, Inner Mongolia, China. • Impact of mining affects herdsmen well-being in grassland ecosystem. • Quantity of questionnaires survey. • Addressing the relationship between coal exploitation in grasslands and human well-being

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kudrevatykh, Irina; Ivashchenko, Kristina; Ananyeva, Nadezhda

    2016-04-01

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

  20. Mowing exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability under nitrogen enrichment in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-08-04

    1. Global reactive nitrogen (N) is projected to further increase in the coming years. Previous studies have demonstrated that N enrichment weakens the temporal stability of the ecosystem and the primary productivity through decreased biodiversity and species asynchrony. Mowing is a globally common practise in grasslands; and infrequent mowing can maintain or increase plant diversity under N enrichment conditions. However, it is unclear how infrequent mowing affects ecosystem stability in the face of N enrichment. 2. By independently manipulating the frequency (twice vs. monthly additions per year) and rate (i.e. 0, 1, 2, 3, 5, 10, 15, 20, and 50 g N m -2 year -1 ) of NH 4 NO 3 inputs and mowing (unmown vs. mown) over 3 years (2011-2013) in a temperate grassland of northern China, we aimed to examine the interactive effects of N enrichment and mowing on ecosystem stability. 3. The results show that mowing maintained a positive relationship between species richness and ecosystem stability despite N addition, but that it exacerbated the negative effects of N addition on ecosystem stability. Mowing increased mean primary productivity and plant species richness, but it also increased the synchrony of population fluctuations and the variability of primary productivity under N enrichment, thereby contributing to a decline in the ecosystem stability. 4. Thus, our study reveals that infrequent mowing can buffer the negative effects of N enrichment on biodiversity to some extent and further increase the primary productivity, but it exacerbates the loss of ecosystem stability with N enrichment, thereby threatening local and/or semiarid regional food security.

  1. Grassland Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah U. Potter; Paulette L. Ford

    2004-01-01

    In this chapter we discuss grassland sustainability in the Southwest, grassland management for sustainability, national and local criteria and indicators of sustainable grassland ecosystems, and monitoring for sustainability at various scales. Ecological sustainability is defined as: [T]he maintenance or restoration of the composition, structure, and processes of...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

  3. Foraging ecology and spatial behavior of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in a wet grassland ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Meisner, Katrine; Sunde, Peter; Clausen, Kevin Kuhlmann

    2014-01-01

    We investigated diet composition, habitat selection and spatial behaviour of the red fox (Vulpes vulpes) in relation to the availability of wader nests in a coastal polder area in southwest Denmark. The predatory role of the red fox in wet grassland ecosystems has profound implications...... for conservation status of declining populations of grassland breeding waders. However, few studies have focussed on the foraging ecology and behaviour of the red fox in these landscapes. Faecal analyses revealed that fox diet consisted of birds (43 % of prey remains / 32 % of biomass), rodents (39 % / 21...... %), sheep (mainly as carrion, 14 % / 41 %) and lagomorphs (4 % / 7 %). Charadriiformes (including waders) comprised 3–12 % of prey remains throughout the year. Telemetry data and spotlight counts indicated that foxes did not select areas with high densities of breeding waders, suggesting that foxes did...

  4. Net ecosystem productivity and carbon dynamics of the traditionally managed Imperata grasslands of North East India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pathak, Karabi; Malhi, Yadvinder; Sileshi, G W; Das, Ashesh Kumar; Nath, Arun Jyoti

    2018-09-01

    There have been few comprehensive descriptions of how fire management and harvesting affect the carbon dynamics of grasslands. Grasslands dominated by the invasive weed Imperata cylindrica are considered as environmental threats causing low land productivity throughout the moist tropical regions in Asia. Imperata grasslands in North East India are unique in that they are traditionally managed and culturally important in the rural landscapes. Given the importance of fire in the management of Imperata grassland, we aimed to assess (i) the seasonal pattern of biomass production, (ii) the eventual pathways for the produced biomass, partitioned between in situ decomposition, harvesting and combustion, and (iii) the effect of customary fire management on the ecosystem carbon cycle. Comparatively high biomass production was recorded during pre-monsoon (154 g m -2  month -1 ) and monsoon (214 g m -2  month -1 ) compared to the post-monsoon (91 g m -2  month -1 ) season, and this is attributed to nutrient return into the soil immediately after fire in February. Post fire effects might have killed roots and rhizomes leading to high belowground litter production 30-35 g m -2 during March to August. High autotrophic respiration was recorded during March-July, which was related to high belowground biomass production (35-70 g m -2 ) during that time. Burning removed all the surface litter in March and this appeared to hinder surface decomposition and result in low heterotrophic respiration. Annual total biomass carbon production was estimated at 886 g C m -2 . Annual harvest of biomass (estimated at 577 g C m -2 ) was the major pathway for carbon fluxes from the system. Net ecosystem production (NEP) of Imperata grassland was estimated at 91 g C m -2  yr -1 indicating that these grasslands are a net sink of CO 2 , although this is greatly influenced by weather and fire management. Crown Copyright © 2018. Published by Elsevier B

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-21

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Dizes, S. [Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety, IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LM2E, Centre de Cadarache, Saint-Paul-lez-Durance (France); Maro, D.; Rozet, M.; Hebert, D. [IRSN/PRP-ENV/SERIS/LRC, Cherbourg-Octeville (France)

    2015-03-15

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

  7. Combining multiple ecosystem productivity measurements to constrain carbon uptake estimates in semiarid grasslands and shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maurer, G. E.; Krofcheck, D. J.; Collins, S. L.; Litvak, M. E.

    2016-12-01

    Recent observational and modeling studies have indicated that semiarid ecosystems are more dynamic contributors to the global carbon budget than once thought. Semiarid carbon fluxes, however, are generally small, with high interannual and spatial variability, which suggests that validating their global significance may depend on examining multiple productivity measures and their associated uncertainties and inconsistencies. We examined ecosystem productivity from eddy covariance (NEE), harvest (NPP), and terrestrial biome models (NEPm) at two very similar grassland sites and one creosote shrubland site in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge of central New Mexico, USA. Our goal was to assess site and methodological correspondence in annual carbon uptake, patterns of interannual variability, and measurement uncertainty. One grassland site was a perennial carbon source losing 30 g C m-2 per year on average, while the other two sites were carbon sources or sinks depending on the year, with average net uptake of 5 and 25 g C m-2 per year at the grassland and shrubland site, respectively. Uncertainty values for cumulative annual NEE overlapped between the three sites in most years. When combined, aboveground and belowground annual NPP measurements were 15% higher than annual NEE values and did not confirm a loss of carbon at any site in any year. Despite differences in mean site carbon balance, year-to-year changes in cumulative annual NEE and NPP were similar at all sites with years 2010 and 2013 being favorable for carbon uptake and 2011 and 2012 being unfavorable at all sites. Modeled NEPm data for a number of nearby grid cells reproduced only a fraction of the observed range in carbon uptake and its interannual variability. These three sites are highly similar in location and climate and multiple carbon flux measurements confirm the high interannual variability in carbon flux. The exact magnitude of these fluxes, however, remains difficult to discern.

  8. Ground-based grasslands data to support remote sensing and ecosystem modeling of terrestrial primary production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olson, R. J.; Scurlock, J. M. O.; Turner, R. S.; Jennings, S. V.

    1995-01-01

    Estimating terrestrial net primary production (NPP) using remote-sensing tools and ecosystem models requires adequate ground-based measurements for calibration, parameterization, and validation. These data needs were strongly endorsed at a recent meeting of ecosystem modelers organized by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Program's (IGBP's) Data and Information System (DIS) and its Global Analysis, Interpretation, and Modelling (GAIM) Task Force. To meet these needs, a multinational, multiagency project is being coordinated by the IGBP DIS to compile existing NPP data from field sites and to regionalize NPP point estimates to various-sized grid cells. Progress at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on compiling NPP data for grasslands as part of the IGBP DIS data initiative is described. Site data and associated documentation from diverse field studies are being acquired for selected grasslands and are being reviewed for completeness, consistency, and adequacy of documentation, including a description of sampling methods. Data are being compiled in a database with spatial, temporal, and thematic characteristics relevant to remote sensing and global modeling. NPP data are available from the ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for biogeochemical dynamics. The ORNL DAAC is part of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System, of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

  9. Ground-based grasslands data to support remote sensing and ecosystem modeling of terrestrial primary production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Olson, R.J.; Turner, R.S. [Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (United States); Scurlock, J.M.O. [King`s College London, (England); Jennings, S.V. [Tennessee Univ., Knoxville, TN (United States)

    1995-12-31

    Estimating terrestrial net primary production (NPP) using remote- sensing tools and ecosystem models requires adequate ground-based measurements for calibration, parameterization, and validation. These data needs were strongly endorsed at a recent meeting of ecosystem modelers organized by the International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme`s (IGBP`s) Data and Information System (DIS) and its Global Analysis, Interpretation, and Modelling (GAIM) Task Force. To meet these needs, a multinational, multiagency project is being coordinated by the IGBP DIS to compile existing NPP data from field sites and to regionalize NPP point estimates to various-sized grid cells. Progress at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) on compiling NPP data for grasslands as part of the IGBP DIS data initiative is described. Site data and associated documentation from diverse field studies are being acquired for selected grasslands and are being reviewed for completeness, consistency, and adequacy of documentation, including a description of sampling methods. Data are being compiled in a database with spatial, temporal, and thematic characteristics relevant to remote sensing and global modeling. NPP data are available from the ORNL Distributed Active Archive Center (DAAC) for biogeochemical dynamics. The ORNL DAAC is part of the Earth Observing System Data and Information System, of the US National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-11-01

    In this study, we compared measured and simulated Net Ecosystem Exchange (NEE) values from three wide spread ecosystems in the southeast of Ireland (forest, arable and grassland), and investigated the suitability of the DNDC (the DeNitrification-DeComposition) model to estimate present and future NEE. Although, the field-DNDC version overestimated NEE at temperatures >5 °C, forest-DNDC under-estimated NEE at temperatures >5 °C. The results suggest that the field/forest DNDC models can successfully estimate changes in seasonal and annual NEE from these ecosystems. Differences in NEE were found to be primarily land cover specific. The annual NEE was similar for the grassland and arable sites, but due to the contribution of exported carbon, the soil carbon increased at the grassland site and decreased at the arable site. The NEE of the forest site was an order of magnitude larger than that of the grassland or arable ecosystems, with large amounts of carbon stored in woody biomass and the soil. The average annual NEE, GPP and Reco values over the measurement period were -904, 2379 and 1475 g C m(-2) (forest plantations), -189, 906 and 715 g C m(-2) (arable systems) and -212, 1653 and 1444 g C m(-2) (grasslands), respectively. The average RMSE values were 3.8 g C m(-2) (forest plantations), 0.12 g C m(-2) (arable systems) and 0.21 g C m(-2) (grasslands). When these models were run with climate change scenarios to 2060, predictions show that all three ecosystems will continue to operate as carbon sinks. Further, climate change may decrease the carbon sink strength in the forest plantations by up to 50%. This study supports the use of the DNDC model as a valid tool to predict the consequences of climate change on NEE from different ecosystems. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  11. Spatio-temporal patterns and climate variables controlling of biomass carbon stock of global grassland ecosystems from 1982 to 2006

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Jiangzhou; Liu, Shuguang; Liang, Shunlin; Chen, Yang; Xu, Wenfang; Yuan, Wenping

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems play an important role in subsistence agriculture and the global carbon cycle. However, the global spatio-temporal patterns and environmental controls of grassland biomass are not well quantified and understood. The goal of this study was to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of the global grassland biomass and analyze their driving forces using field measurements, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series from satellite data, climate reanalysis data, and a satellite-based statistical model. Results showed that the NDVI-based biomass carbon model developed from this study explained 60% of the variance across 38 sites globally. The global carbon stock in grassland aboveground live biomass was 1.05 Pg·C, averaged from 1982 to 2006, and increased at a rate of 2.43 Tg·C·y−1 during this period. Temporal change of the global biomass was significantly and positively correlated with temperature and precipitation. The distribution of biomass carbon density followed the precipitation gradient. The dynamics of regional grassland biomass showed various trends largely determined by regional climate variability, disturbances, and management practices (such as grazing for meat production). The methods and results from this study can be used to monitor the dynamics of grassland aboveground biomass and evaluate grassland susceptibility to climate variability and change, disturbances, and management.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Le Dizes, S.; Maro, D.; Rozet, M.; Hebert, D.; Solier, L.; Nicoulaud, V. [Institut de radioportection et de surete nucleaire - IRSN (France); Vermorel, F.; Aulagnier, C. [Electricite de France - EDF (France)

    2014-07-01

    Tritium ({sup 3}H) is a major radionuclide released in several forms (HTO, HT) by nuclear facilities under normal operating conditions. In terrestrial ecosystems, tritium can be found under two forms: tritium in tissue free water (TFWT) following absorption of tritiated water by leaves or roots and Organically Bound Tritium (OBT) resulting from TFWT incorporation by the plant organic matter during photosynthesis. In order to study transfers of tritium from atmospheric releases to terrestrial ecosystem such as grasslands, an in-situ laboratory has been set up by IRSN on a ryegrass field plot located 2 km downwind the AREVA NC La Hague nuclear reprocessing plant (North-West of France), as was done in the past for the assessment of transfer of radiocarbon in grasslands. The objectives of this experimental field are: (i) to better understand the OBT formation in plant by photosynthesis, (ii) to evaluate transfer processes of tritium in several forms (HT, HTO) from the atmosphere (air and rainwater) to grass and soil, (iii) to develop a modeling allowing to reproduce the dynamic response of the ecosystem to tritium atmospheric releases depending of variable environmental conditions. For this purpose, tritium activity measurements will be carried out in grass (monthly measurements of HTO, OBT), in air, rainwater, soil (daily measurements of HT, HTO) and CO{sub 2}, H{sub 2}O fluxes between soil and air compartments will be carried out. Then, the TOCATTA-c model previously developed to simulate {sup 14}C transfers to pasture on a hourly time-step basis will be adapted to take account for processes specific to tritium. The model will be tested by a comparison between simulated results and measurements. The objectives of this presentation are (1) to present the organization of the experimental design of the VATO study (Validation of TOCATTA) dedicated to transfers of tritium in a grassland ecosystem, (2) to document the major assumptions, conceptual modelling and

  13. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2013 research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2014-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we take a look back at selected studies of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that depict its strengths and focus areas. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research priorities of the...

  14. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2015 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah. Finch

    2016-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we take a look back at selected studies of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that depict its strengths and focus areas. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research...

  15. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2017 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2018-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we feature selected studies of the RMRS Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that focus on the theme of fire. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic priorities and goals of the USDA Forest...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Fritsche

    2008-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  19. Evaluation and inversion of a net ecosystem carbon exchange model for grasslands and croplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herbst, M.; Klosterhalfen, A.; Weihermueller, L.; Graf, A.; Schmidt, M.; Huisman, J. A.; Vereecken, H.

    2017-12-01

    A one-dimensional soil water, heat, and CO2 flux model (SOILCO2), a pool concept of soil carbon turnover (RothC), and a crop growth module (SUCROS) was coupled to predict the net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of carbon. This model, further referred to as AgroC, was extended with routines for managed grassland as well as for root exudation and root decay. In a first step, the coupled model was applied to two winter wheat sites and one upland grassland site in Germany. The model was calibrated based on soil water content, soil temperature, biometric, and soil respiration measurements for each site, and validated in terms of hourly NEE measured with the eddy covariance technique. The overall model performance of AgroC was acceptable with a model efficiency >0.78 for NEE. In a second step, AgroC was optimized with the eddy covariance NEE measurements to examine the effect of various objective functions, constraints, and data-transformations on estimated NEE, which showed a distinct sensitivity to the choice of objective function and the inclusion of soil respiration data in the optimization process. Both, day and nighttime fluxes, were found to be sensitive to the selected optimization strategy. Additional consideration of soil respiration measurements improved the simulation of small positive fluxes remarkably. Even though the model performance of the selected optimization strategies did not diverge substantially, the resulting annual NEE differed substantially. We conclude that data-transformation, definition of objective functions, and data sources have to be considered cautiously when using a terrestrial ecosystem model to determine carbon balances by means of eddy covariance measurements.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-15

    Developing sustainable use patterns for alpine grassland in Tibet is the primary challenge related to conserving these vulnerable ecosystems of the 'world's third pole' and guaranteeing the well-being of local inhabitants. This challenge requires researchers to think beyond the methods of most current studies that are limited to a single aspect of conservation or productivity, and focus on balancing various needs. An analysis of trade-offs involving ecosystem services provides a framework that can be used to quantify the type of balancing needed. In this study, we measured variations in four types of ecosystem services under five types of grassland management including grazing exclusion, sowing, combined plowing and grazing exclusion, combined plowing and sowing, and natural grassland, from 2013 to 2015. In addition, we accessed the existence and changing patterns of ecosystem service trade-offs using Spearman coefficients and a trade-off index. The results revealed the existence of trade-offs among provisioning and regulating services. Plowing and sowing could convert the trade-off relationships into synergies immediately. Grazing exclusion reduced the level of trade-offs gradually over time. Thus, the combined plowing and sowing treatment promoted the total supply of multiple ecosystem services when compared with natural grassland. We argue that the variations in dry matter allocation to above- and belowground serve as one cause of the variation in trade-off relationships. Another cause for variation in trade-offs is the varied species competition between selection effects and niche complementarity. Our study provides empirical evidence that the effects of trade-offs among ecosystem services could be reduced and even converted into synergies by optimizing management techniques. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  2. Uncertainty analysis of a coupled ecosystem response model simulating greenhouse gas fluxes from a temperate grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liebermann, Ralf; Kraft, Philipp; Houska, Tobias; Breuer, Lutz; Müller, Christoph; Kraus, David; Haas, Edwin; Klatt, Steffen

    2015-04-01

    Among anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions, CO2 is the dominant driver of global climate change. Next to its direct impact on the radiation budget, it also affects the climate system by triggering feedback mechanisms in terrestrial ecosystems. Such mechanisms - like stimulated photosynthesis, increased root exudations and reduced stomatal transpiration - influence both the input and the turnover of carbon and nitrogen compounds in the soil. The stabilization and decomposition of these compounds determines how increasing CO2 concentrations change the terrestrial trace gas emissions, especially CO2, N2O and CH4. To assess the potential reaction of terrestrial greenhouse gas emissions to rising tropospheric CO2 concentration, we make use of a comprehensive ecosystem model integrating known processes and fluxes of the carbon-nitrogen cycle in soil, vegetation and water. We apply a state-of-the-art ecosystem model with measurements from a long term field experiment of CO2 enrichment. The model - a grassland realization of LandscapeDNDC - simulates soil chemistry coupled with plant physiology, microclimate and hydrology. The data - comprising biomass, greenhouse gas emissions, management practices and soil properties - has been attained from a FACE (Free Air Carbon dioxide Enrichment) experiment running since 1997 on a temperate grassland in Giessen, Germany. Management and soil data, together with weather records, are used to drive the model, while cut biomass as well as CO2 and N2O emissions are used for calibration and validation. Starting with control data from installations without CO2 enhancement, we begin with a GLUE (General Likelihood Uncertainty Estimation) assessment using Latin Hypercube to reduce the range of the model parameters. This is followed by a detailed sensitivity analysis, the application of DREAM-ZS for model calibration, and an estimation of the effect of input uncertainty on the simulation results. Since first results indicate problems with

  3. Water- and plant-mediated responses of ecosystem carbon fluxes to warming and nitrogen addition on the Songnen grassland in northeast China.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Li Jiang

    Full Text Available Understanding how grasslands are affected by a long-term increase in temperature is crucial to predict the future impact of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems. Additionally, it is not clear how the effects of global warming on grassland productivity are going to be altered by increased N deposition and N addition.In-situ canopy CO(2 exchange rates were measured in a meadow steppe subjected to 4-year warming and nitrogen addition treatments. Warming treatment reduced net ecosystem CO(2 exchange (NEE and increased ecosystem respiration (ER; but had no significant impacts on gross ecosystem productivity (GEP. N addition increased NEE, ER and GEP. However, there were no significant interactions between N addition and warming. The variation of NEE during the four experimental years was correlated with soil water content, particularly during early spring, suggesting that water availability is a primary driver of carbon fluxes in the studied semi-arid grassland.Ecosystem carbon fluxes in grassland ecosystems are sensitive to warming and N addition. In the studied water-limited grassland, both warming and N addition influence ecosystem carbon fluxes by affecting water availability, which is the primary driver in many arid and semiarid ecosystems. It remains unknown to what extent the long-term N addition would affect the turn-over of soil organic matter and the C sink size of this grassland.

  4. Insect fauna in soil at different grassland ecosystems at Sobral, state of Ceará, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gislane dos Santos Sousa

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was perform a surveillance of the insect fauna in soil in three grassland ecosystems of experimental farm Vale do Acaraú of Universidade Estadual Vale do Acaraú at Sobral, state of Ceará, Brazil, by the using of traps soil, with fortnightly collections, from March 2011 to February 2012. To characterize the insect fauna established a distribution pattern, whereas the rates of occurrence and dominance of species grouped by order, as an indicator of the frequency and the occurrence of the amount of captured. At the end, we collected and identified a total of 17,008 specimens of insects belonging to 11 orders, namely: Blattariae, Coleoptera, Dermaptera, Diptera, Hemiptera, Hymenoptera, Isoptera, Lepidoptera, Odonata, Orthoptera and Mantodea. The Order Hymenoptera was the one that stood out the largest number of individuals captured, attributing the presence of large amount of ants, are still considered common to the three ecosystems studied, according to the method employed.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. The relationships between biodiversity and ecosystem services and the effects of grazing cessation in semi-natural grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Wehn

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Land use change can affect biodiversity, and this has an impact on ecosystem services (ESs, but the relationships between biodiversity and ESs are complex and poorly understood. Biodiversity is declining due to the abandonment of extensively grazed semi-natural grasslands.We therefore aim to explore relationships between biodiversity and ESs provided by extensively managed semi-natural grasslands. Focusing on vascular plant species richness, as well as the ESs fodder quantity, quality, and stability, allergy control, climate regulation, nutrient cycling, pollination, and aesthetic appreciation, we carried out botanical field surveys of 28 paired extensively grazed and abandoned semi-natural grassland plots, with four subplots of 4 m2 in each plot. The management of the semi-natural grasslands is and has been at low intensity. We calculated the influence of abandonment on the ES indicators, measured the correlation between the biodiversity measure of vascular plant species richness and ES indicators, and finally determined how the relationships between plant species richness and the ES indicators were affected by the cessation of the extensive management.ES indicators are often, but not always, positively correlated with species richness. Cessation of extensive grazing has both negative and positive effects on ES indicators but the relationships between species richness and ES indicators are often different in extensively managed and abandoned semi-natural grasslands. The relationships between species richness and ES indicators are less pronounced in the extensively managed semi-natural grassland than for the abandoned. One possible reason for this outcome is high functional redundancy in the extensively managed semi-natural grasslands.

  7. Ecosystem-scale fluxes in seminatural Pyrenean grasslands: role of annual dynamics of plant functional types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Altimir, Nuria; Ibañez, Mercedes; Elbers, Jan; Rota, Cristina; Arias, Claudia; Carrara, Arnaud; Nogues, Salvador; Sebastia, Maria-Teresa

    2013-04-01

    The net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and the annual C balance of a site are in general modulated by light, temperature and availability of water and other resources to the plants. In grasslands, NEE is expected to depend strongly on the vegetation with a relationship that can be summarized by the above-ground biomass, its amount and dynamics. Any factor controlling the amount of green biomass is expected to have a strong impact on the short-term NEE, such as amount of solar radiation, water availability and grazing pressure. These controls are modulated differently depending on the plant functional type enduring them. Furthermore, as different guilds follow different functional strategies for optimization of the resources, they also present different patterns of change in their capacities such as photosynthetic fixation, belowground C allocation, and C loss via respiration. We examined these relationships at several semi-natural pastures to determine how the seasonal distribution of plant functional types is detected in the short-term ecosystem exchange and what role it plays. We have looked into these patterns to determine the general variation of key processes and whether different temporal patterns arise between different guilds. The study sites are in the Pyrenees, on the mountain pastures of La Bertolina, Alinyà, and Castellar at 1300, 1700, 1900 m a.s.l. respectively. We performed ecosystem-scale flux measurements by means of micrometeorologial stations combined with a thorough description of the vegetation including below- and above-ground biomass and leaf area as well as monitoring of natural abundance of C isotopes, discriminated by plant functional types. We present here the results of the study.

  8. Analysis of Grassland Ecosystem Physiology at Multiple Scales Using Eddy Covariance, Stable Isotope and Remote Sensing Techniques

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, L. B.; Geske, N.; Emrick, C.; Johnson, B. G.

    2006-12-01

    Grassland ecosystems typically exhibit very large annual fluctuations in above-ground biomass production and net ecosystem productivity (NEP). Eddy covariance flux measurements, plant stable isotope analyses, and canopy spectral reflectance techniques have been applied to study environmental constraints on grassland ecosystem productivity and the acclimation responses of the ecosystem at a site near Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada. We have observed substantial interannual variation in grassland productivity during 1999-2005. In addition, there was a strong correlation between peak above-ground biomass production and NEP calculated from eddy covariance measurements. Interannual variation in NEP was strongly controlled by the total amount of precipitation received during the growing season (April-August). We also observed significant positive correlations between a multivariate ENSO index and total growing season precipitation, and between the ENSO index and annual NEP values. This suggested that a significant fraction of the annual variability in grassland productivity was associated with ENSO during 1999-2005. Grassland productivity varies asymmetrically in response to changes in precipitation with increases in productivity during wet years being much more pronounced than reductions during dry years. Strong increases in plant water-use efficiency, based on carbon and oxygen stable isotope analyses, contribute to the resilience of productivity during times of drought. Within a growing season increased stomatal limitation of photosynthesis, associated with improved water-use efficiency, resulted in apparent shifts in leaf xanthophyll cycle pigments and changes to the Photochemical Reflectance Index (PRI) calculated from hyper-spectral reflectance measurements conducted at the canopy-scale. These shifts in PRI were apparent before seasonal drought caused significant reductions in leaf area index (LAI) and changes to canopy-scale "greenness" based on NDVI values. With

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-19

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

  10. Dynamics of a grassland ecosystem: botanical equilibrium in the Park Grass Experiment

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Silvertown, J

    1980-01-01

    The published results of the Park Grass Experiment (PGE), begun in 1856, provide up to 30 yr of annual data which may be used to determine whether the botanical composition of these grasslands was at equilibrium. Data covering a period exceeding 80 yr are available to test for relationships between hay yield (biomass), species diversity, species number and time. Species diversity and species number show negative relationships with plot biomass and with pH. These relationships were constant over time. The effects of biomass and pH on species number and species diversity were additive. Analysis of the flora of nine plots, each divided into grasses, legumes and a miscellaneous component showed that these components were at equilibrium. The effect of various endogenous factors on this botanical equilibrium was examined. No regular or irregular cycles of component biomass operating between years were detected and it is inferred that populations were regulated by processes operating within individual years. The biomasses of all three components were positively correlated within an unfertilized plot but the floristic components of plots receiving a fertilizer treatment showed few within-plot correlations. By contrast between-plot correlations of components were common for all plots with the exception of those receiving nitrogen fertilizer. The mechanisms of population regulation which maintained the park grass ecosystem at equilibrium are discussed and tests for these are proposed.

  11. Ecosystem properties of semi-arid savanna grassland in West Africa and its relationship to environmental variability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa

    2015-01-01

    he Dahra field site in Senegal, West Africa, was established in 2002 to monitor ecosystem properties of semiarid savanna grassland and their responses to climatic and environmental change. This article describes the environment and the ecosystem properties of the site using a unique set of in situ......), biomass, vegetation water content, and land-atmosphere exchanges of carbon (NEE) and energy. The Dahra field site experiences a typical Sahelian climate and is covered by coexisting trees (~3% canopy cover) and grass species, characterizing large parts of the Sahel. This makes the site suitable...

  12. Comparison of remote sensing and plant trait-based modelling to predict ecosystem services in subalpine grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Homolová, Lucie; Schaepman, M. E.; Lamarque, L.; Clevers, J.G.P.W.; de Bello, Francesco; Thuiller, W.; Lavorel, S.

    2014-01-01

    Roč. 5, č. 8 (2014), č. článku 100. ISSN 2150-8925 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : land-use change * leaf chlorophyll content * imaging spectroscopy * water-content * aviris data * spectral reflectance * hyperspectral data * species richness * area index * vegetation * aisa * biomass * ecosystem properties * ecosystem services * linear regression * remote sensing * spatial heterogeneity * subalpine grasslands Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) OBOR OECD: Remote sensing; Plant sciences, botany (BU-J) Impact factor: 2.255, year: 2014

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, H.; Fan, J.

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Different responses of ecosystem carbon exchange to warming in three types of alpine grassland on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganjurjav, Hasbagan; Hu, Guozheng; Wan, Yunfan; Li, Yue; Danjiu, Luobu; Gao, Qingzhu

    2018-02-01

    Climate is a driver of terrestrial ecosystem carbon exchange, which is an important product of ecosystem function. The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has recently been subjected to a marked increase in temperature as a consequence of global warming. To explore the effects of warming on carbon exchange in grassland ecosystems, we conducted a whole-year warming experiment between 2012 and 2014 using open-top chambers placed in an alpine meadow, an alpine steppe, and a cultivated grassland on the central Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. We measured the gross primary productivity, net ecosystem CO 2 exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration, and soil respiration using a chamber-based method during the growing season. The results show that after 3 years of warming, there was significant stimulation of carbon assimilation and emission in the alpine meadow, but both these processes declined in the alpine steppe and the cultivated grassland. Under warming conditions, the soil water content was more important in stimulating ecosystem carbon exchange in the meadow and cultivated grassland than was soil temperature. In the steppe, the soil temperature was negatively correlated with ecosystem carbon exchange. We found that the ambient soil water content was significantly correlated with the magnitude of warming-induced change in NEE. Under high soil moisture condition, warming has a significant positive effect on NEE, while it has a negative effect under low soil moisture condition. Our results highlight that the NEE in steppe and cultivated grassland have negative responses to warming; after reclamation, the natural meadow would subject to loose more C in warmer condition. Therefore, under future warmer condition, the overextension of cultivated grassland should be avoided and scientific planning of cultivated grassland should be achieved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-05-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2007-01-01

    Our simulations with the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model (DLEM) indicate that the combined effect of ozone, climate, carbon dioxide and land use have caused China's grasslands to act as a weak carbon sink during 1961-2000. This combined effect on national grassland net primary productivity (NPP) and carbon storage was small, but changes in annual NPP and total carbon storage across China's grasslands showed substantial spatial variation, with the maximum total carbon uptake reduction of more than 400 g m -2 in some places of northeastern China. The grasslands in the central northeastern China were more sensitive and vulnerable to elevated ozone pollution than other regions. The combined effect excluding ozone could potentially lead to an increase of 14 Tg C in annual NPP and 0.11 Pg C in total carbon storage for the same time period. This implies that improvement in air quality could significantly increase productivity and carbon storage in China's grassland ecosystems. - Net primary productivity and carbon storage across China's grassland in the late half of the 20th century have been assessed by using the Dynamic Land Ecosystem Model

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-11-01

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

  20. Landscape and Local Controls of Insect Biodiversity in Conservation Grasslands: Implications for the Conservation of Ecosystem Service Providers in Agricultural Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas O. Crist

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available The conservation of biodiversity in intensively managed agricultural landscapes depends on the amount and spatial arrangement of cultivated and natural lands. Conservation incentives that create semi-natural grasslands may increase the biodiversity of beneficial insects and their associated ecosystem services, such as pollination and the regulation of insect pests, but the effectiveness of these incentives for insect conservation are poorly known, especially in North America. We studied the variation in species richness, composition, and functional-group abundances of bees and predatory beetles in conservation grasslands surrounded by intensively managed agriculture in Southwest Ohio, USA. Characteristics of grassland patches and surrounding land-cover types were used to predict insect species richness, composition, and functional-group abundance using linear models and multivariate ordinations. Bee species richness was positively influenced by forb cover and beetle richness was positively related to grass cover; both taxa had greater richness in grasslands surrounded by larger amounts of semi-natural land cover. Functional groups of bees and predatory beetles defined by body size and sociality varied in their abundance according to differences in plant composition of grassland patches, as well as the surrounding land-cover diversity. Intensive agriculture in the surrounding landscape acted as a filter to both bee and beetle species composition in conservation grasslands. Our results support the need for management incentives to consider landscape-level processes in the conservation of biodiversity and ecosystem services.

  1. Simple models to predict grassland ecosystem C exchange and actual evapotranspiration using NDVI and environmental variables

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid grasslands contribute significantly to net terrestrial carbon flux as plant productivity and heterotrophic respiration in these moisture-limited systems are correlated with metrics related to water availability (e.g., precipitation, Actual EvapoTranspiration or AET). These variables are als...

  2. Spatio-Temporal Patterns and Climate Variables Controlling of Biomass Carbon Stock of Global Grassland Ecosystems from 1982 to 2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangzhou Xia

    2014-02-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems play an important role in subsistence agriculture and the global carbon cycle. However, the global spatio-temporal patterns and environmental controls of grassland biomass are not well quantified and understood. The goal of this study was to estimate the spatial and temporal patterns of the global grassland biomass and analyze their driving forces using field measurements, Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI time series from satellite data, climate reanalysis data, and a satellite-based statistical model. Results showed that the NDVI-based biomass carbon model developed from this study explained 60% of the variance across 38 sites globally. The global carbon stock in grassland aboveground live biomass was 1.05 Pg·C, averaged from 1982 to 2006, and increased at a rate of 2.43 Tg·C·y−1 during this period. Temporal change of the global biomass was significantly and positively correlated with temperature and precipitation. The distribution of biomass carbon density followed the precipitation gradient. The dynamics of regional grassland biomass showed various trends largely determined by regional climate variability, disturbances, and management practices (such as grazing for meat production. The methods and results from this study can be used to monitor the dynamics of grassland aboveground biomass and evaluate grassland susceptibility to climate variability and change, disturbances, and management.

  3. Wind Erosion Caused by Land Use Changes Significantly Reduces Ecosystem Carbon Storage and Carbon Sequestration Potentials in Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, P.; Chi, Y. G.; Wang, J.; Liu, L.

    2017-12-01

    Wind erosion exerts a fundamental influence on the biotic and abiotic processes associated with ecosystem carbon (C) cycle. However, how wind erosion under different land use scenarios will affect ecosystem C balance and its capacity for future C sequestration are poorly quantified. Here, we established an experiment in a temperate steppe in Inner Mongolia, and simulated different intensity of land uses: control, 50% of aboveground vegetation removal (50R), 100% vegetation removal (100R) and tillage (TI). We monitored lateral and vertical carbon flux components and soil characteristics from 2013 to 2016. Our study reveals three key findings relating to the driving factors, the magnitude and consequence of wind erosion on ecosystem C balance: (1) Frequency of heavy wind exerts a fundamental control over the severity of soil erosion, and its interaction with precipitation and vegetation characteristics explained 69% variation in erosion intensity. (2) With increases in land use intensity, the lateral C flux induced by wind erosion increased rapidly, equivalent to 33%, 86%, 111% and 183% of the net ecosystem exchange of the control site under control, 50R, 100R and TI sites, respectively. (3) After three years' treatment, erosion induced decrease in fine fractions led to 31%, 43%, 85% of permanent loss of C sequestration potential in the surface 5cm soil for 50R, 100R and TI sites. Overall, our study demonstrates that lateral C flux associated with wind erosion is too large to be ignored. The loss of C-enriched fine particles not only reduces current ecosystem C content, but also results in irreversible loss of future soil C sequestration potential. The dynamic soil characteristics need be considered when projecting future ecosystem C balance in aeolian landscape. We also propose that to maintain the sustainability of grassland ecosystems, land managers should focus on implementing appropriate land use rather than rely on subsequent managements on degraded soils.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-09-23

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

  5. Experimental effects of herbivore density on above-ground plant biomass in an alpine grassland ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Austrheim, Gunnar; Speed, James David Mervyn; Martinsen, Vegard; Mulder, Jan; Mysterud, Atle

    2014-01-01

    Herbivores may increase or decrease aboveground plant productivity depending on factors such as herbivore density and habitat productivity. The grazing optimization hypothesis predicts a peak in plant production at intermediate herbivore densities, but has rarely been tested experimentally in an alpine field setting. In an experimental design with three densities of sheep (high, low, and no sheep), we harvested aboveground plant biomass in alpine grasslands prior to treatment and after five y...

  6. Are land use and short time climate change effective on soil carbon compositions and their relationships with soil properties in alpine grassland ecosystems on Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhao, Zhenzhen; Dong, Shikui; Jiang, Xiaoman; Zhao, Jinbo; Liu, Shiliang; Yang, Mingyue; Han, Yuhui; Sha, Wei

    2018-06-01

    Fencing and grass plantation are two key interventions to preserve the degraded grassland on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP). Climate warming and N deposition have substantially affected the alpine grassland ecosystems. However, molecular composition of soil organic carbon (SOC), the indicator of degradation of SOC, and its responses to climate change are still largely unclear. In this study, we conducted the experiments in three types of land use on the QTP: alpine meadow (AM), alpine steppe (AS), and cultivated grassland (CG) under 2°C climatic warming, 5 levels of nitrogen deposition rates at 8, 24, 40, 56, and 72kg N ha -1 year -1 , as well as a combination of climatic warming and N deposition (8kg N ha -1 year -1 ). Our findings indicate that all three types of land use were dominated by O-alkyl carbon. The alkyl/O-alkyl ratio, aromaticity and hydrophobicity index of the CG were larger than those of the AM and AS, and this difference was generally stable under different treatments. Most of the SOC in the alpine grasslands was derived from fresh plants, and the carbon in the CG was more stable than that in the AM and AS. The compositions of all the alpine ecosystems were stable under short-term climatic changes, suggesting the short-term climate warming and nitrogen deposition likely did not affect the molecular composition of the SOC in the restored grasslands. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-06-01

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

  8. Regional conditions and land-use alter the potential contribution of soil arthropods to ecosystem services in grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Klaus eBirkhofer

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the impact of regional conditions and land-use intensity on eight selected arthropod taxa of Mesostigmata (Parasitidae, Oribatida (3 species, Collembola (1 species, Chilopoda (2 species and Diplopoda (1 species sampled in differently managed permanent grasslands of three German study regions. By jointly analyzing changes in abundance and trophic behavior (measured as natural variation in 15N/14N and 13C/12C ratios we intended to develop a framework for evaluating the impact of local and regional conditions on the ecosystem services delivered by soil animals (mainly decomposition- and predation-related services. The investigated taxa could be assorted to three major groups: (1 numerical response only, (2 numerical and trophic response and (3 trophic response only. Since the combination of taxa assembled in the individual groups does not correspond to any of the conventional soil ecological classification systems, this grouping offers a new approach for analyzing soil communities. The complementing consideration of both the direction of the numerical response and the type of the trophic response (change of the basal food source vs. trophic level shift vs. variations in isotopic niches provided a differential insight into the effect of management and geographic differences on soil arthropods. It could be shown that the effect of land-use on the abundance of detritivorous microarthropods varies among regions, but does not induce any changes in feeding behavior. Our findings on Parasitidae indicate that carnivorous microarthropods exert substantial predation pressure on soil mesofauna and may be quite resistant to environmental changes due to high trophic flexibility. If conditions are favorable, centipedes may reach comparatively high densities in permanent grasslands and could be very important for controlling belowground pests. Concerning millipedes, isotopic signatures suggest that some species could exert a substantial disservice

  9. Soil ecology and ecosystem services of dairy and semi-natural grasslands on peat

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Deru, Joachim G.C.; Bloem, Jaap; Goede, de Ron; Keidel, Harm; Kloen, Henk; Rutgers, Michiel; Akker, van den Jan; Brussaard, Lijbert; Eekeren, van Nick

    2018-01-01

    Peat wetlands are of major importance for ecosystem services such as carbon storage, water regulation and maintenance of biodiversity. However, peat drainage for farming leads to CO2 emission, soil subsidence and biodiversity losses. In the peat areas in the Netherlands, solutions are sought in

  10. Phenocams bridge the gap between field and satellite observations in an arid grassland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Near surface (i.e., camera) and satellite remote sensing metrics have become widely used indicators of plant growing seasons. While robust linkages have been established between field metrics and ecosystem exchange in many land cover types, assessment of how well remotely-derived season start and en...

  11. Sierra Nevada grasslands: interactions between livestock grazing and ecosystem structure and function

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barbara H. Allen-Diaz

    2004-01-01

    Livestock grazing plays an integral role in the grass-dominated ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada. Grazing has been asserted to influence such key ecological characteristics as water quality, net primary productivity, nutrient cycling, plant and animal diversity, wildlife habitat availability, and oak regeneration (Belsky and others 1999, Kauffmann and Krueger 1984)....

  12. Effects of short term and long term soil warming on ecosystem phenology of a sub-arctic grassland: an NDVI-based approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leblans, Niki; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2014-05-01

    Phenology has been defined as the study of the timing of recurring biological events and the causes of their timing with regard to abiotic and biotic factors. Ecosystem phenology, including the onset of the growing season and its senescence in autumn, plays an important role in the carbon, water and energy exchange between biosphere and atmosphere at higher latitudes. Factors that influence ecosystem phenology can therefore induce important climate-controlling feedback mechanisms. Global surface temperatures have been predicted to increase in the coming decades. Hence, a better understanding of the effect of temperature on ecosystem phenology is essential. Natural geothermal soil temperature gradients in Iceland offer a unique opportunity to study the soil temperature (Ts) dependence of ecosystem phenology and distinguish short-term (transient) warming effects (in recently established Ts gradients) from long-term (permanent) effects (in centuries-old Ts gradients). This research was performed in the framework of an international research project (ForHot; www.forhot.is). ForHot includes two natural grassland areas with gradients in Ts, dominated by Festuca sp., Agrostis sp.. The first warmed area was created in 2008, when an earthquake in S-Iceland caused geothermal systems to be shifted to previously cold soils. The second area is located about 3 km away from this newly warmed grassland. For this area, there are proofs that the natural soil warming has been continuous for at least 300 year. In the present study we focus on Ts elevation gradients of +0 to +10°C. The experiment consists of five transects with five temperature levels (+0,+1,+3,+5 and +10°C) in the two aforementioned grassland ecosystems (n=25 in each grassland). From April until November 2013, weekly measurements of the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were taken. In the short-term warmed grassland, the greening of the vegetation was 36 days advanced at +10°C Ts and the date of 50

  13. Biological transport of radiocaesium in a semi-natural grassland ecosystem: Pt.1

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rudge, S.A.; Johnson, M.S.; Leah, R.T.

    1993-01-01

    An unused area of the British Nuclear Fuels plc low level disposal site at Drigg in Cumbria, together with a control site in Cheshire, have been used to investigate the behaviour of 137 Cs in semi-natural grasslands over the period 1985-1988. Both sites showed significant inputs of 137 Cs and 134 Cs from the Chernobyl incident in 1986, estimated at up to 7330 Bq/m 2 at Drigg and less than 230 Bq/m 2 in Cheshire. Surface soil horizons showed the highest levels of 137 Cs and 134 Cs. During the study period, the dominant contribution to radiocaesium in soil and vegetation was from Chernobyl. Significant inter-specific variation in caesium concentrations of grasses was observed with an exponential decrease from June 1986 through to the summer of 1987, followed by secondary peak in autumn 1987. Samples collected in the spring of 1988 showed 137 Cs concentrations approaching pre-Chernobyl levels. Marked inter-specific and temporal differences in concentrations of radio-caesium were recorded for invertebrate populations. Radioactivity levels in herbivorous invertebrates were approximately proportional to levels in their diets with concentration decreasing form the 1986 summer peak recorded after the input of Chernobyl radioactivity to the low levels observed during the summer of 1987. Herbivorous and predatory invertebrates showed similar concentrations of 137 Cs but both groups were lower in radiocaesium than detritivorous species. (Author)

  14. Nitrogen and Carbon Cycling in a Grassland Community Ecosystem as Affected by Elevated Atmospheric CO2

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    H. A. Torbert

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available Increasing global atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 concentration has led to concerns regarding its potential effects on terrestrial ecosystems and the long-term storage of carbon (C and nitrogen (N in soil. This study examined responses to elevated CO2 in a grass ecosystem invaded with a leguminous shrub Acacia farnesiana (L. Willd (Huisache. Seedlings of Acacia along with grass species were grown for 13 months at CO2 concentrations of 385 (ambient, 690, and 980 μmol mol−1. Elevated CO2 increased both C and N inputs from plant growth which would result in higher soil C from litter fall, root turnover, and excretions. Results from the incubation indicated an initial (20 days decrease in N mineralization which resulted in no change in C mineralization. However, after 40 and 60 days, an increase in both C and N mineralization was observed. These increases would indicate that increases in soil C storage may not occur in grass ecosystems that are invaded with Acacia over the long term.

  15. Influence of land use intensity on the diversity of ammonia oxidizing bacteria and archaea in soils from grassland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Annabel; Focks, Andreas; Radl, Viviane; Welzl, Gerhard; Schöning, Ingo; Schloter, Michael

    2014-01-01

    In the present study, the influence of the land use intensity on the diversity of ammonia oxidizing bacteria (AOB) and archaea (AOA) in soils from different grassland ecosystems has been investigated in spring and summer of the season (April and July). Diversity of AOA and AOB was studied by TRFLP fingerprinting of amoA amplicons. The diversity from AOB was low and dominated by a peak that could be assigned to Nitrosospira. The obtained profiles for AOB were very stable and neither influenced by the land use intensity nor by the time point of sampling. In contrast, the obtained patterns for AOA were more complex although one peak that could be assigned to Nitrosopumilus was dominating all profiles independent from the land use intensity and the sampling time point. Overall, the AOA profiles were much more dynamic than those of AOB and responded clearly to the land use intensity. An influence of the sampling time point was again not visible. Whereas AOB profiles were clearly linked to potential nitrification rates in soil, major TRFs from AOA were negatively correlated to DOC and ammonium availability and not related to potential nitrification rates.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gao, Ying Z; Giese, Marcus; Gao, Qiang; Brueck, Holger; Sheng, Lian X; Yang, Hai J

    2013-01-01

    Water use efficiency (WUE) is a key indicator to assess ecosystem adaptation to water stress. Rain use efficiency (RUE) is usually used as a proxy for WUE due to lack of transpiration data. Furthermore, RUE based on aboveground primary productivity (RUEANPP) is used to evaluate whole plant water use because root production data is often missing as well. However, it is controversial as to whether RUE is a reliable parameter to elucidate transpiration efficiency (TE), and whether RUEANPP is a suitable proxy for RUE of the whole plant basis. The experiment was conducted at three differently managed sites in the Inner Mongolia steppe: a site fenced since 1979 (UG79), a winter grazing site (WG) and a heavily grazed site (HG). Site HG had consistent lowest RUEANPP and RUE based on total net primary productivity (RUENPP). RUEANPP is a relatively good proxy at sites UG79 and WG, but less reliable for site HG. Similarly, RUEANPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on aboveground net primary productivity (TEANPP) at sites UG79 and WG but not for site HG. However, if total net primary productivity is considered, RUENPP is good predictor of transpiration efficiency based on total net primary productivity (TENPP) for all sites. Although our measurements indicate decreased plant transpiration and consequentially decreasing RUE under heavy grazing, productivity was relatively compensated for with a higher TE. This offset between RUE and TE was even enhanced under water limited conditions and more evident when belowground net primary productivity (BNNP) was included. These findings suggest that BNPP should be considered when studies fucus on WUE of more intensively used grasslands. The consideration of the whole plant perspective and "real" WUE would partially revise our picture of system performance and therefore might affect the discussion on the C-sequestration and resilience potential of ecosystems.

  17. Modelling carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems in Western Europe using the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model: evaluation against eddy covariance data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henrot, Alexandra-Jane; François, Louis; Dury, Marie; Hambuckers, Alain; Jacquemin, Ingrid; Minet, Julien; Tychon, Bernard; Heinesch, Bernard; Horemans, Joanna; Deckmyn, Gaby

    2015-04-01

    Eddy covariance measurements are an essential resource to understand how ecosystem carbon fluxes react in response to climate change, and to help to evaluate and validate the performance of land surface and vegetation models at regional and global scale. In the framework of the MASC project (« Modelling and Assessing Surface Change impacts on Belgian and Western European climate »), vegetation dynamics and carbon fluxes of forest and grassland ecosystems simulated by the CARAIB dynamic vegetation model (Dury et al., iForest - Biogeosciences and Forestry, 4:82-99, 2011) are evaluated and validated by comparison of the model predictions with eddy covariance data. Here carbon fluxes (e.g. net ecosystem exchange (NEE), gross primary productivity (GPP), and ecosystem respiration (RECO)) and evapotranspiration (ET) simulated with the CARAIB model are compared with the fluxes measured at several eddy covariance flux tower sites in Belgium and Western Europe, chosen from the FLUXNET global network (http://fluxnet.ornl.gov/). CARAIB is forced either with surface atmospheric variables derived from the global CRU climatology, or with in situ meteorological data. Several tree (e.g. Pinus sylvestris, Fagus sylvatica, Picea abies) and grass species (e.g. Poaceae, Asteraceae) are simulated, depending on the species encountered on the studied sites. The aim of our work is to assess the model ability to reproduce the daily, seasonal and interannual variablility of carbon fluxes and the carbon dynamics of forest and grassland ecosystems in Belgium and Western Europe.

  18. Seasonal dynamics of water use efficiency of typical forest and grassland ecosystems in China

    CERN Document Server

    Zhu, Xianjin; Wang, Qiufeng; Hu, Zhongmin; Han, Shijie; Yan, Junhua; Wang, Yanfen; Zhao, Liang

    2014-01-01

    We selected four sites of ChinaFLUX representing four major ecosystem types in China-Changbaishan temperate broad-leaved Korean pine mixed forest (CBS), Dinghushan subtropical evergreen broadleaved forest (DHS), Inner Mongolia temperate steppe (NM), and Haibei alpine shrub-meadow (HBGC)-to study the seasonal dynamics of ecosystem water use efficiency (WUE = GPP/ET, where GPP is gross primary productivity and ET is evapotranspiration) and factors affecting it. Our seasonal dynamics results indicated single-peak variation of WUE in CBS, NM, and HBGC, which were affected by air temperature (Ta) and leaf area index (LAI), through their effects on the partitioning of evapotranspiration (ET) into transpiration (T) (i.e., T/ET). In DHS, WUE was higher at the beginning and the end of the year, and minimum in summer. Ta and soil water content affected the seasonal dynamics of WUE through their effects on GPP/T. Our results indicate that seasonal dynamics of WUE were different because factors affecting the seasonal dyn...

  19. Reducing Greenhouse Gas Emissions in Grassland Ecosystems of the Central Lithuania: Multi-Criteria Evaluation on a Basis of the ARAS Method

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ligita Balezentiene

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available N2O, CH4, and CO2 are potential greenhouse gas (GHG contributing to climate change; therefore, solutions have to be sought to reduce their emission from agriculture. This work evaluates GHG emission from grasslands submitted to different mineral fertilizers during vegetation period (June–September in two experimental sites, namely, seminatural grassland (8 treatments of mineral fertilizers and cultural pasture (intensively managed in the Training Farm of the Lithuanian University of Agriculture. Chamber method was applied for evaluation of GHG emissions on the field scale. As a result, soil chemical composition, compactness, temperature, and gravimetric moisture as well as biomass yield of fresh and dry biomass and botanical composition, were assessed during the research. Furthermore, a simulation of multi-criteria assessment of sustainable fertilizers management was carried out on a basis of ARAS method. The multicriteria analysis of different fertilizing regimes was based on a system of environmental and productivity indices. Consequently, agroecosystems of cultural pasture (N180P120K150 and seminatural grassland fertilizing rates N180P120K150 and N60P40K50 were evaluated as the most sustainable alternatives leading to reduction of emissions between biosphere-atmosphere and human-induced biogenic pollution in grassland ecosystems, thus contributing to improvement of countryside environment.

  20. Representing the effects of alpine grassland vegetation cover on the simulation of soil thermal dynamics by ecosystem models applied to the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, S.; Li, N.; Xiang, B.; Wang, X.; Ye, B.; McGuire, A.D.

    2013-01-01

    Soil surface temperature is a critical boundary condition for the simulation of soil temperature by environmental models. It is influenced by atmospheric and soil conditions and by vegetation cover. In sophisticated land surface models, it is simulated iteratively by solving surface energy budget equations. In ecosystem, permafrost, and hydrology models, the consideration of soil surface temperature is generally simple. In this study, we developed a methodology for representing the effects of vegetation cover and atmospheric factors on the estimation of soil surface temperature for alpine grassland ecosystems on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau. Our approach integrated measurements from meteorological stations with simulations from a sophisticated land surface model to develop an equation set for estimating soil surface temperature. After implementing this equation set into an ecosystem model and evaluating the performance of the ecosystem model in simulating soil temperature at different depths in the soil profile, we applied the model to simulate interactions among vegetation cover, freeze-thaw cycles, and soil erosion to demonstrate potential applications made possible through the implementation of the methodology developed in this study. Results showed that (1) to properly estimate daily soil surface temperature, algorithms should use air temperature, downward solar radiation, and vegetation cover as independent variables; (2) the equation set developed in this study performed better than soil surface temperature algorithms used in other models; and (3) the ecosystem model performed well in simulating soil temperature throughout the soil profile using the equation set developed in this study. Our application of the model indicates that the representation in ecosystem models of the effects of vegetation cover on the simulation of soil thermal dynamics has the potential to substantially improve our understanding of the vulnerability of alpine grassland ecosystems to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behling, Hermann; Pillar, Valério DePatta

    2007-02-28

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

  2. Predicting invasion in grassland ecosystems: is exotic dominance the real embarrassment of richness?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Seabloom, Eric W. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Borer, Elizabeth T. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Buckley, Yvonne [ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland 4072 Australia; Cleland, Elsa E. [Ecology, Behavior & Evolution Section, University of California, San Diego La Jolla CA 92093 USA; Davies, Kendi [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309 USA; Firn, Jennifer [Queensland University of Technology, Biogeosciences, Brisbane Queensland 4000 Australia; Harpole, W. Stanley [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Hautier, Yann [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190 CH-8057 Zurich Switzerland; Lind, Eric [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; MacDougall, Andrew [Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph Ontario N1G 2W1 Canada; Orrock, John L. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706 USA; Prober, Suzanne M. [CSIRO Ecosystem Sciences, Private Bag 5 Wembley WA 6913 Australia; Adler, Peter [Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan UT 84322 USA; Alberti, Juan [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Michael Anderson, T. [Department of Biology, Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem NC 27109 USA; Bakker, Jonathan D. [School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle WA 98195-4115 USA; Biederman, Lori A. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Blumenthal, Dana [Rangeland Resources Research Unit, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Fort Collins CO 80526 USA; Brown, Cynthia S. [Department of Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523 USA; Brudvig, Lars A. [Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing MI 48824 USA; Caldeira, Maria [Centro de Estudos Florestais, Instituto Superior de Agronomia, Technical University of Lisbon, Lisbon Portugal; Chu, Chengjin [School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 China; Crawley, Michael J. [Department of Biology, Imperial College London, Silwood Park Ascot SL5 7PY UK; Daleo, Pedro [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Damschen, Ellen I. [Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison WI 53706 USA; D' Antonio, Carla M. [Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara CA 93106 USA; DeCrappeo, Nicole M. [U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Dickman, Chris R. [Desert Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006 Australia; Du, Guozhen [School of Life Sciences, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000 China; Fay, Philip A. [USDA-ARS Grassland Soil and Water Research Lab, Temple TX 76502 USA; Frater, Paul [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Gruner, Daniel S. [Department of Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park MD 20742 USA; Hagenah, Nicole [School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville Pietermaritzburg 3209 South Africa; Department of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520 USA; Hector, Andrew [Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Winterthurerstrasse 190 CH-8057 Zurich Switzerland; Helm, Aveliina [Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu Estonia; Hillebrand, Helmut [Institute for Chemistry and Biology of the Marine Environment, Carl-von-Ossietzky University, Wilhelmshaven Germany; Hofmockel, Kirsten S. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Humphries, Hope C. [INSTAAR, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309-0450 USA; Iribarne, Oscar [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Jin, Virginia L. [USDA-ARS Agroecosystem Management Research Unit, Lincoln NE 68583 USA; Kay, Adam [Biology Department, University of St. Thomas, Saint Paul MN 55105 USA; Kirkman, Kevin P. [School of Life Sciences, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Scottsville Pietermaritzburg 3209 South Africa; Klein, Julia A. [Department Forest, Rangeland & Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523-1472 USA; Knops, Johannes M. H. [School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska, Lincoln NE 68588 USA; La Pierre, Kimberly J. [Department of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven CT 06520 USA; Ladwig, Laura M. [Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque NM 87103 USA; Lambrinos, John G. [Department of Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Leakey, Andrew D. B. [Department of Plant Biology and Institute for Genomic Biology, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana IL 61801 USA; Li, Qi [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008 Qinghai China; Li, Wei [Yunnan Academy of Biodiversity, Southwest Forestry University, Kunming 650224 China; McCulley, Rebecca [Department of Plant & Soil Sciences, University of Kentucky, Lexington KY 40546 USA; Melbourne, Brett [Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder CO 80309 USA; Mitchell, Charles E. [Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill NC 27599 USA; Moore, Joslin L. [Australian Research Centre for Urban Ecology, Melbourne, c/o School of Botany, University of Melbourne, Melbourne Victoria 3010 Australia; Morgan, John [Department of Botany, La Trobe University, Bundoora 3086 Victoria Australia; Mortensen, Brent [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; O' Halloran, Lydia R. [Department of Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Pärtel, Meelis [Institute of Ecology and Earth Sciences, University of Tartu, Tartu Estonia; Pascual, Jesús [Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas y Costeras (UNMdP-CONICET), Mar del Plata Argentina; Pyke, David A. [U.S. Geological Survey Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, Corvallis OR 97331 USA; Risch, Anita C. [Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf Switzerland; Salguero-Gómez, Roberto [ARC Centre of Excellence for Environmental Decisions, School of Biological Sciences, The University of Queensland, Brisbane Queensland 4072 Australia; Sankaran, Mahesh [National Centre for Biological Sciences, GKVK Campus, Bellary Road Bangalore 560065 India; Schuetz, Martin [Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research, 8903 Birmensdorf Switzerland; Simonsen, Anna [Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto ON M5S 3B2 Canada; Smith, Melinda [Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins CO 80523 USA; Stevens, Carly [Lancaster Environment Center, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ UK; Sullivan, Lauren [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames IA 50011 USA; Wardle, Glenda M. [Desert Ecology Research Group, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney NSW 2006 Australia; Wolkovich, Elizabeth M. [Biodiversity Research Centre, University of British Columbia, Vancouver V6T 1Z4 Canada; Wragg, Peter D. [Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of MN, St. Paul MN 55108 USA; Wright, Justin [Department of Biology, Duke University, Durham NC 27708 USA; Yang, Louie [Department of Entomology, University of California, Davis CA 95616 USA

    2013-10-16

    Invasions have increased the size of regional species pools, but are typically assumed to reduce native diversity. However, global-scale tests of this assumption have been elusive because of the focus on exotic species richness, rather than relative abundance. This is problematic because low invader richness can indicate invasion resistance by the native community or, alternatively, dominance by a single exotic species. Here, we used a globally replicated study to quantify relationships between exotic richness and abundance in grass-dominated ecosystems in 13 countries on six continents, ranging from salt marshes to alpine tundra. We tested effects of human land use, native community diversity, herbivore pressure, and nutrient limitation on exotic plant dominance. Despite its widespread use, exotic richness was a poor proxy for exotic dominance at low exotic richness, because sites that contained few exotic species ranged from relatively pristine (low exotic richness and cover) to almost completely exotic-dominated ones (low exotic richness but high exotic cover). Both exotic cover and richness were predicted by native plant diversity (native grass richness) and land use (distance to cultivation). Although climate was important for predicting both exotic cover and richness, climatic factors predicting cover (precipitation variability) differed from those predicting richness (maximum temperature and mean temperature in the wettest quarter). Herbivory and nutrient limitation did not predict exotic richness or cover. Exotic dominance was greatest in areas with low native grass richness at the site- or regional-scale. Although this could reflect native grass displacement, a lack of biotic resistance is a more likely explanation, given that grasses comprise the most aggressive invaders. These findings underscore the need to move beyond richness as a surrogate for the extent of invasion, because this metric confounds monodominance with invasion resistance. Monitoring

  3. Flooding-related increases in CO2 and N2O emissions from a temperate coastal grassland ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gebremichael, Amanuel W.; Osborne, Bruce; Orr, Patrick

    2017-05-01

    Given their increasing trend in Europe, an understanding of the role that flooding events play in carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions will be important for improved assessments of local and regional GHG budgets. This study presents the results of an analysis of the CO2 and N2O fluxes from a coastal grassland ecosystem affected by episodic flooding that was of either a relatively short (SFS) or long (LFS) duration. Compared to the SFS, the annual CO2 and N2O emissions were 1.4 and 1.3 times higher at the LFS, respectively. Mean CO2 emissions during the period of standing water were 144 ± 18.18 and 111 ± 9.51 mg CO2-C m-2 h-1, respectively, for the LFS and SFS sites. During the growing season, when there was no standing water, the CO2 emissions were significantly larger from the LFS (244 ± 24.88 mg CO2-C m-2 h-1) than the SFS (183 ± 14.90 mg CO2-C m-2 h-1). Fluxes of N2O ranged from -0.37 to 0.65 mg N2O-N m-2 h-1 at the LFS and from -0.50 to 0.55 mg N2O-N m-2 h-1 at the SFS, with the larger emissions associated with the presence of standing water at the LFS but during the growing season at the SFS. Overall, soil temperature and moisture were identified as the main drivers of the seasonal changes in CO2 fluxes, but neither adequately explained the variations in N2O fluxes. Analysis of total C, N, microbial biomass and Q10 values indicated that the higher CO2 emissions from the LFS were linked to the flooding-associated influx of nutrients and alterations in soil microbial populations. These results demonstrate that annual CO2 and N2O emissions can be higher in longer-term flooded sites that receive significant amounts of nutrients, although this may depend on the restriction of diffusional limitations due to the presence of standing water to periods of the year when the potential for gaseous emissions are low.

  4. Measurements of the atmospheric emission of N2O from biogenic sources in general and by grassland ecosystems in particular

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duyzer, J.

    1995-01-01

    The project is part of the 'Integrated N2O grassland project'. The project carried out at TNO aims to determine the atmospheric emissions of N2O from biogenic surface sources in the Netherlands. The following activities were part of the project: u ⊙ determination of

  5. Interactions between above- and belowground biota: importance for small-scale vegetation mosaics in a grassland ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blomqvist, M.M.; Olff, H.; Blaauw, M.B.; Bongers, T.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2000-01-01

    Grasslands are often characterised by small-scale mosaics in plant community composition that contribute to their diversity. Although above- and belowground biota can both cause such mosaics, few studies have addressed their interacting effects. We studied multi-trophic interactions between

  6. Interactions between above- and belowground biota : importance for small-scale vegetation mosaics in a grassland ecosystem

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Blomqvist, N.M.; Olff, H.; Blaauw, M.B.; Bongers, T.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2000-01-01

    Grasslands are often characterised by small-scale mosaics in plant community composition that contribute to their diversity. Although above- and belowground biota can both cause such mosaics, few studies have addressed their interacting effects. We studied multi-trophic interactions between

  7. Shifts in the phylogenetic structure and functional capacity of soil microbial communities follow alteration of native tussock grassland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wakelin, Steven A.; Barratt, Barbara I.P.; Gerard, Emily; Gregg, Adrienne L.; Brodie, Eoin L.; Andersen, Gary L.; DeSantis, Todd Z.; Zhou, Jizhong; He, Zhili; Kowalchuk, George A.; O'Callaghan, Maureen

    Globally, tussock-based grasslands are being modified to increase productive capacity. The impacts of cultivation and over-sowing with exotic grass and legumes on soil microbiology were assessed at four sites in New Zealand which differed in soil type, climate and vegetation. Primary alteration of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2013-01-01

    Understanding factors driving the ecology of N cycling microbial communities is of central importance for sustainable land use. In this study we report changes of abundance of denitrifiers, nitrifiers and nitrogen-fixing microorganisms (based on qPCR data for selected functional genes) in response to different land use intensity levels and the consequences for potential turnover rates. We investigated selected grassland sites being comparable with respect to soil type and climatic conditions,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-27

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Annabel Meyer

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  16. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dandan Xu

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Dandan; Guo, Xulin

    2015-01-29

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Håkan Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Huber, S.

    2015-01-01

    strongly affected by solar zenith angles and sensor viewing geometry, as were many combinations of visible wavelengths. This study provides analyses based upon novel multi-angular hyperspectral data for validation of Earth-observation-based properties of semi-arid ecosystems, as well as insights...... between normalised difference spectral indices (NDSIs) and the measured ecosystem properties. Finally, the effects of variable sun sensor viewing geometry on different NDSI wavelength combinations were analysed. The wavelengths with the strongest correlation to seasonal dynamics in ecosystem properties...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dangol, Dharma Raj; Maharjan, Keshav Lall

    2012-06-30

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Browning, Dawn M; Maynard, Jonathan J; Karl, Jason W; Peters, Debra C

    2017-07-01

    Frequency and severity of extreme climatic events are forecast to increase in the 21st century. Predicting how managed ecosystems may respond to climatic extremes is intensified by uncertainty associated with knowing when, where, and how long effects of extreme events will be manifest in an ecosystem. In water-limited ecosystems with high inter-annual variability in rainfall, it is important to be able to distinguish responses that result from seasonal fluctuations in rainfall from long-term directional increases or decreases in precipitation. A tool that successfully distinguishes seasonal from directional biomass responses would allow land managers to make informed decisions about prioritizing mitigation strategies, allocating human resource monitoring efforts, and mobilizing resources to withstand extreme climatic events. We leveraged long-term observations (2000-2013) of quadrat-level plant biomass at multiple locations across a semiarid landscape in southern New Mexico to verify the use of Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) time series derived from 250-m Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data as a proxy for changes in aboveground productivity. This period encompassed years of sustained drought (2000-2003) and record-breaking high rainfall (2006 and 2008) followed by subsequent drought years (2011 through 2013) that resulted in a restructuring of plant community composition in some locations. Our objective was to decompose vegetation patterns derived from MODIS NDVI over this period into contributions from (1) the long-term trend, (2) seasonal cycle, and (3) unexplained variance using the Breaks for Additive Season and Trend (BFAST) model. BFAST breakpoints in NDVI trend and seasonal components were verified with field-estimated biomass at 15 sites that differed in species richness, vegetation cover, and soil properties. We found that 34 of 45 breaks in NDVI trend reflected large changes in mean biomass and 16 of 19 seasonal

  5. Purpose and Need for a Grassland Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Cathy W. Dahms

    2004-01-01

    This report is volume 1 of an ecological assessment of grassland ecosystems in the Southwestern United States, and it is one of a series of planned publications addressing major ecosystems of the Southwest. The first assessment, General Technical Report RM-GTR- 295, An Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in the Southwest (by Dahms and Geils, technical editors,...

  6. Belowground ecosystems [chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carole Coe Klopatek

    1995-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service defined ecosystem management as "an ecological approach to achieve multiple-use management of national forests and grasslands by blending the needs of people and environmental values in such a way that national forests and grasslands represent diverse, healthy, productive, and sustainable ecosystems" (June 4, 1992, letter from Chief FS...

  7. 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.

  8. How and to what extent does precipitation on multi-temporal scales and soil moisture at different depths determine carbon flux responses in a water-limited grassland ecosystem?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fang, Qingqing; Wang, Guoqiang; Xue, Baolin; Liu, Tingxi; Kiem, Anthony

    2018-04-23

    In water-limited ecosystems, hydrological processes significantly affect the carbon flux. The semi-arid grassland ecosystem is particularly sensitive to variations in precipitation (PRE) and soil moisture content (SMC), but to what extent is not fully understood. In this study, we estimated and analyzed how hydrological variables, especially PRE at multi-temporal scales (diurnal, monthly, phenological-related, and seasonal) and SMC at different soil depths (0-20 cm, 20-40 cm, 40-60 cm, 60-80 cm) affect the carbon flux. For these aims, eddy covariance data were combined with a Vegetation Photosynthesis and Respiration Model (VPRM) to simulate the regional gross primary productivity (GPP), ecosystem respiration (R eco ), and net ecosystem exchange of CO 2 (NEE). Interestingly, carbon flux showed no relationship with diurnal PRE or phenological-related PRE (precipitation in the growing season and non-growing season). However, carbon flux was significantly related to monthly PRE and to seasonal PRE (spring + summer, autumn). The GPP, R eco , and NEE increased in spring and summer but decreased in autumn with increasing precipitation due to the combined effect of salinization in autumn. The GPP, R eco , and NEE were more responsive to SMC at 0-20 cm depth than at deeper depths due to the shorter roots of herbaceous vegetation. The NEE increased with increasing monthly PRE because soil microbes responded more quickly than plants. The NEE significantly decreased with increasing SMC in shallow surface due to a hysteresis effect on water transport. The results of our study highlight the complex processes that determine how and to what extent PRE at multi-temporal scale and SMC at different depths affect the carbon flux response in a water-limited grassland. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  9. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Binder, Seth; Isbell, Forest; Polasky, Stephen; Catford, Jane A; Tilman, David

    2018-04-10

    The biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) literature provides strong evidence of the biophysical basis for the potential profitability of greater diversity but does not address questions of optimal management. BEF studies typically focus on the ecosystem outputs produced by randomly assembled communities that only differ in their biodiversity levels, measured by indices such as species richness. Landholders, however, do not randomly select species to plant; they choose particular species that collectively maximize profits. As such, their interest is not in comparing the average performance of randomly assembled communities at each level of biodiversity but rather comparing the best-performing communities at each diversity level. Assessing the best-performing mixture requires detailed accounting of species' identities and relative abundances. It also requires accounting for the financial cost of individual species' seeds, and the economic value of changes in the quality, quantity, and variability of the species' collective output-something that existing multifunctionality indices fail to do. This study presents an assessment approach that integrates the relevant factors into a single, coherent framework. It uses ecological production functions to inform an economic model consistent with the utility-maximizing decisions of a potentially risk-averse private landowner. We demonstrate the salience and applicability of the framework using data from an experimental grassland to estimate production relationships for hay and carbon storage. For that case, our results suggest that even a risk-neutral, profit-maximizing landowner would favor a highly diverse mix of species, with optimal species richness falling between the low levels currently found in commercial grasslands and the high levels found in natural grasslands.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hu, Z W; Zhang, S; Yu, X Y; Wang, X S

    2014-01-01

    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

  11. Carbon storage potential in size–density fractions from semi-natural grassland ecosystems with different productivities over varying soil depths

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Breulmann, Marc; Boettger, Tatjana; Buscot, François; Gruendling, Ralf; Schulz, Elke

    2016-01-01

    Researchers have increasingly recognised a profound need for more information on SOC stocks in the soil and the factors governing their stability and dynamics. Many questions still remain unanswered about the interplay between changes in plant communities and the extent to which changes in aboveground productivity affect the carbon dynamics in soils through changes in its quantity and quality. Therefore, the main aim of this research was to examine the SOC accumulation potential of semi-natural grasslands of different productivities and determine the distribution of SOM fractions over varying soil depth intervals (0–10, 10–20, 20–30 30–50 50–80 and 80 + cm). SOM fractionation was considered as a relative measure of stability to separate SOM associated with clay minerals from SOM of specific light densities less than 2 g cm"−"3 (size-density fractionation). Two clay-associated fractions (CF1, < 1 μm; and CF2, 1–2 μm) and two light fractions (LF1, < 1.8 g cm"−"3; and LF2, 1.8–2.0 g cm"−"3) were separated. The stability of these fractions was characterised by their carbon hot water extractability (C_H_W_E) and stable carbon isotope composition. In the semi-natural grasslands studied, most OC was stored in the top 30 cm, where turnover is rapid. Effects of low productivity grasslands became only significantly apparent when fractional OC contributions of total SOM was considered (CF1 and LF1). In deeper soil depths OC was largely attributed to the CF1 fraction of low productivity grasslands. We suggest that the majority of OM in deeper soil depth intervals is microbially-derived, as evidenced by decreasing C/N ratios and decreasing δ"1"3C values. The hot water extraction and natural δ"1"3C abundance, employed here allowed the characterisation of SOM stabilisation properties, however how climatic changes affect the fate of OM within different soil depth intervals is still unknown. - Highlights: • OC stocks over varying soil depths in extensively

  12. Carbon storage potential in size–density fractions from semi-natural grassland ecosystems with different productivities over varying soil depths

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Breulmann, Marc [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Soil Ecology, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, 06120 Halle (Germany); Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Environmental and Biotechnology Centre (UBZ), Permoserstraße 15, 04318 Leipzig (Germany); Boettger, Tatjana [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Isotope Hydrology, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, D-06120 Halle (Germany); Buscot, François [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Soil Ecology, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, 06120 Halle (Germany); German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research (iDiv) Halle-Jena-Leipzig, Deutscher Platz 5e, 04103 Leipzig (Germany); Gruendling, Ralf [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department, Department of Soil Physics, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, D-06120 Halle (Germany); Schulz, Elke [Helmholtz-Centre for Environmental Research – UFZ, Department of Soil Ecology, Theodor-Lieser-Str. 4, 06120 Halle (Germany)

    2016-03-01

    Researchers have increasingly recognised a profound need for more information on SOC stocks in the soil and the factors governing their stability and dynamics. Many questions still remain unanswered about the interplay between changes in plant communities and the extent to which changes in aboveground productivity affect the carbon dynamics in soils through changes in its quantity and quality. Therefore, the main aim of this research was to examine the SOC accumulation potential of semi-natural grasslands of different productivities and determine the distribution of SOM fractions over varying soil depth intervals (0–10, 10–20, 20–30 30–50 50–80 and 80 + cm). SOM fractionation was considered as a relative measure of stability to separate SOM associated with clay minerals from SOM of specific light densities less than 2 g cm{sup −3} (size-density fractionation). Two clay-associated fractions (CF1, < 1 μm; and CF2, 1–2 μm) and two light fractions (LF1, < 1.8 g cm{sup −3}; and LF2, 1.8–2.0 g cm{sup −3}) were separated. The stability of these fractions was characterised by their carbon hot water extractability (C{sub HWE}) and stable carbon isotope composition. In the semi-natural grasslands studied, most OC was stored in the top 30 cm, where turnover is rapid. Effects of low productivity grasslands became only significantly apparent when fractional OC contributions of total SOM was considered (CF1 and LF1). In deeper soil depths OC was largely attributed to the CF1 fraction of low productivity grasslands. We suggest that the majority of OM in deeper soil depth intervals is microbially-derived, as evidenced by decreasing C/N ratios and decreasing δ{sup 13}C values. The hot water extraction and natural δ{sup 13}C abundance, employed here allowed the characterisation of SOM stabilisation properties, however how climatic changes affect the fate of OM within different soil depth intervals is still unknown. - Highlights: • OC stocks over varying

  13. Trust building electronic services as a crucial self-regulation feature of Digital Business Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Radoslav Delina

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available In the field of digital business ecosystem, the self-regulation feature plays crucial role. ICT supports biological and sociological phenomena through efficient electronic services. One of the main roles is building and enhancing efficient relationships between actors within the ecosystem. Problem of interaction between commercial subjects depends on expected benefits. These expectations are predictors of successful result from realized transaction with potential partner. And this predictor is based on trust and trustworthiness. The paper presents trust as crucial factor for cooperation and discusses specifics of several trust building mechanisms to increase the level of trust in e-cooperation within digital business ecosystems. Based on results provided by questionnaire survey in Slovak business environment, the paper discusses the relationship between the level of respondents´ electronic business experience and their preferences for the portfolio of trust building mechanisms.

  14. Ecological transition in Arizona's subalpine and montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

    Important components of Southwest forest ecosystem are subalpine and montane grassland communities, Grassland communities provide habitat diversity for wildlife, forage for domestic livestock and wildlife, and contribute to the visual quality of an area. The objectives of this research were to determine if: 1) vegetation attributes and soil-surface cover variables of...

  15. Variation in the carbon and oxygen isotope composition of plant biomass and its relationship to water-use efficiency at the leaf- and ecosystem-scales in a northern Great Plains grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Flanagan, Lawrence B; Farquhar, Graham D

    2014-02-01

    Measurements of the carbon (δ(13) Cm ) and oxygen (δ(18) Om ) isotope composition of C3 plant tissue provide important insights into controls on water-use efficiency. We investigated the causes of seasonal and inter-annual variability in water-use efficiency in a grassland near Lethbridge, Canada using stable isotope (leaf-scale) and eddy covariance measurements (ecosystem-scale). The positive relationship between δ(13) Cm and δ(18) Om values for samples collected during 1998-2001 indicated that variation in stomatal conductance and water stress-induced changes in the degree of stomatal limitation of net photosynthesis were the major controls on variation in δ(13) Cm and biomass production during this time. By comparison, the lack of a significant relationship between δ(13) Cm and δ(18) Om values during 2002, 2003 and 2006 demonstrated that water stress was not a significant limitation on photosynthesis and biomass production in these years. Water-use efficiency was higher in 2000 than 1999, consistent with expectations because of greater stomatal limitation of photosynthesis and lower leaf ci /ca during the drier conditions of 2000. Calculated values of leaf-scale water-use efficiency were 2-3 times higher than ecosystem-scale water-use efficiency, a difference that was likely due to carbon lost in root respiration and water lost during soil evaporation that was not accounted for by the stable isotope measurements. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  17. Species-rich semi-natural grasslands have a higher resistance but a lower resilience than intensively managed agricultural grasslands in response to climate anomalies

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Keersmaecker, De Wanda; Rooijen, van Nils; Lhermitte, Stef; Tits, Laurent; Schaminée, Joop; Coppin, Pol; Honnay, Olivier; Somers, Ben

    2016-01-01

    The stable delivery of ecosystem services provided by grasslands is strongly dependent on the stability of grassland ecosystem functions such as biomass production. Biomass production is in turn strongly affected by the frequency and intensity of climate extremes. The aim of this study is to

  18. Ecological analysis of plant cover of the permanent grassland ecosystem located in the vicinity of Novi Kneževac, Serbia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Knežević Aleksa

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available A total of 205 taxa and stands of 12 plant communities were found to comprise the plant cover of the permanent grassland on the solonetz and solonchakic solonetz soils located in the vicinity of the town of Novi Kneževac (Vojvodina Province, Serbia. The registered taxa included 177 plant species, six subspecies, eight varieties, 13 forms and one lusus. The ecological analysis of the flora involved 191 taxa. That group consisted of 177 species, six subspecies, three varieties and five forms. The three varieties, Aster tripolium L. var. pannonicus ( Jacq. Beck, Chenopodium rubrum L. subsp. botryoides Sm. var. crassifolium (Hornem Kov. and Sonchus arvensis L. var. uliginosus (M.B. Grec. were used for analysis because their higher taxonomic categories were not recorded in the studied flora. The five forms, Aster sedifolius L. f. subsquamosus Soy, Bromus commutatus Schrad. f. violaceus Podp., Mentha aquatica L. f. erromera Top., Poa bulbosa L. f. vivipara Koel. and Scleranthus annus L. f. minimus Schur., were used for the same reason. The ecological analysis encompassed stands of all 12 recorded communities, i.e. ass. Scirpo-Phragmitetum W. Koch 1926, ass. Bolboschoenetum maritimi continentale Soy (1927 1957, ass. Acorelletum pannonici Soy (1939 1947, ass. Puccinelletum limosae (Rapcs. 1927 Soy 1930, ass. Pholiuro-Plantaginetum tenuiflorae (Rapcs. 1927 Wendel. 1943, ass. Hordeetum histricis (Soy 1933 Wendel. 1943, ass. Camphorosmetum annuae (Rapcs. 1916 Soy 1933 corr. Soy 1938, ass. Agrostio-Alopecuretum pratensis Soy (1933 1947, ass. Agrostio-Eleochariti-Alopecuretu geniculati (Magyar1928 Soy (1939 1947, ass. Artemisio-Festucetum pseudovinae (Magyar 1928 Soy 1945, ass. Achilleo-Festucetum pseudovinae (Magyar 1928 Soy 1945 and ass. Festuco-Andropogonetum ischaemi Vučk. 1985. The ecological analysis of the plant cover indicated that halophytes made 30.37% of the flora of the permanent grassland near the town of Novi Kneževac, and that the stands of

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shanlei Sun; Ge Sun; Peter Caldwell; Steven G. McNulty; Erika Cohen; Jingfeng Xiao; Yang Zhang

    2015-01-01

    Understanding and quantitatively evaluating the regional impacts of climate change and variability (e.g., droughts) on forest ecosystem functions (i.e., water yield, evapotranspiration, and productivity) and services (e.g., fresh water supply and carbon sequestration) is of great importance for developing climate change adaptation strategies for National Forests and...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Horrocks, Claire Alice

    2013-01-01

    Intensive agriculture has led to an increase in production; however this has often coincided with a decline in the provision of other Ecosystem Services (ES). ES affected include those regulated by soil chemical, physical and biological properties such as biodiversity provision and the regulation of nutrient cycling, water quality and rates of greenhouse gas emissions. A growing awareness of the value of nonproduction ES to human health and wellbeing has encouraged the funding ...

  1. Relation of Chlorophyll Fluorescence Sensitive Reflectance Ratios to Carbon FluxMeasurements ofMontanne Grassland and Norway Spruce Forest Ecosystems in the Temperate Zone

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Ač, Alexander; Malenovský, Z.; Urban, Otmar; Hanuš, Jan; Zitová, Martina; Navrátil, M.; Vráblová, M.; Olejníčková, Julie; Špunda, V.; Marek, Michal V.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 2012, č. 2012 (2012), s. 1-13 ISSN 1537-744X R&D Projects: GA MŽP(CZ) SP/2D1/70/08; GA MŽP(CZ) SP/2D1/93/07; GA MŠk(CZ) LM2010007; GA MŠk(CZ) ED1.1.00/02.0073 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : Chlorophyll fluorescence * carbon flux * forest ecosystems * Norway Spruce * temperate zone Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.730, year: 2012

  2. Mapping spatio-temporal variation of grassland quantity and quality using MERIS data and the PROSAIL model

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Si, Y.; Schlerf, M.; Zurita-Milla, R.; Skidmore, A.K.; Wang, T.

    2012-01-01

    Accurate estimates of the quantity and quality of grasslands, as they vary in space and time and from regional to global scales, furthers our understanding of grassland ecosystems. The Medium Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MERIS) is a promising sensor for measuring and monitoring grasslands due to

  3. [Research progress and trend on grassland agroecology].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jizhou; Li, Xianglin; Hou, Fujiang

    2002-08-01

    The connotation, progress, research frontiers and developmental trend of grassland agroecology are discussed in this paper. The interface theory, structure and function, coupling and discordance, and health assessment of grassland agroecosystems were recognized as the four research frontiers of the discipline. There exist three primary interfaces in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., vegetation-site, grassland-animal and production-management. Research into a series of the ecological processes that occurred at these interfaces is the key to revealing the features of the system behavior. There are four sections in a grassland agroecosystem, i.e., pre-plant, plant, animal and post-biotic sections. System coupling and discordance are the two important concepts to describe interactions among the production sections. System coupling among the sections can lead to system improvement by exerting the potential of system capacity. Health of an ecosystem is a reflection of its structure and function, and health assessment is a measurement of its orderliness and service value.

  4. 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.

  5. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keeley, J.E.; Schoenherr, Allan A.

    1990-01-01

    Grasslands are distributed throughout California from Oregon to Baja California Norte and from the coast to the desert (Brown 1982) (Figure 1). This review will focus on the dominant formation in cismontane California, a community referred to as Valley Grassland (Munz 1959). Today, Valley Grassland is dominated by non-native annual grasses in genera such as Avena (wild oat), Bromus (brome grass), and Hordeum (barley), and is often referred to as the California annual grassland. On localized sites, native perennial bunchgrasses such as Stipa pultra (purple needle grass) may dominate and such sites are interpreted to be remnants of the pristine valley grassland. In northwestern California a floristically distinct formation of the Valley Grassland, known as Coast Prairie (Munz 1959) or Northern Coastal Grassland (Holland and Keil 1989) is recognized. The dominant grasses include many native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Agrostis, Calamagrostis, Danthonia, Deschampsia, Festuca, Koeleria and Poa (Heady et al. 1977). Non-native annuals do not dominate, but on some sites non-native perennials like Anthoxanthum odoratum may colonize the native grassland (Foin and Hektner 1986). Elevationally, California's grasslands extend from sea level to at leas 1500 m. The upper boundary is vague because montane grassland formations are commonly referred to as meadows; a community which Munz (1959) does not recognize. Holland and Keil (1989) describe the montane meadow as an azonal community; that is, a community restricted not so much to a particular climatic zone but rather controlled by substrate characteristics. They consider poor soil-drainage an over-riding factor in the development of montane meadows and, in contrast to grasslands, meadows often remain green through the summer drought. Floristically, meadows are composed of graminoids; Cyperaceae, Juncaceae, and rhizomatous grasses such as Agropyron (wheat grass). Some bunchgrasses, such as Muhlenbergia rigens, are

  6. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  7. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingzhen Du

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998 a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of grasslands. To ease the impact on the residents’ livelihoods, the national and regional governments have offered a series of top-down arrangements to stimulate sustainable use of the grasslands. Simultaneously, local households spontaneously developed bottom-up countermeasures. To determine the effects of these processes, we interviewed members of 135 households using a mix of qualitative and quantitative methods. We analyzed the effects on household dependence on local grasslands and on perceptions of the future of grassland use. Our findings show that the implementation of the grassland conservation policies significantly affected household livelihoods, which in turn affected household use of natural assets (primarily the land, their agricultural assets (farming and grazing activities and their financial assets (income and consumption, resulting in fundamental transformation of their lifestyles. The households developed adaptation measures to account for the dependence of their livelihood on local ecosystems by initializing strategies, such as seeking off-farm work, leasing pasture land, increasing purchases of fodder for stall-fed animals and altering their diet and fuel consumption to compensate for their changing livelihoods.

  8. Recent trends, drivers, and projections of carbon cycle processes in forests and grasslands of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Domke, G. M.; Williams, C. A.; Birdsey, R.; Pendall, E.

    2017-12-01

    In North America forest and grassland ecosystems play a major role in the carbon cycle. Here we present the latest trends and projections of United States and North American carbon cycle processes, stocks, and flows in the context of interactions with global scale budgets and climate change impacts in managed and unmanaged grassland and forest ecosystems. We describe recent trends in natural and anthropogenic disturbances in these ecosystems as well as the carbon dynamics associated with land use and land cover change. We also highlight carbon management science and tools for informing decisions and opportunities for improving carbon measurements, observations, and projections in forests and grasslands.

  9. Managed grassland alters soil N dynamics and N2O emissions in temperate steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Lijun; Xu, Xingliang; Tang, Xuejuan; Xin, Xiaoping; Ye, Liming; Yang, Guixia; Tang, Huajun; Lv, Shijie; Xu, Dawei; Zhang, Zhao

    2018-04-01

    Reclamation of degraded grasslands as managed grasslands has been increasingly accelerated in recent years in China. Land use change affects soil nitrogen (N) dynamics and nitrous oxide (N 2 O) emissions. However, it remains unclear how large-scale grassland reclamation will impact the grassland ecosystem as a whole. Here, we investigated the effects of the conversion from native to managed grasslands on soil N dynamics and N2O emissions by field experiments in Hulunber in northern China. Soil (0-10cm), nitrate (NO 3 - ), ammonium (NH 4 + ), and microbial N were measured in plots in a temperate steppe (Leymus chinensis grassland) and two managed grasslands (Medicago sativa and Bromus inermis grasslands) in 2011 and 2012. The results showed conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa or B. inermis grasslands decreased concentrations of NO 3 - -N, but did not change NH 4 + -N. Soil microbial N was slightly decreased by the conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa, but increased by the conversion to B. inermis. The conversion of L. chinensis grassland to M. sativa (i.e., a legume grass) increased N 2 O emissions by 26.2%, while the conversion to the B. inermis (i.e., a non-legume grass) reduced N 2 O emissions by 33.1%. The conversion from native to managed grasslands caused large created variations in soil NO 3 - -N and NH 4 + -N concentrations. Net N mineralization rates did not change significantly in growing season or vegetation type, but to net nitrification rate. These results provide evidence on how reclamation may impact the grassland ecosystem in terms of N dynamics and N 2 O emissions. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  10. Spatial patterns of grasses and shrubs in an arid grassland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    In the Chihuahuan Desert of Mexico and New Mexico, shrub invasion is a common problem, and once-abundant grassland ecosystems are being replaced by shrub-dominated habitat. The spatial arrangement of grasses and shrubs in these arid grasslands can provide better insight into community dynamics and c...

  11. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

    Arthropods are an important component of grassland systems, contributing significantly to biodiversity and ecosystem structure and function. Climate, fire, and grazing by large herbivores are important drivers in grasslands worldwide. Arthropod responses to these drivers are highly variable and clear patterns are difficult to find, but responses are largely indirect with respect to changes in resources, species interactions, habitat structure, and habitat heterogeneity resulting from interactions among fire, grazing, and climate. Here, we review these ecological mechanisms influencing grassland arthropod diversity. We summarize hypotheses describing species diversity at local and regional scales and then discuss specific factors that may affect arthropod diversity in grassland systems. These factors include direct and indirect effects of grazing, fire, and climate, species interactions, above- and belowground interactions, and landscape-level effects.

  12. Grassland futures in Great Britain - Productivity assessment and scenarios for land use change opportunities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Aiming; Holland, Robert A; Taylor, Gail; Richter, Goetz M

    2018-09-01

    To optimise trade-offs provided by future changes in grassland use intensity, spatially and temporally explicit estimates of respective grassland productivities are required at the systems level. Here, we benchmark the potential national availability of grassland biomass, identify optimal strategies for its management, and investigate the relative importance of intensification over reversion (prioritising productivity versus environmental ecosystem services). Process-conservative meta-models for different grasslands were used to calculate the baseline dry matter yields (DMY; 1961-1990) at 1km 2 resolution for the whole UK. The effects of climate change, rising atmospheric [CO 2 ] and technological progress on baseline DMYs were used to estimate future grassland productivities (up to 2050) for low and medium CO 2 emission scenarios of UKCP09. UK benchmark productivities of 12.5, 8.7 and 2.8t/ha on temporary, permanent and rough-grazing grassland, respectively, accounted for productivity gains by 2010. By 2050, productivities under medium emission scenario are predicted to increase to 15.5 and 9.8t/ha on temporary and permanent grassland, respectively, but not on rough grassland. Based on surveyed grassland distributions for Great Britain in 2010 the annual availability of grassland biomass is likely to rise from 64 to 72milliontonnes by 2050. Assuming optimal N application could close existing productivity gaps of ca. 40% a range of management options could deliver additional 21∗10 6 tonnes of biomass available for bioenergy. Scenarios of changes in grassland use intensity demonstrated considerable scope for maintaining or further increasing grassland production and sparing some grassland for the provision of environmental ecosystem services. Copyright © 2018 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Soil communities promote temporal stability and species asynchrony in experimental grassland communities

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pellkofer, Sarah; Van Der Heijden, Marcel G A; Schmid, Bernhard; Wagg, Cameron

    2016-01-01

    Background Over the past two decades many studies have demonstrated that plant species diversity promotes primary productivity and stability in grassland ecosystems. Additionally, soil community characteristics have also been shown to influence the productivity and composition of plant communities,

  14. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  15. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Oenema, O. [Department of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-12-31

    The aim of the project on the title subject is to provide insight into the major controlling factors that contribute to the net exchange rates of methane (CH4) between grassland and atmosphere, and to provide quantitative net CH4 emission rates. Net CH4 emissions have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers on both intensively managed grasslands and grasslands in a nature preserve on peat soil in the Netherlands. Net CH4 emissions from intensively managed grasslands (Zegveld, Netherlands) were low in the period January-December 1994, in general in the range of -0.2 to 0.2 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1}. Only in the relatively warm summer of 1994, consumption of atmospheric CH4 of about 0.4 mg m{sup -2} d{sup -1} was measured. Effects of ground water level in the range of 30-60 cm below surface were very small. There were also no clear effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing versus mowing on CH4 emission from the soil. Net CH4 emissions from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve (Nieuwkoopse Plassen area in the Netherlands) ranged from 0-215 mg CH4 m{sup -2} d{sup -1} in the period January 1994-June 1995. Differences between the three sites were quite large, as were the spatial variations at each of the sites. The results presented here indicate that a shift of intensively managed peat grasslands into more natural ecosystems will significantly increase the contribution of Dutch peat soils to the total CH4 emission. refs.

  16. Relationship between soil chemical factors and grassland diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Janssens, F; Peeters, A; Tallowin, JRB; Bakker, JP; Bekker, RM; Fillat, F; Oomes, MJM

    Many studies carried out during these last few years have focused on the factors influencing plant diversity in species-rich grasslands. This is due to the fact that these ecosystems, among the most diversified in temperate climates, are extremely threatened; in some areas, they have almost

  17. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Klink, R.; van der Plas, F.; van Noordwijk, C. G. E. (Toos); WallisDeVries, M. F.; Olff, H.

    Both arthropods and large grazing herbivores are important components and drivers of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, but a synthesis of how arthropod diversity is affected by large herbivores has been largely missing. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature search, which yielded 141

  18. Composition, phenology and restoration of campo rupestre mountain grasslands - Brazil

    OpenAIRE

    Le Stradic, Soizig

    2012-01-01

    Global environmental changes, especially land-use changes, have profound effects on both ecosystem functioning and biodiversity, having already altered many ecosystem services. These losses emphasize the need to preserve what remains; however when conservation programs are not sufficient, restoring areas that have been destroyed or disturbed can improve conservation efforts and mitigate damages. This work focuses on campos rupestres, Neotropical grasslands found at altitudes, which are part o...

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

    OpenAIRE

    Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, F P

    2012-11-01

    Grasslands are a major part of the global ecosystem, covering 37 % of the earth's terrestrial area. For a variety of reasons, mostly related to overgrazing and the resulting problems of soil erosion and weed encroachment, many of the world's natural grasslands are in poor condition and showing signs of degradation. This review examines their contribution to global food supply and to combating climate change. Grasslands make a significant contribution to food security through providing part of the feed requirements of ruminants used for meat and milk production. Globally, this is more important in food energy terms than pig meat and poultry meat. Grasslands are considered to have the potential to play a key role in greenhouse gas mitigation, particularly in terms of global carbon storage and further carbon sequestration. It is estimated that grazing land management and pasture improvement (e.g. through managing grazing intensity, improved productivity, etc) have a global technical mitigation potential of almost 1·5 Gt CO(2) equivalent in 2030, with additional mitigation possible from restoration of degraded lands. Milk and meat production from grassland systems in temperate regions has similar emissions of carbon dioxide per kilogram of product as mixed farming systems in temperate regions, and, if carbon sinks in grasslands are taken into account, grassland-based production systems can be as efficient as high-input systems from a greenhouse gas perspective. Grasslands are important for global food supply, contributing to ruminant milk and meat production. Extra food will need to come from the world's existing agricultural land base (including grasslands) as the total area of agricultural land has remained static since 1991. Ruminants are efficient converters of grass into humanly edible energy and protein and grassland-based food production can produce food with a comparable carbon footprint as mixed systems. Grasslands are a very important store of carbon, and

  1. Changing patterns of basic household consumption in the Inner Mongolian grasslands: a case study of policy-oriented adoptive changes in the use of grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, B.; Zhen, L.; Groot, de R.S.; Goulden, C.E.; Long, X.; Cao, X.; Wu, R.; Sun, C.

    2014-01-01

    Grassland ecosystems, as the basic natural resources in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, are becoming increasingly sensitive to human intervention, leading to deterioration in fragile ecosystems. The goal of this study was to describe the restoration policy-oriented adoptive changes to basic

  2. Seasonal/Interannual Variations of Carbon Sequestration and Carbon Emission in a Warm-Season Perennial Grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Deepa Dhital; Tomoharu Inoue; Hiroshi Koizumi

    2014-01-01

    Carbon sequestration and carbon emission are processes of ecosystem carbon cycling that can be affected while land area converted to grassland resulting in increased soil carbon storage and below-ground respiration. Discerning the importance of carbon cycle in grassland, we aimed to estimate carbon sequestration in photosynthesis and carbon emission in respiration from soil, root, and microbes, for four consecutive years (2007–2010) in a warm-season perennial grassland, Japan. Soil carbon emi...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

    The replacement of native C4 -dominated grassland by C3 -dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be enhanced ecosystem carbon sequestration, although the responses of arid and semiarid ecosystems may be highly variable. During a drier than average period from 2007 to 2011 in the northern Chihuahuan Desert, we found established shrubland to sequester 49 g C m(-2) yr(-1) on average, while nearby native C4 grassland was a net source of 31 g C m(-2) yr(-1) over this same period. Differences in C exchange between these ecosystems were pronounced--grassland had similar productivity compared to shrubland but experienced higher C efflux via ecosystem respiration, while shrubland was a consistent C sink because of a longer growing season and lower ecosystem respiration. At daily timescales, rates of carbon exchange were more sensitive to soil moisture variation in grassland than shrubland, such that grassland had a net uptake of C when wet but lost C when dry. Thus, even under unfavorable, drier than average climate conditions, the state transition from grassland to shrubland resulted in a substantial increase in terrestrial C sequestration. These results illustrate the inherent tradeoffs in quantifying ecosystem services that result from ecological state transitions, such as shrub encroachment. In this case, the deleterious changes to ecosystem services often linked to grassland to shrubland state transitions may at least be partially offset by increased ecosystem carbon sequestration. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  4. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

    Grassland is a widespread vegetation type, covering nearly one-fifth of the world's land surface (24 million km2), and playing a significant role in the global carbon (C) cycle. Most of grasslands in Europe are cultivated to feed animals, either directly by grazing or indirectly by grass harvest (cutting). A better understanding of the C fluxes from grassland ecosystems in response to climate and management requires not only field experiments but also the aid of simulation models. ORCHIDEE process-based ecosystem model designed for large-scale applications treats grasslands as being unmanaged, where C / water fluxes are only subject to atmospheric CO2 and climate changes. Our study describes how management of grasslands is included in the ORCHIDEE, and how management affects modeled grassland-atmosphere CO2 fluxes. The new model, ORCHIDEE-GM (Grassland Management) is capable with a management module inspired from a grassland model (PaSim, version 5.0), of accounting for two grassland management practices (cutting and grazing). The evaluation of the results of ORCHIDEE-GM compared with those of ORCHIDEE at 11 European sites equipped with eddy covariance and biometric measurements, show that ORCHIDEE-GM can capture realistically the cut-induced seasonal variation in biometric variables (LAI: Leaf Area Index; AGB: Aboveground Biomass) and in CO2 fluxes (GPP: Gross Primary Productivity; TER: Total Ecosystem Respiration; and NEE: Net Ecosystem Exchange). But improvements at grazing sites are only marginal in ORCHIDEE-GM, which relates to the difficulty in accounting for continuous grazing disturbance and its induced complex animal-vegetation interactions. Both NEE and GPP on monthly to annual timescales can be better simulated in ORCHIDEE-GM than in ORCHIDEE without management. At some sites, the model-observation misfit in ORCHIDEE-GM is found to be more related to ill-constrained parameter values than to model structure. Additionally, ORCHIDEE-GM is able to simulate

  5. Effects of erosion from mounds of different termite genera on distinct functional grassland types in an African savannah

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Gosling, Cleo M.; Cromsigt, Joris P. G. M.; Mpanza, Nokukhanya; Olff, Han

    A key aspect of savannah vegetation heterogeneity is mosaics formed by two functional grassland types, bunch grasslands, and grazing lawns. We investigated the role of termites, important ecosystem engineers, in creating high-nutrient patches in the form of grazing lawns. Some of the ways termites

  6. Application of satellite remote sensing for mapping wind erosion risk and dusk emission-deposition in Inner Mongolia grassland, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Reiche, M.; Funk, R.; Zhang, Z.; Hoffmann, C.; Reiche, J.; Wehrhan, M.; Li, Y.; Sommer, M.

    2012-01-01

    Intensive grazing leads to land degradation and desertification of grassland ecosystems followed by serious environmental and social problems. The Xilingol steppe grassland in Inner Mongolia, China, which has been a sink area for dust for centuries, is strongly affected by the negative effects of

  7. Evaluation of semiarid grassland degradation in North China from multiple perspectives

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, D.; Wang, G.; Xue, B. L.; Xu, X.

    2017-12-01

    There has been increasing interest in grassland ecosystem degradation resulting from intensive human activity and climate change, especially in arid and semiarid regions. Species composition, grassland desertification, and aboveground biomass (AGB) are used as indicators of grassland degradation in this study. We comprehensively analyzed variations in these three indicators in semiarid grassland in North China, on multiple time scales, based on MODIS products and field sampling datasets. Since 1984, species composition has become simpler and species indicative of grassland degradation, such as Potentilla acaulis and Artemisia frigida, have become dominant. These changes indicate that serious grassland degradation has occurred since 1984. Grassland degradation was also analyzed on shorter time scales. Analyses of interannual variations during 2005-2015 showed that desertification decreased and average AGB in the growth season increased over the study area, indicating that grassland was recovering. Analyses of spatial variations showed that the position of slightly desertified grassland shifted and formed a band in the west, where the lowest AGB in the growth season was recorded but tendency ratio of AGB increased from 2005 to 2015. Climatic factors had critical effects on grassland degradation, as identified by the three indicators on different time scales. The simpler species composition resulted from the increase in average temperature and decrease in average precipitation over the past 30 years. For nearly a decade, an increase in precipitation and decreases in temperature and potential evapotranspiration reduced desertification and increased AGB in the growth season overall. Consequently, there has distinct difference in grassland degradation between analysis results on above two time scales, indicating multiple perspectives should be considered to accurately assess the state and characteristics of grassland degradation.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

    Full Text Available 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

  10. 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.

  11. The Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG in 2016–2017

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Venn Stephen

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available This report summarizes the activities and achievements of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group (EDGG from mid-2016 through to the end of 2017. During this period, the 13th Eurasian Grassland Conference took place in Sighişoara, Romania, and the 14th conference was held in Riga, Latvia. The 10th EDGG Field Workshop on Biodiversity patterns across a precipitation gradient in the Central Apennine mountains was conducted in the Central Apennines, Italy, this time in addition to multi-scale sampling of vascular plants, bryophytes and lichens, also including one animal group (leaf hoppers. Apart from the quarterly issues of its own electronic journal (Bulletin of the Eurasian Dry Grassland Group, EDGG also finalised five grassland-related Special Features/Issues during the past 1.5 years in the following international journals: Applied Vegetation Science, Biodiversity and Conservation, Phytocoenologia, Tuexenia and Hacquetia. Beyond that, EDGG facilitated various national and supra-national vegetationplot databases of grasslands and established its own specialised database for standardised multi-scale plot data of Palaearctic grasslands (GrassPlot.

  12. Pollination biology in a tropical high-altitude grassland in Brazil: Interactions at the community level

    OpenAIRE

    Freitas, L; Sazima, M

    2006-01-01

    Surveys of local assemblages of plants and their pollinators are among the most useful ways to evaluate specialization in pollination and to discuss the patterns of plant-pollinator interactions among ecosystems. The high-altitude grasslands from southeastern Brazil constitute diminutive island-like formations surrounded by montane rainforests. We registered the floral traits of 124 species from the Serra da Bricaina grasslands (about 60% of the animal-pollinated species of this flora), and d...

  13. Flower resource and land management drives hoverfly communities and bee abundance in seminatural and agricultural grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, Andrew; Bull, James C; de Vere, Natasha; Neyland, Penelope J; Forman, Dan W

    2017-10-01

    Pollination is a key ecosystem service, and appropriate management, particularly in agricultural systems, is essential to maintain a diversity of pollinator guilds. However, management recommendations frequently focus on maintaining plant communities, with the assumption that associated invertebrate populations will be sustained. We tested whether plant community, flower resources, and soil moisture would influence hoverfly (Syrphidae) abundance and species richness in floristically-rich seminatural and floristically impoverished agricultural grassland communities in Wales (U.K.) and compared these to two Hymenoptera genera, Bombus, and Lasioglossum . Interactions between environmental variables were tested using generalized linear modeling, and hoverfly community composition examined using canonical correspondence analysis. There was no difference in hoverfly abundance, species richness, or bee abundance, between grassland types. There was a positive association between hoverfly abundance, species richness, and flower abundance in unimproved grasslands. However, this was not evident in agriculturally improved grassland, possibly reflecting intrinsically low flower resource in these habitats, or the presence of plant species with low or relatively inaccessible nectar resources. There was no association between soil moisture content and hoverfly abundance or species richness. Hoverfly community composition was influenced by agricultural improvement and the amount of flower resource. Hoverfly species with semiaquatic larvae were associated with both seminatural and agricultural wet grasslands, possibly because of localized larval habitat. Despite the absence of differences in hoverfly abundance and species richness, distinct hoverfly communities are associated with marshy grasslands, agriculturally improved marshy grasslands, and unimproved dry grasslands, but not with improved dry grasslands. Grassland plant community cannot be used as a proxy for pollinator

  14. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the annual cycle: Linking policy alternatives, landowner decisions, and biological population outcomes

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  15. 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.

  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

    greater in native grasslands than in exotic grasslands.Among the three types of management (mowed, burned, and control) applied to exotic grasses, birds were most abundant in the mowed area. Sedge Wrens, however, were never encountered in mowed sites. Meadowlarks were similarly abundant in all treatments, but Le Conte’s Sparrows were detected only in the control (unmanaged) area. Hispid cotton rats (Sigmodon hispidus) accounted for 93 percent of all rodent captures, with the number of captures peaking December through February. Hispid cotton rat numbers and total rodent numbers were greatest in control and pre-burn areas, and lowest in the mowed area. Mammal diversity, however, was greatest in the mowed habitat.Native and exotic grasslands differed essentially in all categories (bird numbers and diversity, vegetation characteristics, components of variation, diversity of insects and arachnids, and seed abundance and diversity) used to measure and compare them. This indicates that fundamental ecosystem processes have been altered after native grasslands have undergone invasion and ultimate domination by exotic grass species. Future research in Texas grassland ecosystems is essential because: 1) Texas sustains more area in grasslands than any other state or province in the Central Flyway; 2) Texas serves as the winter destination or migration pathway for hundreds of species of birds, including winter residents and Neotropical migrants; 3) ecology, distribution, and numbers of grassland birds wintering in southern latitudes of the United States remains poorly understood; and 4) climate change threatens to further accelerate advances of invading grass species.

  17. 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

  18. Counting all that matters: recognizing the value of ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sussane. Maleki

    2008-01-01

    Broadly defined, ecosystem services are the benefits healthy ecosystems provide to humans. Clean air, clean water, and flood control are just a few examples. Although the term is relatively new, the ecosystem services concept has long been a focus of natural resource and environmental economists. As the U.S. population increases and the forests and grasslands that...

  19. Extensive Management Promotes Plant and Microbial Nitrogen Retention in Temperate Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    de Vries, Franciska T.; Bloem, Jaap; Quirk, Helen; Stevens, Carly J.; Bol, Roland; Bardgett, Richard D.

    2012-01-01

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

  20. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Consequences of artichoke thistle invasion and removal on carbon and water cycling in a Mediterranean grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Potts, D. L.; Harpole, W. S.; Suding, K. N.; Goulden, M. L.

    2006-12-01

    Changes in vegetation structure and composition may interact with management activities to influence biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of mass and energy in unforeseen ways. Increases in the distribution and density of artichoke thistle (Cynara cardunculus), a perennial, non-native forb in Californian coastal grasslands, may alter seasonal dynamics of ecosystem C-assimilation and evapotranspiration (ET). During spring and summer 2006, we compared midday net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ET among adjacent grassland plots where thistle was present and where it was absent. Estimates of NEE supported the prediction that deeply-rooted thistles increase ecosystem C-assimilation. Measurements of midday ecosystem respiration demonstrated that increases in ecosystem C-assimilation were associated with increased ecosystem photosynthesis rather than declines in respiration. Furthermore, the presence of C. cardunculus increased midday ET but did not influence shallow soil moisture or ecosystem water use efficiency. Following the initial sampling in late April, we removed C. cardunculus from half the thistle- containing plots with spot applications of herbicide. Three weeks later, fluxes in thistle-removal plots were indistinguishable from those in plots where thistles were never present, suggesting additive rather than interactive effects of thistles on grassland CO2 exchange and ET. Similar to woody-encroachment in some semi-arid ecosystems, C. cardunculus invasion in Californian grasslands increases ecosystem CO2 assimilation. Moreover, our results suggest that herbicide removal of C. cardunculus may be accompanied by few legacy effects. Future research should focus on the effects of C. cardunculus on early-growing season fluxes and belowground C-storage, and the interaction between the spread of non-native species and climate variability on biosphere-atmosphere exchanges of carbon and water.

  2. Protecting Mongolia's grassland steppes | CRDI - Centre de ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    ... windy grassland region is severely damaged, desertification can quickly set in. ... to marketing to the sound use of (grassland) resources," explains Ykhanbai, who ... is going to require improvement in the skills of researchers, adds Ykhanbai.

  3. Lesser prairie-chicken avoidance of trees in a grassland landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lautenbach, Joseph M.; Plumb, Reid T.; Robinson, Samantha G.; Hagen, Christian A.; Haukos, David A.; Pitman, James C.

    2016-01-01

    Grasslands are among the most imperiled ecosystems in North America. Reasons that grasslands are threatened include conversion to row-crop agriculture, fragmentation, and changes in fire regimes. The reduction of fire processes in remaining prairies has resulted in tree encroachment and establishment in grasslands, further reducing grassland quantity and quality. Grassland birds have been experiencing precipitous population declines in recent decades, commensurate with landscape changes to grasslands. The lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus Ridgway) is a declining species of prairie grouse of conservation concern. We used second- and third-order habitat selection metrics to test if female lesser prairie-chickens avoid grasslands where trees were present. Our results indicated that female lesser prairie-chickens selected habitats avoiding the nearest trees by 283 m on average, nearly twice as far as would be expected at random. Lesser prairie-chickens were 40 times more likely to use habitats with tree densities of 0 trees ∙ ha− 1 than habitats with 5 trees ∙ ha− 1. Probability of use indicated that lesser prairie-chickens were 19 times more likely to use habitats 1000 m from the nearest tree when compared with using habitats 0 m from the nearest tree. Nest survival was not affected at densities 2 trees ∙ ha− 1. Avoidance of trees could be due to perceived increased predation risk, reduced habitat quality, or a combination of these potentially confounding factors. Preventing further establishment and expansion of trees in landscapes occupied by lesser prairie-chickens could contribute to the continued persistence of the species. Additionally, restoring grasslands through tree removal may facilitate conservation efforts for grassland species such as the lesser prairie-chicken by improving habitat quality and promoting expansion of occupied range.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    species L. chinensis. This approach could be beneficial for the restoration of dominant species in a wide range of degraded grassland ecosystems. PMID:25902145

  5. Species interactions reverse grassland responses to changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suttle, K B; Thomsen, Meredith A; Power, Mary E

    2007-02-02

    Predictions of ecological response to climate change are based largely on direct climatic effects on species. We show that, in a California grassland, species interactions strongly influence responses to changing climate, overturning direct climatic effects within 5 years. We manipulated the seasonality and intensity of rainfall over large, replicate plots in accordance with projections of leading climate models and examined responses across several trophic levels. Changes in seasonal water availability had pronounced effects on individual species, but as precipitation regimes were sustained across years, feedbacks and species interactions overrode autecological responses to water and reversed community trajectories. Conditions that sharply increased production and diversity through 2 years caused simplification of the food web and deep reductions in consumer abundance after 5 years. Changes in these natural grassland communities suggest a prominent role for species interactions in ecosystem response to climate change.

  6. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Golinski, P.; Hennessy, D.; Huyghe, C.; Parente, G.; Peyraud, J.L.

    2014-01-01

    In order to promote sustainable and competitive ruminant production systems, the European Multisward project was aimed at improving farmer trust in grassland and grassland mixtures. A questionnaire on grassland functions was submitted in eight languages, in order to better understand the importance

  7. Carbon dynamics in an Imperata grassland in Northeast India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amrabati Thokchom

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Carbon stocks and soil CO2 flux were assessed in an Imperata cylindrica grassland of Manipur, Northeast India. Carbon stocks in the vegetative components were estimated to be 11.17 t C/ha and soil organic carbon stocks were 55.94 t C/ha to a depth of 30 cm. The rates of carbon accumulation in above-ground and below-ground biomass were estimated to be 11.85 t C/ha/yr and 11.71 t C/ha/yr, respectively. Annual soil CO2 flux was evaluated as 6.95 t C/ha and was highly influenced by soil moisture, soil temperature and soil organic carbon as well as by C stocks in above-ground biomass. Our study on the carbon budget of the grassland ecosystem revealed that annually 23.56 t C/ha was captured by the vegetation through photosynthesis, and 6.95 t C/ha was returned to the atmosphere through roots and microbial respiration, with a net balance of 16.61 t C/ha/yr being retained in the grassland ecosystem. Thus the present Imperata grassland exhibited a high capacity to remove atmospheric CO2 and to induce high C stocks in the soil provided it is protected from burning and overgrazing.Keywords: Above-ground biomass, below-ground biomass, carbon stocks, carbon storage, net primary productivity, soil CO2 flux.DOI: 10.17138/TGFT(419-28  

  8. Stable carbon isotope analysis of soil organic matter illustrates vegetation change at the grassland/woodland boundary in southeastern Arizona, USA.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, G R; Boutton, T W; Midwood, A J

    1993-02-01

    In southeastern Arizona, Prosopis juliflora (Swartz) DC. and Quercus emoryi Torr. are the dominant woody species at grassland/woodland boundaries. The stability of the grassland/woodland boundary in this region has been questioned, although there is no direct evidence to confirm that woodland is encroaching into grassland or vice versa. We used stable carbon isotope analysis of soil organic matter to investigate the direction and magnitude of vegetation change along this ecotone. δ 13 C values of soil organic matter and roots along the ecotone indicated that both dominant woody species (C 3 ) are recent components of former grasslands (C 4 ), consistent with other reports of recent increases in woody plant abundance in grasslands and savannas throughout the world. Data on root biomass and soil organic matter suggest that this increase in woody plant abundance in grasslands and savannas may increase carbon storage in these ecosystems, with implications for the global carbon cycle.

  9. Temporal and spatial changes of land use and landscape in a coal mining area in Xilingol grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

    Coal mining, particularly surface mining, inevitably disturbs land. According to Landsat images acquired over Xilingol grassland in 2005, 2009 and 2015, land uses were divided into seven classes, i. e., open stope, stripping area, waste-dump area, mine industrial area, farmland, urban area and the original landscape (grassland), using supervised classification and human-computer interactive interpretation. The overall classification accuracies were 97.72 %, 98.43 % and 96.73 %, respectively; the Kappa coefficients were 0.95, 0.97 and 0.95, respectively. Analysis on LUCC (Land Use and Cover Change) showed that surface coal mining disturbed grassland ecosystem: grassland decreased by 8661.15 hm2 in 2005-2015. The area and proportion of mining operation areas (open stope, stripping area, waste-dump area, mine industrial field) increased, but those of grassland decreased continuously. Transfer matrix of land use changes showed that waste-dump had the largest impacts in mining disturbance, and that effective reclamation of waste-dump areas would mitigate eco-environment destruction, as would be of great significance to protect fragile grassland eco-system. Six landscape index showed that landscape fragmentation increased, and the influences of human activity on landscape was mainly reflected in the expansion of mining area and urban area. Remote sensing monitoring of coal surface mining in grassland would accurately demonstrate the dynamics and trend of LUCC, providing scientific supports for ecological reconstruction in surface mining area.

  10. The history of widespread decrease in oak dominance exemplified in a grassland--forest landscape

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; Daniel C. Dey; Hong S. He

    2014-01-01

    Regionally-distinctive open oak forest ecosystems have been replaced either by intensive agriculture and grazing fields or by denser forests throughout eastern North America and Europe. To quantify changes in tree communities and density in the Missouri Plains, a grassland-forest landscape, we used historical surveys from1815 to 1864 and current surveys from 2004 to...

  11. Aboveground vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore impacts on net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anita C. Risch; Martin Schutz; Martijn L. Vandegehuchte; Wim H. van der Putten; Henk Duyts; Ursina Raschein; Dariusz J. Gwiazdowicz; Matt D. Busse; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Stephan Zimmerman

    2015-01-01

    Aboveground herbivores have strong effects on grassland nitrogen (N) cycling. They can accelerate or slow down soil net N mineralization depending on ecosystem productivity and grazing intensity. Yet, most studies only consider either ungulates or invertebrate herbivores, but not the combined effect of several functionally different vertebrate and invertebrate...

  12. A prototype application of state and transition simulation modeling in support of grassland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt Reeves; Paulette Ford; Leonardo Frid; David Augustine; Justin Derner

    2016-01-01

    The Great Plains grasslands of North America provide a multitude of ecosystem services including clean water, forage, habitat, recreation, and pollination of native and agricultural plants. A general lack of quantitative information regarding the effects of varied management strategies on these spatially heterogeneous landscapes complicates our understanding...

  13. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

    Full Text Available The main purpose of this document is to propose how ecological monitoring might be developed in the Grassland Biome of South Africa. Monitoring is defined as the maintenance of regular surveillance to test the null hypothesis of no change...

  14. Research priorities for grassland science: the need of long term integrated experiments networks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Lemaire

    2007-07-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands have to be considered not only as a mean for providing foods for domestic herbivore but also as an important biome of terrestrial biosphere. This function of grasslands as an active component of our environment requires specific studies on the role and impact of this ecosystem on soil erosion and soil quality, quality and quantity of water resources, atmosphere composition and greenhouse gas emission or sequestration, biodiversity dynamics at different scales from field plot to landscape. All these functions have to be evaluated in conjunction with the function of providing animal products for increasing human population. So multifunctionality of grasslands become a new paradigm for grassland science. Environmental and biodiversity outputs require long term studies, being the long term retro-active processes within soil, vegetation and micro-organism communities in relation to changes in management programme. So grassland science needs to carry on long term integrated experimentation for studying all the environmental outputs and ecological services associated to grassland management systems.

  15. 内蒙古典型草原不同群落净生态系统生产力的动态变化%Net ecosystem productivity dynamics of grassland communities on the typical steppe of Inner Mongolia

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    穆少杰; 周可新; 陈奕兆; 杨齐; 李建龙

    2014-01-01

    净生态系统生产力(net ecosystem productivity,NEP)是反映生态系统碳源汇功能的重要指标.本研究选取内蒙古锡林河流域的贝加尔针茅群落、大针茅群落、克氏针茅群落和羊草群落为对象,利用BIOME-BGC模型模拟了4个草地群落年际间和年内逐日NEP动态变化,分析了4个草地群落对降水量的响应特征和可能机制,并且探讨气候变化背景下4个草地群落水分胁迫系数、降水利用率和碳转化效率的变化规律.结果表明:1954-2012年贝加尔针茅群落、大针茅群落、克氏针茅群落和羊草群落的多年平均NEP分别为11.41、-7.82、-5.03和9.30 g C·m-2·a-1.总体来看,4种草地群落多年平均日NEP的年内季节动态均呈先释放、后固碳、再释放的变化特征.4种草地群落多年平均水分胁迫系数由高到低分别为:贝加尔针茅>羊草>大针茅>克氏针茅;多年平均降水利用效率由高到低分别为:贝加尔针茅>克氏针茅>大针茅>羊草;多年平均碳素转化效率由高到低分别为:贝加尔针茅>克氏针茅>大针茅>羊草.4种草地群落NEP与年降水量均存在显著的相关性,NEP为0时,4种草地群落年降水量平均值为295.76 mm,说明在年降水量大于该值时NEP多为正值,而小于该值时NEP多为负值.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. Research on the Mechanism of Cross Regional Grassland Ecological Compensation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

    In recent years, grassland environmental damage has become serious, and grassland resources protection task has become heavy, grassland ecological compensation has become an effective way to solve this problem; but the current grassland ecological compensation standards were low, the effect is poor. The fundamental reason is the model of administrative division destroys the integrity of grassland. Based on the analysis of the status quo of grassland compensation, this paper tries to protect the grassland integrity, breaks the administrative division restriction, implements the space regulation, constructs the framework of cross-regional grassland ecological compensation mechanism, describes its operation process. It provides new way to realize the sustainable development of the grassland environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Wilcox, K. R.; Shi, Z.; Gherardi, L. A.; Lemoine, N. P.; Koerner, S. E.; Hoover, D. L.; Bork, E.; Byrne, K. M.; Cahill, J.; Collins, S. L.; Evans, S.M.; Gilgen, Anna K.; Holub, Petr; Jiang, L.; Knapp, A. K.; LeCain, D.; Liang, J.; Garcia-Palacios, P.; Penuelas, J.; Pockman, W. T.; Smith, M. D.; Sun, S.; White, S. R.; Yahdjian, L.; Zhu, K.; Luo, Y.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 23, č. 10 (2017), s. 4376-4385 ISSN 1354-1013 Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : net primary productivity * terrestrial ecosystems * temperate grassland * biomass allocation * plant-communities * tallgrass prairie * climate extremes * use efficiency * united-states * global-change * aboveground net primary productivity * belowground net primary productivity * biomass allocation * climate change * grasslands * meta-analysis * root biomass Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7) Impact factor: 8.502, year: 2016

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    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 3 temperate grasslands wig respond more strongly to elevated CO 2 than temperate C 4 grasslands in the short-term while a large positive N-PP response was predicted for a C 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 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 2 GCM Simulations revealed relatively small differences

  3. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  4. [Edge influence of soil moisture at farmland-grassland boundary in agriculture-pasturage ecotone of northern China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Hong-lai; Zhang, Wei-hua; Wang, Kun; Zhao, Na

    2009-03-01

    In the agriculture-pasturage ecotone of Northern China, a typical zone with linear boundary of cropland and grassland was chosen to investigate its soil moisture regime, and the moving split-window technique was adopted to study the edge influence of soil moisture at the boundary. The results showed that the edge influence was 10 m, from 6 m within grassland and 4 m within cropland, and was categorized as the acute change type boundary. Accordingly, the farmland-grassland landscape boundary could be divided into three functional zones, i.e., grassland zone, farmland zone, and compositional ecotone zone. Soil moisture content varied abruptly in the ecotone zone, but presented linear distribution in both grassland zone and farmland zone. The average soil moisture content in grassland was about 1 g x g(-1) higher than that in farmland, which was mainly caused by the decreased capillary moisture capacity of farmland. Owing to the different vegetation cover, farmland and grassland had different transpiration and evaporation, which led to the diverse soil moisture regime, making soil water potential changed and water movement from one ecosystem to another possible.

  5. Faunal isotope records reveal trophic and nutrient dynamics in twentieth century Yellowstone grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox-Dobbs, Kena; Nelson, Abigail A; Koch, Paul L; Leonard, Jennifer A

    2012-10-23

    Population sizes and movement patterns of ungulate grazers and their predators have fluctuated dramatically over the past few centuries, largely owing to overharvesting, land-use change and historic management. We used δ(13)C and δ(15)N values measured from bone collagen of historic and recent gray wolves and their potential primary prey from Yellowstone National Park to gain insight into the trophic dynamics and nutrient conditions of historic and modern grasslands. The diet of reintroduced wolves closely parallels that of the historic population. We suggest that a significant shift in faunal δ(15)N values over the past century reflects impacts of anthropogenic environmental changes on grassland ecosystems, including grazer-mediated shifts in grassland nitrogen cycle processes.

  6. Effects of Government Grassland Conservation Policy on Household Livelihoods and Dependence on Local Grasslands: Evidence from Inner Mongolia, China

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Du, Bingzhen; Zhen, Lin; Yan, Huimin; Groot, de Dolf

    2016-01-01

    Grassland degradation intensifies human-environment conflicts and adversely affects local residents’ livelihoods. To reduce grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia, China, the government has enforced (since 1998) a series of grassland conservation and management policies that restrict the use of

  7. Business analysis for a sustainable, multi-stakeholder ecosystem for leveraging the Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) platform in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, Danielle; Beresniak, Ariel; Sundgren, Mats; Schmidt, Andreas; Ainsworth, John; Coorevits, Pascal; Kalra, Dipak; Dewispelaere, Marc; De Moor, Georges

    2017-01-01

    The Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) technological platform has been developed to enable the trustworthy reuse of hospital electronic health records data for clinical research. The EHR4CR platform can enhance and speed up clinical research scenarios: protocol feasibility assessment, patient identification for recruitment in clinical trials, and clinical data exchange, including for reporting serious adverse events. Our objective was to seed a multi-stakeholder ecosystem to enable the scalable exploitation of the EHR4CR platform in Europe, and to assess its economic sustainability. Market analyses were conducted by a multidisciplinary task force to define an EHR4CR emerging ecosystem and multi-stakeholder value chain. This involved mapping stakeholder groups and defining their unmet needs, incentives, potential barriers for adopting innovative solutions, roles and interdependencies. A comprehensive business model, value propositions, and sustainability strategies were developed accordingly. Using simulation modelling (including Monte Carlo simulations) and a 5-year horizon, the potential financial outcomes of the business model were forecasted from the perspective of an EHR4CR service provider. A business ecosystem was defined to leverage the EHR4CR multi-stakeholder value chain. Value propositions were developed describing the expected benefits of EHR4CR solutions for all stakeholders. From an EHR4CR service provider's viewpoint, the business model simulation estimated that a profitability ratio of up to 1.8 could be achieved at year 1, with potential for growth in subsequent years depending on projected market uptake. By enhancing and speeding up existing processes, EHR4CR solutions promise to transform the clinical research landscape. The ecosystem defined provides the organisational framework for optimising the value and benefits for all stakeholders involved, in a sustainable manner. Our study suggests that the exploitation of EHR4CR

  8. The Effects of Timing of Grazing on Plant and Arthropod Communities in High-Elevation Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davis, Stacy C.; Burkle, Laura A.; Cross, Wyatt F.; Cutting, Kyle A.

    2014-01-01

    Livestock grazing can be used as a key management tool for maintaining healthy ecosystems. However, the effectiveness of using grazing to modify habitat for species of conservation concern depends on how the grazing regime is implemented. Timing of grazing is one grazing regime component that is less understood than grazing intensity and grazer identity, but is predicted to have important implications for plant and higher trophic level responses. We experimentally assessed how timing of cattle grazing affected plant and arthropod communities in high-elevation grasslands of southwest Montana to better evaluate its use as a tool for multi-trophic level management. We manipulated timing of grazing, with one grazing treatment beginning in mid-June and the other in mid-July, in two experiments conducted in different grassland habitat types (i.e., wet meadow and upland) in 2011 and 2012. In the upland grassland experiment, we found that both early and late grazing treatments reduced forb biomass, whereas graminoid biomass was only reduced with late grazing. Grazing earlier in the growing season versus later did not result in greater recovery of graminoid or forb biomass as expected. In addition, the density of the most ubiquitous grassland arthropod order (Hemiptera) was reduced by both grazing treatments in upland grasslands. A comparison of end-of-season plant responses to grazing in upland versus wet meadow grasslands revealed that grazing reduced graminoid biomass in the wet meadow and forb biomass in the upland, irrespective of timing of grazing. Both grazing treatments also reduced end-of-season total arthropod and Hemiptera densities and Hemiptera biomass in both grassland habitat types. Our results indicate that both early and late season herbivory affect many plant and arthropod characteristics in a similar manner, but grazing earlier may negatively impact species of conservation concern requiring forage earlier in the growing season. PMID:25338008

  9. 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. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  10. Grassland communities in the USA and expected trends associated with climate change

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David Paul Belesky

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands, including managed grazinglands, represent one of the largest ecosystems on the planet. Managed grazinglands in particular tend to occupy marginal climatic and edaphic resource zones, thus exacerbating responses in net primary productivity relative to changes in system resources, including anthropogenic factors. Climate dynamism, as evident from the fossil record, appears to be a putative feature of our planet. Recent global trends in temperature and precipitation patterns seem to differ from long-term patterns and have been associated with human activities linked with increased greenhouse gas emissions; specifically CO2. Thus grasslands, with their diverse floristic components, and interaction with and dependence upon herbivores, have a remarkable ability to persist and sustain productivity in response to changing resource conditions. This resistance and resilience to change, including uncertain long-term weather conditions, establishes managed grasslands as an important means of protecting food security. We review responses of grassland communities across regions of the USA and consider the responses in productivity and system function with respect to climatic variation. Research is needed to identify plant resources and management technologies that strengthen our ability to capitalize upon physiological and anatomical features prevalent in grassland communities associated with varying growing conditions.

  11. Shift in soil microbial communities with shrub encroachment in Inner Mongolia grasslands, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shen, H.; Li, H.; Zhang, J.; Hu, H.; Chen, L.; Zhu, Y.; Fang, J.

    2017-12-01

    The ongoing expansion of shrub encroachment into grasslands represents a unique form of land cover change. How this process affects soil microbial communities is poorly understood. In this study, we aim to assess the effects of shrub encroachment on soil microbial biomass, abundance and composition by comparing data between shrub patches and neighboring herb patches in shrub-encroached grasslands (SEGs) in Inner Mongolia, China. Fourteen SEG sites from two ecosystem types (typical and desert grasslands) were investigated. The phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA) method was used to analyze the composition and biomass of the soil microbial community. Our results showed that the top-soil microbial biomass and abundances of gram-negative bacteria, arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi, and actinomycetes were significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in both typical and desert grasslands (P fungi to bacteria ratio was significantly higher in shrub patches than in herb patches in desert grassland (P soil microbial communities, which makes the microbial communities toward a fresh organic carbon-based structure. This study highlights the importance of edaphic and climate factors in microbial community shifts in SEGs.

  12. [Assessment on the changing conditions of ecosystems in key ecological function zones in China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Wu, Dan; Gong, Guo-li; Zhao, Guo-song

    2015-09-01

    In this paper, the dynamics of ecosystem macrostructure, qualities and core services during 2000 and 2010 were analyzed for the key ecological function zones of China, which were classified into four types of water conservation, soil conservation, wind prevention and sand fixation, and biodiversity maintenance. In the water conservation ecological function zones, the areas of forest and grassland ecosystems were decreased whereas water bodies and wetland were increased in the past 11 years, and the water conservation volume of forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems increased by 2.9%. This region needs to reverse the decreasing trends of forest and grassland ecosystems. In the soil conservation ecological function zones, the area of farmland ecosystem was decreased, and the areas of forest, grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were increased. The total amount of the soil erosion was reduced by 28.2%, however, the soil conservation amount of ecosystems increased by 38.1%. In the wind prevention and sand fixation ecological function zones, the areas of grassland, water bodies and wetland ecosystems were decreased, but forest and farmland ecosystems were increased. The unit amount of the soil. wind erosion was reduced and the sand fixation amount of ecosystems increased lightly. In this kind of region that is located in arid and semiarid areas, ecological conservation needs to reduce farmland area and give priority to the protection of the original ecological system. In the biodiversity maintenance ecological function zones, the areas of grassland and desert ecosystems were decreased and other types were increased. The human disturbances showed a weakly upward trend and needs to be reduced. The key ecological function zones should be aimed at the core services and the protecting objects, to assess quantitatively on the effectiveness of ecosystem conservation and improvement.

  13. Temporal patterns of vegetation phenology and their responses to climate change in mid-latitude grasslands of the Northern Hemisphere

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, S.; Chen, X.; Qin, Q.; Zhang, Y.; Wu, Z.

    2017-12-01

    Grassland ecosystem is greatly sensitive to regional and global climate changes. In this study, the start (SOS) and end (EOS) date of growing season were extracted from NDVI data (1981 2014) across the mid-latitude (30°N 55°N) grasslands of Northern Hemisphere. We first validated their accuracy by ground observed phenological data and phenological metrics derived from gross primary production (GPP) data. And then, main climatic factors influencing the temporal patterns of SOS/EOS were explored by means of gridded meteorological data and partial correlation analysis. Based on the results of above statistical analysis, the similarities and differences of spring and autumn phenological responses to climate change among North American grasslands, Mid-West Asian grasslands, and Mongolian grasslands were analyzed. The main results and conclusions are as follows. First, a significant positive correlation was found between SOS/EOS and observed green-up/brown-off date (PSOS/EOS (PSOS/EOS can reflect temporal dynamics of terrestrial vegetation phenology. Second, SOS in Mid-West Asian grasslands showed a significant advancing trend (0.22 days/year, PSOS in North American grasslands and Mongolian grasslands was not significant. EOS in North American grasslands (0.31 dyas/year, PSOS/EOS inter-annual fluctuations and hydrothermal factors showed that a significant negative correlation was found between SOS and the pre-season temperature in 41.6% of pixels (PSOS and pre-season rainfall/snowfall in 14.6%/19.0% of pixels (PSOS and EOS are mainly affected by pre-season temperature and pre-season rainfall.

  14. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

    The productivity of grassland may change greatly with ageing. Frequently, a productive ley period, occurring in the first time after (re)seeding, is followed by a period in which productivity decreases. Under conditions favourable to grassland this may be temporary. A production level

  15. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Payne, Richard J., E-mail: r.payne@mmu.ac.uk [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Geography, School of Environment and Development, University of Manchester, Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9PL (United Kingdom); Stevens, Carly J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Bailrigg, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Dise, Nancy B. [School of Science and the Environment, Manchester Metropolitan University, Chester St., Manchester M1 5GD (United Kingdom); Gowing, David J. [Faculty of Science, Open University, Walton Hall, Milton Keynes MK7 6AA (United Kingdom); Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, Alfred Denny Building, University of Sheffield, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom); Emmett, Bridget A. [Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Environment Centre Wales, Deiniol Road, Bangor, Gwynedd LL57 2UW (United Kingdom); Ashmore, Michael R. [Environment Department, University of York, Heslington, York YO10 5DD (United Kingdom)

    2011-10-15

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: > Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. > Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. > Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. > Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  16. Impacts of atmospheric pollution on the plant communities of British acid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Payne, Richard J.; Stevens, Carly J.; Dise, Nancy B.; Gowing, David J.; Pilkington, Michael G.; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Emmett, Bridget A.; Ashmore, Michael R.

    2011-01-01

    Air pollutants are recognised as important agents of ecosystem change but few studies consider the effects of multiple pollutants and their interactions. Here we use ordination, constrained cluster analysis and indicator value analyses to identify potential environmental controls on species composition, ecological groupings and indicator species in a gradient study of UK acid grasslands. The community composition of these grasslands is related to climate, grazing, ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition, with evidence for an interaction between the ecological impacts of base cation and nitrogen deposition. Ozone is a key agent in species compositional change but is not associated with a reduction in species richness or diversity indices, showing the subtly different drivers on these two aspects of ecosystem degradation. Our results demonstrate the effects of multiple interacting pollutants, which may collectively have a greater impact than any individual agent. - Highlights: → Ozone exposure, N and base cation deposition modify UK acid grassland composition. → Ozone influences community composition without reducing species richness. → Nitrogen and base cation deposition have interacting impacts. → Distinct species responses to pollutants suggest potential for bioindication. - Ozone exposure and nitrogen deposition have distinct but additive impacts on the plant communities of British acid grasslands.

  17. Estimates of grassland biomass and turnover time on the Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xia, Jiangzhou; Ma, Minna; Liang, Tiangang; Wu, Chaoyang; Yang, Yuanhe; Zhang, Li; Zhang, Yangjian; Yuan, Wenping

    2018-01-01

    The grassland of the Tibetan Plateau forms a globally significant biome, which represents 6% of the world’s grasslands and 44% of China’s grasslands. However, large uncertainties remain concerning the vegetation carbon storage and turnover time in this biome. In this study, we quantified the pool size of both the aboveground and belowground biomass and turnover time of belowground biomass across the Tibetan Plateau by combining systematic measurements taken from a substantial number of surveys (i.e. 1689 sites for aboveground biomass, 174 sites for belowground biomass) with a machine learning technique (i.e. random forest, RF). Our study demonstrated that the RF model is effective tool for upscaling local biomass observations to the regional scale, and for producing continuous biomass estimates of the Tibetan Plateau. On average, the models estimated 46.57 Tg (1 Tg = 1012g) C of aboveground biomass and 363.71 Tg C of belowground biomass in the Tibetan grasslands covering an area of 1.32 × 106 km2. The turnover time of belowground biomass demonstrated large spatial heterogeneity, with a median turnover time of 4.25 years. Our results also demonstrated large differences in the biomass simulations among the major ecosystem models used for the Tibetan Plateau, largely because of inadequate model parameterization and validation. This study provides a spatially continuous measure of vegetation carbon storage and turnover time, and provides useful information for advancing ecosystem models and improving their performance.

  18. 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......, focusing on changes in aggregate stability and particulate organic matter (POM). Methods. Four successional stages were investigated: managed grassland, two transitional phases in which grassland abandonment led to colonization by Picea abies (L.) Karst., and old mixed forest dominated by Fagus sylvatica L....... Results. The dimension of aggregates assessed by aggregate size fractionation tended to increase, whereas SOC allocation to stable aggregates assessed by sizedensity fractionation decreased following conversion of grassland to forest (e.g. from 81 to 59 % in the 0–5 cm layer). The amount of SOC stored...

  19. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  20. Social-ecological dynamics of change and restoration attempts in the Chihuahuan Desert grasslands of Janos Biosphere Reserve, Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shrub encroachment and grassland loss are widespread throughout the US-Mexico borderlands with negative consequences for production of livestock and ecosystem services. In this paper we detail the complex social and ecological phenomena associated with this pattern of degradation in a large area in ...

  1. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A.; Biggins, Dean E.

    2015-01-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research.

  2. Plague bacterium as a transformer species in prairie dogs and the grasslands of western North America.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eads, David A; Biggins, Dean E

    2015-08-01

    Invasive transformer species change the character, condition, form, or nature of ecosystems and deserve considerable attention from conservation scientists. We applied the transformer species concept to the plague bacterium Yersinia pestis in western North America, where the pathogen was introduced around 1900. Y. pestis transforms grassland ecosystems by severely depleting the abundance of prairie dogs (Cynomys spp.) and thereby causing declines in native species abundance and diversity, including threatened and endangered species; altering food web connections; altering the import and export of nutrients; causing a loss of ecosystem resilience to encroaching invasive plants; and modifying prairie dog burrows. Y. pestis poses an important challenge to conservation biologists because it causes trophic-level perturbations that affect the stability of ecosystems. Unfortunately, understanding of the effects of Y. pestis on ecosystems is rudimentary, highlighting an acute need for continued research. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  3. Grassland invader responses to realistic changes in native species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rinella, Matthew J; Pokorny, Monica L; Rekaya, Romdhane

    2007-09-01

    The importance of species richness for repelling exotic plant invasions varies from ecosystem to ecosystem. Thus, in order to prioritize conservation objectives, it is critical to identify those ecosystems where decreasing richness will most greatly magnify invasion risks. Our goal was to determine if invasion risks greatly increase in response to common reductions in grassland species richness. We imposed treatments that mimic management-induced reductions in grassland species richness (i.e., removal of shallow- and/or deep-rooted forbs and/or grasses and/or cryptogam layers). Then we introduced and monitored the performance of a notorious invasive species (i.e., Centaurea maculosa). We found that, on a per-gram-of-biomass basis, each resident plant group similarly suppressed invader growth. Hence, with respect to preventing C. maculosa invasions, maintaining overall productivity is probably more important than maintaining the productivity of particular plant groups or species. But at the sites we studied, all plant groups may be needed to maintain overall productivity because removing forbs decreased overall productivity in two of three years. Alternatively, removing forbs increased productivity in another year, and this led us to posit that removing forbs may inflate the temporal productivity variance as opposed to greatly affecting time-averaged productivity. In either case, overall productivity responses to single plant group removals were inconsistent and fairly modest, and only when all plant groups were removed did C. maculosa growth increase substantially over a no-removal treatment. As such, it seems that intense disturbances (e.g., prolonged drought, overgrazing) that deplete multiple plant groups may often be a prerequisite for C. maculosa invasion.

  4. Ecosystems science: Genes to landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2018-05-09

    Bountiful fisheries, healthy and resilient wildlife, flourishing forests and vibrant grasslands are coveted resources that benefit all Americans. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science supports the conservation and management of the Nation’s fish and wildlife, and the landscapes they inhabit. Our biological resources—ecosystems and the wild things that live in them—are the foundation of our conservation heritage and an economic asset to current and future generations of Americans.The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS—to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources, informs land and water stewardship, and helps safeguard communities from natural and environmental hazards. The Ecosystems Mission Area provides research, technical assistance, and education conducted by Cooperative Research Units and Science Centers located in nearly every State.The quality of life and economic strength in America hinges on healthy ecosystems that support living things and natural processes. Ecosystem science better enables society to understand how and why ecosystems change and to guide actions that can prevent damage to, and restore and sustain ecosystems. It is through this knowledge that informed decisions are made about natural resources that can enhance our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being.

  5. Greenhouse gas exchange in grasslands: impacts of climate, intensity of management and other factors

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, K. A.

    2003-04-01

    Grasslands occupy some 40% of the terrestrial land surface. They are generally categorised as natural (occurring mainly in those regions where the rainfall is too low to support forest ecosystems), semi-natural (where management, mainly by grazing, has changed the vegetation composition), and artificial (where forests have been cleared to create new pasture land). The soils of the natural and semi-natural grasslands constitute a large reservoir of carbon, and make a substantial contribution to the soil sink for atmospheric CH_4. The conversion of much of the natural temperate grassland to arable agriculture, e.g. in North America and Europe, resulted in a considerable decrease in soil organic carbon, and its release to the atmosphere as CO_2 has made a substantial contribution to the total atmospheric concentration of this gas. The associated increase in cycling of soil N (released from the organic matter) will have contributed to N_2O emissions, and land disturbance and fertilisation has resulted in a depletion of the soil CH_4 sink. Conversion of tropical forests to pastures has also been a major source of CO_2, and these pastures show elevated emissions of N_2O for some years after conversion. Seasonally flooded tropical grasslands are a significant source of CH_4 emissions. Consideration of grassland ecosystems in their entirety, in relation to GHG exchange, necessitates the inclusion of CH_4 production by fauna - domesticated livestock and wild herbivores, as well as some species of termites - in the overall assessment. Stocking rates on pasture land have increased, and the total CH_4 emissions likewise. The relationship between animal production and CH_4 emissions is dependent on the nutritional quality of the vegetation, as well as on animal numbers. In both temperate and tropical regions, increased N inputs as synthetic fertilisers and manures (and increased N deposition) are producing possibly a more-than-linear response in terms of emissions of N_2O. In

  6. Satellite-based assessment of grassland yields

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grant, K.; Siegmund, R.; Wagner, M.; Hartmann, S.

    2015-04-01

    Cutting date and frequency are important parameters determining grassland yields in addition to the effects of weather, soil conditions, plant composition and fertilisation. Because accurate and area-wide data of grassland yields are currently not available, cutting frequency can be used to estimate yields. In this project, a method to detect cutting dates via surface changes in radar images is developed. The combination of this method with a grassland yield model will result in more reliable and regional-wide numbers of grassland yields. For the test-phase of the monitoring project, a study area situated southeast of Munich, Germany, was chosen due to its high density of managed grassland. For determining grassland cutting robust amplitude change detection techniques are used evaluating radar amplitude or backscatter statistics before and after the cutting event. CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A data were analysed. All detected cuts were verified according to in-situ measurements recorded in a GIS database. Although the SAR systems had various acquisition geometries, the amount of detected grassland cut was quite similar. Of 154 tested grassland plots, covering in total 436 ha, 116 and 111 cuts were detected using CosmoSkyMed and Sentinel-1A radar data, respectively. Further improvement of radar data processes as well as additional analyses with higher sample number and wider land surface coverage will follow for optimisation of the method and for validation and generalisation of the results of this feasibility study. The automation of this method will than allow for an area-wide and cost efficient cutting date detection service improving grassland yield models.

  7. Quantifying nitrous oxide emissions from Chinese grasslands with a process-based model

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Zhang

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available As one of the largest land cover types, grassland can potentially play an important role in the ecosystem services of natural resources in China. Nitrous oxide (N2O is a major greenhouse gas emitted from grasslands. Current N2O inventory at a regional or national level in China relies on the emission factor method, which is based on limited measurements. To improve the accuracy of the inventory by capturing the spatial variability of N2O emissions under the diverse climate, soil and management conditions across China, we adopted an approach by utilizing a process-based biogeochemical model, DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC, to quantify N2O emissions from Chinese grasslands. In the present study, DNDC was tested against datasets of N2O fluxes measured at eight grassland sites in China with encouraging results. The validated DNDC was then linked to a GIS database holding spatially differentiated information of climate, soil, vegetation and management at county-level for all the grasslands in the country. Daily weather data for 2000–2007 from 670 meteorological stations across the entire domain were employed to serve the simulations. The modelled results on a national scale showed a clear geographic pattern of N2O emissions. A high-emission strip showed up stretching from northeast to central China, which is consistent with the eastern boundary between the temperate grassland region and the major agricultural regions of China. The grasslands in the western mountain regions, however, emitted much less N2O. The regionally averaged rates of N2O emissions were 0.26, 0.14 and 0.38 kg nitrogen (N ha−1 y−1 for the temperate, montane and tropical/subtropical grasslands, respectively. The annual mean N2O emission from the total 337 million ha of grasslands in China was 76.5 ± 12.8 Gg N for the simulated years.

  8. The Effect of Re-Planting Trees on Soil Microbial Communities in a Wildfire-Induced Subalpine Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ed-Haun Chang

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Wildfire often causes tremendous changes in ecosystems, particularly in subalpine and alpine areas, which are vulnerable due to severe climate conditions such as cold temperature and strong wind. This study aimed to clarify the effect of tree re-planting on ecosystem services such as the soil microbial community after several decades. We compared the re-planted forest and grassland with the mature forest as a reference in terms of soil microbial biomass C and N (Cmic and Nmic, enzyme activities, phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA composition, and denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE. The Cmic and Nmic did not differ among the grassland, re-planted forest and mature forest soil; however, ratios of Cmic/Corg and Nmic/Ntot decreased from the grassland to re-planted forest and mature forest soil. The total PLFAs and those attributed to bacteria and Gram-positive and Gram-negative bacteria did not differ between the re-planted forest and grassland soil. Principle component analysis of the PLFA content separated the grassland from re-planted forest and mature forest soil. Similarly, DGGE analysis revealed changes in both bacterial and fungal community structures with changes in vegetation. Our results suggest that the microbial community structure changes with the re-planting of trees after a fire event in this subalpine area. Recovery of the soil microbial community to the original state in a fire-damaged site in a subalpine area may require decades, even under a re-planted forest.

  9. Land-use intensification causes multitrophic homogenization of grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gossner, Martin M; Lewinsohn, Thomas M; Kahl, Tiemo; Grassein, Fabrice; Boch, Steffen; Prati, Daniel; Birkhofer, Klaus; Renner, Swen C; Sikorski, Johannes; Wubet, Tesfaye; Arndt, Hartmut; Baumgartner, Vanessa; Blaser, Stefan; Blüthgen, Nico; Börschig, Carmen; Buscot, Francois; Diekötter, Tim; Jorge, Leonardo Ré; Jung, Kirsten; Keyel, Alexander C; Klein, Alexandra-Maria; Klemmer, Sandra; Krauss, Jochen; Lange, Markus; Müller, Jörg; Overmann, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Penone, Caterina; Perović, David J; Purschke, Oliver; Schall, Peter; Socher, Stephanie A; Sonnemann, Ilja; Tschapka, Marco; Tscharntke, Teja; Türke, Manfred; Venter, Paul Christiaan; Weiner, Christiane N; Werner, Michael; Wolters, Volkmar; Wurst, Susanne; Westphal, Catrin; Fischer, Markus; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Allan, Eric

    2016-12-08

    Land-use intensification is a major driver of biodiversity loss. Alongside reductions in local species diversity, biotic homogenization at larger spatial scales is of great concern for conservation. Biotic homogenization means a decrease in β-diversity (the compositional dissimilarity between sites). Most studies have investigated losses in local (α)-diversity and neglected biodiversity loss at larger spatial scales. Studies addressing β-diversity have focused on single or a few organism groups (for example, ref. 4), and it is thus unknown whether land-use intensification homogenizes communities at different trophic levels, above- and belowground. Here we show that even moderate increases in local land-use intensity (LUI) cause biotic homogenization across microbial, plant and animal groups, both above- and belowground, and that this is largely independent of changes in α-diversity. We analysed a unique grassland biodiversity dataset, with abundances of more than 4,000 species belonging to 12 trophic groups. LUI, and, in particular, high mowing intensity, had consistent effects on β-diversity across groups, causing a homogenization of soil microbial, fungal pathogen, plant and arthropod communities. These effects were nonlinear and the strongest declines in β-diversity occurred in the transition from extensively managed to intermediate intensity grassland. LUI tended to reduce local α-diversity in aboveground groups, whereas the α-diversity increased in belowground groups. Correlations between the β-diversity of different groups, particularly between plants and their consumers, became weaker at high LUI. This suggests a loss of specialist species and is further evidence for biotic homogenization. The consistently negative effects of LUI on landscape-scale biodiversity underscore the high value of extensively managed grasslands for conserving multitrophic biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. Indeed, biotic homogenization rather than local diversity

  10. Legacies from extreme drought increase ecosystem sensitivity to future extremes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, M. D.; Knapp, A.; Hoover, D. L.; Avolio, M. L.; Felton, A. J.; Wilcox, K. R.

    2016-12-01

    Climate extremes, such as drought, are increasing in frequency and intensity, and the ecological consequences of these extreme events can be substantial and widespread. Although there is still much to be learned about how ecosystems will respond to an intensification of drought, even less is known about the factors that determine post-drought recovery of ecosystem function. Such knowledge is particularly important because post-drought recovery periods can be protracted depending on the extent to which key plant populations, community structure and biogeochemical processes are affected. These drought legacies may alter ecosystem function for many years post-drought and may impact future sensitivity to climate extremes. We experimentally imposed two extreme growing season droughts in a central US grassland to assess the impacts of repeated droughts on ecosystem resistance (response) and resilience (recovery). We found that this grassland was not resistant to the first extreme drought due to reduced productivity and differential sensitivity of the co-dominant C4 grass (Andropogon gerardii) and C3 forb (Solidago canadensis) species. This differential sensitivity led to a reordering of species abundances within the plant community. Yet, despite this large shift in plant community composition, which persisted post-drought, the grassland was highly resilient post-drought, due to increased abundance of the dominant C4 grass. Because of this shift to increased C4 grass dominance, we expected that previously-droughted grassland would be more resistant to a second extreme drought. However, contrary to these expectations, previously droughted grassland was more sensitive to drought than grassland that had not experienced drought. Thus, our result suggest that legacies of drought (shift in community composition) may increase ecosystem sensitivity to future extreme events.

  11. Regional Variation in the Temperature Sensitivity of Soil Organic Matter Decomposition in China's Forests and Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Y.; He, N.; Zhu, J.; Yu, G.; Xu, L.; Niu, S.; Sun, X.; Wen, X.

    2017-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-03-10

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

  13. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1982-10-01

    Full Text Available The objectives, organization and research programme of the Grassland Biome Project are described against a background of the biome's ecological characteristics and environmental problems. Four principal research topics wil 1 be focused upon: (i...

  14. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2015-01-01

    Soil disturbance is recognized as an important driver of biodiversity in dry grasslands, and can therefore be implemented as a restoration measure. However, because community re-assembly following disturbance includes stochastic processes, a focus only on species richness or establishment success...... to experimental disturbance treatments (ploughing or rotavation), and the vegetation was surveyed during four subsequent years of succession. Treated plots were compared with control plots representing untreated grassland, as well as nearby plots characterized by plant communities representing the restoration...

  15. Full accounting of the greenhouse gas (CO2, N2O, CH4) budget of nine European grassland sites

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Soussana, J.E.; Allard, V.; Pilegaard, Kim

    2007-01-01

    The full greenhouse gas balance of nine contrasted grassland sites covering a major climatic gradient over Europe was measured during two complete years. The sites include a wide range of management regimes (rotational grazing, continuous grazing and mowing), the three main types of managed......, automated chambers and tunable diode laser) and CH4 emissions resulting from enteric fermentation of the grazing cattle were measured in situ at four sites using the SF6 tracer method. Averaged over the two measurement years, net ecosystem exchange (NEE) results show that the nine grassland plots displayed...

  16. Land Use, Climate Change and Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Attavanich, Witsanu; Rashford, Benjamin S.; Adams, Richard M.; McCarl, Bruce A.

    2011-01-01

    The combination of shifts in crop production and a reduction in wetland ecosystems associated with climate change are forecast to reduce native grasslands and associated obligate species. Most estimates of climate change impacts to wildlife, however, do not account for how humans are likely to alter land use in response to climate changes. We examine the joint effect of climate change and the resulting land use response of farmers on waterfowl production in the Prairie Pothole Region of Nor...

  17. Modeling the grazing effect on dry grassland carbon cycling with modified Biome-BGC grazing model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Geping; Han, Qifei; Li, Chaofan; Yang, Liao

    2014-05-01

    Identifying the factors that determine the carbon source/sink strength of ecosystems is important for reducing uncertainty in the global carbon cycle. Arid grassland ecosystems are a widely distributed biome type in Xinjiang, Northwest China, covering approximately one-fourth the country's land surface. These grasslands are the habitat for many endemic and rare plant and animal species and are also used as pastoral land for livestock. Using the modified Biome-BGC grazing model, we modeled carbon dynamics in Xinjiang for grasslands that varied in grazing intensity. In general, this regional simulation estimated that the grassland ecosystems in Xinjiang acted as a net carbon source, with a value of 0.38 Pg C over the period 1979-2007. There were significant effects of grazing on carbon dynamics. An over-compensatory effect in net primary productivity (NPP) and vegetation carbon (C) stock was observed when grazing intensity was lower than 0.40 head/ha. Grazing resulted in a net carbon source of 23.45 g C m-2 yr-1, which equaled 0.37 Pg in Xinjiang in the last 29 years. In general, grazing decreased vegetation C stock, while an increasing trend was observed with low grazing intensity. The soil C increased significantly (17%) with long-term grazing, while the soil C stock exhibited a steady trend without grazing. These findings have implications for grassland ecosystem management as it relates to carbon sequestration and climate change mitigation, e.g., removal of grazing should be considered in strategies that aim to increase terrestrial carbon sequestrations at local and regional scales. One of the greatest limitations in quantifying the effects of herbivores on carbon cycling is identifying the grazing systems and intensities within a given region. We hope our study emphasizes the need for large-scale assessments of how grazing impacts carbon cycling. Most terrestrial ecosystems in Xinjiang have been affected by disturbances to a greater or lesser extent in the past

  18. Linking the benefits of ecosystem services to sustainable spatial planning of ecological conservation strategies.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Lin; Cao, Wei; Xu, Xinliang; Fan, Jiangwen; Wang, Junbang

    2018-09-15

    The maintenance and improvement of ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau are critical for national ecological security in China and are core objectives of ecological conservation in this region. In this paper, ecosystem service benefits of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project were comprehensively assessed by estimating and mapping the spatiotemporal variation patterns of critical ecosystem services on the Tibet Plateau from 2000 to 2015. Furthermore, we linked the benefit assessment to the sustainable spatial planning of future ecological conservation strategies. Comparing the 8 years before and after the project, the water retention and carbon sink services of the forest, grassland and wetland ecosystems were slightly increased after the project, and the ecosystem sand fixation service has been steadily enhanced. The increasing forage supply service of grassland significantly reduced the grassland carrying pressure and eased the conflict between grassland and livestock. However, enhanced rainfall erosivity occurred due to increased rainfall, and root-layer soils could not recover in a short period of time, both factors have led to a decline in soil conservation service. The warm and humid climate is beneficial for the restoration of ecosystems on the Tibet Plateau, and the implementation of the Tibet Ecological Conservation Project has had a positive effect on the local improvement of ecosystem services. A new spatial planning strategy for ecological conservation was introduced and aims to establish a comprehensive, nationwide system to protect important natural ecosystems and wildlife, and to promote the sustainable use of natural resources. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. CO2 flux measurement in four different ecosystems

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Taufarová, Klára; Havránková, Kateřina; Czerný, Radek; Janouš, Dalibor

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 37, č. 2 (2007), s. 141-151 ISSN 1335-2806 R&D Projects: GA ČR GD526/03/H036; GA MŽP SM/640/18/03 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : eddy covariance * net ecosystem production * forest * grassland * wetland * cropland Subject RIV: GK - Forestry

  20. Precipitation as driver of carbon fluxes in 11 African ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Merbold, L

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available operation. The ecosystems for which data were available ranged in mean annual rainfall from 320mm (Sudan) to 1150mm (The Republic of Congo) and include a spectrum of vegetation types (or land cover) (open savannas, woodlands, croplands and grasslands). Given...

  1. Effects of grassland management on the emission of methane from grassland on peat soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Van Dasselaar, A. [Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands); Oenema, O. [NMI, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    Net methane (CH{sub 4}) emissions from managed grassland on peat soils in the Netherlands have been monitored with vented closed flux chambers in the period January - June 1994. Net CH{sub 4} emissions from two intensively managed grasslands were low, in general less than 0.1 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. On these sites, the effect of management was negligibly small. CH{sub 4} emission from three extensively managed grasslands in a nature preserve ranged from 0 to 185 mg CH{sub 4} m{sup -2} d{sup -l}. The results presented here indicate that CH{sub 4} emissions are 2-3 orders of magnitude higher on extensively managed grasslands than on intensively managed grasslands. 2 figs., 6 refs.

  2. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  3. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  4. Responses of Ammonia-Oxidising Bacterial Communities to Nitrogen, Lime, and Plant Species in Upland Grassland Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Clipson, N.J.W.; Rooney, D.C.; Kennedy, N.M.; Gleeson, D.B.

    2010-01-01

    Agricultural improvement of semi natural grasslands has been shown to result in changes to plant and microbial diversity, with consequences for ecosystem functioning. A microcosm approach was used to elucidate the effects of two key components of agricultural improvement (nitrogen addition and liming) on ammonia-oxidising bacterial (AOB) communities in an upland grassland soil. Plant species characteristic of unimproved and improved pastures (A. capillaries and L. perenne) were planted in microcosms, and lime, nitrogen (NH 4 NO 3 ), or lime plus nitrogen added. The AOB community was profiled using terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP) of the amoA gene. AOB community structure was largely altered by NH 4 NO 3 addition, rather than liming, although interactions between nitrogen addition and plant species were also evident. Results indicate that nitrogen addition drives shifts in the structure of key microbial communities in upland grassland soils, and that plant species may play a significant role in determining AOB community structure

  5. Can we use the past as a lens to the future? Using historic events to predict regional grassland and shrubland responses to multi-year drought or wet periods under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods Ecologists are being challenged to predict ecosystem responses under changing climatic conditions. Water availability is the primary driver of ecosystem processes in temperate grasslands and shrublands, but uncertainty in the magnitude and direction of change in precipita...

  6. Comparing soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching under extreme precipitation events in arid and semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ting; Wang, Liang; Feng, Xiaojuan; Zhang, Jinbo; Ma, Tian; Wang, Xin; Liu, Zongguang

    2018-03-01

    Respiration and leaching are two main processes responsible for soil carbon loss. While the former has received considerable research attention, studies examining leaching processes are limited, especially in semiarid grasslands due to low precipitation. Climate change may increase the extreme precipitation event (EPE) frequency in arid and semiarid regions, potentially enhancing soil carbon loss through leaching and respiration. Here we incubated soil columns of three typical grassland soils from Inner Mongolia and the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau and examined the effect of simulated EPEs on soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching. EPEs induced a transient increase in CO2 release through soil respiration, equivalent to 32 and 72 % of the net ecosystem productivity (NEP) in the temperate grasslands (Xilinhot and Keqi) and 7 % of NEP in the alpine grasslands (Gangcha). By comparison, leaching loss of soil carbon accounted for 290, 120, and 15 % of NEP at the corresponding sites, respectively, with dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, biogenic DIC + lithogenic DIC) as the main form of carbon loss in the alkaline soils. Moreover, DIC loss increased with recurring EPEs in the soil with the highest pH due to an elevated contribution of dissolved CO2 from organic carbon degradation (indicated by DIC-δ13C). These results highlight the fact that leaching loss of soil carbon (particularly in the form of DIC) is important in the regional carbon budget of arid and semiarid grasslands and also imply that SOC mineralization in alkaline soils might be underestimated if only measured as CO2 emission from soils into the atmosphere. With a projected increase in EPEs under climate change, soil carbon leaching processes and the influencing factors warrant a better understanding and should be incorporated into soil carbon models when estimating carbon balance in grassland ecosystems.

  7. Comparing soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching under extreme precipitation events in arid and semiarid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Liu

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available Respiration and leaching are two main processes responsible for soil carbon loss. While the former has received considerable research attention, studies examining leaching processes are limited, especially in semiarid grasslands due to low precipitation. Climate change may increase the extreme precipitation event (EPE frequency in arid and semiarid regions, potentially enhancing soil carbon loss through leaching and respiration. Here we incubated soil columns of three typical grassland soils from Inner Mongolia and the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau and examined the effect of simulated EPEs on soil carbon loss through respiration and leaching. EPEs induced a transient increase in CO2 release through soil respiration, equivalent to 32 and 72 % of the net ecosystem productivity (NEP in the temperate grasslands (Xilinhot and Keqi and 7 % of NEP in the alpine grasslands (Gangcha. By comparison, leaching loss of soil carbon accounted for 290, 120, and 15 % of NEP at the corresponding sites, respectively, with dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC, biogenic DIC + lithogenic DIC as the main form of carbon loss in the alkaline soils. Moreover, DIC loss increased with recurring EPEs in the soil with the highest pH due to an elevated contribution of dissolved CO2 from organic carbon degradation (indicated by DIC-δ13C. These results highlight the fact that leaching loss of soil carbon (particularly in the form of DIC is important in the regional carbon budget of arid and semiarid grasslands and also imply that SOC mineralization in alkaline soils might be underestimated if only measured as CO2 emission from soils into the atmosphere. With a projected increase in EPEs under climate change, soil carbon leaching processes and the influencing factors warrant a better understanding and should be incorporated into soil carbon models when estimating carbon balance in grassland ecosystems.

  8. Plant effects on soil carbon storage and turnover in montane beech (Nothofagus) forest and adjacent tussock grassland in New Zealand

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tate, K.R.; Scott, N.A.; Ross, D.J.; Parshotam, A.; Claydon, J.J.

    2000-01-01

    Land cover is a critical factor that influences, and is influenced by, atmospheric chemistry and potential climate changes. As considerable uncertainty exists about the effects of differences in land cover on below-ground carbon (C) storage, we have compared soil C contents and turnover at adjacent, unmanaged, indigenous forest (Nothofagus solandri var. cliffortiodes) and grassland (Chionochloa pallens) sites near the timberline in the same climo-edaphic environment in Craigieburn Forest Park, Canterbury, New Zealand. Total soil profile C was 13% higher in the grassland than in the forest ( 19.9 v. 16.7 kg/m 2 ), and based on bomb 14 C measurements, the differences mainly resulted from more recalcitrant soil C in the grassland (5.3 v. 3.0 kg/m 2 ). Estimated annual net primary production was about 0.4 kg C/m 2 for the forest and 0.5 kg C/m 2 for the grassland; estimated annual root production was about 0.2 and 0.4 kg C/m 2 , respectively. In situ soil surface CO 2 -C production was similar in the grassland and the forest. The accumulation of recalcitrant soil C was unrelated to differences in mineral weathering or soil texture, but was apparently enhanced by greater soil water retention in the grassland ecosystem. Thus, contrary to model (ROTHC) predictions, this soil C fraction could be expected to respond to the effects of climate change on precipitation patterns. Overall, our results suggest that the different patterns of soil C accumulation in these ecosystems have resulted from differences in plant C inputs, soil aluminium, and soil physical characteristics, rather than from differences in soil mineral weathering or texture. Copyright (2000) CSIRO Australia

  9. 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.

  10. Mixed-severity fire history at a forest-grassland ecotone in west central British Columbia, Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harvey, Jill E; Smith, Dan J; Veblen, Thomas T

    2017-09-01

    This study examines spatially variable stand structure and fire-climate relationships at a low elevation forest-grassland ecotone in west central British Columbia, Canada. Fire history reconstructions were based on samples from 92 fire-scarred trees and stand demography from 27 plots collected over an area of about 7 km 2 . We documented historical chronologies of widespread fires and localized grassland fires between AD 1600 and 1900. Relationships between fire events, reconstructed values of the Palmer Drought Severity Index, and annual precipitation were examined using superposed epoch and bivariate event analyses. Widespread fires occurred during warm, dry years and were preceded by multiple anomalously dry, warm years. Localized fires that affected only grassland-proximal forests were more frequent than widespread fires. These localized fires showed a lagged, positive relationship with wetter conditions. The landscape pattern of forest structure provided further evidence of complex fire activity with multiple plots shown to have experienced low-, mixed-, and/or high-severity fires over the last four centuries. We concluded that this forest-grassland ecotone was characterized by fires of mixed severity, dominated by frequent, low-severity fires punctuated by widespread fires of moderate to high severity. This landscape-level variability in fire-climate relationships and patterns in forest structure has important implications for fire and grassland management in west central British Columbia and similar environments elsewhere. Forest restoration techniques such as prescribed fire and thinning are oftentimes applied at the forest-grassland ecotone on the basis that historically high frequency, low-severity fires defined the character of past fire activity. This study provides forest managers and policy makers with important information on mixed-severity fire activity at a low elevation forest-grassland ecotone, a crucial prerequisite for the effective management

  11. Biodiversity of Soil Microbial Communities Following Woody Plant Invasion of Grassland: An Assessment Using Molecular Methods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kantola, I. B.; Gentry, T. J.; Filley, T. R.; Boutton, T. W.

    2012-12-01

    Woody plants have encroached into grasslands, savannas, and other grass-dominated ecosystems throughout the world during the last century. This dramatic vegetation change is likely driven by livestock grazing, altered fire frequencies, elevated atmospheric CO2 concentrations, and/or changes in atmospheric deposition patterns. Woody invasion often results in significant changes in ecosystem function, including alterations in above- and belowground primary productivity, soil C, N, and P storage and turnover, and the size and activity of the soil microbial biomass pool. The purpose of this study was to examine the relationships and interactions between plant communities and soil microbial communities in the Rio Grande Plains region of southern Texas where grasslands have been largely replaced by woodlands. Research was conducted along a successional chronosequence representing the stages of woody plant encroachment from open grassland to closed-canopy woodland. To characterize soil microbial community composition, soil samples (0-7.5 cm) were collected in remnant grasslands (representing time 0) and near the centers of woody plant clusters, groves, and drainage woodlands ranging in age from 10 to 130 yrs. Ages of woody plant stands were determined by dendrochronology. Community DNA was extracted from each soil sample with a MoBio PowerMax Soil DNA isolation kit. The DNA concentrations were quantified on a NanoDrop ND-1000 spectrophotometer and diluted to a standard concentration. Pyrosequencing was performed by the Research and Testing Laboratory (Lubbock, TX) according to Roche 454 Titanium chemistry protocols. Samples were amplified with primers 27F and 519R for bacteria, and primers ITS1F and ITS4 for fungi. Sequences were aligned using BioEdit and the RDP Pipeline and analyzed in MOTHUR. Non-metric multidimensional scaling of the operational taxonomic units identified by pyrosequencing revealed that both bacterial and fungal community composition were

  12. Biodiversity increases the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate extremes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Isbell, Forest; Craven, Dylan; Connolly, John; Loreau, Michel; Schmid, Bernhard; Beierkuhnlein, Carl; Bezemer, T Martijn; Bonin, Catherine; Bruelheide, Helge; de Luca, Enrica; Ebeling, Anne; Griffin, John N; Guo, Qinfeng; Hautier, Yann; Hector, Andy; Jentsch, Anke; Kreyling, Jürgen; Lanta, Vojtěch; Manning, Pete; Meyer, Sebastian T; Mori, Akira S; Naeem, Shahid; Niklaus, Pascal A; Polley, H Wayne; Reich, Peter B; Roscher, Christiane; Seabloom, Eric W; Smith, Melinda D; Thakur, Madhav P; Tilman, David; Tracy, Benjamin F; van der Putten, Wim H; van Ruijven, Jasper; Weigelt, Alexandra; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Wilsey, Brian; Eisenhauer, Nico

    2015-10-22

    It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of depauperate communities. However, subsequent experimental tests produced mixed results. Here we use data from 46 experiments that manipulated grassland plant diversity to test whether biodiversity provides resistance during and resilience after climate events. We show that biodiversity increased ecosystem resistance for a broad range of climate events, including wet or dry, moderate or extreme, and brief or prolonged events. Across all studies and climate events, the productivity of low-diversity communities with one or two species changed by approximately 50% during climate events, whereas that of high-diversity communities with 16-32 species was more resistant, changing by only approximately 25%. By a year after each climate event, ecosystem productivity had often fully recovered, or overshot, normal levels of productivity in both high- and low-diversity communities, leading to no detectable dependence of ecosystem resilience on biodiversity. Our results suggest that biodiversity mainly stabilizes ecosystem productivity, and productivity-dependent ecosystem services, by increasing resistance to climate events. Anthropogenic environmental changes that drive biodiversity loss thus seem likely to decrease ecosystem stability, and restoration of biodiversity to increase it, mainly by changing the resistance of ecosystem productivity to climate events.

  13. Contrasting responses of grassland water and carbon exchanges to climate change between Tibetan Plateau and Inner Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, D.; Li, Y.; Wang, T.; Peylin, P. P.; MacBean, N.; Ciais, P.; Jia, G.; Ma, M.; Ma, Y.; Shen, M.; Zhang, X.; Piao, S.

    2017-12-01

    he grassland in Tibetan Plateau (TP) and Inner Mongolia (IM) of China play important roles in climate change mitigation. These two regions have increasingly experienced warming and changing precipitation regimes over the past three decades. However, it remains uncertain to what extent temperature and water availability regulate the water and carbon fluxes across alpine (TP) and temperate (IM) grasslands. Here, we optimize a process-based model of carbon and water fluxes using eddy covariance (EC) data and analyze the simulated results based upon the optimized model exposed to a range of annual temperature and precipitation anomalies. We found that the changes of NEE of TP grassland are relatively small because of compatible increasing rate of ecosystem respiration (Re) and the gross primary productivity (GPP) under warming. The NEE of IM grassland increases with warming due to faster reduction of GPP than Re under warm-induced drought. We also found suppression of plant transpiration as the primary cause for the muted response of evapotranspiration to warming in IM, which is in contrast to enhanced transpiration in TP. We therefore highlight that the underlying processes regulating the responses of water and carbon cycles to warming are fundamentally different between TP and IM grasslands.

  14. Grassland Npp Monitoring Based on Multi-Source Remote Sensing Data Fusion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cai, Y. R.; Zheng, J. H.; Du, M. J.; Mu, C.; Peng, J.

    2018-04-01

    Vegetation is an important part of the terrestrial ecosystem. It plays an important role in the energy and material exchange of the ground-atmosphere system and is a key part of the global carbon cycle process.Climate change has an important influence on the carbon cycle of terrestrial ecosystems. Net Primary Productivity (Net Primary Productivity)is an important parameter for evaluating global terrestrial ecosystems. For the Xinjiang region, the study of grassland NPP has gradually become a hot issue in the ecological environment.Increasing the estimation accuracy of NPP is of great significance to the development of the ecosystem in Xinjiang. Based on the third-generation GIMMS AVHRR NDVI global vegetation dataset and the MODIS NDVI (MOD13A3) collected each month by the United States Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration (NOAA),combining the advantages of different remotely sensed datasets, this paper obtained the maximum synthesis fusion for New normalized vegetation index (NDVI) time series in 2006-2015.Analysis of Net Primary Productivity of Grassland Vegetation in Xinjiang Using Improved CASA Model The method described in this article proves the feasibility of applying data processing, and the accuracy of the NPP calculation using the fusion processed NDVI has been greatly improved. The results show that: (1) The NPP calculated from the new normalized vegetation index (NDVI) obtained from the fusion of GIMMS AVHRR NDVI and MODIS NDVI is significantly higher than the NPP calculated from these two raw data; (2) The grassland NPP in Xinjiang Interannual changes show an overall increase trend; interannual changes in NPP have a certain relationship with precipitation.

  15. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    OpenAIRE

    Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg

    2017-01-01

    Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs) has the potential to contribute to solving these ...

  16. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  18. Comparison of Modeling Grassland Degradation with and without Considering Localized Spatial Associations in Vegetation Changing Patterns

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuwei Wang

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecosystems worldwide are confronted with degradation. It is of great importance to understand long-term trajectory patterns of grassland vegetation by advanced analytical models. This study proposes a new approach called a binary logistic regression model with neighborhood interactions, or BLR-NIs, which is based on binary logistic regression (BLR, but fully considers the spatio-temporally localized spatial associations or characterization of neighborhood interactions (NIs in the patterns of grassland vegetation. The BLR-NIs model was applied to a modeled vegetation degradation of grasslands in the Xilin river basin, Inner Mongolia, China. Residual trend analysis on the normalized difference vegetation index (RESTREND-NDVI, which excluded the climatic impact on vegetation dynamics, was adopted as a preprocessing step to derive three human-induced trajectory patterns (vegetation degradation, vegetation recovery, and no significant change in vegetation during two consecutive periods, T1 (2000–2008 and T2 (2007–2015. Human activities, including livestock grazing intensity and transportation accessibility measured by road network density, were included as explanatory variables for vegetation degradation, which was defined for locations if vegetation recovery or no significant change in vegetation in T1 and vegetation degradation in T2 were observed. Our work compared the results of BLR-NIs and the traditional BLR model that did not consider NIs. The study showed that: (1 both grazing intensity and road density had a positive correlation to vegetation degradation based on the traditional BLR model; (2 only road density was found to positively correlate to vegetation degradation by the BLR-NIs model; NIs appeared to be critical factors to predict vegetation degradation; and (3 including NIs in the BLR model improved the model performance substantially. The study provided evidence for the importance of including localized spatial

  19. Mapping Plant Functional Groups in Subalpine Grassland of the Greater Caucasus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Magiera

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Plant functional groups—in our case grass, herbs, and legumes—and their spatial distribution can provide information on key ecosystem functions such as species richness, nitrogen fixation, and erosion control. Knowledge about the spatial distribution of plant functional groups provides valuable information for grassland management. This study described and mapped the distribution of grass, herb, and legume coverage of the subalpine grassland in the high-mountain Kazbegi region, Greater Caucasus, Georgia. To test the applicability of new sensors, we compared the predictive power of simulated hyperspectral canopy reflectance, simulated multispectral reflectance, simulated vegetation indices, and topographic variables for modeling plant functional groups. The tested grassland showed characteristic differences in species richness; in grass, herb, and legume coverage; and in connected structural properties such as yield. Grass (Hordeum brevisubulatum was dominant in biomass-rich hay meadows. Herb-rich grassland featured the highest species richness and evenness, whereas legume-rich grassland was accompanied by a high coverage of open soil and showed dominance of a single species, Astragalus captiosus. The best model fits were achieved with a combination of reflectance, vegetation indices, and topographic variables as predictors. Random forest models for grass, herb, and legume coverage explained 36%, 25%, and 37% of the respective variance, and their root mean square errors varied between 12–15%. Hyperspectral and multispectral reflectance as predictors resulted in similar models. Because multispectral data are more easily available and often have a higher spatial resolution, we suggest using multispectral parameters enhanced by vegetation indices and topographic parameters for modeling grass, herb, and legume coverage. However, overall model fits were merely moderate, and further testing, including stronger gradients and the addition of

  20. Arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi mediate soil respiration response to climate change in California grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Estruch, Carme; Mcfarland, Jack; Haw, Monica P.; Schulz, Marjorie S.; Pugnaire, Francisco I.; Waldrop, Mark P.

    2017-04-01

    California grasslands store ca. 100 Tg of soil organic carbon (SOC) and almost 40% of those ecosystems are prone to land use changes. The fate of these carbon pools will largely depend on how the main components of soil respiration - i.e., roots, mycorrhiza, and 'bulk soil' communities- respond to such changes. In order to determine the sensitivity to environmental drivers we set up an experiment to address the effect of plant community composition, soil age and warming on soil respiration rate during the 2014-2015 winter. We tested differences among microbial, fungal and root respiration using an exclusion technique to assess the effect of plant community (open grasslands vs oak woodland) in two field sites differing in soil properties as nutrient content, related to geologic soil age (92 and 137 kyr). We also used open top chambers (OTC) to simulate global change effects on grasslands. Our results showed that arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi were the main drivers of differences recorded between soils of different age, and that those differences were linked to nutrient availability. Bulk soil respiration was more sensitive to environmental variation than mycorrhizal or root respiration, indicating that the presence of mycorrhizae and roots can regulate the capacity of CO2 emission to the atmosphere. Soil age affected CO2 flux from grasslands but not under oak canopies, likely due to the high concentration of SOM in oak canopies which moderated any affect of soil mineralogy on nutrient availability. Overall our study shows that the ability of grasslands to mitigate CO2 emissions depends on interactions between vegetation and their rhizosphere on soil microbial communities.

  1. 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

  2. Grassland ecology and diversity (Ecologia y diversidad de pastizales)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands of the Chihuahuan Desert region are ecologically and economically important. These grasslands are valued for their rangeland, wildlife, watershed, and recreation resources. Biological diversity also raises the value of grassland communities. The potential for multiple uses within the region increases as the diversity of the resource base increases. In order...

  3. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by Irish stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hennessy, D.; Pol-van Dasselaar, van den A.

    2014-01-01

    The European project MultiSward studied the appreciation of different functions of grasslands by European stakeholders. This paper describes the importance of grasslands for stakeholders in Ireland. Ireland currently has approximately 4.6 million ha of grassland, which is 90% of the total utilized

  4. Predation drives nesting success in moist highland grasslands: the ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    By focusing on process-oriented data rather than inventory-type data, this study provides a robust understanding of the effects of agricultural management on grassland bird reproductive output in the moist highland grasslands (MHGs) of South Africa. Four-hundred and four nests of 12 grassland-breeding bird species were ...

  5. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALESSANDRO SERAFINI SAULI

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available In Rome both meadows of CentraI-European affinity and Mediterranean dry grasslands are presento We studied a site (Parco Regionale Urbano de] Pineto in Rome with very diverse vegetation, where species belonging to both coenologica] groups oceur. Wc fertilized a grassland with a combination of phosphorus (P and nitrogen (N. After fertilization diagDostie species of Helianthemetea guttati (Thcrophytes dccrease while species of MolinioArrhenatheretea (Hemicriptophytes increase. In a climate as that of Rome, transition between Mediterranean (with summer drought and Central European (without summer drought, nutrients availability modulates the distribution of vegetation Classes with respectively Mediterranean or Central-Europe affinities.

  6. The effects of tree establishment on water and salt dynamics in naturally salt-affected grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nosetto, Marcelo D; Jobbágy, Esteban G; Tóth, Tibor; Di Bella, Carlos M

    2007-07-01

    Plants, by influencing water fluxes across the ecosystem-vadose zone-aquifer continuum, can leave an imprint on salt accumulation and distribution patterns. We explored how the conversion of native grasslands to oak plantations affected the abundance and distribution of salts on soils and groundwater through changes in the water balance in naturally salt-affected landscapes of Hortobagy (Hungary), a region where artificial drainage performed approximately 150 years ago lowered the water table (from -2 to -5 m) decoupling it from the surface ecosystem. Paired soil sampling and detailed soil conductivity transects revealed consistently different salt distribution patterns between grasslands and plantations, with shallow salinity losses and deep salinity gains accompanying tree establishment. Salts accumulated in the upper soil layers during pre-drainage times have remained in drained grasslands but have been flushed away under tree plantations (65 and 83% loss of chloride and sodium, respectively, in the 0 to -0.5 m depth range) as a result of a five- to 25-fold increase in infiltration rates detected under plantations. At greater depth, closer to the current water table level, the salt balance was reversed, with tree plantations gaining 2.5 kg sodium chloride m(-2) down to 6 m depth, resulting from groundwater uptake and salt exclusion by tree roots in the capillary fringe. Diurnal water table fluctuations, detected in a plantation stand but not in the neighbouring grasslands, together with salt mass balances suggest that trees consumed approximately 380 mm groundwater per year, re-establishing the discharge regime and leading to higher salt accumulation rates than those interrupted by regional drainage practices more than a century ago. The strong influences of vegetation changes on water dynamics can have cascading consequences on salt accumulation and distribution, and a broad ecohydrological perspective that explicitly considers vegetation-groundwater links is

  7. Interactions between the flooding regime and floodplain grasslands in the Tana River Delta, in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leauthaud, Crystele; Musila, Winfred; Duvail, Stéphanie; Kergoat, Laurent; Hiernaux, Pierre; Grippa, Manuela; Albergel, Jean

    2017-04-01

    The floodplain grasslands of the Tana River Delta, located on the East African coast in Kenya, form part of an intertwined socio-ecological deltaic system of high biodiversity value that delivers numerous goods and services. Mainly composed of Echinochloa stagnina (Retz) P. Beauv., a high-value forage species, this ecosystem is the major dry-season grazing grounds of the local pastoralist communities. The construction of hydroelectric infrastructure has led to a modification of the flooding regime. The impacts of the resulting reduction of floods in the deltaic zone on ecosystem properties and services still need to be assessed. In such a perspective, this study characterizes the link between the flooding regime of the Tana River and the growth pattern of its floodplain grassland. Aboveground dry phytomass was sampled for 15 months under a wide variety of naturally flooded and non-flooded conditions and controlled irrigation and cutting frequency treatments. Annual aboveground dry phytomass attained high values between 11 T.ha-1 and 32 T.ha-1 and annual net primary production of the grasslands reached 35 T.ha-1.year-1. Growth rates clearly depended on the flooding regime, management and climate conditions and were on average more than twice as fast during, and 50% faster after the floods, relative to pre-flood conditions. A plant growth model allowed testing the effect of different flooding regimes on plant productivity, confirming very low productivity in the absence of floods. These results suggest that rangeland and water management for the Tana River deltaic wetlands are tightly linked. The projected construction of another dam could lead to a reduction of flood extent and period and a decrease of grassland productivity and growth duration. Mitigation of this type of negative impacts, which will have direct and adverse consequences for the pastoralist communities as well as on the delivery of other goods and services, needs to be undertaken.

  8. Study on Climate and Grassland Fire in HulunBuir, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meifang Liu

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Grassland fire is one of the most important disturbance factors of the natural ecosystem. Climate factors influence the occurrence and development of grassland fire. An analysis of the climate conditions of fire occurrence can form the basis for a study of the temporal and spatial variability of grassland fire. The purpose of this paper is to study the effects of monthly time scale climate factors on the occurrence of grassland fire in HulunBuir, located in the northeast of the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region in China. Based on the logistic regression method, we used the moderate-resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS active fire data products named thermal anomalies/fire daily L3 Global 1km (MOD14A1 (Terra and MYD14A1 (Aqua and associated climate data for HulunBuir from 2000 to 2010, and established the model of grassland fire climate index. The results showed that monthly maximum temperature, monthly sunshine hours and monthly average wind speed were all positively correlated with the fire climate index; monthly precipitation, monthly average temperature, monthly average relative humidity, monthly minimum relative humidity and the number of days with monthly precipitation greater than or equal to 5 mm were all negatively correlated with the fire climate index. We used the active fire data from 2011 to 2014 to validate the fire climate index during this time period, and the validation result was good (Pearson’s correlation coefficient was 0.578, which showed that the fire climate index model was suitable for analyzing the occurrence of grassland fire in HulunBuir. Analyses were conducted on the temporal and spatial distribution of the fire climate index from January to December in the years 2011–2014; it could be seen that from March to May and from September to October, the fire climate index was higher, and that the fire climate index of the other months is relatively low. The zones with higher fire climate index are mainly

  9. Fire ecology and management in grasslands of the American Southwest (Ecologia a de fuego y manejo de pastizales en el Sudoeste Norteamericano)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guy R. McPherson

    2006-01-01

    Many ecologists have indicated that fire is as important as wind or precipitation in shaping North American ecosystems. There is little question that fire is prevalent in grasslands and that it contributes to the structure and function of such systems in the Southwest. In this paper I outline pre-settlement fire regimes, then describe post-settlement regimes and...

  10. Stereo photo series for quantifying natural fuels.Volume XIII: grasslands, shrublands, oak-bay woodlands, and eucalyptus forests in the East Bay of California.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton S. Wright; Robert E. Vihnanek

    2014-01-01

    Four series of photographs display a range of natural conditions and fuel loadings for grassland, shrubland, oak-bay woodland, and eucalyptus forest ecosystems on the eastern slopes of the San Francisco Bay area of California. Each group of photos includes inventory information summarizing vegetation composition, structure, and loading; woody material loading and...

  11. Radioecological sensitivity of permanent grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Besson, Benoit

    2009-01-01

    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 ( 137 Cs and 90 Sr) 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, 137 Cs 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 137 Cs 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 90 Sr 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 137 Cs and 90 Sr 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 137 Cs transfer into the vegetation, for instance, the clay rate of the soils or a marker

  12. Sustaining the grassland sea: Regional perspectives on identifying, protecting and restoring the Sky Island region's most intact grassland valley landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gitanjali S. Bodner; Peter Warren; David Gori; Karla Sartor; Steven Bassett

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands of the Sky Islands region once covered over 13 million acres in southeastern Arizona and adjacent portions of New Mexico, Sonora, and Chihuahua. Attempts to evaluate current ecological conditions suggest that approximately two thirds of these remain as intact or restorable grassland habitat. These grasslands provide watershed services such as flood control...

  13. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition

    OpenAIRE

    Allan, Eric; Manning, Pete; et al

    2015-01-01

    Global change, especially land-use intensification, affects human well-being by impacting the deliv-ery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is amajor component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real-world ecosystems, as inexperimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional compositionand 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land-use intensity. We alsointroduce five mu...

  14. Land use intensification alters ecosystem multifunctionality via loss of biodiversity and changes to functional composition.

    OpenAIRE

    Allan Eric; Manning Pete; Alt Fabian; Binkenstein Julia; Blaser Stefan; Blüthgen Nico; Böhm Stefan; Grassein Fabrice; Hölzel Norbert; Klaus Valentin H.; Kleinebecker Till; Morrys Elisabeth Kathryn; Oelmann Yvonne; Prati Daniel; Renner Sven C.

    2015-01-01

    Abstract Global change, especially land?use intensification, affects human well?being by impacting the delivery of multiple ecosystem services (multifunctionality). However, whether biodiversity loss is a major component of global change effects on multifunctionality in real?world ecosystems, as in experimental ones, remains unclear. Therefore, we assessed biodiversity, functional composition and 14 ecosystem services on 150 agricultural grasslands differing in land?use intensity. We also int...

  15. 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.

  16. Grasslands feeling the heat: The effects of elevated temperatures on a subtropical grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowan D. Buhrmann

    2016-12-01

    Conclusions: OTCs can simulate realistic increases of air temperature in subtropical grasslands. Graminoids and shrubs appear to benefit from elevated temperatures whilst forbs decrease in abundance, possibly through competition and/or direct physiological effects.

  17. Not seeing the grass for the trees: Timber plantations and agriculture shrink tropical montane grassland by two-thirds over four decades in the Palani Hills, a Western Ghats Sky Island.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Arasumani, M; Khan, Danish; Das, Arundhati; Lockwood, Ian; Stewart, Robert; Kiran, Ravi A; Muthukumar, M; Bunyan, Milind; Robin, V V

    2018-01-01

    Tropical montane habitats, grasslands, in particular, merit urgent conservation attention owing to the disproportionate levels of endemic biodiversity they harbour, the ecosystem services they provide, and the fact that they are among the most threatened habitats globally. The Shola Sky Islands in the Western Ghats host a matrix of native forest-grassland matrix that has been planted over the last century, with exotic timber plantations. The popular discourse on the landscape change is that mainly forests have been lost to the timber plantations and recent court directives are to restore Shola forest trees. In this study, we examine spatiotemporal patterns of landscape change over the last 40 years in the Palani Hills, a significant part of the montane habitat in the Western Ghats. Using satellite imagery and field surveys, we find that 66% of native grasslands and 31% of native forests have been lost over the last 40 years. Grasslands have gone from being the dominant, most contiguous land cover to one of the rarest and most fragmented. They have been replaced by timber plantations and, to a lesser extent, expanding agriculture. We find that the spatial pattern of grassland loss to plantations differs from the loss to agriculture, likely driven by the invasion of plantation species into grasslands. We identify remnant grasslands that should be prioritised for conservation and make specific recommendations for conservation and restoration of grasslands in light of current management policy in the Palani Hills, which favours large-scale removal of plantations and emphasises the restoration of native forests.

  18. Impacts of grazing and climate change on the aboveground net primary productivity of mountainous grassland ecosystems along altitudinal gradients over the Northern Tianshan Mountains, China%天山北坡不同海拔梯度山地草原生态系统地上净初级生产力对气候变化及放牧的响应

    Institute of Scientific and Technical Information of China (English)

    周德成; 罗格平; 韩其飞; 尹昌应; 李龙辉; 胡玉昆

    2012-01-01

    以天山北坡三工河流域为例,利用改进后的Biome-BGC模型分别模拟了仅气候变化和气候变化与放牧联合作用下研究区不同海拔梯度3种山地草原生态系统(低山干旱草原(Lower\\mountain arid grassland,LAG),森林草甸草原(Forest meadow grassland,FMG),高寒草甸草原(Alpine meadow grassland,AMG)) 1959-2009年地上净初级生产力(Aboveground net primary production,ANPP)的动态,并通过假设27种放牧强度情景(0-8羊/hm2)模拟了其ANPP随放牧强度增加的变化趋势.近50a气候变化致使研究区各海拔梯度草原生态系统ANPP整体均呈上升趋势,但在放牧联合作用下,不同草原类型ANPP变化趋势差异显著;放牧导致FMG和AMG的ANPP呈下降态势,分别减少30.0%和33.2%,对比之下,由于1980年前较低放牧强度促进了LAG的ANPP,放牧导致其ANPP整体增加1.3%.随着放牧强度增加,LAG的ANPP呈先增后减趋势,且在干旱年份最为显著;而FMG和AMG的ANPP呈显著非线性递减趋势.这些结果表明,近50a气候波动可能有利于中亚干旱区山地草原生态系统生产力的提高,但日益增强的放牧活动导致其净初级生产力显著降低;放牧对FMG与AMG生产力的负面效应随放牧强度增加而增强,但适度放牧可能促进LAG净初级生产力,尤其在干旱年份.

  19. Assessing Ecosystem Model Performance in Semiarid Systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, A.; Dietze, M.; Scott, R. L.; Biederman, J. A.

    2017-12-01

    In ecosystem process modelling, comparing outputs to benchmark datasets observed in the field is an important way to validate models, allowing the modelling community to track model performance over time and compare models at specific sites. Multi-model comparison projects as well as models themselves have largely been focused on temperate forests and similar biomes. Semiarid regions, on the other hand, are underrepresented in land surface and ecosystem modelling efforts, and yet will be disproportionately impacted by disturbances such as climate change due to their sensitivity to changes in the water balance. Benchmarking models at semiarid sites is an important step in assessing and improving models' suitability for predicting the impact of disturbance on semiarid ecosystems. In this study, several ecosystem models were compared at a semiarid grassland in southwestern Arizona using PEcAn, or the Predictive Ecosystem Analyzer, an open-source eco-informatics toolbox ideal for creating the repeatable model workflows necessary for benchmarking. Models included SIPNET, DALEC, JULES, ED2, GDAY, LPJ-GUESS, MAESPA, CLM, CABLE, and FATES. Comparison between model output and benchmarks such as net ecosystem exchange (NEE) tended to produce high root mean square error and low correlation coefficients, reflecting poor simulation of seasonality and the tendency for models to create much higher carbon sources than observed. These results indicate that ecosystem models do not currently adequately represent semiarid ecosystem processes.

  20. Estimation of nitrogen balance between the atmosphere and Lake Balaton and a semi natural grassland in Hungary

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Kugler, Sz.; Horvath, L.; Machon, A.

    2008-01-01

    The paper summarises the results to determine the fluxes of different N-compounds within the atmosphere and an aquatic and a terrestrial ecosystems, in Hungary. In the exchange processes of N-compounds between atmosphere and various ecosystems the deposition dominates. The net deposition fluxes are -730, -1 270 and -1530 mg N m -2 yr -1 for water, grassland, and forest ecosystems, respectively. For water, the main source of nitrogen compounds is the wet deposition. Ammonia gas is close to the equilibrium between the water and the air. For grassland the dry flux of nitric acid and ammonia is also an important term beside the wet deposition. Dry deposition to terrestrial ecosystems is roughly two times higher than wet deposition. A total of 8-10% of the nitrates and NH x deposited to terrestrial ecosystems are re-emitted into the air in the form of nitrous oxide (N 2 O) greenhouse gas. - The paper summarises the results of works to determine the N-flux between atmosphere and terrestrial/aquatic ecosystems in Hungary

  1. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

  3. More than a century of Grain for Green Program is expected to restore soil carbon stock on alpine grassland revealed by field {sup 13}C pulse labeling

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Li, Qi; Chen, Dongdong; Zhao, Liang [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Yang, Xue [Department of Education of Qinghai Province, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Xu, Shixiao [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Zhao, Xinquan, E-mail: xqzhao@nwipb.cas.cn [Key Laboratory of Adaptation and Evolution of Plateau Biota, Northwest Institute of Plateau Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Xining 810008, Qinghai (China); Chengdu Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Chengdu 10041, Sichuan (China)

    2016-04-15

    Anthropogenic changes in land use/cover have altered the vegetation, soil, and carbon (C) cycling on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) over the last ~ 50 years. As a result, the Grain for Green Program (GfGP) has been widely implemented over the last 10 years to mitigate the impacts of cultivation. To quantify the effects of the GfGP on C partitioning and turnover rates at the ecosystem scale, an in situ {sup 13}C pulse labeling experiment was conducted on natural and GfGP grasslands in an agro-pastoral ecotone in the Lake Qinghai region on the QTP. We found that there were significant differences in the C stocks of all the considered pools in both the natural and GfGP grasslands, with higher CO{sub 2} uptake rates in the GfGP grassland than that in the natural grassland. Partitioning of photoassimilate (% of recovered {sup 13}C) in C pools of both grasslands was similar 25 days after labeling, except in the roots of the 0–15 and 5–15 cm soil layer. Soil organic C (SOC) sequestration rate in the GfGP grassland was 11.59 ± 1.89 g C m{sup −2} yr{sup −1} significantly greater than that in the natural grassland. The results confirmed that the GfGP is an efficient approach for grassland restoration and C sequestration. However, it will take more than a century (119.19 ± 20.26 yr) to restore the SOC stock from the current cropland baseline level to the approximate level of natural grassland. We suggest that additional measures are needed in the selection of suitable plant species for vegetation restoration, and in reasonable grazing management. - Highlights: • Grain for Green Project initiated in 1999 converts cropland to grassland/shrubland. • Impact of Grain for Green on carbon cycling on Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is unknown. • Effects on carbon partitioning and turnover were accessed by {sup 13}CO{sub 2} pulse labeling. • Different mass of {sup 13}C in excess, similar {sup 13}C partitioning are shown in grasslands. • Soil organic carbon of

  4. More than a century of Grain for Green Program is expected to restore soil carbon stock on alpine grassland revealed by field "1"3C pulse labeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Li, Qi; Chen, Dongdong; Zhao, Liang; Yang, Xue; Xu, Shixiao; Zhao, Xinquan

    2016-01-01

    Anthropogenic changes in land use/cover have altered the vegetation, soil, and carbon (C) cycling on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) over the last ~ 50 years. As a result, the Grain for Green Program (GfGP) has been widely implemented over the last 10 years to mitigate the impacts of cultivation. To quantify the effects of the GfGP on C partitioning and turnover rates at the ecosystem scale, an in situ "1"3C pulse labeling experiment was conducted on natural and GfGP grasslands in an agro-pastoral ecotone in the Lake Qinghai region on the QTP. We found that there were significant differences in the C stocks of all the considered pools in both the natural and GfGP grasslands, with higher CO_2 uptake rates in the GfGP grassland than that in the natural grassland. Partitioning of photoassimilate (% of recovered "1"3C) in C pools of both grasslands was similar 25 days after labeling, except in the roots of the 0–15 and 5–15 cm soil layer. Soil organic C (SOC) sequestration rate in the GfGP grassland was 11.59 ± 1.89 g C m"−"2 yr"−"1 significantly greater than that in the natural grassland. The results confirmed that the GfGP is an efficient approach for grassland restoration and C sequestration. However, it will take more than a century (119.19 ± 20.26 yr) to restore the SOC stock from the current cropland baseline level to the approximate level of natural grassland. We suggest that additional measures are needed in the selection of suitable plant species for vegetation restoration, and in reasonable grazing management. - Highlights: • Grain for Green Project initiated in 1999 converts cropland to grassland/shrubland. • Impact of Grain for Green on carbon cycling on Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau is unknown. • Effects on carbon partitioning and turnover were accessed by "1"3CO_2 pulse labeling. • Different mass of "1"3C in excess, similar "1"3C partitioning are shown in grasslands. • Soil organic carbon of cropland will be restored to natural

  5. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

    The FLUXNET project [1] aims at quantifying the magnitude and controls on the CO2, H2O and energy exchange of terrestrial ecosystems. Ideally, the various biomes of the Earth would be sampled in proportion to their spatial extent - in reality, however, study site selection is usually based on other (more practical) criteria so that a bias exists towards certain biomes and ecosystem types. This may be problematic because FLUXNET data are used to calibrate/parameterize models at various scales - if certain ecosystems are poorly replicated this may bias model predictions. Here we present data from a project in Tyrol/Austria where we have been investigating the CO2, H2O and energy exchange of five grassland sites during 2005-2007. The five permanent grassland sites were exposed to similar climate, but differed slightly in management. In a FLUXNET style approach, any of these sites might have been selected for making long-term flux measurements - the aim of this project was to examine the representativeness of these sites and, if evident, elucidate the causes for and controls on differences between sites. To this end we conducted continuous eddy covariance flux measurements at one (anchor) site [2, 3], and episodic, month long flux measurements at the four additional sites using a roving eddy covariance tower. These data were complemented by measurements of environmental drivers, the amount of above ground phytomass and basic data on vegetation and soil type, as well as management. Data are subject to a rigorous statistical analysis in order to quantify significant differences in the CO2, H2O and energy exchange between the sites and to identify the factors which are responsible for these differences. In the present contribution we report results on CO2 fluxes. Our major findings are that (i) site-identity of the surveyed grassland ecosystems was a significant factor for the net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), somewhat less for gross primary production (GPP) and not for

  7. On the Relationship between Economic Development, Environmental Integrity and Well-Being: The Point of View of Herdsmen in Northern China Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Xiaobin; Dai, Guangshuo; Ulgiati, Sergio; Na, Risu; Zhang, Xinshi; Kang, Muyi; Wang, Xuechao

    2015-01-01

    Inner Mongolia is among the most important regions in terms of contribution to the socio-economic development of China. Furthermore, its grassland is a major ecological barrier for Northern China. The present study evaluates the changes in ecosystem services availability and human wellbeing based on a survey on864 herdsmen of the grassland and 20 governmental officials. The survey provided the following results: (1) The supporting and provisioning services of the grassland have recently declined, thus affecting the herdsmen’s wellbeing. The intensity of grazing, coal exploitation and tourism development heavily limits the availability of ecosystem services, among which provisioning ones are perceived as the most important. Below a certain threshold, grazing and mining are likely to promote the improvement of herdsmen’s wellbeing, while trespassing that point, the enhancement of the herdsmen’s living standards is curbed. (2) The herdsmen’s cultural exchange, health conditions and social relations are better now than before; however, the threats on herdsmen’s health and safety have increased. (3) A better income is among the most urgent herdsmen’s needs. Livestock revenues did not increase at the same rate as the damage to the grassland and human risk exposure did. (4) The governmental ecological compensation policy did not entirely solve the problem of grassland desertification and environmental degradation, although it is also true that the degree of implementation and effectiveness of government policies is related to the still insufficient herdsmen’s understanding and acceptance of these policies. PMID:26331721

  8. On the Relationship between Economic Development, Environmental Integrity and Well-Being: The Point of View of Herdsmen in Northern China Grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Xiaobin; Dai, Guangshuo; Ulgiati, Sergio; Na, Risu; Zhang, Xinshi; Kang, Muyi; Wang, Xuechao

    2015-01-01

    Inner Mongolia is among the most important regions in terms of contribution to the socio-economic development of China. Furthermore, its grassland is a major ecological barrier for Northern China. The present study evaluates the changes in ecosystem services availability and human wellbeing based on a survey on864 herdsmen of the grassland and 20 governmental officials. The survey provided the following results: (1) The supporting and provisioning services of the grassland have recently declined, thus affecting the herdsmen's wellbeing. The intensity of grazing, coal exploitation and tourism development heavily limits the availability of ecosystem services, among which provisioning ones are perceived as the most important. Below a certain threshold, grazing and mining are likely to promote the improvement of herdsmen's wellbeing, while trespassing that point, the enhancement of the herdsmen's living standards is curbed. (2) The herdsmen's cultural exchange, health conditions and social relations are better now than before; however, the threats on herdsmen's health and safety have increased. (3) A better income is among the most urgent herdsmen's needs. Livestock revenues did not increase at the same rate as the damage to the grassland and human risk exposure did. (4) The governmental ecological compensation policy did not entirely solve the problem of grassland desertification and environmental degradation, although it is also true that the degree of implementation and effectiveness of government policies is related to the still insufficient herdsmen's understanding and acceptance of these policies.

  9. On the Relationship between Economic Development, Environmental Integrity and Well-Being: The Point of View of Herdsmen in Northern China Grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaobin Dong

    Full Text Available Inner Mongolia is among the most important regions in terms of contribution to the socio-economic development of China. Furthermore, its grassland is a major ecological barrier for Northern China. The present study evaluates the changes in ecosystem services availability and human wellbeing based on a survey on864 herdsmen of the grassland and 20 governmental officials. The survey provided the following results: (1 The supporting and provisioning services of the grassland have recently declined, thus affecting the herdsmen's wellbeing. The intensity of grazing, coal exploitation and tourism development heavily limits the availability of ecosystem services, among which provisioning ones are perceived as the most important. Below a certain threshold, grazing and mining are likely to promote the improvement of herdsmen's wellbeing, while trespassing that point, the enhancement of the herdsmen's living standards is curbed. (2 The herdsmen's cultural exchange, health conditions and social relations are better now than before; however, the threats on herdsmen's health and safety have increased. (3 A better income is among the most urgent herdsmen's needs. Livestock revenues did not increase at the same rate as the damage to the grassland and human risk exposure did. (4 The governmental ecological compensation policy did not entirely solve the problem of grassland desertification and environmental degradation, although it is also true that the degree of implementation and effectiveness of government policies is related to the still insufficient herdsmen's understanding and acceptance of these policies.

  10. Drought consistently alters the composition of soil fungal and bacterial communities in grasslands from two continents.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ochoa-Hueso, Raúl; Collins, Scott L; Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Hamonts, Kelly; Pockman, William T; Sinsabaugh, Robert L; Smith, Melinda D; Knapp, Alan K; Power, Sally A

    2018-03-05

    The effects of short-term drought on soil microbial communities remain largely unexplored, particularly at large scales and under field conditions. We used seven experimental sites from two continents (North America and Australia) to evaluate the impacts of imposed extreme drought on the abundance, community composition, richness, and function of soil bacterial and fungal communities. The sites encompassed different grassland ecosystems spanning a wide range of climatic and soil properties. Drought significantly altered the community composition of soil bacteria and, to a lesser extent, fungi in grasslands from two continents. The magnitude of the fungal community change was directly proportional to the precipitation gradient. This greater fungal sensitivity to drought at more mesic sites contrasts with the generally observed pattern of greater drought sensitivity of plant communities in more arid grasslands, suggesting that plant and microbial communities may respond differently along precipitation gradients. Actinobateria, and Chloroflexi, bacterial phyla typically dominant in dry environments, increased their relative abundance in response to drought, whereas Glomeromycetes, a fungal class regarded as widely symbiotic, decreased in relative abundance. The response of Chlamydiae and Tenericutes, two phyla of mostly pathogenic species, decreased and increased along the precipitation gradient, respectively. Soil enzyme activity consistently increased under drought, a response that was attributed to drought-induced changes in microbial community structure rather than to changes in abundance and diversity. Our results provide evidence that drought has a widespread effect on the assembly of microbial communities, one of the major drivers of soil function in terrestrial ecosystems. Such responses may have important implications for the provision of key ecosystem services, including nutrient cycling, and may result in the weakening of plant-microbial interactions and a

  11. Net ecosystem carbon exchange in three contrasting Mediterranean ecosystems – the effect of drought

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. S. David

    2007-09-01

    Full Text Available Droughts reduce gross primary production (GPP and ecosystem respiration (Reco, contributing to most of the inter-annual variability in terrestrial carbon sequestration. In seasonally dry climates (Mediterranean, droughts result from reductions in annual rainfall and changes in rain seasonality. We compared carbon fluxes measured by the eddy covariance technique in three contrasting ecosystems in southern Portugal: an evergreen oak woodland (savannah-like with ca.~21% tree crown cover, a grassland dominated by herbaceous annuals and a coppiced short-rotation eucalyptus plantation. During the experimental period (2003–2006 the eucalyptus plantation was always the strongest sink for carbon: net ecosystem exchange rate (NEE between −861 and −399 g C m−2 year−1. The oak woodland and the grassland were much weaker sinks for carbon: NEE varied in the oak woodland between −140 and −28 g C m−2 year−1 and in the grassland between −190 and +49 g C m−2 year−1. The eucalyptus stand had higher GPP and a lower proportion of GPP spent in respiration than the other systems. The higher GPP resulted from high leaf area duration (LAD, as a surrogate for the photosynthetic photon flux density absorbed by the canopy. The eucalyptus had also higher rain use efficiency (GPP per unit of rain volume and light use efficiency (the daily GPP per unit incident photosynthetic photon flux density than the other two ecosystems. The effects of a severe drought could be evaluated during the hydrological-year (i.e., from October to September of 2004–2005. Between October 2004 and June 2005 the precipitation was only 40% of the long-term average. In 2004–2005 all ecosystems had GPP lower than in wetter years and carbon sequestration was strongly restricted (less negative NEE. The grassland was a net source of carbon dioxide (+49 g C m−2 year−1. In the oak woodland a large proportion of GPP resulted from carbon assimilated by its annual vegetation

  12. Historical range of variation assessment for wetland and riparian ecosystems, U.S. Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Edward Gage; David J. Cooper

    2013-01-01

    This document provides an overview of historical range of variation concepts and explores their application to wetland and riparian ecosystems in the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Region (Region 2), which includes National Forests and National Grasslands occurring in the states of Colorado, Wyoming, Nebraska, Kansas, and South Dakota. For each of five ecosystem...

  13. Contrasting response of European forest and grassland energy exchange to heatwaves

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Teuling, A.J.; Seneviratne, S.I.; Stöckli, R.

    2010-01-01

    on the exchange of water and energy and the interaction of this exchange with the soil water balance during heatwaves is largely unknown. Here we analyse observations from an extensive network of flux towers in Europe that reveal a difference between the temporal responses of forest and grassland ecosystems...... and induces a critical shift in the regional climate system that leads to increased heating. We propose that this mechanism may explain the extreme temperatures in August 2003. We conclude that the conservative water use of forest contributes to increased temperatures in the short term, but mitigates...

  14. Grassland gross carbon dioxide uptake based on an improved model tree ensemble approach considering human interventions: global estimation and covariation with climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liang, Wei; Lü, Yihe; Zhang, Weibin; Li, Shuai; Jin, Zhao; Ciais, Philippe; Fu, Bojie; Wang, Shuai; Yan, Jianwu; Li, Junyi; Su, Huimin

    2017-07-01

    Grassland ecosystems act as a crucial role in the global carbon cycle and provide vital ecosystem services for many species. However, these low-productivity and water-limited ecosystems are sensitive and vulnerable to climate perturbations and human intervention, the latter of which is often not considered due to lack of spatial information regarding the grassland management. Here by the application of a model tree ensemble (MTE-GRASS) trained on local eddy covariance data and using as predictors gridded climate and management intensity field (grazing and cutting), we first provide an estimate of global grassland gross primary production (GPP). GPP from our study compares well (modeling efficiency NSE = 0.85 spatial; NSE between 0.69 and 0.94 interannual) with that from flux measurement. Global grassland GPP was on average 11 ± 0.31 Pg C yr -1 and exhibited significantly increasing trend at both annual and seasonal scales, with an annual increase of 0.023 Pg C (0.2%) from 1982 to 2011. Meanwhile, we found that at both annual and seasonal scale, the trend (except for northern summer) and interannual variability of the GPP are primarily driven by arid/semiarid ecosystems, the latter of which is due to the larger variation in precipitation. Grasslands in arid/semiarid regions have a stronger (33 g C m -2  yr -1 /100 mm) and faster (0- to 1-month time lag) response to precipitation than those in other regions. Although globally spatial gradients (71%) and interannual changes (51%) in GPP were mainly driven by precipitation, where most regions with arid/semiarid climate zone, temperature and radiation together shared half of GPP variability, which is mainly distributed in the high-latitude or cold regions. Our findings and the results of other studies suggest the overwhelming importance of arid/semiarid regions as a control on grassland ecosystems carbon cycle. Similarly, under the projected future climate change, grassland ecosystems in these regions will

  15. Modeling of Alpine Grassland Cover Based on Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Technology and Multi-Factor Methods: A Case Study in the East of Tibetan Plateau, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baoping Meng

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Grassland cover and its temporal changes are key parameters in the estimation and monitoring of ecosystems and their functions, especially via remote sensing. However, the most suitable model for estimating grassland cover and the differences between models has rarely been studied in alpine meadow grasslands. In this study, field measurements of grassland cover in Gannan Prefecture, from 2014 to 2016, were acquired using unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV technology. Single-factor parametric and multi-factor parametric/non-parametric cover inversion models were then constructed based on 14 factors related to grassland cover, and the dynamic variation of the annual maximum cover was analyzed. The results show that (1 nine out of 14 factors (longitude, latitude, elevation, the concentrations of clay and sand in the surface and bottom soils, temperature, precipitation, enhanced vegetation index (EVI and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI exert a significant effect on grassland cover in the study area. The logarithmic model based on EVI presents the best performance, with an R2 and RMSE of 0.52 and 16.96%, respectively. Single-factor grassland cover inversion models account for only 1–49% of the variation in cover during the growth season. (2 The optimum grassland cover inversion model is the artificial neural network (BP-ANN, with an R2 and RMSE of 0.72 and 13.38%, and SDs of 0.062% and 1.615%, respectively. Both the accuracy and the stability of the BP-ANN model are higher than those of the single-factor parametric models and multi-factor parametric/non-parametric models. (3 The annual maximum cover in Gannan Prefecture presents an increasing trend over 60.60% of the entire study area, while 36.54% is presently stable and 2.86% exhibits a decreasing trend.

  16. Organic vs. conventional grassland management: do (15)N and (13)C 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 δ(15)N and δ(13)C isotopic composition of soil and hay samples of 21 organic and 34 conventional grasslands in two German regions. We also used Δδ(15)N (δ(15)N plant - δ(15)N 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(13)C in hay and δ(15)N in both soil and hay between management types, but showed that δ(13)C abundances were significantly lower in soil of organic compared to conventional grasslands. Δδ(15)N values implied that management types did not substantially differ in nitrogen cycling. Only δ(13)C 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

  17. 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

  18. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  19. Scale dependence of the diversity–stability relationship in a temperate grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; He, Nianpeng; Loreau, Michel; Pan, Qingmin; Han, Xingguo

    2018-01-01

    A positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability has been reported in many ecosystems; however, it has yet to be determined whether and how spatial scale affects this relationship. Here, for the first time, we assessed the effects of alpha, beta and gamma diversity on ecosystem stability and the scale dependence of the slope of the diversity–stability relationship.By employing a long-term (33 years) dataset from a temperate grassland, northern China, we calculated the all possible spatial scales with the complete combination from the basic 1-m2 plots.Species richness was positively associated with ecosystem stability through species asynchrony and overyielding at all spatial scales (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 m2). Both alpha and beta diversity were positively associated with gamma stability.Moreover, the slope of the diversity–area relationship was significantly higher than that of the stability–area relationship, resulting in a decline of the slope of the diversity–stability relationship with increasing area.Synthesis. With the positive species diversity effect on ecosystem stability from small to large spatial scales, our findings demonstrate the need to maintain a high biodiversity and biotic heterogeneity as insurance against the risks incurred by ecosystems in the face of global environmental changes. PMID:29725139

  20. Scale dependence of the diversity-stability relationship in a temperate grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yunhai; He, Nianpeng; Loreau, Michel; Pan, Qingmin; Han, Xingguo

    2018-05-01

    A positive relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem stability has been reported in many ecosystems; however, it has yet to be determined whether and how spatial scale affects this relationship. Here, for the first time, we assessed the effects of alpha, beta and gamma diversity on ecosystem stability and the scale dependence of the slope of the diversity-stability relationship.By employing a long-term (33 years) dataset from a temperate grassland, northern China, we calculated the all possible spatial scales with the complete combination from the basic 1-m 2 plots.Species richness was positively associated with ecosystem stability through species asynchrony and overyielding at all spatial scales (1, 2, 3, 4 and 5 m 2 ). Both alpha and beta diversity were positively associated with gamma stability.Moreover, the slope of the diversity-area relationship was significantly higher than that of the stability-area relationship, resulting in a decline of the slope of the diversity-stability relationship with increasing area. Synthesis. With the positive species diversity effect on ecosystem stability from small to large spatial scales, our findings demonstrate the need to maintain a high biodiversity and biotic heterogeneity as insurance against the risks incurred by ecosystems in the face of global environmental changes.

  1. No evidence of complementary water use along a plant species richness gradient in temperate experimental grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Dörte Bachmann

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

  2. Conditional CO2 flux analysis of a managed grassland with the aid of stable isotopes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeeman, M. J.; Tuzson, B.; Emmenegger, L.; Knohl, A.; Buchmann, N.; Eugster, W.

    2009-04-01

    Short statured managed ecosystems, such as agricultural grasslands, exhibit high temporal changes in carbon dioxide assimilation and respiration fluxes for which measurements of the net CO2 flux, e.g. by using the eddy covariance (EC) method, give only limited insight. We have therefore adopted a recently proposed concept for conditional EC flux analysis of forest to grasslands, in order to identify and quantify daytime sub-canopy respiration fluxes. To validate the concept, high frequency (≈5 Hz) stable carbon isotope analyis of CO2 was used. We made eddy covariance measurements of CO2 and its isotopologues during four days in August 2007, using a novel quantum cascade laser absorption spectrometer, capable of high time resolution stable isotope analysis. The effects of a grass cut during the measurement period could be detected and resulted in a sub-canopy source conditional flux classification, for which the isotope composition of the CO2 could be confirmed to be of a respiration source. However, the conditional flux method did not work for an undisturbed grassland canopy. We attribute this to the flux measurement height that was chosen well above the roughness sublayer, where the natural isotopic tracer (δ13C) of respiration was too well mixed with background air.

  3. Monitoring soil greenhouse gas emissions from managed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  4. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

    The author considers the town as an ecosystem. He examines its various subdivisions (climate, soil, structure, human and non-human communities, etc.) for which he chooses examples with particular reference to the city of Brussels.

  5. From Imperata cylindrica grasslands to productive agroforestry

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Murniati,

    2002-01-01

    Keywords: Ecosystem, Agroforestry, Imperata cylindrica , pioneer, mycorrhizae, inter-cropping, tree architecture, biomass, functional branching analysis

    Conversion of an Imperata cylindrica ecosystem into an agroforestry

  6. Responses of alpine grassland on Qinghai–Tibetan plateau to climate warming and permafrost degradation: a modeling perspective

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi, Shuhua; Wang, Xiaoyun; Qin, Yu; Ding, Yongjian; Xiang, Bo

    2014-01-01

    Permafrost plays a critical role in soil hydrology. Thus, the degradation of permafrost under warming climate conditions may affect the alpine grassland ecosystem on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau. Previous space-for-time studies using plot and basin scales have reached contradictory conclusions. In this study, we applied a process-based ecosystem model (DOS-TEM) with a state-of-the-art permafrost hydrology scheme to examine this issue. Our results showed that 1) the DOS-TEM model could properly simulate the responses of soil thermal and hydrological dynamics and of ecosystem dynamics to climate warming and spatial differences in precipitation; 2) the simulated results were consistent with plot-scale studies showing that warming caused an increase in maximum unfrozen thickness, a reduction in vegetation and soil carbon pools as a whole, and decreases in soil water content, net primary production, and heterotrophic respiration; and 3) the simulated results were also consistent with basin-scale studies showing that the ecosystem responses to warming were different in regions with different combinations of water and energy constraints. Permafrost prevents water from draining into water reservoirs. However, the degradation of permafrost in response to warming is a long-term process that also enhances evapotranspiration. Thus, the degradation of the alpine grassland ecosystem on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (releasing carbon) cannot be mainly attributed to the disappearing waterproofing function of permafrost. (letter)

  7. The southern Brazilian grassland biome: soil carbon stocks, fluxes of greenhouse gases and some options for mitigation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pillar, V D; Tornquist, C G; Bayer, C

    2012-08-01

    The southern Brazilian grassland biome contains highly diverse natural ecosystems that have been used for centuries for grazing livestock and that also provide other important environmental services. Here we outline the main factors controlling ecosystem processes, review and discuss the available data on soil carbon stocks and greenhouse gases emissions from soils, and suggest opportunities for mitigation of climatic change. The research on carbon and greenhouse gases emissions in these ecosystems is recent and the results are still fragmented. The available data indicate that the southern Brazilian natural grassland ecosystems under adequate management contain important stocks of organic carbon in the soil, and therefore their conservation is relevant for the mitigation of climate change. Furthermore, these ecosystems show a great and rapid loss of soil organic carbon when converted to crops based on conventional tillage practices. However, in the already converted areas there is potential to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions by using cropping systems based on no soil tillage and cover-crops, and the effect is mainly related to the potential of these crop systems to accumulate soil organic carbon in the soil at rates that surpass the increased soil nitrous oxide emissions. Further modelling with these results associated with geographic information systems could generate regional estimates of carbon balance.

  8. Grassland Aboveground Biomass in Inner Mongolia: Dynamics (2001-2016) and Driving force

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, F.; Zeng, Y.; Chen, J.; Wu, B.

    2017-12-01

    Plant biomass is the most critical measure of carbon stored in an ecosystem, yet it remains imprecisely modeled for many terrestrial biomes. This lack of modeling capacity for biomass and its change through time and space has impeded scientists from making headway concerning issues in the geographic and social sciences. Satellite remote sensing techniques excel at detecting changes in the Earth's surface; however, accurate estimates of biomass for the heterogeneous biome landscapes based on remote sensing techniques are few and far between, which has led to many repetitive studies. Here, we argued that our ability to assess biomass in a heterogeneous landscape using satellite remote sensing techniques would be effectively enhanced through a stratification of landscapes, i.e homogenizing landscapes. Specifically, above-ground biomass (AGB) for an extended heterogeneous grassland biome over the entirety of Inner Mongolia during the past 16 years (2001-2016) was explored using remote sensing time series data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS). Massive and extensive in-situ measurement AGB data and pure vegetation index (PVI) models, developed from normal remote sensing vegetation indices such as the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and the enhanced vegetation index (EVI), were highlighted in the accomplishment of this study. Taking into full consideration the landscape heterogeneity for the grassland biome over Inner Mongolia, we achieved a series of AGB models with high R2 (>0.85) and low RMSE ( 20.85 g/m2). The total average amount of fresh AGB for the entirety of Inner Mongolia grasslands over the past 16 years was estimated as 87 Tg with an inter-annual standard deviation of 9 Tg. Overall, the grassland AGB for Inner Mongolia increased sporadically. We found that the dynamics of AGB in the grassland biome of Inner Mongolia were substantially dominated by variation in precipitation despite the accommodation of a huge

  9. 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.

  10. Soil respiration and organic carbon dynamics with grassland conversions to woodlands in temperate china.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Wang

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

  11. Hyperspectral classification of grassland species: towards a UAS application for semi-automatic field surveys

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lopatin, Javier; Fassnacht, Fabian E.; Kattenborn, Teja; Schmidtlein, Sebastian

    2017-04-01

    Grasslands are one of the ecosystems that have been strongly intervened during the past decades due to anthropogenic impacts, affecting their structural and functional composition. To monitor the spatial and/or temporal changes of these environments, a reliable field survey is first needed. As quality relevés are usually expensive and time consuming, the amount of information available is usually poor or not well spatially distributed at the regional scale. In the present study, we investigate the possibility of a semi-automated method used for repeated surveys of monitoring sites. We analyze the applicability of very high spatial resolution hyperspectral data to classify grassland species at the level of individuals. The AISA+ imaging spectrometer mounted on a scaffold was applied to scan 1 m2 grassland plots and assess the impact of four sources of variation on the predicted species cover: (1) the spatial resolution of the scans, (2) the species number and structural diversity, (3) the species cover, and (4) the species functional types (bryophytes, forbs and graminoids). We found that the spatial resolution and the diversity level (mainly structural diversity) were the most important source of variation for the proposed approach. A spatial resolution below 1 cm produced relatively high model performances, while predictions with pixel sizes over that threshold produced non adequate results. Areas with low interspecies overlap reached classification median values of 0.8 (kappa). On the contrary, results were not satisfactory in plots with frequent interspecies overlap in multiple layers. By means of a bootstrapping procedure, we found that areas with shadows and mixed pixels introduce uncertainties into the classification. We conclude that the application of very high resolution hyperspectral remote sensing as a robust alternative or supplement to field surveys is possible for environments with low structural heterogeneity. This study presents the first try of a

  12. The community ecology of barley/cereal yellow dwarf viruses in Western US grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Power, Alison G; Borer, Elizabeth T; Hosseini, Parviez; Mitchell, Charles E; Seabloom, Eric W

    2011-08-01

    Research on plant viruses in natural ecosystems has been increasing rapidly over the past decade. This paper reviews recent research on the barley and cereal yellow dwarf viruses (B/CYDVs) in grasslands of the western US, beginning with the evidence that the disease caused by these viruses facilitated the invasion of western US grasslands by European annual grasses. Observational and experimental studies of B/CYDVs were carried out along a latitudinal gradient (33.8-48.8°N) from southern California to southern Canada. The prevalence and community composition of B/CYDVs were assessed over a variety of scales and under a range of biotic and abiotic conditions. The findings indicate that both biotic and abiotic factors are important influences on virus ecology and epidemiology. Introduced annual grasses are high-quality hosts that amplify both virus and vector populations in this system, but our research suggests that endemic perennial grasses are critically important for sustaining virus populations in contemporary grasslands largely composed of introduced species. Experiments indicated that increased phosphorus supply to hosts resulted in greater host biomass and higher virus prevalence. Using experimental exclosures, it was found that the presence of grazing vertebrate herbivores increased the abundance of annual grasses, resulting in increased virus prevalence. The results of these studies suggest that patterns of B/CYDV prevalence and coinfection in western US grasslands are strongly shaped by the interactions of host plants, vectors, vertebrate herbivores, and abiotic drivers including nutrients. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Energy analysis of various grassland utilisation systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Ržonca

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In 2003 and 2004 was carried out the energy analysis of the different types of permanent grassland utilization on the Hrubý Jeseník locality. There were estimated values of the particular entrances of additional energy. Energy entrances moved according to the pratotechnologies from 2.17 GJ. ha–1 to 22.70 GJ.ha–1. The biggest share on energy entrances had fertilizers. It was 84.93% by the nitrogen fertilisation. The most energy benefit of brutto and nettoenergy was marked by the low intensive utilisation (33.40 GJ.ha–1 NEL and 32.40 GJ.ha–1 NEV on average. The highest value of energy efficiency (13.23% was marked by the low intensive utilization of permanent grassland. By using of higher doses of industrial fertilizers has energy efficiency decreased. From view of energy benefit and intensiveness on energy entrances it appears the most available utilisation of permanent grassland with three cuts per year (first cut on May 31st at the latest, every next after 60 days or two cuts per year (first cut on July 15th, next cuts after 90 days.

  14. FIFE data analysis: Testing BIOME-BGC predictions for grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hunt, E. Raymond, Jr.

    1994-01-01

    The First International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) Field Experiment (FIFE) was conducted in a 15 km by 15 km research area located 8 km south of Manhattan, Kansas. The site consists primarily of native tallgrass prairie mixed with gallery oak forests and croplands. The objectives of FIFE are to better understand the role of biology in controlling the interactions between the land and the atmosphere, and to determine the value of remotely sensed data for estimating climatological parameters. The goals of FIFE are twofold: the upscale integration of models, and algorithm development for satellite remote sensing. The specific objectives of the field campaigns carried out in 1987 and 1989 were the simultaneous acquisition of satellite, atmospheric, and surface data; and the understanding of the processes controlling surface energy and mass exchange. Collected data were used to study the dynamics of various ecosystem processes (photosynthesis, evaporation and transpiration, autotrophic and heterotrophic respiration, etc.). Modelling terrestrial ecosystems at scales larger than that of a homogeneous plot led to the development of simple, generalized models of biogeochemical cycles that can be accurately applied to different biomes through the use of remotely sensed data. A model was developed called BIOME-BGC (for BioGeochemical Cycles) from a coniferous forest ecosystem model, FOREST-BGC, where a biome is considered a combination of a life forms in a specified climate. A predominately C4-photosynthetic grassland is probably the most different from a coniferous forest possible, hence the FIFE site was an excellent study area for testing BIOME-BGC. The transition from an essentially one-dimensional calculation to three-dimensional, landscape scale simulations requires the introduction of such factors as meteorology, climatology, and geomorphology. By using remotely sensed geographic information data for important model inputs, process

  15. Convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in mesic savanna grasslands of North America and South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forrestel, Elisabeth J; Donoghue, Michael J; Smith, Melinda D

    2014-08-01

    The importance of fire in the creation and maintenance of mesic grassland communities is well recognized. Improved understanding of how grasses--the dominant clade in these important ecosystems--will respond to alterations in fire regimes is needed in the face of anthropogenically driven climate and land-use change. Here, we examined how grass communities shift in response to experimentally manipulated fire regimes at multiple levels of community diversity--taxonomic, phylogenetic and functional--in C4-dominanted mesic savanna grassland sites with similar structure and physiognomy, yet disparate biogeographic histories. We found that the grass communities were similar in their phylogenetic response and aspects of their functional response to high fire frequency. Both sites exhibited phylogenetic clustering of highly abundant species in annually burned plots, driven by species of the Andropogoneae, and a narrow range of functional strategies associated with rapid post-fire regeneration in a high-light, nitrogen-limited environment. By examining multiple facets of diversity in a comparative context, we identified convergent phylogenetic and functional responses to altered fire regimes in two mesic savanna grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of a common filtering process associated with fire that is consistent across grasslands of disparate biogeographic histories and taxonomic representation. © 2014 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2014 New Phytologist Trust.

  16. Effects of Erosion from Mounds of Different Termite Genera on Distinct Functional Grassland Types in an African Savannah.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gosling, Cleo M; Cromsigt, Joris P G M; Mpanza, Nokukhanya; Olff, Han

    A key aspect of savannah vegetation heterogeneity is mosaics formed by two functional grassland types, bunch grasslands, and grazing lawns. We investigated the role of termites, important ecosystem engineers, in creating high-nutrient patches in the form of grazing lawns. Some of the ways termites can contribute to grazing lawn development is through erosion of soil from aboveground mounds to the surrounding soil surface. This may alter the nutrient status of the surrounding soils. We hypothesize that the importance of this erosion varies with termite genera, depending on feeding strategy and mound type. To test this, we simulated erosion by applying mound soil from three termite genera ( Macrotermes , Odontotermes , and Trinervitermes ) in both a field experiment and a greenhouse experiment. In the greenhouse experiment, we found soils with the highest macro nutrient levels (formed by Trinervitermes ) promoted the quality and biomass of both a lawn ( Digitaria longiflora ) and a bunch ( Sporobolus pyramidalis ) grass species. In the field we found that soils with the highest micro nutrient levels (formed by Macrotermes ) showed the largest increase in cover of grazing lawn species. By linking the different nutrient availability of the mounds to the development of different grassland states, we conclude that the presence of termite mounds influences grassland mosaics, but that the type of mound plays a crucial role in determining the nature of the effects.

  17. 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 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.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.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.

  18. Land–Atmosphere Exchange of Water and Heat in the Arid Mountainous Grasslands of Central Asia during the Growing Season

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaotao Huang

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Arid grassland ecosystems are widely distributed across Central Asia. However, there is a lack of research and observations of the land–atmosphere exchange of water and heat in the arid grasslands in this region, particularly over complex surfaces. In this study, systematic observations were conducted from 2013 to 2015 using an HL20 Bowen ratio and TDR300 and WatchDog1400 systems to determine the characteristics of these processes during the growing season (April–October of the arid mountainous grasslands of this region. (1 The latent heat flux (Le was lower than the sensible heat flux (He overall, and a small transient decrease in Le was observed before its daytime maximum; daily comparative variations in both fluxes were closely related to vegetation growth. (2 Evapotranspiration (ET showed substantial variation across different years, seasons and months, and monthly variations in ET were closely related to vegetation growth. Water condensation (Q was low and relatively stable. Relatively high levels of soil water were measured in spring followed by a decreasing trend. The land–atmosphere exchange of water and heat during the growing season in this region was closely associated with phenology, available precipitation and terrain. This study provides data support for the scientific management of arid mountainous grasslands.

  19. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALENTINA OFELIA ROBESCU

    2008-05-01

    Full Text Available Recruitment is critical for the maintenance of plant populations and community diversity, but sexual regeneration is considered to be infrequent in climatically harsh habitats such as sub alpine grasslands. For this reasons it is very important to improve the grassland. In this paper we study the interaction among milk production, fertilizations and flower composition in sub alpine grasslands. The agrochemical indicators are important because they influence the pasture value and at the final the milk production.

  20. Strategic ecosystems of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez Calle German

    2002-01-01

    The author relates the ecosystems in Colombia, he makes a relationship between ecosystems and population, utility of the ecosystems, transformation of the ecosystems and poverty and he shows a methodology of identification of strategic ecosystems

  1. Soil invertebrate fauna enhances grassland succession and diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    De Deyn, Gerlinde B; Raaijmakers, Ciska E; Zoomer, H Rik; Berg, Matty P; de Ruiter, Peter C; Verhoef, Herman A; Bezemer, T Martijn; van der Putten, Wim H

    2003-04-17

    One of the most important areas in ecology is to elucidate the factors that drive succession in ecosystems and thus influence the diversity of species in natural vegetation. Significant mechanisms in this process are known to be resource limitation and the effects of aboveground vertebrate herbivores. More recently, symbiotic and pathogenic soil microbes have been shown to exert a profound effect on the composition of vegetation and changes therein. However, the influence of invertebrate soil fauna on succession has so far received little attention. Here we report that invertebrate soil fauna might enhance both secondary succession and local plant species diversity. Soil fauna from a series of secondary grassland succession stages selectively suppress early successional dominant plant species, thereby enhancing the relative abundance of subordinate species and also that of species from later succession stages. Soil fauna from the mid-succession stage had the strongest effect. Our results clearly show that soil fauna strongly affects the composition of natural vegetation and we suggest that this knowledge might improve the restoration and conservation of plant species diversity.

  2. The conversion of grasslands to forests in Southern South America: Shifting evapotranspiration, stream flow and groundwater dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobbagy, E. G.; Nosetto, M. D.; Pineiro, G.; Farley, K. A.; Palmer, S. M.; Jackson, R. B.

    2005-12-01

    Vegetation changes, particularly those involving transitions between tree- and grass-dominated systems, often modify evaporation as a result of plant-mediated shifts in moisture access and demand. The establishment of tree plantations (fast growing eucalypts and pines) on native grasslands is emerging as a major land-use change, particularly in the Southern Hemisphere, where cheap land and labor, public subsidies, and prospective C sequestration rewards provide converging incentives. What are the hydrological consequences of grassland afforestation? How are crucial ecosystem services such as fresh water supply and hydrological regulation being affected? We explore these questions focusing on a) evapotranspiration, b) stream flow, and c) groundwater recharge-discharge patterns across a network of paired stands and small watershed occupied by native grassland and tree plantation in Argentina and Uruguay. Radiometric information obtained from Landsat satellite images was used to estimate daily evapotranspiration in >100 tree plantations and grasslands stands in the humid plains of the Uruguay River (mean annual precipitation, MAP= 1350 mm). In spite of their lower albedo, tree plantations were 0.5 C° cooler than grasslands. Energy balance calculations suggested 80% higher evapotranspiration in afforested plots with relative differences becoming larger during dry periods. Seasonal stream flow measurements in twelve paired watershed (50-500 Ha) in the hills of Comechingones (MAP= 800 mm) and Minas (MAP= 1200 mm) showed declining water yields following afforestation. Preliminary data in Cordoba showed four-fold reductions of base flow in the dry season and two-fold reductions of peak flow after storms. A network of twenty paired grassland-plantation stands covering a broad range of sediment textures in the Pampas (MAP= 1000 mm, typical groundwater depth= 1-5 m) showed increased groundwater salinity in afforested stands (plantation:grassland salinity ratio = 1.2, 10, and

  3. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deguines, Nicolas; Brashares, Justin S; Prugh, Laura R

    2017-03-01

    Climate change is transforming precipitation regimes world-wide. Changes in precipitation regimes are known to have powerful effects on plant productivity, but the consequences of these shifts for the dynamics of ecological communities are poorly understood. This knowledge gap hinders our ability to anticipate and mitigate the impacts of climate change on biodiversity. Precipitation may affect fauna through direct effects on physiology, behaviour or demography, through plant-mediated indirect effects, or by modifying interactions among species. In this paper, we examined the response of a semi-arid ecological community to a fivefold change in precipitation over 7 years. We examined the effects of precipitation on the dynamics of a grassland ecosystem in central California from 2007 to 2013. We conducted vegetation surveys, pitfall trapping of invertebrates, visual surveys of lizards and capture-mark-recapture surveys of rodents on 30 plots each year. We used structural equation modelling to evaluate the direct, indirect and modifying effects of precipitation on plants, ants, beetles, orthopterans, kangaroo rats, ground squirrels and lizards. We found pervasive effects of precipitation on the ecological community. Although precipitation increased plant biomass, direct effects on fauna were often stronger than plant-mediated effects. In addition, precipitation altered the sign or strength of consumer-resource and facilitative interactions among the faunal community such that negative or neutral interactions became positive or vice versa with increasing precipitation. These findings indicate that precipitation influences ecological communities in multiple ways beyond its recognized effects on primary productivity. Stochastic variation in precipitation may weaken the average strength of biotic interactions over time, thereby increasing ecosystem stability and resilience to climate change. © 2016 The Authors. Journal of Animal Ecology © 2016 British Ecological

  4. Temporal and spatial variations of soil CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes at three differently managed grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Imer

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available A profound understanding of temporal and spatial variabilities of soil carbon dioxide (CO2, methane (CH4 and nitrous oxide (N2O fluxes between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere is needed to reliably quantify these fluxes and to develop future mitigation strategies. For managed grassland ecosystems, temporal and spatial variabilities of these three soil greenhouse gas (GHG fluxes occur due to changes in environmental drivers as well as fertilizer applications, harvests and grazing. To assess how such changes affect soil GHG fluxes at Swiss grassland sites, we studied three sites along an altitudinal gradient that corresponds to a management gradient: from 400 m a.s.l. (intensively managed to 1000 m a.s.l. (moderately intensive managed to 2000 m a.s.l. (extensively managed. The alpine grassland was included to study both effects of extensive management on CH4 and N2O fluxes and the different climate regime occurring at this altitude. Temporal and spatial variabilities of soil GHG fluxes and environmental drivers on various timescales were determined along transects of 16 static soil chambers at each site. All three grasslands were N2O sources, with mean annual soil fluxes ranging from 0.15 to 1.28 nmol m−2 s−1. Contrastingly, all sites were weak CH4 sinks, with soil uptake rates ranging from −0.56 to −0.15 nmol m−2 s−1. Mean annual soil and plant respiration losses of CO2, measured with opaque chambers, ranged from 5.2 to 6.5 μmol m−2 s−1. While the environmental drivers and their respective explanatory power for soil N2O emissions differed considerably among the three grasslands (adjusted r2 ranging from 0.19 to 0.42, CH4 and CO2 soil fluxes were much better constrained (adjusted r2 ranging from 0.46 to 0.80 by soil water content and air temperature, respectively. Throughout the year, spatial heterogeneity was particularly high for soil N2O and CH4 fluxes. We found permanent hot spots for soil N2O emissions as well as

  5. Dinitrogen emissions as an overlooked component of the N balance of montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zistl-Schlingmann, M.; Feng, J.; Ralf, K.; Stephan, R.; Dannenmann, M.

    2017-12-01

    The aim of the SUSALPS project (www.susalps.de), formed by several Universities (Bayreuth, TUM) governmental research organizations (KIT, HMGU, Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture) and private industry (WWL) is to improve our knowledge on the effects of current and future climate and management on ecosystem functions performed by grasslands. SUSALPS experimental work quantifies impacts of climate and land management changes on plant and microbial diversity, nutrient use efficiencies, biomass production and quality, soil carbon and nitrogen storage and turnover, greenhouse gas emissions and nutrient leaching at several sites covering different elevations and thus, climatic conditions. Numerous studies have been conducted on the dynamics and annual budget of NOx, NH3 and especially N2O emissions, since it is a potent greenhouse gas. The emissions and its role in the N budget remain unclear for the inert and environmentally harmless N2, mainly due to the lack of reliable measurement techniques. The helium incubation technique developed by Butterbach-Bahl, Willibald & Papen (2002) allows us to conduct reliable N2 measurements with intact soil cores and thus field like conditions in the lab. In our studies, we investigated N2 and N2O fluxes and calculated the N2/(N2O+ N2) ratio from grassland ecosystems in southern Germany. A space-for-time approach was used to simulate climate change via the translocation of intact soil cores along an altitudinal gradient. Both climate change and fertilization events were investigated on their influence on gaseous N losses from the plant-soil system. Peak emissions, which occurred subsequently to fertilization events revealed a loss of almost 50% of the applied N via N-gas-emissions. The cumulative annual N-gas-emissions have additionally shown around six fold higher N losses via N2 compared to NH3, contributing about 80% of all gaseous N losses from the ecosystem. This led us to the conclusion, that N2 is an overlooked key

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-04-01

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

  8. Using natural range of variation to set decision thresholds: a case study for great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.; Edited by Guntenspergen, Glenn R.

    2014-01-01

    Natural range of variation (NRV) may be used to establish decision thresholds or action assessment points when ecological thresholds are either unknown or do not exist for attributes of interest in a managed ecosystem. The process for estimating NRV involves identifying spatial and temporal scales that adequately capture the heterogeneity of the ecosystem; compiling data for the attributes of interest via study of historic records, analysis and interpretation of proxy records, modeling, space-for-time substitutions, or analysis of long-term monitoring data; and quantifying the NRV from those data. At least 19 National Park Service (NPS) units in North America’s Great Plains are monitoring plant species richness and evenness as indicators of vegetation integrity in native grasslands, but little information on natural, temporal variability of these indicators is available. In this case study, we use six long-term vegetation monitoring datasets to quantify the temporal variability of these attributes in reference conditions for a variety of Great Plains grassland types, and then illustrate the implications of using different NRVs based on these quantities for setting management decision thresholds. Temporal variability of richness (as measured by the coefficient of variation, CV) is fairly consistent across the wide variety of conditions occurring in Colorado shortgrass prairie to Minnesota tallgrass sand savanna (CV 0.20–0.45) and generally less than that of production at the same sites. Temporal variability of evenness spans a greater range of CV than richness, and it is greater than that of production in some sites but less in other sites. This natural temporal variability may mask undesirable changes in Great Plains grasslands vegetation. Consequently, we suggest that managers consider using a relatively narrow NRV (interquartile range of all richness or evenness values observed in reference conditions) for designating a surveillance threshold, at which

  9. Effect of land use change on methane oxidation in temperate forest and grassland soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ojima, D.S.; Valentine, D.W.; Mosier, A.R.; Parton, W.J.; Schimel, D.S. (Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO (USA). Natural Resources Ecology Lab.)

    Evidence is accumulating that land use changes and other human activity during the past 100 to 200 years have contributed to decreased CH[sub 4] oxidation in the soil. Increased N additions to temperate forest soils in the northeastern United States decreased CH[sub 4] uptake by 30 to 60%, and increased N fertilization and conversion to cropland in temperate grasslands decreased CH[sub 4] uptake by 30 to 75%. Using these data, a series of calculations were made to estimate the impact of land use and management changes which have altered soil, the CH[sub 4] sink in temperate forest and grassland ecosystems. As the atmospheric mixing ratio of CH[sub 4] has increased during the past 150 y, the temperate CH[sub 4] sink has risen from approximately 8 Tg y[sup -1] to 27 Tg y[sup -1], assuming no loss of land cover to cropland conversion. The net effect of intensive land cover changes and extensive chronic disturbance (i.e., increased atmospheric N deposition) to these ecosystems have resulted in about 30% reduction in the CH[sub 4] budget even more as atmospheric CH[sub 4] concentrations increase and as a result of further disturbance to other biomes. Without accounting for this approximately 20 Tg y[sup -1] temperate soil sink, the atmospheric CH[sub 4] concentration would be increasing about 1.5 times the current rate. 39 refs., 2 figs., 1 tab.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Wohlfahrt

    2010-02-01

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

  11. Shifts of growing-season precipitation peaks decrease soil respiration in a semiarid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ru, Jingyi; Zhou, Yaqiong; Hui, Dafeng; Zheng, Mengmei; Wan, Shiqiang

    2018-03-01

    Changing precipitation regimes could have profound influences on carbon (C) cycle in the biosphere. However, how soil C release from terrestrial ecosystems responds to changing seasonal distribution of precipitation remains unclear. A field experiment was conducted for 4 years (2013-2016) to examine the effects of altered precipitation distributions in the growing season on soil respiration in a temperate steppe in the Mongolian Plateau. Over the 4 years, both advanced and delayed precipitation peaks suppressed soil respiration, and the reductions mainly occurred in August. The decreased soil respiration could be primarily attributable to water stress and subsequently limited plant growth (community cover and belowground net primary productivity) and soil microbial activities in the middle growing season, suggesting that precipitation amount in the middle growing season is more important than that in the early, late, or whole growing seasons in regulating soil C release in grasslands. The observations of the additive effects of advanced and delayed precipitation peaks indicate semiarid grasslands will release less C through soil respiratory processes under the projected seasonal redistribution of precipitation in the future. Our findings highlight the potential role of intra-annual redistribution of precipitation in regulating ecosystem C cycling in arid and semiarid regions. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. Alternative stable states and the sustainability of forests, grasslands, and agriculture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Kirsten A.; Bauch, Chris T.; Anand, Madhur

    2016-01-01

    Endangered forest–grassland mosaics interspersed with expanding agriculture and silviculture occur across many parts of the world, including the southern Brazilian highlands. This natural mosaic ecosystem is thought to reflect alternative stable states driven by threshold responses of recruitment to fire and moisture regimes. The role of adaptive human behavior in such systems remains understudied, despite its pervasiveness and the fact that such ecosystems can exhibit complex dynamics. We develop a nonlinear mathematical model of coupled human–environment dynamics in mosaic systems and social processes regarding conservation and economic land valuation. Our objective is to better understand how the coupled dynamics respond to changes in ecological and social conditions. The model is parameterized with southern Brazilian data on mosaic ecology, land-use profits, and questionnaire results concerning landowner preferences and conservation values. We find that the mosaic presently resides at a crucial juncture where relatively small changes in social conditions can generate a wide variety of possible outcomes, including complete loss of mosaics; large-amplitude, long-term oscillations between land states that preclude ecosystem stability; and conservation of the mosaic even to the exclusion of agriculture/silviculture. In general, increasing the time horizon used for conservation decision making is more likely to maintain mosaic stability. In contrast, increasing the inherent conservation value of either forests or grasslands is more likely to induce large oscillations—especially for forests—due to feedback from rarity-based conservation decisions. Given the potential for complex dynamics, empirically grounded nonlinear dynamical models should play a larger role in policy formulation for human–environment mosaic ecosystems. PMID:27956605

  13. Alternative stable states and the sustainability of forests, grasslands, and agriculture.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Henderson, Kirsten A; Bauch, Chris T; Anand, Madhur

    2016-12-20

    Endangered forest-grassland mosaics interspersed with expanding agriculture and silviculture occur across many parts of the world, including the southern Brazilian highlands. This natural mosaic ecosystem is thought to reflect alternative stable states driven by threshold responses of recruitment to fire and moisture regimes. The role of adaptive human behavior in such systems remains understudied, despite its pervasiveness and the fact that such ecosystems can exhibit complex dynamics. We develop a nonlinear mathematical model of coupled human-environment dynamics in mosaic systems and social processes regarding conservation and economic land valuation. Our objective is to better understand how the coupled dynamics respond to changes in ecological and social conditions. The model is parameterized with southern Brazilian data on mosaic ecology, land-use profits, and questionnaire results concerning landowner preferences and conservation values. We find that the mosaic presently resides at a crucial juncture where relatively small changes in social conditions can generate a wide variety of possible outcomes, including complete loss of mosaics; large-amplitude, long-term oscillations between land states that preclude ecosystem stability; and conservation of the mosaic even to the exclusion of agriculture/silviculture. In general, increasing the time horizon used for conservation decision making is more likely to maintain mosaic stability. In contrast, increasing the inherent conservation value of either forests or grasslands is more likely to induce large oscillations-especially for forests-due to feedback from rarity-based conservation decisions. Given the potential for complex dynamics, empirically grounded nonlinear dynamical models should play a larger role in policy formulation for human-environment mosaic ecosystems.

  14. Fires in the Cenozoic: a late flowering of flammable ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Bond, William J.

    2015-01-01

    Modern flammable ecosystems include tropical and subtropical savannas, steppe grasslands, boreal forests, and temperate sclerophyll shrublands. Despite the apparent fiery nature of much contemporary vegetation, terrestrial fossil evidence would suggest we live in a time of low fire activity relative to the deep past. The inertinite content of coal, fossil charcoal, is strikingly low from the Eocene to the Pleistocene and no charcoalified mesofossils have been reported for the Cenozoic. Marine...

  15. Parallel Computing for Terrestrial Ecosystem Carbon Modeling

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang, Dali; Post, Wilfred M.; Ricciuto, Daniel M.; Berry, Michael

    2011-01-01

    Terrestrial ecosystems are a primary component of research on global environmental change. Observational and modeling research on terrestrial ecosystems at the global scale, however, has lagged behind their counterparts for oceanic and atmospheric systems, largely because the unique challenges associated with the tremendous diversity and complexity of terrestrial ecosystems. There are 8 major types of terrestrial ecosystem: tropical rain forest, savannas, deserts, temperate grassland, deciduous forest, coniferous forest, tundra, and chaparral. The carbon cycle is an important mechanism in the coupling of terrestrial ecosystems with climate through biological fluxes of CO 2 . The influence of terrestrial ecosystems on atmospheric CO 2 can be modeled via several means at different timescales. Important processes include plant dynamics, change in land use, as well as ecosystem biogeography. Over the past several decades, many terrestrial ecosystem models (see the 'Model developments' section) have been developed to understand the interactions between terrestrial carbon storage and CO 2 concentration in the atmosphere, as well as the consequences of these interactions. Early TECMs generally adapted simple box-flow exchange models, in which photosynthetic CO 2 uptake and respiratory CO 2 release are simulated in an empirical manner with a small number of vegetation and soil carbon pools. Demands on kinds and amount of information required from global TECMs have grown. Recently, along with the rapid development of parallel computing, spatially explicit TECMs with detailed process based representations of carbon dynamics become attractive, because those models can readily incorporate a variety of additional ecosystem processes (such as dispersal, establishment, growth, mortality etc.) and environmental factors (such as landscape position, pest populations, disturbances, resource manipulations, etc.), and provide information to frame policy options for climate change

  16. Long-term grassland management effects on soil Phosphorus status on rewetted Histosols

    Science.gov (United States)

    Heller, Sebastian; Müller, Jürgen; Kayser, Manfred

    2017-04-01

    Since the Neolithic Period, the cultivation of wetlands has played a significant role for the settlement of Humans northwest Germany. A continuing drainage of the wetlands over the centuries and an intensified soil cultivation during the last decades has caused irreversible peat degradation and led to fundamental changes in the landscape. Nowadays, almost 70 % of the 4345 km2 peatland of Lower Saxony is altered by agriculture. For the revitalization of wetland ecosystems, permanent rewetting is an integral component to preserve the functions of organic soils and achieve resilient, speciesrich wetlands. However, permanent rewetting measures are not always feasible. In our study area at the Osterfeiner Moor, a fen located in the Dümmer lowlands near Osnabrück, intensive forage cropping areas were converted into extensive permanent grasslands accompanied by temporary rewetting during winter. This management practice combined with zero fertilization and a low mowing and grazing intensity aims at mitigating mineralisation of peat layers and creating a habitat for endangered meadow bird species. In this semi-natural ecosystem soil phosphorus (P) dynamics play a crucial role. However, longterm research results on P availability of degraded and rewetted fens are still lacking. Thus, we investigated the interaction of different grassland uses and P dynamics in the soil. We described P depletion of the topsoil over a time scale of 17 years after the implementation of restoration measures. Our study site comprises of 180 ha protected grassland divided into 52 management plots. According to the management system, we divided the plots into meadows, pastures and combinations of cutting and grazing. The soils in our study area can be characterised as drained organic soils, WRB: Rheic Sapric Histosols (Drainic), with drastic degradation properties through moorsh forming processes. Plant-available P (double lactate extraction method: PDL) was analysed from representative topsoil

  17. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Awasthi, Ashutosh; Singh, Kripal; O'Grady, Audrey; Courtney, Ronan; Kalra, Alok; Singh, Rana Pratap; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Steinberger, Yosef; Patra, D.D.

    2016-01-01

    Increase in human population is accelerating the rate of land use change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, triggering a serious threat to life supporting ecosystem services. Existing strategies for biological conservation remain insufficient to achieve a sustainable human-nature

  18. Global variation of carbon use efficiency in terrestrial ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Xiaolu; Carvalhais, Nuno; Moura, Catarina; Reichstein, Markus

    2017-04-01

    Carbon use efficiency (CUE), defined as the ratio between net primary production (NPP) and gross primary production (GPP), is an emergent property of vegetation that describes its effectiveness in storing carbon (C) and is of significance for understanding C biosphere-atmosphere exchange dynamics. A constant CUE value of 0.5 has been widely used in terrestrial C-cycle models, such as the Carnegie-Ames-Stanford-Approach model, or the Marine Biological Laboratory/Soil Plant-Atmosphere Canopy Model, for regional or global modeling purposes. However, increasing evidence argues that CUE is not constant, but varies with ecosystem types, site fertility, climate, site management and forest age. Hence, the assumption of a constant CUE of 0.5 can produce great uncertainty in estimating global carbon dynamics between terrestrial ecosystems and the atmosphere. Here, in order to analyze the global variations in CUE and understand how CUE varies with environmental variables, a global database was constructed based on published data for crops, forests, grasslands, wetlands and tundra ecosystems. In addition to CUE data, were also collected: GPP and NPP; site variables (e.g. climate zone, site management and plant function type); climate variables (e.g. temperature and precipitation); additional carbon fluxes (e.g. soil respiration, autotrophic respiration and heterotrophic respiration); and carbon pools (e.g. stem, leaf and root biomass). Different climate metrics were derived to diagnose seasonal temperature (mean annual temperature, MAT, and maximum temperature, Tmax) and water availability proxies (mean annual precipitation, MAP, and Palmer Drought Severity Index), in order to improve the local representation of environmental variables. Additionally were also included vegetation phenology dynamics as observed by different vegetation indices from the MODIS satellite. The mean CUE of all terrestrial ecosystems was 0.45, 10% lower than the previous assumed constant CUE of 0

  19. 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

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

  20. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the reaction of grassland canopies on fertilizer application is of major importance to enable a well-adjusted management supporting a sustainable production of the grass crop. Up to date, grassland managers estimate the nutrient status and growth dynamics of grasslands by costly and time-consuming field surveys, which only provide low temporal and spatial data density. Grassland mapping using remotely-sensed Vegetation Indices (VIs has the potential to contribute to solving these problems. In this study, we explored the potential of VIs for distinguishing five differently-fertilized grassland communities. Therefore, we collected spectral signatures of these communities in a long-term fertilization experiment (since 1941 in Germany throughout the growing seasons 2012–2014. Fifteen VIs were calculated and their seasonal developments investigated. Welch tests revealed that the accuracy of VIs for distinguishing these grassland communities varies throughout the growing season. Thus, the selection of the most promising single VI for grassland mapping was dependent on the date of the spectra acquisition. A random forests classification using all calculated VIs reduced variations in classification accuracy within the growing season and provided a higher overall precision of classification. Thus, we recommend a careful selection of VIs for grassland mapping or the utilization of temporally-stable methods, i.e., including a set of VIs in the random forests algorithm.

  1. Cattle slurry on grassland - application methods and nitrogen use efficiency

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lalor, S.T.J.

    2014-01-01

    Cattle slurry represents a significant resource on grassland-based farming systems. The objective of this thesis was to investigate and devise cattle slurry application methods and strategies that can be implemented on grassland farms to improve the efficiency with which nitrogen (N) in

  2. Influence of density on the seasonal utilization of broad grassland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We monitored seasonal use of grassland types by white rhinos at two sites within the Hluhluwe iMfolozi Park (HiP). Thirty-two rhinos were removed from one site to reduce rhino density. Seasonal use of grassland types was similar at both sites, but differed to what a previous study reported. This was likely due to higher food ...

  3. Belowground Carbon Allocation and Plant-Microbial Interactions Drive Resistance and Resilience of Mountain Grassland Communities to Drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlowsky, S.; Augusti, A.; Ingrisch, J.; Hasibeder, R.; Lavorel, S.; Bahn, M.; Gleixner, G.

    2016-12-01

    Belowground carbon allocation (BCA) and plant-microbial interactions are crucial for the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. Recent research suggests that extreme events can have severe effects on these processes but it is unknown how land use intensity potentially modifies their responses. We studied the resistance and resilience of mountain grassland communities to prolonged drought and investigated the role of plant C allocation and soil microbial communities in mediating drought resistance and immediate recovery. In a common garden experiment we exposed monoliths from an abandoned grassland and a hay meadow to an early summer drought. Two independent 13C pulse labeling experiments were conducted, the first during peak drought and the second during the recovery phase. The 13C incorporation was analyzed in above- and belowground plant parts and in phospho- and neutral lipid fatty acids of soil microorganisms. In addition, a 15N label was added at the rewetting to determine plant N uptake. We found that C uptake, BCA and C transfer to soil microorganisms were less strongly reduced by drought in the abandoned grassland than in the meadow. Moreover, drought induced an increase of arbuscular mycorrhiza fungi (AMF) marker in the abandoned grassland. Nevertheless, C uptake and related parameters were quickly recovered and N uptake increased in the meadow during recovery. Unexpectedly, AMF and their C uptake were generally reduced during recovery, while bacteria increased and quickly recovered C uptake, particularly in the meadow. Our results showed a negative relation between high resistance and fast recovery. The more resistant abandoned grassland plant communities seemed to invest more C below ground and into interactions with AMF during drought, likely to access water through their hyphal network. Conversely, meadow communities invested more C from recent photosynthesis into bacterial communities during recovery, obviously to gain more nutrients for regrowth

  4. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Debouk, Haifa; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastià, Maria-Teresa

    2015-01-01

    Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i) how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii) whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland) in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland). The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM) for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM) than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i) the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii) the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short-term warming

  5. Functional Trait Changes, Productivity Shifts and Vegetation Stability in Mountain Grasslands during a Short-Term Warming.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifa Debouk

    Full Text Available Plant functional traits underlie vegetation responses to environmental changes such as global warming, and consequently influence ecosystem processes. While most of the existing studies focus on the effect of warming only on species diversity and productivity, we further investigated (i how the structure of community plant functional traits in temperate grasslands respond to experimental warming, and (ii whether species and functional diversity contribute to a greater stability of grasslands, in terms of vegetation composition and productivity. Intact vegetation turves were extracted from temperate subalpine grassland (highland in the Eastern Pyrenees and transplanted into a warm continental, experimental site in Lleida, in Western Catalonia (lowland. The impacts of simulated warming on plant production and diversity, functional trait structure, and vegetation compositional stability were assessed. We observed an increase in biomass and a reduction in species and functional diversity under short-term warming. The functional structure of the grassland communities changed significantly, in terms of functional diversity and community-weighted means (CWM for several traits. Acquisitive and fast-growing species with higher SLA, early flowering, erect growth habit, and rhizomatous strategy became dominant in the lowland. Productivity was significantly positively related to species, and to a lower extent, functional diversity, but productivity and stability after warming were more dependent on trait composition (CWM than on diversity. The turves with more acquisitive species before warming changed less in composition after warming. Results suggest that (i the short-term warming can lead to the dominance of acquisitive fast growing species over conservative species, thus reducing species richness, and (ii the functional traits structure in grassland communities had a greater influence on the productivity and stability of the community under short

  6. Nitrogen dynamics of spring-fed wetland ecosystems of the Sierra Nevada foothills oak woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Randall D. Jackson; Barbara Allen-Diaz

    2002-01-01

    Spring-fed wetlands are small, highly productive, patchy ecosystems nested within the oak woodland/annual grassland matrix of the Sierra Nevada foothills. In an effort to place these wetlands in a landscape context, we described seasonal variation (1999-2000 growing season) in nitrogen cycling parameters at 6 spring-fed wetland sites of the Sierra Nevada foothill oak...

  7. Responses of Terrestrial Herpetofauna to Persistent, Novel Ecosystems Resulting from Mountaintop Removal Mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jennifer M. Williams; Donald J. Brown; Petra B. Wood

    2017-01-01

    Mountaintop removal mining is a large-scale surface mining technique that removes entire floral and faunal communities, along with soil horizons located above coal seams. In West Virginia, the majority of this mining occurs on forested mountaintops. However, after mining ceases the land is typically reclaimed to grasslands and shrublands, resulting in novel ecosystems...

  8. Using model-data fusion to analyze the interannual variability of NEE of an alpine grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scholz, Katharina; Hammerle, Albin; Hiltbrunner, Erika; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2017-04-01

    To understand the processes and magnitude of carbon dynamics of the biosphere, modeling approaches are an important tool to analyze carbon budgets from regional to global scale. Here, a simple process-based ecosystem carbon model was used to investigate differences in CO2 fluxes of a high mountain grassland near Furka Pass in the Swiss central Alps at an elevation of about 2400 m a.s.l. during two growing seasons differing in snow melt date. Data on net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) as well as meteorological conditions was available from 20.06.2013 - 08.10.2014 covering two snow free periods. The NEE data indicates that the carbon uptake during the growing season in 2013 was considerably lower than in 2014. To investigate whether the lower carbon uptake in 2013 was mainly due to the short growing season, an effect of biotic response to spring environmental conditions, or the direct effect of the weather conditions during the growing season, a modeling approach was applied. For this purpose, an ecosystem mass balance C model with 13 unknown parameters was constructed based on the DALEC model to represent the major C fluxes among six carbon pools (foliage, roots, necromass, litter, soil organic carbon and a labile pool to support leaf onset in spring) of the grassland ecosystem. Daily gross primary production was estimated by use of a sun/shade big-leaf model of canopy photosynthesis. By calibrating the model with NEE data from individual years, two sets of parameters were retrieved which were then used to run the model under environmental conditions of the same as well as the other year. The parameter estimation was done using DREAM, an algorithm for statistical inference of parameters using Bayesian statistics. In order to account for non-normality, heteroscedasticity and correlation of model residuals, a common problem in ecological modeling, a generalized likelihood function was applied. The results indicate that the late growing season start in 2013 led to a

  9. Effects of Grazing Abandoned Grassland on Herbage Production and Utilization, and Sheep Preference and Performance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Håvard Steinshamn

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Large areas of farmland are abandoned in Norway, which for various reasons are regarded as undesirable. Loss of farmland may have negative implications for biodiversity and ecosystem function and food production potential. The objectives of this study were to assess forage mass production and utilization, botanical composition, lamb performance, and grazing distribution pattern when reintroducing livestock grazing to an abandoned grassland. The study area was located in Central Norway, unmanaged for 12 years. Sheep grazed the area for 10 weeks in 2013 and 4 weeks in spring and autumn, respectively, in 2014 and 2015. During the summer of 2014 and 2015, the area was subjected to the following replicated treatments: (1 No grazing, (2 grazing with heifers, and (3 grazing with ewes and their offspring. The stocking rate was similar in the grazed treatments. Forage biomass production and animal intake were estimated using grazing exclosure cages and botanical composition by visual assessment. Effect on lamb performance was evaluated by live weight gain and slaughter traits in sheep subjected to three treatments: (1 Common farm procedure with summer range pasturing, (2 spring grazing period extended by 1 month on the abandoned grassland before summer range pasturing, and (3 spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland. Grazing distribution patterns were studied using GPS position collars on ewes. Total annual biomass production was on average 72% higher with summer grazing than without. Annual consumption and utilization was on average 218 g DM/m2 and 70% when summer grazed, and 25 g DM/m2 and 18% without grazing, respectively. Botanical composition did not differ between treatments. Live weight gain was higher in lambs subjected to an extended spring grazing period (255 g/d compared to common farm practice (228 g/d and spring and summer grazing on the abandoned grassland (203 g/d, and carcass value was 14% higher in lambs on extended spring

  10. Responses of nocturnal rodents to shrub encroachment in Banni grasslands, Gujarat, India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jayadevan, A.

    2016-12-01

    encroachment is associated with changes in both behaviour and species composition of rodents. Given that rodents play the role of ecosystem engineers in grasslands, these results underscore the need to conserve and restore the grasslands of Banni which are facing increasing encroachment by woodland species and are also subject to afforestation schemes.

  11. Electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    International Acer Incorporated, Hsin Chu, Taiwan Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, Taichung, Taiwan American Institute of Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan...Singapore and Malaysia .5 - 4 - The largest market for semiconductor products is the high technology consumer electronics industry that consumes up...Singapore, and Malaysia . A new semiconductor facility costs around $3 billion to build and takes about two years to become operational

  12. Seasonal variation in carbon dioxide exchange over a Mediterranean annual grassland in California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, L; Baldocchi, D

    2004-05-01

    Understanding how environmental variables affect the processes that regulate the carbon flux over grassland is critical for large-scale modeling research, since grasslands comprise almost one-third of the earth's natural vegetation. To address this issue, fluxes of CO{sub 2} (F{sub c}, flux toward the surface is negative) were measured over a Mediterranean, annual grassland in California, USA for 2 years with the eddy covariance method. To interpret the biotic and abiotic factors that modulate F{sub c} over the course of a year we decomposed net ecosystem CO{sub 2} exchange into its constituent components, ecosystem respiration (R{sub eco}) and gross primary production (GPP). Daytime R{sub eco} was extrapolated from the relationship between temperature and nighttime F{sub c} under high turbulent conditions. Then, GPP was estimated by subtracting daytime values of F{sub c} from daytime estimates of R{sub eco}. Results show that most of carbon exchange, both photosynthesis and respiration, was limited to the wet season (typically from October to mid-May). Seasonal variations in GPP followed closely to changes in leaf area index, which in turn was governed by soil moisture, available sunlight and the timing of the last frost. In general, R{sub eco} was an exponential function of soil temperature, but with season-dependent values of Q{sub 10}. The temperature-dependent respiration model failed immediately after rain events, when large pulses of R{sub eco} were observed. Respiration pulses were especially notable during the dry season when the grass was dead and were the consequence of quickly stimulated microbial activity. Integrated values of GPP, R{sub eco}, and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) were 867, 735, and -132g C m{sup -2}, respectively, for the 2000-2001 season, and 729, 758, and 29g C m{sup -2} for the 2001-2002 season. Thus, the grassland was a moderate carbon sink during the first season and a weak carbon source during the second season. In contrast to a

  13. Long-term effects of elevated atmospheric CO2 on species composition and productivity of a southern African C4 dominated grassland in the vicinity of a CO2 exhalation.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stock, W.D.; Ludwig, F.; Morrow, C.; Midgley, G.F.; Wand, S.J.E.; Allsopp, N.; Bell, T.L.

    2005-01-01

    We describe the long-term effects of a CO2 exhalation, created more than 70 years ago, on a natural C4 dominated sub-tropical grassland in terms of ecosystem structure and functioning. We tested whether long-term CO2 enrichment changes the competitive balance between plants with C3 and C4

  14. Controls on winter ecosystem respiration in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. Wang

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available Winter CO2 fluxes represent an important component of the annual carbon budget in northern ecosystems. Understanding winter respiration processes and their responses to climate change is also central to our ability to assess terrestrial carbon cycle and climate feedbacks in the future. However, the factors influencing the spatial and temporal patterns of winter ecosystem respiration (Reco of northern ecosystems are poorly understood. For this reason, we analyzed eddy covariance flux data from 57 ecosystem sites ranging from ~35° N to ~70° N. Deciduous forests were characterized by the highest winter Reco rates (0.90 ± 0.39 g C m−2 d−1, when winter is defined as the period during which daily air temperature remains below 0 °C. By contrast, arctic wetlands had the lowest winter Reco rates (0.02 ± 0.02 g C m−2 d−1. Mixed forests, evergreen needle-leaved forests, grasslands, croplands and boreal wetlands were characterized by intermediate winter Reco rates (g C m−2 d−1 of 0.70(±0.33, 0.60(±0.38, 0.62(±0.43, 0.49(±0.22 and 0.27(±0.08, respectively. Our cross site analysis showed that winter air (Tair and soil (Tsoil temperature played a dominating role in determining the spatial patterns of winter Reco in both forest and managed ecosystems (grasslands and croplands. Besides temperature, the seasonal amplitude of the leaf area index (LAI, inferred from satellite observation, or growing season gross primary productivity, which we use here as a proxy for the amount of recent carbon available for Reco in the subsequent winter, played a marginal role in winter CO2 emissions from forest ecosystems. We found that winter Reco sensitivity to temperature variation across space (

  15. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity.

  16. Effects of substrate type and arsenic dosage level on arsenic behavior in grassland microcosms. Part I. Preliminary results on 74As transport

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Draggan, S.

    1977-01-01

    Microcosm design is an important factor in interpreting results obtained from studies of the environmental effects, mobility and persistence of contaminants. The behavior of pentavalent arsenic and a radioarsenic tracer was studied in three substrate types exposed to differing levels of stable As dosage. Soil cores excised intact from a natural grassland ecosystem were considered to most reliably represent the natural system under study since they retained the soil structure, and closely simulated the abiotic and biotic complexity, of the grassland ecosystem. The behavior of 74 As in the components of intact soil core microcosms differed appreciably from that observed for the other microcosm types where soil underwent manipulation. These differences were explained primarily on the basis of differences in soil structure

  17. Data-model synthesis of grassland carbon metabolism. Quantifying direct, indirect & interactive effects of warming & elevated CO2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Pendall, Elise [Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States); Ogle, Kiona [Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States); Parton, William [Univ. of Wyoming, Laramie, WY (United States)

    2016-02-29

    This research project improved understanding of how climate change (elevated atmospheric CO2, warming and altered precipitation) can affect grassland ecosystem productivity and nutrient availability. Our advanced experimental and modeling methods allowed us to test 21 specific hypotheses. We found that ecosystem changes over years of exposure to climate change can shift the plant communities and potentially make them more resilient to future climate changes. These changes in plant communities may be related to increased growth of belowground roots and enhanced nutrient uptake by some species. We also found that climate change can increase the spread of invasive and noxious weeds. These findings are important for land managers to make adaptive planning decisions for domestic livestock production in response to climate variability in semi-arid grasslands.

  18. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on "1"3C natural abundances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2016-01-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ"1"3C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier "1"3C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of "1"3C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ"1"3C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ"1"3C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ"1"3C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future climate change. - Highlights

  19. Plant diversity moderates drought stress in grasslands: Implications from a large real-world study on {sup 13}C natural abundances

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Klaus, Valentin H., E-mail: v.klaus@uni-muenster.de [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany); Hölzel, Norbert [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany); Prati, Daniel; Schmitt, Barbara [University of Bern, Institute of Plant Sciences, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern (Switzerland); Schöning, Ingo; Schrumpf, Marion; Solly, Emily F. [Max-Planck-Institute for Biogeochemistry, Hans-Knöll-Str. 10, 07745 Jena (Germany); Hänsel, Falk [University Marburg, Environmental Informatics, Faculty of Geography, Deutschhausstr. 12, 35037 Marburg (Germany); Fischer, Markus [University of Bern, Institute of Plant Sciences, Altenbergrain 21, 3013 Bern (Switzerland); Kleinebecker, Till [Münster University, Institute for Landscape Ecology, Heisenbergstr. 2, 48149 Münster (Germany)

    2016-10-01

    Land-use change and intensification play a key role in the current biodiversity crisis. The resulting species loss can have severe effects on ecosystem functions and services, thereby increasing ecosystem vulnerability to climate change. We explored whether land-use intensification (i.e. fertilization intensity), plant diversity and other potentially confounding environmental factors may be significantly related to water use (i.e. drought stress) of grassland plants. Drought stress was assessed using δ{sup 13}C abundances in aboveground plant biomass of 150 grassland plots across a gradient of land-use intensity. Under water shortage, plants are forced to increasingly take up the heavier {sup 13}C due to closing stomata leading to an enrichment of {sup 13}C in biomass. Plants were sampled at the community level and for single species, which belong to three different functional groups (one grass, one herb, two legumes). Results show that plant diversity was significantly related to the δ{sup 13}C signal in community, grass and legume biomass indicating that drought stress was lower under higher diversity, although this relation was not significant for the herb species under study. Fertilization, in turn, mostly increased drought stress as indicated by more positive δ{sup 13}C values. This effect was mostly indirect by decreasing plant diversity. In line with these results, we found similar patterns in the δ{sup 13}C signal of the organic matter in the topsoil, indicating a long history of these processes. Our study provided strong indication for a positive biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationship with reduced drought stress at higher plant diversity. However, it also underlined a negative reinforcing situation: as land-use intensification decreases plant diversity in grasslands, this might subsequently increases drought sensitivity. Vice-versa, enhancing plant diversity in species-poor agricultural grasslands may moderate negative effects of future

  20. Seasonal and Spatial Variations of Bulk Nitrogen Deposition and the Impacts on the Carbon Cycle in the Arid/Semiarid Grassland of Inner Mongolia, China.

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    Xianglan Li

    Full Text Available Atmospheric nitrogen (N deposition is an important component that affects the structure and function of different terrestrial ecosystem worldwide. However, much uncertainty still remains concerning the magnitude of N deposition on grassland ecosystem in China. To study the spatial and temporal patterns of bulk N deposition, the levels of N (NH4+-N and NO3--N concentration in rainfall were measured at 12 sites across a 1200 km grassland transect in Inner Mongolia, China, and the respective N deposition rates were estimated. The inorganic N deposition rates ranged from 4.53 kg N ha-1 to 12.21 kg N ha-1 with a mean value of 8.07 kg N ha-1 during the entire growing season, decreasing steadily from the eastern to the western regions. Inorganic N deposition occurred mainly in July and August across meadow steppe, typical steppe, and desert steppe, which corresponded to the seasonal distribution of mean annual precipitation. A positive relationship was found between inorganic N deposition and mean annual precipitation (R2 = 0.54 ~ 0.72, P < 0.0001 across the grassland transect. Annual estimation of inorganic N deposition was 0.67 Pg yr-1 in Inner Mongolia, China based on the correlation between N deposition rates and precipitation. N deposition was an important factor controlling aboveground biomass and ecosystem respiration, but has no effect on root biomass and soil respiration. We must clarify that we used the bulk deposition samplers during the entire sampling process and estimated the dissolved NH4+-N and NO3--N deposition rates during the entire growing season. Long-term N deposition monitoring networks should be constructed to study the patterns of N deposition and its potential effect on grassland ecosystem, considering various N species, i.e., gaseous N, particle N, and wet N deposition.

  1. Indirect Effects of Energy Development in Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duquette, Cameron Albert

    Grassland landscapes in North America are undergoing rapid industrialization due to energy development facilitated by the growing popularity of fracking and horizontal drilling technology. Each year over 3 million hectares are lost from grassland and shrubland habitats to well infrastructure. Direct footprints from energy infrastructure cause impacts to vegetation cover, available cattle forage, carbon sequestration potential, and usable space for wildlife. However, legacy effects from well construction and noise pollution, light pollution, and altered viewsheds have the potential to impact areas beyond this direct footprint, causing additive and persistent changes to nearby grassland function. While these additional areas may be small on a well pad basis, they may have substantial cumulative impacts over time. To investigate these effects via a diversity of mechanisms, we studied the seasonal habitat selection of northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus, hereafter bobwhite) in an energy-producing landscape to evaluate space use patterns relative to energy infrastructure. Habitat selection was modeled in the breeding and nonbreeding season using resource Utilization functions (RUFs). We then investigated patterns of vegetation, arthropod, and soil characteristics surrounding well pads to assess small scale environmental gradients extending away from drilling pads via a combination of multivariate and univariate techniques (i.e., Nonmetric dimensional scaling and ANOVA). We found minimal avoidance of energy structures by quail, suggesting a tolerance of moderate development levels. All small-scale effects studied except for soil moisture were impacted at the pad itself (P < 0.01). Off-pad impacts to arthropod abundance and biomass were spatially limited to areas close to pads, while vegetation cover was typically lower than the surrounding habitat beyond 10 m of pads. Soil surface temperature was higher at distances close to well pads, and soil moisture was not

  2. Grassland to woodland transitions: Dynamic response of microbial community structure and carbon use patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creamer, Courtney A.; Filley, Timothy R.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Rowe, Helen I.

    2016-06-01

    Woodland encroachment into grasslands is a globally pervasive phenomenon attributed to land use change, fire suppression, and climate change. This vegetation shift impacts ecosystem services such as ground water allocation, carbon (C) and nutrient status of soils, aboveground and belowground biodiversity, and soil structure. We hypothesized that woodland encroachment would alter microbial community structure and function and would be related to patterns in soil C accumulation. To address this hypothesis, we measured the composition and δ13C values of soil microbial phospholipids (PLFAs) along successional chronosequences from C4-dominated grasslands to C3-dominated woodlands (small discrete clusters and larger groves) spanning up to 134 years. Woodland development increased microbial biomass, soil C and nitrogen (N) concentrations, and altered microbial community composition. The relative abundance of gram-negative bacteria (cy19:0) increased linearly with stand age, consistent with decreases in soil pH and/or greater rhizosphere development and corresponding increases in C inputs. δ13C values of all PLFAs decreased with time following woody encroachment, indicating assimilation of woodland C sources. Among the microbial groups, fungi and actinobacteria in woodland soils selectively assimilated grassland C to a greater extent than its contribution to bulk soil. Between the two woodland types, microbes in the groves incorporated relatively more of the relict C4-C than those in the clusters, potentially due to differences in below ground plant C allocation and organo-mineral association. Changes in plant productivity and C accessibility (rather than C chemistry) dictated microbial C utilization in this system in response to shrub encroachment.

  3. Sensitive Indicators of Zonal Stipa Species to Changing Temperature and Precipitation in Inner Mongolia Grassland, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lv, Xiaomin; Zhou, Guangsheng; Wang, Yuhui; Song, Xiliang

    2016-01-01

    Climate change often induces shifts in plant functional traits. However, knowledge related to sensitivity of different functional traits and sensitive indicator representing plant growth under hydrothermal change remains unclear. Inner Mongolia grassland is predicted to be one of the terrestrial ecosystems which are most vulnerable to climate change. In this study, we analyzed the response of four zonal Stipa species (S. baicalensis, S. grandis, S. breviflora, and S. bungeana) from Inner Mongolia grassland to changing temperature (control, increased 1.5, 2, 4, and 6°C), precipitation (decreased 30 and 15%, control, increased 15 and 30%) and their combined effects via climate control chambers. The relative change of functional traits in the unit of temperature and precipitation change was regarded as sensitivity coefficient and sensitive indicators were examined by pathway analysis. We found that sensitivity of the four Stipa species to changing temperature and precipitation could be ranked as follows: S. bungeana > S. grandis > S. breviflora > S. baicalensis. In particular, changes in leaf area, specific leaf area and root/shoot ratio could account for 86% of the changes in plant biomass in the four Stipa species. Also these three measurements were more sensitive to hydrothermal changes than the other functional traits. These three functional indicators reflected the combination of plant production capacity (leaf area), adaptive strategy (root/shoot ratio), instantaneous environmental effects (specific leaf area), and cumulative environmental effects (leaf area and root/shoot ratio). Thus, leaf area, specific leaf area and root/shoot ratio were chosen as sensitive indicators in response to changing temperature and precipitation for Stipa species. These results could provide the basis for predicting the influence of climate change on Inner Mongolia grassland based on the magnitude of changes in sensitive indicators. PMID:26904048

  4. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  5. Resource-Mediated Indirect Effects of Grassland Management on Arthropod Diversity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simons, Nadja K.; Gossner, Martin M.; Lewinsohn, Thomas M.; Boch, Steffen; Lange, Markus; Müller, Jörg; Pašalić, Esther; Socher, Stephanie A.; Türke, Manfred; Fischer, Markus; Weisser, Wolfgang W.

    2014-01-01

    Intensive land use is a driving force for biodiversity decline in many ecosystems. In semi-natural grasslands, land-use activities such as mowing, grazing and fertilization affect the diversity of plants and arthropods, but the combined effects of different drivers and the chain of effects are largely unknown. In this study we used structural equation modelling to analyse how the arthropod communities in managed grasslands respond to land use and whether these responses are mediated through changes in resource diversity or resource quantity (biomass). Plants were considered resources for herbivores which themselves were considered resources for predators. Plant and arthropod (herbivores and predators) communities were sampled on 141 meadows, pastures and mown pastures within three regions in Germany in 2008 and 2009. Increasing land-use intensity generally increased plant biomass and decreased plant diversity, mainly through increasing fertilization. Herbivore diversity decreased together with plant diversity but showed no response to changes in plant biomass. Hence, land-use effects on herbivore diversity were mediated through resource diversity rather than quantity. Land-use effects on predator diversity were mediated by both herbivore diversity (resource diversity) and herbivore quantity (herbivore biomass), but indirect effects through resource quantity were stronger. Our findings highlight the importance of assessing both direct and indirect effects of land-use intensity and mode on different trophic levels. In addition to the overall effects, there were subtle differences between the different regions, pointing to the importance of regional land-use specificities. Our study underlines the commonly observed strong effect of grassland land use on biodiversity. It also highlights that mechanistic approaches help us to understand how different land-use modes affect biodiversity. PMID:25188423

  6. Precipitation-productivity Relation in Grassland in Northern China: Investigations at Multiple Spatiotemporal Scales

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hu, Z.

    2017-12-01

    . Our work has important implications to obtain an advanced understanding of productivity-response of grassland ecosystems to altered precipitation regimes.

  7. Effects of hay management and native species sowing on grassland community structure, biomass, and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foster, Bryan L; Kindscher, Kelly; Houseman, Greg R; Murphy, Cheryl A

    2009-10-01

    Prairie hay meadows are important reservoirs of grassland biodiversity in the tallgrass prairie regions of the central United States and are the object of increasing attention for conservation and restoration. In addition, there is growing interest in the potential use of such low-input, high-diversity (LIHD) native grasslands for biofuel production. The uplands of eastern Kansas, USA, which prior to European settlement were dominated by tallgrass prairie, are currently utilized for intensive agriculture or exist in a state of abandonment from agriculture. The dominant grasslands in the region are currently high-input, low-diversity (HILD) hay fields seeded to introduced C3 hay grasses. We present results from a long-term experiment conducted in a recently abandoned HILD hay field in eastern Kansas to evaluate effects of fertilization, haying, and native species sowing on community dynamics, biomass, and potential for restoration to native LIHD hay meadow. Fertilized plots maintained dominance by introduced grasses, maintained low diversity, and were largely resistant to colonization throughout the study. Non-fertilized plots exhibited rapid successional turnover, increased diversity, and increased abundance of C4 grasses over time. Haying led to modest changes in species composition and lessened the negative impact of fertilization on diversity. In non-fertilized plots, sowing increased representation by native species and increased diversity, successional turnover, and biomass production. Our results support the shifting limitations hypothesis of community organization and highlight the importance of species pools and seed limitations in constraining successional turnover, community structure, and ecosystem productivity under conditions of low fertility. Our findings also indicate that several biological and functional aspects of LIHD hay meadows can be restored from abandoned HILD hay fields by ceasing fertilization and reintroducing native species through

  8. Atmospheric and Radiometric Correction Algorithms for the Multitemporal Assessment of Grasslands Productivity

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jesús A. Prieto-Amparan

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available A key step in the processing of satellite imagery is the radiometric correction of images to account for reflectance that water vapor, atmospheric dust, and other atmospheric elements add to the images, causing imprecisions in variables of interest estimated at the earth’s surface level. That issue is important when performing spatiotemporal analyses to determine ecosystems’ productivity. In this study, three correction methods were applied to satellite images for the period 2010–2014. These methods were Atmospheric Correction for Flat Terrain 2 (ATCOR2, Fast Line-of-Sight Atmospheric Analysis of Spectral Hypercubes (FLAASH, and Dark Object Substract 1 (DOS1. The images included 12 sub-scenes from the Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM and the Operational Land Imager (OLI sensors. The images corresponded to three Permanent Monitoring Sites (PMS of grasslands, ‘Teseachi’, ‘Eden’, and ‘El Sitio’, located in the state of Chihuahua, Mexico. After the corrections were applied to the images, they were evaluated in terms of their precision for biomass estimation. For that, biomass production was measured during the study period at the three PMS to calibrate production models developed with simple and multiple linear regression (SLR and MLR techniques. When the estimations were made with MLR, DOS1 obtained an R2 of 0.97 (p < 0.05 for 2012 and values greater than 0.70 (p < 0.05 during 2013–2014. The rest of the algorithms did not show significant results and DOS1, which is the simplest algorithm, resulted in the best biomass estimator. Thus, in the multitemporal analysis of grassland based on spectral information, it is not necessary to apply complex correction procedures. The maps of biomass production, elaborated from images corrected with DOS1, can be used as a reference point for the assessment of the grassland condition, as well as to determine the grazing capacity and thus the potential animal production in such ecosystems.

  9. Effects of Bromus tectorum invasion on microbial carbon and nitrogen cycling in two adjacent undisturbed arid grassland communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schaeffer, Sean M.; Ziegler, Susan E.; Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R.D.

    2012-01-01

    Soil nitrogen (N) is an important component in maintaining ecosystem stability, and the introduction of non-native plants can alter N cycling by changing litter quality and quantity, nutrient uptake patterns, and soil food webs. Our goal was to determine the effects of Bromus tectorum (C3) invasion on soil microbial N cycling in adjacent non-invaded and invaded C3 and C4 native arid grasslands. We monitored resin-extractable N, plant and soil δ13C and δ15N, gross rates of inorganic N mineralization and consumption, and the quantity and isotopic composition of microbial phospholipid biomarkers. In invaded C3 communities, labile soil organic N and gross and net rates of soil N transformations increased, indicating an increase in overall microbial N cycling. In invaded C4 communities labile soil N stayed constant, but gross N flux rates increased. The δ13C of phospholipid biomarkers in invaded C4 communities showed that some portion of the soil bacterial population preferentially decomposed invader C3-derived litter over that from the native C4 species. Invasion in C4 grasslands also significantly decreased the proportion of fungal to bacterial phospholipid biomarkers. Different processes are occurring in response to B. tectorum invasion in each of these two native grasslands that: 1) alter the size of soil N pools, and/or 2) the activity of the microbial community. Both processes provide mechanisms for altering long-term N dynamics in these ecosystems and highlight how multiple mechanisms can lead to similar effects on ecosystem function, which may be important for the construction of future biogeochemical process models.

  10. Benefits of investing in ecosystem restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DE Groot, Rudolf S; Blignaut, James; VAN DER Ploeg, Sander; Aronson, James; Elmqvist, Thomas; Farley, Joshua

    2013-12-01

    Measures aimed at conservation or restoration of ecosystems are often seen as net-cost projects by governments and businesses because they are based on incomplete and often faulty cost-benefit analyses. After screening over 200 studies, we examined the costs (94 studies) and benefits (225 studies) of ecosystem restoration projects that had sufficient reliable data in 9 different biomes ranging from coral reefs to tropical forests. Costs included capital investment and maintenance of the restoration project, and benefits were based on the monetary value of the total bundle of ecosystem services provided by the restored ecosystem. Assuming restoration is always imperfect and benefits attain only 75% of the maximum value of the reference systems over 20 years, we calculated the net present value at the social discount rates of 2% and 8%. We also conducted 2 threshold cum sensitivity analyses. Benefit-cost ratios ranged from about 0.05:1 (coral reefs and coastal systems, worst-case scenario) to as much as 35:1 (grasslands, best-case scenario). Our results provide only partial estimates of benefits at one point in time and reflect the lower limit of the welfare benefits of ecosystem restoration because both scarcity of and demand for ecosystem services is increasing and new benefits of natural ecosystems and biological diversity are being discovered. Nonetheless, when accounting for even the incomplete range of known benefits through the use of static estimates that fail to capture rising values, the majority of the restoration projects we analyzed provided net benefits and should be considered not only as profitable but also as high-yielding investments. Beneficios de Invertir en la Restauración de Ecosistemas. © 2013 Society for Conservation Biology.

  11. The integrated nitrous oxide and methane grassland project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leffelaar, P.A.; Langeveld, C.A.; Hofman, J.E.; Segers, R.; Van den Pol-van Dasselaar, A.; Goudriaan, J.; Rabbinge, R.; Oenema, O. [Department of Theoretical Production Ecology, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2000-07-01

    The integrated nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O) and methane (CH{sub 4}) grassland project aims to estimate and explain emissions of these greenhouse gases from two ecosystems, namely drained agricultural peat soil under grass at the experimental farm Zegveld and undrained peat in the nature preserve Nieuwkoopse Plassen, both Netherlands. Peat soils were chosen because of their expected considerable contribution to the greenhouse gas budget considering the prevailing wet and partial anaerobic conditions. The emission dynamics of these ecosystems are considered representatives of large peat areas because the underlying processes are rather general and driven by variables like organic matter characteristics, water and nutrient conditions and type of vegetation. The research approach comprises measurements and modelling at different integration levels relating to the microbiology of the production and consumption of N{sub 2}O and CH{sub 4} (laboratory studies), their movement through peat soil (rhizolab and field studies), and the resulting fluxes (field studies). Typical emissions from drained soil were 15-40 kg ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} N{sub 2}O and virtually zero for CH{sub 4}. The undrained soil in the nature preserve emitted 100-280 kg ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} CH{sub 4}, and probably little N{sub 2}O. The process knowledge, collected and partly integrated in the models, helps to explain these data. For example, the low methane emission from drained peat can more coherently be understood and extrapolated because: (1) upper soil layers are aerobic, thus limiting methane production and stimulating methane oxidation, (2) absence of aerenchymatous roots of wetland plants that connect deeper anaerobic soil layers where methane is produced to the atmosphere and supply labile carbon, (3) a low methane production potential in deep layers due to the low decomposability of organic matter, and (4) long anaerobic periods needed in the topsoil to develop a methane production potential. This

  12. Evaluating productivity-biodiversity relationship and spectral diversity in prairie grasslands under different fire management treatments using in-situ and remote sensing hyperspectral data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gholizadeh, H.; Gamon, J. A.; Zygielbaum, A. I.; Schweiger, A. K.; Cavender-Bares, J.; Yang, Y.; Knops, J. M. H.

    2017-12-01

    Grasslands cover as much as 25% of the Earth's surface and account for approximately 20% of overall terrestrial productivity and contribute to global biodiversity. To optimize the status of grasslands and to counteract their degradation, different management practices have been adopted. Fire has been shown to be an important management practice in the maintenance of grasslands. Our main goals were 1) to evaluate the productivity-biodiversity relationship in grasslands under fire treatment, and 2) to evaluate the capability of hyperspectral remote sensing in estimating biodiversity using spectral data (i.e. spectral diversity). We used above-ground biomass (as a surrogate for productivity), species richness (SR; as a surrogate for biodiversity), and airborne hyperspectral data from a natural grassland with fire treatment (20 plots), and a natural grassland without fire treatment (21 plots), all located at the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve in Central Minnesota, USA. The productivity-biodiversity relationship for the fire treatment plots showed a hump-shaped model with adjusted R2=0.37, whereas the relationship for the non-burned plots were non-significant. The relationship between SR and spectral diversity (SD) were positive linear for both treatments; however, the relationship for plots with fire treatment was higher (adjusted R2 = 0.34 vs. 0.19). It is assumed that post-fire foliar nutrients increase soil nitrogen and phosphorus which facilitate post-fire growth and induce higher above-ground biomass and chlorophyll content in plants. Overall, the results of this study showed that management practices affect the productivity-biodiversity relationship and illustrated the effect of fire treatment on remote sensing of biodiversity.

  13. The roles of precipitation regimes on juniper forest encroachment on grasslands in Oklahoma

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, J.; Xiao, X.; Qin, Y.

    2017-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment into grasslands has been dominantly explained by fire suppression, grazing and CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. As different root depths of grasses and trees in soils, increased precipitation intensity was expected to facilitate the woody plant abundance, which was demonstrated by the field precipitation test in a sub-tropical savanna ecosystem. However, it is lacking to compressively examine the roles of precipitation regimes on woody plant encroachment at regional scales based on long-term observation data. This study examined the relationships between changes of precipitation regimes (amounts, frequency and intensity) and dynamics of juniper forest coverage using site-based rainfall data and remote sensing-based juniper forest maps in 1994-2010 over Oklahoma State. Our results showed that precipitation amount and intensity played larger roles than frequency on the juniper forest encroachment into the grassland in Oklahoma, and increased precipitation amount and intensity could facilitate the juniper woody encroachment. This practice based on observation data at the regional scale could be used to support precipitation experiments and model simulations and predicting the juniper forest encroachment.

  14. Temporal profiles of vegetation indices for characterizing grazing intensity on natural grasslands in Pampa biome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Amanda Heemann Junges

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Pampa biome is an important ecosystem in Brazil that is highly relevant to livestock production. The objective of this study was to analyze the potential use of vegetation indices to discriminate grazing intensities on natural grasslands in the Pampa biome. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI images from Jan to Dec, 2000 to 2013 series, were analyzed for natural grassland experimental units managed under high (forage allowance of 5 ± 2 % live weight – LW, moderate (13 ± 5 % LW and low grazing intensity (19 ± 7 % LW. Regardless of intensity, the temporal profiles showed lower NDVI and EVI during winter, increased values in spring because of summer species regrowth, slightly decreased values in summer, especially in years when there is a water deficit, and increased values in the fall associated with the beginning of winter forage development. The average temporal profiles of moderate grazing intensity exhibited greater vegetation index values compared with low and high grazing intensities. The temporal profiles of less vegetation index were associated with lower green biomass accumulation caused by the negative impact of stocking rates on the leaf area index under high grazing intensity and a floristic composition with a predominance of tussocks under low grazing intensity. Vegetation indices can be used for distinguishing moderate grazing intensity from low and high intensities. The average EVI values can discriminate moderate grazing intensity during any season, and the NDVI values can discriminate moderate grazing intensity during spring and winter.

  15. 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.

  16. Soil biodiversity and soil community composition determine ecosystem multifunctionality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wagg, Cameron; Bender, S. Franz; Widmer, Franco; van der Heijden, Marcel G. A.

    2014-01-01

    Biodiversity loss has become a global concern as evidence accumulates that it will negatively affect ecosystem services on which society depends. So far, most studies have focused on the ecological consequences of above-ground biodiversity loss; yet a large part of Earth’s biodiversity is literally hidden below ground. Whether reductions of biodiversity in soil communities below ground have consequences for the overall performance of an ecosystem remains unresolved. It is important to investigate this in view of recent observations that soil biodiversity is declining and that soil communities are changing upon land use intensification. We established soil communities differing in composition and diversity and tested their impact on eight ecosystem functions in model grassland communities. We show that soil biodiversity loss and simplification of soil community composition impair multiple ecosystem functions, including plant diversity, decomposition, nutrient retention, and nutrient cycling. The average response of all measured ecosystem functions (ecosystem multifunctionality) exhibited a strong positive linear relationship to indicators of soil biodiversity, suggesting that soil community composition is a key factor in regulating ecosystem functioning. Our results indicate that changes in soil communities and the loss of soil biodiversity threaten ecosystem multifunctionality and sustainability. PMID:24639507

  17. Differential Responses of Soil Microbial Community to Four-Decade Long Grazing and Cultivation in a Semi-Arid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yating He

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Grazing and cultivation are two important management practices worldwide that can cause significant soil organic carbon (SOC losses. However, it remains elusive how soil microbes have responded to soil carbon changes under these two practices. Based on a four-decade long field experiment, this study investigated the effects of grazing and cultivation on SOC stocks and microbial properties in the semi-arid grasslands of China. We hypothesize that grazing and cultivation would deplete SOC and depress microbial activities under both practices. However, our hypotheses were only partially supported. As compared with the adjacent indigenous grasslands, SOC and microbial biomass carbon (MBC were decreased by 20% or more under grazing and cultivation, which is consistent with the reduction of fungi abundance by 40% and 71%, respectively. The abundance of bacteria and actinomycetes was decreased under grazing but increased under cultivation, which likely enhanced microbial diversity in cultivation. Invertase activity decreased under the two treatments, while urease activity increased under grazing. These results suggest that nitrogen fertilizer input during cultivation may preferentially favor bacterial growth, in spite of SOC loss, due to rapid decomposition, while overgrazing may deteriorate the nitrogen supply to belowground microbes, thus stimulating the microbial production of nitrogen acquisition enzymes. This decade-long study demonstrated differential soil microbial responses under grazing and cultivation and has important applications for better management practices in the grassland ecosystem.

  18. Assessing the Roles of Fire Frequency and Precipitation in Determining Woody Plant Expansion in Central U.S. Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brunsell, N. A.; Van Vleck, E. S.; Nosshi, M.; Ratajczak, Z.; Nippert, J. B.

    2017-10-01

    Woody plant expansion into grasslands and savannas is occurring and accelerating worldwide and often impacts ecosystem processes. Understanding and predicting the environmental and ecological impacts of encroachment has led to a variety of methodologies for assessing its onset, transition, and stability, generally relying on dynamical systems approaches. Here we continue this general line of investigation to facilitate the understanding of the roles of precipitation frequency and intensity and fire frequency on the conversion of grasslands to woody-dominated systems focusing on the central United States. A low-dimensional model with stochastic precipitation and fire disturbance is introduced to examine the complex interactions between precipitation and fire as mechanisms that may suppress or facilitate increases in woody cover. By using Lyapunov exponents, we are able to ascertain the relative control exerted on woody encroachment through these mechanisms. Our results indicate that precipitation frequency is a more important control on woody encroachment than the intensity of individual precipitation events. Fire, however, exerts a much more dominant impact on the limitation of encroachment over the range of precipitation variability considered here. These results indicate that fire management may be an effective strategy to slow the onset of woody species into grasslands. While climate change might predict a reduced potential for woody encroachment in the near future, these results indicate a reduction in woody fraction may be unlikely when considering anthropogenic fire suppression.

  19. Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer scintillometer. ... Water SA. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search ... of soil heat flux and net irradiance, evaporation rates were calculated as a residual of the ...

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia

    . Changes in labile soil C were assessed by carbohydrate and thermal analyses of soil samples and fractions. Forest expansion on mountain grasslands caused a decrease in SOC stocks within the mineral soil. The SOC accumulation within the organic layers following forest establishment could not fully...... and thermally labile to resistant components decreased from grassland to forest successional stages, and corresponded to decreased SOC protection within stable aggregates. This PhD thesis showed that mineral SOC stocks and physically protected SOC fractions decreased following forest expansion on mountain......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...

  1. Carbon exchange between ecosystems and atmosphere in the Czech Republic is affected by climate factors

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marek, Michal V.; Janous, Dalibor; Taufarova, Klara; Havrankova, Katerina; Pavelka, Marian; Kaplan, Veroslav; Markova, Irena

    2011-01-01

    By comparing five ecosystem types in the Czech Republic over several years, we recorded the highest carbon sequestration potential in an evergreen Norway spruce forest (100%) and an agroecosystem (65%), followed by European beech forest (25%) and a wetland ecosystem (20%). Because of a massive ecosystem respiration, the final carbon gain of the grassland was negative. Climate was shown to be an important factor of carbon uptake by ecosystems: by varying the growing season length (a 22-d longer season in 2005 than in 2007 increased carbon sink by 13%) or by the effect of short- term synoptic situations (e.g. summer hot and dry days reduced net carbon storage by 58% relative to hot and wet days). Carbon uptake is strongly affected by the ontogeny and a production strategy which is demonstrated by the comparison of seasonal course of carbon uptake between coniferous (Norway spruce) and deciduous (European beech) stands. - Highlights: → Highest carbon sequestration potential in evergreen Norway spruce forest (100%) and an agroecosystem (65%), followed by European beech forest (25%) and a wetland ecosystem (20%). → The final carbon gain of the grassland was negative (massive ecosystem respiration). → Climate is important factor of net primary productivity. → Carbon uptake is strongly affected by the ontogeny and a production strategy of ecosystem. - Identification of the apparent differences in the carbon storage by different ecosystem types.

  2. Biodiversity in temperate European grasslands: origin and conservation.

    OpenAIRE

    Pärtel, Meelis; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Sammul, Marek

    2005-01-01

    Northern Europe is in the forest zone, but wild megaherbivores have maintained grass-dominated vegetation here for the last 1.8 million years. Continuity of the grassland biome through glacialinterglacial cycles and connection to steppe vegetation has resulted in the evolution, immigration, and survival of a large number of grassland species. During the last millennia the effect of wild ungulates has been replaced by domestic grazers and hay making, and the persistence of grasslan...

  3. PV water pumping systems for grassland and farmland conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Campana, Pietro Elia

    2013-01-01

    Grassland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic problems in China because of the negative impacts on water and food security. The application of the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the progress of grassland desertification and to promote the conservation of farmland in remote areas. The combination of PVWP with water saving irrigation techniques and the sustainable management of th...

  4. Long-term reactions of plants and macroinvertebrates to extreme floods in floodplain grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ilg, Christiane; Dziock, Frank; Foeckler, Francis; Follner, Klaus; Gerisch, Michael; Glaeser, Judith; Rink, Anke; Schanowski, Arno; Scholz, Mathias; Deichner, Oskar; Henle, Klaus

    2008-09-01

    Extreme summertime flood events are expected to become more frequent in European rivers due to climate change. In temperate areas, where winter floods are common, extreme floods occurring in summer, a period of high physiological activity, may seriously impact floodplain ecosystems. Here we report on the effects of the 2002 extreme summer flood on flora and fauna of the riverine grasslands of the Middle Elbe (Germany), comparing pre- and post-flooding data collected by identical methods. Plants, mollusks, and carabid beetles differed considerably in their response in terms of abundance and diversity. Plants and mollusks, displaying morphological and behavioral adaptations to flooding, showed higher survival rates than the carabid beetles, the adaptation strategies of which were mainly linked to life history. Our results illustrate the complexity of responses of floodplain organisms to extreme flood events. They demonstrate that the efficiency of resistance and resilience strategies is widely dependent on the mode of adaptation.

  5. Genetic sorting of subordinate species in grassland modulated by intraspecific variation in dominant species.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Danny J Gustafson

    Full Text Available Genetic variation in a single species can have predictable and heritable effects on associated communities and ecosystem processes, however little is known about how genetic variation of a dominant species affects plant community assembly. We characterized the genetic structure of a dominant grass (Sorghastrum nutans and two subordinate species (Chamaecrista fasciculata, Silphium integrifolium, during the third growing season in grassland communities established with genetically distinct (cultivated varieties or local ecotypes seed sources of the dominant grasses. There were genetic differences between subordinate species growing in the cultivar versus local ecotype communities, indicating that intraspecific genetic variation in the dominant grasses affected the genetic composition of subordinate species during community assembly. A positive association between genetic diversity of S. nutans, C. fasciculata, and S. integrifolium and species diversity established the role of an intraspecific biotic filter during community assembly. Our results show that intraspecific variation in dominant species can significantly modulate the genetic composition of subordinate species.

  6. Population and Habitat Objectives for Avian Conservation in California’s Central Valley Grassland–Oak Savannah Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ryan T. DiGaudio

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available http://escholarship.org/uc/item/0dn9f9b4In California’s Central Valley, grassland and oak savannah ecosystems provide multiple economic and social benefits, ecosystem services, and vital bird habitat. There is a growing interest in protecting, restoring, and managing these ecosystems, and the Central Valley Joint Venture (CVJV provides leadership in the formulation of conservation goals and objectives. We defined a long-term goal of protecting, restoring, and managing Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems so that they are capable of supporting genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient wildlife populations. To measure progress toward this goal, we selected a suite of 12 landbird focal species that primarily breed in grasslands and oak savannahs as indicators of the state of these ecosystems on the Central Valley floor (primary focus area and in the Central Valley’s surrounding foothills (secondary focus area. Using data on current densities and habitat extent, we estimated that at least three of the focal species populations in the primary focus area and at least two of the focal species populations in the secondary focus area are currently small (<10,000 individuals and may be vulnerable to extirpation. Furthermore, at least two species appear to have steeply declining population trends. We defined long-term (100-year population objectives for each focal species that we expect to meet the goal of genetically robust, self-sustaining, and resilient populations. We then estimated corresponding short-term (10-year habitat objectives of 4,183 ha of additional grassland and 3,433 ha of additional oak savannah that will be required to make progress toward the long-term objectives. We expect that habitat restoration and enhancement efforts aimed at reaching these long-term conservation objectives will result in improvements to the function of Central Valley grassland and oak savannah ecosystems.

  7. Interspecific neighbor interactions promote the positive diversity-productivity relationship in experimental grassland communities.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuhua Zhang

    Full Text Available Because the frequency of heterospecific interactions inevitably increases with species richness in a community, biodiversity effects must be expressed by such interactions. However, little is understood how heterospecific interactions affect ecosystem productivity because rarely are biodiversity ecosystem functioning experiments spatially explicitly manipulated. To test the effect of heterospecific interactions on productivity, direct evidence of heterospecific neighborhood interaction is needed. In this study we conducted experiments with a detailed spatial design to investigate whether and how heterospecific neighborhood interactions promote primary productivity in a grassland community. The results showed that increasing the heterospecific: conspecific contact ratio significantly increased productivity. We found there was a significant difference in the variation in plant height between monoculture and mixture communities, suggesting that height-asymmetric competition for light plays a central role in promoting productivity. Heterospecific interactions make tall plants grow taller and short plants become smaller in mixtures compared to monocultures, thereby increasing the efficiency of light interception and utilization. Overyielding in the mixture communities arises from the fact that the loss in the growth of short plants is compensated by the increased growth of tall plants. The positive correlation between species richness and primary production was strengthened by increasing the frequency of heterospecific interactions. We conclude that species richness significantly promotes primary ecosystem production through heterospecific neighborhood interactions.

  8. Interspecific neighbor interactions promote the positive diversity-productivity relationship in experimental grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuhua; Wang, Yongfan; Yu, Shixiao

    2014-01-01

    Because the frequency of heterospecific interactions inevitably increases with species richness in a community, biodiversity effects must be expressed by such interactions. However, little is understood how heterospecific interactions affect ecosystem productivity because rarely are biodiversity ecosystem functioning experiments spatially explicitly manipulated. To test the effect of heterospecific interactions on productivity, direct evidence of heterospecific neighborhood interaction is needed. In this study we conducted experiments with a detailed spatial design to investigate whether and how heterospecific neighborhood interactions promote primary productivity in a grassland community. The results showed that increasing the heterospecific: conspecific contact ratio significantly increased productivity. We found there was a significant difference in the variation in plant height between monoculture and mixture communities, suggesting that height-asymmetric competition for light plays a central role in promoting productivity. Heterospecific interactions make tall plants grow taller and short plants become smaller in mixtures compared to monocultures, thereby increasing the efficiency of light interception and utilization. Overyielding in the mixture communities arises from the fact that the loss in the growth of short plants is compensated by the increased growth of tall plants. The positive correlation between species richness and primary production was strengthened by increasing the frequency of heterospecific interactions. We conclude that species richness significantly promotes primary ecosystem production through heterospecific neighborhood interactions.

  9. 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.

  10. Chorological classification approach for species and ecosystem conservation practice

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rogova, T. V.; Kozevnikova, M. V.; Prokhorov, V. E.; Timofeeva, N. O.

    2018-01-01

    The habitat type allocation approach based on the EUNIS Habitat Classification and the JUICE version 7 software is used for the conservation of species and ecosystem biodiversity. Using the vegetation plots of the Vegetation Database of Tatarstan, included in the EVA (European Vegetation Archive) and GIVD (Global Index of Vegetation-plots Databases) types of habitats of dry meadows and steppes are distinguished by differing compositions of the leading families composing their flora - Asteraceae, Fabaceae, Poaceae and Rosaceae. E12a - Semi-dry perennial calcareous grassland, and E12b - Perennial calcareous grassland and basic steppes were identified. The selected group of relevés that do not correspond to any of the EUNIS types can be considered specific for ecotone forest-steppe landscapes of the southeast of the Republic of Tatarstan. In all types of studied habitats, rare and protected plant species are noted, most of which are South-East-European-Asian species.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Prescribed Grassland Burning Smoke Emission Measurements in the Northern Flint Hills Region

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilkins, J. L.; Baker, K. R.; Landis, M.; Aurell, J.; Gullett, B.

    2017-12-01

    Historically, frequent wildfires were essential for the maintenance of native prairie fire adapted ecosystems. Today prescribed fires are used to control invasive woody species and potentially improve forage production in these same prairie ecosystems for the beef-cattle industry. The emission of primary particulate matter, secondary aerosol, ozone precursors, and air toxics from prescribed grassland burning operations has been implicated as drivers of downwind air quality problems across a multi-state area. A field study has been planned to quantify prescribed burn smoke emissions using both surface and aerial sampling platforms to better constrain emissions rates for organic and inorganic pollutants. Multiple prescribed burns on tallgrass prairie fields in the northern Flint Hills ecoregion are planned for March 2017 at the Konza Prairie Biological Station in Kansas. An array of measurement systems will be deployed to quantify a suite of continuous and integrated air pollution parameters, combustion conditions, meteorological parameters, and plume dynamics to calculate more accurate and condition-specific emission factors that will be used to better predict primary and secondary pollutants both locally and regionally. These emissions measurements will allow for evaluation and improvement of the U.S. Forest Service's Bluesky modeling framework which includes the Fire Emission Production Simulator (FEPS) and Fuel characterization classification system (FCCS). Elucidating grassland prescribed burning emission factors based on fuel type, loading, and environmental conditions is expected to provide an improved understanding of the impact of this land management practice on air quality in the greater Flint Hills region. It is also expected that measurements will be made to help constrain and develop better routines for fire plume rise, vertical allocation, and smoke optical properties.

  13. Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

    We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.

  14. Integrating est.of ecosystem respiration from eddy covariance towers with automated measures of soil respiration: Exam. the dvlpt. and influence of hysteresis in soil respiratory fluxes along a woody plant gradient 2026

    Science.gov (United States)

    The physiognomic shift in ecosystem structure from a grassland to a woodland may alter the sensitivity of CO2 exchange to variations in growing-season temperatures and precipitation inputs. One large component of ecosystem flux is the efflux of CO2 from the soil (soil respiration, Rsoil), which is ...

  15. Recognizing loss of open forest ecosystems by tree densification and land use intensification in the Midwestern USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brice B. Hanberry; Marc D. Abrams

    2018-01-01

    Forests and grasslands have changed during the past 200 years in the eastern USA, and it is now possible to quantify loss and conversion of vegetation cover at regional scales. We quantified historical (ca. 1786-1908) and current land cover and determined long-term ecosystem change to either land use or closed forests in eight states of the Great Lakes and Midwest....

  16. Does Evapotranspiration Increase When Forests are converted to Grasslands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varcoe, Robert; Sterling, Shannon

    2017-04-01

    The conversion of forests to grasslands (FGC) is a widespread land cover change (LCC) and is also among the most commonly studied changes with respect to its impact on ET; such research employs a variety of experimental approaches, including, paired catchment (PC), Budyko and land surface models (LSM), and measurement methods, including the catchment water balance (CWB), eddy covariance (EC) and remote sensing (RS). Until recently, there has been consensus in the scientific literature that rates of ET decrease when a forest is converted to grassland; however, this consensus has recently come into question. Williams (2012) applied the Budyko framework to a global network of eddy covariance measurements with the results that grasslands have a 9% greater evaporative index than forests. In addition, HadGEM2, a recent Hadley Centre LSM, produced increased ET in the northern Amazon Basin after simulating global scale tropical deforestation (Brovkin et al., 2015). Here we present an analysis of available estimates of how ET rates change with FGC to increase our understanding of the forest - grassland-ET paradigm. We used two datasets to investigate the impacts land cover change on ET. I compiled a dataset of change in ET with land cover change (ΔETLCC) using published experiments that compare forest and grassland ET under conditions controlled for meteorological and landscape influences. Using the ΔETLCC dataset, we show that, in all cases, forest ET is higher than grassland under controlled conditions. Results suggest that the eddy covariance method measures smaller changes in ET when forests are converted to grasslands, though more data are needed for this result to be statistically significant. Finally, GETA2.0, a new global dataset of annual ET, projects that forest ET is greater than grassland, except at high latitudes and areas where orography influences precipitation (P). The data included in this study represent the data available on forest and grassland ET

  17. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  18. Leaf trait response to nutrients and herbivore exclusion across a globally replicated grassland experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firn, Jennifer

    2017-04-01

    Leaf trait response to nutrients and herbivore exclusion across a globally replicated grassland experiment Jennifer Firn1, James McGree2, Eric Lind3, Elizabeth Borer3, Eric Seabloom3, Lauren Sullivan3, Kimberly Lapierre4 and the Nutrient Network 1Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Earth, Environmental and Biological Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Brisbane, QLD, 4001 Australia 2Queensland University of Technology (QUT), School of Mathematical Sciences, Science and Engineering Faculty, Brisbane, QLD, 4001 Australia 3Universtiy of Minnesota, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, 1479 Gortner Avenue, 140 Gortner Laboratory, St. Paul, MN 55108 USA 4Department of integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA 94720 USA Functional trait research has developed with the aim of finding general patterns in how the function of plant assemblages changes with respect to different land-uses. Most studies have compared sites within and across regions with variations in land-use history, but not necessarily with standardized treatments in an experimental framework. The trends that have emerged from this research is that characteristics of leaf traits such as specific leaf area (SLA) correlate with carbon acquisition strategies known to influence ecosystem functioning. SLA has been found to represent a plant's investment in growing light-capturing area per dry mass content. Species with a relatively high SLA tend to have a higher rate of return on the resources invested into making tissue (cheaper leaves in terms of energy and resources needed to produce them) when compared to species with a lower SLA (more expensive leaves to produce). Few studies have examined quantitatively measured traits in an experimental framework. The Nutrient Network experiment, globally distributed experiment, presents a unique opportunity to examine the response of functional traits across grassland ecosystems characterised by a diverse range of

  19. Soil carbon stocks and carbon sequestration rates in seminatural grassland in Aso region, Kumamoto, Southern Japan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Toma, Yo; Clifton-Brown, John; Sugiyama, Shinji; Nakaboh, Makoto; Hatano, Ryusuke; Fernández, Fabián G; Ryan Stewart, J; Nishiwaki, Aya; Yamada, Toshihiko

    2013-06-01

    Global soil carbon (C) stocks account for approximately three times that found in the atmosphere. In the Aso mountain region of Southern Japan, seminatural grasslands have been maintained by annual harvests and/or burning for more than 1000 years. Quantification of soil C stocks and C sequestration rates in Aso mountain ecosystem is needed to make well-informed, land-use decisions to maximize C sinks while minimizing C emissions. Soil cores were collected from six sites within 200 km(2) (767-937 m asl.) from the surface down to the k-Ah layer established 7300 years ago by a volcanic eruption. The biological sources of the C stored in the Aso mountain ecosystem were investigated by combining C content at a number of sampling depths with age (using (14) C dating) and δ(13) C isotopic fractionation. Quantification of plant phytoliths at several depths was used to make basic reconstructions of past vegetation and was linked with C-sequestration rates. The mean total C stock of all six sites was 232 Mg C ha(-1) (28-417 Mg C ha(-1) ), which equates to a soil C sequestration rate of 32 kg C ha(-1)  yr(-1) over 7300 years. Mean soil C sequestration rates over 34, 50 and 100 years were estimated by an equation regressing soil C sequestration rate against soil C accumulation interval, which was modeled to be 618, 483 and 332 kg C ha(-1)  yr(-1) , respectively. Such data allows for a deeper understanding in how much C could be sequestered in Miscanthus grasslands at different time scales. In Aso, tribe Andropogoneae (especially Miscanthus and Schizoachyrium genera) and tribe Paniceae contributed between 64% and 100% of soil C based on δ(13) C abundance. We conclude that the seminatural, C4 -dominated grassland system serves as an important C sink, and worthy of future conservation. © 2013 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  1. Staged invasions across disparate grasslands: effects of seed provenance, consumers and disturbance on productivity and species richness.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maron, John L; Auge, Harald; Pearson, Dean E; Korell, Lotte; Hensen, Isabell; Suding, Katharine N; Stein, Claudia

    2014-04-01

    Exotic plant invasions are thought to alter productivity and species richness, yet these patterns are typically correlative. Few studies have experimentally invaded sites and asked how addition of novel species influences ecosystem function and community structure and examined the role of competitors and/or consumers in mediating these patterns. We invaded disturbed and undisturbed subplots in and out of rodent exclosures with seeds of native or exotic species in grasslands in Montana, California and Germany. Seed addition enhanced aboveground biomass and species richness compared with no-seeds-added controls, with exotics having disproportionate effects on productivity compared with natives. Disturbance enhanced the effects of seed addition on productivity and species richness, whereas rodents reduced productivity, but only in Germany and California. Our results demonstrate that experimental introduction of novel species can alter ecosystem function and community structure, but that local filters such as competition and herbivory influence the magnitude of these impacts. © 2014 John Wiley & Sons Ltd/CNRS.

  2. Ecosystem-groundwater interactions under changing land uses: Linking water, salts, and carbon across central Argentina

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jobbagy, E. G.; Nosetto, M. D.; Santoni, C. S.; Jackson, R. B.

    2007-05-01

    Although most ecosystems display a one-way connection with groundwater based on the regulation of deep water drainage (recharge), this link can become reciprocal when the saturated zone is shallow and plants take up groundwater (discharge). In what context is the reciprocal link most likely? How is it affected by land use changes? Has it consequences on salt and carbon cycling? We examine these questions across a precipitation gradient in the Pampas and Espinal of Argentina focusing on three vegetation change situations (mean annual rainfall): afforestation of humid (900-1300 mm) and subhumid grassland (700-900 mm/yr of rainfall), annual cultivation of subhumid grasslands (700-800 mm/yr), and annual cultivation of semiarid forests (500-700 mm). Humid and subhumid grasslands have shallow (measurements. Groundwater contributions enhance carbon uptake in plantations compared to grasslands as suggested by aboveground biomass measurements and satellite vegetation indexes from sites with and without access to groundwater. Where rainfall is 15 m deep) and recharge under natural conditions is null. The establishment of crops, however, triggers the onset of recharge, as evidenced by vadose zones getting wetter and leached of atmospheric chloride. Cropping may cause water table raises leading to a two-way coupling of ecosystems and groundwater in the future, as it has been documented for similar settings in Australia and the Sahel. In the Pampas land use change interacts with groundwater consumption leading to higher carbon uptake (humid and subhumid grasslands) and salt accumulation (subhumid grasslands). In the Espinal (semiarid forest) land use change currently involves a one-way effect on groundwater recharge that may switch to a reciprocal connection if regional water table raises occur. Neglecting the role of groundwater in flat sedimentary plains can obscure our understanding of carbon and salt cycling and curtail our attempts to sustain soil and water resources under

  3. Responses of terrestrial herpetofauna to persistent, novel ecosystems resulting from mountaintop removal mining

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Jennifer M.; Brown, Donald J.; Wood, Petra B.

    2017-01-01

    Mountaintop removal mining is a large-scale surface mining technique that removes entire floral and faunal communities, along with soil horizons located above coal seams. In West Virginia, the majority of this mining occurs on forested mountaintops. However, after mining ceases the land is typically reclaimed to grasslands and shrublands, resulting in novel ecosystems. In this study, we examined responses of herpetofauna to these novel ecosystems 10–28 y postreclamation. We quantified differences in species-specific habitat associations, (sub)order-level abundances, and habitat characteristics in four habitat types: reclaimed grassland, reclaimed shrubland, forest fragments in mined areas, and nonmined intact forest. Habitat type accounted for 33.2% of the variation in species-specific captures. With few exceptions, forest specialists were associated with intact forest and fragmented forest sites, while habitat generalists were either associated with grassland and shrubland sites or were distributed among all habitat types. At the (sub)order level, salamander (Order Urodela) captures were highest at fragmented and intact forest sites, frog and toad (Order Anura) captures were lowest at intact forest sites, and snake (Suborder Serpentes) captures were highest at shrubland sites. Habitat type was a strong predictor for estimated total abundance of urodeles, but not for anurans or snakes. Tree stem densities in grasslands differed from the other three habitat types, and large trees (>38 cm diameter at breast height) were only present at forest sites. Overstory vegetation cover was greater in forested than in reclaimed habitat types. Ground cover in reclaimed grasslands was distinct from forest treatments with generally less woody debris and litter cover and more vegetative cover. It is important to consider the distributions of habitat specialists of conservation concern when delineating potential mountaintop mine sites, as these sites will likely contain unsuitable

  4. Effects of Water and Nitrogen Addition on Ecosystem Carbon Exchange in a Meadow Steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Yunbo; Jiang, Qi; Yang, Zhiming; Sun, Wei; Wang, Deli

    2015-01-01

    A changing precipitation regime and increasing nitrogen deposition are likely to have profound impacts on arid and semiarid ecosystem C cycling, which is often constrained by the timing and availability of water and nitrogen. However, little is known about the effects of altered precipitation and nitrogen addition on grassland ecosystem C exchange. We conducted a 3-year field experiment to assess the responses of vegetation composition, ecosystem productivity, and ecosystem C exchange to manipulative water and nitrogen addition in a meadow steppe. Nitrogen addition significantly stimulated aboveground biomass and net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE), which suggests that nitrogen availability is a primary limiting factor for ecosystem C cycling in the meadow steppe. Water addition had no significant impacts on either ecosystem C exchange or plant biomass, but ecosystem C fluxes showed a strong correlation with early growing season precipitation, rather than whole growing season precipitation, across the 3 experimental years. After we incorporated water addition into the calculation of precipitation regimes, we found that monthly average ecosystem C fluxes correlated more strongly with precipitation frequency than with precipitation amount. These results highlight the importance of precipitation distribution in regulating ecosystem C cycling. Overall, ecosystem C fluxes in the studied ecosystem are highly sensitive to nitrogen deposition, but less sensitive to increased precipitation. PMID:26010888

  5. Negative effects of climate change on upland grassland productivity and carbon fluxes are not attenuated by nitrogen status.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eze, Samuel; Palmer, Sheila M; Chapman, Pippa J

    2018-05-09

    Effects of climate change on managed grassland carbon (C) fluxes and biomass production are not well understood. In this study, we investigated the individual and interactive effects of experimental warming (+3 °C above ambient summer daily range of 9-12 °C), supplemental precipitation (333 mm +15%) and drought (333 mm -23%) on plant biomass, microbial biomass C (MBC), net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and dissolved organic C (DOC) flux in soil cores from two upland grasslands of different soil nitrogen (N) status (0.54% and 0.37%) in the UK. After one month of acclimation to ambient summer temperature and precipitation, five replicate cores of each treatment were subjected to three months of experimental warming, drought and supplemental precipitation, based on the projected regional summer climate by the end of the 21st Century, in a fully factorial design. NEE and DOC flux were measured throughout the experimental duration, alongside other environmental variables including soil temperature and moisture. Plant biomass and MBC were determined at the end of the experiment. Results showed that warming plus drought resulted in a significant decline in belowground plant biomass (-29 to -37%), aboveground plant biomass (-35 to -77%) and NEE (-13 to -29%), regardless of the N status of the soil. Supplemental precipitation could not reverse the negative effects of warming on the net ecosystem C uptake and plant biomass production. This was attributed to physiological stress imposed by warming which suggests that future summer climate will reduce the C sink capacity of the grasslands. Due to the low moisture retention observed in this study, and to verify our findings, it is recommended that future experiments aimed at measuring soil C dynamics under climate change should be carried out under field conditions. Longer term experiments are recommended to account for seasonal and annual variability, and adaptive changes in biota. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All

  6. Monitoring Effect of Fire on Ant Assemblages in Brazilian Rupestrian Grasslands: Contrasting Effects on Ground and Arboreal Fauna

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Diego Anjos

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Fire is one of the most relevant ecological disturbances in nature. Little is known about the effects of fire on biodiversity in ecosystems like rupestrian grasslands, which share characteristics with savanna and forest biomes. Brazilian rupestrian grasslands are part of an endangered ecosystem that has been modified by anthropogenic fire events that have become more intense in recent decades. In this study, we evaluated the effects of fire on ground and arboreal ant assemblages through a two-year monitoring program (24 monthly samplings. We found that fire does not change cumulative species richness after 24 months, and that fire does not affect mean ant richness, abundance, and species composition in arboreal ants. On the other hand, fire increased mean ground ant species richness and abundance, and caused a significant change in species composition. Our results indicate a weak and beneficial effect of fire only for ground ant communities, which generally agrees with results from other studies in Brazilian savannas. Taken together, results from these studies may be useful for improvement of fire suppression policy in fire-prone habitats in Brazil.

  7. Mapping ecosystem service dynamic in Wuyuer River watershed, Northeast China from 1954 to 2000

    Science.gov (United States)

    Huang, Fang; Wang, Ping; Li, Yanqing

    2007-06-01

    Wuyuer River watershed is one of concentrative and extensive distribution area of inland wetlands in China. Wetland ecosystem plays an important role in maintain the ecological functions in the region. Integrating topographic maps in 1954, Landsat MSS, TM/ETM imagery in 2000 and GIS, spatial-temporal pattern in land-use and ecosystem services in middle and lower Wuyuer River were analyzed in this paper. Results showed that area of marsh decreased from 56.04 ×10 4 ha to 32.04×10 4 ha, while the area of cropland increase 24.94×10 4 ha from 1954 to 2000. The annual loss rate of marsh was -1.48% (from 1954 to 1976) and -0.76% (from 1976 to 2000) respectively. Marsh land were turned into dry grassland and degraded to saline-alkalined land. The grassland decreased 40.26×104 ha dramatically for having been opened up to cropland and degraded into hardly-used land. Due to the negative effect of the decline in wetlands and grassland, total values of Middle and Lower Wuyur River's ecosystem services lost 66.10×10 8 RMB ¥ with an extent of 14.67% between 1954 and 2000. The highest ecosystem service value centralized in the middle area, and decreased gradually to surrounding regions.

  8. Application of Multi-Source Remote Sensing Image in Yunnan Province Grassland Resources Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.; Wen, G.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    Trough mastering background information of Yunnan province grassland resources utilization and ecological conditions to improves grassland elaborating management capacity, it carried out grassland resource investigation work by Yunnan province agriculture department in 2017. The traditional grassland resource investigation method is ground based investigation, which is time-consuming and inefficient, especially not suitable for large scale and hard-to-reach areas. While remote sensing is low cost, wide range and efficient, which can reflect grassland resources present situation objectively. It has become indispensable grassland monitoring technology and data sources and it has got more and more recognition and application in grassland resources monitoring research. This paper researches application of multi-source remote sensing image in Yunnan province grassland resources investigation. First of all, it extracts grassland resources thematic information and conducts field investigation through BJ-2 high space resolution image segmentation. Secondly, it classifies grassland types and evaluates grassland degradation degree through high resolution characteristics of Landsat 8 image. Thirdly, it obtained grass yield model and quality classification through high resolution and wide scanning width characteristics of MODIS images and sample investigate data. Finally, it performs grassland field qualitative analysis through UAV remote sensing image. According to project area implementation, it proves that multi-source remote sensing data can be applied to the grassland resources investigation in Yunnan province and it is indispensable method.

  9. The VOC-Ozone connection: a grassland case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlfahrt, G.; Hoertnagl, L.; Bamberger, I.; Schnitzhofer, R.; Dunkel, J.; Hammerle, A.; Graus, M.; Hansel, A.

    2009-04-01

    Trophospheric ozone (O3) is formed in the presence of sunlight through the interaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOx (NO, NO2). O3 damages plants in several ways, most importantly by reducing net photosynthesis and growth. The extent of this damage depends on the time-integrated absorbed O3 flux (i.e. the dose), which is a function of leaf stomatal conductance and ambient O3 concentration, and further influenced by plant species specific defence mechanisms. VOCs are produced by plants through a variety of pathways and in response to a large number of different driving forces. A large variety of VOCs are emitted by plants in response to stress conditions, including the foliar uptake of O3. Here we present preliminary data from an ongoing study where concurrent measurements of the fluxes of VOCs and O3 are made above a managed mountain grassland in Tyrol/Austria. Fluxes of several different VOCs and O3 are measured by means of the eddy covariance method and a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) and an ozone analyser, respectively. Our findings show that the Methanol (MeOH) flux is correlated with the daily time-integrated O3 uptake by vegetation (integrated daily from sunrise - a surrogate for the O3 dose absorbed and the oxidative stress experienced by plants) - MeOH deposition and emission prevailing at low and high time-integrated O3 uptake rates, respectively. Fluxes of other VOCs were not related to the time-integrated O3 uptake. Integrated over longer time scales (several weeks) no correlation between the O3 uptake and MeOH emissions were found. Our study thus confirms earlier leaf-level studies, who found that MeOH emission increase with O3 dose, at the ecosystems scale. As the reaction with the hydroxyl radical (OH), which is responsible for the destruction of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4), is the major sink of atmospheric MeOH, this process provides a potentially important indirect radiative forcing.

  10. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    van Klink, R; van der Plas, F; van Noordwijk, C G E Toos; WallisDeVries, M F; Olff, H

    2015-05-01

    Both arthropods and large grazing herbivores are important components and drivers of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, but a synthesis of how arthropod diversity is affected by large herbivores has been largely missing. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature search, which yielded 141 studies on this topic of which 24 simultaneously investigated plant and arthropod diversity. Using the data from these 24 studies, we compared the responses of plant and arthropod diversity to an increase in grazing intensity. This quantitative assessment showed no overall significant effect of increasing grazing intensity on plant diversity, while arthropod diversity was generally negatively affected. To understand these negative effects, we explored the mechanisms by which large herbivores affect arthropod communities: direct effects, changes in vegetation structure, changes in plant community composition, changes in soil conditions, and cascading effects within the arthropod interaction web. We identify three main factors determining the effects of large herbivores on arthropod diversity: (i) unintentional predation and increased disturbance, (ii) decreases in total resource abundance for arthropods (biomass) and (iii) changes in plant diversity, vegetation structure and abiotic conditions. In general, heterogeneity in vegetation structure and abiotic conditions increases at intermediate grazing intensity, but declines at both low and high grazing intensity. We conclude that large herbivores can only increase arthropod diversity if they cause an increase in (a)biotic heterogeneity, and then only if this increase is large enough to compensate for the loss of total resource abundance and the increased mortality rate. This is expected to occur only at low herbivore densities or with spatio-temporal variation in herbivore densities. As we demonstrate that arthropod diversity is often more negatively affected by grazing than plant diversity, we strongly recommend considering the

  11. Activity and Phylogenetic Diversity of Bacterial Cells with High and Low Nucleic Acid Content and Electron Transport System Activity in an Upwelling Ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Longnecker, K.; Sherr, B. F.; Sherr, E. B.

    2005-01-01

    We evaluated whether bacteria with higher cell-specific nucleic acid content (HNA) or an active electron transport system, i.e., positive for reduction of 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC), were responsible for the bulk of bacterioplankton metabolic activity. We also examined whether the phylogenetic diversity of HNA and CTC-positive cells differed from the diversity of Bacteria with low nucleic acid content (LNA). Bacterial assemblages were sampled both in eutrophic shelf waters...

  12. Rapid response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities to short-term fertilization in an alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingjia Xiang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP is home to the vast grassland in China. The QTP grassland ecosystem has been seriously degraded by human land use practices and climate change. Fertilization is used in this region to increase vegetation yields for grazers. The impact of long-term fertilization on plant and microbial communities has been studied extensively. However, the influence of short-term fertilization on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF communities in the QTP is largely unknown, despite their important functional role in grassland ecosystems. Methods: We investigated AMF community responses to three years of N and/or P addition at an experimental field site on the QTP, using the Illumina MiSeq platform (PE 300. Results: Fertilization resulted in a dramatic shift in AMF community composition and NP addition significantly increased AMF species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Aboveground biomass, available phosphorus, and NO3− were significantly correlated with changes in AMF community structure. Changes in these factors were driven by fertilization treatments. Thus, fertilization had a large impact on AMF communities, mediated by changes in aboveground productivity and soil chemistry. Discussion: Prior work has shown how plants often lower their reliance on AMF symbioses following fertilization, leading to decrease AMF abundance and diversity. However, our study reports a rise in AMF diversity with fertilization treatment. Because AMF can provide stress tolerance to their hosts, we suggest that extreme weather on the QTP may help drive a positive relationship between fertilizer amendment and AMF diversity.

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Grassland ecology and population growth: striking a balance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hou, D; Duan, C; Zhang, D

    2000-06-01

    Degradation of forest and grasslands in western China attributes to the soil erosion and desertification in the country. Researchers have established that the primary reason for the degradation of grasslands is overgrazing, which in turn is caused by a number of factors, including over-population and over-reliance on animal husbandry. In addition, the existing administrative system has also proved ineffective in ensuring sustainable development. On contrary, many local governments even encourage exploitative development of grassland; thus, localities opened up grassland for growing crops in an effort to increase income. According to estimates, degraded grassland accounts for more than one-third of utilizable acreage and another one-third suffers from a profusion of rats and pests. To redress the situation, central government should implement strategies in achieving sustainable development, such as providing banking and tax incentives for the development of the secondary and tertiary industries, and supporting education and training of youths from herding areas. Moreover, government should increase spending on infrastructural construction and ecological preservation. Finally, the family planning program needs to be enforced to control population growth and improve the quality of peoples¿ lives.

  16. Asymmetric responses of primary productivity to precipitation extremes: A synthesis of grassland precipitation manipulation experiments.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilcox, Kevin R; Shi, Zheng; Gherardi, Laureano A; Lemoine, Nathan P; Koerner, Sally E; Hoover, David L; Bork, Edward; Byrne, Kerry M; Cahill, James; Collins, Scott L; Evans, Sarah; Gilgen, Anna K; Holub, Petr; Jiang, Lifen; Knapp, Alan K; LeCain, Daniel; Liang, Junyi; Garcia-Palacios, Pablo; Peñuelas, Josep; Pockman, William T; Smith, Melinda D; Sun, Shanghua; White, Shannon R; Yahdjian, Laura; Zhu, Kai; Luo, Yiqi

    2017-10-01

    Climatic changes are altering Earth's hydrological cycle, resulting in altered precipitation amounts, increased interannual variability of precipitation, and more frequent extreme precipitation events. These trends will likely continue into the future, having substantial impacts on net primary productivity (NPP) and associated ecosystem services such as food production and carbon sequestration. Frequently, experimental manipulations of precipitation have linked altered precipitation regimes to changes in NPP. Yet, findings have been diverse and substantial uncertainty still surrounds generalities describing patterns of ecosystem sensitivity to altered precipitation. Additionally, we do not know whether previously observed correlations between NPP and precipitation remain accurate when precipitation changes become extreme. We synthesized results from 83 case studies of experimental precipitation manipulations in grasslands worldwide. We used meta-analytical techniques to search for generalities and asymmetries of aboveground NPP (ANPP) and belowground NPP (BNPP) responses to both the direction and magnitude of precipitation change. Sensitivity (i.e., productivity response standardized by the amount of precipitation change) of BNPP was similar under precipitation additions and reductions, but ANPP was more sensitive to precipitation additions than reductions; this was especially evident in drier ecosystems. Additionally, overall relationships between the magnitude of productivity responses and the magnitude of precipitation change were saturating in form. The saturating form of this relationship was likely driven by ANPP responses to very extreme precipitation increases, although there were limited studies imposing extreme precipitation change, and there was considerable variation among experiments. This highlights the importance of incorporating gradients of manipulations, ranging from extreme drought to extreme precipitation increases into future climate change

  17. Prescribed burning to affect a state transition in a shrub-encroached desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescribed burning is a commonly advocated and historical practice for control of woody species encroachment into grasslands on all continents. However, desert grasslands of the southwestern United States often lack needed herbaceous fuel loads for effective prescriptions, dominant perennial gramin...

  18. Major ecosystems in China: dynamics and challenges for sustainable management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lü, Yihe; Fu, Bojie; Wei, Wei; Yu, Xiubo; Sun, Ranhao

    2011-07-01

    Ecosystems, though impacted by global environmental change, can also contribute to the adaptation and mitigation of such large scale changes. Therefore, sustainable ecosystem management is crucial in reaching a sustainable future for the biosphere. Based on the published literature and publicly accessible data, this paper discussed the status and trends of forest, grassland, and wetland ecosystems in China that play important roles in the ecological integrity and human welfare of the nation. Ecological degradation has been observed in these ecosystems at various levels and geographic locations. Biophysical (e.g., climate change) and socioeconomic factors (e.g., intensive human use) are the main reasons for ecosystem degradation with the latter factors serving as the dominant driving forces. The three broad categories of ecosystems in China have partially recovered from degradation thanks to large scale ecological restoration projects implemented in the last few decades. China, as the largest and most populated developing nation, still faces huge challenges regarding ecosystem management in a changing and globalizing world. To further improve ecosystem management in China, four recommendations were proposed, including: (1) advance ecosystem management towards an application-oriented, multidisciplinary science; (2) establish a well-functioning national ecological monitoring and data sharing mechanism; (3) develop impact and effectiveness assessment approaches for policies, plans, and ecological restoration projects; and (4) promote legal and institutional innovations to balance the intrinsic needs of ecological and socioeconomic systems. Any change in China's ecosystem management approach towards a more sustainable one will benefit the whole world. Therefore, international collaborations on ecological and environmental issues need to be expanded.

  19. Seasonal and Spatial Variations of Bulk Nitrogen Deposition and the Impacts on the Carbon Cycle in the Arid/Semiarid Grassland of Inner Mongolia, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xianglan; Shi, Huiqiu; Xu, Wenfang; Liu, Wei; Wang, Xiujun; Hou, Longyu; Feng, Fei; Yuan, Wenping; Li, Linghao; Xu, Hua

    2015-01-01

    Atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition is an important component that affects the structure and function of different terrestrial ecosystem worldwide. However, much uncertainty still remains concerning the magnitude of N deposition on grassland ecosystem in China. To study the spatial and temporal patterns of bulk N deposition, the levels of N (NH4+-N and NO3--N) concentration in rainfall were measured at 12 sites across a 1200 km grassland transect in Inner Mongolia, China, and the respective N deposition rates were estimated. The inorganic N deposition rates ranged from 4.53 kg N ha-1 to 12.21 kg N ha-1 with a mean value of 8.07 kg N ha-1 during the entire growing season, decreasing steadily from the eastern to the western regions. Inorganic N deposition occurred mainly in July and August across meadow steppe, typical steppe, and desert steppe, which corresponded to the seasonal distribution of mean annual precipitation. A positive relationship was found between inorganic N deposition and mean annual precipitation (R2 = 0.54 ~ 0.72, P ecosystem respiration, but has no effect on root biomass and soil respiration. We must clarify that we used the bulk deposition samplers during the entire sampling process and estimated the dissolved NH4+-N and NO3--N deposition rates during the entire growing season. Long-term N deposition monitoring networks should be constructed to study the patterns of N deposition and its potential effect on grassland ecosystem, considering various N species, i.e., gaseous N, particle N, and wet N deposition.

  20. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial ecosystem elements and use these to compose an entrepreneurial ecosystem index. Next, we measure the output of entrepreneurial ecosystems with different indicators of high-growth firms. We use the 12 provi...

  1. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystem structure and function (in combination with other inputs) to human well-being. That means, humankind is strongly dependent on well-functioning ecosystems and natural capital that are the base for a constant flow of ecosystem services from nature to society. Therefore ecosystem services have the potential to become a major tool for policy and decision making on global, national, regional and local scales. Possible applications are manifold:...

  2. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi May Mitigate the Influence of a Joint Rise of Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 on Soil Respiration in Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Vicca

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available We investigated the effects of mycorrhizal colonization and future climate on roots and soil respiration (Rsoil in model grassland ecosystems. We exposed artificial grassland communities on pasteurized soil (no living arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF present and on pasteurized soil subsequently inoculated with AMF to ambient conditions and to a combination of elevated CO2 and temperature (future climate scenario. After one growing season, the inoculated soil revealed a positive climate effect on AMF root colonization and this elicited a significant AMF x climate scenario interaction on root biomass. Whereas the future climate scenario tended to increase root biomass in the noninoculated soil, the inoculated soil revealed a 30% reduction of root biomass under warming at elevated CO2 (albeit not significant. This resulted in a diminished response of Rsoil to simulated climatic change, suggesting that AMF may contribute to an attenuated stimulation of Rsoil in a warmer, high CO2 world.

  3. WATCHING GRASS GROW- A PILOT STUDY ON THE SUITABILITY OF PHOTOGRAMMETRIC TECHNIQUES FOR QUANTIFYING CHANGE IN ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS IN GRASSLAND EXPERIMENTS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Kröhnert

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available Grassland ecology experiments in remote locations requiring quantitative analysis of the biomass in defined plots are becoming increasingly widespread, but are still limited by manual sampling methodologies. To provide a cost-effective automated solution for biomass determination, several photogrammetric techniques are examined to generate 3D point cloud representations of plots as a basis, to estimate aboveground biomass on grassland plots, which is a key ecosystem variable used in many experiments. Methods investigated include Structure from Motion (SfM techniques for camera pose estimation with posterior dense matching as well as the usage of a Time of Flight (TOF 3D camera, a laser light sheet triangulation system and a coded light projection system. In this context, plants of small scales (herbage and medium scales are observed. In the first pilot study presented here, the best results are obtained by applying dense matching after SfM, ideal for integration into distributed experiment networks.

  4. Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi May Mitigate the Influence of a Joint Rise of Temperature and Atmospheric CO2 on Soil Respiration in Grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vicca, S.; Zavalloni, C.; Fu, Y.S.H.; Ceulemans, R.; Nijs, I.; Janssens, I.A.; Voets, L.; Boulois, H.D.D.; Declerck, S.

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the effects of mycorrhizal colonization and future climate on roots and soil respiration (R soil) in model grassland ecosystems. We exposed artificial grassland communities on pasteurized soil (no living arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) present) and on pasteurized soil subsequently inoculated with AMF to ambient conditions and to a combination of elevated CO 2 and temperature (future climate scenario). After one growing season, the inoculated soil revealed a positive climate effect on AMF root colonization and this elicited a significant AMF x climate scenario interaction on root biomass. Whereas the future climate scenario tended to increase root biomass in the non inoculated soil, the inoculated soil revealed a 30% reduction of root biomass under warming at elevated CO 2 (albeit not significant). This resulted in a diminished response of R soil to simulated climatic change, suggesting that AMF may contribute to an attenuated stimulation of R soil in a warmer, high CO 2 world.

  5. Modeling impacts of climate change on carbon dynamics in a steppe ecosystem in Inner Mongolia, China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Kang, Xiaoming; Wang, Jinzhi; Rui, Yichao; Niu, Haishan [Graduate Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China). College of Resources and Environment; Hao, Yanbin; Cui, Xiaoyong; Wang, Yanfen [Graduate Univ. of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing (China). College of Life Sciences; Li, Changsheng [New Hampshire Univ., Durham, NH (United States). Inst. for the Study of Earth, Ocean and Space

    2011-06-15

    Purpose: In this study, a process-oriented biogeochemistry model, denitrification-decomposition (DNDC), was employed and adapted to interpret and integrate the field observations that the tested ecosystem was a weak sink of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO{sub 2}) in 2004 but a strong source in 2005 during the growing seasons. Then we applied the model to predict long-term impacts of climate change on carbon (C) dynamics in the semiarid grassland. Materials and methods: To adapt DNDC for the targeted grassland, we modified the default values of several grass parameters such as maximum biomass production, biomass partitions, plant tissue C/N ratio, and accumulative thermal degree days based on local observations. Daily weather data for 2004 and 2005 in conjunction with soil properties and management practices for the location were utilized as inputs to simulate the grass growth and soil C dynamics. The modeled C fluxes were compared with the eddy tower data. Sensitivity tests were conducted with a baseline and twelve alternative climate scenarios of 100 years for the target grassland. Results and discussion: The observed and modeled CO{sub 2} fluxes data were well in agreement (P < 0.0001), both showing that the grassland shifted from a sink to a source of atmospheric CO{sub 2} from a wet year (2004) to a dry year (2005) over growing season. Simulations of 100 years found that, under the fenced conditions, (1) the tested ecosystem would gain C with the baseline climate conditions at a rate of 200 kg C/ha/year; (2) the warmer and drier climate scenario made the worst case having the lowest grass production with 72 kg C/ha/year lost from the soil carbon pool; and (3) the cooler and wetter climate scenario made the best case having the highest biomass production with 790 kg C/ha/year sequestered in the soil during the simulated 100 years. Conclusions: DNDC model could be used for the prediction of C dynamics in this semiarid grassland ecosystem. Since the ecosystem

  6. Potential nitrogen critical loads for northern Great Plains grassland vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Smith, Anine T.; Newton, Wesley E.; Knapp, Alan K.

    2015-01-01

    The National Park Service is concerned that increasing atmospheric nitrogen deposition caused by fossil fuel combustion and agricultural activities could adversely affect the northern Great Plains (NGP) ecosystems in its trust. The critical load concept facilitates communication between scientists and policy makers or land managers by translating the complex effects of air pollution on ecosystems into concrete numbers that can be used to inform air quality targets. A critical load is the exposure level below which significant harmful effects on sensitive elements of the environment do not occur. A recent review of the literature suggested that the nitrogen critical load for Great Plains vegetation is 10-25 kg N/ha/yr. For comparison, current atmospheric nitrogen deposition in NGP National Park Service (NPS) units ranges from ~4 kg N/ha/yr in the west to ~13 kg N/ha/yr in the east. The suggested critical load, however, was derived from studies far outside of the NGP, and from experiments investigating nitrogen loads substantially higher than current atmospheric deposition in the region.Therefore, to better determine the nitrogen critical load for sensitive elements in NGP parks, we conducted a four-year field experiment in three northern Great Plains vegetation types at Badlands and Wind Cave National Parks. The vegetation types were chosen because of their importance in NGP parks, their expected sensitivity to nitrogen addition, and to span a range of natural fertility. In the experiment, we added nitrogen at rates ranging from below current atmospheric deposition (2.5 kg N/ha/yr) to far above those levels but commensurate with earlier experiments (100 kg N/ha/yr). We measured the response of a variety of vegetation and soil characteristics shown to be sensitive to nitrogen addition in other studies, including plant biomass production, plant tissue nitrogen concentration, plant species richness and composition, non-native species abundance, and soil inorganic

  7. Resilience and stability of the grasslands of the Transkei | B | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In spite of very high stocking rates the grasslands of Transkei still have in many areas a high cover and many climax species. The concepts of resilience and stability are used in an attempt to explain dynamics of the grasslands. Keywords: resiliences|stabilities|grasslands|Transkei|stocking rates|basal covers|grass ...

  8. Voluntary intake and in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands in dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinenberg, M.H.; Valk, H.; Struik, P.C.

    2003-01-01

    To study in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands two experiments were carried out. In the first experiment lactating dairy cows were offered three different silage-based diets. Silage originated from intensively managed grassland (IM), extensively managed species-poor grassland

  9. Forest and grassland carbon in North America: A short course for land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Swanston; Michael J. Furniss; Kristen Schmitt; Jeffrey Guntle; Maria Janowiak; Sarah Hines

    2012-01-01

    This multimedia short-course presents a range of information on the science, management and policy of forest and grassland carbon. Forests and grasslands worldwide play a critical role in storing carbon and sequestering greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of forests and grasslands, emphasizes the need for...

  10. The European Native Seed Industry: Characterization and Perspectives in Grassland Restoration

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcello De Vitis

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available The European Union committed to restore 15% of degraded ecosystems by 2020, and to comply with this goal, native plant material, such as seeds, is needed in large quantities. The native seed production of herbaceous species plays a critical role in supplying seed for restoration of a key ecosystem: grasslands. The objective of this work is to provide for the first time a characterization of the sector at a multi-country European level together with key information about the community of native seed users via intensive web-based research and a direct survey of industry participants. Based on more than 1300 contacts and direct surveying of more than 200 stakeholders across Europe, responses indicated that: the European native seed industry consists primarily of small to medium enterprises; responding native seed users purchase annually an average of 3600 kg of seeds with an average expenditure of €17,600; the industry (suppliers and consumers favours development of seed zones and would participate in a European network for knowledge sharing. This study provides framework principles that can guide decisions in this sector, critical for fulfilling the growing demand for native seed as a primary tool for large-scale restoration on the continent.

  11. Cellulolytic potential under environmental changes in microbial communities from grassland litter

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renaud eBerlemont

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available In many ecosystems, global changes are likely to profoundly affect microorganisms. In Southern California, changes in precipitation and nitrogen deposition may influence the composition and functional potential of microbial communities and their resulting ability to degrade plant material. To test whether environmental changes impact the distribution of functional groups involved in leaf litter degradation, we determined how the genomic diversity of microbial communities in a semi-arid grassland ecosystem changed under reduced precipitation or increased N deposition. We monitored communities seasonally over a period of two years to place environmental change responses into the context of natural variation. Fungal and bacterial communities displayed strong seasonal patterns, Fungi being mostly detected during the dry season whereas Bacteria were common during wet periods. Most putative cellulose degraders were associated with 33 bacterial genera and constituted ~18.2% of the microbial community. Precipitation reduction reduced bacterial abundance and cellulolytic potential whereas nitrogen addition did not affect the cellulolytic potential of the microbial community. Finally, we detected a strong correlation between the frequencies of genera putative cellulose degraders and cellulase genes. Thus, microbial taxonomic composition was predictive of cellulolytic potential. This work provides a framework for how environmental changes affect microorganisms responsible for plant litter deconstruction.

  12. 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

  13. Impacts of climate and management on water balance and nitrogen leaching from montane grassland soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Jin; Gasche, Rainer; Wang, Na; Lu, Haiyan; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Kiese, Ralf

    2017-04-01

    The impacts of climate and management on the water balance and nutrient leaching of montane grasslands have rarely been investigated, though such ecosystems may represent a major source for ground and surface water nitrates. In this study nitrogen (nitrate, ammonium, dissolved organic nitrogen) and dissolved organic carbon leaching as well as water balance components (precipitation, evapotranspiration, and groundwater recharge) were quantified (2012-2014) by means of replicated (N=3 per site/ treatment) measurements of weighable grassland lysimeters (1 m2 area, 1.2 m soil depth) at three sites (E860: 860 m a.s.l., E770: 770 m a.s.l. and E600: 600 m a.s.l.) in the pre-alpine region of S-Germany. Two grassland management strategies were investigated: a) intensive management with 5 cuts per year and cattle slurry application rates of 280 kg N ha-1 yr-1, and b) extensive management with 3 cuts per year and cattle slurry application rates of 56 kg N ha-1 yr-1. Our results show that at E600, the site with highest air temperature (8.6 °C) and lowest precipitation (981.9 mm), evapotranspiration losses were 100.7 mm higher as at the E860 site, i.e. the site with lowest mean annual air temperature (6.5 °C) and highest precipitation (1359.3 mm). On the other hand groundwater recharge was substantial lower at E600 (-440.9 mm) as compared to E860. Compared to climate, impacts of grassland management on water balance components were negligible. However, intensive management significantly increased mean total nitrogen leaching rates across sites as compared to extensive management from 2.6 kg N ha-1 year-1 (range: 0.5-6.0 kg N ha-1 year-1) to 4.8 kg N ha-1 year-1 (range: 0.9-12.9 kg N ha-1 year-1). N leaching losses were dominated by nitrate (64.7 %) and equally less by ammonium (14.6 %) and DON (20.7 %). The rather low rates of N leaching (0.8 - 6.9 % of total applied N) suggest a highly efficient nitrogen uptake by plants as measured by plant total N content at harvest

  14. Grassland Soil Carbon Responses to Nitrogen Additions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmockel, K. S.; Tfailly, M.; Callister, S.; Bramer, L.; Thompson, A.

    2017-12-01

    Using a long-term continental scale experiment, we tested if increases in nitrogen (N) inputs augment the accumulation of plant and microbial residues onto mineral soil surfaces. This research investigates N effects on molecular biogeochemistry across six sites from the Nutrient Network (NutNet) experiment. The coupling between concurrently changing carbon (C) and N cycles remains a key uncertainty in understanding feedbacks between the terrestrial C cycle and climate change. Existing models do not consider the full suite of linked C-N processes, particularly belowground, that could drive future C-climate feedbacks. Soil harbors a wealth of diverse organic molecules, most of which have not been measured in hypothesis driven field research. For the first time we systematically assess the chemical composition of soil organic matter (SOM) and functional characteristics of the soil microbiome, to enhance our understanding of the molecular underpinnings of ecosystem C and N cycling. We have acquired soils from 5 ecosystem experiments across the US that have been subjected to 8 years of N addition treatments. These soils have been analyzed for chemical composition to identify how the soil fertility and stability is altered by N fertilization. We found distinct SOM signatures from our field experiments and shifts in soil chemistry in response to 8 years of N fertilization. Across all sites, we found the molecular composition of SOM varied with clay content, supporting the importance of soil mineralogy in the accumulation of specific chemical classes of SOM. While many molecules were common across sites, we discovered a suite of molecules that were site specific. N fertilization had a significant effect on SOM composition. Differences between control and N amended plots were greater in sites rich in lipids and more complex molecules, compared to sites with SOM rich in amino-sugar and protein like substances. Our results have important implications for how SOM is

  15. Effects of Conversion from Boreal Forest to Arctic Steppe on Soil Communities and Ecosystem Carbon Pools

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, P. D.; Natali, S.; Schade, J. D.; Zimov, N.; Zimov, S. A.

    2014-12-01

    The end of the Pleistocene marked the extinction of a great variety of arctic megafauna, which, in part, led to the conversion of arctic grasslands to modern Siberian larch forest. This shift may have increased the vulnerability of permafrost to thawing because of changes driven by the vegetation shift; the higher albedo of grassland and low insulation of snow trampled by animals may have decreased soil temperatures and reduced ground thaw in the grassland ecosystem, resulting in protection of organic carbon in thawed soil and permafrost. To test these hypothesized impacts of arctic megafauna, we examined an experimental reintroduction of large mammals in northeast Siberia, initiated in 1988. Pleistocene Park now contains 23 horses, three musk ox, one bison, and several moose in addition to the native fauna. The park is 16 square km with a smaller enclosure (animals spend most of their time and our study was focused. We measured carbon-pools in forested sites (where scat surveys showed low animal use), and grassy sites (which showed higher use), within the park boundaries. We also measured thaw depth and documented the soil invertebrate communities in each ecosystem. There was a substantial difference in number of invertebrates per kg of organic soil between the forest (600 ± 250) and grassland (300 ± 250), though these differences were not statistically significant they suggest faster nutrient turnover in the forest or a greater proportion of decomposition by invertebrates than other decomposers. While thaw depth was deeper in the grassland (60 ± 4 cm) than in the forest (40 ± 6 cm), we did not detect differences in organic layer depth or percent organic matter between grassland and forest. However, soil in the grassland had higher bulk density, and higher carbon stocks in the organic and mineral soil layers. Although deeper thaw depth in the grassland suggests that more carbon is available to microbial decomposers, ongoing temperature monitoring will help

  16. Precipitation as driver of carbon fluxes in 11 African ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. Merbold

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available This study reports carbon and water fluxes between the land surface and atmosphere in eleven different ecosystems types in Sub-Saharan Africa, as measured using eddy covariance (EC technology in the first two years of the CarboAfrica network operation. The ecosystems for which data were available ranged in mean annual rainfall from 320 mm (Sudan to 1150 mm (Republic of Congo and include a spectrum of vegetation types (or land cover (open savannas, woodlands, croplands and grasslands. Given the shortness of the record, the EC data were analysed across the network rather than longitudinally at sites, in order to understand the driving factors for ecosystem respiration and carbon assimilation, and to reveal the different water use strategies in these highly seasonal environments.

    Values for maximum net carbon assimilation rates (photosynthesis ranged from −12.5 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 in a dry, open Millet cropland (C4-plants up to −48 μmol CO2 m−2 s−1 for a tropical moist grassland. Maximum carbon assimilation rates were highly correlated with mean annual rainfall (r2=0.74. Maximum photosynthetic uptake rates (Fpmax were positively related to satellite-derived fAPAR. Ecosystem respiration was dependent on temperature at all sites, and was additionally dependent on soil water content at sites receiving less than 1000 mm of rain per year. All included ecosystems dominated by C3-plants, showed a strong decrease in 30-min assimilation rates with increasing water vapour pressure deficit above 2.0 kPa.

  17. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    the Digital Ecosystem Technology Transformation (DETT) framework for explaining technology-based transformation of digital ecosystems by integrating theories of business and technology ecosystems. The framework depicts ecosystem transformation as distributed and emergent from micro-, meso-, and macro- level......In digital ecosystems, the fusion relation between business and technology means that the decision of technical compatibility of the offering is also the decision of how to position the firm relative to the coopetive relations that characterize business ecosystems. In this article we develop...... coopetition. The DETT framework consists an alternative to the existing explanations of digital ecosystem transformation as the rational management of one central actor balancing ecosystem tensions. We illustrate the use of the framework by a case study of transformation in the digital payment ecosystem...

  18. Ecosystem degradation in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinha, B.N.

    1990-01-01

    Environmental and ecosystem studies have assumed greater relevance in the last decade of the twentieth century than even before. The urban settlements are becoming over-crowded and industries are increasingly polluting the air, water and sound in our larger metropolises. Degradation of different types of ecosystem are discussed in this book, Ecosystem Degradation in India. The book has been divided into seven chapters: Introduction, Coastal and Delta Ecosystem, River Basin Ecosystem, Mountain Ecosystem, Forest Ecosystem, Urban Ecosystem and the last chapter deals with the Environmental Problems and Planning. In the introduction the environmental and ecosystem degradation problems in India is highlighted as a whole while in other chapters mostly case studies by experts who know their respective terrain very intimately are included. The case study papers cover most part of India and deal with local problems, stretching from east coast to west coast and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. (author)

  19. Initial results of experimental studies of prairie dogs in arid grasslands: Implications for landscape conservation and the importance of scale (Resultados Iniciales de Estudios Experimentales en Perros Llaneros de Pastizales Aridos: Implicaciones Para la Conservacion del Paisaje y la Importancia de Escala)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles Curtin

    2006-01-01

    Numerous ecologists and conservationists believe that prairie dogs increase ecosystem diversity and preserve the function of grasslands (Whicker and Detling 1988, Miller et al. 1994, Jones et al. 1994, Power et al. 1996, Weltzin et al. 1997, Miller et al. 2000), yet this perspective is controversial (Stapp 1998). In contrast, many ranchers and land owners view prairie...

  20. Belowground plant biomass of grassland ecosystems and its variation according to ecological factors

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fiala, Karel

    2010-01-01

    Roč. 29, č. 2 (2010), s. 182-206 ISSN 1335-342X R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA526/06/0556 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : root production * living root s * turnover rate Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  1. Temperature dependences of carbon assimilation processes in four mountain grassland ecosystem

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Urban, Otmar; Ač, Alexander; Kalina, J.; Priwitzer, T.; Šprtová, Miroslava; Špunda, V.; Marek, Michal V.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 3 (2007), s. 392-399 ISSN 0300-3604 R&D Projects: GA MŠk OC 627.001; GA MŽP SM/640/18/03 Grant - others:EU(XE) EVK2-CT-2001-000125 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : ambient and intercellular CO2 concentration * photosynthesis * water use efficiency Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 0.976, year: 2007

  2. Spatiotemporal Exploration of Impacts of Coupled Climate and Socioeconomic Changes on Grassland Ecosystems (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xie, Y.

    2013-12-01

    Although the coupled impacts of climate change and human adaptation on land cover change has been a prime research topic in recent years, a majority of reported efforts are examining the coupled effects of climate and socioeconomic factors qualitatively. Even though some are applying statistical methods, they often look into the impacts of coupled climate variations and socioeconomic transformations on land cover changes in a detached or sequential manner, or they handle socioeconomic influences indirectly through land use changes. Very few of them deal with the coupled effects concurrently through times and cross regions. We assimilate a big dataset of climate change, plant community growth condition, and socioeconomic transformation in Inner Mongolia of China. The study area consists of twelve types of plant communities, reflecting an east-to-west water-temperature gradient from moist meadow-type, to typical steppe-type and then to arid desert-type communities. The enhanced vegetation index (EVI), derived from MODIS at a 250 m resolution and 16-day intervals from May 8 to September 28 during 2000-2010, is adopted as a proxy for vegetation growth. The inter-annual and intra-annual changes of seven climate factors (barometric pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunlight hours, temperature, vapor pressure and wind speed) during the same period are synchronized with the EVI observations. Ten socioeconomic variables (urban population, urban GDP, rural GDP, grain output, livestock, fixed assets investment, local government revenue, per capita net income of farmers and pastoralists, the total length of highways, and rural population) are collected over 34 counties in the study area and during the same period. The GIS-based spatial database approach is adopted to integrate all of the above data into a big spatiotemporal dataset. We develop a multi-controlled panel-data regression model to investigate spatiotemporal changes of vegetation growth and their underlying causes of coupled climate and human impacts. We are able to examine the causal relationships between vegetation growth and coupled climate change and socioeconomic transformation either from the perspective of seasonal, annual, eco-regional, or by-county change, respectively. Most importantly, we can investigate the causal relations concurrently over seasons and years and across administrative or ecological regions. The findings confirm that climate changes and human socioeconomic activities jointly affect vegetation growth and its trajectory of change; these climate and human factors reveal varied levels of impacts (sunshine hour, humidity, vapor, grain production, precipitation, urban-GDP, livestock, and urban population in descending order positively affect vegetation growth, while rural-GDP and rural population negatively do); and the causal relationships show clear seasonal trends, annual fluctuations, and regional disparities, depending on a variety of ecologically and economically varying contextual factors. The potential of applying our model and approach in the Eurasian Steppes is very promising.

  3. Ecosystem responses to warming and watering in typical and desert steppes

    OpenAIRE

    Zhenzhu Xu; Yanhui Hou; Lihua Zhang; Tao Liu; Guangsheng Zhou

    2016-01-01

    Global warming is projected to continue, leading to intense fluctuations in precipitation and heat waves and thereby affecting the productivity and the relevant biological processes of grassland ecosystems. Here, we determined the functional responses to warming and altered precipitation in both typical and desert steppes. The results showed that watering markedly increased the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) in a typical steppe during a drier year and in a desert steppe over two ...

  4. Carbon exchange between ecosystems and atmosphere in the Czech Republic is affected by climate factors

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Marek, Michal V.; Janouš, Dalibor; Taufarová, Klára; Havránková, Kateřina; Pavelka, Marian; Kaplan, Věroslav; Marková, I.

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 159, č. 5 (2011), s. 1035-1039 ISSN 0269-7491 R&D Projects: GA MŽP(CZ) SP/1A6/108/07; GA MŠk 2B06068 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : carbon fluxes * net ecosystem exchange * spruce forest * beech forest * Grassland * agroecosystem * wetland * climate factors Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.746, year: 2011

  5. Ecosystem-scale carbon monoxide exchange and partitioning across major biomes in Europe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hammerle, Albin; Spielmann, Felix; Kitz, Florian; Ibrom, Andreas; Migliavacca, Mirco; Noe, Steffen; Kolle, Olaf; Moreno, Gerardo; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2017-04-01

    With an average mole fraction of 100 ppb carbon monoxide (CO) plays a critical role in atmospheric chemistry and has an indirect global warming potential. While sources/sinks of CO on land at least partially cancel out each other and their magnitude is very likely lower compared to other sinks and sources, the magnitude of CO sources and sinks is highly uncertain. Thus it may be premature to neglect any direct contributions of land ecosystems to the CO budget. In addition, changes in global climate and resulting changes in global productivity may require re-evaluating older data and assumptions. One major reason for the large uncertainty is a general scarcity of empirical data. Here we present data on continuous eddy covariance measurements of CO-fluxes above different biomes in Europe in combination with soil-chamber flux measurements. Eddy covariance and soil-chamber measurements were conducted during the vegetation periods in 2015 and 2016 at a temperate grassland (AUT), a Mediterranean savanna (ESP), a temperate mixed deciduous (DEN) and a hemi-boreal forest (EST). While a clear diel pattern in ecosystem-scale CO-fluxes could be observed at the two grassland sites, with comparatively high emission rates at daytime conditions and fluxes around zero at night, no such pattern could be found for the two forest sites. Soil-chamber measurements mimicked the ecosystem-scale fluxes with CO-emissions during the day at the grassland ecosystems and slightly negative fluxes at night. Applying different treatments the influence of radiation and the availability of litter on these fluxes could be shown. Furthermore, a two-month rainout experiment revealed hardly any differences in CO soil fluxes between rainout- and control-plots at the grassland site (AUT), unless extremely dry conditions were reached.

  6. Mapping anuran habitat suitability to estimate effects of grassland and wetland conservation programs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mushet, David M.; Euliss, Ned H.; Stockwell, Craig A.

    2012-01-01

    The conversion of the Northern Great Plains of North America to a landscape favoring agricultural commodity production has negatively impacted wildlife habitats. To offset impacts, conservation programs have been implemented by the U.S. Department of Agriculture and other agencies to restore grassland and wetland habitat components. To evaluate effects of these efforts on anuran habitats, we used call survey data and environmental data in ecological niche factor analyses implemented through the program Biomapper to quantify habitat suitability for five anuran species within a 196 km2 study area. Our amphibian call surveys identified Northern Leopard Frogs (Lithobates pipiens), Wood Frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus), Boreal Chorus Frogs (Pseudacris maculata), Great Plains Toads (Anaxyrus cognatus), and Woodhouse’s Toads (Anaxyrus woodhousii) occurring within the study area. Habitat suitability maps developed for each species revealed differing patterns of suitable habitat among species. The most significant findings of our mapping effort were 1) the influence of deep-water overwintering wetlands on suitable habitat for all species encountered except the Boreal Chorus Frog; 2) the lack of overlap between areas of core habitat for both the Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog compared to the core habitat for both toad species; and 3) the importance of conservation programs in providing grassland components of Northern Leopard Frog and Wood Frog habitat. The differences in habitats suitable for the five species we studied in the Northern Great Plains, i.e., their ecological niches, highlight the importance of utilizing an ecosystem based approach that considers the varying needs of multiple species in the development of amphibian conservation and management plans.

  7. Micronutrient metal speciation is controlled by competitive organic chelation in grassland soils

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Boiteau, Rene M.; Shaw, Jared B.; Pasa Tolic, Ljiljana; Koppenaal, David W.; Jansson, Janet K.

    2018-05-01

    Many elements are scarcely soluble in aqueous conditions found in high pH environments, such as calcareous grassland soils, unless complexed to strong binding organic ligands. To overcome this limitation, some plants and microbes produce chelators that solubilize micronutrient metals such as Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn from mineral phases. These complexes are taken up by organisms via specific membrane receptors, thereby differentially impacting the bioavailability of these metals to the plant and microbial community. Although the importance of these chelation strategies for individual organisms has been well established, little is known about which pathways coexist within rhizosphere microbiomes or how they interact and compete for metal binding. Identifying these metallo-organic species within natural ecosystems has remained a formidable analytical challenge due to the vast diversity of compounds and poorly defined metabolic processes in complex soil matrix. Herein, we employed recently developed liquid chromatography (LC) mass spectrometry (MS) methods to characterize the speciation of water-soluble dissolved trace elements (Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn) from Kansas Prairie soil. Both plant and fungal chelators were identified, revealing compound-specific patterns of chelation to biologically essential metals. Numerous metabolites typically implicated in plant iron acquisition and homeostasis, including mugineic acids, deoxymugineic acid, nicotianamine, and hydroxynicotianamine, dominated the speciation of divalent metals such as Ni, Cu, and Zn (2-57 pmol / g soil). In contrast, the fungal siderophore ferricrocine bound comparatively more trivalent Fe (9pmol / g soil). These results define biochemical pathways that underpin the regulation of metals in the grassland rhizosphere. They also raise new questions about the competition of these compounds for metal binding and their bioavailability to different members of the rhizosphere population. Even small structural differences

  8. Micronutrient metal speciation is driven by competitive organic chelation in grassland soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boiteau, R.; Shaw, J. B.; Paša-Tolić, L.; Koppenaal, D.; Jansson, J.

    2017-12-01

    Many elements are scarcely soluble in aqueous conditions found in high pH environments, such as calcareous grassland soils, unless complexed to strong binding organic ligands. To overcome this limitation, some plants and microbes produce chelators that solubilize micronutrient metals such as Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn from mineral phases. These complexes are taken up by organisms via specific membrane receptors, thereby differentially impacting the bioavailability of these metals to the plant and microbial community. Although the importance of these chelation strategies for individual organisms has been well established, little is known about which pathways coexist within rhizosphere microbiomes or how they interact and compete for metal binding. Identifying these metallo-organic species within natural ecosystems has remained a formidable analytical challenge due to the vast diversity of compounds and poorly defined metabolic processes in complex soil matrix. Herein, we employed recently developed liquid chromatography (LC) mass spectrometry (MS) methods to characterize the speciation of water-soluble dissolved trace elements (Fe, Ni, Cu, and Zn) from Kansas Prairie soil. Both plant and fungal chelators were identified, revealing compound-specific patterns of chelation to biologically essential metals. Numerous metabolites typically implicated in plant iron acquisition and homeostasis, including mugineic acids, deoxymugineic acid, nicotianamine, and hydroxynicotianamine, dominated the speciation of divalent metals such as Ni, Cu, and Zn (2-57 pmol / g soil). In contrast, the fungal siderophore ferricrocine bound comparatively more trivalent Fe (9pmol / g soil). These results define biochemical pathways that underpin the regulation of metals in the grassland rhizosphere. They also raise new questions about the competition of these compounds for metal binding and their bioavailability to different members of the rhizosphere population.

  9. Assessing Dryland Ecosystem Services in Xinjiang, Northwest China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Siew, T. F.; Brauman, K. A.; Zuo, L.; Doll, P. M.

    2014-12-01

    Dryland ecosystems, including grassland, forest, and irrigated cropland, cover about 41% of earth's land area and are inhabited by over two billion people. In drylands, particularly arid and semiarid areas, the production of ecosystem services is primarily constrained by freshwater availability. Often, water allocated to production by one ecosystem or of one ecosystem service negatively impacts other ecosystems or ecosystem services (ESS). The challenge is to determine how much water should be allocated to which ecosystems (natural and manmade) such that multiple ESS are maximized, thus improving overall well-being. This strategic management decision must be supported by knowledge about spatial and temporal availability of water and its relationship to production (location and scale) of ESS that people receive. We assess the spatial and temporal relationships between water availability and ESS production in Xinjiang, Northwest China. We address four questions: (1) What services are produced by which ecosystems with water available? (2) Where are these services produced? (3) Who uses the services produced? (4) How the production of services changes with variability of water available? Using existing global, national, and regional spatial and statistical data, we assess food, fiber, livestock, and wood production as well as unique forest landscapes (as a proxy for aesthetic appreciation and habitats for unique animals and plants) and protection from dust storms. Irrigation is necessary for crop production in Xinjiang. The production of about 4.2 million tons of wheat and 500,000 tons of cotton requires more than 2 km3 of water each year. This is an important source of food and income for local residents, but the diverted water has negative and potentially costly impacts on downstream forests that potentially provide aesthetic services and protection from dust. Our analyses also show that cropland had increased by about 1.6 million ha from 1987 to 2010, while

  10. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomecek, John M; Pierce, Brian L; Reyna, Kelly S; Peterson, Markus J

    2017-01-01

    Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite ( Colinus virginianus ; hereafter bobwhite) as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures) during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations ( n = 126) using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE) compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE); at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE) than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE). Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE) and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE) compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE) and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE). Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites and

  11. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Tomecek

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists have long recognized the influence that environmental conditions have on abundance and range extent of animal species. We used the northern bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhite as a model species for studying how microclimates serve as refuge against severe weather conditions. This species serves as an indicator or umbrella species for other sensitive ground-nesting, grassland obligate species. We conducted a mensurative field experiment in the rolling plains of Texas, USA, a semi-arid ecosystem on the southwestern periphery of bobwhite range, to determine whether native bunch grasses, apparently suitable for bobwhite nesting, could reduce ambient temperature below levels harmful for eggs. During the nesting season, we compared temperature and relative humidity readings at daily heat maxima (i.e., the 3 h during each day with highest temperatures during the nesting season over the course of two years at 63 suitable nest sites paired with 63 random locations (n = 126 using two sensors at ∼10 and ∼60 cm above ground level. Mean temperature at nest height was 2.3% cooler at nest sites (35.99 °C ± 0.07 SE compared to random locations (36.81 °C ± 0.07 SE; at ambient height, nest sites were slightly cooler (32.78 °C ± 0.06 SE than random location (32.99 °C ± 0.06 SE. Mean relative humidity at nest sites was greater at nest height (34.53% ± 0.112 SE and ambient height (36.22% ± 0.10 SE compared to random locations at nest (33.35% ± 0.12 SE and ambient height (35.75% ± 0.10 SE. Based on these results, cover at sites that appear visually suitable for nesting by bobwhites and other ground nesting birds provided adequate thermal refuge in the rolling plains by maintaining cooler, moister microclimates than surrounding non-nesting locations. Post-hoc analyses of data revealed that habitat conditions surrounding suitable nest sites strongly influenced thermal suitability of the substrate. Given that eggs of bobwhites

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-03-01

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

  13. Activity and phylogenetic diversity of bacterial cells with high and low nucleic acid content and electron transport system activity in an upwelling ecosystem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Longnecker, K; Sherr, B F; Sherr, E B

    2005-12-01

    We evaluated whether bacteria with higher cell-specific nucleic acid content (HNA) or an active electron transport system, i.e., positive for reduction of 5-cyano-2,3-ditolyl tetrazolium chloride (CTC), were responsible for the bulk of bacterioplankton metabolic activity. We also examined whether the phylogenetic diversity of HNA and CTC-positive cells differed from the diversity of Bacteria with low nucleic acid content (LNA). Bacterial assemblages were sampled both in eutrophic shelf waters and in mesotrophic offshore waters in the Oregon coastal upwelling region. Cytometrically sorted HNA, LNA, and CTC-positive cells were assayed for their cell-specific [3H]leucine incorporation rates. Phylogenetic diversity in sorted non-radioactively labeled samples was assayed using denaturing gradient gel electrophoresis (DGGE) of PCR-amplified 16S rRNA genes. Cell-specific rates of leucine incorporation of HNA and CTC-positive cells were on average only slightly greater than the cell-specific rates of LNA cells. HNA cells accounted for most bacterioplankton substrate incorporation due to high abundances, while the low abundances of CTC-positive cells resulted in only a small contribution by these cells to total bacterial activity. The proportion of the total bacterial leucine incorporation attributable to LNA cells was higher in offshore regions than in shelf waters. Sequence data obtained from DGGE bands showed broadly similar phylogenetic diversity across HNA, LNA, and CTC-positive cells, with between-sample and between-region variability in the distribution of phylotypes. Our results suggest that LNA bacteria are not substantially different from HNA bacteria in either cell-specific rates of substrate incorporation or phylogenetic composition and that they can be significant contributors to bacterial metabolism in the sea.

  14. DYNAMICS OF CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN ABANDONED GRASSLANDS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Israel Yerena Yamallel

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Livestock activities due to the improper handling of the load capacity, suffer from low productivity in their grasslands, which are abandoned giving rise to the appearance of species considered invasive and undesirable for producers, without knowing the qualities of these as mitigating of climate change. The objective of the present study was to estimate the carbon content in tamaulipan thornscrub and three abandoned grasslands with a time of abandonment of 10, 20 and 30 years. For the estimation of the carbon content was used a systematic sampling design, in each area were established four sampling sites of 1,600 m2. The primary scrub is the system that resulted in the largest value of carbon content of 14.25 Mg ha-1, followed by the grasslands of 30, 20 and 10 years with 8.03, 7.33 and 4.13 Mg ha-1 respectively. It was concluded that recovering the initial state of the primary scrub take many years, as can be seen in the grasslands system 30 years reaching only 56% of what it had in reserves of primary scrub.

  15. Quantitative ecological relationships in the alpine grassland of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey, based on 56 000 points at 102 sampling sites in the Tsehlanyane valley of the Oxbow (Madibamatso) Dam catchment in the alpine grassland of Lesotho, indicates that the area is generally in good condition. Physiographic and floristic criteria were measured and the association between pairs of criteria statistically ...

  16. Crude protein changes on grassland along a degradation gradient ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Evapotranspiration was determined by quantifying the soil-water balance equation with the aid of runoff plots and soil-water content measurements. Crude protein ... The study shows that it is important to keep grassland in optimal condition to utilize limited soil water for sustainable plant and therefore animal production.

  17. Intensification of grassland and forage use: driving forces and constraints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Klein, de C.; Alfaro, M.

    2014-01-01

    The increasing demand for safe and nutritional dairy and beef products in a globalising world, together with the needs to increase resource use efficiency and to protect biodiversity, provide strong incentives for intensification of grassland and forage use. This paper addresses the question: 'Does

  18. Achieving grassland production and quality that matches animal needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Busqué, Juan; Golinski, P.; Noorkõiv, Katrin; O'Donovan, Michael; Peratoner, Giovanni; Reheul, D.

    2016-01-01

    Permanent grasslands are exploited by grazing animals or as meadows depending on different
    constraints. Grazing is the most common use in large parts of Europe, especially in the northwest of
    Europe. However, certain areas are less suitable for grazing. In the Alps e.g. meadows are the

  19. Achieving grassland production and quality that matching animal needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Busqué, Juan; Golinski, P.; Noorkõiv, Katrin; O'Donovan, Michael; Peratoner, Giovanni; Reheul, D.

    2016-01-01

    Permanent grasslands are exploited by grazing animals or as meadows depending on different constraints. Grazing is the most common use in large parts of Europe, especially in the northwest of Europe. However, certain areas are less suitable for grazing. In the Alps e.g. meadows are the most relevant

  20. Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species followed by Alaudidae (11 species. Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3-7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened. Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%, about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species.

  1. 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.

  2. Homogenization of the soil surface following fire in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carleton S. White

    2011-01-01

    Semiarid grasslands accumulate soil beneath plant "islands" that are raised above bare interspaces. This fine-scale variation in microtopographic relief is plant-induced and is increased with shrub establishment. Research found that fire-induced water repellency enhanced local-scale soil erosion that reduced variation in microtopographic relief, suggesting...

  3. Transformation of a savanna grassland by drought and grazing | O ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relative effects of drought and heavy grazing on the floristic composition, population size and and structure, and basal cover of an African savanna grassland were differentiated by comparing changes over eight years over eight years, which included a severe drought year, across a gradient of grazing history. Drought ...

  4. Controlling nitrous oxide emissions from grassland livestock production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Gebauer, G.; Rodriguez, M.; Sapek, A.; Jarvis, S.C.; Corré, W.J.; Yamulki, S.

    1998-01-01

    There is growing awareness that grassland livestock production systems are major sources of nitrous oxide (N2O). Controlling these emissions requires a thorough understanding of all sources and controlling factors at the farm level. This paper examines the various controlling factors and proposes

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kayser, M; Isselstein, J

    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

  6. 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 of the enc...... biomass and density of the grazed plots are due to compaction by grazing animals....

  7. Effect of burn area on invertebrate recolonization in grasslands in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our study examined the short-term response of grassland invertebrate communities to fire in the South African Drakensberg, in relation to distance from the edge of a burn. We aimed to establish which species survive fire and the dynamics of the post-fire recolonization process, and thereby contribute to establishing the ...