WorldWideScience

Sample records for grassland soil electronic

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. Organic matter dynamics and N mineralization in grassland soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hassink, J.

    1995-01-01


    The aims of this study are i) to improve our understanding of the interactions between soil texturelsoil structure, soil organic matter, soil biota and mineralization in grassland soils, ii) to develop a procedure that yields soil organic matter fractions that can be determined directly

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

  6. Effect of soil saturation on denitrification in a grassland soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    L. M. Cardenas

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Nitrous oxide (N2O is of major importance as a greenhouse gas and precursor of ozone (O3 destruction in the stratosphere mostly produced in soils. The soil-emitted N2O is generally predominantly derived from denitrification and, to a smaller extent, nitrification, both processes controlled by environmental factors and their interactions, and are influenced by agricultural management. Soil water content expressed as water-filled pore space (WFPS is a major controlling factor of emissions and its interaction with compaction, has not been studied at the micropore scale. A laboratory incubation was carried out at different saturation levels for a grassland soil and emissions of N2O and N2 were measured as well as the isotopocules of N2O. We found that flux variability was larger in the less saturated soils probably due to nutrient distribution heterogeneity created from soil cracks and consequently nutrient hot spots. The results agreed with denitrification as the main source of fluxes at the highest saturations, but nitrification could have occurred at the lower saturation, even though moisture was still high (71 % WFSP. The isotopocules data indicated isotopic similarities in the wettest treatments vs. the two drier ones. The results agreed with previous findings where it is clear there are two N pools with different dynamics: added N producing intense denitrification vs. soil N resulting in less isotopic fractionation.

  7. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Wang

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  10. Organic matter dynamics and N mineralization in grassland soils

    OpenAIRE

    Hassink, J.

    1995-01-01


    The aims of this study are i) to improve our understanding of the interactions between soil texturelsoil structure, soil organic matter, soil biota and mineralization in grassland soils, ii) to develop a procedure that yields soil organic matter fractions that can be determined directly and can be used in soil organic matter models, iii) to develop a model that predicts the long-term dynamics of soil organic matter, iv) to develop a simple model that can be used by farmers and advi...

  11. 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.

  12. 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...

  13. Phytoextraction of phosphorus-enriched grassland soils

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salm, van der C.; Chardon, W.J.; Koopmans, G.F.; Middelkoop, van J.C.; Ehlert, P.A.I.

    2009-01-01

    Received for publication February 7, 2008. High soil P contents in agricultural soils in the Netherlands cause excessive losses of P to surface waters. The reductions in P application rates in the present manure policy are not sufficient to reach surface water quality standards resulting from the

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-01-01

    On a sequence of soils developed under similar vegetation, temperature, and precipitation conditions, but with variations in mineralogical properties, we use organic carbon and 14C inventories to examine mineral protection of soil organic carbon. In these soils, 14C data indicate that the creation of slow-cycling carbon can be modeled as occurring through reaction of organic ligands with Al3+ and Fe3+ cations in the upper horizons, followed by sorption to amorphous inorganic Al compounds at depth. Only one of these processes, the chelation Al3+ and Fe3+ by organic ligands, is linked to large carbon stocks. Organic ligands stabilized by this process traverse the soil column as dissolved organic carbon (both from surface horizons and root exudates). At our moist grassland site, this chelation and transport process is very strongly correlated with the storage and long-term stabilization of soil organic carbon. Our 14C results show that the mechanisms of organic carbon transport and storage at this site follow a classic model previously believed to only be significant in a single soil order (Spodosols), and closely related to the presence of forests. The presence of this process in the grassland Alfisol, Inceptisol, and Mollisol soils of this chronosequence suggests that this process is a more significant control on organic carbon storage than previously thought. Copyright 2004 by the American Geophysical Union.

  15. 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

  16. Microbial Enzyme Activity and Carbon Cycling in Grassland Soil Fractions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allison, S. D.; Jastrow, J. D.

    2004-12-01

    Extracellular enzymes are necessary to degrade complex organic compounds present in soils. Using physical fractionation procedures, we tested whether old soil carbon is spatially isolated from degradative enzymes across a prairie restoration chronosequence in Illinois, USA. We found that carbon-degrading enzymes were abundant in all soil fractions, including macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the clay fraction, which contains carbon with a mean residence time of ~200 years. The activities of two cellulose-degrading enzymes and a chitin-degrading enzyme were 2-10 times greater in organic matter fractions than in bulk soil, consistent with the rapid turnover of these fractions. Polyphenol oxidase activity was 3 times greater in the clay fraction than in the bulk soil, despite very slow carbon turnover in this fraction. Changes in enzyme activity across the restoration chronosequence were small once adjusted for increases in soil carbon concentration, although polyphenol oxidase activity per unit carbon declined by 50% in native prairie versus cultivated soil. These results are consistent with a `two-pool' model of enzyme and carbon turnover in grassland soils. In light organic matter fractions, enzyme production and carbon turnover both occur rapidly. However, in mineral-dominated fractions, both enzymes and their carbon substrates are immobilized on mineral surfaces, leading to slow turnover. Soil carbon accumulation in the clay fraction and across the prairie restoration chronosequence probably reflects increasing physical isolation of enzymes and substrates on the molecular scale, rather than the micron to millimeter scale.

  17. 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.

  18. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fengge Zhang

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly (p = 0.019 increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha−1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha−1 biofertilizer. This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha−1 increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella. Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella. According to our structural equation modeling (SEM, Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  19. Trichoderma Biofertilizer Links to Altered Soil Chemistry, Altered Microbial Communities, and Improved Grassland Biomass.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Fengge; Huo, Yunqian; Cobb, Adam B; Luo, Gongwen; Zhou, Jiqiong; Yang, Gaowen; Wilson, Gail W T; Zhang, Yingjun

    2018-01-01

    In grasslands, forage and livestock production results in soil nutrient deficits as grasslands typically receive no nutrient inputs, leading to a loss of grassland biomass. The application of mature compost has been shown to effectively increase grassland nutrient availability. However, research on fertilization regime influence and potential microbial ecological regulation mechanisms are rarely conducted in grassland soil. We conducted a two-year experiment in meadow steppe grasslands, focusing on above- and belowground consequences of organic or Trichoderma biofertilizer applications and potential soil microbial ecological mechanisms underlying soil chemistry and microbial community responses. Grassland biomass significantly ( p = 0.019) increased following amendment with 9,000 kg ha -1 of Trichoderma biofertilizer (composted cattle manure + inoculum) compared with other assessed organic or biofertilizer rates, except for BOF3000 (fertilized with 3,000 kg ha -1 biofertilizer). This rate of Trichoderma biofertilizer treatment increased soil antifungal compounds that may suppress pathogenic fungi, potentially partially responsible for improved grassland biomass. Nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) revealed soil chemistry and fungal communities were all separated by different fertilization regime. Trichoderma biofertilizer (9,000 kg ha -1 ) increased relative abundances of Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while decreasing Ophiosphaerella . Trichoderma can improve grassland biomass, while Ophiosphaerella has the opposite effect as it may secrete metabolites causing grass necrosis. Correlations between soil properties and microbial genera showed plant-available phosphorus may influence grassland biomass by increasing Archaeorhizomyces and Trichoderma while reducing Ophiosphaerella . According to our structural equation modeling (SEM), Trichoderma abundance was the primary contributor to aboveground grassland biomass. Our results suggest Trichoderma

  20. 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.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2013-01-01

    Grasslands established on drained peat soils are regarded as negligible methane (CH4) sources; however, they can still exhibit considerable soil CH4 dynamics. We investigated archaeal community composition in two different fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark........ Overall, there seemed to be a significant coupling between peat type and archaeal community composition, with local hydrology modifying the strength of this coupling....

  2. 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.

  3. [Community structure and diversity of soil arthropods in naturally restored sandy grasslands after grazing].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Ren-tao; Zhao, Ha-lin; Zhao, Xue-yong

    2010-11-01

    Taking the Naiman Desertification Research Station under Chinese Academy of Sciences as a base, an investigation was conducted on the community structure of soil arthropods in the naturally restored sandy grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance, with the effects of vegetation and soil on this community structure approached. In the non-grazing grassland, soil arthropods were rich in species and more in individuals, and had the highest diversity. In the restored grassland after light grazing, soil arthropods had the lowest evenness and diversity. In the restored grassland after moderate grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were lesser but the major groups were more, and the evenness and diversity were higher. In the restored grassland after heavy grazing, the individuals of soil arthropods were more but the major groups were lesser, and the diversity was higher. Plant individuals' number, vegetation height and coverage, and soil alkalinity were the main factors affecting the soil arthropod community in naturally restored grasslands after different intensity grazing disturbance. It was implied that after 12-year exclosure of grassland, soil arthropod community could be recovered to some degree, while grazing disturbance had long-term negative effects on the arthropod community.

  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

    Background Management regimes for vegetation restoration of degraded grasslands can significantly affect the process of ecological succession. However, few studies have focused on variation in the soil seed bank during vegetation restoration under different management regimes, especially in saline-alkaline grassland habitats. Our aim was to provide insights into the ecological effects of grassland management regimes on soil seed bank composition and vegetation establishment in mown, fenced, transplanted and natural grassland sites, all dominated by the perennial rhizomatous grass Leymus chinensis. Methodology We studied species composition and diversity in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation in differently managed grasslands in Northeast China. An NMDS (nonmetric multidimensional scaling) was used to evaluate the relationship between species composition, soil seed banks, aboveground vegetation and soil properties. Principal Findings Fenced and mown grassland sites had high density and species richness in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation. The Transplanted treatment exhibited the highest vegetation growth and seed production of the target species L. chinensis. Seeds of L. chinensis in the soil occurred only in transplanted and natural grassland. Based on the NMDS analysis, the number of species in both the soil seed bank and aboveground vegetation were significantly related to soil Na+, Cl-, RSC (residual sodium carbonate), alkalinity, ESP (exchangeable sodium percentage) and AP (available phosphorus). Conclusions Soil seed bank composition and diversity in the saline-alkaline grassland were significantly affected by the management regimes implemented, and were also significantly related to the aboveground vegetation and several soil properties. Based on vegetative growth, reproductive output and maintenance of soil seed bank, the transplanting was identified as the most effective method for relatively rapid restoration of the target

  5. Monitoring soil greenhouse gas emissions from managed grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  6. Response of predominant soil bacteria to grassland succession as monitored by ribosomal RNA analyses

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Felske, A.

    1999-01-01

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

  7. Temporal dynamics of soil nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Sohlenius, B.; Bostrom, S.; Palmborg, C.; Bengtsson, J.; Berg, M.P.; Kuss-Danell, K.

    2011-01-01

    We report here on an 8-year study examining links between plant and nematode communities in a grassland plant diversity experiment, located in the north of Sweden on previous agricultural soil. The examined plots contained 1, 4 and 12 common grassland plant species from three functional groups;

  8. Effect of sulfate fertilization on soil biota in grassland columns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikoyi, Israel; Donohue, John; Fowler, Andrew; Schmalenberger, Achim

    2017-04-01

    Sulfur (S) is an important macronutrient element in plant nutrition as a component of protein, enzymes, enzyme cofactors as well as being the major constituent of the amino acids cysteine and methionine. Organically bound S is the predominant form of S in the soil constituting up to 95% of S in agricultural soils. The most important form of S in terms of plant nutrition is inorganic sulfate which forms only about 5% of the total soil S content. Air pollution was the major source of S (as SO2) for plants, with up to 80% of the S obtained from this source. However, common effects of S limitation on crops such as chlorosis, yield reduction, and decrease in crop quality are becoming increasingly evident as atmospheric S supply has decreased in recent years. Recent research has shown that organically-bound S in soils is also plant-bioavailable, likely due to interconversion of organic S forms to inorganic sulfate by soil microbes. In this study, soil columns were setup in a greenhouse using moderate S (equivalent to Wisconsin S soil availability index of below 30) soils. The columns were planted with Lolium perenne and fertilized with 0 (control), 5 (low), 10 (medium) and 20 (high) kg/ha sulfate S alongside a full complement of other nutrients. Results after 14 weeks of management show a significant decrease (Pbacterial abundance of heterotrophs and aromatic sulfonate-utilizing bacteria upon S fertilization. In addition, soil from the top 20 cm of the column had significantly higher sulfatase activity compared to the bottom 20 cm. The medium and high S treatments had significantly higher grass dry matter yield compared to the control and low S treatments. All S treatments significantly shifted the bacterial community structure compared to the control. Overall, our preliminary results suggest that applying 5 kg/ ha S had similar effects on the soil biota as the control while the application of medium and high S had similar effects on most parameters. Moreover, this study

  9. 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.

  10. Evaporation from Pinus caribaea plantations on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waterloo, M.J.; Bruijnzeel, L.A.; Vugts, H.F.; Rawaqa, T.T.

    1999-01-01

    Wet canopy and dry canopy evaporation from young and mature plantations of Pinus caribaea on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji, were determined using micrometeorological and hydrological techniques. Modeled annual evaporation totals (ET) of

  11. Evaporation from Pinus caribaea plantations on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Waterloo, M.J.; Bruijnzeel, L.A.; Vugts, H.F.; Rawaqa, T.T.

    1999-01-01

    Wet canopy and dry canopy evaporation from young and mature plantations of Pinus caribaea on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji, were determined using micrometeorological and hydrological techniques. Modeled annual evaporation totals (ET) of

  12. 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,

  13. Metacommunity analysis of amoeboid protists in grassland soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fiore-Donno, Anna Maria; Weinert, Jan; Wubet, Tesfaye; Bonkowski, Michael

    2016-01-11

    This study reveals the diversity and distribution of two major ubiquitous groups of soil amoebae, the genus Acanthamoeba and the Myxomycetes (plasmodial slime-moulds) that are rarely, if ever, recovered in environmental sampling studies. We analyzed 150 grassland soil samples from three Biodiversity Exploratories study regions in Germany. We developed specific primers targeting the V2 variable region in the first part of the small subunit of the ribosomal RNA gene for high-throughput pyrotag sequencing. From ca. 1 million reads, applying very stringent filtering and clustering parameters to avoid overestimation of the diversity, we obtained 273 acanthamoebal and 338 myxomycete operational taxonomic units (OTUs, 96% similarity threshold). This number is consistent with the genetic diversity known in the two investigated lineages, but unequalled to date by any environmental sampling study. Only very few OTUs were identical to already known sequences. Strikingly different OTUs assemblages were found between the three German regions (PerMANOVA p.value = 0.001) and even between sites of the same region (multiple-site Simpson-based similarity indices <0.4), showing steep biogeographical gradients.

  14. Mixed artificial grasslands with more roots improved mine soil infiltration capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Gao-Lin; Yang, Zheng; Cui, Zeng; Liu, Yu; Fang, Nu-Fang; Shi, Zhi-Hua

    2016-04-01

    Soil water is one of the critical limiting factors in achieving sustainable revegetation. Soil infiltration capacity plays a vital role in determining the inputs from precipitation and enhancing water storage, which are important for the maintenance and survival of vegetation patches in arid and semi-arid areas. Our study investigated the effects of different artificial grasslands on soil physical properties and soil infiltration capacity. The artificial grasslands were Medicago sativa, Astragalus adsurgens, Agropyron mongolicum, Lespedeza davurica, Bromus inermis, Hedysarum scoparium, A. mongolicum + Artemisia desertorum, A. adsurgens + A. desertorum and M. sativa + B. inermis. The soil infiltration capacity index (SICI), which was based on the average infiltration rate of stage I (AIRSI) and the average infiltration rate of stage III (AIRS III), was higher (indicating that the infiltration capacity was greater) under the artificial grasslands than that of the bare soil. The SICI of the A. adsurgens + A. desertorum grassland had the highest value (1.48) and bare soil (-0.59) had the lowest value. It was evident that artificial grassland could improve soil infiltration capacity. We also used principal component analysis (PCA) to determine that the main factors that affected SICI were the soil water content at a depth of 20 cm (SWC20), the below-ground root biomasses at depths of 10 and 30 cm (BGB10, BGB30), the capillary porosity at a depth of 10 cm (CP10) and the non-capillary porosity at a depth of 20 cm (NCP20). Our study suggests that the use of Legume-poaceae mixtures and Legume-shrub mixtures to create grasslands provided an effective ecological restoration approach to improve soil infiltration properties due to their greater root biomasses. Furthermore, soil water content, below-ground root biomass, soil capillary porosity and soil non-capillary porosity were the main factors that affect the soil infiltration capacity.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Nitrogen loss from grassland on peat soils through nitrous oxide production.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Koops, J.G.; Beusichem, van M.L.; Oenema, O.

    1997-01-01

    Nitrous oxide (N2O) in soils is produced through nitrification and denitrification. The N2O produced is considered as a nitrogen (N) loss because it will most likely escape from the soil to the atmosphere as N2O or N2. Aim of the study was to quantify N2O production in grassland on peat soils in

  18. Variation in soil organic carbon within highland grasslands of Langtang National Park, Nepal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Keshab Shrestha

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Grassland also plays important role in food security. The estimated grassland area in Nepal is about 1.75 million ha. Most of the grassland in Nepal is located in higher elevation above, 2000 meter. The aim of this research is to observe difference in SOC of grassland in different altitude. Soil samples were collected from grasslands of altitude: 1500- 2000m, 2001- 2500m, 2501-3000m, 3001- 3500m and 3501- 4000m. The soil samples were collected at successive depths in each grassland i.e. 0 – 10 cm, 10 – 20 cm and 20 – 30 cm. The maximum SOC was found in grassland at altitude 3001 m- 3500m. The lowest was SOC was found in grassland at altitude 3051m – 4000m. Correlation analysis between altitude and SOC shows that SOC is positively correlated with altitude with correlation coefficient 0.850 (significant at P<0.05 level. But SOC decreases sharply in treeline with negative correlation (Significant at P<0.05.International Journal of Environment Vol.5(3 2016, pp.57-65

  19. Increasing temperature reduces the coupling between available nitrogen and phosphorus in soils of Chinese grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Geng, Yan; Baumann, Frank; Song, Chao; Zhang, Mi; Shi, Yue; Kühn, Peter; Scholten, Thomas; He, Jin-Sheng

    2017-03-01

    Changes in climatic conditions along geographical gradients greatly affect soil nutrient cycling processes. Yet how climate regimes such as changes in temperature influence soil nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) concentrations and their stoichiometry is not well understood. This study investigated the spatial pattern and variability of soil N and P availability as well as their coupling relationships at two soil layers (0-10 and 10-20 cm) along a 4000-km climate transect in two grassland biomes of China, the Inner Mongolian temperate grasslands and the Tibetan alpine grasslands. Our results found that in both grasslands, from cold to warm sites the amounts of soil total N, total P and available P all decreased. By contrast, the amount of available N was positively related to mean annual temperature in the Tibetan grasslands. Meanwhile, with increasing temperature ratio of available N to P significantly increased but the linear relationship between them was considerably reduced. Thus, increasing temperature may not only induce a stoichiometric shift but also loose the coupling between available N and P. This N-P decoupling under warmer conditions was more evident in the Tibetan alpine grasslands where P limitation might become more widespread relative to N as temperatures continue to rise.

  20. Grasslands and Croplands Have Different Microbial Biomass Carbon Levels per Unit of Soil Organic Carbon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Terence P. McGonigle

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Primarily using cropped systems, previous studies have reported a positive linear relationship between microbial biomass carbon (MBC and soil organic carbon (SOC. We conducted a meta-analysis to explore this relationship separately for grasslands and croplands using available literature. Studies were limited to those using fumigation–extraction for MBC for field samples. Trials were noted separately where records were distinct in space or time. Grasslands were naturally occurring, restored, or seeded. Cropping systems were typical of the temperate zone. MBC had a positive linear response to increasing SOC that was significant in both grasslands (p < 0.001; r2 = 0.76 and croplands (p < 0.001; r2 = 0.48. However, MBC increased 2.5-fold more steeply per unit of increasing SOC for grassland soils, as compared to the corresponding response in cropland soils. Expressing MBC as a proportion of SOC across the regression overall, slopes corresponded to 2.7% for grasslands and 1.1% for croplands. The slope of the linear relationship for grasslands was significantly (p = 0.0013 steeper than for croplands. The difference between the two systems is possibly caused by a greater proportion of SOC in grasslands being active rather than passive, relative to that in croplands, with that active fraction promoting the formation of MBC.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  2. Using Remotely Sensed Fluorescence and Soil Moisture to Better Understand the Seasonal Cycle of Tropical Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Smith, Dakota Carlysle

    Seasonal grasslands account for a large area of Earth's land cover. Annual and seasonal changes in these grasslands have profound impacts on Earth's carbon, energy, and water cycles. In tropical grasslands, growth is commonly water-limited and the landscape oscillates between highly productive and unproductive. As the monsoon begins, soils moisten providing dry grasses the water necessary to photosynthesize. However, along with the rain come clouds that obscure satellite products that are commonly used to study productivity in these areas. To navigate this issue, we used solar induced fluorescence (SIF) products from OCO-2 along with soil moisture products from the Soil Moisture Active Passive satellite (SMAP) to "see through" the clouds to monitor grassland productivity. To get a broader understanding of the vegetation dynamics, we used the Simple Biosphere Model (SiB4) to simulate the seasonal cycles of vegetation. In conjunction with SiB4, the remotely sensed SIF and soil moisture observations were utilized to paint a clearer picture of seasonal productivity in tropical grasslands. The remotely sensed data is not available for every place at one time or at every time for one place. Thus, the study was focused on a large area from 15° E to 35° W and from 8°S to 20°N in the African Sahel. Instead of studying productivity relative to time, we studied it relative to soil moisture. Through this investigation we found soil moisture thresholds for the emergence of grassland growth, near linear grassland growth, and maturity of grassland growth. We also found that SiB4 overestimates SIF by about a factor of two for nearly every value of soil moisture. On the whole, SiB4 does a surprisingly good job of predicting the response of seasonal growth in tropical grasslands to soil moisture. Future work will continue to integrate remotely sensed SIF & soil moisture with SiB4 to add to our growing knowledge of carbon, water, and energy cycling in tropical grasslands.

  3. 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.

  4. Long-term effects of plant diversity and composition on soil nematode communities in grassland.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Viketoft, M.; Bengtsson, J.; Sohlenius, B.; Berg, M.P.; Petchey, O.; Palmborg, C.; Huss-Daniel, K.

    2009-01-01

    An important component of plant-soil feedbacks is how plant species identity and diversity influence soil organism communities. We examine the effects of grassland plant species growing alone and together up to a richness of 12 species on nematode diversity and feeding group composition, eight years

  5. Impacts of wildfire severity on hydraulic conductivity in forest, woodland, and grassland soils (Chapter 7)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel G. Neary

    2011-01-01

    Forest, woodland, and grassland watersheds throughout the world are major sources of high quality water for human use because of the nature of these soils to infiltrate, store, and transmit most precipitation instead of quickly routing it to surface runoff. This characteristic of these wildland soils is due to normally high infiltration rates, porosities, and hydraulic...

  6. Burkholderia megalochromosomata sp. nov., isolated from grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baek, Inwoo; Seo, Boram; Lee, Imchang; Lee, Kihyun; Park, Sang-Cheol; Yi, Hana; Chun, Jongsik

    2015-03-01

    A Gram-stain negative, rod-shaped, non-spore-forming, obligate aerobic bacterial strain, JC2949(T), was isolated from grassland soil in Gwanak Mountain, Seoul, Republic of Korea. Phylogenetic analysis, based on 16S rRNA sequences, indicated that strain JC2949(T) belongs to the genus Burkholderia, showing highest sequence similarities with Burkholderia grimmiae R27(T) (98.8 %), Burkholderia cordobensis LMG 27620(T) (98.6 %), Burkholderia jiangsuensis MP-1T(T) (98.6 %), Burkholderia zhejiangensis OP-1(T) (98.5 %), Burkholderia humi LMG 22934(T) (97.5 %), Burkholderia terrestris LMG 22937(T) (97.3 %), Burkholderia telluris LMG 22936(T) (97.2 %) and Burkholderia glathei ATCC 29195(T) (97.0 %). The major fatty acids of strain JC2949(T) were C18 : 1ω7c, summed feature 3 (C16 : 1ω7c and/or C16 : 1ω6c) and C16 : 0. Its predominant polar lipids were phosphatidylethanolamine, diphosphatidylglycerol, phosphatidylglycerol and an unknown amino phospholipid. The dominant isoprenoid quinone was ubiquinone Q-8. The pairwise average nucleotide identity values between strain JC2949(T) and the genomes of 30 other species of the genus Burkholderia ranged from 73.4-90.4 %, indicating that the isolate is a novel genomic species within this genus. Based on phenotypic and chemotaxonomic comparisons, it is clear that strain JC2949(T) represents a novel species of the genus Burkholderia. We propose the name for this novel species to be Burkholderia megalochromosomata sp. nov. The type strain is JC2949(T) ( = KACC 17925(T) = JCM 19905(T)). © 2015 IUMS.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. Initial Soil Organic Matter Content Influences the Storage and Turnover of Litter-, Root- and Soil Carbon in Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, L.; Xu, S.; Li, P.; Sayer, E. J.

    2017-12-01

    Grassland degradation is a worldwide problem that often leads to substantial loss of soil organic matter (SOM). Understanding how SOM content influences the stabilization of plant carbon (C) to form soil C is important to evaluate the potential of degraded grasslands to sequester additional C. We conducted a greenhouse experiment using C3 soils with six levels of SOM content and planted the C4 grass Cleistogenes squarrosa and/or added its litter to investigate how SOM content regulates the storage of new soil C derived from litter and roots, the decomposition of extant soil C, and the formation of soil aggregates. We found that microbial biomass carbon (MBC) increased with SOM content, and increased the mineralization of litter C. Both litter addition and planted treatments increased the amount of new C inputs to soil. However, litter addition had no significant impacts on the mineralization of extant soil C, but the presence of living roots significantly accelerated it. Thus, by the end of the experiment, soil C content was significantly higher in the litter addition treatments, but was not affected by planted treatments. The soil macroaggregate fraction increased with SOM content and was positively related to MBC. Overall, our study suggests that as SOM content increases, plant growth and soil microbes become more active, which allows microbes to process more plant-derived C and increases new soil C formation. The interactions between SOM content and plant C inputs should be considered when evaluating soil C turnover in degraded grasslands.

  10. 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

  11. 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

  12. Grazing reduces soil greenhouse gas fluxes in global grasslands: a meta-analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, Shiming; Tian, Dashuan; Niu, Shuli

    2017-04-01

    Grazing causes a worldwide degradation in grassland and likely alters soil greenhouse gas fluxes (GHGs). However, the general patterns of grazing-induced changes in grassland soil GHGs and the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Thus, we synthesized 63 independent experiments in global grasslands that examined grazing impacts on soil GHGs (CO2, CH4 and N2O). We found that grazing with light or moderate intensity did not significantly influence soil GHGs, but consistently depressed them under heavy grazing, reducing CO2 emission by 10.55%, CH4 uptake by 19.24% and N2O emission by 28.04%. The reduction in soil CO2 was mainly due to decreased activity in roots and microbes (soil respiration per unit root and microbial biomass), which was suppressed by less water availability due to higher soil temperature induced by lower community cover under heavy grazing. N2O emission decreased with grazing-caused decline in soil total N. The inhibitory effect on methanotroph activities by water stress is responsible for the decreased CH4 uptake. Furthermore, grazing duration and precipitation also influenced the direction and magnitude of responses in GHGs fluxes. Overall, our results indicate that the reduction in soil CO2 and N2O emission under heavy grazing is partially compensated by the decrease in CH4 uptake, which is mainly regulated by variations in soil moisture.

  13. Restoration of species-rich grasslands on ex-arable land: Seed addition outweighs soil fertility reduction

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kardol, P.; Van der Wal, A.; Bezemer, T.M.; De Boer, W.; Duyts, H.; Holtkamp, R.; Van der Putten, W.H.

    2008-01-01

    A common practice in biodiversity conservation is restoration of former species-rich grassland on ex-arable land. Major constraints for grassland restoration are high soil fertility and limited dispersal ability of plant species to target sites. Usually, studies focus on soil fertility or on methods

  14. Total soil C and N sequestration in a grassland following 10 years of free air CO2 enrichment

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kessel, van C.; Boots, B.; Graaff, de M.A.; Harris, D.; Blum, H.; Six, J.

    2006-01-01

    Soil C sequestration may mitigate rising levels of atmospheric CO2. However, it has yet to be determined whether net soil C sequestration occurs in N-rich grasslands exposed to long-term elevated CO2. This study examined whether N-fertilized grasslands exposed to elevated CO2 sequestered additional

  15. Evaluation of different soil parameters and wild boar (Sus scrofa [L.] grassland damage

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Žiga Laznik

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available Presented in this paper are the correlations between different soil parameters [presence of grubs, earthworms, pH, content of P2O5, K2O and organic matter (OM in soil] and wild boar (Sus scrofa [L.] damage to grasslands. The soil samples and damage assessments were performed at six locations in the Kočevje region, which is a densely wooded part of South East Slovenia. A significant positive correlation was discovered between the extent of damage due to wild boar rooting in grasslands and the number of grubs (r=0.73, the weight of grubs (r=0.69 and the content of P2O5 (r=0.87 in the soil. The quantity and weight of grubs in soil were significantly influenced by soil pH, the content of CaCl2 (r=0.71/0.72, P2O5 (r=0.90/0.91, and OM (r=0.74/0.77; while the quantity and weight of earthworms in soil were influenced by the content of K2O (r=0.81/-0.84. A moderate yet insignificant correlation (r=0.48/0.56 was discovered between the number and weight of earthworms in soil and the extent of grassland damage. Grubs represent a more important source of protein for wild boars than earthworms; consequently, reducing the quantity of grubs in soil could minimise the extent of damage caused by boars.

  16. The role of soil moisture on the coevolution of soil and vegetation in mountain grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bertoldi, Giacomo; Claudia, Notarnicola; Brenner, Johannes; Castelli, Mariapina; Greifeneder, Felix; Niedrist, Georg; Seeber, Julia; Tappeiner, Ulrike

    2016-04-01

    One of the key variables controlling the organization of vegetation and the coevolution of soils and landforms is soil moisture content (SMC). For this reason, understanding the controls on the spatial and temporal patterns of SMC is essential to predict how perturbations in vegetation and climate will affect mountain ecosystem functioning. In this contribution, we focus on the dynamic of surface SMC of water-limited alpine grasslands in the Long Term Ecological Research area Mazia Valley in the European Alps. We analyze the impacts of different land managements (meadows versus pastures) and its relationships with climate and topography. The area has been equipped since 2009 with a network of more than 20 stations, measuring SMC and climatic variables and with two eddy-covariance stations, measuring surface fluxes over meadows and pastures. Monthly biomass production data have been collected and detailed soil and spatial soil moisture surveys are available. Moreover, high spatial resolution SMC maps have been derived from satellites Synthetic Aperture Radar Radar (SAR) images (Sentinel 1 and RADARSAT2 images). Both ground surveys and remote sensing observations show persistent landscape-level patterns. Meadows, in general located in flatter areas, tend to be wetter. This leads to higher vegetation productivity and to the development of soils with higher water holding capacity, thus to a positive feedback on SMC. In contrast, pastures, located on steeper slopes with lower vegetation density and higher soil erosion, tend to be drier, leading to a negative feedback on SMC and soil development. This co-evolution of land cover and SMC leads therefore to persistent spatial patterns. In order to understand quantitatively such linked interactions, a sensitivity analysis has been performed with the GEOtop hydrological model. Results show how both abiotic (mainly slope and elevation) and anthropogenic (irrigation and soil management) factors exert a significant control on

  17. 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

  18. Drivers of carbon dynamics and diagnostic fractions in grassland soils in Bavaria in a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Franco, Noelia; Kühnel, Anna; Wiesmeier, Martin; Kiese, Ralf; Dannenmann, Michael; Wolf, Benjamin; Brandhuber, Robert; Treisch, Melanie; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2017-04-01

    The storage of carbon (C) in grassland soils is affected by two principal controlling factors: management practices and climate change. In particular, mountainous grassland soils may become a source of greenhouse gas emissions under global warming due to large amounts of labile C. In this regard, aggregate-occluded and mineral associated C may play a key role in the mitigation of climate change. Nevertheless, few studies have focused on different soil organic matter (SOM) pools and their main controlling factors in mountainous grassland soils. We analyzed the C development of long-term (1986-2012) monitoring grassland sites in Bavaria using Random Forest models. Sites with low initial C contents showed an increase of C, whereas the opposite trend was observed for sites with high initial C contents. Different controlling factors were related with the two main C trends. In addition, we determined the principal mechanisms involved in the build-up and stabilization of different C pools using a promising physical fractionation method. This method enables the separation of five different SOM fractions by density, ultrasonication and sieving separation: fine particulate organic matter (fPOM), occluded particulate organic matter (oPOM>20µm and oPOM 20 µm; medium + fine silt and clay, soils.

  19. Termite activity in relation to natural grassland soil attributes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kaschuk, G.; Pires Santos, J.C.; Almeida, J.A.; Sinhorati, D.S.; Berton-Junior, J.F.

    2006-01-01

    Soil-feeding termites transport soil for mound building, and this process can affect soil characteristics. To verify the influence of soil termite activity on soil characteristics, samples were collected from top, bottom and center of termite mounds, and of the adjacent area, to assess chemical and

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Bannert, A.; Bogen, C.; Esperschütz, J.; Koubová, Anna; Buegger, F.; Fischer, D.; Radl, V.; Fuss, R.; Chroňáková, Alica; Elhottová, Dana; Šimek, Miloslav; Schloter, M.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 9, č. 10 (2012), s. 3891-3899 ISSN 1726-4170 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/09/1570 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : anaerobic oxidation of methane * grassland soils * cattle husbandry Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.754, year: 2012

  1. Soil carbon changes upon secondary succession in Imperata grasslands (East Kalimantan, Indonesia)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kamp, van der J.; Yassir, I.; Buurman, P.

    2009-01-01

    Soil carbon changes upon secondary succession in Imperata grasslands are important both for their effect on potential production and for possible implications of forest degradation and regeneration on global climate change. We studied the effect of forest regeneration after fire in Imperata

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  3. Availability and immobilization of 137Cs in subtropical high mountain forest and grassland soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chiu, C.-Y.; Wang, C.-J.; Huang, C.-C.

    2008-01-01

    To understand the behavior of 137 Cs in undisturbed soils after nuclear fallout deposition between the 1940s and 1980s, we investigated the speciation of 137 Cs in soils in forest and its adjacent grassland from a volcano and subalpine area in Taiwan. We performed sequential extraction of 137 Cs (i.e., fractions readily exchangeable, bound to microbial biomass, bound to Fe-Mn oxides, bound to organic matter, persistently bound and residual). For both the forest and grassland soils, 137 Cs was mainly present in the persistently bound (31-41%) and residual (22-62%) fractions. The proportions of 137 Cs labile fractions - bound to exchangeable sites, microbial biomass, Mn-Fe oxides, and organic matter - were lower than those of the recalcitrant fractions. The labile fractions in the forest soils were also higher than those in the grassland soils, especially in the volcanic soil. The results suggest that the labile form of 137 Cs was mostly transferred to the persistently bound and resistant fractions after long-term deposition of fallout. The readily exchangeable 137 Cs fraction was higher in soils with higher organic matter content or minor amounts of 2:1 silicate clay minerals

  4. [Soil catalase activity of main plant communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lu, Ping; Guo, Jixun; Zhu, Li

    2002-06-01

    The seasonal dynamics of soil catalase activity of three different plants communities in Leymus chinensis grassland in northeast China were in a parabolas shape. The seasonal variation of Chloris virgata community was greater than those of Leymus chinensis community and Puccinellia tenuiflora community, and "seed effect" might be the main reason. The correlation between the activity of soil catalase in different soil layers and environmental factors were analyzed. The results showed that the activity of soil catalase was decreased gradually with depth of soil layer. The activity of soil catalase was closely correlated with rainfall and air temperature, and it was affected by soil temperature, soil moisture, and their interactions. The correlation between the activity and aboveground vegetation was very significant, and the growing condition of plant communities could be reflected by the activity of soil catalase.

  5. 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.

  6. Impact of Grassland Reseeding, Herbicide spraying and Ploughing on Diversity and Abundance of Soil Arthropods.

    OpenAIRE

    Wei Liu; Wei Liu; Wei Liu; Junling Zhang; Stuart L Norris; Phil Murray

    2016-01-01

    In order to determine the interactive effect of reseeding, herbicide spraying and ploughing on soil fauna communities, we conducted a grassland reseeding experiment combined with pre-reseed management to examine how with the whole reseeding process affects soil faunal composition. Sampling occasions and exact treatments were as follows: 1) before chemical herbicide spray; 2) after spray but before ploughing; 3) after ploughing but before reseeding; and 4) after one year of recovery. Our resul...

  7. Soil seed-bank composition reveals the land-use history of calcareous grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karlík, Petr; Poschlod, Peter

    2014-07-01

    We compared soil seed banks and vegetation of recent (established on abandoned arable fields) and ancient (continuously managed as pastures at least since 1830) calcareous grasslands if there is any impact of former arable field use. The study was carried out in two regions of Southern Germany with well-preserved dry grassland vegetation: the western Jurassic mountains (Kaltes Feld) and the climatically drier eastern part of Southern Germany (Kallmünz). Total number of species in the seed bank was similar in both regions, but species composition partly differed, reflecting phytogeographical differences between the regions. The total number of emerged seedlings showed a large disparity (5457 compared to 2523 seedlings/m2 in Kaltes Feld and Kallmünz, respectively). Though there were differences in seed bank composition and size, we found a uniform pattern of plant traits (affiliation to phytosociological groups, Raunkiaer plant life-forms and seed longevity), which depended on the age of the grassland. The main conclusion is that seed banks in contemporary calcareous grasslands still reflect the history of former land use - in this case arable cultivation, even though it occurred a long time ago (up to 150 years). Indicators of former arable fields are germinable seeds of weeds which have persisted in the soil to the present. By contrast, weedy species are completely absent from the seed banks of ancient grasslands. Soil seed banks of recent grasslands may be of substantial conservation importance because they may store seeds of rare and endangered weed species such as Kickxia spuria, Silene noctiflora and Stachys annua, the majority of which have already gone extinct from the current vegetation of the study sites.

  8. 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.

  9. Soil chemical factors and grassland species density in Emas National Park (central Brazil).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, P K; Batalha, M A

    2008-05-01

    Studies of grasslands on specific soil types suggest that different nutrients can limit biomass production and, hence, species composition and number. The Brazilian cerrado is the major savanna region in America and once covered about 2 million km(2), mainly in the Brazilian Central Plateau, under seasonal climate, with wet summer and dry winter. In view of the importance of soil chemical factors in the distribution of the vegetation forms within the Cerrado domain and which may influence the number of species, we analyzed some soil characteristics in three herbaceous vegetation forms -- hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado, and wet grassland -- in Emas National Park, a core cerrado site, to investigate the relationship between number of species and soil characteristics. We collected vegetation and soil samples in these three vegetation forms and submitted the obtained data to multiple linear regression. We found out that aluminum and pH were the best predictors of species density, the former positively related to species density and the latter negatively related. Since the predictable variation in species density is important in determining areas of conservation, we can postulate that these two soil factors are indicators of high species density areas in tropical grasslands, which could be used in selecting priority sites for conservation.

  10. Divergent Effects of Nitrogen Addition on Soil Respiration in a Semiarid Grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Cheng Zhu; Yiping Ma; Honghui Wu; Tao Sun; Kimberly J. La Pierre; Zewei Sun; Qiang Yu

    2016-01-01

    Nitrogen (N) deposition has been steadily increasing for decades, with consequences for soil respiration. However, we have a limited understanding of how soil respiration responds to N availability. Here, we investigated the soil respiration responses to low and high levels of N addition (0.4?mol N m?2 yr?1 vs 1.6?mol N m?2 yr?1) over a two-year period in a semiarid Leymus chinensis grassland in Inner Mongolia, China. Our results show that low-level N addition increased soil respiration, plan...

  11. Carbon storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils and sequestration potentials in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiesmeier, Martin; Munro, Sam; Barthold, Frauke; Steffens, Markus; Schad, Peter; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2015-10-01

    Organic carbon (OC) sequestration in degraded semi-arid environments by improved soil management is assumed to contribute substantially to climate change mitigation. However, information about the soil organic carbon (SOC) sequestration potential in steppe soils and their current saturation status remains unknown. In this study, we estimated the OC storage capacity of semi-arid grassland soils on the basis of remote, natural steppe fragments in northern China. Based on the maximum OC saturation of silt and clay particles soils (grazing land, arable land, eroded areas) were estimated. The analysis of natural grassland soils revealed a strong linear regression between the proportion of the fine fraction and its OC content, confirming the importance of silt and clay particles for OC stabilization in steppe soils. This relationship was similar to derived regressions in temperate and tropical soils but on a lower level, probably due to a lower C input and different clay mineralogy. In relation to the estimated OC storage capacity, degraded steppe soils showed a high OC saturation of 78-85% despite massive SOC losses due to unsustainable land use. As a result, the potential of degraded grassland soils to sequester additional OC was generally low. This can be related to a relatively high contribution of labile SOC, which is preferentially lost in the course of soil degradation. Moreover, wind erosion leads to substantial loss of silt and clay particles and consequently results in a direct loss of the ability to stabilize additional OC. Our findings indicate that the SOC loss in semi-arid environments induced by intensive land use is largely irreversible. Observed SOC increases after improved land management mainly result in an accumulation of labile SOC prone to land use/climate changes and therefore cannot be regarded as contribution to long-term OC sequestration. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  12. [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.

  13. 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.

  14. [Fractal features of soil particle size in the process of desertification in desert grassland of Ningxia, China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yan, Xin; An, Hui

    2017-10-01

    The variation of soil properties, the fractal dimension of soil particle size, and the relationships between fractal dimension of soil particle size and soil properties in the process of desertification in desert grassland of Ningxia were discussed. The results showed that the fractal dimension (D) at different desertification stages in desert grassland varied greatly, the value of D was between 1.69 and 2.62. Except for the 10-20 cm soil layer, the value of D gradually declined with increa sing desertification of desert grassland at 0-30 cm soil layer. In the process of desertification in de-sert grassland, the grassland had the highest values of D , the volume percentage of clay and silt, and the lowest values of the volume percentage of very fine sand and fine sand. However, the mobile dunes had the lowest value of D , the volume percentage of clay and silt, and the highest value of the volume percentage of very fine sand and fine sand. There was a significant positive correlation between the soil fractal dimension value and the volume percentage of soil particles 50 μm. The grain size of 50 μm was the critical value for deciding the relationship between the soil particle fractal dimension and the volume percentage. Soil organic matter (SOM) and total nitrogen (TN) decreased gradually with increasing desertification of desert grassland, but soil bulk density increased gradually. Qualitative change from fixed dunes to semi fixed dunes with the rapid decrease of the volume percentage of clay and silt, SOM, TN and the rapid increase of volume percentage of very fine sand and fine sand, soil bulk density. Fractal dimension was significantly correlated to SOM, TN and soil bulk density. Fractal dimension 2.58 was a critical value of fixed dunes and semi fixed dunes. So, the fractal dimension of 2.58 could be taken as the desertification indicator of desert grassland.

  15. Evaporation from Pinus caribaea plantations on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waterloo, M. J.; Bruijnzeel, L. A.; Vugts, H. F.; Rawaqa, T. T.

    1999-07-01

    Wet canopy and dry canopy evaporation from young and mature plantations of Pinus caribaea on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji, were determined using micrometeorological and hydrological techniques. Modeled annual evaporation totals (ET) of 1926 and 1717 mm were derived for the 6- and the 15-year-old stands, respectively. Transpiration made up 72% and 70% of annual ET, and modeled rainfall interception by the trees and litter layer was 20-22% and 8-9% in the young and the mature stands respectively. Monthly ET was related to forest leaf area index and was much higher than that for the kind of tall fire-climax Pennisetum polystachyon grassland replaced by the forests. Grassland reforestation resulted in a maximum decrease in annual water yield of 1180 mm on a plot basis, although it is argued that a reduction of (at least) 500-700 mm would be more realistic at the catchment scale. The impact of reforesting grassland on the water resources in southwest Viti Levu is enhanced by its location in a maritime, seasonal climate in the outer tropics, which favors a larger difference between annual forest and grassland evaporation totals than do equatorial regions.

  16. Effects of soil depth and plant-soil interaction on microbial community in temperate grasslands of northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yao, Xiaodong; Zhang, Naili; Zeng, Hui; Wang, Wei

    2018-07-15

    Although the patterns and drivers of soil microbial community composition are well studied, little is known about the effects of plant-soil interactions and soil depth on soil microbial distribution at a regional scale. We examined 195 soil samples from 13 sites along a climatic transect in the temperate grasslands of northern China to measure the composition of and factors influencing soil microbial communities within a 1-m soil profile. Soil microbial community composition was measured using phospholipid fatty acids (PLFA) analysis. Fungi predominated in topsoil (0-10 cm) and bacteria and actinomycetes in deep soils (40-100 cm), independent of steppe types. This variation was explained by contemporary environmental factors (including above- and below-ground plant biomass, soil physicochemical and climatic factors) >58% in the 0-40 cm of soil depth, but soils. Interestingly, when we considered the interactive effects between plant traits (above ground biomass and root biomass) and soil factors (pH, clay content, and soil total carbon, nitrogen, phosphorous), we observed a significant interaction effect occurring at depths of 10-20 cm soil layer, due to different internal and external factors of the plant-soil system along the soil profile. These results improve understanding of the drivers of soil microbial community composition at regional scales. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  17. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jana Knappová

    Full Text Available The importance of soil biota in the composition of mature plant communities is commonly acknowledged. In contrast, the role of soil biota in the early establishment of new plant communities and their relative importance for soil abiotic conditions are still poorly understood.The aim of this study was to understand the effects of soil origin and soil fungal communities on the composition of a newly established dry grassland plant community. We used soil from two different origins (dry grassland and abandoned field with different pH and nutrient and mineral content. Grassland microcosms were established by sowing seeds of 54 species of dry grassland plants into the studied soils. To suppress soil fungi, half of the pots were regularly treated with fungicide. In this way, we studied the independent and combined effects of soil origin and soil community on the establishment of dry grassland communities.The effect of suppressing the soil fungal community on the richness and composition of the plant communities was much stronger than the effect of soil origin. Contrary to our expectations, the effects of these two factors were largely additive, indicating the same degree of importance of soil fungal communities in the establishment of species-rich plant communities in the soils from both origins. The negative effect of suppressing soil fungi on species richness, however, occurred later in the soil from the abandoned field than in the soil from the grassland. This result likely occurred because the negative effects of the suppression of fungi in the field soil were caused mainly by changes in plant community composition and increased competition. In contrast, in the grassland soil, the absence of soil fungi was limiting for plants already at the early stages of their establishment, i.e., in the phases of germination and early recruitment. While fungicide affects not only arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi but also other biota, our data indicate that changes

  18. Aggregation and C dynamics along an elevation gradient in carbonate-containing grassland soils of the Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Franco, Noelia; Wiesmeier, Martin; Kiese, Ralf; Dannenmann, Michael; Wolf, Benjamin; Zistl-Schlingmann, Marcus; Kögel-Knabner, Ingrid

    2017-04-01

    C sequestration in mountainous grassland soils is regulated by physical, chemical and biological soil process. An improved knowledge of the relationship between these stabilization mechanisms is decisive to recommend the best management practices for climate change mitigation. In this regard, the identification of a successful indicator of soil structural improvement and C sequestration in mountainous grassland soils is necessary. Alpine and pre-alpine grassland soils in Bavaria represent a good example for mountainous grassland soils faced with climate change. We sampled grassland soils of the northern limestone alps in Bavaria along an elevation gradient from 550 to 1300 m above sea level. We analyzed C dynamics by a comparative analysis of the distribution of C according to aggregate size classes: large-macroaggregates (> 2000 µm), small-macroaggregates (250-2000 µm), microaggregates (63-250 µm), silt plus clay particles (soil. Our preliminary results showed higher C content and changed water-stable aggregate distribution in the high elevation sites compared to lower elevations. Magnesium carbonate seem to play an important role in stabilizing macroaggregates formed from fresh OM. In addition, the isolation of occluded microaggregates within macroaggregates will help us to improve our understanding on the effects of climate change on soil structure and on the sensitivity of different C stabilization mechanisms present in mountainous soils.

  19. 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

  20. SOIL ORGANIC MATTER DYNAMICS UPON SECONDARY SUCCESSION IN IMPERATA GRASSLAND, EAST KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ishak Yassir

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Soil organic matter (SOM dynamics upon secondary succession in Imperata grassland was studied by stable carbon isotope analysis. The data of litter and soil samples of twenty plots in four different stages of succession were compared. These different stages were represented by plots that were; (1 last burned 3 years before sampling (Imperata grassland, (2 last burned 9 years before, (3 a secondary forest (≥15 years and (4 a primary forest. Result showed that isotopic signatures of all soil horizons of the regeneration stages were statistically different from those of the primary forest. The A-horizon under the 3-years Imperata plot still contained 23% forest (C3 carbon, and this fraction increased to 51% in the-B-horizon. In the 9-years plot and in the secondary forest, the C3 carbon on the A-horizon increased to 51% and 96%, respectively. In the topsoil, the loss of C4-C between the 3-years and the 9-years plot was significant, while it appeared negligible in the AB-horizon. The strong decay in the topsoil under Imperata grassland may be due to the rather high carbohydrate content of the SOM, which is considered easily decomposable. Further research is needed especially to explore the relation between carbon stocks and chemical of SOM composition. Such insight may help to better understand and predict soil carbon changes in relation to climate and vegetation change.

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. Distribution of Shrubland and Grassland Soil Erodibility on the Loess Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiao Zhang

    2018-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil erosion is one of the most severe problems facing environments and has increased throughout the 20th century. Soil erodibility (K-factor is one of the important indicators of land degradation, and many models have been used to estimate K values. Although soil erodibility has been estimated, the comparison of different models and their usage at a regional scale and, in particular, for different land use types, need more research. Four of the most widely distributed land use types were selected to analyze, including introduced and natural grassland, as well as introduced and natural shrubland. Soil particle size, soil organic matter and other relevant soil properties were measured to estimate soil erodibility in the Loess Plateau. The results show that: (1 the erosion productivity impact calculator (EPIC model and SHIRAZI model are both suitable for the Loess Plateau, while the SHIRAZI model has the advantage of fewer parameters; (2 introduced grassland has better ability to protect both the 0–5 cm soils and 5–20 cm soils, while the differences between introduced and natural shrubland are not obvious at a catchment scale; (3 the K values of introduced grassland, natural grassland, introduced shrubland and natural shrubland in the 0–5 cm layer vary from 0.008 to 0.037, 0.031 to 0.046, 0.012 to 0.041 and 0.008 to 0.045 (t·hm2·h/(MJ·mm·hm2, while the values vary from 0.009 to 0.039, 0.032 to 0.046, 0.012 to 0.042 and 0.008 to 0.048 (t·hm2·h/(MJ·mm·hm2 in the 5–20 cm layer. The areas with a mean multiyear precipitation of 370–440 mm are the most important places for vegetation restoration construction management at a regional scale. A comprehensive balance between water conservation and soil conservation is needed and important when selecting the species used to vegetation restoration. This study provides suggestions for ecological restoration and provides a case study for the estimate of soil erodibility in arid and semiarid

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Evaporation from Pinus caribaea plantations on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions.

    OpenAIRE

    Waterloo, M.J.; Bruijnzeel, L.A.; Vugts, H.F.; Rawaqa, T.T.

    1999-01-01

    Wet canopy and dry canopy evaporation from young and mature plantations of Pinus caribaea on former grassland soils under maritime tropical conditions in southwestern Viti Levu, Fiji, were determined using micrometeorological and hydrological techniques. Modeled annual evaporation totals (ET) of 1926 and 1717 mm were derived for the 6- and the 15-year-old stands, respectively. Transpiration made up 72% and 70% of annual ET, and modeled rainfall interception by the trees and litter layer was 2...

  7. Isolation and antibiotic susceptibility testing of rapidly-growing mycobacteria from grassland soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Kyselková, Martina; Chroňáková, Alica; Němec, Jan; Kotrbová, Lucie; Elhottová, Dana

    2013-01-01

    Roč. 3, č. 1 (2013), s. 76-80 ISSN 1338-5178 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP504/10/2077; GA MŠk LC06066; GA MŠk(CZ) EE2.3.30.0032 Grant - others:GA JU(CZ) GAJU 04-142/2010/P Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : mycobakterium isolation and cultivation * grassland soil * antibiotic resistance Subject RIV: EE - Microbiology, Virology

  8. 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

  9. How Fencing Affects the Soil Quality and Plant Biomass in the Grassland of the Loess Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zeng, Quanchao; Liu, Yang; Xiao, Li; Huang, Yimei

    2017-09-25

    Overgrazing is a severe problem in several regions in Northwestern China and has caused serious land degradation. Secondary natural succession plays an important role in the accumulation of soil carbon and nitrogen contents. Estimating the effects of grazing exclusion on soil quality and plant diversity will improve our understanding of the succession process after overgrazing and promote judicious management of degraded pastures. This experiment was designed to measure soil properties and plant diversity following an age chronosequence of grasslands (ages ranged from one year, 12 years, 20 years, and 30 years) in Northwestern China. The results showed that continuous fencing resulted in a considerable increase in plant coverage, plant biomass (above- and below-ground biomass), and plant diversity, which can directly or indirectly improve the accumulation of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen content. The plant coverage and the above- and below-ground biomass linearly increased along the succession time, whereas soil organic C and N contents showed a significant decline in the first 12 years and, subsequently, a significant increase. The increased plant biomass caused an increase in soil organic carbon and soil total nitrogen. These results suggested that soil restoration and plant cover were an incongruous process. Generally, soil restoration is a slow process and falls behind vegetation recovery after grazing exclusion. Although the accumulation of soil C and N stocks needed a long term, vegetation restoration was a considerable option for the degraded grassland due to the significant increase of plant biomass, diversity, and soil C and N stocks. Therefore, fencing with natural succession should be considered in the design of future degraded pastures.

  10. 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

  11. Soil Seed Bank and Plant Community Development in Passive Restoration of Degraded Sandy Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Renhui Miao

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available To evaluate the efficacy of passive restoration on soil seed bank and vegetation recovery, we measured the species composition and density of the soil seed bank, as well as the species composition, density, coverage, and height of the extant vegetation in sites passively restored for 0, 4, 7, and 12 years (S0, S4, S7, and S12 in a degraded grassland in desert land. Compared with S0, three more species in the soil seed bank at depths of 0–30 cm and one more plant species in the community was detected in S12. Seed density within the topsoil (0–5 cm was five times higher in S12 than that in S0. Plant densities in S7 and S12 were triple and quadruple than that in S0. Plant coverage was increased by 1.5 times (S4, double (S7, and triple (S12 compared with S0. Sørensen’s index of similarity in species composition between the soil seed bank and the plant community were high (0.43–0.63, but it was lower in short-term restoration sites (S4 and S7 than that in no and long-term restoration sites (S0 and S12. The soil seed bank recovered more slowly than the plant community under passive restoration. Passive restoration is a useful method to recover the soil seed bank and vegetation in degraded grasslands.

  12. 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

  13. ISOLATION AND ANTIBIOTIC SUSCEPTIBILITY TESTING OF RAPIDLY-GROWING MYCOBACTERIA FROM GRASSLAND SOILS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martina Kyselková

    2013-08-01

    Full Text Available Rapidly growing mycobacteria (RGM are common soil saprophytes, but certain strains cause infections in human and animals. The infections due to RGM have been increasing in past decades and are often difficult to treat. The susceptibility to antibiotics is regularly evaluated in clinical isolates of RGM, but the data on soil RGM are missing. The objectives of this study was to isolate RGM from four grassland soils with different impact of manuring, and assess their resistance to antibiotics and the ability to grow at 37°C and 42°C. Since isolation of RGM from soil is a challenge, a conventional decontamination method (NaOH/malachite green/cycloheximide and a recent method based on olive oil/SDS demulsification were compared. The olive oil/SDS method was less efficient, mainly because of the emulsion instability and plate overgrowing with other bacteria. Altogether, 44 isolates were obtained and 23 representatives of different RGM genotypes were screened. The number of isolates per soil decreased with increasing soil pH, consistently with previous findings that mycobacteria were more abundant in low pH soils. Most of the isolates belonged to the Mycobacterium fortuitum group. The majority of isolates was resistant to 2-4 antibiotics. Multiresistant strains occurred also in a control soil that has a long history without the exposure to antibiotic-containing manure. Seven isolates grew at 37°C, including the species M. septicum and M. fortuitum known for infections in humans. This study shows that multiresistant RGM close to known human pathogens occur in grassland soils regardless the soil history of manuring.

  14. 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.

  15. Priming of soil carbon decomposition in two inner Mongolia grassland soils following sheep dung addition: A study using13C natural abundance approach

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ma, Xiuzhi; Ambus, Per; Wang, Shiping

    2013-01-01

    To investigate the effect of sheep dung on soil carbon (C) sequestration, a 152 days incubation experiment was conducted with soils from two different Inner Mongolian grasslands, i.e. a Leymus chinensis dominated grassland representing the climax community (2.1% organic matter content) and a heav......To investigate the effect of sheep dung on soil carbon (C) sequestration, a 152 days incubation experiment was conducted with soils from two different Inner Mongolian grasslands, i.e. a Leymus chinensis dominated grassland representing the climax community (2.1% organic matter content......) and a heavily degraded Artemisia frigida dominated community (1.3% organic matter content). Dung was collected from sheep either fed on L. chinensis (C3 plant with δ13C = -26.8‰; dung δ13C = -26.2‰) or Cleistogenes squarrosa (C4 plant with δ13C = -14.6‰; dung δ13C = -15.7‰). Fresh C3 and C4 sheep dung was mixed......-amended controls. In both grassland soils, ca. 60% of the evolved CO2 originated from the decomposing sheep dung and 40% from the native soil C. Priming effects of soil C decomposition were observed in both soils, i.e. 1.4 g and 1.6 g additional soil C kg-1 dry soil had been emitted as CO2 for the L. chinensis...

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

  17. Post-fire redistribution of soil carbon and nitrogen at a grassland-shrubland ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Guan; Li, Junran; Ravi, Sujith; Dukes, David; Gonzales, Howell B.; Sankey, Joel B.

    2018-01-01

    The rapid conversion of grasslands into shrublands has been observed in many arid and semiarid regions worldwide. Studies have shown that fire can provide certain forms of reversibility for shrub-grass transition due to resource homogenization and shrub mortality, especially in the early stages of shrub encroachment. Field-level post-fire soil resource redistribution has rarely been tested. Here we used prescribed fire in a shrubland-grassland transition zone in the northern Chihuahuan Desert to test the hypothesis that fire facilitates the remobilization of nutrient-enriched soil from shrub microsites to grass and bare microsites and thereby reduces the spatial heterogeneity of soil resources. Results show that the shrub microsites had the lowest water content compared to grass and bare microsites after fire, even when rain events occurred. Significant differences of total soil carbon (TC) and total soil nitrogen (TN) among the three microsites disappeared one year after the fire. The spatial autocorrelation distance increased from 1~2 m, approximately the mean size of an individual shrub canopy, to over 5 m one year after the fire for TC and TN. Patches of high soil C and N decomposed one year after the prescribed fire. Overall, fire stimulates the transfer of soil C and N from shrub microsites to nutrient-depleted grass and bare microsites. Such a redistribution of soil C and N, coupled with the reduced soil water content under the shrub canopies, suggests that fire might influence the competition between shrubs and grasses, leading to a higher grass, compared to shrub, coverage in this ecotone.

  18. Controls upon microbial accessibility to soil organic matter following woody plant encroachment into grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creamer, C. A.; Boutton, T. W.; Filley, T. R.

    2009-12-01

    Woody plant encroachment (WPE) into savannas and grasslands is a global phenomenon that alters soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics through changes in litter quality and quantity, soil structure, microbial ecology, and soil hydrology. To elucidate the controls upon microbial accessibility to SOM, bulk soils from a chronosequence of progressive WPE into native grasslands at the Texas A&M Agricultural Experimental Station La Copita Research Area were incubated for one year. The quantity and stable carbon isotope composition of respired CO2, plant biopolymer chemistry in SOM, and microbial community structure were tracked. Respiration rates declined steadily over the course of the experiment with 15-25% of the total CO2 respired released in the first month of incubation. Between 8 and 18% of the total carbon was mineralized to CO2 throughout the incubation. After day 84 a significantly (p evidence of enhanced carbon stabilization in these respiration experiments. In fact, a greater proportion of total carbon was lost from the soil of mature woody stands than from young stands, suggesting carbon accumulation observed with WPE may be due to greater input rates or microbial dynamics not captured in the laboratory incubation. A cluster approximately 34 years in age represents a transition point in WPE where respiration dynamics become distinct between grassland and wooded elements. By day 84 of the incubation CO2 respired from all soils was depleted with respect to bulk SOM (1.5 to 5‰) and this pattern remained for the rest of the incubation. As the depletion of CO2 relative to bulk SOM was observed in grassland and cluster soils, we hypothesized the depleted signature resulted from the utilization of depleted biopolymers, specifically lignin, cutin and suberin, as hypothesized by others. Quantitative and isotopic comparisons of these monomers prior to and following the incubation will determine if selective compound utilization is a reason for this depletion. The results

  19. Measurement of the denitrification in soil monoliths from grassland and arable soil by means of 15N techniques

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Lippold, H.; Foerster, I.

    1980-01-01

    Losses of fertilizer nitrogen by denitrification were determined in soil monoliths from two sites (loess chernozem and clay ranker). The monoliths were isolated by driving plastic pipes into the plots, and fertilized with 15 N-labelled ammonium nitrate. Emission spectrometric techniques were applied to measure the N 2 and N 2 O quantities released in the isolated atmospheric layer above the monolith. The considerable losses, especially on grassland soils (up to a maximum of 30 kg N/ha), indicate the influence of rainfalls and mean temperature at the 5 dates of sampling (end of March to mid-October). (author)

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. [Soil seed bank in Keerqin meadow grassland under grazing and harvesting].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jiang, Deming; Li, Rongping; Liu, Zhimin; Yan, Qiaoling

    2004-10-01

    This study on the size and composition of seed bank and its relationship with vegetation showed in Keerqin meadow grassland, the density of soil seed bank was 6158 +/- 1647 grains x m(-2) under grazing and 8312 +/- 2540 grains m(-2) under harvesting. Under grazing, the seed bank was mainly composed of some dwarf and short-life annuals. The seeds of the annuals and biennials accounted for 81.66% of the seeds in seed bank. The four species with largest proportion of seed bank were Chloris virgata, Chenopodium glaucum, Digitaria cilliaris and Setaria viridis, and the proportions were 38.55%, 15.42%, 14.95%, and 9.83%, respectively. The density of perennials in soil seed bank was 1129 +/- 302 grains x m(-2). Under harvesting, the seeds of annuals and biennials accounted for 68.08% of the seed in seed bank, and the proportion of Setaria viridis was 52.7%. In the harvesting meadow grassland, the seed density of perennials was 2653 +/- 811 grains x m(-2). There was no significant correlation between the seed density in soil and the vegetation under grazing, but a significant correlation between the seed density in soil and the species abundance of vegetation under harvesting (r = 0.76, P < 0.01). The index of Shannon-Wiener and richness of grazing meadow grassland were 2.96 and 2.98, respectively, distinctly smaller than 3.10 and 5.09 of harvesting meadow, which showed that free grazing made the diversity of seed bank decrease easily.

  4. Abundance and potential metabolic activity of methanogens in well-aerated forest and grassland soils of an alpine region.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hofmann, Katrin; Praeg, Nadine; Mutschlechner, Mira; Wagner, Andreas O; Illmer, Paul

    2016-02-01

    Although methanogens were recently discovered to occur in aerated soils, alpine regions have not been extensively studied for their presence so far. Here, the abundance of archaea and the methanogenic guilds Methanosarcinales, Methanococcales, Methanobacteriales, Methanomicrobiales and Methanocella spp. was studied at 16 coniferous forest and 14 grassland sites located at the montane and subalpine belts of the Northern Limestone Alps (calcareous) and the Austrian Central Alps (siliceous) using quantitative real-time PCR. Abundance of archaea, methanogens and the methanogenic potentials were significantly higher in grasslands than in forests. Furthermore, methanogenic potentials of calcareous soils were higher due to pH. Methanococcales, Methanomicrobiales and Methanocella spp. were detected in all collected samples, which indicates that they are autochthonous, while Methanobacteriales were absent from 4 out of 16 forest soils. Methanosarcinales were absent from 10 out of 16 forest soils and 2 out of 14 grassland soils. Nevertheless, together with Methanococcales they represented the majority of the 16S rRNA gene copies quantified from the grassland soils. Contrarily, forest soils were clearly dominated by Methanococcales. Our results indicate a higher diversity of methanogens in well-aerated soils than previously believed and that pH mainly influences their abundances and activities. © FEMS 2015. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  5. 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

  6. Effects of long-term grassland management on the carbon and nitrogen pools of different soil aggregate fractions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Egan, Gary; Crawley, Michael J; Fornara, Dario A

    2018-02-01

    Common grassland management practices include animal grazing and the repeated addition of lime and nutrient fertilizers to soils. These practices can greatly influence the size and distribution of different soil aggregate fractions, thus altering the cycling and storage of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) in grassland soils. So far, very few studies have simultaneously addressed the potential long-term effect that multiple management practices might have on soil physical aggregation. Here we specifically ask whether and how grazing, liming and nutrient fertilization might influence C and N content (%) as well as C and N pools of different soil aggregate fractions in a long-term grassland experiment established in 1991 at Silwood Park, Berkshire, UK. We found that repeated liming applications over 23years significantly decreased the C pool (i.e. gCKg -1 soil) of Large Macro Aggregate (LMA>2mm) fractions and increased C pools within three smaller soil aggregate fractions: Small Macro Aggregate (SMA, 250μm-2mm), Micro Aggregate (MiA, 53-250μm), and Silt Clay Aggregate (SCAfractions was mainly caused by positive liming effects on aggregate fraction mass rather than on changes in soil C (and N) content (%). Liming effects could be explained by increases in soil pH, as this factor was significantly positively related to greater soil C and N pools of smaller aggregate fractions. Long-term grazing and inorganic nutrient fertilization had much weaker effects on both soil aggregate-fraction mass and on soil C and N concentrations, however, our evidence is that these practices could also contribute to greater C and N pools of smaller soil fractions. Overall our study demonstrates how agricultural liming can contribute to increase C pools of small (more stable) soil fractions with potential significant benefits for the long-term C balance of human-managed grassland soils. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  7. Impact of land use change on soil organic matter dynamics in subalpine grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Stefanie; Leifeld, Jens; Bahn, Michael; Fuhrer, Jürg

    2010-05-01

    Information regarding the response of soil organic matter (SOM) in soils to past and expected future land use changes in the European Alps is scarce. Understanding this response requires knowledge of size and residence times of SOM fractions with distinct stabilities. In order to quantify differences between types of land use in the amount, distribution and turnover rates of soil organic carbon (SOC) in subalpine grassland soils, we used soil aggregate and SOM density fractionation in combination with 14C dating. Samples were taken along gradients of different types of land use from meadow (M) to pasture (P) and to abandoned grassland (A) in the Stubai Valley and in the Matsch Valley. Sampling sites in both areas were located at equal altitude (1880 m and 1820 m, respectively) with the same parent material and soil type, but the Matsch Valley receives 400-500 mm less annual rainfall. SOC stocks in the top 10 cm were 2.47 ± 0.32 (M), 2.75 ± 0.32 (P), and 2.50 ± 0.31 kg C/m2 (A) in the Stubai Valley and 2.25 ± 0.14 (M), 3.45 ± 0.22 (P), 3.16 ± 0.27 kg C/m2(A) in the Matsch Valley. Three aggregate size classes were separated by wet sieving: 2 mm. The light floating fraction (wPOM, ρ >1 g/cm3) was included in the analysis. Free (f-) and occluded particulate organic matter (oPOM) were isolated from each aggregate size class (ρ >1.6 g/cm3). At both locations, more than 80% of SOC was stored in small (0.25-2 mm) and large (>2 mm) macroaggregates, but no trend in relation to the different types of land use could be detected. The fraction of C in fPOM and in oPOM in all aggregate size classes was highest for soil from abandoned grasslands. The bulk soil of the abandoned site in the Stubai Valley showed a significantly higher share of fPOM-C and oPOM-C and a higher amount of wPOM-C as compared to the soil from managed grassland, whereas in the Matsch Valley pasture soil had a significantly higher wPOM-C content. At both sites, 13C natural abundance analyses revealed

  8. 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.

  9. Soil Aggregate Stability and Grassland Productivity Associations in a Northern Mixed-Grass Prairie.

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    Kurt O Reinhart

    Full Text Available Soil aggregate stability data are often predicted to be positively associated with measures of plant productivity, rangeland health, and ecosystem functioning. Here we revisit the hypothesis that soil aggregate stability is positively associated with plant productivity. We measured local (plot-to-plot variation in grassland community composition, plant (aboveground biomass, root biomass, % water-stable soil aggregates, and topography. After accounting for spatial autocorrelation, we observed a negative association between % water-stable soil aggregates (0.25-1 and 1-2 mm size classes of macroaggregates and dominant graminoid biomass, and negative associations between the % water-stable aggregates and the root biomass of a dominant sedge (Carex filifolia. However, variation in total root biomass (0-10 or 0-30 cm depths was either negatively or not appreciably associated with soil aggregate stabilities. Overall, regression slope coefficients were consistently negative thereby indicating the general absence of a positive association between measures of plant productivity and soil aggregate stability for the study area. The predicted positive association between factors was likely confounded by variation in plant species composition. Specifically, sampling spanned a local gradient in plant community composition which was likely driven by niche partitioning along a subtle gradient in elevation. Our results suggest an apparent trade-off between some measures of plant biomass production and soil aggregate stability, both known to affect the land's capacity to resist erosion. These findings further highlight the uncertainty of plant biomass-soil stability associations.

  10. Elevated tropospheric CO2 and O3 concentrations impair organic pollutant removal from grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ai, Fuxun; Eisenhauer, Nico; Jousset, Alexandre; Butenschoen, Olaf; Ji, Rong; Guo, Hongyan

    2018-04-03

    The concentrations of tropospheric CO 2 and O 3 have been rising due to human activities. These rising concentrations may have strong impacts on soil functions as changes in plant physiology may lead to altered plant-soil interactions. Here, the effects of eCO 2 and eO 3 on the removal of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAH) pollutants in grassland soil were studied. Both elevated CO 2 and O 3 concentrations decreased PAH removal with lowest removal rates at elevated CO 2 and elevated O 3 concentrations. This effect was linked to a shift in soil microbial community structure by structural equation modeling. Elevated CO 2 and O 3 concentrations reduced the abundance of gram-positive bacteria, which were tightly linked to soil enzyme production and PAH degradation. Although plant diversity did not buffer CO 2 and O 3 effects, certain soil microbial communities and functions were affected by plant communities, indicating the potential for longer-term phytoremediation approaches. Results of this study show that elevated CO 2 and O 3 concentrations may compromise the ability of soils to degrade organic pollutants. On the other hand, the present study also indicates that the targeted assembly of plant communities may be a promising tool to shape soil microbial communities for the degradation of organic pollutants in a changing world.

  11. Microbial properties explain temporal variation in soil respiration in a grassland subjected to nitrogen addition

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yue; Liu, Yinghui; Wu, Shanmei; Niu, Lei; Tian, Yuqiang

    2015-01-01

    The role of soil microbial variables in shaping the temporal variability of soil respiration has been well acknowledged but is poorly understood, particularly under elevated nitrogen (N) deposition conditions. We measured soil respiration along with soil microbial properties during the early, middle, and late growing seasons in temperate grassland plots that had been treated with N additions of 0, 2, 4, 8, 16, or 32 g N m−2 yr−1 for 10 years. Representing the averages over three observation periods, total (Rs) and heterotrophic (Rh) respiration were highest with 4 g N m−2 yr−1, but autotrophic respiration (Ra) was highest with 8 to 16 g N m−2 yr−1. Also, the responses of Rh and Ra were unsynchronized considering the periods separately. N addition had no significant impact on the temperature sensitivity (Q10) for Rs but inhibited the Q10 for Rh. Significant interactions between observation period and N level occurred in soil respiration components, and the temporal variations in soil respiration components were mostly associated with changes in microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and phospholipid fatty acids (PLFAs). Further observation on soil organic carbon and root biomass is needed to reveal the long-term effect of N deposition on soil C sequestration. PMID:26678303

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Seed longevity of Eragrostis plana Nees buried in natural grassland soil

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    Renato Borges de Medeiros

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this research was to evaluate the seed longevity of Eragrostis plana Nees buried at different soil depths, in a natural-grassland area in the Pampa biome (46 m altitude, 30º05´S and 51º40´W of Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil. The experimental design was a split-plot type in complete blocks with two factors: seeds buried at five different depth levels (soil surface and 2.5, 5, 10 and 20 cm and seven exhumation dates. The blocks were allocated in natural grassland grazed by cattle, allocated in a 12-m-long transection. Fifty-four permeable nylon bags filled with 100 seeds in each division, with five vertical divisions, were buried in each row. Seven exhumation dates were used: the first on October 14, 2003 and the last on January 14, 2006. The percentage of viable seeds of E. plana, collected at seven exhumation times and set at different depths in the soil horizon, were described by simple negative exponential equations. Based on the model, the percentage of viable seeds collected at the five depths, (soil surface and 2.5, 5, 10, and 20 cm, after 2.5 years of burial, were 0.1, 0.5, 1.0, 7.4 and 22.1%, respectively. Increase in depth is directly associated with physical and physiological seed integrity of E. plana. Negative simple exponential equations can be used to predict seed longevity of E. plana buried in nylon bags. This invader species accumulates soil seed-bank of high longevity.

  17. 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.

  18. Community structure of grassland ground-dwelling arthropods along increasing soil salinities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pan, Chengchen; Feng, Qi; Liu, Jiliang; Li, Yulin; Li, Yuqiang; Yu, Xiaoya

    2018-03-01

    Ground-dwelling arthropod communities are influenced by numerous biotic and abiotic factors. Little is known, however, about the relative importance of vegetation structure and abiotic environmental factors on the patterns of ground-dwelling arthropod community across a wide range of soil salinities. Here, a field survey was conducted to assess the driving forces controlling ground-dwelling arthropod community in the salinized grasslands in the Hexi Corridor, Gansu Province, China. The data were analyzed by variance partitioning with canonical correspondence analysis (CCA). We found that vegetation structure and edaphic factors were at least of similar importance to the pattern of the whole ground-dwelling arthropod community. However, when all collected ground-dwelling arthropods were categorized into three trophic guilds (predators, herbivores, and decomposers), as these groups use different food sources, their populations were controlled by different driving forces. Predators and decomposers were mainly determined by biotic factors such as vegetation cover and aboveground plant biomass and herbivores by plant density and vegetation cover. Abiotic factors were also major determinants for the variation occurring in these guilds, with predators strongly affected by soil electrical conductivity (EC) and the content of fine particles (silt + clay, CS), herbivores by soil N:P, EC, and CS, and decomposers by soil EC and organic matter content (SOM). Since plant cover, density, and aboveground biomass can indicate resource availability, which are mainly constrained by soil N:P, EC, CS, and SOM, we consider that the ground-dwelling arthropod community in the salinized grasslands was mainly influenced by resource availability.

  19. 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.

  20. Mineralogical Controls over Carbon Storage and Residence Times in Grassland Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dwivedi, D.; Riley, W. J.; Torn, M. S.; Spycher, N.

    2014-12-01

    Globally, soil organic matter (SOM) contains approximately three times more carbon than the atmosphere and terrestrial vegetation contain combined. However, it is not well understood why some SOM persists for a long time while other SOM decomposes quickly. For future climate predictions, representing soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics accurately in Earth system models is essential. Soil minerals stabilize organic carbon in soil; however, there are gaps in our understanding of how soil mineralogy controls the quantity and turnover of long-residence-time organic carbon. To investigate the impact of soil mineralogy on SOM dynamics, we used a new model (Biotic and Abiotic Model of SOM—BAMS1 [Riley et al., 2014]) integrated with a three-dimensional, multiphase reactive transport solver (TOUGHREACT). The model represents bacterial and fungal activity, archetypal polymer and monomer carbon substrate groups, aqueous chemistry, gaseous diffusion, aqueous advection and diffusion, and adsorption and desorption processes. BAMS1 can predict bulk SOM and radiocarbon signatures without resorting to an arbitrary depth-dependent decline in SOM turnover rates. Results show a reasonable match between observed and simulated depth-resolved SOM and Δ14C in grassland ecosystems (soils formed on terraces south of Eureka, California, and the Central Chernozem Region of Russia) and were consistent with expectations of depth-resolved profiles of lignin content and fungi:aerobic bacteria ratios. Results also suggest that clay-mineral surface area and soil sorption coefficients constitute dominant controls over organic carbon stocks and residence times, respectively. Bibliography: Riley, W.J., F.M. Maggi, M. Kleber, M.S. Torn, J.Y. Tang, D. Dwivedi, and N. Guerry (2014), Long residence times of rapidly decomposable soil organic matter: application of a multi-phase, multi-component, and vertically resolved model (BAMS1) to soil carbon dynamics, Geoscientific Model Development, vol. 7, 1335

  1. Impact of Grassland Reseeding, Herbicide Spraying and Ploughing on Diversity and Abundance of Soil Arthropods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Zhang, Junling; Norris, Stuart L.; Murray, Philip J.

    2016-01-01

    In order to determine the interactive effect of reseeding, herbicide spraying and ploughing on soil fauna communities, we conducted a grassland reseeding experiment combined with pre-reseed management to examine how with the whole reseeding process affects soil faunal composition. Sampling occasions and exact treatments were as follows: (1) before chemical herbicide spray; (2) after spray but before ploughing; (3) after ploughing but before reseeding; and (4) after 1 year of recovery. Our results demonstrate that, Acari and Collembola were the two soil fauna taxa with the highest abundance and accounted for around 96% of the relative total abundance among the various managements. Herbicide application tended to increase soil invertebrate abundance. Conversely, subsequent ploughing significantly reduced soil invertebrate abundance and had an obvious negative effect on soil primary and secondary decomposers, which were mainly due to the variations of Acari (especially Oribatida) and Coleoptera group abundance. Moreover, reseeding also reduced the individual number of the groups mentioned above, and favored those predators with a larger body size and individual weight. After 1 year recovery, Collembola abundance recovered to the pre-treatment levels, while with Arthropod and Acari groups were still fluctuating. PMID:27555863

  2. Impact of Grassland Reseeding, Herbicide Spraying and Ploughing on Diversity and Abundance of Soil Arthropods.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Wei; Zhang, Junling; Norris, Stuart L; Murray, Philip J

    2016-01-01

    In order to determine the interactive effect of reseeding, herbicide spraying and ploughing on soil fauna communities, we conducted a grassland reseeding experiment combined with pre-reseed management to examine how with the whole reseeding process affects soil faunal composition. Sampling occasions and exact treatments were as follows: (1) before chemical herbicide spray; (2) after spray but before ploughing; (3) after ploughing but before reseeding; and (4) after 1 year of recovery. Our results demonstrate that, Acari and Collembola were the two soil fauna taxa with the highest abundance and accounted for around 96% of the relative total abundance among the various managements. Herbicide application tended to increase soil invertebrate abundance. Conversely, subsequent ploughing significantly reduced soil invertebrate abundance and had an obvious negative effect on soil primary and secondary decomposers, which were mainly due to the variations of Acari (especially Oribatida) and Coleoptera group abundance. Moreover, reseeding also reduced the individual number of the groups mentioned above, and favored those predators with a larger body size and individual weight. After 1 year recovery, Collembola abundance recovered to the pre-treatment levels, while with Arthropod and Acari groups were still fluctuating.

  3. Impact of Grassland Reseeding, Herbicide spraying and Ploughing on Diversity and Abundance of Soil Arthropods.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Liu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available In order to determine the interactive effect of reseeding, herbicide spraying and ploughing on soil fauna communities, we conducted a grassland reseeding experiment combined with pre-reseed management to examine how with the whole reseeding process affects soil faunal composition. Sampling occasions and exact treatments were as follows: 1 before chemical herbicide spray; 2 after spray but before ploughing; 3 after ploughing but before reseeding; and 4 after one year of recovery. Our results demonstrate that, Acari and Collembola were the two soil fauna taxa with the highest abundance and accounted for around 96% of the relative total abundance among the various managements. Herbicide application tended to increase soil invertebrate abundance. Conversely, subsequent ploughing significantly reduced soil invertebrate abundance and had an obvious negative effect on soil primary and secondary decomposers, which were mainly due to the variations of Acari (especially Oribatida and Coleoptera group abundance. Moreover, reseeding also reduced the individual number of the groups mentioned above, and favoured those predators with a larger body size and individual weight. After one year recovery, Collembola abundance recovered to the pre-treatment levels, while with Arthropod and Acari groups were still fluctuating.

  4. Priming of soil carbon decomposition in two Inner Mongolia grassland soils following sheep dung addition: a study using ¹³C natural abundance approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Xiuzhi; Ambus, Per; Wang, Shiping; Wang, Yanfen; Wang, Chengjie

    2013-01-01

    To investigate the effect of sheep dung on soil carbon (C) sequestration, a 152 days incubation experiment was conducted with soils from two different Inner Mongolian grasslands, i.e. a Leymus chinensis dominated grassland representing the climax community (2.1% organic matter content) and a heavily degraded Artemisia frigida dominated community (1.3% organic matter content). Dung was collected from sheep either fed on L. chinensis (C3 plant with δ¹³C = -26.8‰; dung δ¹³C = -26.2‰) or Cleistogenes squarrosa (C₄ plant with δ¹³C = -14.6‰; dung δ¹³C = -15.7‰). Fresh C₃ and C₄ sheep dung was mixed with the two grassland soils and incubated under controlled conditions for analysis of ¹³C-CO₂ emissions. Soil samples were taken at days 17, 43, 86, 127 and 152 after sheep dung addition to detect the δ¹³C signal in soil and dung components. Analysis revealed that 16.9% and 16.6% of the sheep dung C had decomposed, of which 3.5% and 2.8% was sequestrated in the soils of L. chinensis and A. frigida grasslands, respectively, while the remaining decomposed sheep dung was emitted as CO₂. The cumulative amounts of C respired from dung treated soils during 152 days were 7-8 times higher than in the un-amended controls. In both grassland soils, ca. 60% of the evolved CO₂ originated from the decomposing sheep dung and 40% from the native soil C. Priming effects of soil C decomposition were observed in both soils, i.e. 1.4 g and 1.6 g additional soil C kg⁻¹ dry soil had been emitted as CO₂ for the L. chinensis and A. frigida soils, respectively. Hence, the net C losses from L. chinensis and A. frigida soils were 0.6 g and 0.9 g C kg⁻¹ soil, which was 2.6% and 7.0% of the total C in L. chinensis and A. frigida grasslands soils, respectively. Our results suggest that grazing of degraded Inner Mongolian pastures may cause a net soil C loss due to the positive priming effect, thereby accelerating soil deterioration.

  5. The Effects of Land-Use Change from Grassland to Miscanthus x giganteus on Soil N2O Emissions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Williams

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available A one year field trial was carried out on three adjacent unfertilised plots; an 18 year old grassland, a 14 year old established Miscanthus crop, and a 7 month old newly planted Miscanthus crop. Measurements of N2O, soil temperature, water filled pore space (WFPS, and inorganic nitrogen concentrations, were made every one to two weeks. Soil temperature, WFPS and NO3− and NH4+ concentrations were all found to be significantly affected by land use. Temporal crop effects were also observed in soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, due in part to C4 litter incorporation into the soil under Miscanthus. Nonetheless, soil N2O fluxes were not significantly affected by land use. Cumulative yearly N2O fluxes were relatively low, 216 ± 163, 613 ± 294, and 377 ± 132 g·N·ha−1·yr−1 from the grassland, newly planted Miscanthus, and established Miscanthus plots respectively, and fell within the range commonly observed for unfertilised grasslands dominated by perennial ryegrass (Lolium perenne. Higher mean cumulative fluxes were measured in the newly planted Miscanthus, which may be linked to a possible unobserved increase immediately after establishment. However, these differences were not statistically significant. Based on the results of this experiment, land-use change from grassland to Miscanthus will have a neutral impact on medium to long-term N2O emissions.

  6. Soil organic carbon stock and distribution in cultivated land converted to grassland in a subtropical region of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, J H; Li, F C; Wang, Y; Xiong, D H

    2014-02-01

    Land-use change from one type to another affects soil carbon (C) stocks which is associated with fluxes of CO2 to the atmosphere. The 10-years converted land selected from previously cultivated land in hilly areas of Sichuan, China was studied to understand the effects of land-use conversion on soil organic casrbon (SOC) sequestration under landscape position influences in a subtropical region of China. The SOC concentrations of the surface soil were greater (P\\0.001) for converted soils than those for cultivated soils but lower (P\\0.001) than those for original uncultivated soils. The SOC inventories (1.90–1.95 kg m-2) in the 0–15 cm surface soils were similar among upper, middle, and lower slope positions on the converted land, while the SOC inventories (1.41–1.65 kg m-2) in this soil layer tended to increase from upper to lower slope positions on the cultivated slope. On the whole, SOC inventories in this soil layer significantly increased following the conversion from cultivated land to grassland (P\\0.001). In the upper slope positions, converted soils (especially in 0–5 cm surface soil) exhibited a higher C/N ratio than cultivated soils (P = 0.012), implying that strong SOC sequestration characteristics exist in upper slope areas where severe soil erosion occurred before land conversion. It is suggested that landscape position impacts on the SOC spatial distribution become insignificant after the conversion of cultivated land to grassland, which is conducive to the immobilization of organic C. We speculate that the conversion of cultivated land to grassland would markedly increase SOC stocks in soil and would especially improve the potential for SOC sequestration in the surface soil over a moderate period of time (10 years).

  7. 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

  8. Arsenic stability and mobilization in soil at an amenity grassland overlying chemical waste (St. Helens, UK)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hartley, William [School of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom)], E-mail: w.hartley@ljmu.ac.uk; Dickinson, Nicholas M. [School of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom); Clemente, Rafael [Department of Soil and Water Conservation and Organic Waste Management, Centro de Edafologia y Biologia Aplicada del Segura, CSIC, Apartado 4195, 30080 Murcia (Spain); French, Christopher [School of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom); Piearce, Trevor G. [Biological Sciences Division, Lancaster Environment Centre, Lancaster University, Lancaster LA1 4YQ (United Kingdom); Sparke, Shaun; Lepp, Nicholas W. [School of Biological and Earth Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Byrom Street, Liverpool L3 3AF (United Kingdom)

    2009-03-15

    A 6.6 ha grassland, established on a former chemical waste site adjacent to a residential area, contains arsenic (As) in surface soil at concentrations 200 times higher than UK Soil Guideline Values. The site is not recognized as statutory contaminated land, partly on the assumption that mobility of the metalloid presents a negligible threat to human health, groundwater and ecological receptors. Evidence for this is evaluated, based on studies of the effect of organic (green waste compost) and inorganic (iron oxides, lime and phosphate) amendments on As fractionation, mobility, plant uptake and earthworm communities. Arsenic mobility in soil was low but significantly related to dissolved organic matter and phosphate, with immobilization associated with iron oxides. Plant uptake was low and there was little apparent impact on earthworms. The existing vegetation cover reduces re-entrainment of dust-blown particulates and pathways of As exposure via this route. Minimizing risks to receptors requires avoidance of soil exposure, and no compost or phosphate application. - Stabilization of alkali industry waste requires careful management to minimise soil arsenic mobilization and dispersal to the wider environment.

  9. Effect of Continuous Agriculture of Grassland Soils of the Argentine Rolling Pampa on Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Luis A. Milesi Delaye

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Long-term soil organic carbon (SOC and soil organic nitrogen (SON following cultivation of grassland soils (100/120-year tillage (T + 20/30-year no tillage (NT of the Rolling Pampa were studied calibrating the simple AMG model coupled with the natural 13C abundance measurements issued from long-term experiments and validating it on a data set obtained by a farmer survey and by long-term NT experiments. The multisite survey and NT trials permitted coverage of the history of the 140 years with agriculture. The decrease in SOC and SON storage that occurred during the first twenty years by a loss through biological activity was 27% for SOC and 32% for SON. The calibrated model described the SOC storage evolution very well and permitted an accurate simultaneous estimation of their three parameters. The validated model simulated well SOC and SON evolution. Overall, the results analyzed separately for the T and NT period indicated that the active pool has a rapid turnover (MRT ~9 and 13 years, resp. which represents 50% of SOC in the native prairie soil and 20% of SOC at equilibrium after NT period. NT implementation on soils with the highest soil organic matter reserves will continue to decrease (17% for three decades later under current annual addition.

  10. The effects of burning and grazing on soil carbon dynamics in managed Peruvian tropical montane grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Oliver, Viktoria; Oliveras, Imma; Kala, Jose; Lever, Rebecca; Arn Teh, Yit

    2017-12-01

    Montane tropical soils are a large carbon (C) reservoir, acting as both a source and a sink of CO2. Enhanced CO2 emissions originate, in large part, from the decomposition and losses of soil organic matter (SOM) following anthropogenic disturbances. Therefore, quantitative knowledge of the stabilization and decomposition of SOM is necessary in order to understand, assess and predict the impact of land management in the tropics. In particular, labile SOM is an early and sensitive indicator of how SOM responds to changes in land use and management practices, which could have major implications for long-term carbon storage and rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of grazing and fire history on soil C dynamics in the Peruvian montane grasslands, an understudied ecosystem, which covers approximately a quarter of the land area in Peru. A density fractionation method was used to quantify the labile and stable organic matter pools, along with soil CO2 flux and decomposition measurements. Grazing and burning together significantly increased soil CO2 fluxes and decomposition rates and reduced temperature as a driver. Although there was no significant effect of land use on total soil C stocks, the combination of burning and grazing decreased the proportion of C in the free light fraction (LF), especially at the lower depths (10-20 and 20-30 cm). In the control soils, 20 % of the material recovered was in the free LF, which contained 30 % of the soil C content. In comparison, the burnt-grazed soil had the smallest recovery of the free LF (10 %) and a significantly lower C content (14 %). The burnt soils had a much higher proportion of C in the occluded LF (12 %) compared to the not-burnt soils (7 %) and there was no significant difference among the treatments in the heavy fraction (F) ( ˜ 70 %). The synergistic effect of burning and grazing caused changes to the soil C dynamics. CO2 fluxes were increased and the dominant

  11. Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland-to-cropland conversion

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xiaobo Zhou; Matthew J. Helmers; Heidi Asbjornsen; Randy Kolka; Mark D. Tomer

    2010-01-01

    Many croplands planted to perennial grasses under the Conservation Reserve Program are being returned to crop production, and with potential consequences for water quality. The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of grassland-to-cropland conversion on nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in soil and shallow groundwater and to...

  12. The relationship between plant species richness and soil pH vanishes with increasing aridity across Eurasian dry grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Palpurina, S.; Wagner, V.; von Wehrden, H.; Hájek, M.; Horsák, M.; Brinkert, A.; Hölzel, N.; Wesche, K.; Kamp, J.; Hájková, Petra; Danihelka, Jiří; Lustyk, P.; Merunková, K.; Preislerová, Z.; Kočí, M.; Kubešová, S.; Cherosov, M. M.; Ermakov, N.; German, D.; Gogoleva, P. A.; Lashchinsky, N.; Martynenko, V. B.; Chytrý, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 26, č. 4 (2017), s. 425-434 ISSN 1466-822X Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : diversity-environment relationship * dry grassland * precipitation * soil pH Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 6.045, year: 2016

  13. Bacterial traits, organism mass, and numerical abundance in the detrital soil food web of Dutch agricultural grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mulder, C.; Cohen, J.E.; Setälä, H.; Bloem, J.; Breure, A.M.

    2005-01-01

    This paper compares responses to environmental stress of the ecophysiological traits of organisms in the detrital soil food webs of grasslands in the Netherlands, using the relationship between average body mass M and numerical abundance N. The microbial biomass and biodiversity of belowground fauna

  14. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species: the possible role of soil-borne pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Hoorens, B.; De Goede, R.G.M.; Van der Putten, W.H.; Gleichman, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carer

  15. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species : the possible role of soil-borne pathogens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Olff, H.; Hoorens, B.; Goede, R.G.M. de; Putten, W.H. van der; Gleichman, J.M.

    2000-01-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carex

  16. Soil organic matter chemistry changes upon secondary succession in Imperata Grasslands , Indonesia: A pyrolysis - GC/MS study

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Yassir, I.; Buurman, P.

    2012-01-01

    The chemical composition of soil organic matter (SOM) following secondary succession in Imperata grassland was investigated by Pyrolysis-Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GC/MS). We studied 46 samples from different stages of succession using plots that last burned 3 and 9 years previously,

  17. 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

  18. Roles of Arbuscular Mycorrhizal Fungi and Soil Abiotic Conditions in the Establishment of a Dry Grassland Community

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Knappová, Jana; Pánková, Hana; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 11, č. 7 (2016), s. 1-24 E-ISSN 1932-6203 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA15-11635S Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : AMF * dry grassland commnunity * soil abiotic conditions Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  19. 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

  20. Deriving surface soil moisture from reflected GNSS signal observations from a grassland site in southwestern France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Sibo; Calvet, Jean-Christophe; Darrozes, José; Roussel, Nicolas; Frappart, Frédéric; Bouhours, Gilles

    2018-03-01

    This work assesses the estimation of surface volumetric soil moisture (VSM) using the global navigation satellite system interferometric reflectometry (GNSS-IR) technique. Year-round observations were acquired from a grassland site in southwestern France using an antenna consecutively placed at two contrasting heights above the ground surface (3.3 and 29.4 m). The VSM retrievals are compared with two independent reference datasets: in situ observations of soil moisture, and numerical simulations of soil moisture and vegetation biomass from the ISBA (Interactions between Soil, Biosphere and Atmosphere) land surface model. Scaled VSM estimates can be retrieved throughout the year removing vegetation effects by the separation of growth and senescence periods and by the filtering of the GNSS-IR observations that are most affected by vegetation. Antenna height has no significant impact on the quality of VSM estimates. Comparisons between the VSM GNSS-IR retrievals and the in situ VSM observations at a depth of 5 cm show good agreement (R2 = 0.86 and RMSE = 0.04 m3 m-3). It is shown that the signal is sensitive to the grass litter water content and that this effect triggers differences between VSM retrievals and in situ VSM observations at depths of 1 and 5 cm, especially during light rainfall events.

  1. Deriving surface soil moisture from reflected GNSS signal observations from a grassland site in southwestern France

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Zhang

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available This work assesses the estimation of surface volumetric soil moisture (VSM using the global navigation satellite system interferometric reflectometry (GNSS-IR technique. Year-round observations were acquired from a grassland site in southwestern France using an antenna consecutively placed at two contrasting heights above the ground surface (3.3 and 29.4 m. The VSM retrievals are compared with two independent reference datasets: in situ observations of soil moisture, and numerical simulations of soil moisture and vegetation biomass from the ISBA (Interactions between Soil, Biosphere and Atmosphere land surface model. Scaled VSM estimates can be retrieved throughout the year removing vegetation effects by the separation of growth and senescence periods and by the filtering of the GNSS-IR observations that are most affected by vegetation. Antenna height has no significant impact on the quality of VSM estimates. Comparisons between the VSM GNSS-IR retrievals and the in situ VSM observations at a depth of 5 cm show good agreement (R2 =  0.86 and RMSE  =  0.04 m3 m−3. It is shown that the signal is sensitive to the grass litter water content and that this effect triggers differences between VSM retrievals and in situ VSM observations at depths of 1 and 5 cm, especially during light rainfall events.

  2. Soil Bacterial and Fungal Community Structure Across a Range of Unimproved and Semi-Improved Upland Grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Kennedy, Nabla; Edwards, Suzanne; Clipson, Nicholas

    2005-01-01

    Changes in soil microbial community structure due to improvement are often attributed to concurrent shifts in floristic community composition. The bacterial and fungal communities of unimproved and semi-improved (as determined by floristic classification) grassland soils were studied at five upland sites on similar geological substrata using both broad-scale (microbial activity and fungal biomass) and molecular [terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (TRFLP)...

  3. Large-scale Patterns of 14C Age of Bulk Organic Carbon and Various Molecular Components in Grassland Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, J.; Liu, Z.; Cao, Z.; Chen, L.; He, J. S.; Haghipour, N.; Wacker, L.; Eglinton, T. I.; Feng, X.

    2017-12-01

    Unraveling the fate of organic carbon (OC) in soils is essential to understanding the impact of global changes on the global carbon cycle. Previous studies have shown that while various soil OC components have different decomposability, chemically labile OC can have old 14C ages. However, few studies have compared the 14C age of various soil OC components on a large scale, which may provide important information on the link between the age or turnover of soil OC components to their sources, molecular structures as well as environmental variables. In this project, a suite of soil profiles were sampled along a large-scale transect of temperate and alpine grasslands across the Tibetan and Mongolian Plateaus in China with contrasting climatic, vegetation and soil properties. Bulk OC and source-specific compounds (including fatty acids (FAs), diacids (DAs) and lignin phenols) were radiocarbon-dated to investigate the age and turnover dynamics of different OC pools and the mechanisms controlling their stability. Our results show that lignin phenols displayed a large 14C variability. Short-chain (C16, 18) FAs sourced from vascular plants as well as microorganisms were younger than plant-derived long-chain FAs and DAs, indicating that short-chain FAs were easier to be decomposed or newly synthesized. In the temperate grasslands, long-chain DAs were younger than FAs, while the opposite trend was observed in the alpine grasslands. Preliminary correlation analysis suggests that the age of short-chain FAs were mainly influenced by clay contents and climate, while reactive minerals, clay or silt particles were important factors in the stabilization of long-chain FAs, DAs and lignin phenols. Overall, our study provided a unique 14 C dataset of soil OC components in grasslands, which will provide important constraints on soil carbon turnover in future investigations.

  4. Alpine grassland soil organic carbon stock and its uncertainty in the three rivers source region of the Tibetan Plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaofeng Chang

    Full Text Available Alpine grassland of the Tibetan Plateau is an important component of global soil organic carbon (SOC stocks, but insufficient field observations and large spatial heterogeneity leads to great uncertainty in their estimation. In the Three Rivers Source Region (TRSR, alpine grasslands account for more than 75% of the total area. However, the regional carbon (C stock estimate and their uncertainty have seldom been tested. Here we quantified the regional SOC stock and its uncertainty using 298 soil profiles surveyed from 35 sites across the TRSR during 2006-2008. We showed that the upper soil (0-30 cm depth in alpine grasslands of the TRSR stores 2.03 Pg C, with a 95% confidence interval ranging from 1.25 to 2.81 Pg C. Alpine meadow soils comprised 73% (i.e. 1.48 Pg C of the regional SOC estimate, but had the greatest uncertainty at 51%. The statistical power to detect a deviation of 10% uncertainty in grassland C stock was less than 0.50. The required sample size to detect this deviation at a power of 90% was about 6-7 times more than the number of sample sites surveyed. Comparison of our observed SOC density with the corresponding values from the dataset of Yang et al. indicates that these two datasets are comparable. The combined dataset did not reduce the uncertainty in the estimate of the regional grassland soil C stock. This result could be mainly explained by the underrepresentation of sampling sites in large areas with poor accessibility. Further research to improve the regional SOC stock estimate should optimize sampling strategy by considering the number of samples and their spatial distribution.

  5. The response of soil biota to phosphate fertilization in grassland columns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ikoyi, Israel; Winstanley, Henry; Fowler, Andrew; Schmalenberger, Achim

    2017-04-01

    The United Nations has predicted that food production is expected to rise by 50% in the year 2020 to feed the increasing world population. Grasslands play significant roles in food production and occupy about 70% of the world's agricultural land. However, intensive use of inorganic fertilizers often associated with increased food production can lead to poor soil quality and environmental pollution. For instance, excessive phosphorus (P) application can lead to eutrophication in surface waters. Although P plays vital roles in many metabolic processes in plants, its primary source rock phosphate is finite. Consequently, the development of more P efficient agricultural systems is paramount. P cycling within the microbial biomass is essential to the P cycle within the soil with its key pathways for P mobilization and mineralization from various soil pools into plant available forms. In this study, soil columns were setup in a greenhouse using a P deficient Irish soil (P index 1). The columns were planted with Lolium perenne and fertilized with 0, 5, 10 and 20 kg/ha inorganic P representing control, low, medium and high rates respectively alongside a full complement of other nutrients. Each treatment was replicated six times and managed for 14 weeks. Results after 14 weeks showed that the weekly measurements of phosphate at different soil depths identified only traces of P in soil solution for the duration of 14 weeks, even after P application. There was a significant increase in alkaline and acid phosphatase activities with the high P compared to the control but no significant effect on plant shoot and root biomass, abundances of cultivable calcium phosphate-, phytate- and phosphonate-utilizing bacteria upon P fertilization. L. perenne rhizosphere of the highest P treatment had significantly lower abundance of bacterial phoD genes, mycorrhizal hyphal and arbuscular colonization rates compared to the control. Likewise, the abundance of bacterial- and fungal

  6. Changes in plant species richness induce functional shifts in soil nematode communities in experimental grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nico Eisenhauer

    Full Text Available Changes in plant diversity may induce distinct changes in soil food web structure and accompanying soil feedbacks to plants. However, knowledge of the long-term consequences of plant community simplification for soil animal food webs and functioning is scarce. Nematodes, the most abundant and diverse soil Metazoa, represent the complexity of soil food webs as they comprise all major trophic groups and allow calculation of a number of functional indices.We studied the functional composition of nematode communities three and five years after establishment of a grassland plant diversity experiment (Jena Experiment. In response to plant community simplification common nematode species disappeared and pronounced functional shifts in community structure occurred. The relevance of the fungal energy channel was higher in spring 2007 than in autumn 2005, particularly in species-rich plant assemblages. This resulted in a significant positive relationship between plant species richness and the ratio of fungal-to-bacterial feeders. Moreover, the density of predators increased significantly with plant diversity after five years, pointing to increased soil food web complexity in species-rich plant assemblages. Remarkably, in complex plant communities the nematode community shifted in favour of microbivores and predators, thereby reducing the relative abundance of plant feeders after five years.The results suggest that species-poor plant assemblages may suffer from nematode communities detrimental to plants, whereas species-rich plant assemblages support a higher proportion of microbivorous nematodes stimulating nutrient cycling and hence plant performance; i.e. effects of nematodes on plants may switch from negative to positive. Overall, food web complexity is likely to decrease in response to plant community simplification and results of this study suggest that this results mainly from the loss of common species which likely alter plant-nematode interactions.

  7. Subsurface earthworm casts can be important soil microsites specifically influencing the growth of grassland plants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zaller, Johann G; Wechselberger, Katharina F; Gorfer, Markus; Hann, Patrick; Frank, Thomas; Wanek, Wolfgang; Drapela, Thomas

    Earthworms (Annelida: Oligochaeta) deposit several tons per hectare of casts enriched in nutrients and/or arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) and create a spatial and temporal soil heterogeneity that can play a role in structuring plant communities. However, while we begin to understand the role of surface casts, it is still unclear to what extent plants utilize subsurface casts. We conducted a greenhouse experiment using large mesocosms (volume 45 l) to test whether (1) soil microsites consisting of earthworm casts with or without AMF (four Glomus taxa) affect the biomass production of 11 grassland plant species comprising the three functional groups grasses, forbs, and legumes, (2) different ecological groups of earthworms (soil dwellers- Aporrectodea caliginosa vs. vertical burrowers- Lumbricus terrestris ) alter potential influences of soil microsites (i.e., four earthworms × two subsurface microsites × two AMF treatments). Soil microsites were artificially inserted in a 25-cm depth, and afterwards, plant species were sown in a regular pattern; the experiment ran for 6 months. Our results show that minute amounts of subsurface casts (0.89 g kg -1 soil) decreased the shoot and root production of forbs and legumes, but not that of grasses. The presence of earthworms reduced root biomass of grasses only. Our data also suggest that subsurface casts provide microsites from which root AMF colonization can start. Ecological groups of earthworms did not differ in their effects on plant production or AMF distribution. Taken together, these findings suggest that subsurface earthworm casts might play a role in structuring plant communities by specifically affecting the growth of certain functional groups of plants.

  8. Soil-vegetation relationships in hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado, and wet grassland in Emas National Park (central Brazil)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amorim, Priscilla Kobayashi; Batalha, Marco Antônio

    2007-11-01

    In South America, the largest savanna region is the Brazilian cerrado, in which there are few areas that become waterlogged in the rainy season. However, we found a small cerrado area in which the soil is poorly drained and becomes waterlogged at the end of the rainy season, allowing the appearance of a hyperseasonal cerrado. We investigated the soil-vegetation relationships in three vegetation forms: hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado, and wet grassland. We collected vegetation and soil samples in these three vegetation forms and submitted obtained data to a canonical correspondence analysis. Our results showed a distinction among hyperseasonal cerrado, seasonal cerrado and wet grassland, which presented different floristic compositions and species abundances. The edaphic variables best related to the hyperseasonal and seasonal cerrados were sand, base saturation, pH, and magnesium. The wet grassland was related to higher concentrations of clay, organic matter, aluminium saturation, aluminium, phosphorus, and potassium. Although it is not possible to infer causal relationships based on our results, we hypothesize that the duration of waterlogging in the hyperseasonal cerrado may not be long enough to alter most of its soil characteristics, such as organic matter, phosphorus, and potassium, but may be long enough to alter some, such as pH and base saturation, as the soils under both cerrados were more similar to one another than to the soil under the wet grassland. Since waterlogging may alter soil characteristics and since these characteristics were enough to explain the plant community variation, we may conclude that water excess—permanent or seasonal—is one of the main factors to distinguish the three vegetation forms, which presented different floristic compositions and species abundances.

  9. Variability of soil CO2 efflux in a semi-arid grassland in Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

    Soil surface CO2 efflux or soil respiration (RS) is one of the most important components of the global carbon cycle. So it is critical to evaluate the response of soil respiration to environmental conditions to predict how future climate and land cover changes influence the ecosystem carbon balance. Continuous half-hourly measurements of RS were made between the end of March to December 2015 in a semi-arid temperate grassland located on the Audubon Research Ranch in south western Arizona (31.5907N, 110.5104W, elevation 1496 m), USA. This first time measurements of Rs over this site using an automated soil chamber were used to investigate the seasonal and diurnal variation of Rs and its relationship to environmental variables. The mean annual air temperature and precipitation at this site were 16 deg C and 370 mm with more than 60% of the annual precipitation was received during the North American monsoon period (July-September). Following the onset of the monsoon, drastic changes in vegetation growth occured turning the ecosystem to a carbon sink by August. Temporal variability in Rs was closely related to the changes in near surface soil temperature at 2 cm (Ts) and soil water content at 5 cm (θ). Half -hourly Rs varied from nearly 0.1 μmol m-2 s-1 in the winter months to a maximum of 5 μmol m-2 s-1 in the peak growing season in August. During the dry pre-monsoon period (May -June), Rs was relatively low ( 0.0.08 m3 m-3, RS was positively correlated to soil temperature at the 2 cm depth following an exponential relationship. Below this value of θ, RS was largely decoupled from TS dropping to less than half of their maximum values during wet soil conditions. Analysis of daily mean nighttime Rs for the year showed that for periods with θ below the threshold, the sensitivity of RS to temperature were substantially reduced resulting in a Q10 significantly < 2, thereby confirming that RS was less affected by soil temperature under low soil water conditions at this

  10. Transfer of radioactive caesium from soil to vegetation and comparison with potassium in upland grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Coughtrey, P.J.; Kirton, J.A.; Mitchell, N.G.; Morris, C.

    1989-01-01

    The distribution and transfer of caesium and potassium between soils and vegetation has been investigated by field sampling and experimental studies on soils and vegetation typical of upland grassland in north west England. Total 137 Cs content to a depth of 0.05 m below root matt ranged from 13 000 to 18 000 Bq m -2 . This caesium content derives from three sources: the Windscale accident of 1957, weapons-testing fallout which peaked in the early 1960s, and the Chernobyl accident in May 1986. From 2200 to 6200 Bq m -2 is attributed to the first two sources, and the remainder to Chernobyl. During accelerated growth of vegetation, on monoliths in glasshouse conditions over the winter of 1986/87, 137 Cs was transferred from soil and root matt to new growth, such that concentrations in fresh growth were similar to or higher than those observed in the field during December 1986. Removal of caesium by successive cuts resulted in up to 25% of the original estimated total being removed over a 240 day period. Increased concentrations coincided with the emergence of Carex sp. and Trichophorum caespitosum, as well

  11. Associations between soil texture, soil water characteristics and earthworm populations of grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holmstrup, Martin; Lamandé, Mathieu; Torp, Søren Bent

    2011-01-01

    ) was not causally associated with the soil parameters studied. This indicates that there must be other causal factors associated with the abundance (and composition) of anecic worms that are not among the soil texture and structure parameters studied. On the other hand, soil texture (Coarse sand) was associated...

  12. Linking diagnostic features to soil microbial biomass and respiration in agricultural grassland soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Richter, A.; Huallacháin, D.O.; Doyle, E.; Clipson, N.; Leeuwen, Van J.P.; Heuvelink, G.B.; Creamer, R.E.

    2018-01-01

    The functional potential of soil ecosystems can be predicted from the activity and abundance of the microbial community in relation to key soil properties. When describing microbial community dynamics, soil physicochemical properties have traditionally been used. The extent of correlations between

  13. Carbohydrates and thermal analysis reflects changes in soil organic matter stability after forest expansion on abandoned grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guidi, Claudia; Vesterdal, Lars; Cannella, David; Leifeld, Jens; Gianelle, Damiano; Rodeghiero, Mirco

    2014-05-01

    Grassland abandonment, followed by progressive forest expansion, is the dominant land-use change in the Southern Alps, Europe. Land-use change can affect not only the amount of organic matter (OM) in soil but also its composition and stability. Our objective was to investigate changes in organic matter properties after forest expansion on abandoned grasslands, combining analysis of carbohydrates, indicative of labile OM compounds with prevalent plant or microbial origin, with thermal analysis. Thermal analysis was used as a rapid assessment method for the characterization of SOM stability. A land-use gradient was investigated in four land-use types in the subalpine area of Trentino region, Italy: i) managed grassland, mown and fertilized for the past 100 years; ii) grassland abandoned since 10 years, with sparse shrubs and Picea abies saplings; iii) early-stage forest, dominated by P. abies and established on a grassland abandoned around 1970; iv) old forest, dominated by Fagus sylvatica and P. abies. Mineral soil was sampled at three subplots in each land use type with eight soil cores, which were subsequently pooled by depth (0-5 cm, 5-10 cm, 10-20 cm). Sugars were extracted from bulk soil samples through acid hydrolysis with H2SO4 (0.5 M). The analytical composition of sugar monomers was performed with HPAEC technology (Dionex ICS5000), equipped with PAD-detection. Thermal stability was assessed with a differential scanning calorimeter DSC100, heating soil samples up to 600°C at a heating rate of 10°C min-1 in synthetic air. Peak height (W g OC-1) of 1st DSC exotherm, dominated by burning of labile OM compounds, was used as thermal stability index. In the abandoned grassland, carbohydrates compounds accounted for a greater proportion of soil OC than in other land use types. Microbially derived sugars, as rhamnose and galactose, were more abundant in managed and abandoned grasslands compared with early-stage and old forest. The amount of thermally labile sugars

  14. Assessment of soil water use by grassland by frequency domain reflectometry in the humid area of Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mestas Valero, R. M.; Báez Bernal, D.; García Pomar, M. I.; Paz González, A.

    2009-04-01

    Frequency domain reflectometry (FDR) is becoming increasingly used for indirect water content determination in soils. In Galica, located in NW Spain, the humid region of this country, annual precipitation exceeds evapotranspiration. However, the yearly distribution of rainfall is irregular, so that supplementary irrigation during the dry warm summer is required often. This study aims to evaluate soil water use by grasslands and soil water regime patterns during the warm season from soil moisture measured at successive depths using FDR. The study sity is located at the experimental field of the Centre for Agricultural Research (CIAM) in Mabegondo, latitude 43°14' N and longitude 08°15' W. Soil moisture was monitored at six experimental plots from July to October 2008 two times per week using a portable FDR sensor. Measurements were made from 10 to 160 cm depth at 10 cm intervals. Moreover one of the plots was equipped with a continuous recording FDR-EnviroSCAN probe. Crop potential evapotranspiration (ETc) was estimated according to the of FAO version of the Penman-Monteith equation and the meteorological information required to apply this method was provided by a station located in the place experimental field. Cumulative rainfall along the study period was 195 mm, which is above the long-term mean and cumulative potential evapotranspiration was 264.7 mm. Using the water balance method the total value of actual evapotranspiration was estimated at 205.2 mm. Analysis of soil moisture content profiles allowed a description of soil water regime and main soil water withdrawal patterns under grassland. In general, grassland roots extracted most soil water from the 0-40 cm depth. In contrast, moisture content at the bottom of the profile was close to saturation, even the driest weeks of the study period. Continuous monitoring of soil water content allowed a more detailed characterization of dry and wet periods during the study season. The study data set may be useful

  15. Spatial variations in larch needle and soil δ15N at a forest-grassland boundary in northern Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujiyoshi, Lei; Sugimoto, Atsuko; Tsukuura, Akemi; Kitayama, Asami; Lopez Caceres, M Larry; Mijidsuren, Byambasuren; Saraadanbazar, Ariunaa; Tsujimura, Maki

    2017-03-01

    The spatial patterns of plant and soil δ 15 N and associated processes in the N cycle were investigated at a forest-grassland boundary in northern Mongolia. Needles of Larix sibirica Ledeb. and soils collected from two study areas were analysed to calculate the differences in δ 15 N between needle and soil (Δδ 15 N). Δδ 15 N showed a clear variation, ranging from -8 ‰ in the forest to -2 ‰ in the grassland boundary, and corresponded to the accumulation of organic layer. In the forest, the separation of available N produced in the soil with 15 N-depleted N uptake by larch and 15 N-enriched N immobilization by microorganisms was proposed to cause large Δδ 15 N, whereas in the grassland boundary, small Δδ 15 N was explained by the transport of the most available N into larch. The divergence of available N between larch and microorganisms in the soil, and the accumulation of diverged N in the organic layer control the variation in Δδ 15 N.

  16. Response of soil CO2 efflux to precipitation manipulation in a semiarid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wei, Xiaorong; Zhang, Yanjiang; Liu, Jian; Gao, Hailong; Fan, Jun; Jia, Xiaoxu; Cheng, Jimin; Shao, Mingan; Zhang, Xingchang

    2016-07-01

    Soil CO2 efflux (SCE) is an important component of ecosystem CO2 exchange and is largely temperature and moisture dependent, providing feedback between C cycling and the climate system. We used a precipitation manipulation experiment to examine the effects of precipitation treatment on SCE and its dependences on soil temperature and moisture in a semiarid grassland. Precipitation manipulation included ambient precipitation, decreased precipitation (-43%), or increased precipitation (+17%). The SCE was measured from July 2013 to December 2014, and CO2 emission during the experimental period was assessed. The response curves of SCE to soil temperature and moisture were analyzed to determine whether the dependence of SCE on soil temperature or moisture varied with precipitation manipulation. The SCE significantly varied seasonally but was not affected by precipitation treatments regardless of season. Increasing precipitation resulted in an upward shift of SCE-temperature response curves and rightward shift of SCE-moisture response curves, while decreasing precipitation resulted in opposite shifts of such response curves. These shifts in the SCE response curves suggested that increasing precipitation strengthened the dependence of SCE on temperature or moisture, and decreasing precipitation weakened such dependences. Such shifts affected the predictions in soil CO2 emissions for different precipitation treatments. When considering such shifts, decreasing or increasing precipitation resulted in 43 or 75% less change, respectively, in CO2 emission compared with changes in emissions predicted without considering such shifts. Furthermore, the effects of shifts in SCE response curves on CO2 emission prediction were greater during the growing than the non-growing season. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. Local Environmental Factors Drive Divergent Grassland Soil Bacterial Communities in the Western Swiss Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Erika; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Buri, Aline; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Adatte, Thierry; Niculita-Hirzel, Hélène; Guisan, Antoine; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2016-11-01

    Mountain ecosystems are characterized by a diverse range of climatic and topographic conditions over short distances and are known to shelter a high biodiversity. Despite important progress, still little is known on bacterial diversity in mountain areas. Here, we investigated soil bacterial biogeography at more than 100 sampling sites randomly stratified across a 700-km 2 area with 2,200-m elevation gradient in the western Swiss Alps. Bacterial grassland communities were highly diverse, with 12,741 total operational taxonomic units (OTUs) across 100 sites and an average of 2,918 OTUs per site. Bacterial community structure was correlated with local climatic, topographic, and soil physicochemical parameters with high statistical significance. We found pH (correlated with % CaO and % mineral carbon), hydrogen index (correlated with bulk gravimetric water content), and annual average number of frost days during the growing season to be among the groups of the most important environmental drivers of bacterial community structure. In contrast, bacterial community structure was only weakly stratified as a function of elevation. Contrasting patterns were discovered for individual bacterial taxa. Acidobacteria responded both positively and negatively to pH extremes. Various families within the Bacteroidetes responded to available phosphorus levels. Different verrucomicrobial groups responded to electrical conductivity, total organic carbon, water content, and mineral carbon contents. Alpine grassland bacterial communities are thus highly diverse, which is likely due to the large variety of different environmental conditions. These results shed new light on the biodiversity of mountain ecosystems, which were already identified as potentially fragile to anthropogenic influences and climate change. This article addresses the question of how microbial communities in alpine regions are dependent on local climatic and soil physicochemical variables. We benefit from a unique 700

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

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

  19. Elevated atmospheric CO2 in a semi-natural grassland: Root dynamics, decomposition and soil C balances

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sindhoej, Erik

    2001-01-01

    This thesis focuses on how elevated atmospheric CO 2 affects a semi-natural grassland, with emphasis on root growth, decomposition and the subsequent long-term effects on soil C balances. Parts of a semi-natural grassland in Central Sweden were enclosed in open-top chambers and exposed to ambient and elevated levels of CO 2 (+350 μmol mol -1 ) from 1995 to 2000, while chamberless rings were used for controls. Root dynamics were observed with minirhizotrons while root biomass and production were studied with soil cores and ingrowth cores. Roots collected from ingrowth cores were incubated under controlled conditions for 160 days to measure root decomposition rates. Treatment-induced differences in microclimate, C input and root decomposability were entered into the ICBM soil C balance model for 30-year projections of soil C balances for the three treatments. Elevated CO 2 chambers had higher biomass production both above and below ground compared to ambient, however the root response increased over the years while the shoot response decreased. Plants grown under elevated CO 2 had greater water-use efficiency compared to ambient, which was shown in higher soil moisture and greater biomass production during slightly dry years. Elevated CO 2 chambers showed higher root appearance rates in spring and higher disappearance rates during autumn and winter. Roots from plants grown under elevated CO 2 decomposed more rapidly. The decreased input and the drier conditions in the ambient chambers were projected to lead to a 1.7% decrease in soil C over 30 years. Under elevated CO 2 , however, the increased input compensated for the higher root decomposability and moister soil conditions and lead only to a projected 1.3% decrease in soil C. This work shows that six years of elevated CO 2 exposure had extensive effects on this semi-natural grassland. The CO 2 response of the grassland was dependent on weather conditions and production increased most when under slight water stress

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. The effects of burning and grazing on soil carbon dynamics in managed Peruvian tropical montane grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    V. Oliver

    2017-12-01

    Full Text Available Montane tropical soils are a large carbon (C reservoir, acting as both a source and a sink of CO2. Enhanced CO2 emissions originate, in large part, from the decomposition and losses of soil organic matter (SOM following anthropogenic disturbances. Therefore, quantitative knowledge of the stabilization and decomposition of SOM is necessary in order to understand, assess and predict the impact of land management in the tropics. In particular, labile SOM is an early and sensitive indicator of how SOM responds to changes in land use and management practices, which could have major implications for long-term carbon storage and rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations. The aim of this study was to investigate the impacts of grazing and fire history on soil C dynamics in the Peruvian montane grasslands, an understudied ecosystem, which covers approximately a quarter of the land area in Peru. A density fractionation method was used to quantify the labile and stable organic matter pools, along with soil CO2 flux and decomposition measurements. Grazing and burning together significantly increased soil CO2 fluxes and decomposition rates and reduced temperature as a driver. Although there was no significant effect of land use on total soil C stocks, the combination of burning and grazing decreased the proportion of C in the free light fraction (LF, especially at the lower depths (10–20 and 20–30 cm. In the control soils, 20 % of the material recovered was in the free LF, which contained 30 % of the soil C content. In comparison, the burnt–grazed soil had the smallest recovery of the free LF (10 % and a significantly lower C content (14 %. The burnt soils had a much higher proportion of C in the occluded LF (12 % compared to the not-burnt soils (7 % and there was no significant difference among the treatments in the heavy fraction (F ( ∼  70 %. The synergistic effect of burning and grazing caused changes to the soil C dynamics. CO2

  3. 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.

  4. Deep horizons: Soil Carbon sequestration and storage potential in grassland soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Torres-Sallan, Gemma; Schulte, Rogier; Lanigan, Gary J.; Byrne, Kenneth A.; Reidy, Brian; Creamer, Rachel

    2016-04-01

    Soil Organic Carbon (SOC) enhances soil fertility, holding nutrients in a plant-available form. It also improves aeration and water infiltration. Soils are considered a vital pool for C (Carbon) sequestration, as they are the largest pool of C after the oceans, and contain 3.5 more C than the atmosphere. SOC models and inventories tend to focus on the top 30 cm of soils, only analysing total SOC values. Association of C with microaggregates (53-250 μm) and silt and clay (40 °C. Through a wet sieving procedure, four aggregate sizes were isolated: large macroaggregates (>2000 μm); macroaggregates (250-2000 μm); microaggregates and silt & clay. Organic C associated to each aggregate fraction was analysed on a LECO combustion analyser. Sand-free C was calculated for each aggregate size. For all soil types, 84% of the SOC located in the first 30 cm was contained inside macroaggregates and large macroaggregates. Given that this fraction has a turnover time of 1 to 10 years, sampling at that depth only provides information on the labile fraction in soil, and does not consider the longer term C sequestration potential. Only when looking at the whole profile, two clear trends could be observed: 1) soils with a clay increase at depth had most of their C located in the silt and clay fractions, which indicate their enhanced C sequestration capacity, 2) free-draining soils had a bigger part of their SOC located in the macroaggregate fractions. These results indicate that current C inventories and models that focus on the top 30 cm, do not accurately measure soil C sequestration potential in soils, but rather the more labile fraction. However, at depth soil forming processes have been identified as a major factor influencing C sequestration potential in soils. This has a major impact in further quantifying and sustaining C sequestration into the future. Soils with a high sequestration potential at depth need to be managed to enhance the residence time to contribute to future

  5. The Effect of Vegetation on Soil Water Infiltration and Retention Capacity by Improving Soil Physiochemical Property in Semi-arid Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    A, Y.; Wang, G.

    2017-12-01

    Water shortage is the main limiting factor for semi-arid grassland development. However, the grassland are gradually degraded represented by species conversion, biomass decrease and ecosystem structure simplification under the influence of human activity. Soil water characteristics such as moisture, infiltration and conductivity are critical variables affecting the interactions between soil parameters and vegetation. In this study, Cover, Height, Shannon-Wiener diversity index, Pielou evenness index and Richness index are served as indexes of vegetation productivity and community structure. And saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) and soil moisture content are served as indexes of soil water characters. The interaction between vegetation and soil water is investigated through other soil parameters, such as soil organic matter content at different vertical depths and in different degradation area (e.g., initial, transition and degraded plots). The results show that Ks significantly controlled by soil texture other than soil organic matter content. So the influence of vegetation on Ks through increasing soil organic content (SOM) might be slight. However, soil moisture content (SMC) appeared significantly positive relationship with SOM and silt content and negative relationship with sand content at all depth, significantly. This indicated that capacity of soil water storage was influenced both by soil texture and organic matter. In addition, the highest correlation coefficient of SMC was with SOM at the sub-surficial soil layer (20 40 cm). At the depth of 20 40 cm, the soil water content was relatively steady which slightly influenced by precipitation and evaporation. But it significantly influenced by soil organic matter content which related to vegetation. The correlation coefficient between SOM and SMC at topsoil layer (0 20 cm) was lowest (R2=0.36, pwater content not only by soil organic matter content but also the other influential factors, such as the root

  6. Soil-biological, soil-chemical and soil-physical parameters along a pollutant gradient on grassland sites in the vicinity o Brixlegg (Tyrol) - a pilot project

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pohla, H.; Palzenberger, M.; Krassnigg, F.; Kandeler, E.; Schwarz, S.; Kasperowski, E.

    1992-01-01

    It was the main aim of this pilot project to check the indicator value of soil organisms by means of distinct pollutant gradients - heavy metals, organic compounds (PCB, dioxins) -. On the basis of available results (1/2/3/), 4 grassland sites at increasing distances from a local emission source (copper production from scrap metal) were selected. Physical and chemical analyses as well as the quantification of habitat structures were used for the characterization of the sites. The following analyses were carried out accompanyingly: The performances of soil microorganisms under pollutant load, the accumulation of pollutants, and the structures of plants and animal communities (macro, meso and microfauna). The investigation area and the examined parameters are introduced, as well as first result on soil chemistry and enzymatics as well as for the accumulation of heavy metals in an earthworm species are introduced. (orig.) [de

  7. 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,...

  8. Contribution of above- and below-ground plant traits to the structure and function of grassland soil microbial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

    Abiotic properties of soil are known to be major drivers of the microbial community within it. Our understanding of how soil microbial properties are related to the functional structure and diversity of plant communities, however, is limited and largely restricted to above-ground plant traits, with the role of below-ground traits being poorly understood. This study investigated the relative contributions of soil abiotic properties and plant traits, both above-ground and below-ground, to variations in microbial processes involved in grassland nitrogen turnover. In mountain grasslands distributed across three European sites, a correlative approach was used to examine the role of a large range of plant functional traits and soil abiotic factors on microbial variables, including gene abundance of nitrifiers and denitrifiers and their potential activities. Direct effects of soil abiotic parameters were found to have the most significant influence on the microbial groups investigated. Indirect pathways via plant functional traits contributed substantially to explaining the relative abundance of fungi and bacteria and gene abundances of the investigated microbial communities, while they explained little of the variance in microbial activities. Gene abundances of nitrifiers and denitrifiers were most strongly related to below-ground plant traits, suggesting that they were the most relevant traits for explaining variation in community structure and abundances of soil microbes involved in nitrification and denitrification. The results suggest that consideration of plant traits, and especially below-ground traits, increases our ability to describe variation in the abundances and the functional characteristics of microbial communities in grassland soils. © The Author 2014. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Annals of Botany Company. All rights reserved. For Permissions, please email: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  9. Sensitivity of soil carbon fractions and their specific stabilization mechanisms to extreme soil warming in a subarctic grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poeplau, Christopher; Kätterer, Thomas; Leblans, Niki I W; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D

    2017-03-01

    Terrestrial carbon cycle feedbacks to global warming are major uncertainties in climate models. For in-depth understanding of changes in soil organic carbon (SOC) after soil warming, long-term responses of SOC stabilization mechanisms such as aggregation, organo-mineral interactions and chemical recalcitrance need to be addressed. This study investigated the effect of 6 years of geothermal soil warming on different SOC fractions in an unmanaged grassland in Iceland. Along an extreme warming gradient of +0 to ~+40 °C, we isolated five fractions of SOC that varied conceptually in turnover rate from active to passive in the following order: particulate organic matter (POM), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), SOC in sand and stable aggregates (SA), SOC in silt and clay (SC-rSOC) and resistant SOC (rSOC). Soil warming of 0.6 °C increased bulk SOC by 22 ± 43% (0-10 cm soil layer) and 27 ± 54% (20-30 cm), while further warming led to exponential SOC depletion of up to 79 ± 14% (0-10 cm) and 74 ± 8% (20-30) in the most warmed plots (~+40 °C). Only the SA fraction was more sensitive than the bulk soil, with 93 ± 6% (0-10 cm) and 86 ± 13% (20-30 cm) SOC losses and the highest relative enrichment in 13 C as an indicator for the degree of decomposition (+1.6 ± 1.5‰ in 0-10 cm and +1.3 ± 0.8‰ in 20-30 cm). The SA fraction mass also declined along the warming gradient, while the SC fraction mass increased. This was explained by deactivation of aggregate-binding mechanisms. There was no difference between the responses of SC-rSOC (slow-cycling) and rSOC (passive) to warming, and 13 C enrichment in rSOC was equal to that in bulk soil. We concluded that the sensitivity of SOC to warming was not a function of age or chemical recalcitrance, but triggered by changes in biophysical stabilization mechanisms, such as aggregation. © 2016 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Winter ecology of a subalpine grassland: Effects of snow removal on soil respiration, microbial structure and function.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gavazov, Konstantin; Ingrisch, Johannes; Hasibeder, Roland; Mills, Robert T E; Buttler, Alexandre; Gleixner, Gerd; Pumpanen, Jukka; Bahn, Michael

    2017-07-15

    Seasonal snow cover provides essential insulation for mountain ecosystems, but expected changes in precipitation patterns and snow cover duration due to global warming can influence the activity of soil microbial communities. In turn, these changes have the potential to create new dynamics of soil organic matter cycling. To assess the effects of experimental snow removal and advanced spring conditions on soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) dynamics, and on the biomass and structure of soil microbial communities, we performed an in situ study in a subalpine grassland in the Austrian Alps, in conjunction with soil incubations under controlled conditions. We found substantial winter C-mineralisation and high accumulation of inorganic and organic N in the topsoil, peaking at snowmelt. Soil microbial biomass doubled under the snow, paralleled by a fivefold increase in its C:N ratio, but no apparent change in its bacteria-dominated community structure. Snow removal led to a series of mild freeze-thaw cycles, which had minor effects on in situ soil CO 2 production and N mineralisation. Incubated soil under advanced spring conditions, however, revealed an impaired microbial metabolism shortly after snow removal, characterised by a limited capacity for C-mineralisation of both fresh plant-derived substrates and existing soil organic matter (SOM), leading to reduced priming effects. This effect was transient and the observed recovery in microbial respiration and SOM priming towards the end of the winter season indicated microbial resilience to short-lived freeze-thaw disturbance under field conditions. Bacteria showed a higher potential for uptake of plant-derived C substrates during this recovery phase. The observed temporary loss in microbial C-mineralisation capacity and the promotion of bacteria over fungi can likely impede winter SOM cycling in mountain grasslands under recurrent winter climate change events, with plausible implications for soil nutrient availability and

  11. 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.

  12. Evolution of soil organic carbon during a chronosequence of transformation from cacao (Theobroma cacao l. plantation to grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Salvador Morales

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this research was to evaluate the impact of the soil use change of the Cocoa Agroforestry System (CAS on soil organic carbon (SOC levels and other indicating soil chemical fertility properties (apparent density ρb, cation exchange capacity CEC, total soil N TSN, when a soil use change occurs from CAS to grassland (GL. For this, in order to be selected was recorded, considering different time intervals (1-5, 6-10 y 11-20 years. However, a CAS of 20-35 years was considered as a reference. In addition, soil samples were taken at -30 cm depth to determine the contents of SOC, TSN, CEC, ρb, soil organic matter (SOM and the soil C/N relationship. Consequently, an in situ resistance to soil penetration was evaluated. The results indicated the change in soil use from CAS to GL, did not cause a significant decrease in the amount of stored SOC (0-30 cm during the considered time with respect to CAS. However, if only the first -10 cm of soil is sampled, a significant soil compaction is observed throughout a decrease in the CEC value in the long term (20 years.

  13. Fine-scale spatial distribution of orchid mycorrhizal fungi in the soil of host-rich grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Voyron, Samuele; Ercole, Enrico; Ghignone, Stefano; Perotto, Silvia; Girlanda, Mariangela

    2017-02-01

    Mycorrhizal fungi are essential for the survival of orchid seedlings under natural conditions. The distribution of these fungi in soil can constrain the establishment and resulting spatial arrangement of orchids at the local scale, but the actual extent of occurrence and spatial patterns of orchid mycorrhizal (OrM) fungi in soil remain largely unknown. We addressed the fine-scale spatial distribution of OrM fungi in two orchid-rich Mediterranean grasslands by means of high-throughput sequencing of fungal ITS2 amplicons, obtained from soil samples collected either directly beneath or at a distance from adult Anacamptis morio and Ophrys sphegodes plants. Like ectomycorrhizal and arbuscular mycobionts, OrM fungi (tulasnelloid, ceratobasidioid, sebacinoid and pezizoid fungi) exhibited significant horizontal spatial autocorrelation in soil. However, OrM fungal read numbers did not correlate with distance from adult orchid plants, and several of these fungi were extremely sporadic or undetected even in the soil samples containing the orchid roots. Orchid mycorrhizal 'rhizoctonias' are commonly regarded as unspecialized saprotrophs. The sporadic occurrence of mycobionts of grassland orchids in host-rich stands questions the view of these mycorrhizal fungi as capable of sustained growth in soil. © 2016 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2016 New Phytologist Trust.

  14. Influence of Scots pine encroachment into alpine grassland in the quality and stability of soil organic matter aggregation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ortiz, Carlos; Díaz-Pinés, Eugenio; Benito, Marta; José Fernández, María; Rubio, Agustín

    2013-04-01

    Ecotone areas are dynamic zones potentially suitable for detecting ecosystem sensitivity to climate change effects. Climate change scenarios proposed by IPCC predict a temperature increase in Mediterranean areas with the consequent altitudinal advance of Scots pine treeline (Pinus sylvestris L.) at the extent of grassland-shrubland areas. Therefore, variations in physical, chemical and biological properties of soils due to plant dynamics are expected. We present a study located in the grassland-forest ecotone of Scots pine on a Mediterranean mountain in Central Spain, considering three different vegetation types: high mountain grassland-shrubland, shrubland-Scots pine high mountain forest and Scots pine mountain forest. We worked on the hypothesis that different plant species compositions influence both the size distribution and aggregate protection of the organic carbon (C), as a result of the different quality of C inputs to the soil from different vegetation types. To test this assumption, topsoil samples were firstly separated into four aggregate fractions (6-2 mm, 2-0.250 mm, 0.250-0.053 mm and centrifuging and decanting the supernatants; and thirdly, different iPOM (coarse iPOM and fine iPOM) and mineral associated soil organic C were released from each remaining aggregate fraction by sonication at 300 J ml-1 and further quantified by wet sieving. We expect differences between light fraction, different iPOM and mineral associated soil organic C from the different aggregates fractions obtained among vegetation types as a result of different quality and quantity organic matter inputs to the soil. Thus, we will be able to predict (i) the evolution of protected soil organic matter with the encroachment of Scots pine on Mediterranean mountains due to climate change effects, (ii) the rate of macroaggregate formation and degradation in those vegetation areas, and (iii) whether they will behave as source or sink of atmospheric C.

  15. Soil respiration in Tibetan alpine grasslands: belowground biomass and soil moisture, but not soil temperature, best explain the large-scale patterns.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yan Geng

    Full Text Available The Tibetan Plateau is an essential area to study the potential feedback effects of soils to climate change due to the rapid rise in its air temperature in the past several decades and the large amounts of soil organic carbon (SOC stocks, particularly in the permafrost. Yet it is one of the most under-investigated regions in soil respiration (Rs studies. Here, Rs rates were measured at 42 sites in alpine grasslands (including alpine steppes and meadows along a transect across the Tibetan Plateau during the peak growing season of 2006 and 2007 in order to test whether: (1 belowground biomass (BGB is most closely related to spatial variation in Rs due to high root biomass density, and (2 soil temperature significantly influences spatial pattern of Rs owing to metabolic limitation from the low temperature in cold, high-altitude ecosystems. The average daily mean Rs of the alpine grasslands at peak growing season was 3.92 µmol CO(2 m(-2 s(-1, ranging from 0.39 to 12.88 µmol CO(2 m(-2 s(-1, with average daily mean Rs of 2.01 and 5.49 µmol CO(2 m(-2 s(-1 for steppes and meadows, respectively. By regression tree analysis, BGB, aboveground biomass (AGB, SOC, soil moisture (SM, and vegetation type were selected out of 15 variables examined, as the factors influencing large-scale variation in Rs. With a structural equation modelling approach, we found only BGB and SM had direct effects on Rs, while other factors indirectly affecting Rs through BGB or SM. Most (80% of the variation in Rs could be attributed to the difference in BGB among sites. BGB and SM together accounted for the majority (82% of spatial patterns of Rs. Our results only support the first hypothesis, suggesting that models incorporating BGB and SM can improve Rs estimation at regional scale.

  16. The Effects of Rainfall Pulses on Soil Nitrogen Availability in a Chihuahuan Desert Grassland During the Summer Monsoon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brown, R. F.; Collins, S. L.; White, C. S.; Sinsabaugh, R. L.

    2015-12-01

    Nitrogen (N) is an essential but limiting nutrient in most terrestrial environments. While numerous studies have demonstrated a tight coupling between soil N availability and soil volumetric water content, this relationship is not well understood in desert ecosystems where rain events create pulses of biological activity, such as microbial secretion of extracellular enzymes that enable nutrient acquisition. Moreover, climate models are projecting shifts in the size and frequency of rain events across semi-arid ecosystems as a result of anthropogenic activities; therefore these changes are expected to have consequences for soil N availability in these regions. The goals of this study were to determine (1) if soil N availability pulses in response to monsoon rain events of differing size and frequency, and (2) how soil N availability varies over the course of a monsoon season in a semi-arid grassland. To answer these questions, we analyzed soils collected from a northern Chihuahuan Desert grassland during the 2014 summer monsoon. Soils were collected monthly over a period of eight days in conjunction with experimentally manipulated irrigation treatments that varied in both size (small=5mm and large=20mm) and frequency (small=weekly (n=12) and large=monthly (n=3)). Using KCl extraction, soils were processed for their inorganic plant-available nitrogen content (NH4+-N and NO3--N). We found that while soil N availability increased over the monsoon season across all treatment types, large events appeared to saturate soils, creating anaerobic conditions that stimulated nitrogen loss most likely through the denitrification pathway. Soils were also assayed for nitrogen specific extracellular enzyme activities, specifically leucine aminopeptidase (LAP), which breaks down the bond in leucine amino acids to mobilize nitrogen, and N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAG), which breaks down amino sugars in microbial cell walls. Preliminary results suggest that by mid-monsoon, LAP activity

  17. 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.

  18. Small-scale shifting mosaics of two dominant grassland species: the possible role of soil-borne pathogens.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olff, H; Hoorens, B; de Goede, R G M; van der Putten, W H; Gleichman, J M

    2000-10-01

    We analyzed the dynamics of dominant plant species in a grazed grassland over 17 years, and investigated whether local shifts in these dominant species, leading to vegetation mosaics, could be attributed to interactions between plants and soil-borne pathogens. We found that Festuca rubra and Carex arenaria locally alternated in abundance, with different sites close together behaving out of phase, resulting in a shifting mosaic. The net effect of killing all soil biota on the growth of these two species was investigated in a greenhouse experiment using gamma radiation, controlling for possible effects of sterilization on soil chemistry. Both plant species showed a strong net positive response to soil sterilization, indicating that pathogens (e.g., nematodes, pathogenic fungi) outweighed the effect of mutualists (e.g., mycorrhizae). This positive growth response towards soil sterilization appeared not be due to effects of sterilization on soil chemistry. Growth of Carex was strongly reduced by soil-borne pathogens (86% reduction relative to its growth on sterilized soil) on soil from a site where this species decreased during the last decade (and Festuca increased), while it was reduced much less (50%) on soil from a nearby site where it increased in abundance during the last decade. Similarly, Festuca was reduced more (67%) on soil from the site where it decreased (and Carex increased) than on soil from the site where it increased (55%, the site where Carex decreased). Plant-feeding nematodes showed high small-scale variation in densities, and we related this variation to the observed growth reductions in both plant species. Carex growth on unsterilized soil was significantly more reduced at higher densities of plant-feeding nematodes, while the growth reduction in Festuca was independent of plant-feeding nematode densities. At high plant-feeding nematode densities, growth of Carex was reduced more than Festuca, while at low nematode densities the opposite was found

  19. Diversity and distribution of autotrophic microbial community along environmental gradients in grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guo, Guangxia; Kong, Weidong; Liu, Jinbo; Zhao, Jingxue; Du, Haodong; Zhang, Xianzhou; Xia, Pinhua

    2015-10-01

    Soil microbial autotrophs play a significant role in CO2 fixation in terrestrial ecosystem, particularly in vegetation-constrained ecosystems with environmental stresses, such as the Tibetan Plateau characterized by low temperature and high UV. However, soil microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors remain less appreciated. We investigated the structure and shift of microbial autotrophic communities and their driving factors along an elevation gradient (4400-5100 m above sea level) in alpine grassland soils on the Tibetan Plateau. The autotrophic microbial communities were characterized by quantitative PCR, terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), and cloning/sequencing of cbbL genes, encoding the large subunit for the CO2 fixation protein ribulose-1,5-bisphosphate carboxylase/oxygenase (RubisCO). High cbbL gene abundance and high RubisCO enzyme activity were observed and both significantly increased with increasing elevations. Path analysis identified that soil RubisCO enzyme causally originated from microbial autotrophs, and its activity was indirectly driven by soil water content, temperature, and NH4 (+) content. Soil autotrophic microbial community structure dramatically shifted along the elevation and was jointly driven by soil temperature, water content, nutrients, and plant types. The autotrophic microbial communities were dominated by bacterial autotrophs, which were affiliated with Rhizobiales, Burkholderiales, and Actinomycetales. These autotrophs have been well documented to degrade organic matters; thus, metabolic versatility could be a key strategy for microbial autotrophs to survive in the harsh environments. Our results demonstrated high abundance of microbial autotrophs and high CO2 fixation potential in alpine grassland soils and provided a novel model to identify dominant drivers of soil microbial communities and their ecological functions.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Cespedes-Payret, Carlos, E-mail: carlos.cespedespayret@gmail.com [UNCIEP, Instituto de Ecologia y Ciencias Ambientales (IECA), Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la Republica, Igua 4225, C.P. 11.400, Montevideo (Uruguay); Pineiro, Gustavo, E-mail: estudiosgeologicos@gmail.com [Departamento de Evolucion de Cuencas, Instituto de Ciencias Geologicas, Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la Republica, Igua 4225, C.P. 11.400, Montevideo (Uruguay); Gutierrez, Ofelia, E-mail: gutierrez.ofelia@gmail.com [UNCIEP, Instituto de Ecologia y Ciencias Ambientales (IECA), Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la Republica, Igua 4225, C.P. 11.400, Montevideo (Uruguay); Panario, Daniel, E-mail: daniel.panario@gmail.com [UNCIEP, Instituto de Ecologia y Ciencias Ambientales (IECA), Facultad de Ciencias, Universidad de la Republica, Igua 4225, C.P. 11.400, Montevideo (Uruguay)

    2012-11-01

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

  1. Uptake and accumulation of 137Cs by upland grassland soil fungi: a potential pool of Cs immobilization

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dighton, J.; Clint, G.M.; Poskitt, J.

    1991-01-01

    Reports of high concentrations of fallout radiocaesium in basidiomycete fruit bodies after the Chernobyl nuclear reactor accident and speculation that fungi could be long-term 137 Cs accumulators led us to ask if fungi could be long-term 137 Cs accumulators. We used six common upland grassland species to try to estimate their importance in the immobilization of 137 Cs. Uptake of Cs by these species ranged from 44 to 235 nmol Cs g − 1d.w. h − 1. Efflux studies indicate that more than 40% of the Cs taken up is bound within the hyphae. We estimate that the fungal component of the soil could immobilize the total radiocaesium fallout received in upland grasslands following the Chernobyl accident

  2. Distribution modelling of pre-Columbian California grasslands with soil phytoliths: New insights for prehistoric grassland ecology and restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fick, Stephen E; Evett, Rand R

    2018-01-01

    Historical reconstructions of plant community distributions are useful for biogeographic studies and restoration planning, but the quality of insights gained depends on the depth and reliability of historical information available. For the Central Valley of California, one of the most altered terrestrial ecosystems on the planet, this task is particularly difficult given poor historical documentation and sparse relict assemblages of pre-invasion plant species. Coastal and interior prairies were long assumed to have been dominated by perennial bunchgrasses, but this hypothesis has recently been challenged. We evaluated this hypothesis by creating species distribution models (SDMs) using a novel approach based on the abundance of soil phytoliths (microscopic particles of biogenic silica used as a proxy for long-term grass presence) extracted from soil samples at locations statewide. Modeled historical grass abundance was consistently high along the coast and to a lesser extent in higher elevation foothills surrounding the Central Valley. SDMs found strong associations with mean temperature, temperature variability, and precipitation variability, with higher predicted abundance in regions with cooler, equable temperatures and moderated rainfall, mirroring the pattern for modern perennial grass distribution across the state. The results of this study strongly suggest that the pre-Columbian Central Valley of California was not dominated by grasses. Using soil phytolith data as input for SDMs is a promising new method for predicting the extent of prehistoric grass distributions where alternative historical datasets are lacking.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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

  7. Artificial climate warming positively affects arbuscular mycorrhizae but decreases soil aggregate water stability in an annual grassland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Rillig, M.C.; Wright, S.F.; Shaw, M.R.; Field, C.B.

    2002-04-01

    Despite the importance of arbuscular mycorrhizae to the functioning of terrestrial ecosystems (e.g. nutrient uptake, soil aggregation), and the increasing evidence of global warming, responses of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) to climate warming are poorly understood. In a field experiment using infrared heaters, we found effects of warming on AMF after one growing season in an annual grassland, in the absence of any effects on measured root parameters (weight, length, average diameter). AMF soil hyphal length was increased by over 40% in the warmed plots, accompanied by a strong trend for AMF root colonization increase. In the following year, root weight was again not significantly changed, and AMF root colonization increased significantly in the warmed plots. Concentration of the soil protein glomalin, a glycoprotein produced by AMF hyphae with importance in soil aggregation, was decreased in the warmed plots. Soil aggregate water stability, measured for five diameter size classes, was also decreased significantly. In the following year, soil aggregate weight in two size classes was decreased significantly, but the effect size was very small. These results indicate that ecosystem warming may have stimulated carbon allocation to AMF. Other factors either influenced glomalin decomposition or production, hence influencing the role of these symbionts in soil aggregation. The observed small changes in soil aggregation, if widespread among terrestrial ecosystems, could have important consequences for soil carbon storage and erosion in a warmed climate, especially if there are cumulative effects of warming. (au)

  8. Structural properties of dissolved organic carbon in deep soil horizons of an arable and temporarily grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lavaud, A.; Chabbi, A.; Croue, J. P.

    2009-04-01

    It is commonly accepted that dissolved organic carbon (DOC) is the bio-available fraction of the largest amount of soil organic matter (SOM), even if it does represent only a very small proportion. Because most of the studies on DOC dynamics were mainly restricted to forest soils, studies on the factors governing the dynamics of DOC in deep soil horizons (>1 m) in arable system are still very little limited. The objective of this work is to better define the proportion of DOC in deep soil horizons and indicate their main characteristics and structural properties. The study was conducted on the long term observatory for environmental research- biogeochemical cycles and biodiversity Lusignan site). DOC collected using lysimeters plates inserted to a depth of 105 cm was fractionated into 3 fractions using the two column array of XAD-8 and XAD-4 resins. The HPO (hydrophobic) fraction (i.e. humic substances) isolated from the XAD-8 resin, the TPH (Transphilic) fraction from the XAD-4 resin and the HPI (hydrophilic) fraction which corresponds to the DOC that does not adsorbed onto the two resins under the acid condition used (pH 2). DOM adsorbed onto the resins is recovered with a 75%/25% acetonitrile/water mixture and lyophilized. Depend on the amount of material; the chemical composition of DOC was performed using UV254 nm, fluorescence EEM, NMR and HPSEC/UV/COD. The results show that the concentration and structural properties of DOC in deep soil horizon were similar to those of groundwater (low SUVA (1.2 m-1.L.mg C-1), structures composed mainly of low molecular weight). Because of the relatively recent establishment of the treatment, the monitoring of the dynamics of the DOC concentrations did not show significant differences between arable and grassland. However, the temporal dynamic shows a slight increase in the DOC content regardless of the of land use. DOC concentrations between winter and the middle of spring tend to double going from 1 to 2.5 mg / L and then

  9. CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes from soil of a burned grassland in Central Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. Valentini

    2010-11-01

    Full Text Available The impact of fire on soil fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O was investigated in a tropical grassland in Congo Brazzaville during two field campaigns in 2007–2008. The first campaign was conducted in the middle of the dry season and the second at the end of the growing season, respectively one and eight months after burning. Gas fluxes and several soil parameters were measured in each campaign from burned plots and from a close-by control area preserved from fire. Rain events were simulated at each campaign to evaluate the magnitude and duration of the generated gas flux pulses. In laboratory experiments, soil samples from field plots were analysed for microbial biomass, net N mineralization, net nitrification, N2O, NO and CO2 emissions under different water and temperature soil regimes. One month after burning, field CO2 emissions were significantly lower in burned plots than in the control plots, the average daily CH4 flux shifted from net emission in the unburned area to net consumption in burned plots, no significant effect of fire was observed on soil N2O fluxes. Eight months after burning, the average daily fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O measured in control and burned plots were not significantly different. In laboratory, N2O fluxes from soil of burned plots were significantly higher than fluxes from soil of unburned plots only above 70% of maximum soil water holding capacity; this was never attained in the field even after rain simulation. Higher NO emissions were measured in the lab in soil from burned plots at both 10% and 50% of maximum soil water holding capacity. Increasing the incubation temperature from 25 °C to 37 °C negatively affected microbial growth, mineralization and nitrification activities but enhanced N2O and CO2 production. Results indicate that fire did not increase post-burning soil GHG emissions in this tropical grasslands characterized by acidic, well drained and nutrient-poor soil.

  10. Surface biosolids application: effects on infiltration, erosion, and soil organic carbon in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands and shrublands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moffet, C A; Zartman, R E; Wester, D B; Sosebee, R E

    2005-01-01

    Land application of biosolids is a beneficial-use practice whose ecological effects depend in part on hydrological effects. Biosolids were surface-applied to square 0.5-m2 plots at four rates (0, 7, 34, and 90 dry Mg ha(-1)) on each of three soil-cover combinations in Chihuahuan Desert grassland and shrubland. Infiltration and erosion were measured during two seasons for three biosolids post-application ages. Infiltration was measured during eight periods of a 30-min simulated rain. Biosolids application affected infiltration rate, cumulative infiltration, and erosion. Infiltration increased with increasing biosolids application rate. Application of biosolids at 90 dry Mg ha(-1) increased steady-state infiltration rate by 1.9 to 7.9 cm h(-1). Most of the measured differences in runoff among biosolids application rates were too large to be the result of interception losses and/or increased hydraulic gradient due to increased roughness. Soil erosion was reduced by the application of biosolids; however, the extent of reduction in erosion depended on the initial erodibility of the site. Typically, the greatest marginal reductions in erosion were achieved at the lower biosolids application rates (7 and 34 dry Mg ha(-1)); the difference in erosion between 34 and 90 dry Mg ha(-1) biosolids application rates was not significant. Surface application of biosolids has important hydrological consequences on runoff and soil erosion in desert grasslands that depend on the rate of biosolids applied, and the site and biosolids characteristics.

  11. Effects of Biochar Addition on CO2 and N2O Emissions following Fertilizer Application to a Cultivated Grassland Soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jingjing Chen

    Full Text Available Carbon (C sequestration potential of biochar should be considered together with emission of greenhouse gases when applied to soils. In this study, we investigated CO2 and N2O emissions following the application of rice husk biochars to cultivated grassland soils and related gas emissions tos oil C and nitrogen (N dynamics. Treatments included biochar addition (CHAR, NO CHAR and amendment (COMPOST, UREA, NO FERT. The biochar application rate was 0.3% by weight. The temporal pattern of CO2 emissions differed according to biochar addition and amendments. CO2 emissions from the COMPOST soils were significantly higher than those from the UREA and NO FERT soils and less CO2 emission was observed when biochar and compost were applied together during the summer. Overall N2O emission was significantly influenced by the interaction between biochar and amendments. In UREA soil, biochar addition increased N2O emission by 49% compared to the control, while in the COMPOST and NO FERT soils, biochar did not have an effect on N2O emission. Two possible mechanisms were proposed to explain the higher N2O emissions upon biochar addition to UREA soil than other soils. Labile C in the biochar may have stimulated microbial N mineralization in the C-limited soil used in our study, resulting in an increase in N2O emission. Biochar may also have provided the soil with the ability to retain mineral N, leading to increased N2O emission. The overall results imply that biochar addition can increase C sequestration when applied together with compost, and might stimulate N2O emission when applied to soil amended with urea.

  12. Effects of Biochar Addition on CO2 and N2O Emissions following Fertilizer Application to a Cultivated Grassland Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Jingjing; Kim, Hyunjin; Yoo, Gayoung

    2015-01-01

    Carbon (C) sequestration potential of biochar should be considered together with emission of greenhouse gases when applied to soils. In this study, we investigated CO2 and N2O emissions following the application of rice husk biochars to cultivated grassland soils and related gas emissions tos oil C and nitrogen (N) dynamics. Treatments included biochar addition (CHAR, NO CHAR) and amendment (COMPOST, UREA, NO FERT). The biochar application rate was 0.3% by weight. The temporal pattern of CO2 emissions differed according to biochar addition and amendments. CO2 emissions from the COMPOST soils were significantly higher than those from the UREA and NO FERT soils and less CO2 emission was observed when biochar and compost were applied together during the summer. Overall N2O emission was significantly influenced by the interaction between biochar and amendments. In UREA soil, biochar addition increased N2O emission by 49% compared to the control, while in the COMPOST and NO FERT soils, biochar did not have an effect on N2O emission. Two possible mechanisms were proposed to explain the higher N2O emissions upon biochar addition to UREA soil than other soils. Labile C in the biochar may have stimulated microbial N mineralization in the C-limited soil used in our study, resulting in an increase in N2O emission. Biochar may also have provided the soil with the ability to retain mineral N, leading to increased N2O emission. The overall results imply that biochar addition can increase C sequestration when applied together with compost, and might stimulate N2O emission when applied to soil amended with urea.

  13. 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.

  14. Soil microbial community structure is unaltered by plant invasion, vegetation clipping, and nitrogen fertilization in experimental semi-arid grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chelsea J Carey

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available Global and regional environmental changes often co-occur, creating complex gradients of disturbance on the landscape. Soil microbial communities are an important component of ecosystem response to environmental change, yet little is known about how microbial structure and function respond to multiple disturbances, or whether multiple environmental changes lead to unanticipated interactive effects. Our study used experimental semi-arid grassland plots in a Mediterranean-climate to determine how soil microbial communities in a seasonally variable ecosystem respond to one, two, or three simultaneous environmental changes: exotic plant invasion, plant invasion + vegetation clipping (to simulate common management practices like mowing or livestock grazing, plant invasion + nitrogen (N fertilization, and plant invasion + clipping + N fertilization. We examined microbial community structure 5-6 years after plot establishment via sequencing of >1 million 16S rRNA genes. Abiotic soil properties (soil moisture, temperature, pH, and inorganic N and microbial functioning (nitrification and denitrification potentials were also measured and showed treatment-induced shifts, including altered NO3- availability, temperature, and nitrification potential. Despite these changes, bacterial and archaeal communities showed little variation in composition and diversity across treatments. Even communities in plots exposed to three interacting environmental changes were similar to those in restored native grassland plots. Historical exposure to large seasonal and inter-annual variations in key soil properties, in addition to prior site cultivation, may select for a functionally plastic or largely dormant microbial community, resulting in a microbial community that is structurally robust to single and multiple environmental changes.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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

  18. Ammonia emission from a permanent grassland on volcanic soil after the treatment with dairy slurry and urea

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salazar, F.; Martínez-Lagos, J.; Alfaro, M.; Misselbrook, T.

    2014-10-01

    Ammonia (NH3) is an air pollutant largely emitted from agricultural activities including the application of livestock manures and fertilizers to grassland. This gas has been linked with important negative impacts on natural ecosystems. In southern Chile, the use of inorganic and organic fertilizers (e.g. slurries) has increased in cattle production systems over recent years, heightening the risk of N losses to the wider environment. The objectives of this study were to evaluate on permanent grasslands on a volcanic ash soil in southern Chile: 1) the N loss due to NH3 volatilization following surface application of dairy slurry and urea fertilizer; and 2) the effect of a urease inhibitor on NH3 emissions from urea fertilizer application. Small plot field experiments were conducted over spring, fall, winter and summer seasons, using a system of wind tunnels to measure ammonia emissions. Ammonia losses ranged from 1.8 (winter) to 26.0% (fall) and 3.1 (winter) to 20.5% (summer) of total N applied for urea and slurry, respectively. Based on the readily available N applied (ammoniacal N for dairy slurry and urea N for urea fertilizer), losses from dairy slurry were much greater, at 16.1 and 82.0%, for winter and summer, respectively. The use of a urease inhibitor proved to be an effective option to minimize the N loss due NH3 volatilization from urea fertilizer, with an average reduction of 71% across all seasons. The results of this and other recent studies regarding N losses suggest that ammonia volatilization is the main pathway of N loss from grassland systems in southern Chile on volcanic ash soils when urea and slurry are used as an N source. The use of good management practices, such as the inclusion of a urease inhibitor with urea fertilizer could have a beneficial impact on reducing N losses due NH3 volatilization and the environmental and economic impact of these emissions.

  19. Electrical Resistivity Tomography Reveals Upward Redistribution of Soil-Water by Coyote Brush in a Shrub-Grassland Ecotone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manning, J. E.; Schulz, M. S.; Lambrecht, D. S.

    2016-12-01

    Species imbalance within many California plant assemblages may arise due to more intense wildfires as well as climate warming. Given this, coyote brush (Baccharis pilularis DC), a native evergreen shrub known as a ready colonizer of disturbed soil, may become more dominant. While prolonged spring soil moisture is required for seedling establishment, 1+ year-old coyote brush can withstand low soil water potentials (-1.2 MPa). Beyond this, little is known about its soil-water dynamics. Hydraulic redistribution of water within the soil profile by plant roots has been established in numerous species in the past 20 years. Recent quantification of the water quantity re-distributed by root systems are beginning to provide detail that could inform ET, weathering, and carbon cycling models. Electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) has been used to study soil hydraulics in natural as well as cropland settings. This study is the first known to use ERT to investigate hydraulic redistribution in coyote brush. One mid-size shrub surrounded by open grassland was selected at the study site, located on a coastal marine terrace west of Santa Cruz, CA. The soil profile, previously characterized with ERT and auger-based soil-water sampling, includes a clay-rich B horizon and is texturally non-uniform due to bioturbation to 0.6 meter. The 12-m ERT survey transect had 48 semi-permanent electrodes, with the 4-m wide shrub canopy at probes 16 to 32. Five repeats of evening and morning surveys were conducted. Heterogeneous texture and severe soil drying necessitated qualitative comparison across time. Overnight resistivity changes using differences plots of the modelled data revealed increased moisture beneath the shrub canopy during the night. Areas beyond the canopy—presumably outside the root zone—experienced variable overnight changes, with moisture increasing in the clay-rich horizon. Preliminary analysis suggests that coyote brush roots redistribute water upward within the soil

  20. Effects of below-ground insects, mycorrhizal fungi and soil fertility on the establishment of Vicia in grassland communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ganade, G; Brown, V K

    1997-02-01

     The effects of, and interactions between, insect root feeders, vesicular-arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi and soil fertility on the establishment, growth and reproduction of Vicia sativa and V. hirsuta (Fabaceae) were investigated in an early-successional grassland community. Seeds of both species were sown into plots where soil insecticide (Dursban 5G), soil fungicide (Rovral) and soil fertiliser (NPK) were applied in a factorial randomised block design. Fertiliser addition reduced growth, longevity and reproduction of both Vicia species, due to the commonly recorded increase in the competitive advantage of the non-nitrogen-fixing species when nitrogen is added to the plant community. However, in plots where fertiliser was not applied, a reduction in root feeders and mycorrhizal infection led to an increase in seedling establishment and fruit production of V. sativa, and to an increase in flower production for both Vicia species. The interaction between all three soil treatments explained much of the variation in growth and longevity of V. sativa. Plants grew larger and survived longer in plots where natural levels of mycorrhizal infection and root feeders were low compared with plots where all the treatments were applied. This suggests that, although soil nutrient availability was a strong determinant of the performance of these two leguminous species, at natural levels of soil fertility biotic factors acting in the soil, such as mycorrhizal fungi and soil-dwelling insects, were important in shaping the competitive interactions between the two Vicia species and the plant community. Our results indicate that non-additive interactions between ecological factors in the soil environment may strongly affect plant performance.

  1. Contribution of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi of sedges to soil aggregation along an altitudinal alpine grassland gradient on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Xiaoliang; Zhang, Junling; Gai, Jingping; Cai, Xiaobu; Christie, Peter; Li, Xiaolin

    2015-08-01

    The diversity of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) in sedges on the Tibetan Plateau remains largely unexplored, and their contribution to soil aggregation can be important in understanding the ecological function of AMF in alpine ecosystems. Roots of Kobresia pygmaea C.B. Clarke and Carex pseudofoetida Kük. in alpine Kobresia pastures along an elevational transect (4149-5033 m) on Mount Mila were analysed for AMF diversity. A structural equation model was built to explore the contribution of biotic factors to soil aggregation. Sedges harboured abundant AMF communities covering seven families and some operational taxonomic units are habitat specific. The two plant species hosted similar AMF communities at most altitudes. The relative abundance of the two sedges contributed largely to soil macroaggregates, followed by extraradical mycorrhizal hyphae (EMH) and total glomalin-related soil protein (T-GRSP). The influence of plant richness was mainly due to its indirect influence on T-GRSP and EMH. There was a strong positive correlation between GRSP and soil total carbon and nitrogen. Our results indicate that mycorrhization might not be a major trait leading to niche differentiation of the two co-occurring sedge species. However, AMF contribute to soil aggregation and thus may have the potential to greatly influence C and N cycling in alpine grasslands. © 2015 Society for Applied Microbiology and John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  2. Plant species diversity affects infiltration capacity in an experimental grassland through changes in soil properties

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Fischer, C.; Tischer, J.; Roscher, C.; Eisenhauer, N.; Ravenek, J.; Gleixner, G.; Attinger, S.; Jensen, B.; Kroon, de H.; Mommer, L.; Scheu, S.; Hildebrandt, A.

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims Soil hydraulic properties drive water distribution and availability in soil. There exists limited knowledge of how plant species diversity might influence soil hydraulic properties. Methods We quantified the change in infiltration capacity affected by soil structural variables

  3. Spatial prediction of Soil Organic Carbon contents in croplands, grasslands and forests using environmental covariates and Generalized Additive Models (Southern Belgium)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chartin, Caroline; Stevens, Antoine; van Wesemael, Bas

    2015-04-01

    Providing spatially continuous Soil Organic Carbon data (SOC) is needed to support decisions regarding soil management, and inform the political debate with quantified estimates of the status and change of the soil resource. Digital Soil Mapping techniques are based on relations existing between a soil parameter (measured at different locations in space at a defined period) and relevant covariates (spatially continuous data) that are factors controlling soil formation and explaining the spatial variability of the target variable. This study aimed at apply DSM techniques to recent SOC content measurements (2005-2013) in three different landuses, i.e. cropland, grassland, and forest, in the Walloon region (Southern Belgium). For this purpose, SOC databases of two regional Soil Monitoring Networks (CARBOSOL for croplands and grasslands, and IPRFW for forests) were first harmonized, totalising about 1,220 observations. Median values of SOC content for croplands, grasslands, and forests, are respectively of 12.8, 29.0, and 43.1 g C kg-1. Then, a set of spatial layers were prepared with a resolution of 40 meters and with the same grid topology, containing environmental covariates such as, landuses, Digital Elevation Model and its derivatives, soil texture, C factor, carbon inputs by manure, and climate. Here, in addition to the three classical texture classes (clays, silt, and sand), we tested the use of clays + fine silt content (particles < 20 µm and related to stable carbon fraction) as soil covariate explaining SOC variations. For each of the three land uses (cropland, grassland and forest), a Generalized Additive Model (GAM) was calibrated on two thirds of respective dataset. The remaining samples were assigned to a test set to assess model performance. A backward stepwise procedure was followed to select the relevant environmental covariates using their approximate p-values (the level of significance was set at p < 0.05). Standard errors were estimated for each of

  4. Microbial transformation of organic matter in soils of montane grasslands under different management

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Uhlířová, Eva; Šimek, Miloslav; Šantrůčková, Hana

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 28, č. 3 (2005), s. 225-235 ISSN 0929-1393 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA206/99/1410 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6066911 Keywords : grassland * mowing * mulching Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.755, year: 2005

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2011-01-01

    an ongoing grassland restoration experiment that contained replicated plowed and control plots. The AM fungal community in roots was determined using nested PCR and LSU rDNA primers. We identified 38 phylotypes within the Glomeromycota, of which 29 belonged to Glomus A, six to Glomus B, and three...

  6. Investigation of Rainfall-Runoff Processes and Soil Moisture Dynamics in Grassland Plots under Simulated Rainfall Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nana Zhao

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available The characteristics of rainfall-runoff are important aspects of hydrological processes. In this study, rainfall-runoff processes and soil moisture dynamics at different soil depths and slope positions of grassland with two different row spacings (5 cm and 10 cm, respectively, referred to as R5 and R10 were analyzed, by means of a solution of rainfall simulation experiments. Bare land was also considered as a comparison. The results showed that the mechanism of runoff generation was mainly excess infiltration overland flow. The surface runoff amount of R5 plot was greater than that of R10, while the interflow amount of R10 was larger than that of R5 plot, although the differences of the subsurface runoff processes between plots R5 and R10 were little. The effects of rainfall intensity on the surface runoff were significant, but not obvious on the interflow and recession curve, which can be described as a simple exponential equation, with a fitting degree of up to 0.854–0.996. The response of soil moisture to rainfall and evapotranspiration was mainly in the 0–20 cm layer, and the response at the 40 cm layer to rainfall was slower and generally occurred after the rainfall stopped. The upper slope generally responded fastest to rainfall, and the foot of the slope was the slowest. The results presented here could provide insights into understanding the surface and subsurface runoff processes and soil moisture dynamics for grasslands in semi-arid regions.

  7. δ13C values of soil organic matter in semiarid grassland with mesquite (Prosopis) encroachment in southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biggs, Thomas H.; Quade, Jay; Webb, Robert H.

    2002-01-01

    Over the past century, C3 woody plants and trees have increased in abundance in many semiarid ecosystems, displacing native C4 grasses. Livestock grazing, climatic fluctuations, and fire suppression are several reasons proposed for this shift. Soil carbon isotopic signatures are an ideal technique to evaluate carbon turnover rates in such ecosystems. On the gunnery ranges of Fort Huachuca in southeastern Arizona, study sites were established on homogeneous granitic alluvium to investigate the effects of fire frequency on δ13C values in surface soil organic matter (SOM). These ranges have had no livestock grazing for 50 years and a well-documented history of fires. Prosopis velutina Woot. (mesquite) trees have altered SOM δ13C pools by the concentration of plant nutrients and the addition of isotopically light litter. These soil carbon changes do not extend beyond canopy margins. Elevated total organic carbon (TOC), plant nutrient (N and P) concentrations, and depleted SOM δ13C values are associated with C3Prosopis on an unburned plot, which enables recognition of former Prosopis-occupied sites on plots with recent fire histories. Elevated nutrient concentrations associated with former Prosopis are retained in SOM for many decades. Surface SOM δ13C values indicate the estimated minimum turnover time of C4-derived carbon beneath large mature Prosopis is about 100–300 years. In contrast, complete turnover of original C3 carbon to C4 carbon under grasslands is estimated to take a minimum of 150–500 years. Our study confirms that C4 grass cover has declined over the past 100 years, although isolated C3 trees or shrubs were not uncommon on the historic C4-dominated grasslands. We find evidence in surface soil layers for a modern C3 plant expansion reflected in the substantial shift of SOM δ13C values from C4 grasses to C3 shrublands.

  8. The response of ammonia-oxidizing microorganisms to trace metals and urine in two grassland soils in New Zealand.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Pengcheng; Di, Hong J; Cameron, Keith C; Tan, Qiling; Podolyan, Andriy; Zhao, Xiaohu; McLaren, Ron G; Hu, Chengxiao

    2017-01-01

    An incubation experiment was conducted to investigate the response of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB), ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA), and the nitrification rate to the contamination of Cu, Zn, and Cd in two New Zealand grassland soils. The soils spiked with different concentrations of Cu (20 and 50 mg kg -1 ), Zn (20 and 50 mg kg -1 ), and Cd (2 and 10 mg kg -1 ) were incubated for 14 days and then treated with 500 mg kg -1 urine-N before continuing incubation for a total of 115 days. Soils were sampled at intervals throughout the incubation. The nitrification rate in soils at each sampling period was determined, and the abundance of AOB and AOA was measured by real-time quantification polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) assay of the amoA gene copy numbers. The results revealed that moderate trace metal stress did not significantly affect the abundance of AOB and AOA in the two soils, probably due to the high organic matter content of the soils which would have reduced the toxic effect of the metals. Nitrification rates were much greater and the observable nitrification period was much shorter in the dairy farm (DF) soil, in which the AOB and AOA abundances were greater than those of the mixed cropping farm (MF) soil. AOB were shown to grow under high nitrogen conditions, whereas AOA were shown to grow under low N environments, with different metal concentrations. Therefore, nitrogen status rather than metal applications was the main determining factor for AOB and AOA growth in the two soils studied.

  9. Excess Lead-210 and Plutonium-239+240: Two suitable radiogenic soil erosion tracers for mountain grassland sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meusburger, K; Porto, P; Mabit, L; La Spada, C; Arata, L; Alewell, C

    2018-01-01

    The expected growing population and challenges associated with globalisation will increase local food and feed demands and enhance the pressure on local and regional upland soil resources. In light of these potential future developments it is necessary to define sustainable land use and tolerable soil loss rates with methods applicable and adapted to mountainous areas. Fallout-radionuclides (FRNs) are proven techniques to increase our knowledge about the status and resilience of agro-ecosystems. However, the use of the Caesium-137 ( 137 Cs) method is complicated in the European Alps due to its heterogeneous input and the timing of the Chernobyl fallout, which occurred during a few single rain events on partly snow covered ground. Other radioisotopic techniques have been proposed to overcome these limitations. The objective of this study is to evaluate the suitability of excess Lead-210 ( 210 Pb ex ) and Plutonium-239+240 ( 239+240 Pu) as soil erosion tracers for three different grassland management types at the steep slopes (slope angles between 35 and 38°) located in the Central Swiss Alps. All three FRNs identified pastures as having the highest mean (± standard deviation) net soil loss of -6.7 ± 1.1, -9.8 ± 6.8 and -7.0 ± 5.2 Mg ha -1 yr -1 for 137 Cs, 210 Pb ex and 239+240 Pu, respectively. A mean soil loss of -5.7 ± 1.5, -5.2 ± 1.5 and-5.6 ± 2.1 was assessed for hayfields and the lowest rates were established for pastures with dwarf-shrubs (-5.2 ± 2.5, -4.5 ± 2.5 and -3.3 ± 2.4 Mg ha -1 yr -1 for 137 Cs, 210 Pb ex and 239+240 Pu, respectively). These rates, evaluated at sites with an elevated soil erosion risk exceed the respective soil production rates. Among the three FRN methods used, 239+240 Pu appears as the most promising tracer in terms of measurement uncertainty and reduced small scale variability (CV of 13%). Despite a higher level of uncertainty, 210 Pb ex produced comparable results, with a wide range of erosion rates sensitive to changes

  10. Inter-specific competition, but not different soil microbial communities, affects N chemical forms uptake by competing graminoids of upland grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Eduardo Medina-Roldán

    Full Text Available Evidence that plants differ in their ability to take up both organic (ON and inorganic (IN forms of nitrogen (N has increased ecologists' interest on resource-based plant competition. However, whether plant uptake of IN and ON responds to differences in soil microbial community composition and/or functioning has not yet been explored, despite soil microbes playing a key role in N cycling. Here, we report results from a competition experiment testing the hypothesis that soil microbial communities differing in metabolic activity as a result of long-term differences to grazing exposure could modify N uptake of Eriophorum vaginatum L. and Nardus stricta L. These graminoids co-occur on nutrient-poor, mountain grasslands where E. vaginatum decreases and N. stricta increases in response to long-term grazing. We inoculated sterilised soil with soil microbial communities from continuously grazed and ungrazed grasslands and planted soils with both E. vaginatum and N. stricta, and then tracked uptake of isotopically labelled NH(4 (+ (IN and glycine (ON into plant tissues. The metabolically different microbial communities had no effect on N uptake by either of the graminoids, which might suggest functional equivalence of soil microbes in their impacts on plant N uptake. Consistent with its dominance in soils with greater concentrations of ON relative to IN in the soluble N pool, Eriophorum vaginatum took up more glycine than N. stricta. Nardus stricta reduced the glycine proportion taken up by E. vaginatum, thus increasing niche overlap in N usage between these species. Local abundances of these species in mountain grasslands are principally controlled by grazing and soil moisture, although our results suggest that changes in the relative availability of ON to IN can also play a role. Our results also suggest that coexistence of these species in mountain grasslands is likely based on non-equilibrium mechanisms such as disturbance and/or soil heterogeneity.

  11. Effects of flooding on the spatial distribution of soil seed and spore banks of native grasslands of the Pantanal wetland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patricia Carla de Oliveira

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACTTo better understand the role that flooding plays in shaping plant communities of native floodable grasslands of the Pantanal and to characterize the spatial distribution of plants, we present the results of a survey of soil seed and spore banks using the seedling emergence method. We hypothesized that terrain subjected to the deepest and longest flooding should have higher propagule abundance and richness. The species composition and distribution of seeds and spores in the soil were assessed at five sites using three sampling positions at each according to inundation intensity. In each sample position 2cm-thick soil samples were collected in quadrats to a depth of 10cm. Litter was also collected as an independent layer. Sample monitoring in the greenhouse resulted in the emergence of 5489 seedlings, or 6353 propagules.m-2. Both the litter layer and the deepest soil layer had low abundances. A total of forty-four morphospecies (16 families were recorded. Both seedling abundance and species richness were concentrated in the more floodable center sections. Isoetes pedersenii, Eleocharis minima, Sagittaria guayanensis, Rotala mexicana, Eleocharis plicarhachis, and Panicum laxum were the most abundant species. The species composition and spatial distribution of the propagule bank suggests that flooding plays a crucial role in seasonal vegetation dynamics in Pantanal wetlands, mediated by the ability of the soil to host seeds and spores during dry season.

  12. Soil factors effects on life history attributes of Leiothrix spiralis and Leiothrix vivipara (Eriocaulaceae) on rupestrian grasslands in Southeastern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coelho, F F; Martins, R P; Figueira, J E C; Demetrio, G R

    2014-11-01

    In this study, we hypothesized that the life history traits of Leiothrix spiralis and L. vivipara would be linked to soil factors of the rupestrian grasslands and that rosette size would be influenced by soil moisture. Soil analyses were performed from five populations of L. spiralis and four populations of L. vivipara. In each area, three replicates were employed in 19 areas of occurrence of Leiothrix species, and we quantified the life history attributes. The microhabitats of these species show low favorability regarding to soil factors. During the dry season, their rosettes decreased in diameter due the loss of its most outlying leaves. The absence of seedlings indicated the low fecundity of both species. However, both species showed rapid population growth by pseudovivipary. Both L. spiralis and L. vivipara exhibit a kind of parental care that was quantified by the presence of connections between parental-rosettes and ramets. The findings of the present study show that the life history traits are linked to soil factors.

  13. Fluxes of N2O and CH4 from forest and grassland lysimeter soils in response to simulated climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weymann, Daniel; Brueggemann, Nicolas; Puetz, Thomas; Vereecken, Harry

    2015-04-01

    Central Europe is expected to be exposed to altered temperature and hydrological conditions, which will affect the vulnerability of nitrogen and carbon cycling in soils and thus production and fluxes of climate relevant trace gases. However, knowledge of the response of greenhouse gas fluxes to climate change is limited so far, but will be an important basis for future climate projections. Here we present preliminary results of an ongoing lysimeter field study which aims to assess the impact of simulated climate change on N2O and CH4 fluxes from a forest and a fertilized grassland soil. The lysimeters are part of the Germany-wide research infrastructure TERENO, which investigates feedbacks of climate change to the pedosphere on a long-term scale. Lysimeters (A = 1m2) were established in 2010 at high elevated sites (HE, 500 and 600 m.a.s.l.) and subsequently transferred along an altitudinal gradient to a low elevated site (LE, 100 m.a.s.l.) within the Eifel / Lower Rhine Valley Observatory in Western Germany, thereby resulting in a temperature increase of 2.3 K whereas precipitation decreased by 160 mm during the present study period. Systematic monitoring of soil-atmosphere exchange of N2O and CH4 based on weekly manual closed chamber measurements at HE and LE sites has started in August 2013. Furthermore, we routinely determine dissolved N2O and CH4 concentrations in the seepage water using a headspace equilibration technique and record water discharge in order to quantify leaching losses of both greenhouse gases. Cumulative N2O fluxes clearly responded to simulated climate change conditions and increased by 250 % and 600 % for the forest and the grassland soil, respectively. This difference between the HE and LE sites was mainly caused by an exceptionally heavy precipitation event in July 2014 which turned the LE site sustainably to a consistently higher emission level. Nonetheless, emissions remained rather small and ranged between 20 and 40 μg m-2 h-1. In

  14. Denitrification nitrogen gas formation and gene expression in alpine grassland soil as affected by climate change conditions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Zhe; Wang, Changhui; Gschwendtner, Silvia; Schloter, Michael; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Dannenmann, Michael

    2013-04-01

    Due to methodological problems, reliable data on soil dinitrogen (N2) emission by denitrification are extremely scarce, and the impacts of climate change on nitrogen (N) gas formation by denitrification and N gas product ratios as well as the underlying microbial drivers remain unclear. We combined the helium-gas-flow-soil-core technique for simultaneously quantification of nitrous oxide (N2O) and N2 emission with the reverse transcript qPCR technology. Our goals were to characterize denitrification dynamics and N gas product ratios in alpine grassland soil as affected by climate change conditions and to evaluate relationships between denitrification gene expression and N gas emission. We used soils from the pre-alpine grassland Terrestrial Environmental Observatory (TERENO), exposed to ambient temperature and precipitation (control treatment), or three years of simulated climate change conditions (increased temperature, reduction of summer precipitation and reduced snow cover). Soils were amended with glucose and nitrate and incubated subsequently at 1) 5°C and 20% oxygen; 2) 5°C and 0% oxygen; 3) 20°C and 0% oxygen until stabilization of N gas emissions in each incubation step. After switching incubation conditions to 0% oxygen and 20°C, N2O emission peaked immediately and declined again, followed by a delayed peak in N2 emission. The dynamics of cnorB gene expression, encoding the reduction of nitric oxide (NO) to N2O, followed the N2O emission pattern, while nosZ gene expression, encoding N2O reduction to N2 followed the course of N2 emission. The mean N2O:N2 ratios were 1.31 + 0.10 and 1.56 + 0.16 for control and climate change treatment respectively, but the denitrification potential was overall lower in climate change treatment. Hence, simulated climate change promoted N2O but lessened N2 emission. This stimulation of N2O was in accordance with increased cnorB gene expression in soil of the climate change treatment. N mass balance calculations revealed

  15. Facilitation by a Spiny Shrub on a Rhizomatous Clonal Herbaceous in Thicketization-Grassland in Northern China: Increased Soil Resources or Shelter from Herbivores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Saixiyala

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available The formation of fertility islands by shrubs increases soil resources heterogeneity in thicketization-grasslands. Clonal plants, especially rhizomatous or stoloniferous clonal plants, can form large clonal networks and use heterogeneously distributed resources effectively. In addition, shrubs, especially spiny shrubs, may also provide herbaceous plants with protection from herbivores, acting as ‘shelters’. The interaction between pre-dominated clonal herbaceous plants and encroaching shrubs remains unclear in thicketization-grassland under grazing pressure. We hypothesized that clonal herbaceous plants can be facilitated by encroached shrubs as a ‘shelter from herbivores’ and/or as an ‘increased soil resources’ under grazing pressure. To test this hypothesis, a total of 60 quadrats were chosen in a thicket-grassland in northern China that was previously dominated by Leymus chinensis and was encroached upon by the spiny leguminous plant Caragana intermedia. The soil and plant traits beneath and outside the shrub canopies were sampled, investigated and contrasted with an enclosure. The soil organic matter, soil total nitrogen and soil water content were significantly higher in the soil beneath the shrub canopies than in the soil outside the canopies. L. chinensis beneath the shrub canopies had significantly higher plant height, single shoot biomass, leaf length and width than outside the shrub canopies. There were no significantly differences between plant growth in enclosure and outside the shrub canopies. These results suggested that under grazing pressure in a grassland undergoing thicketization, the growth of the rhizomatous clonal herbaceous plant L. chinensis was facilitated by the spiny shrub C. intermedia as a ‘shelter from herbivores’ more than through ‘increased soil resources’. We propose that future studies should focus on the community- and ecosystem-level impacts of plant clonality.

  16. Carex sempervirens tussocks induce spatial heterogeneity in litter decomposition, but not in soil properties, in a subalpine grassland in the Central Alps

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fei-Hai Yu; Martin Schutz; Deborah S. Page-Dumroese; Bertil O. Krusi; Jakob Schneller; Otto Wildi; Anita C. Risch

    2011-01-01

    Tussocks of graminoids can induce spatial heterogeneity in soil properties in dry areas with discontinuous vegetation cover, but little is known about the situation in areas with continuous vegetation and no study has tested whether tussocks can induce spatial heterogeneity in litter decomposition. In a subalpine grassland in the Central Alps where vegetation cover is...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-12-01

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

  18. Impact of soil warming on the plant metabolome of Icelandic grasslands

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Gargallo-Garriga, A.; Ayala-Roque, M.; Sardans, J.; Bartrons, M.; Granda, V.; Sigurdsson, B. D.; Leblans, N. I.W.; Oravec, Michal; Urban, Otmar; Janssens, I. A.; Peñuelas, J.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 7, č. 3 (2017), č. článku 44. E-ISSN 2218-1989 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LM2015061; GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:86652079 Keywords : Climate change * Geothermal bedrock channels * Grassland * Iceland * Metabolome * Warming Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Environmental sciences (social aspects to be 5.7)

  19. Non-destructive soil amendment application techniques on heavy metal-contaminated grassland: Success and long-term immobilising efficiency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Friesl-Hanl, Wolfgang; Platzer, Klaus; Riesing, Johann; Horak, Othmar; Waldner, Georg; Watzinger, Andrea; Gerzabek, Martin H

    2017-01-15

    Extensive contamination of grassland with cadmium (Cd), lead (Pb) and zinc (Zn) is a typical problem close to Pb/Zn smelter sites. The entry of Cd or Pb into the food chain is very likely, as are toxicity effects of Zn in plants. Previous promising results from pot and field experiments showed the high potential of using amendments for immobilisation to reduce metal input into the food chain via crops grown on smelter-contaminated soils at Arnoldstein (Austria) (Friesl et al., 2006). The aim of this study was to find a practical solution for large-scale contaminations in hilly regions that avoids erosion. Field application of amendments without destroying the vegetation cover (grassland) involved two approaches: (a) slurrying (Slu) the amendments into cut gaps in the vegetation cover and (b) injecting (Inj) the amendments through the vegetation cover. Here, we investigate the immobilising and long-term efficiency of treatments [gravel sludge (2.5%) + red mud (0.5%) (GS + RM)]. Risk assessment was based on soil, plant and water samples taken over a period of 10 years. Ammonium-nitrate-extractable Cd was reduced up to 50%, Pb up to 90%, and Zn over 90%. Plant uptake into the grass mixture and narrow leaf plantain was significantly reduced for Cd, Pb, and Zn. Harvesting early in vegetation period can further reduce uptake and meet the threshold for fodder crops. The reduction of these elements in the seepage water in 24 samplings within these 10 years reached 40%, 45% and 50%, respectively. Immobilisation increased microbial biomass and decreased human bioaccessibility for Pb. Our investigation of the long-term efficiency of GS + RM in all treatments shows that the Slu and Inj amendment application techniques have promising potential as a realistic and practical method for extensively contaminated hilly land. Slurrying performed best. We conclude that grassland remediation methods involving tillage are counterproductive from the viewpoint of bioaccessibility

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-10-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2009-03-15

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

  2. 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

  3. Local variation in conspecific plant density influences plant-soil feedback in a natural grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kos, M.; Veendrick, Johan; Bezemer, T.M.

    2013-01-01

    Several studies have argued that under field conditions plant–soil feedback may be related to the local density of a plant species, but plant–soil feedback is often studied by comparing conspecific and heterospecific soils or by using mixed soil samples collected from different locations and plant

  4. Increased precipitation accelerates soil organic matter turnover associated with microbial community composition in topsoil of alpine grassland on the eastern Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Han, Conghai; Wang, Zongli; Si, Guicai; Lei, Tianzhu; Yuan, Yanli; Zhang, Gengxin

    2017-10-01

    Large quantities of carbon are stored in alpine grassland of the Tibetan Plateau, which is extremely sensitive to climate change. However, it remains unclear whether soil organic matter (SOM) in different layers responds to climate change analogously, and whether microbial communities play vital roles in SOM turnover of topsoil. In this study we measured and collected SOM turnover by the 14 C method in alpine grassland to test climatic effects on SOM turnover in soil profiles. Edaphic properties and microbial communities in the northwestern Qinghai Lake were investigated to explore microbial influence on SOM turnover. SOM turnover in surface soil (0-10 cm) was more sensitive to precipitation than that in subsurface layers (10-40 cm). Precipitation also imposed stronger effects on the composition of microbial communities in the surface layer than that in deeper soil. At the 5-10 cm depth, the SOM turnover rate was positively associated with the bacteria/fungi biomass ratio and the relative abundance of Acidobacteria, both of which are related to precipitation. Partial correlation analysis suggested that increased precipitation could accelerate the SOM turnover rate in topsoil by structuring soil microbial communities. Conversely, carbon stored in deep soil would be barely affected by climate change. Our results provide valuable insights into the dynamics and storage of SOM in alpine grasslands under future climate scenarios.

  5. Abundance and diversity of CO2-fixing bacteria in grassland soils close to natural carbon dioxide springs.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Videmsek, Urska; Hagn, Alexandra; Suhadolc, Marjetka; Radl, Viviane; Knicker, Heike; Schloter, Michael; Vodnik, Dominik

    2009-07-01

    Gaseous conditions at natural CO2 springs (mofettes) affect many processes in these unique ecosystems. While the response of plants to extreme and fluctuating CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) is relatively well documented, little is known on microbial life in mofette soil. Therefore, it was the aim of this study to investigate the abundance and diversity of CO2-fixing bacteria in grassland soils in different distances to a natural carbon dioxide spring. Samples of the same soil type were collected from the Stavesinci mofette, a natural CO2 spring which is known for very pure CO2 emissions, at different distances from the CO2 releasing vents, at locations that clearly differed in soil CO2 efflux (from 12.5 to over 200 micromol CO2 m(-2) s(-1) yearly average). Bulk and rhizospheric soil samples were included into analyses. The microbial response was followed by a molecular analysis of cbbL genes, encoding for the large subunit of RubisCO, a carboxylase which is of crucial importance for C assimilation in chemolitoautotrophic microbes. In all samples analyzed, the "red-like" type of cbbL genes could be detected. In contrast, the "green-like" type of cbbL could not be measured by the applied technique. Surprisingly, a reduction of "red-like" cbbL genes copies was observed in bulk soil and rhizosphere samples from the sites with the highest CO2 concentrations. Furthermore, the diversity pattern of "red-like" cbbL genes changed depending on the CO(2) regime. This indicates that only a part of the autotrophic CO2-fixing microbes could adapt to the very high CO2 concentrations and adverse life conditions that are governed by mofette gaseous regime.

  6. Suitability of 239+240Pu and 137Cs as tracers for soil erosion assessment in mountain grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alewell, Christine; Meusburger, Katrin; Juretzko, Gregor; Mabit, Lionel; Ketterer, Michael E

    2014-05-01

    Anthropogenic radionuclides have been distributed globally due to nuclear weapons testing, nuclear accidents, nuclear weapons fabrication, and nuclear fuel reprocessing. While the negative consequences of this radioactive contamination are self-evident, the ubiquitous fallout radionuclides (FRNs) distribution form the basis for the use as tracers in ecological studies, namely for soil erosion assessment. Soil erosion is a major threat to mountain ecosystems worldwide. We compare the suitability of the anthropogenic FRNs, 137Cs and 239+240Pu as soil erosion tracers in two alpine valleys of Switzerland (Urseren Valley, Canton Uri, Central Swiss Alps and Val Piora, Ticino, Southern Alps). We sampled reference and potentially erosive sites in transects along both valleys. 137Cs measurements of soil samples were performed with a Li-drifted Germanium detector and 239+240Pu with ICP-MS. Our data indicates a heterogeneous deposition of the 137Cs, since most of the fallout origins from the Chernobyl April/May 1986 accident, when large parts of the European Alps were still snow-covered. In contrast, 239+240Pu fallout originated mainly from 1950s to 1960s atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, resulting in a more homogenous distribution and thus seems to be a more suitable tracer in mountainous grasslands. Soil erosion assessment using 239+240Pu as a tracer pointed to a huge dynamic and high heterogeneity of erosive processes (between sedimentation of 1.9 and 7 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and erosion of 0.2-16.4 t ha(-1) yr(-1) in the Urseren Valley and sedimentation of 0.4-20.3 t ha(-1) yr(-1) and erosion of 0.1-16.4 t ha(-1) yr(-1) at Val Piora). Our study represents a novel and successful application of 239+240Pu as a tracer of soil erosion in a mountain environment. Copyright © 2013 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  7. Relationship between Remote Sensing Data, Plant Biomass and Soil Nitrogen Dynamics in Intensively Managed Grasslands under Controlled Conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Knoblauch, Christoph; Watson, Conor; Berendonk, Clara; Becker, Rolf; Wrage-Mönnig, Nicole; Wichern, Florian

    2017-06-23

    The sustainable use of grasslands in intensive farming systems aims to optimize nitrogen (N) inputs to increase crop yields and decrease harmful losses to the environment at the same time. To achieve this, simple optical sensors may provide a non-destructive, time- and cost-effective tool for estimating plant biomass in the field, considering spatial and temporal variability. However, the plant growth and related N uptake is affected by the available N in the soil, and therefore, N mineralization and N losses. These soil N dynamics and N losses are affected by the N input and environmental conditions, and cannot easily be determined non-destructively. Therefore, the question arises: whether a relationship can be depicted between N fertilizer levels, plant biomass and N dynamics as indicated by nitrous oxide (N₂O) losses and inorganic N levels. We conducted a standardized greenhouse experiment to explore the potential of spectral measurements for analyzing yield response, N mineralization and N₂O emissions in a permanent grassland. Ryegrass was subjected to four mineral fertilizer input levels over 100 days (four harvests) under controlled environmental conditions. The soil temperature and moisture content were automatically monitored, and the emission rates of N₂O and carbon dioxide (CO₂) were detected frequently. Spectral measurements of the swards were performed directly before harvesting. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and simple ratio (SR) were moderately correlated with an increasing biomass as affected by fertilization level. Furthermore, we found a non-linear response of increasing N₂O emissions to elevated fertilizer levels. Moreover, inorganic N and extractable organic N levels at the end of the experiment tended to increase with the increasing N fertilizer addition. However, microbial biomass C and CO₂ efflux showed no significant differences among fertilizer treatments, reflecting no substantial changes in the soil

  8. Impact of Altered Precipitation Patterns on Plant Productivity and Soil Respiration in a Northern Great Plains Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Haase, L.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2017-12-01

    Precipitation patterns are expected to shift towards larger but fewer rain events, with longer intermittent dry periods, associated with climate change. The larger rain events may compensate for and help to mitigate climate change effects on key ecosystem functions such as plant productivity and soil respiration in semi-arid grasslands. We experimentally manipulated the amount and frequency of simulated precipitation added to trenched, treatment plots that were covered by rain shelters, and measured the response in plant productivity and soil respiration in a native, grassland ecosystem near Lethbridge, Alberta. We compared the observed responses to the predictions of a conceptual ecosystem response model developed by Knapp et al. 2008 (BioScience 58: 811-821). Two experiments were conducted during 14 weeks of the growing season from May-August. The first experiment (normal amount) applied total growing season precipitation of 180 mm (climate normal), and the second experiment (reduced amount) applied total precipitation of 90 mm. In both experiments, precipitation was applied at two frequencies, 1 rain event every week (normal frequency) and 1 rain event every two weeks (reduced frequency). In the normal amount experiment, the average rain event was 12.8 mm for the normal frequency treatment and 25.8 mm for the reduced frequency treatment. In the reduced amount experiment, the average rain event was 6.4 mm for the normal frequency treatment and 12.8 mm for the reduced frequency treatment. We hypothesized that larger but fewer rain events would result in increased plant productivity and soil respiration for both experiments. Plant greenness values calculated from digital photographs were used as a proxy for plant productivity, and showed significantly higher values for the normal vs. reduced amount experiment. Soil respiration rate also showed significantly higher values for the normal vs. reduced amount experiment. No significant treatment effect could be detected

  9. Perennial filter strips reduce nitrate levels in soil and shallow groundwater after grassland-to-cropland conversion.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Xiaobo; Helmers, Matthew J; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Kolka, Randy; Tomer, Mark D

    2010-01-01

    Many croplands planted to perennial grasses under the Conservation Reserve Program are being returned to crop production, and with potential consequences for water quality. The objective of this study was to quantify the impact of grassland-to-cropland conversion on nitrate-nitrogen (NO3-N) concentrations in soil and shallow groundwater and to assess the potential for perennial filter strips (PFS) to mitigate increases in NO3-N levels. The study, conducted at the Neal Smith National Wildlife Refuge (NSNWR) in central Iowa, consisted of a balanced incomplete block design with 12 watersheds and four watershed-scale treatments having different proportions and topographic positions of PFS planted in native prairie grasses: 100% rowcrop, 10% PFS (toeslope position), 10% PFS (distributed on toe and as contour strips), and 20 PFS (distributed on toe and as contour strips). All treatments were established in fall 2006 on watersheds that were under bromegrass (Bromus L.) cover for at least 10 yr. Nonperennial areas were maintained under a no-till 2-yr corn (Zea mays L.)--soybean [Glycine max. (L.) Merr.] rotation since spring 2007. Suction lysimeter and shallow groundwater wells located at upslope and toeslope positions were sampled monthly during the growing season to determine NO3-N concentration from 2005 to 2008. The results indicated significant increases in NO3-N concentration in soil and groundwater following grassland-to-cropland conversion. Nitrate-nitrogen levels in the vadose zone and groundwater under PFS were lower compared with 100% cropland, with the most significant differences occurring at the toeslope position. During the years following conversion, PFS mitigated increases in subsurface nitrate, but long-term monitoring is needed to observe and understand the full response to land-use conversion.

  10. 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

  11. Heavy metal concentrations in soil and earthworms in a floodplain grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliet, van P.C.J.; Zee, van der S.E.A.T.M.; Ma, W.C.

    2005-01-01

    We determined accumulated heavy metal concentrations (Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn) of earthworms in moderately contaminated floodplain soils. Both soil and mature earthworms were sampled before and after flooding and earthworm species were identified to understand species specific differences in

  12. Identification of the Core Set of Carbon-Associated Genes in a Bioenergy Grassland Soil.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Adina Howe

    Full Text Available Despite the central role of soil microbial communities in global carbon (C cycling, little is known about soil microbial community structure and even less about their metabolic pathways. Efforts to characterize soil communities often focus on identifying differences in gene content across environmental gradients, but an alternative question is what genes are similar in soils. These genes may indicate critical species or potential functions that are required in all soils. Here we identified the "core" set of C cycling sequences widely present in multiple soil metagenomes from a fertilized prairie (FP. Of 226,887 sequences associated with known enzymes involved in the synthesis, metabolism, and transport of carbohydrates, 843 were identified to be consistently prevalent across four replicate soil metagenomes. This core metagenome was functionally and taxonomically diverse, representing five enzyme classes and 99 enzyme families within the CAZy database. Though it only comprised 0.4% of all CAZy-associated genes identified in FP metagenomes, the core was found to be comprised of functions similar to those within cumulative soils. The FP CAZy-associated core sequences were present in multiple publicly available soil metagenomes and most similar to soils sharing geographic proximity. In soil ecosystems, where high diversity remains a key challenge for metagenomic investigations, these core genes represent a subset of critical functions necessary for carbohydrate metabolism, which can be targeted to evaluate important C fluxes in these and other similar soils.

  13. Rain pulse response of soil CO2 exchange by biological soil crusts and grasslands of the semiarid Colorado Plateau, United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowling, David R.; Grote, E.E.; Belnap, J.

    2011-01-01

    Biological activity in arid grasslands is strongly dependent on moisture. We examined gas exchange of biological soil crusts (biocrusts), the underlying soil biotic community, and the belowground respiratory activity of C3 and C4 grasses over 2 years in southeast Utah, USA. We used soil surface CO2 flux and the amount and carbon isotope composition (δ13C) of soil CO2 as indicators of belowground and soil surface activity. Soil respiration was always below 2 μmol m-2s-1 and highly responsive to soil moisture. When moisture was available, warm spring and summer temperature was associated with higher fluxes. Moisture pulses led to enhanced soil respiration lasting for a week or more. Biological response to rain was not simply dependent on the amount of rain, but also depended on antecedent conditions (prior moisture pulses). The short-term temperature sensitivity of respiration was very dynamic, showing enhancement within 1-2 days of rain, and diminishing each day afterward. Carbon uptake occurred by cyanobacterially dominated biocrusts following moisture pulses in fall and winter, with a maximal net carbon uptake of 0.5 μmol m-2s-1, although typically the biocrusts were a net carbon source. No difference was detected in the seasonal activity of C3 and C4 grasses, contrasting with studies from other arid regions (where warm- versus cool-season activity is important), and highlighting the unique biophysical environment of this cold desert. Contrary to other studies, the δ13C of belowground respiration in the rooting zone of each photosynthetic type did not reflect the δ13C of C3 and C4 physiology.

  14. 137Cs tracing dynamics of soil erosion, organic carbon and nitrogen in sloping farmland converted from original grassland in Tibetan plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nie Xiaojun; Wang Xiaodan; Liu Suzhen; Gu Shixian; Liu Haijun

    2010-01-01

    There is a shortage of research concerning the relationships between land-use change, soil erosion, and soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen (N) dynamics in alpine environments such as those found in the Tibetan plateau. In this paper, typical sloping farmlands converted from grassland 50 years ago in eastern Tibet were selected to determine dynamics of soil erosion, SOC, and total N associated with land-use change. Soil samples were collected from sloping farmland and control fields (grassland). The 137 Cs, SOC, total N contents, and soil particle size fractions were analyzed in these samples. As compared with the control fields, 137 Cs, SOC, and total N inventories in the sloping farmlands decreased by 30%, 27%, and 33%, respectively. Meanwhile variations in the three parameters were enhanced in the sloping farmlands, with coefficients of variation (CVs) of 38%, 23%, and 20%, respectively, for 37 Cs, SOC, and total N. In addition, SOC and total N inventories significantly decreased with increasing soil erosion in the sloping farmland. In a sloping farmland with a steep 24 o gradient, the 137 Cs inventory gradually increased along a downslope transect with its lowest value at 0 Bq m -2 in the top-slope position (0 m). The soil clay ( 137 Cs and clay (r=0.92, p=0.003), SOC (r=0.96, p=0.001), or total N (r=0.95, p=0.001) were also found in the farmland. These results showed that converting alpine grassland to sloping farmland accelerates soil erosion, losses in SOC and N, and increases the soil's spatial variability. The combined impacts of tillage and water erosion contributed a significant decrease in the soil's organic carbon and N storages. Particularly in steep sloping farmlands, tillage erosion contributed for severe soil loss, but the soil redistribution pattern was dominated by water erosion, not tillage erosion, due to the lack of boundaries across the field patches. It was also found that 137 Cs, SOC, and total N moved along the same pathway within these

  15. {sup 137}Cs tracing dynamics of soil erosion, organic carbon and nitrogen in sloping farmland converted from original grassland in Tibetan plateau

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nie Xiaojun, E-mail: niexj2005@126.co [School of Surveying and Land Information Engineering, Henan Polytechnic University, Jiaozuo 454000 (China); Wang Xiaodan; Liu Suzhen; Gu Shixian [Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Conservation, Chengdu 610041 (China); Liu Haijun [Institute of Water Resources Planning, Surveying, Design, and Research, Lhasa 850000 (China)

    2010-09-15

    There is a shortage of research concerning the relationships between land-use change, soil erosion, and soil organic carbon (SOC) and nitrogen (N) dynamics in alpine environments such as those found in the Tibetan plateau. In this paper, typical sloping farmlands converted from grassland 50 years ago in eastern Tibet were selected to determine dynamics of soil erosion, SOC, and total N associated with land-use change. Soil samples were collected from sloping farmland and control fields (grassland). The {sup 137}Cs, SOC, total N contents, and soil particle size fractions were analyzed in these samples. As compared with the control fields, {sup 137}Cs, SOC, and total N inventories in the sloping farmlands decreased by 30%, 27%, and 33%, respectively. Meanwhile variations in the three parameters were enhanced in the sloping farmlands, with coefficients of variation (CVs) of 38%, 23%, and 20%, respectively, for {sup 37}Cs, SOC, and total N. In addition, SOC and total N inventories significantly decreased with increasing soil erosion in the sloping farmland. In a sloping farmland with a steep 24{sup o} gradient, the {sup 137}Cs inventory gradually increased along a downslope transect with its lowest value at 0 Bq m{sup -2} in the top-slope position (0 m). The soil clay (<0.002 mm) content in such an area increased with decreasing elevation (r=-0.95, p=0.001). Significant correlations between {sup 137}Cs and clay (r=0.92, p=0.003), SOC (r=0.96, p=0.001), or total N (r=0.95, p=0.001) were also found in the farmland. These results showed that converting alpine grassland to sloping farmland accelerates soil erosion, losses in SOC and N, and increases the soil's spatial variability. The combined impacts of tillage and water erosion contributed a significant decrease in the soil's organic carbon and N storages. Particularly in steep sloping farmlands, tillage erosion contributed for severe soil loss, but the soil redistribution pattern was dominated by water erosion

  16. Anthropic changes to the biotic factor of soil formation from forests to managed grasslands along summits of the western Pyrenees Mountains, France

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leigh, David; Gragson, Theodore

    2017-04-01

    Mounting evidence indicates that highland pastures of the humid-temperate western Pyrenees were converted from mixed forests to managed grasslands thousands of years ago, as early as during the late Neolithic and Bronze age by human actions including use of fire. We observe pronounced differences between soil profiles of ancient pastures and old-growth forests in otherwise similar landscape positions. In order to test physical and chemical differences, we collected paired samples of forest versus grassland soils at four separate hillslope sites where there was a clear boundary between the two vegetation types. Animal trails were excluded from sampling. Factors of climate, topography, parent material, and time of soil formation were essentially identical in the forests and pastures of each site, but the time of soil under grassland vegetation may have varied. Each paired hillslope site included five core samples (7.6 cm diameter) from the upper 7.6 cm of the mineral soil within each vegetation type, and the A horizon thickness was recorded at each core hole site. In addition, one complete soil profile was sampled in each vegetation type at each site, making a total of 20 core samples and 4 complete profiles from each respective vegetation type. In addition, we measured the magnetic susceptibility of the mineral soil surface on two transects crossing the vegetation boundary. Core samples have been measured for bulk density, pH, plant-available nutrients, and organic matter; and tests for total carbon and nitrogen, amorphous silica, charcoal, and other forms of black carbon are ongoing. Preliminary results indicate pastured A horizons are about three times as thick as forested soils, contain more organic matter, have lower soil bulk densities, have much finer and stronger structural development of soil aggregates. These traits favor much greater infiltration and water holding capacities of the pastured soils, which we have validated with saturated hydraulic

  17. 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...

  18. Greater soil carbon accumulation in deeper soils in native- than in exotic-dominated grassland plantings in the southern Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilsey, B. J.; Xu, X.; Polley, H. W.; Hofmockel, K. S.

    2017-12-01

    Global change includes invasion by non-native plant species, and invasion may affect carbon cycling and storage. We tested predictions in central Texas in an experiment that compares mixtures of all exotic or all native species under two summer irrigation treatments (128 or 0 mm) that varies the amount of summer drought stress. At the end of the eighth growing season after establishment, soils were sampled in 10 cm increments to 100 cm depth to determine if soil C differed among treatments, and if treatments differentially affected soil C in deeper soils. Soil C content was significantly (5%) higher under native plantings than under exotic species plantings (P plantings increased with depth, and native plantings had higher soil C in deeper soil layers than in surface layers (native-exotic x depth, P plantings had decreasing soil C with depth. Soil C:N ratio and δ13C/12C were also significantly affected by native-exotic status, with soils in exotic plots having a significantly greater C4 contribution than native soils. Soil C was unaffected by summer irrigation treatments. Our results suggest that a significant amount of carbon could be sequestered by replacing exotic plant species with native species in the southern Plains, and that more work should be conducted at deeper soil depths. If we had restricted our analyses to surface soil layers (e.g. top 30 cm), we would have failed to detect depth differences between natives and exotics.

  19. 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

  20. Soil surface CO2 fluxes and the carbon budget of a grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman, J. M.; Garcia, R.; Verma, S. B.

    1992-01-01

    Measurements of soil surface CO2 fluxes are reported for three sites within the First International Satellite Land Surface Climatology Project (ISLSCP) Field Experiment (FIFE) area, and simple empirical equations are fit to the data to provide predictions of soil fluxes from environmental observations. A prototype soil chamber, used to make the flux measurements, is described and tested by comparing CO2 flux measurements to a 40-L chamber, a 1-m/cu chamber, and eddy correlation. Results suggest that flux measurements with the prototype chamber are consistent with measurements by other methods to within about 20 percent. A simple empirical equation based on 10-cm soil temperature, 0- to 10-cm soil volumetric water content, and leaf area index predicts the soil surface CO2 flux with a rms error of 1.2 micro-mol sq m/s for all three sites. Further evidence supports using this equation to evaluate soil surface CO2 during the 1987 FIFE experiment. The soil surface CO2 fluxes when averaged over 24 hours are comparable to daily gross canopy photosynthetic rates. For 6 days of data the net daily accumulation of carbon is about 0.6 g CO2 sq m/d; this is only a few percent of the daily gross accumulation of carbon by photosynthesis. As the soil became drier in 1989, the net accumulation of carbon by the prairie increased, suggesting that the soil flux is more sensitive to temperature and drought than the photosynthetic fluxes.

  1. Community-specific hydraulic conductance potential of soil water decomposed for two Alpine grasslands by small-scale lysimetry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frenck, Georg; Leitinger, Georg; Obojes, Nikolaus; Hofmann, Magdalena; Newesely, Christian; Deutschmann, Mario; Tappeiner, Ulrike; Tasser, Erich

    2018-02-01

    For central Europe in addition to rising temperatures an increasing variability in precipitation is predicted. This will increase the probability of drought periods in the Alps, where water supply has been sufficient in most areas so far. For Alpine grasslands, community-specific imprints on drought responses are poorly analyzed so far due to the sufficient natural water supply. In a replicated mesocosm experiment we compared evapotranspiration (ET) and biomass productivity of two differently drought-adapted Alpine grassland communities during two artificial drought periods divided by extreme precipitation events using high-precision small lysimeters. The drought-adapted vegetation type showed a high potential to utilize even scarce water resources. This is combined with a low potential to translate atmospheric deficits into higher water conductance and a lower biomass production as those measured for the non-drought-adapted type. The non-drought-adapted type, in contrast, showed high water conductance potential and a strong increase in ET rates when environmental conditions became less constraining. With high rates even at dry conditions, this community appears not to be optimized to save water and might experience drought effects earlier and probably more strongly. As a result, the water use efficiency of the drought-adapted plant community is with 2.6 gDW kg-1 of water much higher than that of the non-drought-adapted plant community (0.16 gDW kg-1). In summary, the vegetation's reaction to two covarying gradients of potential evapotranspiration and soil water content revealed a clear difference in vegetation development and between water-saving and water-spending strategies regarding evapotranspiration.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Biocrusts modulate warming and rainfall exclusion effects on soil respiration in a semi-arid grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Escolar, Cristina; Maestre, Fernando T.; Rey, Ana

    2015-01-01

    Soil surface communities composed of cyanobacteria, algae, mosses, liverworts, fungi, bacteria and lichens (biocrusts) largely affect soil respiration in dryland ecosystems. Climate change is expected to have large effects on biocrusts and associated ecosystem processes. However, few studies so far have experimentally assessed how expected changes in temperature and rainfall will affect soil respiration in biocrust-dominated ecosystems. We evaluated the impacts of biocrust development, increa...

  5. 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.

  6. Drying/rewetting cycles mobilize old C from deep soils from a California annual grassland

    OpenAIRE

    Schimel, JP; Wetterstedt, JAM; Holden, PA; Trumbore, SE

    2011-01-01

    We measured the 14 C and 13 C signatures of CO 2 respired from surface and deep soils released through multiple dry/rewetting cycles in laboratory incubations. The C respired from surface soils included components fixed before and after the 1960s. However, that respired from deep soils was derived from organic matter with a mean turnover time estimated in the range of 650-850 years. This reinforces previous research suggesting that a substantial amount of deep soil C is chemically labile b...

  7. Simple measures of climate, soil properties and plant traits predict national-scale grassland soil carbon stocks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Manning, P.; de Vries, F.T.; Tallowin, J.R.B.; Smith, R.; Mortimer, S.R.; Pilgrim, E.S.; Harrison, K.A.; Wright, D.G.; Quirk, H.; Benson, J.; Shipley, B.; Cornelissen, J.H.C.; Kattge, J.; Bönisch, G.; Wirth, C.; Bardgett, R.D.

    2015-01-01

    Soil carbon (C) storage is a key ecosystem service. Soil C stocks play a vital role in soil fertility and climate regulation, but the factors that control these stocks at regional and national scales are unknown, particularly when their composition and stability are considered. As a result, their

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qing Wang

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

  9. Prescribed fire, soil inorganic nitrogen dynamics, and plant responses in a semiarid grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    David J. Augustine; Paul Brewer; Dana M. Blumenthal; Justin D. Derner; Joseph C. von Fischer

    2014-01-01

    In arid and semiarid ecosystems, fire can potentially affect ecosystem dynamics through changes in soil moisture, temperature, and nitrogen cycling, as well as through direct effects on plant meristem mortality. We examined effects of annual and triennial prescribed fires conducted in early spring on soil moisture, temperature, and N, plant growth, and plant N content...

  10. Native-plant amendments and topsoil addition enhance soil function in post-mining arid grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kneller, Tayla; Harris, Richard J; Bateman, Amber; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

    2018-04-15

    One of the most critical challenges faced in restoration of disturbed arid lands is the limited availability of topsoil. In post-mining restoration, alternative soil substrates such as mine waste could be an adequate growth media to alleviate the topsoil deficit, but these materials often lack appropriate soil characteristics to support the development and survival of seedlings. Thus, addition of exogenous organic matter may be essential to enhance plant survival and soil function. Here, we present a case study in the arid Pilbara region (north-west Western Australia), a resource-rich area subject to intensive mining activities. The main objective of our study was to assess the effects of different restoration techniques such as soil reconstruction by blending available soil materials, sowing different compositions of plant species, and addition of a locally abundant native soil organic amendment (Triodia pungens biomass) on: (i) seedling recruitment and growth of Triodia wiseana, a dominant grass in Australian arid ecosystems, and (ii) soil chemical, physical, and biological characteristics of reconstructed soils, including microbial activity, total organic C, total N, and C and N mineralisation. The study was conducted in a 12-month multifactorial microcosms setting in a controlled environment. Our results showed that the amendment increased C and N contents of re-made soils, but these values were still lower than those obtained in the topsoil. High microbial activity and C mineralisation rates were found in the amended waste that contrasted the low N mineralisation but this did not translate into improved emergence or survival of T. wiseana. These results suggest a short- or medium-term soil N immobilisation caused by negative priming effect of fresh un-composted amendment on microbial communities. We found similar growth and survival rates of T. wiseana in topsoil and a blend of topsoil and waste (50:50) which highlights the importance of topsoil, even in a

  11. Draft Genome Sequence of Bacillus velezensis 3A-25B, a Strain with Biocontrol Activity against Fungal and Oomycete Root Plant Phytopathogens, Isolated from Grassland Soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Martínez-Raudales, Inés; De La Cruz-Rodríguez, Yumiko; Vega-Arreguín, Julio; Alvarado-Gutiérrez, Alejandro; Fraire-Mayorga, Atzin; Alvarado-Rodríguez, Miguel; Balderas-Hernández, Victor; Gómez-Soto, José Manuel; Fraire-Velázquez, Saúl

    2017-09-28

    Here, we present the draft genome of Bacillus velezensis 3A-25B, which totaled 4.01 Mb with 36 contigs, 3,948 genes, and a GC content of 46.34%. This strain, which demonstrates biocontrol activity against root rot causal phytopathogens in horticultural crops and friendly interactions in roots of pepper plantlets, was obtained from grassland soil in Zacatecas Province, Mexico. Copyright © 2017 Martínez-Raudales et al.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2011-10-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Koteen, Laura E.; Baldocchi, Dennis D.; Harte, John

    2011-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Koteen, Laura E; Harte, John; Baldocchi, Dennis D

    2011-01-01

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

  15. Impacts of climate and management on water balance and nitrogen leaching from montane grassland soils of S-Germany.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Jin; Gasche, Rainer; Wang, Na; Lu, Haiyan; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Kiese, Ralf

    2017-10-01

    In this study water balance components as well as nitrogen and dissolved organic carbon leaching were quantified by means of large weighable grassland lysimeters at three sites (860, 770 and 600 m a.s.l.) for both intensive and extensive management. 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 site (E860) with lowest mean annual air temperature (6.5 °C) and highest precipitation (1359.3 mm). Seepage water formation was substantially lower at E600 (-440.9 mm) as compared to E860. Compared to climate, impacts of management on water balance components were negligible. However, intensive management significantly increased 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 less by ammonium (14.6%) and DON (20.7%). The 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. Moreover, plant uptake was often exceeding slurry application rates, suggesting further supply of N due to soil organic matter decomposition. The low risk of nitrate losses via leaching and surface runoff of cut grassland on non-sandy soils with vigorous grass growth may call for a careful site and region specific re-evaluation of fixed limits of N fertilization rates as defined by e.g. the German Fertilizer Ordinance following requirements set by the European Water Framework and Nitrates Directive. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  16. 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

  17. Pasture degradation modifies soil organic matter properties and biochemical functioning in Tibetan grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spielvogel, Sandra; Steingräber, Laura; Schleuß, Per; Kuzyakov, Yakov; Guggenberger, Georg

    2015-04-01

    Kobresia pastures of the Tibetan Plateau represent the world's largest alpine ecosystem. Moderate husbandry on Kobresia pastures is beneficial for the storage of soil organic carbon (OC), nitrogen (N) and other nutrients and prevents erosion by establishment of sedge-turf root mats with high OC allocation rates below ground. However, undisturbed root mats are affected by freezing and thawing processes, which cause initial ice cracks. As a consequence decomposition of root mat layers will be accelerated and current sedentarization programs with concomitant increased grazing intensity may additionally enhance root mat degradation. Finally, cracks are enlarged by water and wind erosion as well as pika activities until bare soil surface areas without root mat horizons occur. The aim of this study was to understand the impact of the root mat layer on soil organic carbon stabilization and microbial functioning depending on soil depths and to predict future changes (OC, N and nutrient losses, soil microbial functioning in SOM transformation) by overgrazing and climate change. We investigated the mineral soil below Kobresia root mats along a false time degradation sequence ranging from stage 1 (intact root mat) to stage 4 (mats with large cracks and bare soil patches). Vertical gradients of δ13C values, neutral sugar, cutin and suberin contents as well as microbial biomass estimated by total phospholipid fatty acid (PLFA), microbial community composition (PLFA profiles) and activities of six extracellular enzymes involved in the C, N, and P cycle were assessed. Soil OC and N contents as well as C/N ratios indicate an increasing illuviation of topsoil material into the subsoil with advancing root mat degradation. This was confirmed by more negative δ13C values as well as significantly (p ≤ 0.05) increasing contributions of cutin derived hydroxy fatty acids to OC in the subsoils from degradation stages 1 to 4. PLFA profiles were surprisingly similar in the subsoils of

  18. Natural revegetation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil in semi-arid grasslands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bizecki Robson, D.; Knight, J. D.; Farrell, R. E.; Germida, J. J.

    2004-01-01

    Phytoremediation, or the use of plants to degrade and contain soil contaminants is considered a cost-effective decontaminant for sites contaminated by spills in the oil and gas producing areas of Western Canada. The objective of this study was to determine if contamination by hydrocarbons changes soil properties, species composition, and species abundance when compared with uncontaminated plots, and to identify species and functional groups unique to contaminated sites that may be further screened for their hydrocarbon-degrading ability. In pursuit of these objectives the effect of contamination on coverage, litter and bare ground was examined, differences in species composition between contaminated and uncontaminated sites were assessed, and the ability to fix nitrogen, and form mycorrhiza, life form, pollination mode, seed dispersal and reproduction mode of each species was determined. Results showed less vegetation and litter cover in contaminated plots, and significantly higher soil carbon to nitrogen ratios. Species diversity was also lower on contaminated sites, although species richness was not significantly different. Self-pollinated species were significantly more common on contaminated sites. Five grasses and three forbs were identified as tolerant of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, with two grasses -- Agropyron smithii, and Agropyron trachycaulum -- being the most promising for reclamation. The low vegetation cover on contaminated plots is attributed to high pH and carbon to nitrogen ratios, and low nitrogen and phosphorus that results from soil disturbance. High electrical conductivity is also considered to adversely affect vegetation and litter cover on contaminated sites. 54 refs., 3 tabs., 1 fig

  19. Is 239+240Pu the new tracer for soil erosion assessment in mountain grasslands?

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Alewell, Christine; Meusburger, Katrin; Juretzko, Gregor; Mabit, Lionel; Ketterer, Michael E.

    2015-01-01

    Soil erosion is a major threat to mountain ecosystems worldwide. However, there has been limited scientific interest in this significant environmental problem. Minimal attention has been given towards its mitigation by policy makers. Limited information in this area is partly due to the difficulty of quantifying soil erosion in mountain environments having un-ploughed soils, steep, complex topography, and harsh climates. In many environments, fallout radionuclides (FRNs) have been widely used to quantify soil particle movement and net erosion rates. A wide variety of artificial radionuclides have been deposited globally via nuclear weapons testing, nuclear accidents, nuclear weapons fabrication, and nuclear fuel reprocessing. Large-scale atmospheric tests of thermonuclear weapons resulted in the injection of debris into the stratosphere; following which isotopes such as 137 Cs, 239 Pu and 240 Pu deposited relatively uniformly on a local scale. While it is unfortunate that these isotopes were released into the environment, it is at the same time fortuitous that these FRNs can serve as valuable tracers of recent earth surface processes, including assessing soil erosion

  20. Natural revegetation of hydrocarbon-contaminated soil in semi-arid grasslands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bizecki Robson, D.; Knight, J. D.; Farrell, R. E.; Germida, J. J. [University of Saskatchewan, Dept. of Soil Science, Saskatoon, SK (Canada)

    2004-01-01

    Phytoremediation, or the use of plants to degrade and contain soil contaminants is considered a cost-effective decontaminant for sites contaminated by spills in the oil and gas producing areas of Western Canada. The objective of this study was to determine if contamination by hydrocarbons changes soil properties, species composition, and species abundance when compared with uncontaminated plots, and to identify species and functional groups unique to contaminated sites that may be further screened for their hydrocarbon-degrading ability. In pursuit of these objectives the effect of contamination on coverage, litter and bare ground was examined, differences in species composition between contaminated and uncontaminated sites were assessed, and the ability to fix nitrogen, and form mycorrhiza, life form, pollination mode, seed dispersal and reproduction mode of each species was determined. Results showed less vegetation and litter cover in contaminated plots, and significantly higher soil carbon to nitrogen ratios. Species diversity was also lower on contaminated sites, although species richness was not significantly different. Self-pollinated species were significantly more common on contaminated sites. Five grasses and three forbs were identified as tolerant of hydrocarbon-contaminated soils, with two grasses -- Agropyron smithii, and Agropyron trachycaulum -- being the most promising for reclamation. The low vegetation cover on contaminated plots is attributed to high pH and carbon to nitrogen ratios, and low nitrogen and phosphorus that results from soil disturbance. High electrical conductivity is also considered to adversely affect vegetation and litter cover on contaminated sites. 54 refs., 3 tabs., 1 fig.

  1. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daebeler, Anne; Abell, Guy C. J.; Bodelier, Paul L. E.; Bodrossy, Levente; Frampton, Dion M. F.; Hefting, Mariet M.; Laanbroek, Hendrikus J.

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively) to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilization site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative polymerase chain reaction suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while soil physio-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization. PMID:23060870

  2. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anne eDaebeler

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of the associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilisation site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative PCR suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while the measured soil physico-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization.

  3. Archaeal dominated ammonia-oxidizing communities in Icelandic grassland soils are moderately affected by long-term N fertilization and geothermal heating.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daebeler, Anne; Abell, Guy C J; Bodelier, Paul L E; Bodrossy, Levente; Frampton, Dion M F; Hefting, Mariet M; Laanbroek, Hendrikus J

    2012-01-01

    The contribution of ammonia-oxidizing bacteria and archaea (AOB and AOA, respectively) to the net oxidation of ammonia varies greatly between terrestrial environments. To better understand, predict and possibly manage terrestrial nitrogen turnover, we need to develop a conceptual understanding of ammonia oxidation as a function of environmental conditions including the ecophysiology of associated organisms. We examined the discrete and combined effects of mineral nitrogen deposition and geothermal heating on ammonia-oxidizing communities by sampling soils from a long-term fertilization site along a temperature gradient in Icelandic grasslands. Microarray, clone library and quantitative PCR analyses of the ammonia monooxygenase subunit A (amoA) gene accompanied by physico-chemical measurements of the soil properties were conducted. In contrast to most other terrestrial environments, the ammonia-oxidizing communities consisted almost exclusively of archaea. Their bacterial counterparts proved to be undetectable by quantitative polymerase chain reaction suggesting AOB are only of minor relevance for ammonia oxidation in these soils. Our results show that fertilization and local, geothermal warming affected detectable ammonia-oxidizing communities, but not soil chemistry: only a subset of the detected AOA phylotypes was present in higher temperature soils and AOA abundance was increased in the fertilized soils, while soil physio-chemical properties remained unchanged. Differences in distribution and structure of AOA communities were best explained by soil pH and clay content irrespective of temperature or fertilizer treatment in these grassland soils, suggesting that these factors have a greater potential for ecological niche-differentiation of AOA in soil than temperature and N fertilization.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The principle of enzyme kinetics suggests that the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition is inversely related to organic carbon (C) quality, i.e., the C quality-temperature (CQT) hypothesis. We tested this hypothesis by performing laboratory incubation experiments with bulk soil, macroaggregates (MA, 250-2000 μm), microaggregates (MI, 53-250 μm), and mineral fractions (MF, temperature and aggregate size significantly affected on SOM decomposition, with notable interactive effects (Ptemperature in the following order: MA>MF>bulk soil >MI(P classes (P temperature is closely associated withsoil aggregation and highlights the complex responses of ecosystem C budgets to future warming scenarios.

  5. Heavy metal concentrations in soil and earthworms in a floodplain grassland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Vliet, P.C.J. van [Wageningen University, Department of Soil Quality, P.O. Box 8005, 6700 EC Wageningen (Netherlands)]. E-mail: petra.vanvliet@wur.nl; Zee, S.E.A.T.M. van der [Wageningen University, Department of Soil Quality, P.O. Box 8005, 6700 EC Wageningen (Netherlands); Ma, W.C. [Alterra, P.O. Box 47, 6700 AA Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2005-12-15

    We determined accumulated heavy metal concentrations (Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn) of earthworms in moderately contaminated floodplain soils. Both soil and mature earthworms were sampled before and after flooding and earthworm species were identified to understand species specific differences in bioconcentration. Accumulated metal concentrations in floodplain earthworms differed before and after flooding. Differences in uptake and elimination mechanisms, in food choice and living habitat of the different earthworm species and changes in speciation of the heavy metals are possible causes for this observation. Regression equations taken from literature, that relate metal accumulation by earthworms in floodplains as a function of metal concentration in soil, performed well when all species specific data were combined in an average accumulation, but did not address differences in accumulation between earthworm species. - The accumulation of metals by earthworms is species dependent and affected by flooding.

  6. Heavy metal concentrations in soil and earthworms in a floodplain grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Vliet, P.C.J. van; Zee, S.E.A.T.M. van der; Ma, W.C.

    2005-01-01

    We determined accumulated heavy metal concentrations (Cd, Pb, Cu, Zn) of earthworms in moderately contaminated floodplain soils. Both soil and mature earthworms were sampled before and after flooding and earthworm species were identified to understand species specific differences in bioconcentration. Accumulated metal concentrations in floodplain earthworms differed before and after flooding. Differences in uptake and elimination mechanisms, in food choice and living habitat of the different earthworm species and changes in speciation of the heavy metals are possible causes for this observation. Regression equations taken from literature, that relate metal accumulation by earthworms in floodplains as a function of metal concentration in soil, performed well when all species specific data were combined in an average accumulation, but did not address differences in accumulation between earthworm species. - The accumulation of metals by earthworms is species dependent and affected by flooding

  7. Grassland soil tillage by three implements in an Ultisol and its physical and hydropedological implications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel E. Camacho

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available A field study was conducted to test the effects of soil tillage with 3 different implements on compaction, physical and hydropedological properties of an Ultisol under cattle production, located in San Mateo, Alajuela. An area of approximately 10 000 m2 was selected and divided into 16 plots (650 m2 each and was tilled with 3 different implements corresponding to the treatments, following an unrestricted random experimental design, with a plot as experimental unit. Soil without tillage (T, tillage by spader plow (PM, tillage by chisel plow (C or tillage by subsoiler (S were established as treatments. Forty days after tillage treatments, soil penetration resistance every 5 cm up to 50 cm deep was assessed, and gravimetric moisture content, bulk and particle density, water infiltration and hydraulic conductivity, all of them up to the first 10 cm deep, all of them were measured. Soil compaction, expressed as soil penetration resistance, was reduced by tillage treatments; the lowest values for soil compaction were found in the spader plow treatment (PM. This same treatment enhanced cumulated infiltration (38.70±3.60 mm at 150 min significantly, comparing with those obtained in T treatment (0.09±0.02 mm at 150 min. No significant differences were found among tillage treatments for bulk density, total porosity and airspace, but comparing with control treatment (T they were found. Subsoiler treatment (S favored the highest values for hydraulic conductivity, but no significant differences with the other treatments were found (p>0.05.

  8. Quantitative and qualitative responses of soil organic carbon to six years of extreme soil warming in a subarctic grassland in Iceland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Poeplau, Christopher; Leblans, Niki I. W.; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Kätterer, Thomas

    2016-04-01

    Terrestrial carbon cycle feedbacks to global warming are expected, but constitute a major uncertainty in climate models. Soils in northern latitudes store a large proportion of the total global biosphere carbon stock and might thus become a strong source of CO2 when warmed. Long-term in situ observations of warming effects on soil organic carbon (SOC) dynamics are indispensable for an in depth understanding of the involved processes. We investigated the effect of six years of soil warming on SOC quantity and quality in a geothermally heated grassland soil in Iceland. We isolated five fractions of SOC along an extreme soil warming gradient of +0 to +40°C. Those fractions vary conceptually in turnover time from active to passive in the following order: particulate organic matter (POM), dissolved organic carbon (DOC), SOC in sand and stable aggregates (SA), SOC in silt and clay (SC-rSOC) and resistant SOC (rSOC). Soil warming of 1°C increased bulk SOC by 22% (0-10 cm) and 27% (20-30 cm), while further warming led to exponential SOC depletion of up to 79% (0-10 cm) and 74% (20-30) in the most heated plots (~ +40°C). Only the SA fraction was more sensitive than the bulk soil, with 93% (0-10 cm) and 86% (20-30 cm) losses and with the highest relative enrichment in 13C (+1.6‰ in 0-10 cm and +1.3‰ in 20-30 cm). In addition, the mass of the SA fraction did significantly decline along the warming gradient, which we explained by devitalization of aggregate binding mechanisms. As a consequence, the fine SC fraction mass increased with warming which explained the relative enrichment of presumably more slow-cycling SOC (R2=0.61 in 0-10 cm and R2=0.92 in 20-30 cm). Unexpectedly, no difference was observed between the responses of SC-rSOC (slow-cycling) and rSOC (passive) to warming. Furthermore, the 13C enrichment by trophic fractionation in the passive rSOC fraction was equal to this in the bulk soil. We therefore conclude that the sensitivity of SOC to warming was not a

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xavier Le Roux

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

  10. 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

  11. Nitrous oxide production in grassland soils: assessing the contribution of nitrifier denitrification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Wrage, N.; Velthof, G.L.; Laanbroek, H.J.; Oenema, O.

    2004-01-01

    Nitrifier denitrification is the reduction of NO2- to N2 by nitrifiers. It leads to the production of the greenhouse gas nitrous oxide (N2O) as an intermediate and possible end product. It is not known how important nitrifier denitrification is for the production of N2O in soils. We explored N2O

  12. Effects of slurry application methods on soil faunal communities in permanent grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Vliet, van P.C.J.; Goede, de R.G.M.

    2006-01-01

    We studied the effects of two slurry manure application methods, broadcasting manure slurry (MB) and manure slit injection (SMI), on soil faunal communities 1 week and 4 or 5 weeks after application in the spring of 2002 and the summer of 2003. No effect on total numbers of Enchytraeidae and

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2004-12-01

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

  14. Plant assemblage composition and soil P concentration differentially affect communities of AM and total fungi in a semi-arid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klabi, Rim; Bell, Terrence H; Hamel, Chantal; Iwaasa, Alan; Schellenberg, Mike; Raies, Aly; St-Arnaud, Marc

    2015-01-01

    Adding inorganic P- and N-fixing legumes to semi-arid grasslands can increase forage yield, but soil nutrient concentrations and plant cover may also interact to modify soil fungal populations, impacting short- and long-term forage production. We tested the effect of plant assemblage (seven native grasses, seven native grasses + the domesticated N-fixing legume Medicago sativa, seven native grasses + the native N-fixing legume Dalea purpurea or the introduced grass Bromus biebersteinii + M. sativa) and soil P concentration (addition of 0 or 200 P2O5 kg ha(-1) at sowing) on the diversity and community structure of arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi and total fungi over two consecutive years, using 454-pyrosequencing of 18S rDNA and ITS amplicons. Treatment effects were stronger in the wet year (2008) than the dry year (2009). The presence of an N-fixing legume with native grasses generally increased AM fungal diversity, while the interaction between soil P concentration and plant assemblage modified total fungal community structure in 2008. Excluding interannual variations, which are likely driven by moisture and plant productivity, AM fungal communities in semi-arid grasslands appear to be primarily affected by plant assemblage composition, while the composition of other fungi is more closely linked to soil P. © FEMS 2014. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. The effect of urea fertiliser formulations on gross nitrogen transformations in a permanent grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harty, Mary; Mueller, Christoph; Laughlin, Ronnie; Watson, Catherine; Richards, Karl; Lanigan, Gary; Forrestal, Patrick; McGeough, Karen

    2015-04-01

    Introduction By 2050, the current food production rate will need to increase by 70 % in order to meet the needs of the projected world population (FAO, 2014). Under the climate change response bill, Ireland has a target to reduce GHG emissions by 20% by 2020. Agriculture was responsible for almost one third of Ireland's overall Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions in 2012, with 39% of these emissions arising from chemical/organic fertilisers in the form of nitrous oxide (N2O). N2O losses represent environmental damage through ozone depletion and global warming as well as acidification, eutrophication, surface and groundwater contamination and it also represents financial loss to the farmer (Cameron 2013). The contradictory aims of increasing food production while reducing GHG emissions will require an adjustment to the current system of agricultural production. As part of a larger study evaluating the switching of nitrogen (N) fertiliser formulation to minimise N2O emissions, (from calcium ammonium nitrate (CAN) to urea based formulations), this experiment examined the effect of urea based fertiliser formulations on gross N transformations in a permanent pasture soil at Hillsborough, Co. Down, Northern Ireland. Study Design/Methodology A laboratory incubation study was undertaken, to examine the effect of urea in various combinations with two types of inhibitors on soil N dynamics and N2O and N2 emissions. The inhibitors examined were the urease inhibitor N-(butyl) thiophosphoric triamide (nBTPT) and the nitrification inhibitor dicyandiamide (DCD). The fertiliser products were labelled with 15N and the soil was incubated at 15 ° C at a water filled pore space of 65%. Soil mineral N (urea, NH4+, NO2- and NO3-) concentrations, gaseous losses (N2O and N2) and the 15N enrichments of NH4+, NO2-, NO3-, N2O and N2were analysed on 8 separate occasions over 25 days. An adapted numerical 15N tracing model (Müller et al., 2007) was used to quantify the effect of the inhibitors on

  16. Inorganic and organic fertilizers impact the abundance and proportion of antibiotic resistance and integron-integrase genes in agricultural grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nõlvak, Hiie; Truu, Marika; Kanger, Kärt; Tampere, Mailiis; Espenberg, Mikk; Loit, Evelin; Raave, Henn; Truu, Jaak

    2016-08-15

    Soil fertilization with animal manure or its digestate may facilitate an important antibiotic resistance dissemination route from anthropogenic sources to the environment. This study examines the effect of mineral fertilizer (NH4NO3), cattle slurry and cattle slurry digestate amendment on the abundance and proportion dynamics of five antibiotic resistance genes (ARGs) and two classes of integron-integrase genes (intI1 and intI2) in agricultural grassland soil. Fertilization was performed thrice throughout one vegetation period. The targeted ARGs (sul1, tetA, blaCTX-M, blaOXA2 and qnrS) encode resistance to several major antibiotic classes used in veterinary medicine such as sulfonamides, tetracycline, cephalosporins, penicillin and fluoroquinolones, respectively. The non-fertilized grassland soil contained a stable background of tetA, blaCTX-M and sul1 genes. The type of applied fertilizer significantly affected ARGs and integron-integrase genes abundances and proportions in the bacterial community (porganic fertilizer's application event, but this increase was followed by a stage of decrease, suggesting that microbes possessing these genes were predominantly entrained into soil via cattle slurry or its digestate application and had somewhat limited survival potential in a soil environment. However, the abundance of these three target genes did not decrease to a background level by the end of the study period. TetA was most abundant in mineral fertilizer treated soil and blaCTX-M in cattle slurry digestate amended soil. Despite significantly different abundances, the abundance dynamics of bacteria possessing these genes were similar (p<0.05 in all cases) in different treatments and resembled the dynamics of the whole bacterial community abundance in each soil treatment. Copyright © 2016. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  17. [Variation in soil Mn fractions as affected by long-term manure amendment using atomic absorption spectrophotometer in a typical grassland of inner Mongolia].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fu, Ming-ming; Jiang, Yong; Bai, Yong-fei; Zhang, Yu-ge; Xu, Zhu-wen; Li, Bo

    2012-08-01

    The effect of sheep manure amendment on soil manganese fractions was conducted in a 11 year experiment at inner Mongolia grassland, using sequential extraction procedure in modified Community Bureau of Reference, and determined by atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Five treatments with dry sheep manure addition rate 0, 50, 250, 750, and 1500 g x m(-2) x yr(-1), respectively, were carried out in this experiment. Results showed that the recovery rate for total Mn was 91.4%-105.9%, as the percentage recovered from the summation of the improved BCR results with aqua regia extractable contents, and it was 97.2%-102.9% from certified soil reference materials. Plant available exchangeable Mn could be enhanced by 47.89%, but reducible and total Mn contents decreased significantly under heavy application of manure at depth of 0-5 cm. The effect of manure amendment on Mn fractions was greater in 0-5 cm than in 5-10 cm soil layer. The results are benefit to micronutrient fractions determination and nutrient management in grassland soils.

  18. Leaf area index drives soil water availability and extreme drought-related mortality under elevated CO2 in a temperate grassland model system.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Manea, Anthony; Leishman, Michelle R

    2014-01-01

    The magnitude and frequency of climatic extremes, such as drought, are predicted to increase under future climate change conditions. However, little is known about how other factors such as CO2 concentration will modify plant community responses to these extreme climatic events, even though such modifications are highly likely. We asked whether the response of grasslands to repeat extreme drought events is modified by elevated CO2, and if so, what are the underlying mechanisms? We grew grassland mesocosms consisting of 10 co-occurring grass species common to the Cumberland Plain Woodland of western Sydney under ambient and elevated CO2 and subjected them to repeated extreme drought treatments. The 10 species included a mix of C3, C4, native and exotic species. We hypothesized that a reduction in the stomatal conductance of the grasses under elevated CO2 would be offset by increases in the leaf area index thus the retention of soil water and the consequent vulnerability of the grasses to extreme drought would not differ between the CO2 treatments. Our results did not support this hypothesis: soil water content was significantly lower in the mesocosms grown under elevated CO2 and extreme drought-related mortality of the grasses was greater. The C4 and native grasses had significantly higher leaf area index under elevated CO2 levels. This offset the reduction in the stomatal conductance of the exotic grasses as well as increased rainfall interception, resulting in reduced soil water content in the elevated CO2 mesocosms. Our results suggest that projected increases in net primary productivity globally of grasslands in a high CO2 world may be limited by reduced soil water availability in the future.

  19. Impact of Soil Warming on the Plant Metabolome of Icelandic Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gargallo-Garriga, Albert; Ayala-Roque, Marta; Granda, Victor; Sigurdsson, Bjarni D.; Leblans, Niki I. W.; Oravec, Michal; Urban, Otmar; Janssens, Ivan A.

    2017-01-01

    Climate change is stronger at high than at temperate and tropical latitudes. The natural geothermal conditions in southern Iceland provide an opportunity to study the impact of warming on plants, because of the geothermal bedrock channels that induce stable gradients of soil temperature. We studied two valleys, one where such gradients have been present for centuries (long-term treatment), and another where new gradients were created in 2008 after a shallow crustal earthquake (short-term treatment). We studied the impact of soil warming (0 to +15 °C) on the foliar metabolomes of two common plant species of high northern latitudes: Agrostis capillaris, a monocotyledon grass; and Ranunculus acris, a dicotyledonous herb, and evaluated the dependence of shifts in their metabolomes on the length of the warming treatment. The two species responded differently to warming, depending on the length of exposure. The grass metabolome clearly shifted at the site of long-term warming, but the herb metabolome did not. The main up-regulated compounds at the highest temperatures at the long-term site were saccharides and amino acids, both involved in heat-shock metabolic pathways. Moreover, some secondary metabolites, such as phenolic acids and terpenes, associated with a wide array of stresses, were also up-regulated. Most current climatic models predict an increase in annual average temperature between 2–8 °C over land masses in the Arctic towards the end of this century. The metabolomes of A. capillaris and R. acris shifted abruptly and nonlinearly to soil warming >5 °C above the control temperature for the coming decades. These results thus suggest that a slight warming increase may not imply substantial changes in plant function, but if the temperature rises more than 5 °C, warming may end up triggering metabolic pathways associated with heat stress in some plant species currently dominant in this region. PMID:28832555

  20. Spatial distribution of soil moisture and hydrophobicity in the immediate period after a grassland fire in Lithuania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, P.; Pundyte, N.; Vaitkute, D.; Cepanko, V.; Pranskevicius, M.; Ubeda, X.; Mataix-Solera, J.; Cerda, A.

    2012-04-01

    Fire can affect significantly soil moisture (SM) and water repellency (WR) in the immediate period after the fire due the effect of the temperatures into soil profile and ash. This impact can be very heterogeneous, even in small distances, due to different conditions of combustion (e.g. fuel and soil moisture, fuel amount and type, distribution and connection, and geomorphological variables as aspect and slope) that influences fire temperature and severity. The aim of this work it is study the spatial distribution of SM and WR in a small plot (400 m2 with a sampling distance of 5 m) immediately after the a low severity grassland fire.. This was made in a burned but also in a control (unburned) plot as reference to can compare. In each plot we analyzed a total of 25 samples. SM was measured gravimetrically and WR with the water drop penetration time test (WDPT). Several interpolation methods were tested in order to identify the best predictor of SM and WR, as the Inverse Distance to a Weight (IDW) (with the power of 1,2,3,4 and 5), Local Polynomial with the first and second polynomial order, Polynomial Regression (PR), Radial Basis Functions (RBF) as Multilog (MTG), Natural Cubic Spline (NCS), Multiquadratic (MTQ), Inverse Multiquadratic (IMTQ) and Thin Plate Spline (TPS) and Ordinary Kriging. Interpolation accuracy was observed with the cross-validation method that is achieved by taking each observation in turn out of the sample and estimating from the remaining ones. The errors produced in each interpolation allowed us to calculate the Root Mean Square Error (RMSE). The best method is the one that showed the lower RMSE. The results showed that on average the SM in the control plot was 13.59 % (±2.83) and WR 2.9 (±1.3) seconds (s). The majority of the soils (88%) were hydrophilic (WDPT 5s). We did not identify significant relationships among the variables (r=0.06, p>0.05) and the CV% was higher in WR (65.85%) than SM (19.96%). Overall we identified no significant

  1. Evaluating plant-soil feedback together with competition in a serpentine grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Casper, Brenda B; Castelli, Jeffrey P

    2007-05-01

    Plants can alter biotic and abiotic soil characteristics in ways that feedback to change the performance of that same plant species relative to co-occurring plants. Most evidence for this plant-soil feedback comes from greenhouse studies of potted plants, and consequently, little is known about the importance of feedback in relation to other biological processes known to structure plant communities, such as plant-plant competition. In a field experiment with three C4 grasses, negative feedback was expressed through reduced survival and shoot biomass when seedlings were planted within existing clumps of conspecifics compared with clumps of heterospecifics. However, the combined effects of feedback and competition were species-specific. Only Andropogon gerardii exhibited feedback when competition with the clumps was allowed. For Sorghastrum nutans, strong interspecific competition eliminated the feedback expressed in the absence of competition, and Schizachyrium scoparium showed no feedback at all. That arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi may play a role in the feedback was indicated by higher AM root colonization with conspecific plant neighbours. We suggest that feedback and competition should not be viewed as entirely separate processes and that their importance in structuring plant communities cannot be judged in isolation from each other.

  2. Effects of liming and nitrogen fertilizer application on soil acidity and gaseous nitrogen oxide emissions in grassland systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Sapek, A.

    2000-01-01

    This book contains 10 articles on the EU research project COGANOG (Controlling Gaseous Nitrogen Oxide Emissions from Grassland Farming Systems in Europe). The papers present the results of studies on the effects of liming and N fertilizer application

  3. Leaf injury characteristics of grassland species exposed to ozone in relation to soil moisture condition and vapour pressure deficit

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bungener, P.; Balls, G.R.; Nussbaum, S.; Geissmann, M.; Grub, A.; Fuhrer, J.

    1999-01-01

    A range of plant species typical of semi-natural grasslands were tested for their sensitivity to short-term ozone injury under normal and reduced irrigation, and in relationship to air vapour pressure deficit. Potted specimens of 24 herbs, legumes and grasses were exposed during two seasons to four O 3 treatments in open-top chambers. The ozone treatments were: (a) charcoal-filtered air; (b) charcoal-filtered air plus ozone to match ambient levels; (c) charcoal-filtered air plus O 3 to ambient levels 1.5 and (d) charcoal-filtered air with ozone added to twice ambient levels during selected episodes of 7–13 d. During these ozone episodes, half of the plants in each ozone treatment received reduced irrigation (dry treatment) while the rest was kept under full irrigation (wet treatment). Type and date of first occurrence of leaf injury were noted during individual growth periods. Plants were harvested three times per year, and the percentage of injured leaves was recorded. Depending on species, injury symptoms were expressed as flecking (O 3 -specific injury), leaf yellowing or anthocyanin formation. Carum carvi and most species of the Fabaceae family (Onobrychis sativa, Trifolium repens, Trifolium pratense) were found to be most responsive to O 3 , injury occurring after only a few days of exposure in treatment (b). An episodic reduction in irrigation tended to reduce the expression of O 3 -specific symptoms, but only in species for which a reduction in soil moisture potential and an associated reduction in stomatal conductance during the dry episodes were observed. In other species, the protection from O 3 injury seemed to be of little importance. Using artificial neural networks the injury response of nine species was analysed in relation to Species, stomatal conductance, ozone as AOT40 (accumulated exposure above a threshold of 0.04 ppm for periods with global radiation ≥ 50 W m −2 (Fuhrer et al., 1997)), mean relative growth rate, air vapour pressure

  4. Spatial interaction of archaeal ammonia-oxidizers and nitrite-oxidizing bacteria in an unfertilized grassland soil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara eStempfhuber

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available Interrelated successive transformation steps of nitrification are performed by distinct microbial groups – the ammonia-oxidizers, comprising ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA and bacteria (AOB, and nitrite-oxidizers such as Nitrobacter and Nitrospira, which are the dominant genera in the investigated soils. Hence, not only their presence and activity in the investigated habitat is required for nitrification, but also their temporal and spatial interactions. To demonstrate the interdependence of both groups and to address factors promoting putative niche differentiation within each group, temporal and spatial changes in nitrifying organisms were monitored in an unfertilized grassland site over an entire vegetation period at the plot scale of 10 m². Nitrifying organisms were assessed by measuring the abundance of marker genes (amoA for AOA and AOB, nxrA for Nitrobacter, 16S rRNA gene for Nitrospira selected for the respective sub-processes. A positive correlation between numerically dominant AOA and Nitrospira, and their co-occurrence at the same spatial scale in August and October, suggests that the nitrification process is predominantly performed by these groups and is restricted to a limited timeframe. Amongst nitrite-oxidizers, niche differentiation was evident in observed seasonally varying patterns of co-occurrence and spatial separation. While their distributions were most likely driven by substrate concentrations, oxygen availability may also have played a role under substrate-limited conditions. Phylogenetic analysis revealed temporal shifts in Nitrospira community composition with an increasing relative abundance of OTU03 assigned to sublineage V from August onwards, indicating its important role in nitrite oxidation.

  5. Aboveground net primary productivity and rainfall use efficiency of grassland on three soils after two years of exposure to a subambient to superambient CO2 gradient.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, P. A.; Polley, H. W.; Jin, V. L.

    2008-12-01

    Atmospheric CO2 concentrations (CA) have increased by about 100 μL L-1 over the last 250 years to ~ 380 μL L-1, the highest values in the last half-million years, and CA is expected to continue to increase to greater than 500 μL L-1 by 2100. CO2 enrichment has been shown to affect many ecosystem processes, but experiments typically examine only two or a few levels of CA, and are typically constrained to one soil type. However, soil hydrologic properties differ across the landscape. Therefore, variation in the impacts of increasing CA on ecosystem function on different soil types must be understood to model and forecast ecosystem function under future CA and climate scenarios. Here we evaluate the aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) of grassland plots receiving equal rainfall inputs (from irrigation) and exposed to a continuous gradient (250 to 500 μL L-1) of CA in the Lysimeter CO2 Gradient Experiment in central Texas, USA. Sixty intact soil monoliths (1 m2 x 1.5 m deep) taken from three soil types (Austin silty clay, Bastrop sandy loam, Houston clay) and planted to seven native tallgrass prairie grasses and forbs were exposed to the CA gradient beginning in 2006. Aboveground net primary productivity was assessed by end of season (November) harvest of each species in each monolith. Total ANPP of all species was 35 to 50% greater on Bastrop and Houston soils compared to Austin soils in both years (p Solidago canadensis strongly increased with increasing CA, with S. nutans responding more strongly on Bastrop and Houston soils (p = 0.053), indicating that increased greater rainfall use efficiency at high CA on these productive soils was associated with increased dominance by these species. In contrast, the grass Bouteloua curtipendula decreased in biomass with increasing CA, especially on Austin and Bastrop soils. The least productive species were the grass Tridens albescens, the legume Desmanthus illinoensis, and the forb Salvia azurea, and these showed

  6. Modeling impacts of climate change and grazing effects on plant biomass and soil organic carbon in the Qinghai-Tibetan grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Wenjuan; Zhang, Feng; Qi, Jiaguo; Hou, Fujiang

    2017-12-01

    The Qinghai Province supports over 40 % of the human population of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) but occupies about 29 % of its land area, and thus it plays an important role in the plateau. The dominant land cover is grassland, which has been severely degraded over the last decade due to a combination of increased human activities and climate change. Numerous studies indicate that the plateau is sensitive to recent global climate change, but the drivers and consequences of grassland ecosystem change are controversial, especially the effects of climate change and grazing patterns on the grassland biomass and soil organic carbon (SOC) storage in this region. In this study, we used the DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC) model and two climate change scenarios (representative concentration pathways: RCP4.5 and RCP8.5) to understand how the grassland biomass and SOC pools might respond to different grazing intensities under future climate change scenarios. More than 1400 grassland biomass sampling points and 46 SOC points were used to validate the simulated results. The simulated above-ground biomass and SOC concentrations were in good agreement with the measured data (R2 0.71 and 0.73 for above-ground biomass and SOC, respectively). The results showed that climate change may be the major factor that leads to fluctuations in the grassland biomass and SOC, and it explained 26.4 and 47.7 % of biomass and SOC variation, respectively. Meanwhile, the grazing intensity explained 6.4 and 2.3 % variation in biomass and SOC, respectively. The project average biomass and SOC between 2015 and 2044 was significantly smaller than past 30 years (1985-2014), and it was 191.17 g C m-2, 63.44 g C kg-1 and 183.62 g C m-2, 63.37 g C kg-1 for biomass and SOC under RCP4.5 and RCP8.5, respectively. The RCP8.5 showed the more negative effect on the biomass and SOC compared with RCP4.5. Grazing intensity had a negative relationship with biomass and positive relationship with SOC

  7. Impact of slurry application method on phosphorus loss in runoff from grassland soils during periods of high soil moisture content

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    McConnell D.A.

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Previous studies have reported that the trailing shoe application technique reduces phosphorus (P in the runoff postslurry application when compared to the traditional splash-plate application technique. However, the effectiveness of the trailing-shoe technique as a means of reducing P losses has not been evaluated when slurry is applied during periods of high soil moisture levels and lower herbage covers. To address this issue, three treatments were examined in a 3 × 4 factorial design split-plot experiment, with treatments comprising three slurry treatments: control (no slurry, splashplate and trailing-shoe, and four slurry application dates: 7 December, 18 January, 1 March and 10 April. Dairy cow slurry was applied at a rate of 20 m3/ha, while simulated runoff was generated 2, 9 and 16 days later and analysed for a range of P fractions. Dissolved reactive P concentrations in runoff at day two was 41% lower when slurry was applied using the trailing-shoe technique, compared to the splash-plate technique (P < 0.05. In addition, P concentrations in runoff were higher (P < 0.05 from slurry applied in December and March compared to slurry applied in January or April, coinciding with periods of higher soil moisture contents. While the latter highlights that ‘calendar’-based non-spreading periods might not always achieve the desired consequences, the study demonstrated that further field-scale investigations into the trailing shoe as a mitigation measure to reduced P loss from agricultural soils is warranted.

  8. The Effect of Limestone and Stabilized Nitrogen Fertilizers Application on Soil pH Value and on the Forage Production of Permanent Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pavel Ryant

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available The changes of soil pH and dry forage yield of permanent grassland after application of dolomitic limestone and stabilized nitrogen fertilizers are described in this paper. The small‑plot experiment was located on semi‑natural grassland at Bohemian‑Moravian Highlands, near village Kameničky (Czech Republic, with poor and acidic soil. The experiment was divided into two blocks, within one of whose dolomitic limestone was applied in autumn 2013. In each block, 4 experimental treatments were applied: 1. control (untreated, 2. Urea, 3. Urea with inhibitor of urease, 4. Urea with inhibitor of nitrification. After liming, the pH/CaCl2 soil values increased in both the first as well as the second year after application. Fertilizing by urea, namely urea with inhibitors, did not significantly influence the pH/CaCl2 values. Dry forage productions in both years were comparable. In comparison to the untreated variants, significant increase in dry forage yield was achieved after application of urea and urea with urease inhibitors. The impact of stabilized fertilizers on the yield was not proven. In case of the limed variants, yield drop by 1.12 t/ha (average of both years was observed; the yield decrease may be connected with disturbance of production potential of the stable community of plant species that had been adapted to acidic locations.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

    The effects of global environmental changes on soil nitrogen (N) pools and fluxes have consequences for ecosystem functions such as plant productivity and N retention. In a 13-year grassland experiment, we evaluated how elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2 ), N fertilization, and plant species richness alter soil N cycling. We focused on soil inorganic N pools, including ammonium and nitrate, and two N fluxes, net N mineralization and net nitrification. In contrast with existing hypotheses, such as progressive N limitation, and with observations from other, often shorter, studies, elevated CO2 had relatively static and small, or insignificant, effects on soil inorganic N pools and fluxes. Nitrogen fertilization had inconsistent effects on soil N transformations, but increased soil nitrate and ammonium concentrations. Plant species richness had increasingly positive effects on soil N transformations over time, likely because in diverse subplots the concentrations of N in roots increased over time. Species richness also had increasingly positive effects on concentrations of ammonium in soil, perhaps because more carbon accumulated in soils of diverse subplots, providing exchange sites for ammonium. By contrast, subplots planted with 16 species had lower soil nitrate concentrations than less diverse subplots, especially when fertilized, probably due to greater N uptake capacity of subplots with 16 species. Monocultures of different plant functional types had distinct effects on N transformations and nitrate concentrations, such that not all monocultures differed from diverse subplots in the same manner. The first few years of data would not have adequately forecast the effects of N fertilization and diversity on soil N cycling in later years; therefore, the dearth of long-term manipulations of plant species richness and N inputs is a hindrance to forecasting the state of the soil N cycle and ecosystem functions in extant plant communities. © 2012 Blackwell

  10. [X-ray diffraction (XRD) and near infrared spectrum (NIR) analysis of the soil overlying the Bairendaba deposit of the Inner Mongolia Grassland].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luo, Song-ying; Cao, Jian-jin; Wu, Zheng-quan

    2014-08-01

    The soil samples uniformly overlying the Bairendaba deposit of the Inner Mongolia grassland were collected, and ana- lyzed with X-ray diffraction (XRD) and near infrared spectrum (NIR), for exploring the origins of the soil from the, grassland mining area and the relationship with the underground rock. The results show that the samp]s consist of quartz, graphite, carbonate, hornblende, mica, chlorite, montmorillonite, illite, berlinite, diaspore, azurite, hen tite, etc. These indicate that the soil samples were not only from the weathering products of the surface rock, but also from the underground rock mass and the alteration of the wall rock. The azurite and the hematite contained in the soil, mainly coming from the oxidation zone of the orebodies, can be used as the prospecting marks. The alteration mineral assemblage is mainly chlorite-illite-montmorillonite and it experienced the alteration process of potassic alteration-->silicification-->carbonatization-->silk greisenization-->clayization. Also, the wall rock alteration and the physical weathering processes can be accurately restored by analyzing the combination of the alteration minerals, which can provide important reference information for the deep ore prospecting and the ore deposit genesis study, improving the rate of the prospecting. The XRD and NIR with the characteristics of the economy and quickness can be used for the identification of mineral composition of soil, and in the study of mineral and mineral deposits. Especially, NIR has its unique superiority, that is, its sample request is low, and it can analyze a batch of samples quickly. With the development of INR, it will be more and more widely applied in geological field, and can play an important role in the ore exploration.

  11. Decomposition of organic carbon in fine soil particles is likely more sensitive to warming than in coarse particles: an incubation study with temperate grassland and forest soils in northern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ding, Fan; Huang, Yao; Sun, Wenjuan; Jiang, Guangfu; Chen, Yue

    2014-01-01

    It is widely recognized that global warming promotes soil organic carbon (SOC) decomposition, and soils thus emit more CO2 into the atmosphere because of the warming; however, the response of SOC decomposition to this warming in different soil textures is unclear. This lack of knowledge limits our projection of SOC turnover and CO2 emission from soils after future warming. To investigate the CO2 emission from soils with different textures, we conducted a 107-day incubation experiment. The soils were sampled from temperate forest and grassland in northern China. The incubation was conducted over three short-term cycles of changing temperature from 5°C to 30°C, with an interval of 5°C. Our results indicated that CO2 emissions from sand (>50 µm), silt (2-50 µm), and clay (soils. The temperature sensitivity of the CO2 emission from soil particles, which is expressed as Q10, decreased in the order clay>silt>sand. Our study also found that nitrogen availability in the soil facilitated the temperature dependence of SOC decomposition. A further analysis of the incubation data indicated a power-law decrease of Q10 with increasing temperature. Our results suggested that the decomposition of organic carbon in fine-textured soils that are rich in clay or silt could be more sensitive to warming than those in coarse sandy soils and that SOC might be more vulnerable in boreal and temperate regions than in subtropical and tropical regions under future warming.

  12. Meta-scale mountain grassland observatories uncover commonalities as well as specific interactions among plant and non-rhizosphere soil bacterial communities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yashiro, Erika; Pinto-Figueroa, Eric; Buri, Aline; Spangenberg, Jorge E; Adatte, Thierry; Niculita-Hirzel, Helene; Guisan, Antoine; van der Meer, Jan Roelof

    2018-04-10

    Interactions between plants and bacteria in the non-rhizosphere soil are rarely assessed, because they are less direct and easily masked by confounding environmental factors. By studying plant vegetation alliances and soil bacterial community co-patterning in grassland soils in 100 sites across a heterogeneous mountain landscape in the western Swiss Alps, we obtained sufficient statistical power to disentangle common co-occurrences and weaker specific interactions. Plant alliances and soil bacterial communities tended to be synchronized in community turnover across the landscape, largely driven by common underlying environmental factors, such as soil pH or elevation. Certain alliances occurring in distinct, local, environmental conditions were characterized by co-occurring specialist plant and bacterial species, such as the Nardus stricta and Thermogemmatisporaceae. In contrast, some generalist taxa, like Anthoxanthum odoratum and 19 Acidobacteria species, spanned across multiple vegetation alliances. Meta-scale analyses of soil bacterial community composition and vegetation surveys, complemented with local edaphic measurements, can thus prove useful to identify the various types of plant-bacteria interactions and the environments in which they occur.

  13. Elucidating source processes of N2O fluxes following grassland-to-field-conversion using isotopologue signatures of soil-emitted N2O

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roth, G.; Giesemann, A.; Well, R.; Flessa, H.

    2012-04-01

    Conversion of grassland to arable land often causes enhanced nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions to the atmosphere. This is due to the tillage of the sward and subsequent decomposition of organic matter. Prediction of such effects is uncertain so far because emissions may differ depending on site and soil conditions. The processes of N2O turnover (nitrification, production by bacterial or fungal denitrifiers, bacterial reduction to N2) are difficult to identify, however. Isotopologue signatures of N2O such as δ18O, average δ15N (δ15Nbulk) and 15N site preference (SP = difference in δ15N between the central and peripheral N positions of the asymmetric N2O molecule) can be used to characterize N2O turnover processes using the known ranges of isotope effects of the various N2O pathways. We aim to evaluate the impact of grassland-to-field-conversion on N2O fluxes and the governing processes using isotopic signatures of emitted N2O. At two sites, in Kleve (North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany, conventional farming) and Trenthorst (Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, organic farming), a four times replicated plot experiment with (i) mechanical conversion (ploughing, maize), (ii) chemical conversion (broadband herbicide, maize per direct seed) and (iii) continuous grassland as reference was started in April 2010. In Trenthorst we additionally established a (iv) field with continuous maize cultivation as further reference. Over a period of two years, mineral nitrogen (Nmin) content was measured weekly on soil samples taken from 0-10 cm and 10-30 cm depth. Soil water content and N2O emissions were measured weekly as well. Gas samples were collected using a closed chamber system. Isotope ratio mass spectrometry was carried out on gas samples from selected high flux events to determine δ18O, δ15Nbulk and SP of N2O. δ18O and SP of N2O exhibited a relatively large range (32 to 72 ‰ and 6 to 34 ‰, respectively) indicating highly variable process dynamics. The data-set is grouped

  14. Short-term responses and resistance of soil microbial community structure to elevated CO2 and N addition in grassland mesocosms.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Simonin, Marie; Nunan, Naoise; Bloor, Juliette M G; Pouteau, Valérie; Niboyet, Audrey

    2017-05-01

    Nitrogen (N) addition is known to affect soil microbial communities, but the interactive effects of N addition with other drivers of global change remain unclear. The impacts of multiple global changes on the structure of microbial communities may be mediated by specific microbial groups with different life-history strategies. Here, we investigated the combined effects of elevated CO2 and N addition on soil microbial communities using PLFA profiling in a short-term grassland mesocosm experiment. We also examined the linkages between the relative abundance of r- and K-strategist microorganisms and resistance of the microbial community structure to experimental treatments. N addition had a significant effect on microbial community structure, likely driven by concurrent increases in plant biomass and in soil labile C and N. In contrast, microbial community structure did not change under elevated CO2 or show significant CO2 × N interactions. Resistance of soil microbial community structure decreased with increasing fungal/bacterial ratio, but showed a positive relationship with the Gram-positive/Gram-negative bacterial ratio. Our findings suggest that the Gram-positive/Gram-negative bacteria ratio may be a useful indicator of microbial community resistance and that K-strategist abundance may play a role in the short-term stability of microbial communities under global change. © FEMS 2017. All rights reserved. For permissions, please e-mail: journals.permissions@oup.com.

  15. Inference of soil hydrologic parameters from electronic soil moisture records

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil moisture is an important control on hydrologic function, as it governs vertical fluxes from and to the atmosphere, groundwater recharge, and lateral fluxes through the soil. Historically, the traditional model parameters of saturation, field capacity, and permanent wilting point have been deter...

  16. Effect of the application of cattle urine with or without the nitrification inhibitor DCD, and dung on greenhouse gas emissions from a UK grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cardenas, L M; Misselbrook, T M; Hodgson, C; Donovan, N; Gilhespy, S; Smith, K A; Dhanoa, M S; Chadwick, D

    2016-11-01

    Emissions of nitrous oxide (N 2 O) from soils from grazed grasslands have large uncertainty due to the great spatial variability of excreta deposition, resulting in heterogeneous distribution of nutrients. The contribution of urine to the labile N pool, much larger than that from dung, is likely to be a major source of emissions so efforts to determine N 2 O emission factors (EFs) from urine and dung deposition are required to improve the inventory of greenhouse gases from agriculture. We investigated the effect of the application of cattle urine and dung at different times of the grazing season on N 2 O emissions from a grassland clay loam soil. Methane emissions were also quantified. We assessed the effect of a nitrification inhibitor, dicyandiamide (DCD), on N 2 O emissions from urine application and also included an artificial urine treatment. There were significant differences in N 2 O EFs between treatments in the spring (largest from urine and lowest from dung) but not in the summer and autumn applications. We also found that there was a significant effect of season (largest in spring) but not of treatment on the N 2 O EFs. The resulting EF values were 2.96, 0.56 and 0.11% of applied N for urine for spring, summer and autumn applications, respectively. The N 2 O EF values for dung were 0.14, 0.39 and 0.10% for spring, summer and autumn applications, respectively. The inhibitor was effective in reducing N 2 O emissions for the spring application only. Methane emissions were larger from the dung application but there were no significant differences between treatments across season of application.

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. Changes in the microbial community structure of bacteria, archaea and fungi in response to elevated CO(2) and warming in an Australian native grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hayden, Helen L; Mele, Pauline M; Bougoure, Damian S; Allan, Claire Y; Norng, Sorn; Piceno, Yvette M; Brodie, Eoin L; Desantis, Todd Z; Andersen, Gary L; Williams, Amity L; Hovenden, Mark J

    2012-12-01

    The microbial community structure of bacteria, archaea and fungi is described in an Australian native grassland soil after more than 5 years exposure to different atmospheric CO2 concentrations ([CO2]) (ambient, +550 ppm) and temperatures (ambient, + 2°C) under different plant functional types (C3 and C4 grasses) and at two soil depths (0-5 cm and 5-10 cm). Archaeal community diversity was influenced by elevated [CO2], while under warming archaeal 16S rRNA gene copy numbers increased for C4 plant Themeda triandra and decreased for the C3 plant community (P fungi in soil responded differently to elevated [CO2], warming and their interaction. Taxa identified as significantly climate-responsive could show differing trends in the direction of response ('+' or '-') under elevated CO2 or warming, which could then not be used to predict their interactive effects supporting the need to investigate interactive effects for climate change. The approach of focusing on specific taxonomic groups provides greater potential for understanding complex microbial community changes in ecosystems under climate change. © 2012 Society for Applied Microbiology and Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  20. Uranium-contaminated soils: Ultramicrotomy and electron beam analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buck, E.C.; Dietz, N.L.; Bates, J.K.; Cunnane, J.C.

    1994-02-01

    Uranium-contaminated soils from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Fernald Site, Ohio, have been examined by a combination of scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron imaging (SEM/BSE) and analytical electron microscopy (AEM). The inhomogeneous distribution of particulate uranium phases in the soil required the development of a method for using ultramicrotomy to prepare transmission electron microscopy (TEM) thin sections of the SEM mounts. A water-miscible resin was selected that allowed comparison between SEM and TEM images, permitting representative sampling of the soil. Uranium was found in iron oxides, silicates (soddyite), phosphates (autunites), and fluorite (UO 2 ). No uranium was detected in association with phyllosilicates in the soil

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Pirhofter-Walzl, Karin; Eriksen, Jørgen; Rasmussen, Jim

    2013-01-01

    access to greater amounts of soil 15N compared with a shallow-rooting binary mixture, and if leguminous plants affect herbage yield and soil 15N-access. Methods 15N-enriched ammonium-sulphate was placed at three different soil depths (0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 m) to determine the depth dependent soil 15N....... This positive plant diversity effect could not be explained by complementary soil 15N-access of the different plant species from 0.4, 0.8 and 1.2 m soil depths, even though deep-rooting chicory acquired relatively large amounts of deep soil 15N and shallow-rooting perennial ryegrass when grown in a mixture...

  2. Small scale soil carbon and moisture gradients in a drained peat bog grassland and their influence on CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leiber-Sauheitl, K.; Fuß, R.; Freibauer, A.

    2012-04-01

    Due to the UNFCCC report requirements of each country on the emissions of greenhouse gases from key sources the joint research project "Organic Soils" was established in Germany. The project's objective is to improve the data set on greenhousegas emissions from organic soils in Germany. Within 12 German Project Catchments emissions from different types of organic soils, e.g. under different land uses and hydrological conditions, are measured. At the location "Großes Moor" near Gifhorn (Lower Saxony) the effects of small-scale soil organic carbon and groundwater level gradients on the GHG fluxes (CO2, CH4 and N2O) are quantified. The study area is located within a former peat bog altered by drainage and peat cutting, which is currently grassland under extensive agricultural use. The focus of the study is on the acquisition of CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes on six sites via manual closed chambers. In order to calculate the annual CO2 exchange rate, values are interpolated on a 0.5 hour scale between measurement campaigns. In combination with continually logged meteorological parameters, such as the photosynthetic active radiation as well as air and soil temperatures, we calculate the daily CO2 ecosystem exchange of the different sites. During the 2011 campaign, CO2 was determined as the most important greenhouse gas. The groundwater table was the dominant variable influencing gas emissions. Another important factor was the vegetation composition. In detail, highest CO2 emissions occurred with a water table of 40-50 cm below ground level, temperatures above 10°C and low plant biomass amounts. Due to the more complex formation of N2O by a number of processes, each being promoted by different soil conditions, the measurement of N2O fluxes in the field was complemented by a laboratory experiment. In this, the use of stable isotope tracer techniques enabled us to quantify the contribution of single biochemical pathways to the overall formation of N2O under controlled

  3. Assimilation of Soil Wetness Index and Leaf Area Index into the ISBA-A-gs land surface model: grassland case study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. L. Barbu

    2011-07-01

    Full Text Available The performance of the joint assimilation in a land surface model of a Soil Wetness Index (SWI product provided by an exponential filter together with Leaf Area Index (LAI is investigated. The data assimilation is evaluated with different setups using the SURFEX modeling platform, for a period of seven years (2001–2007, at the SMOSREX grassland site in southwestern France. The results obtained with a Simplified Extended Kalman Filter demonstrate the effectiveness of a joint data assimilation scheme when both SWI and Leaf Area Index are merged into the ISBA-A-gs land surface model. The assimilation of a retrieved Soil Wetness Index product presents several challenges that are investigated in this study. A significant improvement of around 13 % of the root-zone soil water content is obtained by assimilating dimensionless root-zone SWI data. For comparison, the assimilation of in situ surface soil moisture is considered as well. A lower impact on the root zone is noticed. Under specific conditions, the transfer of the information from the surface to the root zone was found not accurate. Also, our results indicate that the assimilation of in situ LAI data may correct a number of deficiencies in the model, such as low LAI values in the senescence phase by using a seasonal-dependent error definition for background and observations. In order to verify the specification of the errors for SWI and LAI products, a posteriori diagnostics are employed. This approach highlights the importance of the assimilation design on the quality of the analysis. The impact of data assimilation scheme on CO2 fluxes is also quantified by using measurements of net CO2 fluxes gathered at the SMOSREX site from 2005 to 2007. An improvement of about 5 % in terms of rms error is obtained.

  4. Response of biological soil crust diazotrophs to season, altered summer precipitation and year-round increased temperature in an arid grassland of the Colorado Plateau, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Chris M Yeager

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available Biological soil crusts (biocrusts, which supply significant amounts of fixed nitrogen into terrestrial ecosystems worldwide (~33 Tg y-1, are likely to respond to changes in temperature and precipitation associated with climate change. Using nifH gene-based surveys, we explored variation in the diazotrophic community of biocrusts of the Colorado Plateau, USA in response to season (autumn vs. spring, as well as field manipulations that increased the frequency of small-volume precipitation events and year-round soil temperature. Abundance of nifH genes in biocrusts ranged from 3x106 – 1x108 g-1 soil, and nifH from heterocystous cyanobacteria closely related to Scytonema hyalinum, Spirirestis rafaelensis, and Nostoc commune comprised > 98% of the total. Although there was no apparent seasonal effect on total nifH gene abundance in the biocrusts, T-RFLP analysis revealed a strong seasonal pattern in nifH composition. Spirirestis nifH abundance was estimated to oscillate 1 to >2 orders of magnitude between autumn (low and spring (high. A year-round increase of soil temperature (2 − 3 °C had little effect on the diazotroph community structure over 2 years. Altered summer precipitation had little impact on diazotroph community structure over the first 1.5 years of the study, when natural background patterns across years and seasons superseded any treatment effects. However, after the second summer of treatments, nifH abundance was 2.6 fold lower in biocrusts receiving altered precipitation. Heterocystous cyanobacteria were apparently more resilient to altered precipitation than other cyanobacteria. The results demonstrate that diazotrophic community composition of biocrusts in this semi-arid grassland undergoes strong seasonal shifts and that the abundance of its dominant members decreased in response to more frequent, small-volume precipitation events.

  5. Response of biological soil crust diazotrophs to season, altered summer precipitation, and year-round increased temperature in an arid grassland of the Colorado Plateau, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yeager, Chris M.; Kuske, Cheryl R.; Carney, Travis D.; Johnson, Shannon L.; Ticknor, Lawrence O.; Belnap, Jayne

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (biocrusts), which supply significant amounts of fixed nitrogen into terrestrial ecosystems worldwide (~33Tg y-1), are likely to respond to changes in temperature and precipitation associated with climate change. Using nifH gene-based surveys, we explored variation in the diazotrophic community of biocrusts of the Colorado Plateau, USA in response to season (autumn vs. spring), as well as field manipulations that increased the frequency of small volume precipitation events and year-round soil temperature. Abundance of nifH genes in biocrusts ranged from 3×106 to 1×8 g-1 soil, and nifH from heterocystous cyanobacteria closely related to Scytonema hyalinum, Spirirestis rafaelensis, and Nostoc commune comprised >98% of the total. Although there was no apparent seasonal effect on total nifH gene abundance in the biocrusts, T-RFLP analysis revealed a strong seasonal pattern in nifH composition. Spirirestis nifH abundance was estimated to oscillate 1 to >2 orders of magnitude between autumn (low) and spring (high). A year-round increase of soil temperature (2–3°C) had little effect on the diazotroph community structure over 2 years. Altered summer precipitation had little impact on diazotroph community structure over the first 1.5years of the study, when natural background patterns across years and seasons superseded any treatment effects. However, after the second summer of treatments, nifH abundance was 2.6-fold lower in biocrusts receiving altered precipitation. Heterocystous cyanobacteria were apparently more resilient to altered precipitation than other cyanobacteria. The results demonstrate that diazotrophic community composition of biocrusts in this semi-arid grassland undergoes strong seasonal shifts and that the abundance of its dominant members decreased in response to more frequent, small volume precipitation events.

  6. Turnover and storage of C and N in five density fractions from California annual grassland surface soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baisden, W. T.; Amundson, R.; Cook, A. C.; Brenner, D. L.

    2002-12-01

    We measured 14C/12C in density fractions from soils collected before and after atmospheric thermonuclear weapons testing to examine soil organic matter (SOM) dynamics along a 3 million year California soil chronosequence. The mineral-free particulate organic matter (FPOM; 2.2 g cm-3) consists of relatively OM-free sand and OM-rich clays. Three indicators of decomposition (C:N, δ13C, and δ15N) all suggest increasing SOM decomposition with increasing fraction density. The Δ14C-derived SOM turnover rates suggest that ≥90% of FPOM turns over in millenial) SOM. Within each soil, the four mineral-associated fractions display approximately the same residence time (34-42 years in 200 kyr soil, 29-37 years in 600 kyr soil, and 18-26 years in 1-3 Myr soils), indicating that a single stabilized SOM "pool" exists in these soils and may turn over primarily as a result of soil disruption.

  7. 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

  8. Plant species and functional group effects on abiotic and microbial soil properties and plant-soil feedback responses in two grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bezemer, T.M.; Lawson, C.S.; Hedlund, K.; Edwards, A.R.; Brooks, A.J.; Igual, J.M.; Mortimer, S.R.; Putten, van der W.H.

    2006-01-01

    1 Plant species differ in their capacity to influence soil organic matter, soil nutrient availability and the composition of soil microbial communities. Their influences on soil properties result in net positive or negative feedback effects, which influence plant performance and plant community

  9. Soil biological quality of grassland fertilized with adjusted cattle manure slurries in comparison with organic and inorganic fertilizers

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Eekeren, van N.J.M.; Boer, de Herman; Bloem, J.; Schouten, T.; Rutgers, M.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Brussaard, L.

    2009-01-01

    We studied the effect of five fertilizers (including two adjusted manure slurries) and an untreated control on soil biota and explored the effect on the ecosystem services they provided. Our results suggest that the available N (NO3- and NH4+) in the soil plays a central role in the effect of

  10. Mobility and toxicity of heavy metal(loid)s arising from contaminated wood ash application to a pasture grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mollon, L C; Norton, G J; Trakal, L; Moreno-Jimenez, E; Elouali, F Z; Hough, R L; Beesley, L

    2016-11-01

    Heavy metal(loid) rich ash (≤10,000 mg kg -1 total As, Cr, Cu and Zn) originating from the combustion of contaminated wood was subjected to several experimental procedures involving its incorporation into an upland pasture soil. Ash was added to soil that had been prior amended with local cattle manure, replicating practices employed at the farm scale. Metal(loid) concentrations were measured in soil pore water and ryegrass grown on soil/manure plus ash mixtures (0.1-3.0% vol. ash) in a pot experiment; toxicity evaluation was performed on the same pore water samples by means of a bacterial luminescence biosensor assay. Thereafter a sequential extraction procedure was carried out on selected soil, manure and ash mixtures to elucidate the geochemical association of ash derived metal(loid)s with soil constituents. Predictive modelling was applied to selected data from the pot experiment to determine the risk of transfer of As to meat and milk products in cattle grazing pasture amended with ash. The inclusion of manure to soils receiving ash reduced phyto-toxicity and increased ryegrass biomass yields, compared to soil with ash, but without manure. Elevated As and Cu concentrations in pore water and ryegrass tissue resulting from ash additions were reduced furthest by the inclusion of manure due to an increase in their geochemical association with organic matter. Zinc was the only measured metal(loid) to remain uniformly soluble and bioavailable regardless of the addition of ash and manure. Risk modelling on pot experimental data highlighted that an ash addition of >1% (vol.) to this pasture soil could result in As concentrations in milk and meat products exceeding acceptable limits. The results of this study therefore suggest that even singular low doses of ash applied to soil increase the risk of leaching of metal(loid)s and intensify the risk of As transfer in the food chain. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  11. 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...

  12. Examining the relationship between intermediate-scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R. B. Jana

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite-based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here, we present a study to assess the utility of CRNP soil moisture observations in validating model evaporation estimates. The CRNP soil moisture product from a pasture in the semi-arid central west region of New South Wales, Australia, was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley–Taylor (PT-JPL, Penman–Monteith (PM-Mu, and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS sensor. Pearson's correlations, quantile–quantile (Q–Q plots, and analysis of variance (ANOVA were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly 2 years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q–Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the CRNP measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold

  13. Examining the relationship between intermediate-scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra B.

    2016-09-30

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Neutron Probe (CRNP) was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here, we present a study to assess the utility of CRNP soil moisture observations in validating model evaporation estimates. The CRNP soil moisture product from a pasture in the semi-arid central west region of New South Wales, Australia, was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley–Taylor (PT-JPL), Penman–Monteith (PM-Mu), and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Pearson’s correlations, quantile–quantile (Q–Q) plots, and analysis of variance (ANOVA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly 2 years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q–Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the CRNP measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold temperatures were

  14. Examining the relationship between intermediate scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra Belur

    2016-05-17

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability in soil moisture makes its representation via point-scale measurements challenging, resulting in scale-mismatch when compared to coarser-resolution satellite-based soil moisture or evaporation estimates. The Cosmic Ray Soil Moisture Observing System (COSMOS) was developed to address such issues in the measurement and representation of soil moisture at intermediate scales. Here we present an examination of the links observed between COSMOS soil moisture retrievals and evaporation estimates over a pasture in the semi-arid central-west region of New South Wales, Australia. The COSMOS soil moisture product was compared to evaporation derived from three distinct approaches, including the Priestley-Taylor (PT-JPL), Penman-Monteith (PM-Mu) and Surface Energy Balance System (SEBS) models, driven by forcing data from local meteorological station data and remote sensing retrievals from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor. Pearson’s Correlations, Quantile-Quantile (Q-Q) plots, and Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) were used to qualitatively and quantitatively evaluate the temporal distributions of soil moisture and evaporation over the study site. The relationships were examined against nearly two years of observation data, as well as for different seasons and for defined periods of analysis. Results highlight that while direct correlations of raw data were not particularly instructive, the Q-Q plots and ANOVA illustrate that the root-zone soil moisture represented by the COSMOS measurements and the modelled evaporation estimates reflect similar distributions under most meteorological conditions. The PT-JPL and PM-Mu model estimates performed contrary to expectation when high soil moisture and cold

  15. Examining the relationship between intermediate scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra Belur; Ershadi, Ali; McCabe, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability

  16. Effect of three mound-building ant species on the formation of soil seed bank in mountain grassland

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostál, Petr

    2005-01-01

    Roč. 200, - (2005), s. 148-158 ISSN 0367-2530 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : myrmecochory * Lasius * soil seed bank Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.086, year: 2005

  17. Examining the relationship between intermediate-scale soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation within a semi-arid grassland

    KAUST Repository

    Jana, Raghavendra Belur; Ershadi, Ali; McCabe, Matthew

    2016-01-01

    Interactions between soil moisture and terrestrial evaporation affect water cycle behaviour and responses between the land surface and the atmosphere across scales. With strong heterogeneities at the land surface, the inherent spatial variability

  18. Characterization of climate- and human-induced slope, soil and grassland dynamics in Bavarian landscapes under climate change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Waltl, Peter; Schwindt, Daniel; Völkel, Jörg

    2016-04-01

    Since the Neolithic Revolution the intensification of agriculture has been causing increased erosion in Bavarian landscapes. The correlated sediments often induce the formation of new colluvial and alluvial soils (WRB: Regic Anthrosol and Fluvisol i.a.). The soils themselves are able to absorb, bind, and store considerable amounts of C- and N-compounds. Therefore, they are important reactors regarding climate-relevant greenhouse-gas balances in the atmosphere. Learning about the exact spatial extent and thickness of these soils in representative landscapes, but also about their geneses and processes is essential. It allows for a detailed quantification and understanding of the current and potential properties and characteristics of these soils in their role of greenhouse-gas reactors. Two research locations were elected as representative Bavarian landscapes composed of different lithology and pedo-chemical environments (limestone versus crystalline setting): Rottenbuch is situated at the Ammer River in the Upper Bavarian pre-alpine forelands (Lkr. Weilheim-Schongau). The Otterbach Creek lies at the southwestern foothills of the Bavarian Forest at the Donaurandbruch tectonic line next to Donaustauf (Lkr. Regensburg). Detailed information on the soil horizons and layers within these research areas are accumulated by sounding or burrowing soil profiles and subsequently analyzing the soil samples in the lab. Geophysical methods, such as electrical resistivity tomography (ERT), seismic refraction tomography (SRT), and ground penetrating radar (GPR), allow for the extension of this point-source information into three dimensions. By repeatedly and regularly applying these methods, also temporal changes such as soil hydrology or freeze and thaw cycles can be monitored and their influence on fluxes and exchanges can be taken into account.

  19. Uranium-contaminated soils: Ultramicrotomy and electron beam analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buck, E.C.; Dietz, N.L.; Bates, J.K.; Cunnane, J.C.

    1994-01-01

    Uranium contaminated soils from the Fernald Operation Site, Ohio, have been examined by a combination of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron detection (SEM/BSE), and analytical electron microscopy (AEM). A method is described for preparing of transmission electron microscopy (TEM) thin sections by ultramicrotomy. By using these thin sections, SEM and TEM images can be compared directly. Uranium was found in iron oxides, silicates (soddyite), phosphates (autunites), and fluorite. Little uranium was associated with clays. The distribution of uranium phases was found to be inhomogeneous at the microscopic level

  20. Dry flue gas desulfurization by-product application effects on plant uptake and soil storage changes in a managed grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burgess-Conforti, Jason R; Brye, Kristofor R; Miller, David M; Pollock, Erik D; Wood, Lisa S

    2018-02-01

    Environmental regulations mandate that sulfur dioxide (SO 2 ) be removed from the flue gases of coal-fired power plants, which results in the generation of flue gas desulfurization (FGD) by-products. These FGD by-products may be a viable soil amendment, but the large amounts of trace elements contained in FGD by-products are potentially concerning. The objective of this study was to evaluate the effects of land application of a high-Ca dry FGD (DFGD) by-product on trace elements in aboveground biomass and soil. A high-Ca DFGD by-product was applied once at a rate of 9 Mg ha -1 on May 18, 2015 to small plots with mixed-grass vegetation. Soil and biomass were sampled prior to application and several times thereafter. Aboveground dry matter and tissue As, Co, Cr, Hg, Se, U, and V concentrations increased (P  0.05) from pre-application levels or the unamended control within 3 to 6 months of application. Soil pH in the amended treatment 6 months after application was greater (P by-product application compared to the unamended control. High-Ca DFGD by-products appear to be useful as a soil amendment, but cause at least a temporary increase in tissue concentrations of trace elements, which may be problematic for animal grazing situations.

  1. Seasonal Variation in Soil Microbial Biomass, Bacterial Community Composition and Extracellular Enzyme Activity in Relation to Soil Respiration in a Northern Great Plains Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilton, E.; Flanagan, L. B.

    2014-12-01

    Soil respiration rate is affected by seasonal changes in temperature and moisture, but is this a direct effect on soil metabolism or an indirect effect caused by changes in microbial biomass, bacterial community composition and substrate availability? In order to address this question, we compared continuous measurements of soil and plant CO2 exchange made with an automatic chamber system to analyses conducted on replicate soil samples collected on four dates during June-August. Microbial biomass was estimated from substrate-induced respiration rate, bacterial community composition was determined by 16S rRNA amplicon pyrosequencing, and β-1,4-N-acetylglucosaminidase (NAGase) and phenol oxidase enzyme activities were assayed fluorometrically or by absorbance measurements, respectively. Soil microbial biomass declined from June to August in strong correlation with a progressive decline in soil moisture during this time period. Soil bacterial species richness and alpha diversity showed no significant seasonal change. However, bacterial community composition showed a progressive shift over time as measured by Bray-Curtis dissimilarity. In particular, the change in community composition was associated with increasing relative abundance in the alpha and delta classes, and declining abundance of the beta and gamma classes of the Proteobacteria phylum during June-August. NAGase showed a progressive seasonal decline in potential activity that was correlated with microbial biomass and seasonal changes in soil moisture. In contrast, phenol oxidase showed highest potential activity in mid-July near the time of peak soil respiration and ecosystem photosynthesis, which may represent a time of high input of carbon exudates into the soil from plant roots. This input of exudates may stimulate the activity of phenol oxidase, a lignolytic enzyme involved in the breakdown of soil organic matter. These analyses indicated that seasonal change in soil respiration is a complex

  2. Carbon storage and light fraction C in a grassland Dark Gray Chernozem soil as influenced by N and S fertilization

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Nyborg, M.; Malhi, S S.; Solberg, E D.; Izaurralde, R Cesar C.

    1999-01-01

    A field experiment was conducted at Canwood, Saskatchewan to determine if annual applications of nitrogen (112 kg N ha?1) and sulphur (11 kg S ha?1) fertilizers to grass over 13 yr (1980 to 1992) could increase storage of total C (TC) and light fraction C (LFC) in a Dark Gray Chernozem soil. Hay was removed from the plots every year. The increase in mass of TC in the 0- to 30-cm soil depth from NS fertilizer was 3.88 Mg C ha?1. However, the increase in mass of LFC from NS was 9.50 Mg C ha?1, and most of the increase was found in the 0- to 5-cm soil depth.

  3. "Hot spots" of N and C impact nitric oxide, nitrous oxide and nitrogen gas emissions from a UK grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Loick, Nadine; Dixon, Elizabeth; Abalos, Diego; Vallejo, Antonio; Matthews, Peter; McGeough, Karen; Watson, Catherine; Baggs, Elizabeth M; Cardenas, Laura M

    2017-11-01

    Agricultural soils are a major source of nitric- (NO) and nitrous oxide (N 2 O), which are produced and consumed by biotic and abiotic soil processes. The dominant sources of NO and N 2 O are microbial nitrification and denitrification, and emissions of NO and N 2 O generally increase after fertiliser application. The present study investigated the impact of N-source distribution on emissions of NO and N 2 O from soil and the significance of denitrification, rather than nitrification, as a source of NO emissions. To eliminate spatial variability and changing environmental factors which impact processes and results, the experiment was conducted under highly controlled conditions. A laboratory incubation system (DENIS) was used, allowing simultaneous measurement of three N-gases (NO, N 2 O, N 2 ) emitted from a repacked soil core, which was combined with 15 N-enrichment isotopic techniques to determine the source of N emissions. It was found that the areal distribution of N and C significantly affected the quantity and timing of gaseous emissions and 15 N-analysis showed that N 2 O emissions resulted almost exclusively from the added amendments. Localised higher concentrations, so-called hot spots, resulted in a delay in N 2 O and N 2 emissions causing a longer residence time of the applied N-source in the soil, therefore minimising NO emissions while at the same time being potentially advantageous for plant-uptake of nutrients. If such effects are also observed for a wider range of soils and conditions, then this will have major implications for fertiliser application protocols to minimise gaseous N emissions while maintaining fertilisation efficiency.

  4. Meta-analysis of field scale spatial variability of grassland soil CO2 efflux: Interaction of biotic and abiotic drivers

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fóti, S.; Balogh, J.; Herbst, M.; Papp, M.; Koncz, P.; Bartha, S.; Zimmermann, Z.; Komoly, C.; Szabó, G.; Margóczi, G.; Acosta, Manuel; Nagy, Z.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 143, aug (2016), s. 78-89 ISSN 0341-8162 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Cross-variogram * Principal component analysis * Soil CO2 efflux * Spatial pattern * Variogram Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 3.191, year: 2016

  5. Carbon footprint of milk from sheep farming systems in northern Spain including soil carbon sequestration in grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Batalla, Inma M.; Knudsen, Marie Trydeman; Mogensen, Lisbeth

    2015-01-01

    The link between climate change and livestock production has made carbon footprint based on life cycle assessment a world-wide indicator to assess and communicate the amount of greenhouse gases emitted per unit of product. Nevertheless, the majority of studies have not included soil carbon seques...

  6. Impact of grazing intensity on seasonal variations in soil organic carbon and soil CO2 efflux in two semiarid grasslands in southern Botswana

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thomas, Andrew D.

    2012-01-01

    Biological soil crusts (BSCs) are an important source of organic carbon, and affect a range of ecosystem functions in arid and semiarid environments. Yet the impact of grazing disturbance on crust properties and soil CO2 efflux remain poorly studied, particularly in African ecosystems. The effects of burial under wind-blown sand, disaggregation and removal of BSCs on seasonal variations in soil CO2 efflux, soil organic carbon, chlorophyll a and scytonemin were investigated at two sites in the Kalahari of southern Botswana. Field experiments were employed to isolate CO2 efflux originating from BSCs in order to estimate the C exchange within the crust. Organic carbon was not evenly distributed through the soil profile but concentrated in the BSC. Soil CO2 efflux was higher in Kalahari Sand than in calcrete soils, but rates varied significantly with seasonal changes in moisture and temperature. BSCs at both sites were a small net sink of C to the soil. Soil CO2 efflux was significantly higher in sand soils where the BSC was removed, and on calcrete where the BSC was buried under sand. The BSC removal and burial under sand also significantly reduced chlorophyll a, organic carbon and scytonemin. Disaggregation of the soil crust, however, led to increases in chlorophyll a and organic carbon. The data confirm the importance of BSCs for C cycling in drylands and indicate intensive grazing, which destroys BSCs through trampling and burial, will adversely affect C sequestration and storage. Managed grazing, where soil surfaces are only lightly disturbed, would help maintain a positive carbon balance in African drylands. PMID:23045706

  7. Diversity and Gene Expression of Phosphatase Genes Provide Insight into Soil Phosphorus Dynamics in a New Zealand Managed Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dunfield, K. E.; Gaiero, J. R.; Condron, L.

    2017-12-01

    Healthy and diverse communities of soil organisms influence key soil ecosystem services such as carbon sequestration, water quality protection, climate regulation and nutrient cycling. Microbially driven mineralization of organic phosphorus is an important contributor to plant available inorganic orthophosphates. In acidic soils, microbes produce non-specific acid phosphatases (NSAPs) which act on common forms of organic phosphorus (P). Our current understanding of P turnover in soils has been limited by lack of research tools capable of targeting these genes. Thus, we developed a set of oligonucleotide PCR primers that targeted bacteria with the genetic potential for acid phosphatase production. A long term randomized-block pasture trial was sampled following 22 years of continued aerial biomass removal and retention. Primers were used to target genes encoding alkaline phosphatase (phoD) and the three classes (CAAP, CBAP, CCAP) of non-specific acid phosphatases. PCR amplicons targeting total genes and gene transcripts were sequenced using Illumina MiSeq to understand the diversity of the bacterial phosphatase producing communities. In general, the majority of operational taxonomic units (OTUs) were shared across both treatments and across metagenomes and transcriptomes. However, analysis of DNA OTUs revealed significantly different communities driven by treatment differences (P reduced Olsen P levels (15 vs. 36 mg kg-1 in retained treatment). Acid phosphatase activity was measured in all samples, and found to be highest in the biomass retained treatment (16.8 vs. 11.4 µmol g-1 dry soil h-1), likely elevated due to plant-derived enzymes; however, was still correlated to bacterial gene abundances. Overall, the phosphatase producing microbial communities responded to the effect of consistent P limitation as expected, through alteration in the composition of the community structure and through increased levels of gene expression of the phosphatase genes.

  8. Radiocesium fallout in the grasslands on Sakhalin, Kunashir and Shikotan Islands due to Fukushima accident: the radioactive contamination of soil and plants in 2011

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramzaev, V.; Barkovsky, A.; Goncharova, Yu.; Gromov, A.; Kaduka, M.; Romanovich, I.

    2013-01-01

    The accident at the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant has resulted in radioactive contamination of environmental media and food in the Far East of Russia, particularly in the Sakhalin Region. To obtain the knowledge about the 134 Cs and 137 Cs spatial distribution in the Sakhalin Region, soil samples were collected at 31 representative grassland sites on Sakhalin, Kunashir and Shikotan islands (43.80°–46.40° N and 142.73°–146.84° E) in the middle of May and around the end of September to early October 2011. In the autumn, vegetation samples (mixed grass/forb crop and bamboo, Sasa sp.) were collected together with soil samples. Maximum measured activity concentrations (on dry weight) of 134 Cs and 137 Cs in soil were 30 Bq kg −1 and 210 Bq kg −1 , respectively. Within soil profile, 134 Cs activity concentrations declined rapidly with depth. Although for both sampling occasions (in the spring and autumn) the radionuclide was completely retained in the upper 3–4 cm of soil, a deeper penetration of the contaminant into the ground was observed in the autumn. In contrast with 134 Cs, activity concentrations of 137 Cs demonstrated a broad range of the vertical distribution in soil; at most sites, the radionuclide was found down to a depth of 20 cm. This resulted from interfering the aged pre-accidental 137 Cs and the new Fukushima-borne 137 Cs. To calculate contribution of these sources to the inventory of 137 Cs, the 134 Cs: 137 Cs activity ratio of 1:1 in Fukushima fallout (the reference date 15 March 2011) was used. The maximum deposition density of Fukushima-derived 137 Cs was found on Shikotan and Kunashir Islands with average density of 0.124 ± 0.018 kBq m −2 and 0.086 ± 0.026 kBq m −2 , respectively. Sakhalin Island was less contaminated by Fukushima-derived 137 Cs of 0.021 ± 0.018 kBq m −2 . For the south of Sakhalin Island, the reference inventory of pre-Fukushima 137 Cs was calculated as 1.93 ± 0.25 kBq m −2 (reference date 15

  9. Effect of Conversion from Natural Grassland to Arable Land on Soil Carbon Reserve in the Argentinean Rolling Pampas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andriulo, A. E.; Irizar, A. B.; Mary, B.; Wilson, M. G.

    2012-04-01

    The evaluation of the effect of land use change on accumulation of soil organic carbon (SOC) requires reliable data obtained from georeferenced sites with land use history records. The purpose of this study was to evaluate long term changes in the reserves of SOC in a typical Argiudol of the Pergamino series after the introduction of agriculture. Measures of soil organic carbon concentration and bulk density of Ap and A12 horizons were carried out in three sites of the Pergamino County (N of Buenos Aires province): a reference field with untilled pristine soil (33° 57' S; 60° 34' W), a field with 31 years (1980-2011) of agriculture (31Y) located next to the former, and a third field (33° 46' S; 60° 37' W) with 80 years (1910/1990) of agriculture (80Y). 31Y has been under continuous soybean cultivation with conventional tillage (CT) that consists of moldboard plow or double disk harrowing. At 80K the cultivation sequence was: 44 years of corn + 9 years of flax + 2 years of wheat + 17 years of wheat/soybean double cropping + 1 year of lentil; mostly under CT, some years under chisel plow during the 70's and a few years under zero tillage in soybean after wheat sown with conventional tillage during the 80's. Before the introduction of mechanical harvesting (1947) crop residues were burnt as well as the wheat stubble during the conventional double cropping period (1970-1980). Soil texture (23±1% clay, with predominance of illite) and field slopes (<0.5%) were similar in the three sites. Nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization rates were minimal due to the low crop response. The results are expressed in Mg ha-1 for an A soil horizon mass of 2500 Mg ha-1. The introduction of agriculture decreased SOC stock: 31Y varied from 68.3 to 40.1 Mg ha-1 (41.3% loss) and 80Y from 68.3 to 47.2 Mg ha-1 (30% loss). The SOC loss was the result of the mineralization of a large amount labile SOC present in the pristine soil and low annual additions of carbon issued from crop residue

  10. Pollen deposition in tauber traps and surface soil samples in the Mar Chiquita coastal lagoon area, pampa grasslands (Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabiana Latorre

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Estimations of airborne pollen loadings deposited in Tauber traps were studied in a coastal lagoon from south-eastern Pampa grasslands, Argentina, in order to assess their relationship with surface samples and to interpret the representativeness of local, regional and extraregional vegetation. Three different environments were considered: a coastal dune barrier with a psammophytic community, a salt marsh with a halophytic community in Mar Chiquita lagoon, and a freshwater community at Hinojales freshwater lake. Based on a record of surface samples taken from a previous paper, a parametric model was built to classify Tauber samples gathered from the natural vegetation communities of the study area. Results revealed that just like their surface counterparts, Tauber trap records qualitatively reflect the predominant vegetation types, although ecological groups feature different quantitative representations depending on the record type. Pollen loadings showed that airborne pollen transport was predominantly of local range, in accordance with previous results from the same study area. Airborne - surface samples relationships enrich our knowledge of the present environment that could be useful to improve paleoecological interpretations of the area.Se estimó el depósito polínico atmosférico de trampas Tauber en una laguna costera del sudeste de la estepa pampeana argentina, con el objetivo de analizar su relación con muestras de polen superficial e interpretar la representatividad de la vegetación local, regional y extraregional. Se consideraron tres ambientes diferentes: una barrera costera de dunas con vegetación psamofítica, la marisma de la laguna costera Mar Chiquita, con vegetación halofítica, y la laguna continental Hinojales, con vegetación hidrofítica. En base a las muestras de superficie y análisis de un trabajo previo, se construyó un modelo paramétrico para clasificar las muestras Tauber tomadas en la vegetación natural del

  11. Contribution of nitrification and denitrification to the NO and N2O emissions of an acid forest soil, a river sediment and a fertilized grassland soil

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kester, R.A.; Meijer, M.L.; Libochant, J.A.; De Boer, W.; Laanbroek, H.J.

    1997-01-01

    Most studies determining the contribution of nitrification and denitrification to NO and N2O emissions from soils have been performed in agricultural systems, often with homogenized soil samples. More information about the nitrifier and denitrifier contribution in non-agricultural systems may

  12. Electronic Nose Technology to Measure Soil Microbial Activity and Classify Soil Metabolic Status

    OpenAIRE

    Fabrizio De Cesare; Elena Di Mattia; Simone Pantalei; Emiliano Zampetti; Vittorio Vinciguerra; Antonella Macagnano

    2011-01-01

    The electronic nose (E-nose) is a sensing technology that has been widely used to monitor environments in the last decade. In the present study, the capability of an E-nose, in combination with biochemical and microbiological techniques, of both detecting the microbial activity and estimating the metabolic status of soil ecosystems, was tested by measuring on one side respiration, enzyme activities and growth of bacteria in natural but simplified soil ecosystems over 23 days of incubation thr...

  13. Responses of the functional structure of soil microbial community to livestock grazing in the Tibetan alpine grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yunfeng; Wu, Linwei; Lin, Qiaoyan; Yuan, Mengting; Xu, Depeng; Yu, Hao; Hu, Yigang; Duan, Jichuang; Li, Xiangzhen; He, Zhili; Xue, Kai; van Nostrand, Joy; Wang, Shiping; Zhou, Jizhong

    2013-02-01

    Microbes play key roles in various biogeochemical processes, including carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) cycling. However, changes of microbial community at the functional gene level by livestock grazing, which is a global land-use activity, remain unclear. Here we use a functional gene array, GeoChip 4.0, to examine the effects of free livestock grazing on the microbial community at an experimental site of Tibet, a region known to be very sensitive to anthropogenic perturbation and global warming. Our results showed that grazing changed microbial community functional structure, in addition to aboveground vegetation and soil geochemical properties. Further statistical tests showed that microbial community functional structures were closely correlated with environmental variables, and variations in microbial community functional structures were mainly controlled by aboveground vegetation, soil C/N ratio, and NH4 (+) -N. In-depth examination of N cycling genes showed that abundances of N mineralization and nitrification genes were increased at grazed sites, but denitrification and N-reduction genes were decreased, suggesting that functional potentials of relevant bioprocesses were changed. Meanwhile, abundances of genes involved in methane cycling, C fixation, and degradation were decreased, which might be caused by vegetation removal and hence decrease in litter accumulation at grazed sites. In contrast, abundances of virulence, stress, and antibiotics resistance genes were increased because of the presence of livestock. In conclusion, these results indicated that soil microbial community functional structure was very sensitive to the impact of livestock grazing and revealed microbial functional potentials in regulating soil N and C cycling, supporting the necessity to include microbial components in evaluating the consequence of land-use and/or climate changes. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

  14. How do earthworms, soil texture and plant composition affect infiltration along an experimental plant diversity gradient in grassland?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fischer, Christine; Roscher, Christiane; Jensen, Britta; Eisenhauer, Nico; Baade, Jussi; Attinger, Sabine; Scheu, Stefan; Weisser, Wolfgang W; Schumacher, Jens; Hildebrandt, Anke

    2014-01-01

    Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species) and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs). In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i) direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii) indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications.

  15. Modelling soil sodium and potassium adsorption ratio (SPAR) in the immediate period after a grassland fire in Lithuania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Cerda, Artemi; Misiūnė, Ieva

    2015-04-01

    The soil sodium and potassium adsorption ratio (SPAR) is an index that measures the amount of sodium and potassium adsorbed onto clay and organic matter surfaces, in relation to calcium and magnesium. Assess the potential of soil dispersion or flocculation, a process which has implication in soil hydraulic properties and erosion (Sarah, 2004). Depending on severity and the type of ash produced, fire can changes in the immediate period the soil nutrient status (Bodi et al. 2014). Ash releases onto soil surface a large amount of cations, due the high pH. Previous works showed that SPAR from ash slurries is higher than solutions produced from litter (Pereira et al., 2014a). Normally the spatial distribution of topsoil nutrients in the immediate period after the fire is very heterogeneous, due to the different impacts of fire. Thus it is important to identify the most accurate interpolation method in order to identify with better precision the impacts of fire on soil properties. The objective of this work is to test several interpolation methods. The study area is located in near Vilnius (Lithuania) at 54° 42' N, 25° 08 E, 158 masl. Four days after the fire it was designed a plot in a burned area with near Vilnius (Lithuania) at 54° 42' N, 25° 08 E, 158 masl. Twenty five samples were collected from the topsoil. The SPAR index was calculated according to the formula: (Na++K+)/(Ca2++Mg2+)1/2 (Sarah, 2004). Data followed the normal distribution, thus no transformation was required previous to data modelling. Several well know interpolation models were tested, as Inverse Distance to a Weight (IDW) with the power of 1, 2, 3 and 4, Radial Basis Functions (RBF), Inverse Multiquadratic (IMT), Multilog (MTG), Multiquadratic (MTQ), Natural Cubic Spline (NCS) and Thin Plate Spline (TPS) and Local Polynomial (LP) with the power of 1 and 2 and Ordinary Kriging. The best interpolator was the one which had the lowest Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) (Pereira et al., 2014b). The

  16. How do earthworms, soil texture and plant composition affect infiltration along an experimental plant diversity gradient in grassland?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Christine Fischer

    Full Text Available BACKGROUND: Infiltration is a key process in determining the water balance, but so far effects of earthworms, soil texture, plant species diversity and their interaction on infiltration capacity have not been studied. METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: We measured infiltration capacity in subplots with ambient and reduced earthworm density nested in plots of different plant species (1, 4, and 16 species and plant functional group richness and composition (1 to 4 groups; legumes, grasses, small herbs, tall herbs. In summer, earthworm presence significantly increased infiltration, whereas in fall effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration were due to plant-mediated changes in earthworm biomass. Effects of grasses and legumes on infiltration even reversed effects of texture. We propose two pathways: (i direct, probably by modifying the pore spectrum and (ii indirect, by enhancing or suppressing earthworm biomass, which in turn influenced infiltration capacity due to change in burrowing activity of earthworms. CONCLUSIONS/SIGNIFICANCE: Overall, the results suggest that spatial and temporal variations in soil hydraulic properties can be explained by biotic processes, especially the presence of certain plant functional groups affecting earthworm biomass, while soil texture had no significant effect. Therefore biotic parameters should be taken into account in hydrological applications.

  17. Soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Freudenschuss, A.; Huber, S.; Riss, A.; Schwarz, S.; Tulipan, M.

    2002-01-01

    Environmental soil surveys in each province of Austria have been performed, soils of about 5,000 sites were described and analyzed for nutrients and pollutants, the majority of these data are recorded in the soil information system of Austria (BORIS) soil database, http://www.ubavie.gv.at/umweltsituation/boden/boris), which also contains a soil map of Austria, data from 30 specific investigations mainly in areas with industry and results from the Austria - wide cesium investigation. With respect to the environmental state of soils a short discussion is given, including two geographical charts, one showing which sites have soil data (2001) and the other the cadmium distribution in top soils according land use (forest, grassland, arable land, others). Information related to the soil erosion, Corine land cover (Europe-wide land cover database), evaluation of pollutants in soils (reference values of As, Cd, Co, Cr, Cu, Hg, Mo, Ni, Se, Pb, Tl, Va, Zn, AOX, PAH, PCB, PCDD/pcdf, dioxin), and relevant Austrian and European standards and regulations is provided. Figs. 2, Tables 4. (nevyjel)

  18. Changes in plant functional groups, litter quality, and soil carbon and nitrogen mineralization with sheep grazing in an Inner Mongolian Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barger, N.N.; Ojima, D.S.; Belnap, J.; Shiping, W.; Yanfen, W.; Chen, Z.

    2004-01-01

    This study reports on changes in plant functional group composition, litter quality, and soil C and N mineralization dynamics from a 9-year sheep grazing study in Inner Mongolia. Addressed are these questions: 1) How does increasing grazing intensity affect plant community composition? 2) How does increasing grazing intensity alter soil C and N mineralization dynamics? 3) Do changes in soil C and N mineralization dynamics relate to changes in plant community composition via inputs of the quality or quantity of litter? Grazing plots were set up near the Inner Mongolia Grassland Ecosystem Research Station (IMGERS) with 5 grazing intensities: 1.3, 2.7, 4.0, 5.3, and 6.7 sheep ha -1??yr-1. Plant cover was lower with increasing grazing intensity, which was primarily due to a dramatic decline in grasses, Carex duriuscula, and Artemisia frigida. Changes in litter mass and percentage organic C resulted in lower total C in the litter layer at 4.0 and 5.3 sheep ha-1??yr-1 compared with 2.7 sheep ha -1??yr-1. Total litter N was lower at 5.3 sheep ha-1??yr-1 compared with 2.7 sheep ha -1??yr-1. Litter C:N ratios, an index of litter quality, were significantly lower at 4.0 sheep ha-1??yr -1 relative to 1.3 and 5.3 sheep ha-1??yr -1. Cumulative C mineralized after 16 days decreased with increasing grazing intensity. In contrast, net N mineralization (NH4+ + NO3-) after a 12-day incubation increased with increasing grazing intensity. Changes in C and N mineralization resulted in a narrowing of CO2-C:net Nminratios with increasing grazing intensity. Grazing explained 31% of the variability in the ratio of CO 2-C:net Nmin. The ratio of CO2-C:net N min was positively correlated with litter mass. Furthermore, there was a positive correlation between litter mass and A. frigida cover. Results suggest that as grazing intensity increases, microbes become more C limited resulting in decreased microbial growth and demand for N.

  19. Reforesting severely degraded grassland in the Lesser Himalaya of Nepal: Effects on soil hydraulic conductivity and overland flow production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ghimire, Chandra Prasad; Bonell, Mike; Bruijnzeel, L. Adrian; Coles, Neil A.; Lubczynski, Maciek W.

    2013-12-01

    degraded hillslopes in the Lesser Himalaya challenge local communities as a result of the frequent occurrence of overland flow and erosion during the rainy season and water shortages during the dry season. Reforestation is often perceived as an effective way of restoring predisturbance hydrological conditions but heavy usage of reforested land in the region has been shown to hamper full recovery of soil hydraulic properties. This paper investigates the effect of reforestation and forest usage on field-saturated soil hydraulic conductivities (Kfs) near Dhulikhel, Central Nepal, by comparing degraded pasture, a footpath within the pasture, a 25 year old pine reforestation, and little disturbed natural forest. The hillslope hydrological implications of changes in Kfs with land-cover change were assessed via comparisons with measured rainfall intensities over different durations. High surface and near-surface Kfs in natural forest (82-232 mm h-1) rule out overland flow occurrence and favor vertical percolation. Conversely, corresponding Kfs for degraded pasture (18-39 mm h-1) and footpath (12-26 mm h-1) were conducive to overland flow generation during medium- to high-intensity storms and thus to local flash flooding. Pertinently, surface and near-surface Kfs in the heavily used pine forest remained similar to those for degraded pasture. Estimated monsoonal overland flow totals for degraded pasture, pine forest, and natural forest were 21.3%, 15.5%, and 2.5% of incident rainfall, respectively, reflecting the relative ranking of surface Kfs. Along with high water use by the pines, this lack of recovery of soil hydraulic properties under pine reforestation is shown to be a critical factor in the regionally observed decline in base flows following large-scale planting of pines and has important implications for regional forest management.

  20. Short term spatio-temporal variability of soil water-extractable calcium and magnesium after a low severity grassland fire in Lithuania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Martin, David

    2014-05-01

    Fire has important impacts on soil nutrient spatio-temporal distribution (Outeiro et al., 2008). This impact depends on fire severity, topography of the burned area, type of soil and vegetation affected, and the meteorological conditions post-fire. Fire produces a complex mosaic of impacts in soil that can be extremely variable at small plot scale in the space and time. In order to assess and map such a heterogeneous distribution, the test of interpolation methods is fundamental to identify the best estimator and to have a better understanding of soil nutrients spatial distribution. The objective of this work is to identify the short-term spatial variability of water-extractable calcium and magnesium after a low severity grassland fire. The studied area is located near Vilnius (Lithuania) at 54° 42' N, 25° 08 E, 158 masl. Four days after the fire, it was designed in a burned area a plot with 400 m2 (20 x 20 m with 5 m space between sampling points). Twenty five samples from top soil (0-5 cm) were collected immediately after the fire (IAF), 2, 5, 7 and 9 months after the fire (a total of 125 in all sampling dates). The original data of water-extractable calcium and magnesium did not respected the Gaussian distribution, thus a neperian logarithm (ln) was applied in order to normalize data. Significant differences of water-extractable calcium and magnesium among sampling dates were carried out with the Anova One-way test using the ln data. In order to assess the spatial variability of water-extractable calcium and magnesium, we tested several interpolation methods as Ordinary Kriging (OK), Inverse Distance to a Weight (IDW) with the power of 1, 2, 3 and 4, Radial Basis Functions (RBF) - Inverse Multiquadratic (IMT), Multilog (MTG), Multiquadratic (MTQ) Natural Cubic Spline (NCS) and Thin Plate Spline (TPS) - and Local Polynomial (LP) with the power of 1 and 2. Interpolation tests were carried out with Ln data. The best interpolation method was assessed using the

  1. Temporal variations of radon concentration in the saturated soil of Alpine grassland: The role of groundwater flow

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Perrier, Frederic; Richon, Patrick; Sabroux, Jean-Christophe

    2009-01-01

    Radon concentration has been monitored from 1995 to 1999 in the soil of the Sur-Fretes ridge (French Alps), covered with snow from November to April. Measurements were performed at 70 cm depth, with a sampling time of 1 h, at two points: the summit of the ridge, at an altitude of 1792 m, and the bottom of the ridge, at an altitude of 1590 m. On the summit, radon concentration shows a moderate seasonal variation, with a high value from October to April (winter), and a low value from May to September (summer). At the bottom of the ridge, a large and opposite seasonal variation is observed, with a low value in winter and a high value in summer. Fluctuations of the radon concentration seem to be associated with temperature variations, an effect which is largely delusory. Indeed, these variations are actually due to water infiltration. A simplified mixing model is used to show that, at the summit of the ridge, two effects compete in the radon response: a slow infiltration response, rich in radon, with a typical time scale of days, and a fast infiltration of radon-poor rainwater. At the bottom of the ridge, similarly, two groundwater contributions compete: one slow infiltration response, similar to the response seen at the summit, and an additional slower response, with a typical time scale of about a month. This second slower response can be interpreted as the aquifer discharge in response to snow melt. This study shows that, while caution is necessary to properly interpret the various effects, the temporal variations of the radon concentration in soil can be understood reasonably well, and appear to be a sensitive tool to study the subtle interplay of near surface transfer processes of groundwater with different transit times

  2. Temporal variations of radon concentration in the saturated soil of Alpine grassland: the role of groundwater flow.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perrier, Frédéric; Richon, Patrick; Sabroux, Jean-Christophe

    2009-03-15

    Radon concentration has been monitored from 1995 to 1999 in the soil of the Sur-Frêtes ridge (French Alps), covered with snow from November to April. Measurements were performed at 70 cm depth, with a sampling time of 1 h, at two points: the summit of the ridge, at an altitude of 1792 m, and the bottom of the ridge, at an altitude of 1590 m. On the summit, radon concentration shows a moderate seasonal variation, with a high value from October to April (winter), and a low value from May to September (summer). At the bottom of the ridge, a large and opposite seasonal variation is observed, with a low value in winter and a high value in summer. Fluctuations of the radon concentration seem to be associated with temperature variations, an effect which is largely delusory. Indeed, these variations are actually due to water infiltration. A simplified mixing model is used to show that, at the summit of the ridge, two effects compete in the radon response: a slow infiltration response, rich in radon, with a typical time scale of days, and a fast infiltration of radon-poor rainwater. At the bottom of the ridge, similarly, two groundwater contributions compete: one slow infiltration response, similar to the response seen at the summit, and an additional slower response, with a typical time scale of about a month. This second slower response can be interpreted as the aquifer discharge in response to snow melt. This study shows that, while caution is necessary to properly interpret the various effects, the temporal variations of the radon concentration in soil can be understood reasonably well, and appear to be a sensitive tool to study the subtle interplay of near surface transfer processes of groundwater with different transit times.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Small scale spatial variability and pattern of soil respiration and water content in wet and a dry temperate grasslands and bare soil

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Fóti, S.; Nagy, Z.; Balogh, J.; Bartha, S.; Acosta, Manuel; Czóbel, S.; Péli, E.; Marek, Michal V.; Tuba, Z.

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 28, č. 4 (2009), s. 389-398 ISSN 1335-342X Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : chamber technique * coefficient of variation * semivariance * Soil respiration * spatial pattern Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  6. Density-dependency and plant-soil feedback: former plant abundance influences competitive interactions between two grassland plant species through plant-soil feedbacks

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Xue, W.; Bezemer, T.M.; Berendse, Frank

    2018-01-01

    Backgrounds and aims Negative plant-soil feedbacks (PSFs) are thought to promote species coexistence, but most evidence is derived from theoretical models and data from plant monoculture experiments. Methods We grew Anthoxanthum odoratum and Centaurea jacea in field plots in monocultures and in

  7. Effect of Soil Slope on the Appearance of Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis in Water Running off Grassland Soil after Application of Contaminated Slurry

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alfaro, M.; Salazar, F.; Troncoso, E.; Mitchell, R. M.; Ramirez, L.; Naguil, A.; Zamorano, P.; Collins, M. T.

    2013-01-01

    The study assessed the effect of soil slope on Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis transport into rainwater runoff from agricultural soil after application of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis-contaminated slurry. Under field conditions, 24 plots of undisturbed loamy soil 1 by 2 m2 were placed on platforms. Twelve plots were used for water runoff: 6 plots at a 3% slope and 6 plots at a 15% slope. Half of the plots of each slope were treated with M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis-contaminated slurry, and half were not treated. Using the same experimental design, 12 plots were established for soil sampling on a monthly basis using the same spiked slurry application and soil slopes. Runoff following natural rainfall was collected and analyzed for M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis, coliforms, and turbidity. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis was detected in runoff from all plots treated with contaminated slurry and one control plot. A higher slope (15%) increased the likelihood of M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis detection but did not affect the likelihood of finding coliforms. Daily rainfall increased the likelihood that runoff would have coliforms and the coliform concentration, but it decreased the M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis concentration in the runoff. When there was no runoff, rain was associated with increased M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis concentrations. Coliform counts in runoff were related to runoff turbidity. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis presence/absence, however, was related to turbidity. Study duration decreased bacterial detection and concentration. These findings demonstrate the high likelihood that M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis in slurry spread on pastures will contaminate water runoff, particularly during seasons with high rainfall. M. avium subsp. paratuberculosis contamination of water has potential consequences for both animal and human health. PMID:23542616

  8. 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 ...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Decontamination of electronic waste-polluted soil by ultrasound-assisted soil washing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fu; Yang, Baodan; Ma, Jing; Qu, Junfeng; Liu, Gangjun

    2016-10-01

    Laboratorial scale experiments were performed to evaluate the efficacy of a washing process using the combination of methyl-β-cyclodextrin (MCD) and tea saponin (TS) for simultaneous desorption of hydrophobic organic contaminants (HOCs) and heavy metals from an electronic waste (e-waste) site. Ultrasonically aided mixing of the field contaminated soil with a combination of MCD and TS solutions simultaneously mobilizes most of polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), and the analyte metal (Pb, Cu, and Ni) burdens. It is found that 15 g/L MCD and 10 g/L TS is an efficient reagent combination reconciling extraction performance and reagent costs. Under these conditions, the removal efficiencies of HOCs and heavy metals are 93.5 and 91.2 %, respectively, after 2 cycles of 60-min ultrasound-assisted washing cycles. By contrast, 86.3 % of HOCs and 88.4 % of metals are removed from the soil in the absence of ultrasound after 3 cycles of 120-min washing. The ultrasound-assisted soil washing could generate high removal efficiency and decrease the operating time significantly. Finally, the feasibility of regenerating and reusing the spent washing solution in extracting pollutants from the soil is also demonstrated. By application of this integrated technology, it is possible to recycle the washing solution for a purpose to reduce the consumption of surfactant solutions. Collectively, it has provided an effective and economic treatment of e-waste-polluted soil.

  13. 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.

  14. Electron microscopic examination of uncultured soil-dwelling bacteria.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amako, Kazunobu; Takade, Akemi; Taniai, Hiroaki; Yoshida, Shin-ichi

    2008-05-01

    Bacteria living in soil collected from a rice paddy in Fukuoka, Japan, were examined by electron microscopy using a freeze-substitution fixation method. Most of the observed bacteria could be categorized, based on the structure of the cell envelope and overall morphology, into one of five groups: (i) bacterial spore; (ii) Gram-positive type; (iii) Gram-negative type; (iv) Mycobacterium like; and (v) Archaea like. However, a few of the bacteria could not be readily categorized into one of these groups because they had unique cell wall structures, basically resembling those of Gram-negative bacteria, but with the layer corresponding to the peptidoglycan layer in Gram-negative bacteria being extremely thick, like that of the cortex of a bacterial spore. The characteristic morphological features found in many of these uncultured, soil-dwelling cells were the nucleoid being in a condensed state and the cytoplasm being shrunken. We were able to produce similar morphologies in vitro using a Salmonella sp. by culturing under low-temperature, low-nutrient conditions, similar to those found in some natural environments. These unusual morphologies are therefore hypothesized to be characteristic of bacteria in resting or dormant stages.

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. Short-term effects of biogas digestate and cattle slurry application on greenhouse gas emissions affected by N availability from grasslands on drained fen peatlands and associated organic soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eickenscheidt, T.; Freibauer, A.; Heinichen, J.; Augustin, J.; Drösler, M.

    2014-11-01

    A change in German energy policy has resulted in a strong increase in the number of biogas plants in Germany. As a consequence, huge amounts of nutrient-rich residues, the by-products of the fermentative process, are used as organic fertilizers. Drained peatlands are increasingly used to satisfy the huge demand for fermentative substrates (e.g., energy crops, grass silage) and the digestate is returned to the peatlands. However, drained organic soils are considered as hot spots for nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions and organic fertilization is additionally known to increase N2O emissions from managed grasslands. Our study addressed the questions (a) to what extent biogas digestate and cattle slurry application increase N2O and methane (CH4) fluxes as well as the mineral nitrogen use efficiency (NUEmin) and grass yield, and (b) how different soil organic matter contents (SOMs) and nitrogen contents promote the production of N2O. In addition NH3 volatilization was determined at one application event to obtain first clues with respect to the effects of soil and fertilizer types. The study was conducted at two sites within a grassland parcel, which differed in their soil organic carbon (SOC) and N contents. At each site (named Corg-medium and Corg-high) three plots were established: one was fertilized five times with biogas digestate, one with cattle slurry, and the third served as control plot. On each plot, fluxes of N2O and CH4 were measured on three replicates over 2 years using the closed chamber method. For NH3 measurements we used the calibrated dynamic chamber method. On an annual basis, the application of biogas digestate significantly enhanced the N2O fluxes compared to the application of cattle slurry and additionally increased the plant N-uptake and NUEmin. Furthermore, N2O fluxes from the Corg-high treatments significantly exceeded N2O fluxes from the Corg-medium treatments. Annual cumulative emissions ranged from 0.91 ± 0.49 to 3.14 ± 0.91 kg N ha-1 yr-1

  18. 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

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. Elevated CO2, not defoliation, enhances N cycling and increases short-term soil N immobilization regardless of N addition in a semiarid grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elevated CO2 and defoliation effects on nitrogen (N) cycling in rangeland soils remain poorly understood. Here we tested whether effects of elevated CO2 and defoliation (clipping to 2.5 cm height) on N cycling depended on soil N availability (addition of 1 vs. 11 g N/m2) in intact mesocosms extracte...

  3. Immediate remediation of heavy metal (Cr(VI)) contaminated soil by high energy electron beam irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Guilong; Cai, Dongqing; Wu, Zhengyan

    2015-01-01

    Highlights: • An immediate remediation method for Cr(VI) contaminated soil (CCS) was developed. • High energy electron beam (HEEB) irradiation could reduce Cr(VI) in CCS to Cr(III). • This effect was attributed to electrons, hydrated electrons, and reductive radicals. • This remediation method was effective, environmentally friendly, and low-cost. - Abstract: This work developed an immediate and high-performance remediation method for Cr(VI) contaminated soil (CCS) using high energy electron beam (HEEB) irradiation. The result indicated that, compared with γ-ray irradiation, HEEB irradiation displayed a significant reduction efficiency on Cr(VI) in CCS to Cr(III) with substantially lower toxicity, which was mainly attributed to the reduction effects of electrons, hydrated electrons, and reductive radicals generated in the irradiation process of HEEB. This work could provide a one-step and effective method for the remediation of heavy metal contaminated soil (HMCS)

  4. Immediate remediation of heavy metal (Cr(VI)) contaminated soil by high energy electron beam irradiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Zhang, Jing; Zhang, Guilong [Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bioengineering, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Anhui Province, Hefei 230031 (China); Bioenergy Forest Research Center of State Forestry Administration, Hefei 230031 (China); Cai, Dongqing, E-mail: dqcai@ipp.ac.cn [Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bioengineering, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Anhui Province, Hefei 230031 (China); Bioenergy Forest Research Center of State Forestry Administration, Hefei 230031 (China); Wu, Zhengyan, E-mail: zywu@ipp.ac.cn [Key Laboratory of Ion Beam Bioengineering, Hefei Institutes of Physical Science, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Anhui Province, Hefei 230031 (China); Bioenergy Forest Research Center of State Forestry Administration, Hefei 230031 (China)

    2015-03-21

    Highlights: • An immediate remediation method for Cr(VI) contaminated soil (CCS) was developed. • High energy electron beam (HEEB) irradiation could reduce Cr(VI) in CCS to Cr(III). • This effect was attributed to electrons, hydrated electrons, and reductive radicals. • This remediation method was effective, environmentally friendly, and low-cost. - Abstract: This work developed an immediate and high-performance remediation method for Cr(VI) contaminated soil (CCS) using high energy electron beam (HEEB) irradiation. The result indicated that, compared with γ-ray irradiation, HEEB irradiation displayed a significant reduction efficiency on Cr(VI) in CCS to Cr(III) with substantially lower toxicity, which was mainly attributed to the reduction effects of electrons, hydrated electrons, and reductive radicals generated in the irradiation process of HEEB. This work could provide a one-step and effective method for the remediation of heavy metal contaminated soil (HMCS)

  5. Evaluating the Impacts of Grassland Conversions to Experimental Forest on Groundwater Recharge in the Nebraska Sand Hills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adane, Zablon A.

    The Nebraska Sand Hills grasslands provide the greatest groundwater recharge rates in the High Plains Aquifer. However, the grasslands and their ecological services have become vulnerable to land use change and degradation. This study used a series of field data to investigate the effects of grassland conversions to forest on recharge rates in a century-old experimental forest in the Sand Hills. The results show that the impact of grassland conversion on recharge was dependent on the species and plantation density. Estimated recharge rates beneath the dense plantations represent reductions of 86-94% relative to the native grassland. Results of 1H Nuclear Magnetic Resonance spectral analysis suggested that the surface soil organic carbon beneath pine plantations also contain up to 3 times the ratio of hydrophobic components than the native grasslands and may alter the soil hydraulic properties. This investigation further uncovered a previously overlooked feedback between the effect of soil organic carbon chemical shift generated by the ponderosa pine needle litter decomposition; namely that the alteration may have a link to reduced groundwater recharge rates. Thus, a global optimizer algorithm was used to estimate the effective soil hydraulic parameters from monthly soil moisture contents and recharge rates were then estimated through HYDRUS 1-D numerical modeling for grassland and pine forest soils. The impact of grassland conversion to pine was an overall reduction of groundwater recharge by nearly 100%. These outcomes highlight the significance of the grasslands for recharge, in the Sand Hills and the sustainability of the High Plains Aquifer.

  6. Modelling the carbon cycle of grassland in the Netherlands under various management strategies and environmental conditions.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol-van Dasselaar, van den A.; Lantinga, E.A.

    1995-01-01

    A simulation model of the grassland carbon cycle (CCGRASS) was developed to evaluate the long-term effects of different management strategies and various environmental conditions on carbon sequestration in a loam soil under permanent grassland in the Netherlands. The model predicted that the rate of

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Long-lasting imprint of former glassworks on vegetation pattern in an extremely species-rich grassland: A battle of species pools on mesic soils

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hájek, M.; Dresler, P.; Hájková, Petra; Hettenbergerová, E.; Milo, P.; Plesková, Z.; Pavonič, M.

    2017-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 7 (2017), s. 1233-1249 ISSN 1432-9840 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity * phosphorus * soil magnetims * archaeology Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour OBOR OECD: Ecology Impact factor: 4.198, year: 2016

  9. Soil fertilization leads to a decline in between-samples variability of microbial community δ13C profiles in a grassland fertilization experiment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stavros D Veresoglou

    Full Text Available Gas chromatography combustion isotope ratio mass spectrometry (GC-C-IRMS was used to measure the (13C/(12C ratios of PLFAs at natural abundance levels from a temperate grassland nitrogen (N and phosphorus (P factorial fertilization experiment in northern Greece. In each plot two rhizosphere samples were derived centred around individual Agrostis capillaris and Prunella vulgaris plants. It was hypothesized that the isotopic signal of microbes that preferentially feed on recalcitrant litter such as fungi would be modified by fertilization more strongly than that of opportunistic microbes using labile C. Microbial community δ(13C was affected by both P and N fertilization regime and plant species identity. However, we have been unable to detect significant nutrient effects on individual groups of microbes when analyzed separately in contrast to our original hypothesis. Intra-treatment variability, as evaluated from Hartley's F(max tests in the five first PCA components axes as well as the size of the convex hulls in PCA scoreplots and Mahalanobis distances, was considerably higher in the non-fertilized controls. Moreover, a significant relationship was established between the change in PLFA abundances and their respective changes in δ(13C for the aggregate of samples and those simultaneously fertilized with N and P. We conclude that use of compound specific isotope analysis in the absence of labelling represents a valuable and overlooked tool in obtaining an insight of microbial community functioning.

  10. N2O, NO, N2 and CO2 emissions from tropical savanna and grassland of northern Australia: an incubation experiment with intact soil cores

    Science.gov (United States)

    Werner, C.; Reiser, K.; Dannenmann, M.; Hutley, L. B.; Jacobeit, J.; Butterbach-Bahl, K.

    2014-11-01

    Strong seasonal variability of hygric and thermal soil conditions are a defining environmental feature in northern Australia. However, how such changes affect the soil-atmosphere exchange of nitrous oxide (N2O), nitric oxide (NO) and dinitrogen (N2) is still not well explored. By incubating intact soil cores from four sites (three savanna, one pasture) under controlled soil temperatures (ST) and soil moisture (SM) we investigated the release of the trace gas fluxes of N2O, NO and carbon dioxide (CO2). Furthermore, the release of N2 due to denitrification was measured using the helium gas flow soil core technique. Under dry pre-incubation conditions NO and N2O emissions were very low (soil uptake was observed. Substantial NO (max: 306.5 μg N m-2 h-1) and relatively small N2O pulse emissions (max: 5.8 ± 5.0 μg N m-2 h-1) were recorded following soil wetting, but these pulses were short lived, lasting only up to 3 days. The total atmospheric loss of nitrogen was generally dominated by N2 emissions (82.4-99.3% of total N lost), although NO emissions contributed almost 43.2% to the total atmospheric nitrogen loss at 50% SM and 30 °C ST incubation settings (the contribution of N2 at these soil conditions was only 53.2%). N2O emissions were systematically higher for 3 of 12 sample locations, which indicates substantial spatial variability at site level, but on average soils acted as weak N2O sources or even sinks. By using a conservative upscale approach we estimate total annual emissions from savanna soils to average 0.12 kg N ha-1 yr-1 (N2O), 0.68 kg N ha-1 yr-1 (NO) and 6.65 kg N ha-1 yr-1 (N2). The analysis of long-term SM and ST records makes it clear that extreme soil saturation that can lead to high N2O and N2 emissions only occurs a few days per year and thus has little impact on the annual total. The potential contribution of nitrogen released due to pulse events compared to the total annual emissions was found to be of importance for NO emissions

  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. N2O, NO, N2 and CO2 emissions from tropical savanna and grassland of northern Australia: an incubation experiment with intact soil cores

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    C. Werner

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Strong seasonal variability of hygric and thermal soil conditions are a defining environmental feature in northern Australia. However, how such changes affect the soil–atmosphere exchange of nitrous oxide (N2O, nitric oxide (NO and dinitrogen (N2 is still not well explored. By incubating intact soil cores from four sites (three savanna, one pasture under controlled soil temperatures (ST and soil moisture (SM we investigated the release of the trace gas fluxes of N2O, NO and carbon dioxide (CO2. Furthermore, the release of N2 due to denitrification was measured using the helium gas flow soil core technique. Under dry pre-incubation conditions NO and N2O emissions were very low (−2 h−1; 2O-N m−2 h−1 or in the case of N2O, even a net soil uptake was observed. Substantial NO (max: 306.5 μg N m−2 h−1 and relatively small N2O pulse emissions (max: 5.8 ± 5.0 μg N m−2 h−1 were recorded following soil wetting, but these pulses were short lived, lasting only up to 3 days. The total atmospheric loss of nitrogen was generally dominated by N2 emissions (82.4–99.3% of total N lost, although NO emissions contributed almost 43.2% to the total atmospheric nitrogen loss at 50% SM and 30 °C ST incubation settings (the contribution of N2 at these soil conditions was only 53.2%. N2O emissions were systematically higher for 3 of 12 sample locations, which indicates substantial spatial variability at site level, but on average soils acted as weak N2O sources or even sinks. By using a conservative upscale approach we estimate total annual emissions from savanna soils to average 0.12 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (N2O, 0.68 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (NO and 6.65 kg N ha−1 yr−1 (N2. The analysis of long-term SM and ST records makes it clear that extreme soil saturation that can lead to high N2O and N2 emissions only occurs a few days per year and thus has little impact on the annual total. The potential contribution of nitrogen released due to pulse events

  13. Plant-conservative agriculture of acid and degraded Raña-grassland enhances diversity of the common soil mites (Oribatida)

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jorrín, J.; González-Fernández, P.

    2016-11-01

    The seminatural prairie of the Raña of Cañamero (Spain) is a degraded and unproductive agrosystem with acid and stony soils, and low coverage of xerophytic grasses. In a project about secondary reconversion of the raña-prairie to a more productive cropland, an experimental field (EF) was established to assess the effect on plot-productivity of the interaction between correction of soil pH (liming) with three cropping systems: a no-tilled and annually fertilized and improved prairies, and a conventionally-tilled forage crop. The EF model of management was designed as plant-conservative, because no herbicide was applied after seeding to preserve the post-emergence of wild herbs and the natural grass diversity of the prairie. Between 2008 and 2012, we analysed the effect of managing factors (initial conventional-tillage, fertilization, liming and cropping) and agricultural predictors (pH, C:N ratio, soil bulk density and herbaceous biomass) on the alpha(α)-diversity of one of the major group of soil animals, the oribatids. In relation to the raña-prairie, all EF-plots improved their soil bulk density (ρs) and herbaceous biomass (t/ha), and enhanced desirable α-diversity values (richness, abundance and community equity). We conclude that the plant-conservative model: i) do not affect statistically the species richness of the prairie; ii) the desirable α-diversity responses are negatively correlated with soil bulk density and positively with herbaceous biomass, and iii) the low input or minimum intervention model, of an initial and conventional till and annual fertilisation, is the threshold and optimal model of agricultural management to improving oribatids diversity of the raña-soil. (Author)

  14. Nitrogen Alters Initial Growth, Fine-Root Biomass and Soil Organic Matter Properties of a Eucalyptus dunnii Maiden Plantation in a Recently Afforested Grassland in Southern Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel W. D. Ferreira

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Nitrogen (N fertilization effects on Eucalyptus growth and soil carbon (C stocks are still controversial. We set up an N fertilization experiment in southern Brazil to evaluate initial tree growth and changes in soil organic matter (SOM. Four N levels (24–Reference, 36, 48 and 108 kg ha−1 of N were tested and tree growth was assessed during the first two years. Afterwards, representative trees were chosen to evaluate fine-root biomass (FRB and its spatial distribution. Soil was sampled to a 40-cm depth and SOM was fractionated in Particulate (POM and Mineral-Associated Organic Matter (MAOM for C and N content, and δ13C determination. Positive N effect on tree growth was seen only for tree height. N addition resulted in higher FRB. Changes in SOM were more expressive in top-soil layers. Overall, afforestation had positive effects on soil C. Increasing reference N dose resulted in higher C and N content in both SOM fractions. C and N dynamics were tightly correlated, especially in MAOM. Eucalypt-derived C was on average three-fold higher in POM. In summary, we showed that N fertilization may have positive but limited effects on tree growth, nevertheless it enhances fine-root biomass and C and N accumulation in SOM pools.

  15. A study of the carbon dynamics of Japanese grassland and forest using 14C and 13C

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Katsuno, Kazumi; Miyairi, Yosuke; Tamura, Kenji; Matsuzaki, Hiroyuki; Fukuda, Kenji

    2010-01-01

    We quantified the carbon contents of grassland and forest soil using conventional methods and studied the changes in their dynamics by measuring δ 13 C and Δ 14 C. Soil samples were taken from a neighboring Miscanthus sinensis grassland and Pinus densiflora forest in central Japan. Both had been maintained as grassland until the 1960s, when the latter was abandoned and became a pine forest by natural succession. The soil carbon content of the forest was much lower than that of the grassland, implying that the soil carbon decreased as the grassland became forest. The δ 13 C values were very similar in the grassland and forest, at approximately -20 per mille , suggesting that M. sinensis (a C4 plant) contributed to carbon storage, whereas there was little carbon accumulation from P. densiflora (a C3 plant) in forest soil. The Δ 14 C values and calculated soil carbon mean residence time (MRT) showed that the soil carbon in the upper A horizon was older, and that in the lower A horizon was younger in forest than in grassland. From these results, we conclude that young, fast-MRT soil carbon is decomposed in the upper A horizon, and old, stable soil carbon was decomposed in the lower A horizon after the pine invasion.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Grasslands are potential carbon sinks to reduce unprecedented increase in atmospheric CO2. Effect of age (1–4-year-old) and management (slurry, grazing multispecies mixture) of a grass phase mixed crop rotation on carbon sequestration and emissions upon cultivation was compared with 17-year...... biomass was highest in 4-year-old grassland, but all 1–4-year-old grasslands were in between the pea field (0.81 ± 0.094 g kg−1 soil) and the 17-year-old grassland (3.17 ± 0.22 g kg−1 soil). Grazed grasslands had significantly higher root biomass than cut grasslands. There was no significant difference...... in the CO2 emissions within 1–4-year-old grasslands. Only the 17-year-old grassland showed markedly higher CO2 emissions (4.9 ± 1.1 g CO2 kg−1 soil). Differences in aboveground and root biomass did not affect CO2 emissions, and slurry application did not either. The substantial increase in root biomass...

  17. Effects of nitrogen fertilization and grazing on the emission of nitrous oxide from grassland

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Velthof, G.L.; Brader, A.B.; Oenema, O. [NMI, Dept. of Soil Science and Plant Nutrition, Wageningen Agricultural Univ. (Netherlands)

    1995-11-01

    In the Netherlands, managed grasslands are potentially a large source of nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O), because of the large nitrogen (N) input and the relatively high ground water levels. To provide insight into the major factors that contribute to N{sub 2}O emission from grassland and to provide quantitative N{sub 2}O emission rates, a monitoring study was carried out on four sites, during March 1992 to March 1994. Fluxes of N{sub 2}O increased after N fertilizer application and grazing, especially during wet conditions. Fluxes were higher from peat soils than from sand and clay soils. Fluxes were low during the winter periods. Total N{sub 2}O losses were 2 to 4.5 times higher on grassland fertilized with 160-460 kg N ha{sup -1} yr{sup -1} than on unfertilized grassland. Losses from grazed grasslands were 1.5 to 3.5 times higher than losses from mown grassland. This study shows that management practice of grassland and soil type are major factors controlling N{sub 2}O emission from grasslands. 2 figs., 3 refs.

  18. Seasonal dynamics and vertical distribution of plant-feeding nematode communities in grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verschoor, B.C.; Goede, de R.G.M.; Hoop, de J.W.; Vries, de F.W.

    2001-01-01

    The vertical distribution and seasonal dynamics of plant- and fungal-feeding nematode taxa in permanent grasslands were investigated. Dolichodoridae, Paratylenchus, Pratylenchus, Tylenchidae and Aphelenchoides dominated the upper 10 cm soil and their numbers strongly decreased with depth. The

  19. Termite activity in relation to natural grassland soil attributes Atividade de térmitas em relação a atributos de solos sob campo nativo

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Glaciela Kaschuk

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available Soil-feeding termites transport soil for mound building, and this process can affect soil characteristics. To verify the influence of soil termite activity on soil characteristics, samples were collected from top, bottom and center of termite mounds, and of the adjacent area, to assess chemical and physical properties and mineralogical composition. Four replicates of termite mounds and respective adjacent areas were randomly sampled in Lages, Capão Alto, Painel, São José do Cerrito and Coxilha Rica (State of Santa Catarina, southern Brazil. Results of chemical analyses showed a greater content of K, P, Ca, Mg and organic C in the inner part of termite mounds, accompanied by lower pH in relation to soil of the adjacent area. There were no differences regarding clay mineral composition between termite mounds and adjacent soil, however the proportion of sand and clay differed between them. It is concluded that termites modify soil characteristics due to great volume of soil transported per ascensum for mound construction (varying from 20.9 m³ ha-1 to 136.6 m³ ha-1, in this study which promotes a strong pedo-bio-perturbation and affects nutrient cycling and soil physical properties.Os térmitas (cupins do solo carregam partículas de solo para construção de seus ninhos e desta forma, podem afetar algumas características pedológicas. Este estudo teve como objetivo verificar a influência da atividade de térmitas nas características do solo através de análises das propriedades químicas e físicas e da composição mineralógica de amostras coletadas na base, topo e centro dos ninhos e área de solo adjacente. Quatro cupinzeiros e suas respectivas áreas adjacentes foram aleatoriamente amostrados em Lages, Capão Alto, Painel, São José do Cerrito e Coxilha Rica (Santa Catarina. Os resutados das análises químicas mostraram que o conteúdo de K, P, Ca, Mg e C orgânico no centro dos ninhos foi maior e o pH menor em relação à área de

  20. An Opto-Electronic Sensor for Detecting Soil Microarthropods and Estimating Their Size in Field Conditions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Csongor I. Gedeon

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Methods to estimate density of soil-dwelling arthropods efficiently, accurately and continuously are critical for investigating soil biological activity and evaluating soil management practices. Soil-dwelling arthropods are currently monitored manually. This method is invasive, and time- and labor-consuming. Here we describe an infrared opto-electronic sensor for detection of soil microarthropods in the size range of 0.4–10 mm. The sensor is built in a novel microarthropod trap designed for field conditions. It allows automated, on-line, in situ detection and body length estimation of soil microarthropods. In the opto-electronic sensor the light source is an infrared LED. Two plano-convex optical lenses are placed along the virtual optical axis. One lens on the receiver side is placed between the observation space at 0.5–1 times its focal length from the sensor, and another emitter side lens is placed between the observation space and the light source in the same way. This paper describes the setup and operating mechanism of the sensor and the control unit, and through basic tests it demonstrates its potential in automated detection of soil microarthropods. The sensor may be used for monitoring activities, especially for remote observation activities in soil and insect ecology or pest control.

  1. 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

  2. Acidification of sandy grasslands - consequences for plant diversity

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2009-01-01

    soil; a number of nationally red-listed species showed a similar pattern. Plant species diversity and number of red-listed species increased with slope. Where the topsoil had been acidified, limestone was rarely present above a depth of 30 cm. The presence of limestone restricts the availability......Questions: (1) Does soil acidification in calcareous sandy grasslands lead to loss of plant diversity? (2) What is the relationship between the soil content of lime and the plant availability of mineral nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) in sandy grasslands? Location: Sandy glaciofluvial deposits......). Environmental variables were recorded at each plot, and soil samples were analysed for exchangeable P and N, as well as limestone content and pH. Data were analysed with regression analysis and canonical correspondence analysis. Results: Plant species richness was highest on weakly acid to slightly alkaline...

  3. 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  

  4. Base cation depletion, eutrophication and acidification of species-rich grasslands in response to long-term simulated nitrogen deposition

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Horswill, Paul [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)], E-mail: paul.horswill@naturalengland.org.uk; O' Sullivan, Odhran; Phoenix, Gareth K.; Lee, John A.; Leake, Jonathan R. [Department of Animal and Plant Sciences, University of Sheffield, Alfred Denny Building, Western Bank, Sheffield S10 2TN (United Kingdom)

    2008-09-15

    Pollutant nitrogen deposition effects on soil and foliar element concentrations were investigated in acidic and limestone grasslands, located in one of the most nitrogen and acid rain polluted regions of the UK, using plots treated for 8-10 years with 35-140 kg N ha{sup -2} y{sup -1} as NH{sub 4}NO{sub 3}. Historic data suggests both grasslands have acidified over the past 50 years. Nitrogen deposition treatments caused the grassland soils to lose 23-35% of their total available bases (Ca, Mg, K, and Na) and they became acidified by 0.2-0.4 pH units. Aluminium, iron and manganese were mobilised and taken up by limestone grassland forbs and were translocated down the acid grassland soil. Mineral nitrogen availability increased in both grasslands and many species showed foliar N enrichment. This study provides the first definitive evidence that nitrogen deposition depletes base cations from grassland soils. The resulting acidification, metal mobilisation and eutrophication are implicated in driving floristic changes. - Nitrogen deposition causes base cation depletion, acidification and eutrophication of semi-natural grassland soils.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. Effect of three Electron Shuttles on Bioreduction of Ferric Iron in two Acidic and Calcareous soils

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Setareh Sharifi

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Iron cycle is one of the most important biogeochemical processes which affect the availability of iron in soils. Ferric iron oxides are the most abundant forms of iron in soils and sediments. Ferric iron is highly insoluble at circumneutral pH. Present investigations have shown that the structural ferric iron bound in clay minerals is reduced by some microorganisms. Anaerobic bacteria reduce ferric iron which bound to soil clay minerals under anaerobic conditions. They have the ability to use ferric iron as a terminal electron acceptor. Many studies presented that dissimilatory iron reducing bacteria (DIRB mediate the transfer of electrons from small organic molecules like acetate and glucose to various humic materials (electron shuttles which then pass electrons abiotically to ferric iron oxyhydroxide and phyllosilicate minerals. Electron shuttles like AQDS, a tricyclic quinone, increase the rate of iron reduction by iron reducing bacteria on sites of iron oxides and oxyhydroxides. By increasing the rate of bioreduction of ferric iron, the solubility and availability of iron enhanced meaningfully. Royer et al. (2002 showed that bioreduction of hematite (common iron mineral in soils increased more than three times in the presence of AQDS and Shewanella putrefaciens comparedto control treatments. Previous works have mostly used synthetic minerals as electron acceptor in bioreduction process. Furthermore, the effect of quinones as electron acceptor for microorganisms were studied with poorly crystalline ferric iron oxides . The main objective of this study was to study the effect of AQS, humic acid and fulvic acid (as electron shuttle and Shewanella sp. and Pseudomonas aeruginosa, on bioreduction of native ferric iron in two acidic and calcareous soils. Materials and Methods: An experiment was conducted in a completely randomized design with factorial arrangement and three replications in vitro condition. The soil samples collected

  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. 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

  11. Analytical electron microscopy characterization of Fernald soils. Annual report, October 1993--September 1994

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buck, E.C.; Brown, N.R.; Dietz, N.L.

    1995-03-01

    A combination of backscattered electron imaging and analytical electron microscopy (AEM) with electron diffraction have been used to determine the physical and chemical properties of uranium contamination in soils from the Fernald Environmental Management Project in Ohio. The information gained from these studies has been used in the development and testing of remediation technologies. Most chemical washing techniques have been reasonably effective with uranyl [U(VI)] phases, but U(IV) phases have proven difficult to remove from the soils. Carbonate leaching in an oxygen environment (heap leaching) has removed some of the U(IV) phases, and it appears to be the most effective technique developed in the program. The uranium metaphosphate, which was found exclusively at an incinerator site, has not been removed by any of the chemical methods. We suggest that a physical extraction procedure (either a magnetic separation or aqueous biphasic process) be used to remove this phase. Analytical electron microscopy has also been used to determine the effect of the chemical agents on the uranium phases. It has also been used to examine soils from the Portsmouth site in Ohio. The contamination there took the form of uranium oxide and uranium calcium oxide phases. Technology transfer efforts over FY 1994 have led to industry-sponsored projects involving soil characterization

  12. Scanning electronic microscopy on clays in soils used as road foundations

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Barelli, N.

    1982-01-01

    The scanning electron microscope (SEM) proves to be ideally suited for studying the morphology, texture and fabric of clays in soils used as road foundation. It is also seen that certain samples are easier to examine by SEM because of their larger crystallite sizes, better crystallinities and open textures. (C.L.B.) [pt

  13. Nutrient, metal and microbial loss in surface runoff following treated sludge and dairy cattle slurry application to an Irish grassland soil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peyton, D P; Healy, M G; Fleming, G T A; Grant, J; Wall, D; Morrison, L; Cormican, M; Fenton, O

    2016-01-15

    Treated municipal sewage sludge ("biosolids") and dairy cattle slurry (DCS) may be applied to agricultural land as an organic fertiliser. This study investigates losses of nutrients in runoff water (nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)), metals (copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr)), and microbial indicators of pollution (total and faecal coliforms) arising from the land application of four types of treated biosolids and DCS to field micro-plots at three time intervals (24, 48, 360 h) after application. Losses from biosolids-amended plots or DCS-amended plots followed a general trend of highest losses occurring during the first rainfall event and reduced losses in the subsequent events. However, with the exception of total and faecal coliforms and some metals (Ni, Cu), the greatest losses were from the DCS-amended plots. For example, average losses over the three rainfall events for dissolved reactive phosphorus and ammonium-nitrogen from DCS-amended plots were 5 and 11.2 mg L(-1), respectively, which were in excess of the losses from the biosolids plots. When compared with slurry treatments, for the parameters monitored biosolids generally do not pose a greater risk in terms of losses along the runoff pathway. This finding has important policy implications, as it shows that concern related to the reuse of biosolids as a soil fertiliser, mainly related to contaminant losses upon land application, may be unfounded. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  14. 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.

  15. Nutrient, metal and microbial loss in surface runoff following treated sludge and dairy cattle slurry application to an Irish grassland soil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Peyton, D.P. [Teagasc, Environment Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford (Ireland); Civil Engineering, National University of Ireland, Galway, Co. Galway (Ireland); Healy, M.G. [Civil Engineering, National University of Ireland, Galway, Co. Galway (Ireland); Fleming, G.T.A. [Microbiology, National University of Ireland, Galway, Co. Galway (Ireland); Grant, J. [Teagasc, Ashtown, Co. Dublin (Ireland); Wall, D. [Teagasc, Environment Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford (Ireland); Morrison, L. [Earth and Ocean Sciences and Ryan Institute, National University of Ireland, Galway, Co. Galway (Ireland); Cormican, M. [School of Medicine, National University of Ireland, Galway, Co. Galway (Ireland); Fenton, O., E-mail: owen.fenton@teagasc.ie [Teagasc, Environment Research Centre, Johnstown Castle, Co. Wexford (Ireland)

    2016-01-15

    Treated municipal sewage sludge (“biosolids”) and dairy cattle slurry (DCS) may be applied to agricultural land as an organic fertiliser. This study investigates losses of nutrients in runoff water (nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)), metals (copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr)), and microbial indicators of pollution (total and faecal coliforms) arising from the land application of four types of treated biosolids and DCS to field micro-plots at three time intervals (24, 48, 360 h) after application. Losses from biosolids-amended plots or DCS-amended plots followed a general trend of highest losses occurring during the first rainfall event and reduced losses in the subsequent events. However, with the exception of total and faecal coliforms and some metals (Ni, Cu), the greatest losses were from the DCS-amended plots. For example, average losses over the three rainfall events for dissolved reactive phosphorus and ammonium-nitrogen from DCS-amended plots were 5 and 11.2 mg L{sup −1}, respectively, which were in excess of the losses from the biosolids plots. When compared with slurry treatments, for the parameters monitored biosolids generally do not pose a greater risk in terms of losses along the runoff pathway. This finding has important policy implications, as it shows that concern related to the reuse of biosolids as a soil fertiliser, mainly related to contaminant losses upon land application, may be unfounded. - Highlights: • This study investigated surface runoff of contaminants from biosolids in field plots. • Contaminants investigated were nutrients, metals, microbes and trace elements. • Compared to slurry, biosolids do not pose a greater risk of contaminant losses. • Fears concerning contaminant losses from land applied biosolids may be unfounded.

  16. Nutrient, metal and microbial loss in surface runoff following treated sludge and dairy cattle slurry application to an Irish grassland soil

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peyton, D.P.; Healy, M.G.; Fleming, G.T.A.; Grant, J.; Wall, D.; Morrison, L.; Cormican, M.; Fenton, O.

    2016-01-01

    Treated municipal sewage sludge (“biosolids”) and dairy cattle slurry (DCS) may be applied to agricultural land as an organic fertiliser. This study investigates losses of nutrients in runoff water (nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P)), metals (copper (Cu), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), zinc (Zn), cadmium (Cd), chromium (Cr)), and microbial indicators of pollution (total and faecal coliforms) arising from the land application of four types of treated biosolids and DCS to field micro-plots at three time intervals (24, 48, 360 h) after application. Losses from biosolids-amended plots or DCS-amended plots followed a general trend of highest losses occurring during the first rainfall event and reduced losses in the subsequent events. However, with the exception of total and faecal coliforms and some metals (Ni, Cu), the greatest losses were from the DCS-amended plots. For example, average losses over the three rainfall events for dissolved reactive phosphorus and ammonium-nitrogen from DCS-amended plots were 5 and 11.2 mg L −1 , respectively, which were in excess of the losses from the biosolids plots. When compared with slurry treatments, for the parameters monitored biosolids generally do not pose a greater risk in terms of losses along the runoff pathway. This finding has important policy implications, as it shows that concern related to the reuse of biosolids as a soil fertiliser, mainly related to contaminant losses upon land application, may be unfounded. - Highlights: • This study investigated surface runoff of contaminants from biosolids in field plots. • Contaminants investigated were nutrients, metals, microbes and trace elements. • Compared to slurry, biosolids do not pose a greater risk of contaminant losses. • Fears concerning contaminant losses from land applied biosolids may be unfounded.

  17. Analytical electron microscopy characterization of uranium-contaminated soils from the Fernald Site, FY1993 report

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buck, E.C.; Cunnane, J.C.; Brown, N.R.; Dietz, N.L.

    1994-10-01

    A combination of optical microscopy, scanning electron microscopy with backscattered electron detection (SEM/BSE), and analytical electron microscopy (AEM) is being used to determine the nature of uranium in soils from the Fernald Environmental Management Project. The information gained from these studies is being used to develop and test remediation technologies. Investigations using SEM have shown that uranium is contained within particles that are typically 1 to 100 μm in diameter. Further analysis with AEM has shown that these uranium-rich regions are made up of discrete uranium-bearing phases. The distribution of these uranium phases was found to be inhomogeneous at the microscopic level

  18. 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

  19. 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

  20. 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

    forage yield, herbage consumption, animal products (e.g. milk), animal respiration and animal CH4 emissions. These new variables combined with organic C fertilizer applied on the field could provide a more complete view of grasslands C fluxes for applications of the model on a grid. The 11 site simulations of this study show that European grasslands generally are C sinks (positive NBP). At grazed grasslands, both C export in the form of milk production and CH4 emissions by animals only consist a minor part of net primary production (NPP), and this means that NBP mainly depends on NPP. On the contrary, the cut sites accumulate less C in soils because a large part of NPP has been exported as forage production. Furthermore, theoretically potential of productivity and livestock density in European grassland can be predicted by ORCHIDEE-GM, based on the strategy modeling of the optimal livestock density and management change.

  1. Constraints on tree seedling establishment in montane grasslands of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonathan D. Coop; Thomas J. Givnish

    2008-01-01

    Montane and subalpine grasslands are prominent, but poorly understood, features of the Rocky Mountains. These communities frequently occur below reversed tree lines on valley floors, where nightly cold air accumulation is spatially coupled with fine soil texture. We used field experiments to assess the roles of minimum temperature, soil texture, grass competition, and...

  2. 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.

  3. Changes in agricultural management drive the diversity of Burkholderia species isolated from soil on PLAT medium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salles, JF; Samyn, E; Vandamme, P; van Veen, JA; van Elsas, JD

    In order to assess the diversity of culturable Burkholderia populations in rhizosphere and bulk soil and to evaluate how different agricultural management regimes and land use history affect this diversity, four treatments were evaluated: permanent grassland; grassland converted into maize

  4. Changes in agricultural management drive the diversity of Burkholderia species isolated from soil on PCAT medium

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Salles, J.F.; Samyn, E.; Vandamme, P.A.; Veen, van J.A.; Elsas, van J.D.

    2006-01-01

    In order to assess the diversity of culturable Burkholderia populations in rhizosphere and bulk soil and to evaluate how different agricultural management regimes and land use history affect this diversity, four treatments were evaluated: permanent grassland; grassland converted into maize

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. Pollution distribution of heavy metals in surface soil at an informal electronic-waste recycling site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fujimori, Takashi; Takigami, Hidetaka

    2014-02-01

    We studied distribution of heavy metals [lead (Pb), copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn)] in surface soil at an electronic-waste (e-waste) recycling workshop near Metro Manila in the Philippines to evaluate the pollution size (spot size, small area or the entire workshop), as well as to assess heavy metal transport into the surrounding soil environment. On-site length-of-stride-scale (~70 cm) measurements were performed at each surface soil point using field-portable X-ray fluorescence (FP-XRF). The surface soil at the e-waste recycling workshop was polluted with Cu, Zn and Pb, which were distributed discretely in surface soil. The site was divided into five areas based on the distance from an entrance gate (y-axis) of the e-waste recycling workshop. The three heavy metals showed similar concentration gradients in the y-axis direction. Zn, Pb and Cu concentrations were estimated to decrease to half of their maximum concentrations at ~3, 7 and 7 m from the pollution spot, respectively, inside the informal e-waste recycling workshop. Distance from an entrance may play an important role in heavy metal transport at the soil surface. Using on-site FP-XRF, we evaluated the metal ratio to characterise pollution features of the solid surface. Variability analysis of heavy metals revealed vanishing surficial autocorrelation over metre ranges. Also, the possibility of concentration prediction at unmeasured points using geostatistical kriging was evaluated, and heavy metals had a relative "small" pollution scales and remained inside the original workshop compared with toxic organohalogen compounds. Thus, exposure to heavy metals may directly influence the health of e-waste workers at the original site rather than the surrounding habitat and environmental media.

  8. Phthalate esters contamination in soil and plants on agricultural land near an electronic waste recycling site.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ma, Ting Ting; Christie, Peter; Luo, Yong Ming; Teng, Ying

    2013-08-01

    The accumulation of phthalic acid esters (PAEs) in soil and plants in agricultural land near an electronic waste recycling site in east China has become a great threat to the neighboring environmental quality and human health. Soil and plant samples collected from land under different utilization, including fallow plots, vegetable plots, plots with alfalfa (Medicago sativa L.) as green manure, fallow plots under long-term flooding and fallow plots under alternating wet and dry periods, together with plant samples from relative plots were analyzed for six PAE compounds nominated as prior pollutants by USEPA. In the determined samples, the concentrations of six target PAE pollutants ranged from 0.31-2.39 mg/kg in soil to 1.81-5.77 mg/kg in various plants (dry weight/DW), and their bioconcentration factors (BCFs) ranged from 5.8 to 17.9. Health risk assessments were conducted on target PAEs, known as typical environmental estrogen analogs, based on their accumulation in the edible parts of vegetables. Preliminary risk assessment to human health from soil and daily vegetable intake indicated that DEHP may present a high-exposure risk on all ages of the population in the area by soil ingestion or vegetable consumption. The potential damage that the target PAE compounds may pose to human health should be taken into account in further comprehensive risk assessments in e-waste recycling sites areas. Moreover, alfalfa removed substantial amounts of PAEs from the soil, and its use can be considered a good strategy for in situ remediation of PAEs.

  9. 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

  10. Changes in grassland management and plant diversity in a marginal region of the Carpathian Mts. in 1999-2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Halada, Ľuboš; David, Stanislav; Hreško, Juraj; Klimantová, Alexandra; Bača, Andrej; Rusňák, Tomáš; Buraľ, Miroslav; Vadel, Ľuboš

    2017-12-31

    The political change from socialism to democracy in countries of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 20th century induced broad changes in agriculture mostly due to land ownership changes and strong reduction of subsidies to agriculture. This resulted in agricultural decline, including grassland abandonment, which influenced grassland biodiversity and conservation. Between 1999 and 2015 we studied the grasslands in the area depopulated in the early 1980's in the Poloniny National Park (NE Slovakia, Carpathian Mts.). The aim of the study was to examine influence of environmental factors and grassland management driven by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to plant community structure and taxonomical diversity. We identified altitude and soil properties as the main environmental factors: altitude determines climate gradient and probably also management intensity gradient and soil properties express soil fertility via A-horizon depth. We identified remarkable increase of proportion of managed grasslands from only 8% in 1999 to 40% in 2012-2015; other 7% of sampled grasslands were recently restored and prepared for future management. The average species richness in grasslands managed in 2012-2015 increased from 47.5 species per record in 1999 to 54.2 species in 2012-2015, the increase was found statistically significant. In 2012-2015, we observed statistically significant difference in the average species richness between managed (54.2) and abandoned grasslands (46.3). The agricultural subsidies of the CAP drive the grassland management in the study area. Therefore, we conclude that CAP enabled grassland biodiversity maintenance in significant part of the Poloniny National Park following start of its application in 2004 and above provided figures can be considered as indicators of the CAP effectiveness in our study area. However, the conservation of mountain meadows remains a challenge because of their poor accessibility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  11. Floristic composition, environmental variation and species distribution patterns in burned grassland in southern Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Overbeck, G E; Müller, S C; Pillar, V D; Pfadenhauer, J

    2006-11-01

    In regularly burned grassland on Morro Santana, Porto Alegre, RS, Brazil, we investigated differences in the floristic composition and their relation to soil properties, aspect and distance from the forest border. In 48 plots of 0.75 m2, we identified a total of 201 species from a local species pool of approximately 450 to 500 species. Most species occurred in low frequencies, showing clumpy distribution patterns in the studied area. Multivariate analysis showed that plots close to the forest edge clearly differed from plots in the open grassland concerning composition and structure. Plots exposed to the north differed from plots on the top of the hill both in the composition of species as well as in soil variables, mainly due to shallower soil in the former. No strong relation between soil properties and variation in vegetation composition could be detected at a finer scale. The studied grassland, as all grassland vegetation in southern Brazil, is very rich in species compared to other grassland formations worldwide. However, this high biodiversity and conservational value of Campos vegetation in general has so far not been recognized properly. Disturbance is essential to maintain this open vegetation type and its species richness. Fire should be considered as a management option in the absence of grazing.

  12. Heavy metals in soil at a waste electrical and electronic equipment processing area in China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Weihua; Bai, Jianfeng; Yao, Haiyan; Zhao, Jing; Zhuang, Xuning; Huang, Qing; Zhang, Chenglong; Wang, JingWei

    2017-11-01

    For the objective of evaluating the contamination degree of heavy metals and analysing its variation trend in soil at a waste electrical and electronic equipment processing area in Shanghai, China, evaluation methods, which include single factor index method, geo-accumulation index method, comprehensive pollution index method, and potential ecological risk index method, were adopted in this study. The results revealed that the soil at a waste electrical and electronic equipment processing area was polluted by arsenic, cadmium, copper, lead, zinc, and chromium. It also demonstrated that the concentrations of heavy metals were increased over time. Exceptionally, the average value of the metalloid (arsenic) was 73.31 mg kg -1 in 2014, while it was 58.31 mg kg -1 in the first half of 2015, and it was 2.93 times and 2.33 times higher than that of the Chinese Environmental Quality Standard for Soil in 2014 and the first half of 2015, respectively. The sequences of the contamination degree of heavy metals in 2014 and the first half of 2015 were cadmium > lead > copper > chromium > zinc and cadmium > lead > chromium > zinc > copper. From the analysis of the potential ecological risk index method, arsenic and cadmium had higher ecological risk than other heavy metals. The integrated ecological risk index of heavy metals (cadmium, copper, lead, zinc, and chromium) and metalloid (arsenic) was 394.10 in 2014, while it was 656.16 in the first half of 2015, thus documenting a strong ecological risk.

  13. Remediation of electronic waste polluted soil using a combination of persulfate oxidation and chemical washing.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fu; Luo, Zhanbin; Liu, Gangjun; Yang, Yongjun; Zhang, Shaoliang; Ma, Jing

    2017-12-15

    Laboratory experiments were conducted to investigate the efficiency of a simultaneous chemical extraction and oxidation for removing persistent organic pollutants (POPs) and toxic metals from an actual soil polluted by the recycling activity of electronic waste. Various chemicals, including hydroxypropyl-β-cyclodextrin (HPCD), citric acid (CA) and sodium persulfate (SP) were applied synchronously with Fe 2+ activated oxidation to enhance the co-removal of both types of pollutants. It is found that the addition of HPCD can enhance POPs removal through solubilization of POPs and iron chelation; while the CA-chelated Fe 2+ activation process is effective for extracting metals and degrading residual POPs. Under the optimized reagent conditions, 69.4% Cu, 78.1% Pb, 74.6% Ni, 97.1% polychlorinated biphenyls, 93.8% polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, and 96.4% polybrominated diphenylethers were removed after the sequential application of SP-HPCD-Fe 2+ and SP-CA-Fe 2+ processes with a duration of 180 and 240 min, respectively. A high dehalogenation efficiency (84.8% bromine and 86.2% chlorine) is observed, suggesting the low accumulation of halogen-containing organic intermediates. The remediated soil can satisfy the national soil quality standard of China. Collectively, co-contaminated soil can be remediated with reasonable time and capital costs through simultaneous application of persulfate oxidation and chemical extraction. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Soils

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emily Moghaddas; Ken Hubbert

    2014-01-01

    When managing for resilient forests, each soil’s inherent capacity to resist and recover from changes in soil function should be evaluated relative to the anticipated extent and duration of soil disturbance. Application of several key principles will help ensure healthy, resilient soils: (1) minimize physical disturbance using guidelines tailored to specific soil types...

  15. Microbial reduction of Fe(III) and turnover of acetate in Hawaiian soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Küsel, Kirsten; Wagner, Christine; Trinkwalter, Tanja; Gössner, Anita S; Bäumler, Rupert; Drake, Harold L

    2002-04-01

    Soils contain anoxic microzones, and acetate is an intermediate during the turnover of soil organic carbon. Due to negligible methanogenic activities in well-drained soils, acetate accumulates under experimentally imposed short-term anoxic conditions. In contrast to forest, agricultural, and prairie soils, grassland soils from Hawaii rapidly consumed rather than formed acetate when incubated under anoxic conditions. Thus, alternative electron acceptors that might be linked to the anaerobic oxidation of soil organic carbon in Hawaiian soils were assessed. Under anoxic conditions, high amounts of Fe(II) were formed by Hawaiian soils as soon as soils were depleted of nitrate. Rates of Fe(II) formation for different soils ranged from 0.01 to 0.31 micromol (g dry weight soil)(-1) h(-1), but were not positively correlated to increasing amounts of poorly crystallized iron oxides. In general, sulfate-reducing and methanogenic activities were negligible. Supplemental acetate was rapidly oxidized to CO2 via the sequential reduction of nitrate and Fe(III) in grassland soil (obtained near Kaena State Park). Supplemental H2 stimulated the formation of Fe(II), but H2-utilizing acetogens appeared to also be involved in the consumption of H2. Approximately 270 micromol Fe(III) (g dry weight soil)(-1) was available for Fe(III)-reducing bacteria, and acetate became a stable end product when Fe(III) was depleted in long-term incubations. Most-probable-number estimates of H2- and acetate-utilizing Fe(III) reducers and of H2-utilizing acetogens were similar. These results indicate that (i) the microbial reduction of Fe(III) is an important electron-accepting process for the anaerobic oxidation of organic matter in Fe(III)-rich Hawaiian soils of volcanic origin, and (ii) acetate, formed by the combined activity of fermentative and acetogenic bacteria, is an important trophic link in anoxic microsites of these soils.

  16. 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...

  17. Assessing the biophysical naturalness of grassland in eastern North Dakota with hyperspectral imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhou, Qiang

    Over the past two decades, non-native species within grassland communities have quickly developed due to human migration and commerce. Invasive species like Smooth Brome grass (Bromus inermis) and Kentucky Blue Grass (Poa pratensis), seriously threaten conservation of native grasslands. This study aims to discriminate between native grasslands and planted hayfields and conservation areas dominated by introduced grasses using hyperspectral imagery. Hyperspectral imageries from the Hyperion sensor on EO-1 were acquired in late spring and late summer on 2009 and 2010. Field spectra for widely distributed species as well as smooth brome grass and Kentucky blue grass were collected from the study sites throughout the growing season. Imagery was processed with an unmixing algorithm to estimate fractional cover of green and dry vegetation and bare soil. As the spectrum is significantly different through growing season, spectral libraries for the most common species are then built for both the early growing season and late growing season. After testing multiple methods, the Adaptive Coherence Estimator (ACE) was used for spectral matching analysis between the imagery and spectral libraries. Due in part to spectral similarity among key species, the results of spectral matching analysis were not definitive. Additional indexes, "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance", were calculated to measure the predominance of spectral signatures in any area. A Texture co-occurrence analysis was also performed on both "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" indexes to extract spatial characteristics. The results suggest that compared with disturbed area, native prairie tend to have generally lower "Level of Dominance" and "Band variance" as well as lower spatial dissimilarity. A final decision tree model was created to predict presence of native or introduced grassland. The model was more effective for identification of Mixed Native Grassland than for grassland dominated by a single

  18. Energy production from grassland - Assessing the sustainability of different process chains under German conditions

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Roesch, Christine; Skarka, J.; Raab, K.; Stelzer, V.

    2009-01-01

    In many regions of Europe, grassland shapes the landscape and fulfils important functions in protecting nature, soil, and water. However, the traditional uses of grassland for forage production are vanishing with progress in breeding and structural adaptations in agriculture. On the other hand, the demand for biomass energy is rising due to political sustainability goals and financial measures to support renewable energy. Against this background, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis investigated the applicability, economic efficiency, and sustainability of different techniques for energy production from grassland as well as from grassland converted into maize fields or short-rotation poplars under German conditions. The results show that despite relatively high energy prices and the financial support for bioenergy, the effects of energy production from grassland on employment in agriculture and farmers' income are modest. What is beneficial are savings in non-renewable energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and local provision of energy carriers. If grassland biomass (grass silage or hay) is used for energy purposes, this brings the further advantages of preserving biodiversity and the cultural landscape and protecting of soil and groundwater. Negative impacts on sustainable development result from an increase in emissions, which leads to acidification, eutrophication, and risks to human health. The overall evaluation indicates that short-rotation poplars are comparatively advantageous from the economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, a development plan for grassland is required to identify areas where grassland could be used as an energy resource or where it would be favourable to install energy plantations with fast-growing perennial plants

  19. A low-cost electronic tensiometer system for continuous monitoring of soil water potential

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Martin Thalheimer

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available A low cost system for measuring soil water potential and data logging was developed on the basis of an Arduino microcontroller board, electronic pressure transducers and water-filled tensiometers. The assembly of this system requires only minimal soldering, limited to the wiring of the power supply and the pressure sensors to the microcontroller board. The system presented here is, therefore, not only inexpensive, but also suited for easy reproduction by users with only basic technical skills. The utility and reliability of the system was tested in a commercial apple orchard.

  20. Disturbance of Soil Organic Matter and Nitrogen Dynamics: Implications for Soil and Water Quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-06-30

    Elliott, E.T., 1992. Particulate soil organic- matter changes across a grassland cultivation sequence. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 56, 777–783. Dale, V.H...C.A., Elliott, E.T., 1992. Particulate soil organic-matter changes across a grassland cultivation sequence. Soil Science Society of America Journal...1645-1650. Van Straalen, N.M. 1997. How to measure no effect. 2. Threshold effects in ecotoxicology . Environmetrics 8: 249-253. Verburg, P.S.J

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. Terrestrial ecology. Comprehensive study of the grassland biome

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Anon.

    1976-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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)

  6. Characterization of uranium- and plutonium-contaminated soils by electron microscopy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Buck, E.C.; Dietz, N.L.; Fortner, J.A.; Bates, J.K.; Brown, N.R.

    1995-01-01

    Electron beam techniques have been used to characterize uranium-contaminated soils from the Fernald Site in Ohio, and also plutonium-bearing 'hot particles, from Johnston Island in the Pacific Ocean. By examining Fernald samples that had undergone chemical leaching it was possible to observe the effect the treatment had on specific uranium-bearing phases. The technique of Heap leaching, using carbonate solution, was found to be the most successful in removing uranium from Fernald soils, the Heap process allows aeration, which facilitates the oxidation of uraninite. However, another refractory uranium(IV) phase, uranium metaphosphate, was not removed or affected by any soil-washing process. Examination of ''hot particles'' from Johnston Island revealed that plutonium and uranium were present in 50--200 nm particles, both amorphous and crystalline, within a partially amorphous aluminum oxide matrix. The aluminum oxide is believed to have undergone a crystalline-to-amorphous transition caused by alpha-particle bombardment during the decay of the plutonium

  7. No Significant Changes in Topsoil Carbon in the Grasslands of Northern China Between the 1980s and 2000s

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, S.; Yang, Y.; Shen, H.; Hu, H.; Zhao, X.; Li, H.; Liu, T.; Fang, J.

    2017-12-01

    The grasslands of northern China store a large amount of soil organic carbon (SOC), and the small changes in SOC stock could significantly affect the regional C cycle. However, recent estimates of SOC changes in this region are highly controversial. In this study, we examined and mapped the changes in the SOC density (SOCD) in the upper 30 cm of the grasslands of northern China between the 1980s and 2000s, using an improved approach that integrates field-based measurements into machine learning algorithms (artificial neural network and random forest). The random forest-generated SOCD averaged 5.55 kg C m-2 in the 1980s and 5.53 kg C m-2 in the 2000s. The change ranged between -0.17 and 0.22 kg C m-2 at the 95% confidence level, suggesting that the overall SOCD did not change significantly during the study period. However, the change in SOCD exhibited large regional variability. The topsoil of the Inner Mongolian grasslands experienced a significant C loss (4.86 vs. 4.33 kg C m-2), whereas that of the Xinjiang grasslands exhibited an accumulation of C (5.55 vs. 6.46 kg C m-2). In addition, the topsoil C in the Tibetan alpine grasslands remained relatively stable (6.12 vs. 6.06 kg C m-2). A comparison of different grassland types indicated that SOCD exhibited significant decreases in typical steppe, whereas showed increases in mountain meadow, and were stable in the remaining grasslands (alpine meadow, alpine steppe, mountain steppe and desert steppe). Climate variables were shown to be the main determines of the change of SOCD. Increases in precipitation could lead to SOC increase in temperate grasslands and SOC loss in alpine grasslands, while climate warming is likely to cause SOC loss in temperate grasslands. Overall, our study shows that northern grasslands in China remained a neutral SOC sink between the 1980s and 2000s.

  8. 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.

  9. Effect of climate change on halophytic grasslands loss and its impact in the viability of Gopherus flavomarginatus

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jorge Luis Becerra-López

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The decrease of the habitat is one of the main factors that affect the survival of G. flavomarginatus. This study assesses the halophytic grasslands loss over a period of 30 years in the distribution area of the Bolson tortoise and the effects of climate change on the habitat suitability of these grasslands and its possible impact on this tortoise. Grassland loss was assessed by an analysis of symmetric differences and the habitat suitability model was carried out by the method of overlapping layers raster. Our results showed a grassland loss of 63.7%; however, our current habitat suitability model points out that much of the grassland loss has occurred where the environmental conditions are suitable. These results suggest that anthropic activity is a main factor in the habitat disturbance in the study area. Likewise, the models for years 2050 and 2070 under the criteria RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0, suggest that anthropic activity will continue be the main cause of the grassland loss. Therefore, considering the association between the Bolson tortoise and grassland halophyte Hilaria mutica, which comprises around 60% of its diet, the viability of the Bolson tortoise depends largely on strategies aimed at protecting the soil that allow the presence of this grassland.

  10. Mapping grassland productivity with 250-m eMODIS NDVI and SSURGO database over the Greater Platte River Basin, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gu, Yingxin; Wylie, Bruce K.; Bliss, Norman B.

    2013-01-01

    This study assessed and described a relationship between satellite-derived growing season averaged Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and annual productivity for grasslands within the Greater Platte River Basin (GPRB) of the United States. We compared growing season averaged NDVI (GSN) with Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) database rangeland productivity and flux tower Gross Primary Productivity (GPP) for grassland areas. The GSN was calculated for each of nine years (2000–2008) using the 7-day composite 250-m eMODIS (expedited Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) NDVI data. Strong correlations exist between the nine-year mean GSN (MGSN) and SSURGO annual productivity for grasslands (R2 = 0.74 for approximately 8000 pixels randomly selected from eight homogeneous regions within the GPRB; R2 = 0.96 for the 14 cluster-averaged points). Results also reveal a strong correlation between GSN and flux tower growing season averaged GPP (R2 = 0.71). Finally, we developed an empirical equation to estimate grassland productivity based on the MGSN. Spatially explicit estimates of grassland productivity over the GPRB were generated, which improved the regional consistency of SSURGO grassland productivity data and can help scientists and land managers to better understand the actual biophysical and ecological characteristics of grassland systems in the GPRB. This final estimated grassland production map can also be used as an input for biogeochemical, ecological, and climate change models.

  11. Spatial assessment of soil contamination by heavy metals from informal electronic waste recycling in Agbogbloshie, Ghana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyere, Vincent Nartey; Greve, Klaus; Atiemo, Sampson M

    2016-01-01

    This study examined the spatial distribution and the extent of soil contamination by heavy metals resulting from primitive, unconventional informal electronic waste recycling in the Agbogbloshie e-waste processing site (AEPS) in Ghana. A total of 132 samples were collected at 100 m intervals, with a handheld global position system used in taking the location data of the soil sample points. Observing all procedural and quality assurance measures, the samples were analyzed for barium (Ba), cadmium (Cd), cobalt (Co), chromium (Cr), copper (Cu), mercury (Hg), nickel (Ni), lead (Pb), and zinc (Zn), using X-ray fluorescence. Using environmental risk indices of contamination factor and degree of contamination (C deg ), we analyzed the individual contribution of each heavy metal contamination and the overall C deg . We further used geostatistical techniques of spatial autocorrelation and variability to examine spatial distribution and extent of heavy metal contamination. Results from soil analysis showed that heavy metal concentrations were significantly higher than the Canadian Environmental Protection Agency and Dutch environmental standards. In an increasing order, Pb>Cd>Hg>Cu>Zn>Cr>Co>Ba>Ni contributed significantly to the overall C deg . Contamination was highest in the main working areas of burning and dismantling sites, indicating the influence of recycling activities. Geostatistical analysis also revealed that heavy metal contamination spreads beyond the main working areas to residential, recreational, farming, and commercial areas. Our results show that the studied heavy metals are ubiquitous within AEPS and the significantly high concentration of these metals reflect the contamination factor and C deg , indicating soil contamination in AEPS with the nine heavy metals studied.

  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. [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.

  14. 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

  15. Carbohydrates and thermal properties indicate a decrease in stable aggregate carbon following forest colonization of mountain grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Guidi, Claudia; Cannella, David; Leifeld, Jens

    2015-01-01

    and thermally labile C showed similar patterns in bulk