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Sample records for grassland vegetation electronic

  1. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    OpenAIRE

    Jens L. Hollberg; Jürgen Schellberg

    2017-01-01

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

  2. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

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    Jens L. Hollberg

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2013-01-01

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

  4. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-11-01

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

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

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    Yuwei Wang

    2018-01-01

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

  7. Potential nitrogen critical loads for northern Great Plains grassland vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Smith, Anine T.; Newton, Wesley E.; Knapp, Alan K.

    2015-01-01

    nitrogen concentration. To determine critical loads for the NGP plant communities in our experiment, we followed the NPS’s precautionary principle in assuming that it is better to be cautious than to let harm occur to the environment. Thus, the critical loads we derived are the lowest nitrogen level that any of our data suggest has a measureable effect on any of the response variables measured.Badlands sparse vegetation, a low-productivity plant community that is an important part of the scenery at Badlands National Park and provides habitat for rare plant species, was the most sensitive of the three vegetation types. More aspects of this vegetation type responded to nitrogen addition, and at lower levels, than at the other two sites. Our data suggest that nitrogen deposition levels of 4- 6 kg N/ha/yr may increase biomass production, and consequently the amount of dead plant material on the ground in this plant community. Slightly higher critical loads are suggested for the two more productive vegetation types more characteristic of most NGP grasslands: 6-10 kg N/ha/yr for biomass production, grass tissue nitrogen concentration, or non-native species (especially annual brome grasses) cover. Highly variable results among years, as well as inconsistent responses to an increasing dose of nitrogen within sites, complicated the derivation of critical loads in this experiment, however. A less precautionary approach to deriving critical loads yielded higher values of 10-38 kg N/ha/yr.

  8. Vegetation recovery in slash-pile scars following conifer removal in a grassland-restoration experiment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles B. Halpern; Joseph A. Antos; Liam M. Beckman

    2014-01-01

    A principal challenge to restoring tree-invaded grasslands is the removal of woody biomass. Burning of slash piles to reduce woody residues from forest restoration practices generates intense, prolonged heating, with adverse effects on soils and vegetation. In this study, we examined vegetation responses to pile burning following tree removal from conifer-invaded...

  9. MONITORING PHENOLOGY OF FLOODPLAIN GRASSLAND AND HERBACEOUS VEGETATION WITH UAV IMAGERY

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    W. K. van Iersel

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available River restoration projects, which aim at improved flood safety and increased ecological value, have resulted in more heterogeneous vegetation. However, they also resulted in increasing hydraulic roughness, which leads to higher flood water levels during peak discharges. Due to allowance of vegetation development and succession, both ecological and hydraulic characteristics of the floodplain change more rapidly over time. Monitoring of floodplain vegetation has become essential to document and evaluate the changing floodplain characteristics and associated functioning. Extraction of characteristics of low vegetation using single-epoch remote sensing data, however, remains challenging. The aim of this study was to (1 evaluate the performance of multi-temporal, high-spatial-resolution UAV imagery for extracting temporal vegetation height profiles of grassland and herbaceous vegetation in floodplains and (2 to assess the relation between height development and NDVI changes. Vegetation height was measured six times during one year in 28 field plots within a single floodplain. UAV true-colour and false-colour imagery of the floodplain were recorded coincidently with each field survey. We found that: (1 the vertical accuracy of UAV normalized digital surface models (nDSMs is sufficiently high to obtain temporal height profiles of low vegetation over a growing season, (2 vegetation height can be estimated from the time series of nDSMs, with the highest accuracy found for combined imagery from February and November (RMSE = 29-42 cm, (3 temporal relations between NDVI and observed vegetation height show different hysteresis behaviour for grassland and herbaceous vegetation. These results show the high potential of using UAV imagery for increasing grassland and herbaceous vegetation classification accuracy.

  10. Vegetation monitoring on semi-arid grasslands unglazed by domestic livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda Kennedy; Dan Robinett

    2013-01-01

    The Research Ranch is an 8000-acre sanctuary and research facility in the semi-arid grasslands of southeastern Arizona, USA. Cattle were removed from the property in 1968 to provide a reference area by which various land uses, such as grazing and exurbanization, could be evaluated. Vegetation transects were established in 2000 and 2003 on several ecological sites in...

  11. The Balkan wet grassland vegetation: a prerequisite to better understanding of European habitat diversity

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Hájek, Michal; Hájková, Petra; Sopotlieva, D.; Apostolova, I.; Velev, N.

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 195, č. 2 (2008), s. 197-213 ISSN 1385-0237 Grant - others:GA AV ČR(CZ) KJB6163302 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : climate * vegetation * grasslands Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.730, year: 2008

  12. Grassland canopy parameters and their relationships to remotely sensed vegetation indices in the Nebraska Sand Hills

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, Bruce K.; DeJong, Donovan D.; Tieszen, Larry L.; Biondini, Mario E.

    1996-01-01

    Relationships among spectral vegetation indices and grassland biophysical parameters including the effects of varying levels of standing dead vegetation, range sites, and range plant communities were examined. Range plant communities consisting of northern mixed grass prairie and a smooth brome field as well as range sites and management in a Sand Hills bluestem prairie were sampled with a ground radiometer and for LAI, biomass, chlorophy

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

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    Fernando C. Scottá

    2015-07-01

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

  14. Map of mixed prairie grassland vegetation, Rocky Flats, Colorado

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Clark, S J.V.; Webber, P J; Komarkova, V; Weber, W A

    1980-01-01

    A color vegetation map at the scale of 1:12,000 of the area surrounding the Rocky Flats, Rockwell International Plant near Boulder, Colorado, provides a permanent record of baseline data which can be used to monitor changes in both vegetation and environment and thus to contribute to future land management and land-use policies. Sixteen mapping units based on species composition were identified, and characterized by two 10-m/sup 2/ vegetation stands each. These were grouped into prairie, pasture, and valley side on the basis of their species composition. Both the mapping units and these major groups were later confirmed by agglomerative clustering analysis of the 32 vegetation stands on the basis of species composition. A modified Bray and Curtis ordination was used to determine the environmental factor complexes controlling the distribution of vegetation at Rocky flats. Recommendations are made for future policies of environmental management and predictions of the response to environmental change of the present vegetation at the Rocky Flats site.

  15. LEAF AREA DYNAMICS AND ABOVEGROUND BIOMASS OF SPECIFIC VEGETATION TYPES OF A SEMI-ARID GRASSLAND IN SOUTHERN ETHIOPIA

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    Bosco Kidake Kisambo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Leaf Area Index (LAI dynamics and aboveground biomass of a semi-arid grassland region in Southern Ethiopia were determined over a long rain season. The vegetation was categorized into four distinct vegetation types namely Grassland (G, Tree-Grassland (TG, Bushed-Grassland (BG and Bush-Tree grassland (BT. LAI was measured using a Plant Canopy Analyzer (LAI2000. Biomass dynamics of litter and herbaceous components were determined through clipping while the above ground biomass of trees and shrubs were estimated using species-specific allometric equations from literature. LAI showed a seasonal increase over the season with the maximum recorded in the BG vegetation (2.52. Total aboveground biomass for the different vegetation types ranged from 0.61 ton C/ha in areas where trees were non-existent to 8.80 ± 3.81ton C/ha in the Tree-Grassland vegetation in the study site. A correlation of LAI and AGB yielded a positive relationship with an R2 value of 0.55. The results demonstrate the importance of tropical semi-arid grasslands as carbon sinks hence their potential in mitigation of climate change.

  16. Temporal profiles of vegetation indices for characterizing grazing intensity on natural grasslands in Pampa biome

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    Amanda Heemann Junges

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT The Pampa biome is an important ecosystem in Brazil that is highly relevant to livestock production. The objective of this study was to analyze the potential use of vegetation indices to discriminate grazing intensities on natural grasslands in the Pampa biome. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI images from Jan to Dec, 2000 to 2013 series, were analyzed for natural grassland experimental units managed under high (forage allowance of 5 ± 2 % live weight – LW, moderate (13 ± 5 % LW and low grazing intensity (19 ± 7 % LW. Regardless of intensity, the temporal profiles showed lower NDVI and EVI during winter, increased values in spring because of summer species regrowth, slightly decreased values in summer, especially in years when there is a water deficit, and increased values in the fall associated with the beginning of winter forage development. The average temporal profiles of moderate grazing intensity exhibited greater vegetation index values compared with low and high grazing intensities. The temporal profiles of less vegetation index were associated with lower green biomass accumulation caused by the negative impact of stocking rates on the leaf area index under high grazing intensity and a floristic composition with a predominance of tussocks under low grazing intensity. Vegetation indices can be used for distinguishing moderate grazing intensity from low and high intensities. The average EVI values can discriminate moderate grazing intensity during any season, and the NDVI values can discriminate moderate grazing intensity during spring and winter.

  17. Varying responses of vegetation activity to climate changes on the Tibetan Plateau grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cong, Nan; Shen, Miaogen; Yang, Wei; Yang, Zhiyong; Zhang, Gengxin; Piao, Shilong

    2017-08-01

    Vegetation activity on the Tibetan Plateau grassland has been substantially enhanced as a result of climate change, as revealed by satellite observations of vegetation greenness (i.e., the normalized difference vegetation index, NDVI). However, little is known about the temporal variations in the relationships between NDVI and temperature and precipitation, and understanding this is essential for predicting how future climate change would affect vegetation activity. Using NDVI data and meteorological records from 1982 to 2011, we found that the inter-annual partial correlation coefficient between growing season (May-September) NDVI and temperature (R NDVI-T ) in a 15-year moving window for alpine meadow showed little change, likely caused by the increasing R NDVI-T in spring (May-June) and autumn (September) and decreasing R NDVI-T in summer (July-August). Growing season R NDVI-T for alpine steppe increased slightly, mainly due to increasing R NDVI-T in spring and autumn. The partial correlation coefficient between growing season NDVI and precipitation (R NDVI-P ) for alpine meadow increased slightly, mainly in spring and summer, and R NDVI-P for alpine steppe increased, mainly in spring. Moreover, R NDVI-T for the growing season was significantly higher in those 15-year windows with more precipitation for alpine steppe. R NDVI-P for the growing season was significantly higher in those 15-year windows with higher temperature, and this tendency was stronger for alpine meadow than for alpine steppe. These results indicate that the impact of warming on vegetation activity of Tibetan Plateau grassland is more positive (or less negative) during periods with more precipitation and that the impact of increasing precipitation is more positive (or less negative) during periods with higher temperature. Such positive effects of the interactions between temperature and precipitation indicate that the projected warmer and wetter future climate will enhance vegetation activity

  18. Evaluation of Rgb-Based Vegetation Indices from Uav Imagery to Estimate Forage Yield in Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lussem, U.; Bolten, A.; Gnyp, M. L.; Jasper, J.; Bareth, G.

    2018-04-01

    Monitoring forage yield throughout the growing season is of key importance to support management decisions on grasslands/pastures. Especially on intensely managed grasslands, where nitrogen fertilizer and/or manure are applied regularly, precision agriculture applications are beneficial to support sustainable, site-specific management decisions on fertilizer treatment, grazing management and yield forecasting to mitigate potential negative impacts. To support these management decisions, timely and accurate information is needed on plant parameters (e.g. forage yield) with a high spatial and temporal resolution. However, in highly heterogeneous plant communities such as grasslands, assessing their in-field variability non-destructively to determine e.g. adequate fertilizer application still remains challenging. Especially biomass/yield estimation, as an important parameter in assessing grassland quality and quantity, is rather laborious. Forage yield (dry or fresh matter) is mostly measured manually with rising plate meters (RPM) or ultrasonic sensors (handheld or mounted on vehicles). Thus the in-field variability cannot be assessed for the entire field or only with potential disturbances. Using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) equipped with consumer grade RGB cameras in-field variability can be assessed by computing RGB-based vegetation indices. In this contribution we want to test and evaluate the robustness of RGB-based vegetation indices to estimate dry matter forage yield on a recently established experimental grassland site in Germany. Furthermore, the RGB-based VIs are compared to indices computed from the Yara N-Sensor. The results show a good correlation of forage yield with RGB-based VIs such as the NGRDI with R2 values of 0.62.

  19. Isotopic assessment of vegetation changes in grassland and woodland systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tieszen, L.L.; Archer, S.

    1990-01-01

    Dwight Billings is directly responsible for much of our understanding of plant ecophysiology, and he was one of the first to elucidate and interpret plant physiological processes in relation to ecosystem structure and function. Recent advances in stable isotope chemistry offer opportunities to identify, clarify, and trace further the linkages between plant and ecosystem-level processes, both past and present. It is within this framework of a new integrative technology, which facilitates the approaches developed by Billings, that we present this contribution. To date, there have been few studies of Great Basin vegetation processes using the techniques discussed here, and these have been described in Chapters 5 and 6, so most of our examples have been drawn from adjacent ecosystems

  20. Floristic and vegetation structure of a grassland plant community on shallow basalt in southern Brazil

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    Marcelo Fett Pinto

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Few studies have adequately described the floristic and structural features of natural grasslands associated with shallow basalt soils in southern Brazil. This study was carried out on natural grazing land used for livestock production in the municipality of Santana do Livramento, in the Campanha region of the state of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. The aim of the study was to describe the floristic and structural diversity of the area. The floristic list obtained comprises 229 plant taxa from 40 botanical families, with a predominance of the families Poaceae (62, Asteraceae (28, Fabaceae (16 and Cyperaceae (12. The estimated diversity and evenness in the community were 3.00 and 0.874, respectively. Bare soil and rock outcrops accounted for 19.3% of the area, resulting in limited forage availability. Multivariate analysis revealed two well-defined groups among the sampling units. One group showed a high degree of internal aggregation, associated with deep soils, and was characterized by the presence of tussocks, whereas the other was less aggregate and was characterized by prostrate species growing on shallow soil. Ordination analysis indicated a gradient of moisture and of soil depth in the study area, resulting in different vegetation patterns. These patterns were analogous to the vegetation physiognomies described for Uruguayan grasslands. Overall, the grassland community studied is similar to others found throughout southern Brazil, although it harbors more winter forage species. In addition, the rare grass Paspalum indecorum Mez is locally dominant in some patches, behaving similarly to P. notatum Fl., a widespread grass that dominates extensive grassland areas in southern Brazil.

  1. Improved parameterization of managed grassland in a global process-based vegetation model using Bayesian statistics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolinski, S.; Müller, C.; Lotze-Campen, H.; Bondeau, A.

    2010-12-01

    More than a quarter of the Earth’s land surface is covered by grassland, which is also the major part (~ 70 %) of the agricultural area. Most of this area is used for livestock production in different degrees of intensity. The dynamic global vegetation model LPJmL (Sitch et al., Global Change Biology, 2003; Bondeau et al., Global Change Biology, 2007) is one of few process-based model that simulates biomass production on managed grasslands at the global scale. The implementation of managed grasslands and its evaluation has received little attention so far, as reference data on grassland productivity are scarce and the definition of grassland extent and usage are highly uncertain. However, grassland productivity is related to large areas, and strongly influences global estimates of carbon and water budgets and should thus be improved. Plants are implemented in LPJmL in an aggregated form as plant functional types assuming that processes concerning carbon and water fluxes are quite similar between species of the same type. Therefore, the parameterization of a functional type is possible with parameters in a physiologically meaningful range of values. The actual choice of the parameter values from the possible and reasonable phase space should satisfy the condition of the best fit of model results and measured data. In order to improve the parameterization of managed grass we follow a combined procedure using model output and measured data of carbon and water fluxes. By comparing carbon and water fluxes simultaneously, we expect well-balanced refinements and avoid over-tuning of the model in only one direction. The comparison of annual biomass from grassland to data from the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) per country provide an overview about the order of magnitude and the identification of deviations. The comparison of daily net primary productivity, soil respiration and water fluxes at specific sites (FluxNet Data) provides

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

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    G. Wohlfahrt

    2010-02-01

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

  4. Response of dry grassland vegetation to fluctuations in weather conditions: a 9-year case study in Prague (Czech Republic)

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Dostálek, J.; Frantík, Tomáš

    2011-01-01

    Roč. 66, č. 5 (2011), s. 837-847 ISSN 0006-3088 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1M0571 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : climate change * dry grassland * vegetation coverage Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 0.557, year: 2011

  5. Analysis of vegetation in an Imperata grassland of Barak valley, Assam.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Astapati, Ashim Das; Das, Ashesh Kumar

    2012-09-01

    Imperata grassland at Dorgakona, Barak valley, North Eastern India was analyzed for species composition and diversity pattern in relation to traditional management practices. 19 families were in the burnt and unburnt plots of the study site with Poaceae as the most dominant one. 29 species occurred in the burnt plot and 28 in the unburnt plot. Most of the species were common in both the plots. The pattern of frequency diagrams indicated that the vegetation was homogeneous. Imperata cylindrica, a rhizomatous grass was the dominant species based on density (318.75 and 304.18 nos. m(-2)), basal cover (158.22 and 148.34 cm2 m(-2)) and Importance value index (IVI) (132.64 and 138.74) for the burnt and unburnt plots respectively. Borreria pusilla was the co-dominant species constituting Imperata-Borreria assemblage of the studied grassland. It was observed that B. pusilla (162.25 nos. m(-2) and 50.37 nos. m(-2), I. cylindrica (318.75 nos. m(-2) and 304.18 nos. m(-2)) and Setaria glauca (24.70 nos. m(-2) and 16.46 nos. m(-2) were benefited from burning as shown by the values sequentially placed for burnt and unburnt plots. Certain grasses like Chrysopogon aciculatus and Sacciolepis indica were restricted to burnt plot while Oxalis corniculata showed its presence to unburnt plot. Grasses dominated the grassland as revealed by their contribution to the mean percentage cover of 72% in burnt plot and 76% in umburnt plot. The dominance-diversity curves in the study site approaches a log normal series distribution suggesting that the resources are shared by the constituent species. Seasonal pattern in diversity index suggested definite influence of climatic seasonality on species diversity; rainy season was conducive for maximum diversity (1.40 and 1.38 in the burnt and unburnt plots, respectively). Dominance increased with concentration of fewer species (0.0021 in burnt plot and 0.0055 in unbumt plot) in summer and behaves inversely to index of diversity. This study showed

  6. 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

  7. Controls of vegetation structure and net primary production in restored grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Lauenroth, William K.

    2014-01-01

    1. Vegetation structure and net primary production (NPP) are fundamental properties of ecosystems. Understanding how restoration practices following disturbance interact with environmental factors to control these properties can provide insight on how ecosystems recover and guide management efforts. 2. We assessed the relative contribution of environmental and restoration factors in controlling vegetation structure, above- and below-ground investment in production across a chronosequence of semiarid Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) fields recovering from dryland wheat cropping relative to undisturbed grassland. Importantly, we determined the role of plant diversity and how seeding either native or introduced perennial grasses influenced the recovery of vegetation properties. 3. Plant basal cover increased with field age and was highest in CRP fields seeded with native perennial grasses. In contrast, fields seeded with introduced perennial grasses had tall-growing plants with relatively low basal cover. These vegetation structural characteristics interacted with precipitation, but not soil characteristics, to influence above-ground NPP (ANPP). Fields enrolled in the CRP program for >7 years supported twice as much ANPP as undisturbed shortgrass steppe in the first wet year of the study, but all CRP fields converged on a common low amount of ANPP in the following dry year and invested less than half as much as the shortgrass steppe in below-ground biomass. 4. ANPP in CRP fields seeded with native perennial grasses for more than 7 years was positively related to species richness, whereas ANPP in CRP fields seeded with introduced perennial grasses were controlled more by dominant species. 5. Synthesis and applications. Seeding with introduced, instead of native, perennial grasses had a strong direct influence on vegetation structure, including species richness, which indirectly affected NPP through time. However, the effects of restoring either native or introduced

  8. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haifa Debouk

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

  11. The Vegetation of North-Western Mongolia: Floristic Checklist and Conservation Status of Mongolian Grassland Flora

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katharina Lapin

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Mongolia´s grassland (steppe is reported to be vulnerable to climate change, degradation, and densifi cation. The traditional Mongolian pastoral herding system is currently transforming due to changes in market relations and economic developments, and this transformation has an impact on species composition and biodiversity. For this study, we observed the current situation of the fl ora in the north-western Mongolian territories to provide data on plant species occurrence in this remote area. A vegetation assessment was conducted for 15 locations in June and July 2016. Indicator plant species were determined to assess the level of grazing and degradation, as well as the respective steppe sub-type. The conservation status of all recorded plant species was assessed in accordance with the IUCN Red List. In total, 106 vascular plant species belonging to 73 genera and 26 families were recorded. Four endemic plant species were observed. All locations were classifi ed into three steppe sub-types: Desert-steppe, dry-steppe and mountain-steppe. A large number of degradation indicator plant species were observed in almost all locations. No endangered species in the Mongolian IUCN Red List were observed. The observation indicates that the vegetation in the north-western area of Mongolia is partly showing tendencies towards overgrazing and degradation. The conservation status of the most recorded species is currently unknown, and more studies on Mongolian vegetation will need to be conducted to assess these species’ status. We emphasize the urgent need for further studies on the vegetation and plant species composition, and indicators in north-western Mongolia, especially in context of the ongoing rapid economic, social, and ecological changes in the region

  12. Modeling vegetation and carbon dynamics of managed grasslands at the global scale with LPJmL 3.6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rolinski, Susanne; Müller, Christoph; Heinke, Jens; Weindl, Isabelle; Biewald, Anne; Bodirsky, Benjamin Leon; Bondeau, Alberte; Boons-Prins, Eltje R.; Bouwman, Alexander F.; Leffelaar, Peter A.; te Roller, Johnny A.; Schaphoff, Sibyll; Thonicke, Kirsten

    2018-02-01

    Grassland management affects the carbon fluxes of one-third of the global land area and is thus an important factor for the global carbon budget. Nonetheless, this aspect has been largely neglected or underrepresented in global carbon cycle models. We investigate four harvesting schemes for the managed grassland implementation of the dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) Lund-Potsdam-Jena managed Land (LPJmL) that facilitate a better representation of actual management systems globally. We describe the model implementation and analyze simulation results with respect to harvest, net primary productivity and soil carbon content and by evaluating them against reported grass yields in Europe. We demonstrate the importance of accounting for differences in grassland management by assessing potential livestock grazing densities as well as the impacts of grazing, grazing intensities and mowing systems on soil carbon stocks. Grazing leads to soil carbon losses in polar or arid regions even at moderate livestock densities (management options enables assessments of the global grassland production and its impact on the terrestrial biogeochemical cycles but requires a global data set on current grassland management.

  13. 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.

  14. Spider Trait Assembly Patterns and Resilience under Fire-Induced Vegetation Change in South Brazilian Grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Podgaiski, Luciana R.; Joner, Fernando; Lavorel, Sandra; Moretti, Marco; Ibanez, Sebastien; Mendonça, Milton de S.; Pillar, Valério D.

    2013-01-01

    Disturbances induce changes on habitat proprieties that may filter organism's functional traits thereby shaping the structure and interactions of many trophic levels. We tested if communities of predators with foraging traits dependent on habitat structure respond to environmental change through cascades affecting the functional traits of plants. We monitored the response of spider and plant communities to fire in South Brazilian Grasslands using pairs of burned and unburned plots. Spiders were determined to the family level and described in feeding behavioral and morphological traits measured on each individual. Life form and morphological traits were recorded for plant species. One month after fire the abundance of vegetation hunters and the mean size of the chelicera increased due to the presence of suitable feeding sites in the regrowing vegetation, but irregular web builders decreased due to the absence of microhabitats and dense foliage into which they build their webs. Six months after fire rosette-form plants with broader leaves increased, creating a favourable habitat for orb web builders which became more abundant, while graminoids and tall plants were reduced, resulting in a decrease of proper shelters and microclimate in soil surface to ground hunters which became less abundant. Hence, fire triggered changes in vegetation structure that lead both to trait-convergence and trait-divergence assembly patterns of spiders along gradients of plant biomass and functional diversity. Spider individuals occurring in more functionally diverse plant communities were more diverse in their traits probably because increased possibility of resource exploitation, following the habitat heterogeneity hypothesis. Finally, as an indication of resilience, after twelve months spider communities did not differ from those of unburned plots. Our findings show that functional traits provide a mechanistic understanding of the response of communities to environmental change

  15. 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.

  16. Assessing vegetation structure and ANPP dynamics in a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone using NDVI-rainfall relationships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-de las Heras, M.; Diaz-Sierra, R.; Turnbull, L.; Wainwright, J.

    2015-01-01

    Climate change and the widespread alteration of natural habitats are major drivers of vegetation change in drylands. A classic case of vegetation change is the shrub-encroachment process that has been taking place over the last 150 years in the Chihuahuan Desert, where large areas of grasslands dominated by perennial grass species (black grama, Bouteloua eriopoda, and blue grama, B. gracilis) have transitioned to shrublands dominated by woody species (creosotebush, Larrea tridentata, and mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa), accompanied by accelerated water and wind erosion. Multiple mechanisms drive the shrub-encroachment process, including exogenous triggering factors such as precipitation variations and land-use change, and endogenous amplifying mechanisms brought about by soil erosion-vegetation feedbacks. In this study, simulations of plant biomass dynamics with a simple modelling framework indicate that herbaceous (grasses and forbs) and shrub vegetation in drylands have different responses to antecedent precipitation due to functional differences in plant growth and water-use patterns, and therefore shrub encroachment may be reflected in the analysis of landscape-scale vegetation-rainfall relationships. We analyze the structure and dynamics of vegetation at an 18 km2 grassland-shrubland ecotone in the northern edge of the Chihuahuan Desert (McKenzie Flats, Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, NM, USA) by investigating the relationship between decade-scale (2000-2013) records of medium-resolution remote sensing of vegetation greenness (MODIS NDVI) and precipitation. Spatial evaluation of NDVI-rainfall relationship at the studied ecotone indicates that herbaceous vegetation shows quick growth pulses associated with short-term (previous 2 months) precipitation, while shrubs show a slow response to medium-term (previous 5 months) precipitation. We use these relationships to (a) classify landscape types as a function of the spatial distribution of dominant vegetation

  17. [Responses of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) to precipitation changes on the grassland of Tibetan Plateau from 2000 to 2015.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Zhi Peng; Zhang, Xian Zhou; He, Yong Tao; Li, Meng; Shi, Pei Li; Zu, Jia Xing; Niu, Ben

    2018-01-01

    Precipitation change is an important factor in the inter-annual variation of grassland growth on the Tibetan Plateau. The total amount, distribution pattern and concentration time are three basic characteristics of precipitation change. The temporal and spatial characteristics of precipitation change were analyzed based on climate data of 145 meteorological stations on the Tibetan Plateau and nearby areas from 2000 to 2015. The total precipitation amount was characterized by annual precipitation, distribution pattern of precipitation during the year was characterized by improved precipitation concentration index (PCI), and precipitation centroid (PC) was defined to indicate the change in precipitation concentrated time. To better illustrate the response of grassland to precipitation change, vegetation growth status was characterized by the maximum value of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI max ). Results indicated that the annual precipitation and PCI had an apparent gradient across the whole plateau and the latest PC occurred in the southern plateau. NDVI max of alpine shrub grassland was significantly correlated with the change of PCI,increased with even distribution of precipitation during growth period, and limited by the total annual precipitation. Alpine meadow did not show significantly correlations with these three indices. The inter-annual variability of NDVI max of steppe was controlled by both PCI and PC. NDVI max of alpine desert grassland was mainly controlled by annual precipitation. In addition to annual total amount of precipitation, the distribution characteristics of precipitation should be further considered when the influence of precipitation change on different types of vegetation on the Qinghai Tibet Plateau was studied.

  18. Distribution of dominant arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi among five plant species in undisturbed vegetation of a coastal grassland

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Holtgrewe-Stukenbrock, Eva; Rosendahl, Søren

    2005-01-01

    Most plant species in mixed grassland vegetation are colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi. Previous studies have reported differences in host preferences among AM fungi, although the fungi are known to lack host specificity. In the present study, the distribution of phylogenetic groups...... of AM fungi belonging to a clade of Glomus species was studied in five plant species from a coastal grassland in Denmark. The occurrence of the fungi was determined by PCR analyses of fungal large subunit ribosomal DNA sequences amplified from root fragments using a specific primer set. The results...... showed that the dominant Glomus species were able to colonize all the studied plant species, supporting the view that the AM fungi represent a large underground interconnecting mycelial network....

  19. Vegetation in clear-cuts depends on previous land use: a century-old grassland legacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonason, Dennis; Ibbe, Mathias; Milberg, Per; Tunér, Albert; Westerberg, Lars; Bergman, Karl-Olof

    2014-01-01

    Plant species richness in central and northern European seminatural grasslands is often more closely linked to past than present habitat configuration, which is indicative of an extinction debt. In this study, we investigate whether signs of historical grassland management can be found in clear-cuts after at least 80 years as coniferous production forest by comparing floras between clear-cuts with a history as meadow and as forest in the 1870s in Sweden. Study sites were selected using old land-use maps and data on present-day clear-cuts. Species traits reflecting high capacities for dispersal and persistence were used to explain any possible links between the plants and the historical land use. Clear-cuts that were formerly meadow had, on average, 36% higher species richness and 35% higher richness of grassland indicator species, as well as a larger overall seed mass and lower anemochory, compared to clear-cuts with history as forest. We suggest that the plants in former meadows never disappeared after afforestation but survived as remnant populations. Many contemporary forests in Sweden were managed as grasslands in the 1800s. As conservation of remaining grassland fragments will not be enough to reduce the existing extinction debts of the flora, these young forests offer opportunities for grassland restoration at large scales. Our study supports the concept of remnant populations and highlights the importance of considering historical land use for understanding the distribution of grassland plant species in fragmented landscapes, as well as for policy-making and conservation. PMID:25540690

  20. Vegetation changes over 12 years in ungrazed and grazed Conservation Reserve Program Grasslands in the central and southern plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cade, Brian S.; Vandever, Mark W.; Allen, Arthur W.; Terrell, James W.

    2005-01-01

    years. The species of grass established in seeded grasslands can have a major influence on the potential quality of wildlife habitat where vegetation is maintained over a multi-year period. Different species of grass may have comparable abilities to alleviate soil erosion but furnish dissimilar qualities of wildlife habitat (fig. 1). For example, smooth brome, an introduced cool-season grass (grass species and scientific names are presented in table 1), is highly valued for its erosion control and forage attributes (Casler and Carlson, 1995). Switchgrass, a native warm-season grass, also is valued for its soil and water conservation qualities (Moser and Vogel, 1995) but provides greater benefits for some species of wildlife (Clubine, 1995). The quality of nesting and winter cover for ring-necked pheasants (Phasianus colchicus) furnished by smooth brome on northeastern Colorado CRP lands is inferior to that provided by the taller, more robust switchgrass (Allen, 1994). Characteristics of the agricultural landscape surrounding individual CRP fields also play a role in the wildlife habitat potential of CRP plantings (Weber and others, 2002; Nusser and others, 2004). of native and seeded grasslands change in response to the presence (and absence) of physical disturbances such as fire, grazing, tillage, and haying (Hobbs and Huenneke, 1992; Millenbah and others, 1996; Allen and others, 2001; Renfrew and Ribic, 2001; Swengel and Swengel, 2001). The perpetuation of diversity in species composition and vegetation structure following disturbance sustains desirable habitat for a variety of grassland-dependent wildlife (Hall and Willig, 1994; Barnes and others, 1995; King and Savidge, 1995; Granfors and others, 1996; Herkert and others, 1996; Kurzejeski, 1996; Patterson and Best, 1996; Klute and others, 1997). Undisturbed grasslands have lower grass and forb species diversity, greater amounts of dead plant material, decreased as well as seasonally delayed productivity, and

  1. Development of a functional approach in a grassland vegetation sub-model = Desenvolvimento de uma abordagem funcional em um submodelo vegetal campestre

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jean-François Soussana

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available To improve our understanding of grassland dynamics under different levels of utilization, a functional description of the vegetation was introduced in a deterministic model. The selected traits and their parameterization were based on the results of a longtermexperiment in which temperate grasslands were managed for 12 years with three levels of herbage use: high, medium and low. The integration of functional attributes of the community species within the model’s parameters can be seen as a new step in the study ofthe grassland ecosystem. With this tool, it is possible to decrease the number of interconnections in the system and consequently decrease the complexity. In this work a, functional definition of three different grassland communities was introduced into the subvegetation model. This was done by interchanging the model’s parameters with the functional attributes of the communities. From the conceptual point of view, the subvegetation model works adequately and it seems suitable to simulate the dynamic ofgrassland vegetation described by functional traits. The model fits experimental data well for high levels of utilization, but was poorly adjusted at medium and low levels of herbage use. We believe this is due to a better simulation of green biomass fluxes than forsenescence or reproductive fluxes. Some possible improvements of the model are discussed.Para aumentar a nossa compreensão sobre a dinâmica da vegetação campestre em diferentes níveis de utilização, foi introduzido num modelo determinístico uma descrição funcional da vegetação. Os atributos funcionais escolhidos e suas parametrizações foram baseadosem resultados de experimento de longo prazo, no qual pastagens temperadas foram manejadas por 12 anos com três níveis de utilização: alto, médio e baixo. A integração de atributos funcionais da comunidade vegetal nos parâmetros do modelo pode ser vista como um novo passo no estudo de ecossistemas pastoris

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behling, Hermann; Pillar, Valério DePatta

    2007-02-28

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

  3. Effects of climate factors and vegetation on the CO2 fluxes and δ13C from re-established grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bezyk, Yaroslav; Dorodnikov, Maxim; Sówka, Izabela

    2017-11-01

    The relationship between stable carbon isotope composition (δ13C -CO2) of soil CO2 flux, vegetation cover and weather conditions was investigated in a short-term campaign at a temperate re-established grassland in Germany. During August-September 2016, we measured surface CO2 flux with a closed-chamber method at high and low soil moisture content (`wet', `dry'), with and without above ground vegetation (`planted', `clear-cut') and estimated the effects of treatments on respective δ13C -CO2 values. The concentration and stable carbon isotope composition of CO2 were determined using the gas chromatography and mass spectrometry analyses. The δ13C -CO2 of the soil fluxes decreased over sampling time for the `dry-warm' conditions and canopy manipulation. The ecosystem-derived δ13C -CO2 values (corrected for the atmospheric δ13C -CO2) which included predominately soil-and rhizosphere respiration were -26.2 ± 0.8‰ for the `dry-warm' conditions and decreased down to -28.1 ± 1.4‰ over a period of 28 days from late August to the end of September. The decrease coincided with the lowering of CO2 flux and could be attributed to changes in plant physiological processes at the end of the vegetation season. Though the removal of shoots did not significantly affect the δ13C -CO2 values as compared with the control, the pattern of further δ13C -CO2 decrease (down to -28.8 ± 0.8‰) supported the role of living vegetation in a contribution of 13C-enriched CO2 to the ecosystem respiration.

  4. 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.

  5. Role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in Enriching the Depauperate Bird Community in “Cogon” Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel Dominated Grassland in Swidden Vegetation Matrix

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alejandro A. Bernardo Jr.

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The study was conducted to understand the role of Antidesma ghaesembilla Gaertn in enhancing the avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica (L. Raeuschel dominated grassland patches and to realize the influence of adjacent vegetations on the assemblage of birds that feed on the fruit of this tree. An avifaunal survey was conducted on “Cogon” dominated grassland patches adjacent to selected vegetations such as primary forest, secondary forest and upland agricultural area. A total of 250 birds belonging to 19 species representing ten families were found feeding on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla. The site adjacent to secondary forest has the highest species richness, abundance and diversity index values. This accentuates the combined influence of the open and forest dwelling bird species thriving in the secondary forest. The sites adjacent to the primary forest and to the agricultural area have the same species richness but differ in species composition as reflected by the low similarity index. More forest dwelling bird species were recorded near the forest while more open dwelling bird species were recorded near the agricultural area. This highlights the spillover effect of the adjacent vegetations on the feeding bird assemblage. The presence of several endemic and conservation priority bird species that feed on the fruits of Antidesma ghaesembilla unfolds its important role in avifaunal conservation. Finally, the wide collection of fruit eating bird species attracted to it emphasized its importance in improving the overall avifaunal diversity in Imperata cylindrica dominated grassland patches within the swidden vegetation matrix.

  6. The Puna Vegetation of Moquegua, South Peru: Chasmophytes, grasslands and Puya raimondii stands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montesinos-Tubée, D.B.; Cleef, A.M.; Sýkora, K.V.

    2015-01-01

    The phytosociology and ecology of puna vegetation in twelve localities at an altitude of 3750-4500 m in northern Moquegua (south Peru) have been studied. The study area has a pluviseasonal climate with summer rainfall. Using TWINSPAN, Detrended Correspondence Analysis and Farthest Neighbor

  7. The Puna vegetation of Moquegua, South Peru: Chasmophytes, grasslands and Puya raimondii stands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Montesinos, D.B.; Cleef, Antoine; Sykora, K.V.

    2015-01-01

    The phytosociology and ecology of puna vegetation in twelve localities at an altitude of 3750–4500 m in northern Moquegua (south Peru) have been studied. The study area has a pluviseasonal climate with summer rainfall. Using TWINSPAN, Detrended Correspondence Analysis and Farthest Neighbor

  8. Vegetative biomass predicts inflorescence production along a CO2 concentration gradient in mesic grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fay, P. A.; Collins, H.; Polley, W.

    2016-12-01

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration will likely exceed 500 µL L-1 by 2050, often increasing plant community productivity in part by increasing abundance of species favored by increased CA . Whether increased abundance translates to increased inflorescence production is poorly understood, and is important because it indicates the potential effects of CO2 enrichment on genetic variability and the potential for evolutionary change in future generations. We examined whether the responses of inflorescence production to CO2 enrichment in four C4 grasses and a C3 forb were predicted their vegetative biomass, and by soil moisture, soil nitrogen, or light availability. Inflorescence production was studied in a long-term CO2 concentration gradient spanning pre-industrial to anticipated mid-21st century values (250 - 500 µL L-1) maintained on clay, silty clay and sandy loam soils common in the U.S. Southern Plains. We expected that CO2 enrichment would increase inflorescence production, and more so with higher water, nitrogen, or light availability. However, structural equation modeling revealed that vegetative biomass was the single consistent direct predictor of flowering for all species (p grass) and Solidago canadensis (C3 forb), direct CO2 effects on flowering were only weakly mediated by indirect effects of soil water content and soil NO3-N availability. For the decreasing species (Bouteloua curtipendula, C4 grass), the negative CO2-flowering relationship was cancelled (p = 0.39) by indirect effects of increased SWC and NO3-N on clay and silty clay soils. For the species with no CO2 response, inflorescence production was predicted only by direct water content (p grass) or vegetative biomass (p = 0.0009, Tridens albescens, C4 grass) effects. Light availability was unrelated to inflorescence production. Changes in inflorescence production are thus closely tied to direct and indirect effects of CO2 enrichment on vegetative biomass, and may either increase, decrease, or leave

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2009-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-04-01

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

  11. Calibration of transfer functions between phytolith, vegetation and climate for integration of grassland dynamics in vegetation models. Application to a 50,000 yr crater lake core in Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bremond, L.; Alexandre, A.; Hely, C.; Vincens, A.; Williamson, D.; Guiot, J.

    2004-12-01

    Global vegetation models provide a way to translate the outputs from climate models into maps of potential vegetation distribution for present, past and future. Validation of these models goes through the comparison between model outputs and vegetation proxies for well constrained past climatic periods. Grass-dominated biomes are widespread and numerous. This diversity is hardly mirrored by common proxies such as pollen, charcoal or carbon isotopes. Phytoliths are amorphous silica that precipitate in and/or between living plant cells. They are commonly used to trace grasslands dynamics. However, calibration between phytolith assemblages, vegetation, and climate parameters are scarce. This work introduces transfer functions between phytolith indices, inter-tropical grassland physiognomy, and bio-climatic data that will be available for model/data comparisons. The Iph phytolith index discriminates tall from short grass savannas in West Africa. A transfer function allows to estimate evapo-transpiration AET/PET. The Ic phytolith index accurately estimates the proportion of Pooideae and Panicoideae grass sub-families, and potentially the C4/C3 grass dominance on East African mountains. The D/P index appears as a good proxy of Leaf Area Index (LAI) in tropical areas. These environmental parameters are commonly used as vegetation model outputs, but have been, up to now, hardly estimated by vegetation proxies. These transfer functions are applied to a 50,000 yr phytolith sequence from a crater lake (9°S; 33°E Tanzania). The record is compared to the pollen vegetation reconstruction and confronted to simulations of the LPJ-GUESS vegetation model (Stitch et. al, 2003).

  12. Combining Livestock Production Information in a Process-Based Vegetation Model to Reconstruct the History of Grassland Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Ciais, Philippe; Herrero, Mario; Havlik, Petr; Campioli, Matteo; Zhang, Xianzhou; Bai, Yongfei; Viovy, Nicolas; Joiner, Joanna; Wang, Xuhui; hide

    2016-01-01

    Grassland management type (grazed or mown) and intensity (intensive or extensive) play a crucial role in the greenhouse gas balance and surface energy budget of this biome, both at field scale and at large spatial scale. However, global gridded historical information on grassland management intensity is not available. Combining modelled grass-biomass productivity with statistics of the grass-biomass demand by livestock, we reconstruct gridded maps of grassland management intensity from 1901 to 2012. These maps include the minimum area of managed vs. maximum area of unmanaged grasslands and the fraction of mown vs. grazed area at a resolution of 0.5deg by 0.5deg. The grass-biomass demand is derived from a livestock dataset for 2000, extended to cover the period 19012012. The grass-biomass supply (i.e. forage grass from mown grassland and biomass grazed) is simulated by the process-based model ORCHIDEE-GM driven by historical climate change, risingCO2 concentration, and changes in nitrogen fertilization. The global area of managed grassland obtained in this study increases from 6.1 x 10(exp 6) km(exp 2) in 1901 to 12.3 x 10(exp 6) kmI(exp 2) in 2000, although the expansion pathway varies between different regions. ORCHIDEE-GM also simulated augmentation in global mean productivity and herbage-use efficiency over managed grassland during the 20th century, indicating a general intensification of grassland management at global scale but with regional differences. The gridded grassland management intensity maps are model dependent because they depend on modelled productivity. Thus specific attention was given to the evaluation of modelled productivity against a series of observations from site-level net primary productivity (NPP) measurements to two global satellite products of gross primary productivity (GPP) (MODIS-GPP and SIF data). Generally, ORCHIDEE-GM captures the spatial pattern, seasonal cycle, and inter-annual variability of grassland productivity at global

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Grassland vegetation in the former military area Dobrá Voda, the Šumava National Park

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Prach, Karel; Bufková, I.; Zemek, František; Heřman, Michal; Mašková, Z.

    2000-01-01

    Roč. 5, - (2000), s. 101-112 ISSN 1211-7420 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/99/1410 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908; CEZ:AV0Z6087904 Keywords : secondary grassland * succession * management * GIS Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2000-01-01

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

  18. Decontamination of drug vegetative raw material by relativistic electron beam

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gorbanyuk, A.G.; Dikiy, I.L.; Yegorov, A.M.; Linnik, A.F.; Uskov, V.V.

    2004-01-01

    The new technology of decontamination of drug vegetative raw material and medical products is proposed. Advantages of use of relativistic beams in a range of electron energies from 0.5 MeV to 5 MeV for these purposes are shown in comparison with X-radiation of energy from 80 keV to 1 MeV

  19. Effects of Small-scale Vegetation-related Roughness on Overland Flow and Infiltration in Semi-arid Grassland and Shrublands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bedford, D.

    2012-12-01

    We studied the effects of small-scale roughness on overland flow/runoff and the spatial pattern of infiltration. Our semi-arid sites include a grassland and shrubland in Central New Mexico and a shrubland in the Eastern Mojave Desert. Vegetation exerts strong controls on small-scale surface roughness in the form of plant mounds and other microtopography such as depressions and rills. We quantified the effects of densely measured soil surface heterogeneity using model simulations of runoff and infiltration. Microtopographic roughness associated with vegetation patterns, on the scale of mm-cm's in height, has a larger effect on runoff and infiltration than spatially correlated saturated conductivity. The magnitude and pattern of the effect of roughness largely depends on the vegetation and landform type, and rainfall depth and intensity. In all cases, runoff and infiltration amount and patterns were most strongly affected by depression storage. In the grassland we studied in central New Mexico, soil surface roughness had a large effect on runoff and infiltration where vegetation mounds coalesced, forming large storage volumes that require filling and overtopping in order for overland flow to concentrate into runoff. Total discharge over rough surfaces was reduced 100-200% compared to simulations in which no surface roughness was accounted for. For shrublands, total discharge was reduced 30-40% by microtopography on gently sloping alluvial fans and only 10-20% on steep hillslopes. This difference is largely due to the lack of storage elements on steep slopes. For our sites, we found that overland flow can increase infiltration by up to 2.5 times the total rainfall by filling depressions. The redistribution of water via overland flow can affect up to 20% of an area but varies with vegetation type and landform. This infiltration augmentation by overland flow tends to occur near the edges of vegetation canopies where overland flow depths are deep and infiltration rates

  20. Using vegetation model-to-data comparisons to test the role of abiotic factors in the Neogene and Quaternary origins of modern C4 grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, D. L.; Strömberg, C.; Pau, S.; Taylor, L.; Lehmann, C.; Osborne, C.; Beerling, D. J.; Still, C. J.

    2014-12-01

    Grasslands dominated by taxa using the C4 photosynthetic pathway evolved on several continents during the Neogene and Quaternary, long after C4 photosynthesis first evolved among grasses. The histories of these ecosystems are relatively well documented in the geological record from stable carbon isotopes (fossil vertebrate herbivores, paleosols) and the plant microfossil record (pollen, phytoliths). The distinct biogeography and ecophysiology of modern C3 and C4 grasses have led to hypotheses explaining the origins of C4 grasslands in terms of long term changes in the Earth system such as increased aridity and decreasing atmospheric pCO2. However, proxies for key parameters of these hypotheses (e.g., temperature, precipitation, pCO2) are still in development, not yet widely applied, or remain contentious, so testing the hypotheses globally remains difficult. To understand better possible links between changes in the Earth system and the origin of C4 grasslands on different continents, we are undertaking a global scale comparison between observational records of C4 grass abundances in Miocene and Pliocene localities compiled from the literature, and three increasingly complex models of C4 dominance and abundance. The literature compilation comprises >2,600 δ13C values of both fossil vertebrates and of paleosol carbonates and >6,700 paleobotanical records. We are using paleoclimate output from the HadCM3L GCM over a range of pCO2 values for each epoch to model C4 dominance or abundance in grid cells as (Model 1) months per year exceeding the temperature at which net assimilation is greater for C4 than C3 photosynthesis (crossover temperature); (Model 2) the number of months per year exceeding the crossover temperature and having sufficient precipitation for growth (≥25 cm/yr; Collatz model); and (Model 3) the Sheffield Dynamic Global Vegetation Model (SDGVM), output from which includes biomass (g C/m2/yr) for distinct structural components (roots, stems, leaves

  1. The California Valley grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1990-01-01

    found in both montane meadows and moister grasslands. Forbs when present, are typically perennials. East of the interior ranges, grasslands are uncommon although native perennial bunchgrasses in genera such as Stipa, Hilaria and Aristida are common in steppe and desert scrub. Today, Valley Grassland covers nearly 7 million ha or 17% or the state (Huenneke 1989), although other sources list less than half this amount (Jones and Stokes 1987). There is some evidence that extent of the grassland region has not changed since pre-European conditions, although the spatial distribution of grasslands has likely changed substantially (Huenneke 1989). That is, many current grasslands previously may have been dominated by other vegetation types and vice versa. Without question, many former grasslands have been converted to agricultural and urban use (Barry 1972). The Valley Grassland community occurs in regions characterized by a broad range of climatic conditions. Average January temperatures may range from 5°C to 15°C and July temperatures from 15°C to 30°C (NOAA 1988). Annual precipitation ranges from approximately 12 cm to over 200 cm, although all sites are characterized by a summer drought of 4-8 months (Heady 1977). Grasslands are well developed on deep, fine-textured soils although they are not restricted to such conditions (Wells 1962, Adams 1964, Heady 1977).

  2. Dolomitic vegetation of the Sterkfontein Caves World Heritage Site and its importance in the conservation of Rocky Highveld Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Siebert

    2005-06-01

    Full Text Available An analysis of the vegetation of the Sterkfontein Caves (i.e. the natural area surrounding the caves is presented. Releves were compiled in 24 stratified random sample plots. A TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed six plant communities, also referred to as vegetation units. For each of these vegetation units the species richness was determined. Plant communities of conservation importance were identified and new associations were formally described.

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. Dinâmica vegetacional em pastagem natural submetida a tratamentos de queima e pastejo Vegetation dynamics of natural grassland under treatments of burning and grazing

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fernando Luiz Ferreira de Quadros

    2001-10-01

    Full Text Available Foram avaliados durante três anos os efeitos de tratamentos de fogo e pastejo sobre a dinâmica da vegetação de uma pastagem natural localizada em Santa Maria, na região da Depressão Central, Rio Grande do Sul. Foi considerada a hipótese de resiliência, resultado das espécies componentes da pastagem terem evoluído sob influência de tais distúrbios. O experimento foi composto por oito parcelas experimentais submetidas a combinações de níveis de pastejo (pastejado, excluído e de fogo (queimado, não-queimado, em duas posições de relevo (encosta, baixada. A análise multivariada dos dados de composição de espécies foi baseada em ordenação e testes de aleatorização. A vegetação sob efeito de pastejo, independente da queima, apresentou trajetórias direcionais, enquanto sob exclusão as trajetórias foram caóticas. O efeito do pastejo parece ser determinante da dinâmica vegetacional (P=0,077.The effect of fire and grazing treatments on vegetation dynamics was evaluated during three years on a natural grassland located in Santa Maria, in the region of "Depressão Central", Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil. A hypothesis of resilience resulting from the fact that the species of the grassland evolved under the influence of these disturbances was considered. The experimental setup was formed by eight plots subjected to combinations of grazing (grazed, ungrazed and fire (burned, unburned levels, on two relief positions (convex, concave slope. Multivariate analysis of compositional data used ordination and randomization testing. Vegetation under grazing tended to show directional trajectories of floristic composition change, while under grazing exclusion the trajectories could be considered chaotic, independently from the plots being burned or not. Grazing effect seems to be determinant of vegetacional dynamics (P=0.077.

  6. The effect of solar UV radiation of four plant species occurring in a coastal grassland vegetation in The Netherlands

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tosserams, M.; Rozema, J. [Vrije Univ., Dept. of Ecology and Ecotoxicology, Amsterdam (Netherlands); Pais, A. de Sa [Univ. de Tras-os-Montes e Alto Douro, Vila Real (Portugal)

    1996-09-01

    During the summer of 1992, growth and some physiological parameters of four native plant species occurring in a coastal grassland in The Netherlands, were studied after reduction of solar UV irradiance using different cut-off filters. Biomass production, morphology and photosynthesis of all species tested were unaffected by the different treatments. Litter production of Plantago lanceolata was increased in the absence of the total UV waveband, indicating a possible role for this waveband in plant senescence. Depletion of the total UV waveband from sunlight resulted in alterations in biomass allocation in Calamagrostis epigeios and Urtica dioica while no changes were observed in P. lanceolatata and Verbascum thapsus. In C. epigeios and increase in the specific leaf area was observed, whereas in U. dioica root weight per total plant weight was decreased resulting in an increase in the shoot/root ratio. Both photosynthetic and UV-absorbing pigment concentrations were altered by the different filter applications. When compared to control plants receiving full sunlight, depletion of UV-B resulted in a significant increase in chlorophyll concentration in U. dioica leaves, this however did not affect photosynthetic rate. The presence of UV-B radiation enhanced the UV-absorbance of leaf extract of all species except P. lanceolata. Optical characteristics of the leaves were also changed. Both the quantity (P. lanceolata and U. dioica) and the quality (all species) of radiation transmitted by the leaves was affected by the different treatments. (au) 44 refs.

  7. [Vegetation spatial and temporal dynamic characteristics based on NDVI time series trajectories in grassland opencast coal mining].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jia, Duo; Wang, Cang Jiao; Mu, Shou Guo; Zhao, Hua

    2017-06-18

    The spatiotemporal dynamic patterns of vegetation in mining area are still unclear. This study utilized time series trajectory segmentation algorithm to fit Landsat NDVI time series which generated from fusion images at the most prosperous period of growth based on ESTARFM algorithm. Combining with the shape features of the fitted trajectory, this paper extracted five vegetation dynamic patterns including pre-disturbance type, continuous disturbance type, stabilization after disturbance type, stabilization between disturbance and recovery type, and recovery after disturbance type. The result indicated that recovery after disturbance type was the dominant vegetation change pattern among the five types of vegetation dynamic pattern, which accounted for 55.2% of the total number of pixels. The follows were stabilization after disturbance type and continuous disturbance type, accounting for 25.6% and 11.0%, respectively. The pre-disturbance type and stabilization between disturbance and recovery type accounted for 3.5% and 4.7%, respectively. Vegetation disturbance mainly occurred from 2004 to 2009 in Shengli mining area. The onset time of stable state was 2008 and the spatial locations mainlydistributed in open-pit stope and waste dump. The reco-very state mainly started since the year of 2008 and 2010, while the areas were small and mainly distributed at the periphery of open-pit stope and waste dump. Duration of disturbance was mainly 1 year. The duration of stable period usually sustained 7 years. The duration of recovery state of the type of stabilization between disturbances continued 2 to 5 years, while the type of recovery after disturbance often sustained 8 years.

  8. Dinâmica vegetacional em pastagem natural submetida a diferentes sistemas de manejo Vegetation dynamics of natural grassland under different management systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marcos da Silva Brum

    2007-06-01

    beginning of the grazing period (23/09/2004 and after its end (27/01/2005. Tested treatments were: natural grassland improvement with introduction of cool season species under rotative grazing (CNM; natural grassland under continuous grazing (CNC and natural grassland under rotative grazing (CNR, distributed in an entirely randomized design, with two replicates. Corriedale breed ewes, with their lambs, were tester grazing animals. Data were submitted to multivariate analysis based in ordination and randomization testing. In the first survey, the treatment CNM differed (P=0.0001 from CNC and CNR due to the high contribution of the introduced species, while CNC and CNR were similar (P=0.6742 in species' composition. Treatments CNM and CNC were different (P=0.0017 in the second evaluation. The effect of rotative grazing, introduction of species and fertilization seems to be decisive for changes in floristic composition. Vegetation under rotative grazing presented trajectories that converge to a situation of similarity in the species' composition.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-07-01

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

  10. MULTI-TEMPORAL CROP SURFACE MODELS COMBINED WITH THE RGB VEGETATION INDEX FROM UAV-BASED IMAGES FOR FORAGE MONITORING IN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Possoch

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing of crop biomass is important in regard to precision agriculture, which aims to improve nutrient use efficiency and to develop better stress and disease management. In this study, multi-temporal crop surface models (CSMs were generated from UAV-based dense imaging in order to derive plant height distribution and to determine forage mass. The low-cost UAV-based RGB imaging was carried out in a grassland experiment at the University of Bonn, Germany, in summer 2015. The test site comprised three consecutive growths including six different nitrogen fertilizer levels and three replicates, in sum 324 plots with a size of 1.5×1.5 m. Each growth consisted of six harvesting dates. RGB-images and biomass samples were taken at twelve dates nearly biweekly within two growths between June and September 2015. Images were taken with a DJI Phantom 2 in combination of a 2D Zenmuse gimbal and a GoPro Hero 3 (black edition. Overlapping images were captured in 13 to 16 m and overview images in approximately 60 m height at 2 frames per second. The RGB vegetation index (RGBVI was calculated as the normalized difference of the squared green reflectance and the product of blue and red reflectance from the non-calibrated images. The post processing was done with Agisoft PhotoScan Professional (SfM-based and Esri ArcGIS. 14 ground control points (GCPs were located in the field, distinguished by 30 cm × 30 cm markers and measured with a RTK-GPS (HiPer Pro Topcon with 0.01 m horizontal and vertical precision. The errors of the spatial resolution in x-, y-, z-direction were in a scale of 3-4 cm. From each survey, also one distortion corrected image was georeferenced by the same GCPs and used for the RGBVI calculation. The results have been used to analyse and evaluate the relationship between estimated plant height derived with this low-cost UAV-system and forage mass. Results indicate that the plant height seems to be a suitable indicator for forage mass

  11. Multi-Temporal Crop Surface Models Combined with the RGB Vegetation Index from Uav-Based Images for Forage Monitoring in Grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Possoch, M.; Bieker, S.; Hoffmeister, D.; Bolten, A.; Schellberg, J.; Bareth, G.

    2016-06-01

    Remote sensing of crop biomass is important in regard to precision agriculture, which aims to improve nutrient use efficiency and to develop better stress and disease management. In this study, multi-temporal crop surface models (CSMs) were generated from UAV-based dense imaging in order to derive plant height distribution and to determine forage mass. The low-cost UAV-based RGB imaging was carried out in a grassland experiment at the University of Bonn, Germany, in summer 2015. The test site comprised three consecutive growths including six different nitrogen fertilizer levels and three replicates, in sum 324 plots with a size of 1.5×1.5 m. Each growth consisted of six harvesting dates. RGB-images and biomass samples were taken at twelve dates nearly biweekly within two growths between June and September 2015. Images were taken with a DJI Phantom 2 in combination of a 2D Zenmuse gimbal and a GoPro Hero 3 (black edition). Overlapping images were captured in 13 to 16 m and overview images in approximately 60 m height at 2 frames per second. The RGB vegetation index (RGBVI) was calculated as the normalized difference of the squared green reflectance and the product of blue and red reflectance from the non-calibrated images. The post processing was done with Agisoft PhotoScan Professional (SfM-based) and Esri ArcGIS. 14 ground control points (GCPs) were located in the field, distinguished by 30 cm × 30 cm markers and measured with a RTK-GPS (HiPer Pro Topcon) with 0.01 m horizontal and vertical precision. The errors of the spatial resolution in x-, y-, z-direction were in a scale of 3-4 cm. From each survey, also one distortion corrected image was georeferenced by the same GCPs and used for the RGBVI calculation. The results have been used to analyse and evaluate the relationship between estimated plant height derived with this low-cost UAV-system and forage mass. Results indicate that the plant height seems to be a suitable indicator for forage mass. There is a

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Comparison of CO2 and H2O fluxes over grassland vegetations measured by the eddy-covariance technique and by open system chamber

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 2 (2007), s. 288-292 ISSN 0300-3604 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : CO2 and H2O fluxes * leaf area index * grassland * EC Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.976, year: 2007

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-11-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Peter J Blank

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

  17. 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

  18. 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...

  19. A performance comparison of sampling methods in the assessment of species composition patterns and environment–vegetation relationships in species-rich grasslands

    OpenAIRE

    Grzegorz Swacha; Zoltán Botta-Dukát; Zygmunt Kącki; Daniel Pruchniewicz; Ludwik Żołnierz

    2017-01-01

    The influence that different sampling methods have on the results and the interpretation of vegetation analysis has been much debated, but little is yet known about how the spatial arrangement of samples affect patterns of species composition and environment–vegetation relationships within the same vegetation type. We compared three data sets of the same sample size obtained by three standard sampling methods: preferential, random, and systematic. These different sampling methods were applied...

  20. Vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Epstein, H.E.; Walker, D.A.; Bhatt, U.S.

    2012-01-01

    increased 20-26%. • Increasing shrub growth and range extension throughout the Low Arctic are related to winter and early growing season temperature increases. Growth of other tundra plant types, including graminoids and forbs, is increasing, while growth of mosses and lichens is decreasing. • Increases...... in vegetation (including shrub tundra expansion) and thunderstorm activity, each a result of Arctic warming, have created conditions that favor a more active Arctic fire regime....

  1. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    ALESSANDRO SERAFINI SAULI

    2006-05-01

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

  2. 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...

  3. Biodiversity in temperate European grasslands: origin and conservation.

    OpenAIRE

    Pärtel, Meelis; Bruun, Hans Henrik; Sammul, Marek

    2005-01-01

    Northern Europe is in the forest zone, but wild megaherbivores have maintained grass-dominated vegetation here for the last 1.8 million years. Continuity of the grassland biome through glacialinterglacial cycles and connection to steppe vegetation has resulted in the evolution, immigration, and survival of a large number of grassland species. During the last millennia the effect of wild ungulates has been replaced by domestic grazers and hay making, and the persistence of grasslan...

  4. Habitat associations of migrating and overwintering grassland birds in Southern Texas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Ballard, Bart M.

    1999-01-01

    We report on the habitat associations of 21 species of grassland birds overwintering in or migrating through southern Texas, during 1991-1992 and 1992-1993. Ninety percent of our grassland bird observations were made during winter and spring, and only 10% occurred during fall. Grassland species made up a high proportion of the total bird densities in grassland and shrub-grassland habitats, but much lower proportions in the habitats with more woody vegetation. Fewer grassland species were observed in grassland and woodland than in brushland, parkland, and shrub-grassland habitats. Grassland birds generally were found in higher densities in habitats that had woody canopy coverage of < 30%; densities of grassland birds were highest in shrub-grassland habitat and lowest in woodland habitat. Species that are grassland specialists on their breeding grounds tended to be more habitat specific during the nonbreeding season compared to shrub-grassland specialists, which were more general in their nonbreeding-habitat usage. Nonetheless, our data demonstrate that grassland birds occur in a variety of habitats during the nonbreeding season and seem to occupy a broader range of habitats than previously described.

  5. Water-soluble carbohydrates of root components and activity rhythms at vegetative growth stage of Artemisia scoparia in northeastern grassland of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shiyu; Yang, Yunfei; Zhi, Heng

    2017-01-01

    The root system of perennials is composed of the roots of different growth years. The nutrient storage capacities and activities of roots are an important basis for judging root components and plant senescence. In this research, changes in the contents of water-soluble carbohydrate (WSC) were used as indicators of the nutrient storage and activity of roots of different life years. From the early resprouting stage to the rapid growth stage, Artemisia scoparia L. plants of 1-3 age classes were sampled and measured once every 18 days. The nutrient storage capacities and activity rhythms of plant root components of the three age classes were analysed quantitatively. Among the A. scoparia population in northeast China, the nutrient storage capacities of 1a/2a plant root collars and 2-year old roots were generally large, whereas those of 3a plant root collars and 3-year old roots were significantly reduced. As for changes in the WSC content in the root system at the 18 day resprouting stage, the decline rates in the root collars of the 1a and 2a plants were 102 and 109 times those of the 3a plants, respectively. The decline rate in the 2-year old roots of the 1a plants was 1.8 times that of the 2a plants and 29.6 times that of the 3a plants. When nutrients were most active, all root components of the 1a plants entered into the resprouting stage, but the 2/3-year old roots of the 2a plants lagged behind. All the root components of the 3a plants generally lagged. At the vegetative growth stage, the WSC contents in all root components of the 1a plants declined logarithmically. For the 3a plants, the content in the root collars decreased linearly with that in the 3-year old roots. The older root components (3-year old roots) of the 2a plants and all root components of the 3a plants exhibited signs of aging.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ren, Jizhou; Li, Xianglin; Hou, Fujiang

    2002-08-01

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

  7. Lesser prairie-chicken nest site selection, microclimate, and nest survival in association with vegetation response to a grassland restoration program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boal, Clint W.; Grisham, Blake A.; Haukos, David A.; Zavaleta, Jennifer C.; Dixon, Charles

    2014-01-01

    Climate models predict that the region of the Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GPLCC) will experience increased maximum and minimum temperatures, reduced frequency but greater intensity of precipitation events, and earlier springs. These climate changes along with different landscape management techniques may influence the persistence of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus), a candidate for protection under the Endangered Species Act and a priority species under the GPLCC, in positive or negative ways. The objectives of this study were to conduct (1) a literature review of lesser prairie-chicken nesting phenology and ecology, (2) an analysis of thermal aspects of lesser prairie-chicken nest microclimate data, and (3) an analysis of nest site selection, nest survival, and vegetation response to 10 years of tebuthiuron and/or grazing treatments. We found few reports in the literature containing useful data on the nesting phenology of lesser prairie-chickens; therefore, managers must rely on short-term observations and measurements of parameters that provide some predictive insight into climate impacts on nesting ecology. Our field studies showed that prairie-chickens on nests were able to maintain relatively consistent average nest temperature of 31 °C and nest humidities of 56.8 percent whereas average external temperatures (20.3–35.0 °C) and humidities (35.2–74.9 percent) varied widely throughout the 24 hour (hr) cycle. Grazing and herbicide treatments within our experimental areas were designed to be less intensive than in common practice. We determined nest locations by radio-tagging hen lesser prairie-chickens captured at leks, which are display grounds at which male lesser prairie-chickens aggregate and attempt to attract a female for mating. Because nest locations selected by hen lesser prairie-chicken are strongly associated with the lek at which they were captured, we assessed nesting habitat use on the basis of hens

  8. 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

  9. Exacerbated grassland degradation and desertification in Central Asia during 2000-2014.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Geli; Biradar, Chandrashekhar M; Xiao, Xiangming; Dong, Jinwei; Zhou, Yuting; Qin, Yuanwei; Zhang, Yao; Liu, Fang; Ding, Mingjun; Thomas, Richard J

    2018-03-01

    Grassland degradation and desertification is a complex process, including both state conversion (e.g., grasslands to deserts) and gradual within-state change (e.g., greenness dynamics). Existing studies hardly separated the two components and analyzed it as a whole based on time series vegetation index data, which cannot provide a clear and comprehensive picture for grassland degradation and desertification. Here we propose an integrated assessment strategy, by considering both state conversion and within-state change of grasslands, to investigate grassland degradation and desertification process in Central Asia. First, annual maps of grasslands and sparsely vegetated land were generated to track the state conversions between them. The results showed increasing grasslands were converted to sparsely vegetated lands from 2000 to 2014, with the desertification region concentrating in the latitude range of 43-48° N. A frequency analysis of grassland vs. sparsely vegetated land classification in the last 15 yr allowed a recognition of persistent desert zone (PDZ), persistent grassland zone (PGZ), and transitional zone (TZ). The TZ was identified in southern Kazakhstan as one hotspot that was unstable and vulnerable to desertification. Furthermore, the trend analysis of Enhanced Vegetation Index during thermal growing season (EVI TGS ) was investigated in individual zones using linear regression and Mann-Kendall approaches. An overall degradation across the area was found; moreover, the second desertification hotspot was identified in northern Kazakhstan with significant decreasing in EVI TGS , which was located in PGZ. Finally, attribution analyses of grassland degradation and desertification were conducted by considering precipitation, temperature, and three different drought indices. We found persistent droughts were the main factor for grassland degradation and desertification in Central Asia. Considering both state conversion and gradual within-state change

  10. Structure and Processes in Temperate Grassland Vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ejrnæs, R.

    , modern (geognostic, topographical, and climatic), and in part historical. The limits of distribution of a species may depend upon prevailing conditions, upon barriers now existing in the form of a mountain, sea, soil, and cli-mate, which oppose its spread ; but they may also depend upon geohistoric...... or geological and climatic conditions of ages long past, and upon the whole evolutionary history of the species, the site of this, and the facilities for and means of migration. In addition, problems must be dealt with concerning centres of development, the rise and age of species and genera ; and behind...

  11. East African Cenozoic vegetation history.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linder, Hans Peter

    2017-11-01

    The modern vegetation of East Africa is a complex mosaic of rainforest patches; small islands of tropic-alpine vegetation; extensive savannas, ranging from almost pure grassland to wooded savannas; thickets; and montane grassland and forest. Here I trace the evolution of these vegetation types through the Cenozoic. Paleogene East Africa was most likely geomorphologically subdued and, as the few Eocene fossil sites suggest, a woodland in a seasonal climate. Woodland rather than rainforest may well have been the regional vegetation. Mountain building started with the Oligocene trap lava flows in Ethiopia, on which rainforest developed, with little evidence of grass and none of montane forests. The uplift of the East African Plateau took place during the middle Miocene. Fossil sites indicate the presence of rainforest, montane forest and thicket, and wooded grassland, often in close juxtaposition, from 17 to 10 Ma. By 10 Ma, marine deposits indicate extensive grassland in the region and isotope analysis indicates that this was a C 3 grassland. In the later Miocene rifting, first of the western Albertine Rift and then of the eastern Gregory Rift, added to the complexity of the environment. The building of the high strato-volcanos during the later Mio-Pliocene added environments suitable for tropic-alpine vegetation. During this time, the C 3 grassland was replaced by C 4 savannas, although overall the extent of grassland was reduced from the mid-Miocene high to the current low level. Lake-level fluctuations during the Quaternary indicate substantial variation in rainfall, presumably as a result of movements in the intertropical convergence zone and the Congo air boundary, but the impact of these fluctuations on the vegetation is still speculative. I argue that, overall, there was an increase in the complexity of East African vegetation complexity during the Neogene, largely as a result of orogeny. The impact of Quaternary climatic fluctuation is still poorly understood

  12. Efficacy of exclosures in conserving local shrub biodiversity in xeric sandy grassland, Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feng-Rui Li; Zhi-Yu Zhou; Li-Ya Zhao; Ai-Sheng Zhang; Ling-Fen Kang

    2007-01-01

    This study investigated the abundance and frequency of occurrence of all shrub species present in the standing vegetation at four sites, including a 5-year exclosure (protected grassland) and three adjacent unprotected grazing sites that had been subjected to different levels of degradation (light, moderate and severe), in xeric sandy grassland of Inner Mongolia for...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-11-01

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

  14. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  16. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kevin S Ellison

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

  19. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-06-01

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

  2. Impact of Climate Change on Temperate and Alpine Grasslands in China during 1982–2006

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiangjin Shen

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Based on GIMMS NDVI and climate data from 1982 to 2006, this study analyzed the impact of climate change on grassland in China. During the growing season, there were significant effects of precipitation on the growth of all the grassland types (P<0.05, except for meadow vegetation. For the air temperatures, there existed asymmetrical effects of maximum temperature (Tmax and minimum temperature (Tmin on grassland vegetation, especially for the temperate grasslands and alpine steppe. The growing season NDVI correlated negatively with Tmax but positively with Tmin for temperate grasslands. Seasonally, these opposite effects were only observed in summer. For alpine steppe, the growing season NDVI correlated positively with Tmax but negatively with Tmin, and this pattern of asymmetrical responses was only obvious in spring and autumn. Under the background of global asymmetric warming, more attention should be paid to this asymmetric response of grassland vegetation to daytime and night-time warming, especially when we want to predict the productivity of China’s grasslands in the future.

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valkó Orsolya

    2016-12-01

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

  7. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas Möckel

    2014-08-01

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

  8. 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

  9. [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.

  10. River floodplain vegetation classification using multi-temporal high-resolution colour infrared UAV imagery.

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van Iersel, W.K.; Straatsma, M.W.; Addink, E.A.; Middelkoop, H.

    2016-01-01

    To evaluate floodplain functioning, monitoring of its vegetation is essential. Although airborne imagery is widely applied for this purpose, classification accuracy (CA) remains low for grassland (< 88%) and herbaceous vegetation (<57%) due to the spectral and structural similarity of these

  11. Florística e fitossociologia da vegetação de um campo sujeito à arenização no sudoeste do Estado do Rio Grande do Sul, Brasil Floristics and phytosociology of grassland vegetation subject to sandy desertification in southwestern Rio Grande do Sul State, Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Elisete Maria de Freitas

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available Extensas áreas de campo nativo do sudoeste do Rio Grande do Sul são suscetíveis ao processo de arenização, que ocorre em áreas de fragilidade pedológica, tendo influência de interferência antrópica e fatores abióticos. Com o objetivo de testar a variação da cobertura vegetal e a dinâmica da arenização no tempo e conforme a influência da distância da encosta, foi desenvolvido um estudo florístico e fitossociológico em áreas de campo nativo sob pastejo. Duas subáreas, diferentes quanto ao processo da arenização, foram selecionadas no município de São Francisco de Assis, RS. O levantamento florístico apontou a ocorrência de 102 espécies, distribuídas em 25 famílias. No estudo fitossociológico, 35 quadros permanentes de 0,25 m² em cada subárea foram dispostos em diferentes distâncias da encosta do morro. Foram registradas as coberturas das espécies vegetais, do mantilho e do solo exposto em três períodos. Dados sobre riqueza e diversidade de espécies e formas de vida foram avaliados por análise de variância, via testes de aleatorização, considerando o fator temporal e o espacial (distância da encosta. Houve maior redução da diversidade específica e da cobertura vegetal na subárea 1 (com menor cobertura vegetal conforme a variação temporal. Na subárea 2 (com maior cobertura vegetal, o aumento do solo exposto e a conseqüente redução da cobertura vegetal tiveram maior influência da distância da encosta. A alteração da cobertura vegetal e a expansão da arenização observadas ao longo do tempo são resultado da influência conjunta da dinâmica pluviométrica, do tipo solo, da presença de encostas dos relevos tabulares com pouca vegetação e da contínua pressão de pastejo.Extensive areas of native grassland in southwestern Rio Grande do Sul are susceptible to sandy desertification, which occurs in pedologically fragile areas influenced by anthropic interference and abiotic factors. A

  12. Differentiating climate- and human-induced drivers of grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    He, Chunyang; Tian, Jie; Gao, Bin; Zhao, Yuanyuan

    2015-01-01

    Quantitatively distinguishing grassland degradation due to climatic variations from that due to human activities is of great significance to effectively governing degraded grassland and realizing sustainable utilization. The objective of this study was to differentiate these two types of drivers in the Liao River Basin during 1999-2009 using the residual trend (RESTREND) method and to evaluate the applicability of the method in semiarid and semihumid regions. The relationship between the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and each climatic factor was first determined. Then, the primary driver of grassland degradation was identified by calculating the change trend of the normalized residuals between the observed and the predicted NDVI assuming that climate change was the only driver. We found that the RESTREND method can be used to quantitatively and effectively differentiate climate and human drivers of grassland degradation. We also found that the grassland degradation in the Liao River Basin was driven by both natural processes and human activities. The driving factors of grassland degradation varied greatly across the study area, which included regions having different precipitation and altitude. The degradation in the Horqin Sandy Land, with lower altitude, was driven mainly by human activities, whereas that in the Kungl Prairie, with higher altitude and lower precipitation, was caused primarily by climate change. Therefore, the drivers of degradation and local conditions should be considered in an appropriate strategy for grassland management to promote the sustainability of grasslands in the Liao River Basin.

  13. Grassland habitat restoration: lessons learnt from long term monitoring of Swanworth Quarry, UK, 1997–2014

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Barbara Maria Smith

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Habitat restoration projects are often conducted when prior use or extraction of natural resources results in land degradation. The success of restoration programmes, however, is variable, and studies that provide evidence of long term outcomes are valuable for evaluation purposes. This study focused on the restoration of vegetation within a limestone quarry in Dorset, UK between 1997 and 2014. Using a randomised block design, the effect of seed mix and seed rate on the development of community assemblage was investigated in comparison to a nearby target calcareous grassland site. We hypothesised that seed mix composition and sowing rate would influence both the trajectory of the grassland assemblage and final community composition. We found that species composition (in relation to both richness and community assemblage was strongly influenced by time and to some extent by seed rate and seed mix. However, no treatments achieved strong resemblance to the calcareous grassland target vegetation; rather they resembled mesotrophic communities. We conclude that (as with previous studies there is no “quick fix” for the establishment of a grassland community; long-term monitoring provides useful information on the trajectory of community development; sowing gets you something (in our case mesotrophic grassland, but, it may not be the target vegetation (e.g., calcicolous grassland you want that is difficult to establish and regenerate; it is important to sow a diverse mix as subsequent recruitment opportunities are probably limited; post-establishment management should be explored further and carefully considered as part of a restoration project.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Péter Török

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

  15. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  17. The freezing and thawing of water in poultry meat and vegetables irradiated by electrons at doses of 0.1-4 kGy

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dubini, B.; Montecchia, F.; Ponzi-Bossi, M.G.; Messina, G.

    1993-01-01

    Poultry meat and some vegetables, irradiated by 5 MeV electrons (0.1-4 kGy), were analysed by differential scanning calorimetry, from 24 h after irradiation. The temperature and enthalpy transitions of the water contained in the irradiated samples were measured and compared with those of unirradiated samples. The authors analysed 18 meat and 10 vegetable samples for each irradiation dose together with a similar number of unirradiated controls. The mean supercooling temperatures of water in the irradiated poultry meat samples and in some vegetables are significantly lower than those of controls. Moreover, the freezing enthalpies of the irradiated poultry breast are significantly lower than those of controls, while they are unchanged in the other cases. The mean ice melting temperatures and enthalpies are similar for all samples. The amount of the lowering of the water-ice transition depends on the nature of the sample and is highest in poultry breast and lowest in vegetables. (author)

  18. Relationships between botanical and chemical composition of forages: a multivariate approach to grasslands in the Western Italian Alps.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravetto Enri, Simone; Renna, Manuela; Probo, Massimiliano; Lussiana, Carola; Battaglini, Luca M; Lonati, Michele; Lombardi, Giampiero

    2017-03-01

    Plant composition of species-rich mountain grasslands can affect the sensorial and chemical attributes of dairy and meat products, with implications for human health. A multivariate approach was used to analyse the complex relationships between vegetation characteristics (botanical composition and plant community variables) and chemical composition (proximate constituents and fatty acid profile) in mesophilic and dry vegetation ecological groups, comprising six different semi-natural grassland types in the Western Italian Alps. Mesophilic and dry grasslands were comparable in terms of phenology, biodiversity indices and proportion of botanical families. The content of total fatty acids and that of the most abundant fatty acids (alpha-linolenic, linoleic and palmitic acids) were mainly associated to nutrient-rich plant species, belonging to the mesophilic grassland ecological group. Mesophilic grasslands showed also higher values of crude protein, lower values of fibre content and they were related to higher pastoral values of vegetation compared to dry grasslands. The proximate composition and fatty acid profile appeared mainly single species dependent rather than botanical family dependent. These findings highlight that forage from mesophilic grasslands can provide higher nutritive value for ruminants and may be associated to ruminant-derived food products with a healthier fatty acid profile. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry. © 2016 Society of Chemical Industry.

  19. Detection of irradiated fruits and vegetables by gas-chromatographic methods and electron spin-resonance

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Farag, S.E.A. (National Centre for Radiation Research and Technology, Cairo (Egypt))

    1993-01-01

    Gas chromatographic methods detected some hydrocarbons esp. 17:1, 16:2, 15:0 and 14:1 in irradiated, Avocado, Papaya, Mangoes with 0.75, 1.5, 3.0 kGy and Apricot with 0.5 and 3.0 kGy. The detection of hydrocarbons was clearly at high doses but the low doses need more sensitive conditions using Liquid-Liquid-Gas chromatographic method as used here. Using Electron Spin-Resonance, produce a specific signal from irradiated onion (dried leaves) as well as apricot (hard coat of kernels) after some weeks of irradiation process but not clear with the other foodstuffs. (orig.)

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  1. 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.

  2. 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...

  3. 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

  4. Direct effects of cattle on grassland birds in Canada.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bleho, Barbara I; Koper, Nicola; Machtans, Craig S

    2014-06-01

    Effects of grazing on grassland birds are generally thought to be indirect, through alteration of vegetation structure; however, livestock can also affect nest survival directly through trampling and other disturbances (e.g., livestock-induced abandonment). We extracted data on nest fates from 18 grazing studies conducted in Canada. We used these data to assess rates of nest destruction by cattle among 9 ecoregions and between seasonal and rotational grazing systems. Overall, few nests were destroyed by cattle (average 1.5% of 9132 nests). Nest destruction was positively correlated with grazing pressure (i.e., stocking rate or grazing intensity), but nest survival was higher in more heavily grazed areas for some species. Because rates of destruction of grassland bird nests by cattle are low in Canada, management efforts to reduce such destruction may not be of ecological or economic value in Canada. © 2014 Society for Conservation Biology.

  5. 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

  6. 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  

  7. Nesting ecology of grassland birds following a wildfire in the southern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roberts, Anthony J.; Boal, Clint W.; Whitlaw, Heather A.

    2017-01-01

    We studied the response of nesting grassland birds occupying short-grass and mixed-grass prairie sites 2 and 3 y following two, large-scale wildfires that burned ≥360,000 ha in the Texas Panhandle in March 2006. Nest success was greater on burned plots compared to unburned plots, though this varied by species and year. Woody vegetation cover was greater around nests on unburned plots compared to burned plots for Cassin's sparrow (Peucaea cassinii) and lark sparrow (Chondestes grammacus). Cassin's sparrows and lark sparrows nested in more-woody vegetation than did grasshopper sparrows (Ammodramus savannarum), and woody vegetation was reduced following the wildfires. The wildfires appear to have had few if any negative influences on the avian community 3 years postfire. This may be due to grassland breeding birds being adapted to landscapes in which, historically, periodic disturbance (e.g., wildfire, intensive grazing by bison [Bison bison]) resulted in vegetation heterogeneity.

  8. 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

  9. Testing for thresholds in a semiarid grassland: The influence of prairie dogs and plague

    Science.gov (United States)

    State and transition models for semiarid grasslands in the Great Plains of North America suggest that the presence of herbivorous black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus) on a site (1) creates a vegetation state characterized by increased dominance of annual forbs and unpalatable bunchgrasse...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

    The replacement of native C4-dominated grassland by C3-dominated shrubland is considered an ecological state transition where different ecological communities can exist under similar environmental conditions. These state transitions are occurring globally, and may be exacerbated by climate change. One consequence of the global increase in woody vegetation may be...

  11. 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.

  12. Efectos del pastoreo sobre el banco de semillas germinable y la vegetación establecida en pastizales de montaña del centro de Argentina Grazing effects on the germinable seed bank and standing vegetation in mountain grasslands from central Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    SEBASTIÁN MARQUEZ

    2002-06-01

    semillas persistente a corto y a largo plazo. El pastoreo, o su ausencia, no modifica la abundancia en el banco de semillas de la mayoría de las especies, sin embargo, las dos especies que sí cambian de manera importante su presencia en el banco, responden a dos estrategias opuestas, según lo observado por otros autores, una domina la productividad primaria del ecosistema en ausencia del pastoreo, la otra, ocuparía un papel importante en la cicatrización de huecos a la escala de microparche en sitios muy perturbadosWe studied the effect of grazing on the standing vegetation and the germinable soil seed bank in natural mountain grasslands at Pampa de Achala, Córdoba Province, Argentine. We analyzed the germinable seed bank at two depths (0-5 and 5-10 cm in five replicates from sites grazed at a moderate to intense grazing intensity, and in five replicates from sites excluded from herbivores during the last 10 years. We recorded species frequency on the standing vegetation and species abundance in the germinable seed bank. Grazing did not produce significant changes in the number of species of the standing vegetation, but produced an increase in species diversity due to a decrease in the dominance of perennial grasses such as Deyeuxia hieronymi and Festuca tucumanica. We registered only three alien species in the grasslands under study. Grazing did not produce significant changes in the seed bank richness and diversity. Average seed bank density significantly did not change after grazing, however, the density of the annual grass Muhlenbergia peruviana increased, while that of the tussock grass Deyeuxia hieronymi decreased in grazed plots. Seeds present in litter at the excluded sites comprised 20 % of the total number of species and 43 % of the total seed density. Ordination analysis, taking into account floristic composition of standing vegetation and the germinable seed bank, showed higher segregation between grazed-ungrazed samples than samples from vegetation and

  13. Monitoring in South African grasslands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1984-12-01

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

  14. Reducing classification error of grassland overgrowth by combing low-density lidar acquisitions and optical remote sensing data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pitkänen, T. P.; Käyhkö, N.

    2017-08-01

    Mapping structural changes in vegetation dynamics has, for a long time, been carried out using satellite images, orthophotos and, more recently, airborne lidar acquisitions. Lidar has established its position as providing accurate material for structure-based analyses but its limited availability, relatively short history, and lack of spectral information, however, are generally impeding the use of lidar data for change detection purposes. A potential solution in respect of detecting both contemporary vegetation structures and their previous trajectories is to combine lidar acquisitions with optical remote sensing data, which can substantially extend the coverage, span and spectral range needed for vegetation mapping. In this study, we tested the simultaneous use of a single low-density lidar data set, a series of Landsat satellite frames and two high-resolution orthophotos to detect vegetation succession related to grassland overgrowth, i.e. encroachment of woody plants into semi-natural grasslands. We built several alternative Random Forest models with different sets of variables and tested the applicability of respective data sources for change detection purposes, aiming at distinguishing unchanged grassland and woodland areas from overgrown grasslands. Our results show that while lidar alone provides a solid basis for indicating structural differences between grassland and woodland vegetation, and orthophoto-generated variables alone are better in detecting successional changes, their combination works considerably better than its respective parts. More specifically, a model combining all the used data sets reduces the total error from 17.0% to 11.0% and omission error of detecting overgrown grasslands from 56.9% to 31.2%, when compared to model constructed solely based on lidar data. This pinpoints the efficiency of the approach where lidar-generated structural metrics are combined with optical and multitemporal observations, providing a workable framework to

  15. Striking a balance: socioeconomic development and conservation in grassland through community-based zoning.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Craig Leisher

    Full Text Available The goal of preserving nature is often in conflict with economic development and the aspirations of the rural poor. Nowhere is this more striking than in native grasslands, which have been extensively converted until a mere fraction of their original extent remains. This is not surprising; grasslands flourish in places coveted by humans, primed for agriculture, plantations, and settlements that nearly always trump conservation efforts. The Umgano grassland conservation and poverty reduction project in KwaZulu-Natal Province, South Africa uses community-based spatial planning to balance the conversion of its lower-conservation value grasslands to a timber plantation, while conserving higher-value grasslands for heritage purposes and managed livestock grazing. Ten years after project launch, we measured the ecological and socioeconomic impacts of the project using Normalized Differential Vegetation Index remote sensing data and over 500 household interviews, as compared with similar non-conserved areas. Zoned management of the Umgano area had resulted in between 9% and 17% greater average peak production in the grassland areas compared to control sites. There was also a 21% gain in incomes for the roughly one hundred people employed by the forestry efforts, when compared to others in their village. Community-based spatial zoning is an overlooked tool for balancing conservation and development but may require, as we found in Umgano, certain critical factors including strong local leadership, an accountable financial management mechanism to distribute income, outside technical expertise for the zoning design, and community support.

  16. 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.

  17. Hemiptera community and species responses to grassland sward islets

    OpenAIRE

    Helden, Alvin J.; Dittrich, Alex D. K.

    2016-01-01

    Sward islet is a term that has been used to describe a patch of longer vegetation in a pasture produced by a reduction in cattle grazing around their dung. They are known to affect the abundance and distribution of grassland arthropods. Hemiptera, like other groups, are found in higher densities within islets than the surrounding sward. Does this modify the community composition or is there just a density effect? Evidence from a paired (islets, non-islets) study at an Irish cattle-grazed site...

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Long-term dynamics of the hemiparasite Rhinanthus angustifolius and its relationship with vegetation structure

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ameloot, Els; Verheyen, Kris; Bakker, Jan P.; De Vries, Yzaak; Hermy, Martin

    2006-01-01

    Questions: 1. How are the long-term dynamics of the root hemiparasite Rhinanthus angustifolius related to vegetation structure, grassland management and climate? 2. Does R. angustifolius have a long-term impact on standing crop and community composition? Location: A formerly fertilized grassland,

  2. Vegetation structure and heavy metal uptake by plants in the mining ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study assessed the plant species composition and the heavy metal uptake by plants in the mining-impacted and non mining-impacted areas of the southern Lake Victoria basin. The vegetation of the wetlands was stratified into riverine forest, riverine thickets, swampy grassland, open woodland and floodplain grassland ...

  3. Effects of vegetation management by mowing on ground-dwelling arthropods

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Noordijk, J.; Schaffers, A.P.; Sykora, K.V.

    2010-01-01

    Species-rich grasslands are rare in the Netherlands and need consistent vegetation management to retain their characteristic biodiversity. Roadside verges are important refuges for grassland plants since the mowing management no longer aims at traffic safety only but also strives for botanical

  4. Nesting success of grassland and savanna birds on reclaimed surface coal mines of the midwestern United States

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Galligan, E.W.; DeVault, T.L.; Lima, S.L. [Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN (United States)

    2006-12-15

    Reclaimed surface coal mines in southwestern Indiana support many grassland and shrub/savanna bird species of conservation concern. We examined the nesting success of birds on these reclaimed mines to assess whether such 'unnatural' places represent productive breeding habitats for such species. We established eight study sites on two large, grassland-dominated mines in southwestern Indiana and classified them into three categories (open grassland, shrub/savanna, and a mixture of grassland and shrub/savanna) based on broad vegetation and landscape characteristics. During the 1999 and 2000 breeding seasons, we found and monitored 911 nests of 31 species. Daily nest survival for the most commonly monitored grassland species ranged from 0.903 (Dickcissel, Spiza americana) to 0.961 (Grasshopper Sparrow, Ammodramus savannarum). Daily survival estimates for the dominant shrub/savanna nesting species ranged from 0.932 (Brown Thrasher, Toxostoma rufum) to 0.982 (Willow Flycatcher, Empidonax traillii). Vegetation and landscape effects on nesting success were minimal, and only Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna) showed a clear time-of-season effect, with greater nesting success in the first half of the breeding season. Rates of Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) parasitism were only 2.1% for grassland species and 12.0% for shrub/savanna species. The nesting success of birds on reclaimed mine sites was comparable to that in other habitats, indicating that reclaimed habitats on surface mines do not necessarily represent reproductive traps for birds.

  5. Seasonal variations in phosphorus fractions in semiarid sandy soils under different vegetation types

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qiong Zhao; Dehui Zeng; Zhiping Fan; Zhanyuan Yu; Yalin Hu; Jianwei Zhang

    2009-01-01

    We investigated the seasonal patterns of soil phosphorus (P) fractions under five vegetation types – Ulmus macrocarpa savanna, grassland, Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica plantation, Pinus tabulaeformis plantation, and Populus simonii plantation ...

  6. Efficacy and External Validity of Electronic and Mobile Phone-Based Interventions Promoting Vegetable Intake in Young Adults: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nour, Monica; Chen, Juliana; Allman-Farinelli, Margaret

    2016-04-08

    Young adults (18-35 years) remain among the lowest vegetable consumers in many western countries. The digital era offers opportunities to engage this age group in interventions in new and appealing ways. This systematic review evaluated the efficacy and external validity of electronic (eHealth) and mobile phone (mHealth) -based interventions that promote vegetable intake in young adults. We searched several electronic databases for studies published between 1990 and 2015, and 2 independent authors reviewed the quality and risk of bias of the eligible papers and extracted data for analyses. The primary outcome of interest was the change in vegetable intake postintervention. Where possible, we calculated effect sizes (Cohen d and 95% CIs) for comparison. A random effects model was applied to the data for meta-analysis. Reach and representativeness of participants, intervention implementation, and program maintenance were assessed to establish external validity. Published validation studies were consulted to determine the validity of tools used to measure intake. We applied the Grading of Recommendations Assessment, Development and Evaluation (GRADE) system to evaluate the overall quality of the body of evidence. Of the 14 studies that met the selection criteria, we included 12 in the meta-analysis. In the meta-analysis, 7 studies found positive effects postintervention for fruit and vegetable intake, Cohen d 0.14-0.56 (pooled effect size 0.22, 95% CI 0.11-0.33, I(2)=68.5%, P=.002), and 4 recorded positive effects on vegetable intake alone, Cohen d 0.11-0.40 (pooled effect size 0.15, 95% CI 0.04-0.28, I(2)=31.4%, P=.2). These findings should be interpreted with caution due to variability in intervention design and outcome measures. With the majority of outcomes documented as a change in combined fruit and vegetable intake, it was difficult to determine intervention effects on vegetable consumption specifically. Measurement of intake was most commonly by self

  7. Changes in the bacterial number (enterohaemorrhagic E. coli O157:H7, coliforms and SPC) in salted vegetables during storage and by treatment with electron-beam irradiation

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Miyahara, Michiko; Miyahara, Makoto

    2007-01-01

    Enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli O157:H7 causes severe illness in humans, especially young children and elder people. Some 2-3% salted vegetables (called Asazuke) contaminated with E. coli O157:H7 have caused food-poisoning and even death. The viability of E. coli O157:H7 in saline water and in salted vegetables was tested. During cold and frozen storage, the apparent decrease in the number of E. coli O157:H7 was not observed. However, electron-beam irradiation (0.534, 1.097 and 2.639 kGy) caused clear decrease in the numbers of E. coli O157:H7 in frozen salted Mizuna. The number of standard plating count (SPC) and coliforms were also counted and compared with the changes in the number of E. coli O157:H7. (author)

  8. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. Vegetation dynamics and erosion resistance of sea dyke grassland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sprangers, J.T.C.M.

    1999-01-01

    In the Netherlands, in addition to the width and height of the dyke body itself, renewed measures for reconstruction and maintenance of dykes have stressed the importance to the safeguarding of the dyke, of the grass cover's protection of the clay-layer against

  11. Machine Learning to Assess Grassland Productivity in Southeastern Arizona

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ponce-Campos, G. E.; Heilman, P.; Armendariz, G.; Moser, E.; Archer, V.; Vaughan, R.

    2015-12-01

    We present preliminary results of machine learning (ML) techniques modeling the combined effects of climate, management, and inherent potential on productivity of grazed semi-arid grasslands in southeastern Arizona. Our goal is to support public land managers determine if agency management policies are meeting objectives and where to focus attention. Monitoring in the field is becoming more and more limited in space and time. Remotely sensed data cover the entire allotments and go back in time, but do not consider the key issue of species composition. By estimating expected vegetative production as a function of site potential and climatic inputs, management skill can be assessed through time, across individual allotments, and between allotments. Here we present the use of Random Forest (RF) as the main ML technique, in this case for the purpose of regression. Our response variable is the maximum annual NDVI, a surrogate for grassland productivity, as generated by the Google Earth Engine cloud computing platform based on Landsat 5, 7, and 8 datasets. PRISM 33-year normal precipitation (1980-2013) was resampled to the Landsat scale. In addition, the GRIDMET climate dataset was the source for the calculation of the annual SPEI (Standardized Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index), a drought index. We also included information about landscape position, aspect, streams, ponds, roads and fire disturbances as part of the modeling process. Our results show that in terms of variable importance, the 33-year normal precipitation, along with SPEI, are the most important features affecting grasslands productivity within the study area. The RF approach was compared to a linear regression model with the same variables. The linear model resulted in an r2 = 0.41, whereas RF showed a significant improvement with an r2 = 0.79. We continue refining the model by comparison with aerial photography and to include grazing intensity and infrastructure from units/allotments to assess the

  12. Topographic and Bioclimatic Determinants of the Occurrence of Forest and Grassland in Tropical Montane Forest-Grassland Mosaics of the Western Ghats, India.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Arundhati Das

    Full Text Available The objective of this analysis was to identify topographic and bioclimatic factors that predict occurrence of forest and grassland patches within tropical montane forest-grassland mosaics. We further investigated whether interactions between topography and bioclimate are important in determining vegetation pattern, and assessed the role of spatial scale in determining the relative importance of specific topographic features. Finally, we assessed the role of elevation in determining the relative importance of diverse explanatory factors. The study area consists of the central and southern regions of the Western Ghats of Southern India, a global biodiversity hotspot. Random forests were used to assess prediction accuracy and predictor importance. Conditional inference classification trees were used to interpret predictor effects and examine potential interactions between predictors. GLMs were used to confirm predictor importance and assess the strength of interaction terms. Overall, topographic and bioclimatic predictors classified vegetation pattern with approximately 70% accuracy. Prediction accuracy was higher for grassland than forest, and for mosaics at higher elevations. Elevation was the most important predictor, with mosaics above 2000 m dominated largely by grassland. Relative topographic position measured at a local scale (within a 300 m neighbourhood was another important predictor of vegetation pattern. In high elevation mosaics, northness and concave land surface curvature were important predictors of forest occurrence. Important bioclimatic predictors were: dry quarter precipitation, annual temperature range and the interaction between the two. The results indicate complex interactions between topography and bioclimate and among topographic variables. Elevation and topography have a strong influence on vegetation pattern in these mosaics. There were marked regional differences in the roles of various topographic and bioclimatic

  13. Topographic and Bioclimatic Determinants of the Occurrence of Forest and Grassland in Tropical Montane Forest-Grassland Mosaics of the Western Ghats, India.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Das, Arundhati; Nagendra, Harini; Anand, Madhur; Bunyan, Milind

    2015-01-01

    The objective of this analysis was to identify topographic and bioclimatic factors that predict occurrence of forest and grassland patches within tropical montane forest-grassland mosaics. We further investigated whether interactions between topography and bioclimate are important in determining vegetation pattern, and assessed the role of spatial scale in determining the relative importance of specific topographic features. Finally, we assessed the role of elevation in determining the relative importance of diverse explanatory factors. The study area consists of the central and southern regions of the Western Ghats of Southern India, a global biodiversity hotspot. Random forests were used to assess prediction accuracy and predictor importance. Conditional inference classification trees were used to interpret predictor effects and examine potential interactions between predictors. GLMs were used to confirm predictor importance and assess the strength of interaction terms. Overall, topographic and bioclimatic predictors classified vegetation pattern with approximately 70% accuracy. Prediction accuracy was higher for grassland than forest, and for mosaics at higher elevations. Elevation was the most important predictor, with mosaics above 2000 m dominated largely by grassland. Relative topographic position measured at a local scale (within a 300 m neighbourhood) was another important predictor of vegetation pattern. In high elevation mosaics, northness and concave land surface curvature were important predictors of forest occurrence. Important bioclimatic predictors were: dry quarter precipitation, annual temperature range and the interaction between the two. The results indicate complex interactions between topography and bioclimate and among topographic variables. Elevation and topography have a strong influence on vegetation pattern in these mosaics. There were marked regional differences in the roles of various topographic and bioclimatic predictors across the

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  15. BETA DIVERSITY AND COMMUNITY DIFFERENTIATION IN DRY PERENNIAL SAND GRASSLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. KOVACS-LANG

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available The spatial variability of species composition was studied in perennial sand grasslands in Hungary at multiple scales. Three sites were compared along an aridity gradient. Existing differences in climate along this ca. 200 km gradient correspond to regional climate changes predicted for the next 20-30 years. Six stands of Festucetum vaginatae grasslands were selected at each site within 400 x 1200 m areas for representing the coarse-scale within-site heterogeneity. Fine-scale compositional heterogeneity of vegetation within stands was sampled by recording the presence of species along 52 m long circular belt transects of 1040 units of 5 cm x 5 cm contiguous microquadrats. This sampling design enabled us to study the patterns of species combinations at a wide range of scales. The highest variability of plant species combinations appeared at very fine scales, between 10 cm and 25 cm. Differences in beta diversity along the gradient were scale-dependent. We found a decreasing trend of beta diversity with increasing aridity at fine scale, and on the contrary, an increasing trend at landscape scale. We conclude that the major trend of the vegetation differentiation due to aridity is the decrease of compositional variability at fine-scale accompanied by a coarse-scale diversification.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-03-01

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

  17. Using Calibrated RGB Imagery from Low-Cost Uavs for Grassland Monitoring: Case Study at the Rengen Grassland Experiment (rge), Germany

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lussem, U.; Hollberg, J.; Menne, J.; Schellberg, J.; Bareth, G.

    2017-08-01

    Monitoring the spectral response of intensively managed grassland throughout the growing season allows optimizing fertilizer inputs by monitoring plant growth. For example, site-specific fertilizer application as part of precision agriculture (PA) management requires information within short time. But, this requires field-based measurements with hyper- or multispectral sensors, which may not be feasible on a day to day farming practice. Exploiting the information of RGB images from consumer grade cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) can offer cost-efficient as well as near-real time analysis of grasslands with high temporal and spatial resolution. The potential of RGB imagery-based vegetation indices (VI) from consumer grade cameras mounted on UAVs has been explored recently in several. However, for multitemporal analyses it is desirable to calibrate the digital numbers (DN) of RGB-images to physical units. In this study, we explored the comparability of the RGBVI from a consumer grade camera mounted on a low-cost UAV to well established vegetation indices from hyperspectral field measurements for applications in grassland. The study was conducted in 2014 on the Rengen Grassland Experiment (RGE) in Germany. Image DN values were calibrated into reflectance by using the Empirical Line Method (Smith & Milton 1999). Depending on sampling date and VI the correlation between the UAV-based RGBVI and VIs such as the NDVI resulted in varying R2 values from no correlation to up to 0.9. These results indicate, that calibrated RGB-based VIs have the potential to support or substitute hyperspectral field measurements to facilitate management decisions on grasslands.

  18. USING CALIBRATED RGB IMAGERY FROM LOW-COST UAVS FOR GRASSLAND MONITORING: CASE STUDY AT THE RENGEN GRASSLAND EXPERIMENT (RGE, GERMANY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    U. Lussem

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring the spectral response of intensively managed grassland throughout the growing season allows optimizing fertilizer inputs by monitoring plant growth. For example, site-specific fertilizer application as part of precision agriculture (PA management requires information within short time. But, this requires field-based measurements with hyper- or multispectral sensors, which may not be feasible on a day to day farming practice. Exploiting the information of RGB images from consumer grade cameras mounted on unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV can offer cost-efficient as well as near-real time analysis of grasslands with high temporal and spatial resolution. The potential of RGB imagery-based vegetation indices (VI from consumer grade cameras mounted on UAVs has been explored recently in several. However, for multitemporal analyses it is desirable to calibrate the digital numbers (DN of RGB-images to physical units. In this study, we explored the comparability of the RGBVI from a consumer grade camera mounted on a low-cost UAV to well established vegetation indices from hyperspectral field measurements for applications in grassland. The study was conducted in 2014 on the Rengen Grassland Experiment (RGE in Germany. Image DN values were calibrated into reflectance by using the Empirical Line Method (Smith & Milton 1999. Depending on sampling date and VI the correlation between the UAV-based RGBVI and VIs such as the NDVI resulted in varying R2 values from no correlation to up to 0.9. These results indicate, that calibrated RGB-based VIs have the potential to support or substitute hyperspectral field measurements to facilitate management decisions on grasslands.

  19. 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.

  20. FLORISTIC CHANGES ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHICAL GRADIENT IN MONTANE GRASSLANDS IN MONTI PICENTINI (CAMPANIA, SW ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. CUTINI

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Populations of xerotolerant species (Achnatherum calamagrostis, Stipa crassiculmis subsp. picentina, are scattered along a wide altitudinal gradient on slopes at mid- and high elevation in Monti Picentini, a subcoastal mesozoic limestone ridge in Tyrrhenian Southern Italy. Their stands are widespread in grasslands of mostly secondary origin. At lower altitudes these grasslands replace former deciduous forest communities dominated by oaks or beech, while at higher altitudes they reach the summits, where they apparently merge into the remnants of the still partially grazed, zonal climatogenic, grasslands ranging above the local tree-line. Nevertheless primary stands of these grasslands are to be found around the many clusters of highly dynamic sites of the montane and sub-alpine levels, scattered around screes and rocky outcrops of the prevalently dolomitic morphology of the slopes. This virtual continuity of non arboreal communities across more than 1000 metres of the local topographical gradient, where azonal, relic stands of Pinus nigra s.l. are transitional between the grasslands and the surrounding zonal broadleaved forest vegetation, stresses patterns of the coenological changes between Festuco-Brometea and Elyno-Seslerietea along the catena, which suggest fragmentary persistence of a paleozonation.

  1. FLORISTIC CHANGES ALONG THE TOPOGRAPHICAL GRADIENT IN MONTANE GRASSLANDS IN MONTI PICENTINI (CAMPANIA, SW ITALY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. SPADA

    2010-04-01

    Full Text Available Populations of xerotolerant species (Achnatherum calamagrostis, Stipa crassiculmis subsp. picentina, are scattered along a wide altitudinal gradient on slopes at mid- and high elevation in Monti Picentini, a subcoastal mesozoic limestone ridge in Tyrrhenian Southern Italy. Their stands are widespread in grasslands of mostly secondary origin. At lower altitudes these grasslands replace former deciduous forest communities dominated by oaks or beech, while at higher altitudes they reach the summits, where they apparently merge into the remnants of the still partially grazed, zonal climatogenic, grasslands ranging above the local tree-line. Nevertheless primary stands of these grasslands are to be found around the many clusters of highly dynamic sites of the montane and sub-alpine levels, scattered around screes and rocky outcrops of the prevalently dolomitic morphology of the slopes. This virtual continuity of non arboreal communities across more than 1000 metres of the local topographical gradient, where azonal, relic stands of Pinus nigra s.l. are transitional between the grasslands and the surrounding zonal broadleaved forest vegetation, stresses patterns of the coenological changes between Festuco-Brometea and Elyno-Seslerietea along the catena, which suggest fragmentary persistence of a paleozonation.

  2. Woody plant encroachment of grasslands: a comparison of terrestrial and wetland settings.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saintilan, Neil; Rogers, Kerrylee

    2015-02-01

    A global trend of woody plant encroachment of terrestrial grasslands is co-incident with woody plant encroachment of wetland in freshwater and saline intertidal settings. There are several arguments for considering tree encroachment of wetlands in the context of woody shrub encroachment of grassland biomes. In both cases, delimitation of woody shrubs at regional scales is set by temperature thresholds for poleward extent, and by aridity within temperature limits. Latitudinal expansion has been observed for terrestrial woody shrubs and mangroves, following recent warming, but most expansion and thickening has been due to the occupation of previously water-limited grassland/saltmarsh environments. Increases in atmospheric CO₂, may facilitate the recruitment of trees in terrestrial and wetland settings. Improved water relations, a mechanism that would predict higher soil moisture in grasslands and saltmarshes, and also an enhanced capacity to survive arid conditions, reinforces local mechanisms of change. The expansion of woody shrubs and mangroves provides a negative feedback on elevated atmospheric CO₂ by increasing carbon sequestration in grassland and saltmarsh, and is a significant carbon sink globally. These broad-scale vegetation shifts may represent a new stable state, reinforced by positive feedbacks between global change drivers and endogenic mechanisms of persistence in the landscape.

  3. Air quality and human health impacts of grasslands and shrublands in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gopalakrishnan, Varsha; Hirabayashi, Satoshi; Ziv, Guy; Bakshi, Bhavik R.

    2018-06-01

    Vegetation including canopy, grasslands, and shrublands can directly sequester pollutants onto the plant surface, resulting in an improvement in air quality. Until now, several studies have estimated the pollution removal capacity of canopy cover at the level of a county, but no such work exists for grasslands and shrublands. This work quantifies the air pollution removal capacity of grasslands and shrublands at the county-level in the United States and estimates the human health benefits associated with pollution removal using the i-Tree Eco model. Sequestration of pollutants is estimated based on the Leaf Area Index (LAI) obtained from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) derived dataset estimates of LAI and the percentage land cover obtained from the National Land Cover Database (NLCD) for the year 2010. Calculation of pollution removal capacity using local environmental data indicates that grasslands and shrublands remove a total of 6.42 million tonnes of air pollutants in the United States and the associated monetary benefits total 268 million. Human health impacts and associated monetary value due to pollution removal was observed to be significantly high in urban areas indicating that grasslands and shrublands are equally critical as canopy in improving air quality and human health in urban regions.

  4. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hoogerkamp, M.

    1984-01-01

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

  5. Application of solid-phase micro extraction for the determination of pesticides in vegetable samples by gas chromatography with an electron capture detector

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chai, Mee Kin; Tan, Guan Huat; Kumari, Asha

    2008-01-01

    A solid-phase micro extraction (SPME) method has been developed for the determination of 9 pesticides in 2 vegetables -cucumber and tomato - samples, based on direct immersion mode and subsequent desorption into the injection port of a gas chromatograph with an electron capture detector (GC-ECD). The main factors affecting the SPME process such as extraction time and temperature, desorption time and temperature, the effect of salt addition and fiber depth into the liner were studied and optimized. The analytical procedure proposed consisted of a 30 minute ultrasonic extraction of the target compounds from 1.0 g vegetable samples with 5 mL of distilled water. Then, the samples were filtered and topped up with distilled water to 10 mL. The analytes in this aqueous extract were extracted for 15 minutes with a 100 μm thickness polydimethylsiloxane SPME fiber. Relative standard deviations for triplicate analyses of samples were less than 10 %. The recoveries of the pesticides studied in cucumber and tomato ranged from 52 % to 82 % and the RSD were below 10 %. Therefore, the proposed method is applicable in the analysis of pesticides in vegetable matrices. SPME has been shown to be a simple extraction technique, which has a number of advantages such as solvent free extraction, simplicity and compatibility with the chromatographic analytical system. (author)

  6. The Use of Fire Radiative Power to Estimate the Biomass Consumption Coefficient for Temperate Grasslands in the Atlantic Forest Biome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bibiana Salvador Cabral da Costa

    Full Text Available Abstract Every year, many active fire spots are identified in the satellite images of the southern Brazilian grasslands in the Atlantic Forest biome and Pampa biome. Fire Radiative Power (FRP is a technique that uses remotely sensed data to quantify burned biomass. FRP measures the radiant energy released per time unit by burning vegetation. This study aims to use satellite and field data to estimate the biomass consumption rate and the biomass consumption coefficient for the southern Brazilian grasslands. Three fire points were identified in satellite FRP products. These data were combined with field data, collected through literature review, to calculate the biomass consumption coefficient. The type of vegetation is an important variable in the estimation of the biomass consumption coefficient. The biomass consumption rate was estimated to be 2.237 kg s-1 for the southern Brazilian grasslands in Atlantic Forest biome, and the biomass consumption coefficient was estimated to be 0.242 kg MJ-1.

  7. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Anja Magiera

    2018-02-01

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

  9. Impact of weather on dynamics of plant functional groups in an abandoned limestone grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zbigniew Dzwonko

    2011-12-01

    Full Text Available We examined to what extend the rate and direction of changes in unmanaged grassland depend on fluctuations in climatic conditions. Vegetation data from permanent plots in a semi-natural grassland in southern Poland collected over 12 years were used. Relations between weather variables, time, and the cover of 41 more frequent species and 14 plant functional groups were analysed. The greatest effect on the dynamics of species and functional groups had precipitation in spring and/or early summer, particularly in the current year. The majority of plant groups were significantly affected also by the temperature in spring and early summer in one of the three previous years. During 12 years, the cover of annuals and biennials, short plants, and plants with small leaves decreased, while the cover of taller plants, plants with larger leaves, and with vegetative spread increased. The analyses suggest that these successional changes were not directly associated with climatic conditions but were affected by them indirectly through interspecific competition. The fluctuations in climatic conditions, chiefly precipitation, had a significant effect on both the composition and the rate of changes in abandoned grassland. The increase in the cover of tall perennial species with broad leaves hindered succession towards woodland despite of the presence of woods in the closed vicinity. It can be expected that during drier periods colonisation of grassland by later successional species could be easier.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  11. Integration of multi-sensor data to assess grassland dynamics in a Yellow River sub-watershed

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ouyang, W.; Hao, F.; Skidmore, A.K.; Groen, T.A.; Toxopeus, A.G.; Wang, T.

    2012-01-01

    Grasslands form the dominant land cover in the upper reaches of the Yellow River and provide a reliable indicator by being strongly correlated with regional terrestrial ecological status. Remote sensing can provide information useful for vegetation quality assessments, but no single sensor can meet

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Cristina Sanhueza

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available A group of legumes generically known as brooms are among the most successful shrubs invading grasslands in South America and otherregions. These species share a set of biological features that enhance their invasiveness, such as abundant and long-lasting seed banks,aggressive root systems and rapid growth, combined with their ability for re-sprouting after cutting or burning and for avoiding herbivores.They grow in dense stands that exclude native vegetation and are able to change ecological processes, increasing fire frequency and intensity,and fixing atmospheric nitrogen. The Spanish broom (Spartium junceum is a shrub native form the Mediterranean that was introduced intothe Argentine Pampas grasslands where it spreads over remnants of pristine ecosystems, threatening their biodiversity. This paper reports theresults obtained after an adaptive management strategy aimed at controlling this species in a nature reserve, and compares the efficiency ofdifferent mechanical and chemical control techniques in terms of the number of plants killed and the effects on surrounding vegetation andon the recruitment of broom seedlings. Control was implemented in two phases, the first included three treatments: i cut at the base of theplant, ii cut followed by the immediate application of Togar (Picloram 3% + Triclopyr 6%, at a 5% dilution in diesel oil on top of the cut stump, and iii foliar spraying with Togar. The follow-up treatments, implemented one year later, consisted of spraying the re-sprouts with Togar (5% in diesel oil or Glyphosate 36% (2% in water. The best option in terms of controlling Spanish broom was spraying the resprouts with Togar which gave 100% mortality of the treated plants, compared with values of 40% - 100% re-sprouting for the other optionstested. None of the methods was associated with an increase in seedling recruitment, nor with significant changes in the vegetation in the immediate vicinity of the controlled brooms.

  16. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2007-01-01

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

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. Efficacy and External Validity of Electronic and Mobile Phone-Based Interventions Promoting Vegetable Intake in Young Adults: A Systematic Review Protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nour, Monica Marina; Chen, Juliana; Allman-Farinelli, Margaret

    2015-07-28

    Despite social marketing campaigns and behavior change interventions, young adults remain among the lowest consumers of vegetables. The digital era offers potential new avenues for both social marketing and individually tailored programs, through texting, web, and mobile applications. The effectiveness and generalizability of such programs have not been well documented. The aim of this systematic review is to evaluate the efficacy and external validity of social marketing, electronic, and mobile phone-based (mHealth) interventions aimed at increasing vegetable intake in young adults. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) protocol will be used to conduct this systematic review. The search strategy will be executed across eleven electronic databases using combinations of the following search terms: "online intervention", "computer-assisted therapy", "internet", "website", "cell phones", "cyber", "telemedicine", "email", "social marketing", "social media", "mass media", "young adult", and "fruit and vegetables". The reference lists of included studies will also be searched for additional citations. Titles and abstracts will be screened against inclusion criteria and full texts of potentially eligible papers will be assessed by two independent reviewers. Data from eligible papers will be extracted. Quality and risk of bias will be assessed using the Effective Public Health Practice Project (EPHPP) Quality Assessment Tool for Quantitative Studies and The Cochrane Collaboration Risk of Bias assessment tool respectively. The external validity of the studies will be determined based on components such as reach, adoption, and representativeness of participants; intervention implementation and adaption; and program maintenance and institutionalization. Results will be reported quantitatively and qualitatively. Our research is in progress. A draft of the systematic review is currently being produced for publication by the end of 2015

  20. Grassland communities of urban open spaces in Bloemfontein, Free State, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mamokete N.V. Dingaan

    2013-02-01

    Full Text Available Natural vegetation in urban environments is greatly impacted by human activities and it is in constant threat of degradation and destruction as a result of urbanisation. This vegetation, although fragmented, serves an important ecological function and needs to be properly managed and conserved. Studies on urban vegetation are lacking in South Africa, with only a handful having been carried out since the end of the last century. This study was initiated to identify, classify and describe the grassland communities of the urban open spaces in Bloemfontein. Relevés were compiled in 61 sample plots, where species present and habitat information were recorded. Care was taken to restrict sample plots to vegetation in pristine condition, wherever possible, and severely degraded stands were avoided. A two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN classification, refined by Braun-Blanquet procedures, revealed two distinct major communities, seven communities and four sub-communities. Both detrended and canonical correspondence analyses indicated the vegetation units to be associated with soil texture and pH, although biotic factors such as overgrazing, burning and mowing also influence the composition of the vegetation. The proper management and conservation of urban open spaces requires in-depth knowledge of the spatial distribution, floristic, structural and functional compositions within the major vegetation types in this environment. The present study further contributed towards formulating ways for the proper management, utilisation and functioning of the open spaces within the Bloemfontein area.Conservation implications: The Grassland Biome of South Africa is poorly conserved, mainly because of its status as an agricultural hub of the country. The preservation of natural and semi-natural forms of urban vegetation is important because such vegetation, although often disturbed and degraded, could form dispersal corridors between peri-urban and rural

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Zhang

    2010-06-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rong Ge

    2018-01-01

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

  3. Spatiotemporal dynamics of grassland aboveground biomass on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau based on validated MODIS NDVI.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Shiliang; Cheng, Fangyan; Dong, Shikui; Zhao, Haidi; Hou, Xiaoyun; Wu, Xue

    2017-06-23

    Spatiotemporal dynamics of aboveground biomass (AGB) is a fundamental problem for grassland environmental management on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data can feasibly be used to estimate AGB at large scales, and their precise validation is necessary to utilize them effectively. In our study, the clip-harvest method was used at 64 plots in QTP grasslands to obtain actual AGB values, and a handheld hyperspectral spectrometer was used to calculate field-measured NDVI to validate MODIS NDVI. Based on the models between NDVI and AGB, AGB dynamics trends during 2000-2012 were analyzed. The results showed that the AGB in QTP grasslands increased during the study period, with 70% of the grasslands undergoing increases mainly in the Qinghai Province. Also, the meadow showed a larger increasing trend than steppe. Future AGB dynamic trends were also investigated using a combined analysis of the slope values and the Hurst exponent. The results showed high sustainability of AGB dynamics trends after the study period. Predictions indicate 60% of the steppe and meadow grasslands would continue to increase in AGB, while 25% of the grasslands would remain in degradation, with most of them distributing in Tibet.

  4. Assessing the Impact of Spectral Resolution on Classification of Lowland Native Grassland Communities Based on Field Spectroscopy in Tasmania, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bethany Melville

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a case study for the analysis of endangered lowland native grassland communities in the Tasmanian Midlands region using field spectroscopy and spectral convolution techniques. The aim of the study was to determine whether there was significant improvement in classification accuracy for lowland native grasslands and other vegetation communities based on hyperspectral resolution datasets over multispectral equivalents. A spectral dataset was collected using an ASD Handheld-2 spectroradiometer at Tunbridge Township Lagoon. The study then employed a k-fold cross-validation approach for repeated classification of a full hyperspectral dataset, a reduced hyperspectral dataset, and two convoluted multispectral datasets. Classification was performed on each of the four datasets a total of 30 times, based on two different class configurations. The classes analysed were Themeda triandra grassland, Danthonia/Poa grassland, Wilsonia rotundifolia/Selliera radicans, saltpan, and a simplified C3 vegetation class. The results of the classifications were then tested for statistically significant differences using ANOVA and Tukey’s post-hoc comparisons. The results of the study indicated that hyperspectral resolution provides small but statistically significant increases in classification accuracy for Themeda and Danthonia grasslands. For other classes, differences in classification accuracy for all datasets were not statistically significant. The results obtained here indicate that there is some potential for enhanced detection of major lowland native grassland community types using hyperspectral resolution datasets, and that future analysis should prioritise good performance in these classes over others. This study presents a method for identification of optimal spectral resolution across multiple datasets, and constitutes an important case study for lowland native grassland mapping in Tasmania.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  6. Analysis on the Change of Grassland Coverage in the Source Region of Three Rivers during 2000-2012

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Luo, Chengfeng; Wang, Jiao; Liu, Meilin; Liu, Zhengjun

    2014-01-01

    The Source Region of Three Rivers (SRTR) has very important ecological functions which form an ecological security barrier for China's Qinghai-Tibet plateau. As the biggest nationally occuring nature reserve region in China, the ecological environment here is very fragile. In SRTR the grassland coverage is an effective detector to reflect the ecological environment condition, because it records the changing process of climatic and environmental sensitively. In recent years SRTR has been suffering pressures from both nature and social pressures. With MODIS data the study monitored the grassland coverage continuously in SRTR from 2000 to 2012. The density-model was adapted to estimate grassland coverage degree firstly. Then the degree of change and the change intensity, change type were used to judge the grassland coverage change trend comprehensively. For grassland coverage there was natural change annual or within the year, and the degree of change was used to judge if there was change or not. The grassland has another important characteristic, annual fluctuation, and it can be differed from sustained changes with change type. For grassland coverage, such continuous change, like improvement or degradation, and to what extent, has more guidance sense on specific production practice. On the base of change type and degree of change, change intensity was used to identify the change trend of the grassland coverage. The analysis results from our study show that steady state and fluctuation are two main change trends for the vegetation coverage in SRTR from 2000 to 2012. The conclusion of this paper can provide references in response to environment change research and in the regional ecological environmental protection project in SRTR

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Density and success of bird nests relative to grazing on western Montana grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fondell, Thomas F.; Ball, I.J.

    2004-01-01

    Grassland birds are declining at a faster rate than any other group of North American bird species. Livestock grazing is the primary economic use of grasslands in the western United States, but the effects of this use on distribution and productivity of grassland birds are unclear. We examined nest density and success of ground-nesting birds on grazed and ungrazed grasslands in western Montana. In comparison to grazed plots, ungrazed plots had reduced forb cover, increased litter cover, increased litter depth, and increased visual obstruction readings (VOR) of vegetation. Nest density among 10 of 11 common bird species was most strongly correlated with VOR of plots, and greatest nest density for each species occurred where mean VOR of the plot was similar to mean VOR at nests. Additionally, all bird species were relatively consistent in their choice of VOR at nests despite substantial differences in VOR among plots. We suggest that birds selected plots based in part on availability of suitable nest sites and that variation in nest density relative to grazing reflected the effect of grazing on availability of nest sites. Nest success was similar between grazed plots and ungrazed plots for two species but was lower for nests on grazed plots than on ungrazed plots for two other species because of increased rates of predation, trampling, or parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds (Molothrus ater). Other species nested almost exclusively on ungrazed plots (six species) or grazed plots (one species), precluding evaluation of the effects of grazing on nest success. We demonstrate that each species in a diverse suite of ground-nesting birds preferentially used certain habitats for nesting and that grazing altered availability of preferred nesting habitats through changes in vegetation structure and plant species composition. We also show that grazing directly or indirectly predisposed some bird species to increased nesting mortality. Management alternatives that avoid

  11. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mentis, MT

    1982-10-01

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

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Hook, R.I.; Yates, A.J.

    1975-01-01

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

  13. 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.

  14. Grassland bird productivity in warm season grass fields in southwest Wisconsin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byers, Carolyn M.; Ribic, Christine; Sample, David W.; Dadisman, John D.; Guttery, Michael

    2017-01-01

    Surrogate grasslands established through federal set-aside programs, such as U.S. Department of Agriculture's Conservation Reserve Program (CRP), provide important habitat for grassland birds. Warm season grass CRP fields as a group have the potential for providing a continuum of habitat structure for breeding birds, depending on how the fields are managed and their floristic composition. We studied the nesting activity of four obligate grassland bird species, Bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus), Eastern Meadowlark (Sturnella magna), Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), and Henslow's Sparrow (A. henslowii), in relation to vegetative composition and fire management in warm season CRP fields in southwest Wisconsin during 2009–2011. Intraspecific variation in apparent nest density was related to the number of years since the field was burned. Apparent Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest in the breeding season immediately following spring burns, apparent Henslow's Sparrow nest density was highest 1 y post burn, and apparent Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark nest densities were higher in post fire years one to three. Grasshopper Sparrow nest density was highest on sites with more diverse vegetation, specifically prairie forbs, and on sites with shorter less dense vegetation. Bobolink, Eastern Meadowlark, and Henslow's Sparrow apparent nest densities were higher on sites with deeper litter; litter was the vegetative component that was most affected by spring burns. Overall nest success was 0.487 for Bobolink (22 d nesting period), 0.478 for Eastern Meadowlark (25 d nesting period), 0.507 for Grasshopper Sparrow (22 d nesting period), and 0.151 for Henslow's Sparrow (21 d nesting period). The major nest predators were grassland-associated species: thirteen-lined ground squirrel (Ictidomys tridecemlineatus), striped skunk (Mephitis mephitis), milk snake (Lampropeltis triangulum), American badger (Taxidea taxus), and western fox snake (Elaphe vulpina). Overall

  15. 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.

  16. High potential of sub-Mediterranean dry grasslands for sheep epizoochory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kaligarič Mitja

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available There is a general decline of grasslands across Europe due to habitat loss and degradation. Ensuring plant dispersal thus becomes a key process for preserving grassland patches in all scales. We examined diaspore dispersal by sheep epizoochory in the pastures of the North Adriatic Karst (NW Slovenia and determined the qualitative and quantitative features of diaspores in fur. We recorded 25,650 diaspores of 141 plant taxa (with 107 taxa and 23,350 diaspores determined to species level, using three different methods: (i the “whole-coat method”, (ii the “part-of-thecoat method” and (iii a “seedling emergence method”. A comparison of these techniques revealed that the “wholecoat method” provided the highest number of diaspores and plant species. All diaspores were clustered into five emergent groups based on seven functional traits (diaspore weight, length, width, height, volume, specific weight and the diaspore surface structure. Our research revealed that sheep represent an important dispersal vector, since about half of the plant species recorded in the pastures were found as diaspores in fur. This study contributes to knowledge about the modes of seed dispersal in seminatural grasslands. Taking into account that livestock play a key role in vegetation dynamics, understanding their effects on seed dispersal is essential for conservation and restoration of these species-rich grassland communities.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-04-01

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

  18. On the statistical analysis of vegetation change: a wetland affected by water extraction and soil acidification

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braak, ter C.J.F.; Wiertz, J.

    1994-01-01

    A case study is presented on the statistical analysis and interpretation of vegetation change without precise information on environmental change. The changes in a vegetation of a Junco-Molinion grassland are evaluated on the basis of relevés of 1977 and 1988 (20 plots) from a small nature reserve

  19. 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.

  20. 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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jiangzhou Xia

    2014-02-01

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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Targeted grazing for the restoration of sub-alpine shrub-encroached grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Massimiliano Probo

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available The decline of agro-pastoral activities has led to a widespread tree and shrub-encroachment of former semi-natural meso-eutrophic grasslands in many European mountain regions. Temporary night camp areas (TNCA and mineral mix supplements for targeted cattle were arranged over shrub-encroached areas to restore grassland vegetation within the Val Troncea Natural Park (Italy. From 2011 to 2015, their effects on vegetation structure and pastoral value of forage were assessed along permanent transects. Four years after treatments, both practices were effective in reducing the shrub cover and increasing the cover and average height of the herbaceous layer, but changes were more remarkable within TNCA. Moreover, the arrangement of TNCA decreased the cover of nanophanerophytes and increased the cover of graminoids and high quality species, as well as the overall forage pastoral value. In conclusion, TNCA were the most effective pastoral practice to contrast shrub-encroachment and increase herbage mass and forage quality of sub-alpine grasslands.

  5. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Baoping Meng

    2018-02-01

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

  7. Enhancing the diversity of breeding invertebrates within field margins of intensively managed grassland: Effects of alternative management practices.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fritch, Rochelle A; Sheridan, Helen; Finn, John A; McCormack, Stephen; Ó hUallacháin, Daire

    2017-11-01

    Severe declines in biodiversity have been well documented for many taxonomic groups due to intensification of agricultural practices. Establishment and appropriate management of arable field margins can improve the diversity and abundance of invertebrate groups; however, there is much less research on field margins within grassland systems. Three grassland field margin treatments (fencing off the existing vegetation "fenced"; fencing with rotavation and natural regeneration "rotavated" and; fencing with rotavation and seeding "seeded") were compared to a grazed control in the adjacent intensively managed pasture. Invertebrates were sampled using emergence traps to investigate species breeding and overwintering within the margins. Using a manipulation experiment, we tested whether the removal of grazing pressure and nutrient inputs would increase the abundance and richness of breeding invertebrates within grassland field margins. We also tested whether field margin establishment treatments, with their different vegetation communities, would change the abundance and richness of breeding invertebrates in the field margins. Exclusion of grazing and nutrient inputs led to increased abundance and richness in nearly all invertebrate groups that we sampled. However, there were more complex effects of field margin establishment treatment on the abundance and richness of invertebrate taxa. Each of the three establishment treatments supported a distinct invertebrate community. The removal of grazing from grassland field margins provided a greater range of overwintering/breeding habitat for invertebrates. We demonstrate the capacity of field margin establishment to increase the abundance and richness in nearly all invertebrate groups in study plots that were located on previously more depauperate areas of intensively managed grassland. These results from grassland field margins provide evidence to support practical actions that can inform Greening (Pillar 1) and agri

  8. Looking beyond rare species as umbrella species: Northern Bobwhites (Colinus virginianus) and conservation of grassland and shrubland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crosby, Andrew D.; Elmore, R.D.; Leslie,, David M.; Will, Rodney E.

    2015-01-01

    Changes in land use and land cover throughout the eastern half of North America have caused substantial declines in populations of birds that rely on grassland and shrubland vegetation types, including socially and economically important game birds such as the Northern Bobwhite (Colinus virginianus; hereafter bobwhites). As much attention is focused on habitat management and restoration for bobwhites, they may act as an umbrella species for other bird species with similar habitat requirements. We quantified the relationship of bobwhites to the overall bird community and evaluated the potential for bobwhites to act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds. We monitored bobwhite presence and bird community composition within 31 sample units on selected private lands in the south-central United States from 2009 to 2011. Bobwhites were strongly associated with other grassland and shrubland birds and were a significant positive predictor for 9 species. Seven of these, including Bell's Vireo (Vireo bell), Dicksissel (Spiza americana), and Grasshopper Sparrow (Ammodramus savannarum), are listed as species of conservation concern. Species richness and occupancy probability of grassland and shrubland birds were higher relative to the overall bird community in sample units occupied by bobwhites. Our results show that bobwhites can act as an umbrella species for grassland and shrubland birds, although the specific species in any given situation will depend on region and management objectives. These results suggest that efficiency in conservation funding can be increased by using public interest in popular game species to leverage resources to meet multiple conservation objectives.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sawaid Abbas

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Grasslands in the upper Indus basin provide a resource base for nomadic livestock grazing which is one of the major traditional livelihood practices in the area. The study presents climate patterns, grassland phenology, productivity and spatio-temporal climate controls on grassland growth using satellite data over the upper Indus basin of the Himalayan region, Pakistan. Phenology and productivity metrics of the grasses were estimated using a combination of derivative and threshold methods applied on fitted seasonal vegetation indices data over the period of 2001–2011. Satellite based rainfall and land surface temperature data are considered as representative explanatory variables to climate variability. The results showed distinct phenology and productivity patterns across four bioclimatic regions: (i humid subtropical region (HSR—late start and early end of season with short length of season and low productivity (ii temperate region (TR—early start and late end of season with higher length of season and moderate productivity (iii sub alpine region (SAR—late start and late end of season with very high length of season and the most productive grasses, and (iv alpine region (AR—late start and early end of season with small length of season and least productive grasses. Grassland productivity is constrained by temperature in the alpine region and by rainfall in the humid sub-tropical region. Spring temperature, winter and summer rainfall has shown significant and varied impact on phenology across different altitudes. The productivity is being influenced by summer and annual rainfall in humid subtropical regions, spring temperature in alpine and sub-alpine regions and both temperature and rainfall are contributing in temperate regions. The results revealing a strong relationship between grassland dynamics and climate variability put forth strong signals for drawing more scientific management of rangelands in the area.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Laurie B. Abbott

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by Irish stakeholders

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xiaotao Huang

    2017-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-07-01

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

  18. Biogeochemical Modeling of In Situ U(VI) Reduction and Immobilization with Emulsified Vegetable Oil as the Electron Donor at a Field Site in Oak Ridge, Tennessee

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tang, G.; Parker, J.; Wu, W.; Schadt, C. W.; Watson, D. B.; Brooks, S. C.; Orifrc Team

    2011-12-01

    A comprehensive biogeochemical model was developed to quantitatively describe the coupled hydrologic, geochemical and microbiological processes that occurred following injection of emulsified vegetable oil (EVO) as the electron donor to immobilize U(VI) at the Oak Ridge Integrated Field Research Challenge site (ORIFRC) in Tennessee. The model couples the degradation of EVO, production and oxidation of long-chain fatty acids (LCFA), glycerol, hydrogen and acetate, reduction of nitrate, manganese, ferrous iron, sulfate and uranium, and methanoganesis with growth of multiple microbial groups. The model describes the evolution of geochemistry and microbial populations not only in the aqueous phase as typically observed, but also in the mineral phase and therefore enables us to evaluate the applicability of rates from the literature for field scale assessment, estimate the retention and degradation rates of EVO and LCFA, and assess the influence of the coupled processes on fate and transport of U(VI). Our results suggested that syntrophic bacteria or metal reducers might catalyze LCFA oxidation in the downstream locations when sulfate was consumed, and competition between methanogens and others for electron donors and slow growth of methanogen might contribute to the sustained reducing condition. Among the large amount of hydrologic, geochemical and microbiological parameter values, the initial biomass, and the interactions (e.g., inhibition) of the microbial functional groups, and the rate and extent of Mn and Fe oxide reduction appear as the major sources of uncertainty. Our model provides a platform to conduct numerical experiments to study these interactions, and could be useful for further iterative experimental and modeling investigations into the bioreductive immobiliztion of radionuclide and metal contaminants in the subsurface.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. THE MOLDOVA VEGETATION EXPOSITION FROM THE BOTANICAL GARDEN OF THE ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF MOLDOVA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    POSTOLACHE GHEORGHE

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Construction phases of the Moldova Vegetation Exposition from the Botanical Garden of Chişinău are presented. Twelve forest micro-expositions, one steppe vegetation exposition, one grassland micro-exposition and an area of rare plants have been created during last 35 year on an area of 14 ha. The Moldova Vegetation Exposition includes 400 species of vascular plants.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Rowan D. Buhrmann

    2016-12-01

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

  2. Evaluation of MODIS albedo product (MCD43A) over grassland, agriculture and forest surface types during dormant and snow-covered periods

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhuosen Wang; Crystal B. Schaaf; Alan H. Strahler; Mark J. Chopping; Miguel O. Román; Yanmin Shuai; Curtis E. Woodcock; David Y. Hollinger; David R. Fitzjarrald

    2014-01-01

    This study assesses the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) BRDF/albedo 8 day standard product and products from the daily Direct Broadcast BRDF/albedo algorithm, and shows that these products agree well with ground-based albedo measurements during the more difficult periods of vegetation dormancy and snow cover. Cropland, grassland, deciduous and...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton S. Wright; Robert E. Vihnanek

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Relationships of Biomass with Environmental Factors in the Grassland Area of Hulunbuir, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, Miao; Liu, Guohua; Gong, Li; Wang, Dongbo; Sun, Jian

    2014-01-01

    Many studies have focused on the relationship between vegetation biomass and environmental factors in grassland. However, several questions remain to be answered, especially with regards to the spatial pattern of vegetation biomass. Thus, the distributed mechanism will be explored in the present study. Here, plant biomass was measured at 23 sites along a transect survey during the peak growing season in 2006. The data were analyzed with a classification and regression tree (CART) model. The structural equation modeling (SEM) was conducted to explicitly evaluate the both direct and indirect effects of these critical environmental elements on vegetation biomass. The results demonstrated that mean annual temperature (MAT) affected aboveground biomass (AGB) scored at −0.811 (Pbiomass (BGB) was −0.490 (Pbiomass distribution. PMID:25032808

  5. Modelling nitrous oxide emissions from grazed grassland systems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wang Junye; Cardenas, Laura M.; Misselbrook, Tom H.; Cuttle, Steve; Thorman, Rachel E.; Li Changsheng

    2012-01-01

    Grazed grassland systems are an important component of the global carbon cycle and also influence global climate change through their emissions of nitrous oxide and methane. However, there are huge uncertainties and challenges in the development and parameterisation of process-based models for grazed grassland systems because of the wide diversity of vegetation and impacts of grazing animals. A process-based biogeochemistry model, DeNitrification-DeComposition (DNDC), has been modified to describe N 2 O emissions for the UK from regional conditions. This paper reports a new development of UK-DNDC in which the animal grazing practices were modified to track their contributions to the soil nitrogen (N) biogeochemistry. The new version of UK-DNDC was tested against datasets of N 2 O fluxes measured at three contrasting field sites. The results showed that the responses of the model to changes in grazing parameters were generally in agreement with observations, showing that N 2 O emissions increased as the grazing intensity increased. - Highlights: ► Parameterisation of grazing system using grazing intensity. ► Modification of UK D NDC for the UK soil and weather conditions. ► Validation of the UK D NDC against measured data of N 2 O emissions in three UK sites. ► Estimating influence of animal grazing practises on N 2 O emissions. - Grazing system was parameterised using grazing intensity and UK-DNDC model was modified and validated against measured data of N 2 O emissions in three UK sites.

  6. Grassland communities of traditional orchards in the Western Carpathians (Slovakia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hubert Zarnovican

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available Traditional orchards are a valuable feature of the rural landscape and they are specific for regions with scattered settlement such as the Myjava hilly land and White Carpathians. Here, the permanent species-rich grasslands beneath trees were regularly managed in the traditional manner until some were replaced in the 1970’s and 80’s by intensively managed orchards, some of which were abandoned in the early 1990’s. Our 2011–2015 phytosociological research followed the standard Braun-Blanquet approach. We classified 178 phytosociological relevés recorded in orchard meadows (156 relevés, former intensively managed orchards (16 relevés, and two relevés from a semi-intensively grazed orchard. Traditionally managed orchard meadows were classified in the following five units: (i Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris – thermophilous variant, (ii Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris – transitional variant to Alchemillo-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, (iii Ranunculo bulbosi-Arrhenatheretum elatioris, (iv Onobrychido viciifoliae-Brometum erecti, and (v Brachypodio pinnati-Molinietum arundinaceae. Formerly intensively managed large-scale orchards were classified as Pastinaco sativae-Arrhenatheretum elatioris association and the semi-intensively grazed orchard as Lolio perennis-Cynosuretum cristati association. The species composition varies considerably due to tree-shading and different management treatments applied in the orchards, so the relevés of the delimited syntaxonomic units are not typical and have transitional character. Moisture, soil nutrients, and soil reaction were identified as the main environmental gradients influencing species composition. We tested four management treatments in direct gradient analysis and found that abandonment has the strongest effect on species composition. Comparison of grassland vegetation in the studied traditional orchards with that described in Germany reveals differences in species

  7. Prescribed burning supports grassland biodiversity - A multi-species study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkó, Orsolya; Deák, Balázs; Magura, Tibor; Török, Péter; Kelemen, András; Tóth, Katalin; Horváth, Roland; Nagy, Dávid; Debnár, Zsuzsanna; Zsigrai, György; Kapocsi, István; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2017-04-01

    During ancient times, fire was an important factor shaping European landscapes. Nowadays, prescribed burning can be one of the most effective conservation tools for the management of open landscapes, controlling dominant species, reducing accumulated litter or decreasing wildfire risk. In a prescribed burning experiment, we studied the effects of fire on dry alkaline grasslands. We tested whether autumn prescribed burning can be an alternative conservation measure in these grasslands. We selected six sites in Hungary: in three sites, prescribed burning was applied in November 2011, while three sites remained unburnt. We studied the effects of fire on soil characteristics, plant biomass and on the vegetation and arthropod assemblages (isopods, spiders, ground beetles and rove beetles). Soluble salt content increased significantly in the burnt sites, but soil pH, organic matter, potassium and phosphorous did not change. We found that prescribed fire had several positive effects from the nature conservation viewpoint. Diversity and the number of flowering shoots were higher, and the cover of the dominant grass was lower in the burnt sites. Graminoid biomass was lower, while total, green and forb biomass were higher in the burnt plots compared to the control ones. Our findings suggest that prescribed burning fire did not harm arthropods; species-level analyses showed that out of the most abundant invertebrate species, the abundance of ten was not affected, one decreased and one increased after burning. Our findings highlight that mosaic prescribed fire is a viable management tool in open landscapes, because it supports plant diversity and does not threaten arthropods.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2005-12-01

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

  9. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2001-01-01

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

  10. Purpose and Need for a Grassland Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Cathy W. Dahms

    2004-01-01

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

  11. Vegetation greenness trend (2000 to 2009) and the climate controls in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Li; Guo, Huadong; Ji, Lei; Lei, Liping; Wang, Cuizhen; Yan, Dongmei; Li, Bin; Li, Jing

    2013-01-01

    The Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau has been experiencing a distinct warming trend, and climate warming has a direct and quick impact on the alpine grassland ecosystem. We detected the greenness trend of the grasslands in the plateau using Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer data from 2000 to 2009. Weather station data were used to explore the climatic drivers for vegetation greenness variations. The results demonstrated that the region-wide averaged normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) increased at a rate of 0.036  yr−1. Approximately 20% of the vegetation areas, which were primarily located in the northeastern plateau, exhibited significant NDVI increase trend (p-value plateau. A strong positive relationship between NDVI and precipitation, especially in the northeastern plateau, suggested that precipitation was a favorable factor for the grassland NDVI. Negative correlations between NDVI and temperature, especially in the southern plateau, indicated that higher temperature adversely affected the grassland growth. Although a warming climate was expected to be beneficial to the vegetation growth in cold regions, the grasslands in the central and southwestern plateau showed a decrease in trends influenced by increased temperature coupled with decreased precipitation.

  12. Semi-arid grassland bird responses to patch-burn grazing and drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Skagen, Susan K.; Augustine, David J.; Derner, Justin D.

    2018-01-01

    As grassland birds of central North America experience steep population declines with changes in land use, management of remaining tracts becomes increasingly important for population viability. The integrated use of fire and grazing may enhance vegetation heterogeneity and diversity in breeding birds, but the subsequent effects on reproduction are unknown. We examined the influence of patch-burn grazing management in shortgrass steppe in eastern Colorado on habitat use and reproductive success of 3 grassland bird species, horned lark (Eremophila alpestris), lark bunting (Calamospiza melanocorys), and McCown’s longspur (Rhynchophanes mccownii), at several spatial scales during 2011 and 2012. Although no simple direct relationship to patch-burn grazing treatment existed, habitat selection depended on precipitation- and management-induced vegetation conditions and spatial scale. All species selected taller-than-expected vegetation at the nest site, whereas at the territory scale, horned larks and McCown’s longspurs selected areas with low vegetation height and sparse cover of tall plants (taller than the dominant shortgrasses). Buntings nested primarily in unburned grassland under average rainfall. Larks and longspurs shifted activity from patch burns during average precipitation (2011) to unburned pastures during drought (2012). Daily survival rate (DSR) of nests varied with time in season, species, weather, and vegetation structure. Daily survival rate of McCown’s longspur nests did not vary with foliar cover of relatively tall vegetation at the nest under average precipitation but declined with increasing cover during drought. At the 200-m scale, increasing cover of shortgrasses, rather than taller plant species, improved DSR of larks and longspurs. These birds experience tradeoffs in the selection of habitat at different spatial scales: tall structure at nests may reduce visual detection by predators and provide protection from sun, wind, and rain, yet

  13. Modeled Changes in Potential Grassland Productivity and in Grass-Fed Ruminant Livestock Density in Europe over 1961-2010.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Campioli, Matteo; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphaël; Leip, Adrian; Soussana, Jean-François

    2015-01-01

    About 25% of European livestock intake is based on permanent and sown grasslands. To fulfill rising demand for animal products, an intensification of livestock production may lead to an increased consumption of crop and compound feeds. In order to preserve an economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture, a more forage based livestock alimentation may be an advantage. However, besides management, grassland productivity is highly vulnerable to climate (i.e., temperature, precipitation, CO2 concentration), and spatial information about European grassland productivity in response to climate change is scarce. The process-based vegetation model ORCHIDEE-GM, containing an explicit representation of grassland management (i.e., herbage mowing and grazing), is used here to estimate changes in potential productivity and potential grass-fed ruminant livestock density across European grasslands over the period 1961-2010. Here "potential grass-fed ruminant livestock density" denotes the maximum density of livestock that can be supported by grassland productivity in each 25 km × 25 km grid cell. In reality, livestock density could be higher than potential (e.g., if additional feed is supplied to animals) or lower (e.g., in response to economic factors, pedo-climatic and biotic conditions ignored by the model, or policy decisions that can for instance reduce livestock numbers). When compared to agricultural statistics (Eurostat and FAOstat), ORCHIDEE-GM gave a good reproduction of the regional gradients of annual grassland productivity and ruminant livestock density. The model however tends to systematically overestimate the absolute values of productivity in most regions, suggesting that most grid cells remain below their potential grassland productivity due to possible nutrient and biotic limitations on plant growth. When ORCHIDEE-GM was run for the period 1961-2010 with variable climate and rising CO2, an increase of potential annual production (over 3%) per decade

  14. 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.

  15. DRY CALCAREOUS GRASSLAND COMMUNITIES (FILIPENDULA VULGARIS-HELICTOTRICHON PRATENSE IN WESTERN AND CENTRAL LATVIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. RUSINA

    2003-06-01

    Full Text Available The dry calcareous grassland vegetation of Westem and Central Latvia is described based on 93 rclevés, Ali relevés could be assigned to one community type Filipendula vulgaris-Helictotrichon pratense named according to dominant species. Four variants were distinguished: typicum, Viscaria vulgaris, Astragalus danicus and Carex flacca. Ellenberg indìcator values were calculated to study the ecology of communities. Floristic differences among variants are associated mainly with soil reaction (Ellenberg indicator values for soil pH range from 6.0 to 7.6, but conditions of moisture and fertility are similar among the variants. The calcareous grassland vegetation in Latvia represents transition vegetation between the c1asses Molinio-Arrhenatheretea and Festuco-Brometea. However, ecologically and floristically, these communities are closer to the class Festuco-Brometea and could be assigned to the order Brometalia. For designation to alliance and associations, more data is required. The results are compared with similar communities in other European countries.

  16. Combined Use of Multi-Temporal Optical and Radar Satellite Images for Grassland Monitoring

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pauline Dusseux

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to assess the ability of optical images, SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar images and the combination of both types of data to discriminate between grasslands and crops in agricultural areas where cloud cover is very high most of the time, which restricts the use of visible and near-infrared satellite data. We compared the performances of variables extracted from four optical and five SAR satellite images with high/very high spatial resolutions acquired during the growing season. A vegetation index, namely the NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, and two biophysical variables, the LAI (Leaf Area Index and the fCOVER (fraction of Vegetation Cover were computed using optical time series and polarization (HH, VV, HV, VH. The polarization ratio and polarimetric decomposition (Freeman–Durden and Cloude–Pottier were calculated using SAR time series. Then, variables derived from optical, SAR and both types of remotely-sensed data were successively classified using the Support Vector Machine (SVM technique. The results show that the classification accuracy of SAR variables is higher than those using optical data (0.98 compared to 0.81. They also highlight that the combination of optical and SAR time series data is of prime interest to discriminate grasslands from crops, allowing an improved classification accuracy.

  17. Functional group, biomass, and climate change effects on ecological drought in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Scott D.; Schlaepfer, Daniel R.; Bradford, John B.; Lauenroth, William K.; Duniway, Michael C.; Hall, Sonia A.; Jamiyansharav, Khishigbayar; Jia, Gensuo; Lkhagva, Ariuntsetseg; Munson, Seth M.; Pyke, David A.; Tietjen, Britta

    2018-01-01

    Water relations in plant communities are influenced both by contrasting functional groups (grasses, shrubs) and by climate change via complex effects on interception, uptake and transpiration. We modelled the effects of functional group replacement and biomass increase, both of which can be outcomes of invasion and vegetation management, and climate change on ecological drought (soil water potential below which photosynthesis stops) in 340 semiarid grassland sites over 30‐year periods. Relative to control vegetation (climate and site‐determined mixes of functional groups), the frequency and duration of drought were increased by shrubs and decreased by annual grasses. The rankings of shrubs, control vegetation, and annual grasses in terms of drought effects were generally consistent in current and future climates, suggesting that current differences among functional groups on drought effects predict future differences. Climate change accompanied by experimentally‐increased biomass (i.e. the effects of invasions that increase community biomass, or management that increases productivity through fertilization or respite from grazing) increased drought frequency and duration, and advanced drought onset. Our results suggest that the replacement of perennial temperate semiarid grasslands by shrubs, or increased biomass, can increase ecological drought both in current and future climates.

  18. [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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. Kuchler Vegetation

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — Digital version of potential natural plant communites as compiled and published on 'Map of the Natural Vegetation of California' by A. W. Kuchler, 1976. Source map...

  2. Wieslander Vegetation

    Data.gov (United States)

    California Natural Resource Agency — Digital version of the 1945 California Vegetation Type Maps by A. E. Wieslander of the U.S. Forest Service. Source scale of maps are 1:100,000. These compiled maps...

  3. Urban Power Line Corridors as Novel Habitats for Grassland and Alien Plant Species in South-Western Finland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jussi Lampinen

    Full Text Available Regularly managed electric power line corridors may provide habitats for both early-successional grassland plant species and disturbance-dependent alien plant species. These habitats are especially important in urban areas, where they can help conserve native grassland species and communities in urban greenspace. However, they can also provide further footholds for potentially invasive alien species that already characterize urban areas. In order to implement power line corridors into urban conservation, it is important to understand which environmental conditions in the corridors favor grassland species and which alien species. Likewise it is important to know whether similar environmental factors in the corridors control the species composition of the two groups. We conducted a vegetation study in a 43 kilometer long urban power line corridor network in south-western Finland, and used generalized linear models and distance-based redundancy analysis to determine which environmental factors best predict the occurrence and composition of grassland and alien plant species in the corridors. The results imply that old corridors on dry soils and steep slopes characterized by a history as open areas and pastures are especially suitable for grassland species. Corridors suitable for alien species, in turn, are characterized by productive soils and abundant light and are surrounded by a dense urban fabric. Factors controlling species composition in the two groups are somewhat correlated, with the most important factors including light abundance, soil moisture, soil calcium concentration and soil productivity. The results have implications for grassland conservation and invasive alien species control in urban areas.

  4. PRODUCTION AND ECONOMIC ANALYSIS OF MOUNTAIN GRASSLANDS IN LOW-INPUT FARMING SYSTEM

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivan Holubek

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available Ecological management of semi natural grassland was evaluated in three year long vegetative cycle in locality Chvojnica Strazovska vrchovina. Experimental treatments were studied in variant 1 unfertilized, variant 2 30 kg*ha 1 of P and 60 kg*ha 1 of K, treatment 3 PK + 90kg*ha 1 of N. Vegetation in all treatments of fertilization was cut three times in haymaking time of ripening. The aim of research was to find changes in phytocenology, production, nutrition and economy under different treatments of fertilization, cutting and experimental years. In the structure of semi natural grass vegetation, grasses dominated in the first cuttings, clovers dominated in the second cuttings and other meadow herbs dominated in the third cuttings. Application of fertilizers increases production of dry mass. Non fertilized grass vegetation produced 3.43 5.16 t*ha 1 of dry mass, vegetation with added PK fertilizers 4.71 5.91 t*ha 1 of dry mass and vegetation 7.12 7.97 t*ha of dry mass. Costs per 1 ha and 1 ton of hay and sales per 1 ha increased in the following sequence: var. 1 ? var. 2 ? var. 3. As for the profit, the most effective variants were variant 1 (256.79 EUR per ha and variant 3 (227.34 EUR per ha. The least effective variant was the variant fertilized by PK (180.62 EUR per ha.

  5. Grassland degradation caused by tourism activities in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, China

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Le, C; Ikazaki, K; Siriguleng; Kosaki, T; Kadono, A

    2014-01-01

    The recent increase in the number of tourists has raised serious concerns about grassland degradation by tourism activities in Inner Mongolia. Thus, we evaluated the effects of tourism activities on the vegetation and soil in Hulunbuir grassland. We identified all the plant species, measured the number and height of plant and plant coverage rate, and calculated species diversity, estimated above-ground biomass in use plot and non-use plot. We also measured soil hardness, and collected soil samples for physical and chemical analysis in both plots. The obtained results were as follows: a) the height of the dominant plants, plant coverage rate, species diversity, and above-ground biomass were significantly lower in use plot than in non-use plot, b) Carex duriuscula C.A.Mey., indicator plant for soil degradation, was dominant in use plot, c) soil hardness was significantly higher in use plot than in non-use plot, and spatial dependence of soil hardness was only found in the use plot, d) CEC, TC, TN and pH in the topsoil were significantly lower in use plot than non-use plot. On the basis of the results, we concluded that the tourism activities can be another major cause of the grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia

  6. Grassland degradation caused by tourism activities in Hulunbuir, Inner Mongolia, China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Le, C.; Ikazaki, K.; Siriguleng; Kadono, A.; Kosaki, T.

    2014-02-01

    The recent increase in the number of tourists has raised serious concerns about grassland degradation by tourism activities in Inner Mongolia. Thus, we evaluated the effects of tourism activities on the vegetation and soil in Hulunbuir grassland. We identified all the plant species, measured the number and height of plant and plant coverage rate, and calculated species diversity, estimated above-ground biomass in use plot and non-use plot. We also measured soil hardness, and collected soil samples for physical and chemical analysis in both plots. The obtained results were as follows: a) the height of the dominant plants, plant coverage rate, species diversity, and above-ground biomass were significantly lower in use plot than in non-use plot, b) Carex duriuscula C.A.Mey., indicator plant for soil degradation, was dominant in use plot, c) soil hardness was significantly higher in use plot than in non-use plot, and spatial dependence of soil hardness was only found in the use plot, d) CEC, TC, TN and pH in the topsoil were significantly lower in use plot than non-use plot. On the basis of the results, we concluded that the tourism activities can be another major cause of the grassland degradation in Inner Mongolia.

  7. 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.

  8. [Tourism function zoning of Jinyintan Grassland Scenic Area in Qinghai Province based on ecological sensitivity analysis].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhong, Lin-sheng; Tang, Cheng-cai; Guo, Hua

    2010-07-01

    Based on the statistical data of natural ecology and social economy in Jinyintan Grassland Scenic Area in Qinghai Province in 2008, an evaluation index system for the ecological sensitivity of this area was established from the aspects of protected area rank, vegetation type, slope, and land use type. The ecological sensitivity of the sub-areas with higher tourism value and ecological function in the area was evaluated, and the tourism function zoning of these sub-areas was made by the technology of GIS and according to the analysis of eco-environmental characteristics and ecological sensitivity of each sensitive sub-area. It was suggested that the Jinyintan Grassland Scenic Area could be divided into three ecological sensitivity sub-areas (high, moderate, and low), three tourism functional sub-areas (restricted development ecotourism, moderate development ecotourism, and mass tourism), and six tourism functional sub-areas (wetland protection, primitive ecological sightseeing, agriculture and pasture tourism, grassland tourism, town tourism, and rural tourism).

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-05-01

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

  10. The effects of forest-savanna-grassland gradients on bird communities of Chiquitano Dry Forests domain, in western Brazil.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Godoi, Mauricio N; Souza, Edivaldo O DE

    2016-01-01

    Different vegetation types are distributed in mountains according to altitude, topography and soil. The composition and structure of bird communities in these areas can change in relation to the vegetation gradient, with particular communities occupying each habitat type. In this study we present the changes in composition, species richness and bird abundance over the gradient of forests, savannas and altitudinal grasslands of Maciço do Urucum, a mountainous region located in the Chiquitano Dry Forests domain in western Brazil. We recorded 165 bird species through qualitative and quantitative methods. Forested savannas, riparian forests and submontane forests presented the highest richness and abundance of birds, while arboreal savannas and altitudinal grasslands had intermediate and low values, respectively. The bird composition was similar between riparian and submontane forests, while other vegetation types present more dissimilar bird communities. Our results show differences in composition, richness and bird abundance among the vegetation types present at Maciço do Urucum, and highlight an important function of vegetation gradients for the conservation of bird communities in mountains. Additionally, this is the first study of the bird communities in the Brazilian Chiquitano Dry Forests, an important domain in the west of Brazil which has been poorly studied.

  11. Mapping Land Cover and Estimating the Grassland Structure in a Priority Area of the Chihuahuan Desert

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Alberto Rodríguez-Maturino

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available A field characterization of the grassland vegetation structure, represented by the coverage of grass canopy (CGC and the grass height, was carried out during three years (2009–2011 in a priority area for the conservation of grasslands of North America. Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM5 images were selected and the information of reflectance was obtained based on the geographical location of each field-sampling site. Linear models, constructed with field and satellite data, with high coefficients of determination for CGC (R2 = 0.81, R2 = 0.81 and R2 = 0.72 and grass height (R2 = 0.82, R2 = 0.79 and R2 = 0.73 were obtained. The maps showed a good level of CGC (>25% and grass height (>25 cm, except for the year 2009, which presented the lowest values of grass height in the area. According to the Kappa Index, a moderate concordance among the three CGC maps was presented (0.49–0.59. Conversely, weak and moderate concordances were found among the grass height maps (0.36–0.59. It was observed that areas with a high CGC do not necessarily correspond to areas with greater grass height values. Based on the data analyzed in this study, the grassland areas are highly dynamic, structurally heterogeneous and the spatial distribution of the variables does not show a definite pattern. From the information generated, it is possible to determine those areas that are the most important for monitoring to then establish effective strategies for the conservation of these grasslands and the protection of threatened migratory bird species.

  12. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. Supporting biodiversity by prescribed burning in grasslands - A multi-taxa approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Valkó, Orsolya; Deák, Balázs; Magura, Tibor; Török, Péter; Kelemen, András; Tóth, Katalin; Horváth, Roland; Nagy, Dávid D; Debnár, Zsuzsanna; Zsigrai, György; Kapocsi, István; Tóthmérész, Béla

    2016-12-01

    There are contrasting opinions on the use of prescribed burning management in European grasslands. On the one hand, prescribed burning can be effectively used for the management of open landscapes, controlling dominant species, reducing accumulated litter or decreasing wildfire risk. On the other hand burning can have a detrimental impact on grassland biodiversity by supporting competitor grasses and by threatening several rare and endangered species, especially arthropods. We studied the effects of prescribed burning in alkaline grasslands of high conservation interest. Our aim was to test whether dormant-season prescribed burning can be an alternative conservation measure in these grasslands. We selected six sites in East-Hungary: in three sites, a prescribed fire was applied in November 2011, while three sites remained unburnt. We studied the effects of burning on soil characteristics, plant biomass and on the composition of vegetation and arthropod assemblages (isopods, spiders, ground beetles and rove beetles). Soil pH, organic matter, potassium and phosphorous did not change, but soluble salt content increased significantly in the burnt sites. Prescribed burning had several positive effects from the nature conservation viewpoint. Shannon diversity and the number of flowering shoots were higher, and the cover of the dominant grass Festuca pseudovina was lower in the burnt sites. Graminoid biomass was lower, while total, green and forb biomass were higher in the burnt plots compared to the control. The key finding of our study was that prescribed burning did not decrease the abundance and diversity of arthropod taxa. Species-level analyses showed that out of the most abundant invertebrate species, 10 were not affected, 1 was negatively and 1 was positively affected by burning. Moreover, our results suggest that prescribed burning leaving unburnt patches can be a viable management tool in open landscapes, because it supports plant diversity and does not threaten

  16. An assessment of rehabilitation success in an African grassland using ants as bioindicators

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Samantha-Leigh Jamison

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Many studies that evaluate rehabilitation make use of invertebrate bioindicators. Invertebrates, especially ants, make useful indicators as they are sensitive to environmental change. We compared ant assemblages in rehabilitated and control sites in the Rietvlei Nature Reserve, a protected area important for grassland conservation in South Africa. Pitfall traps were used to sample ant assemblages at six control sites and six rehabilitated sites. In addition, environmental and vegetation surveys were conducted at each site. We found that the ant assemblages differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites, although there was considerable overlap; the control sites supported a greater species density and higher abundance of ants than the rehabilitated sites. In total, 36 ant species were collected (control sites: 34 species; rehabilitated sites: 26 species. The environmental survey revealed that percentages of bare ground and coarse sand, as well as soil pH, differed significantly between the control and rehabilitated sites. The control and rehabilitated sites also supported significantly different plant assemblages. Three indicator ant species were identified for the control sites: Crematogaster rectinota, Crematogaster amita and Monomorium fastidium. No indicator species were identified for the rehabilitated sites. These results suggest that recovery from the previous agricultural use of the area is still incomplete and highlights the lack of research examining the success of rehabilitation in the grassland biome. Conservation implications: The present study illustrates the need for further research on rehabilitation techniques utilised in the grassland biome. This is of value as the remainder of South African grasslands are considered critically endangered.

  17. Energy analysis of various grassland utilisation systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jozef Ržonca

    2005-01-01

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

  18. 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

  19. Vegetation index anomaly response to varying lengths of drought across vegetation and climatic gradients in Hawaii

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lucas, M.; Miura, T.; Trauernicht, C.; Frazier, A. G.

    2017-12-01

    A drought which results in prolonged and extended deficit in naturally available water supply and creates multiple stresses across ecosystems is classified as an ecological drought. Detecting and understanding the dynamics and response of such droughts in tropical systems, specifically across various vegetation and climatic gradients is fairly undetermined, yet increasingly important for better understandings of the ecological effects of drought. To understanding the link between what lengths and intensities of known meteorological drought triggers detectable ecological vegetation responses, a landscape scale regression analysis evaluating the response (slope) and relationship strength (R-squared) of several cumulative SPI (standard precipitation index) lengths(1, 3, 6, 12, 18, 24, 36, 48, and 60 month), to various satellite derived monthly vegetation indices anomalies (NDVI, EVI, EVI2, and LSWI) was performed across a matrix of dominant vegetation covers (grassland, shrubland, and forest) and climatic moisture zones (arid, dry, mesic, and wet). The nine different SPI lags across these climactic and vegetation gradients was suggest that stronger relationships and steeper slopes were found in dryer climates (across all vegetation covers) and finer vegetation types (across all moisture zones). Overall NDVI, EVI and EVI2 showed the best utility in these dryer climatic zones across all vegetation types. Within arid and dry areas "best" fits showed increasing lengths of cumulative SPI were with increasing vegetation coarseness respectively. Overall these findings suggest that rainfall driven drought may have a stronger impact on the ecological condition of vegetation in water limited systems with finer vegetation types ecologically responding more rapidly to meteorological drought events than coarser woody vegetation systems. These results suggest that previously and newly documented trends of decreasing rainfall and increasing drought in Hawaiian drylands may have

  20. VEGETATION MAPPING IN WETLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. PEDROTTI

    2004-01-01

    Full Text Available The current work examines the main aspects of wetland vegetation mapping, which can be summarized as analysis of the ecological-vegetational (ecotone gradients; vegetation complexes; relationships between vegetation distribution and geomorphology; vegetation of the hydrographic basin lo which the wetland in question belongs; vegetation monitoring with help of four vegetation maps: phytosociological map of the real and potential vegetation, map of vegetation dynamical tendencies, map of vegetation series.

  1. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    VALENTINA OFELIA ROBESCU

    2008-05-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

  3. Seeding method influences warm-season grass abundance and distribution but not local diversity in grassland restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yurkonis, Kathryn A.; Wilsey, Brian J.; Moloney, Kirk A.; Drobney, Pauline; Larson, Diane L.

    2010-01-01

    Ecological theory predicts that the arrangement of seedlings in newly restored communities may influence future species diversity and composition. We test the prediction that smaller distances between neighboring seeds in drill seeded grassland plantings would result in lower species diversity, greater weed abundance, and larger conspecific patch sizes than otherwise similar broadcast seeded plantings. A diverse grassland seed mix was either drill seeded, which places seeds in equally spaced rows, or broadcast seeded, which spreads seeds across the ground surface, into 24 plots in each of three sites in 2005. In summer 2007, we measured species abundance in a 1 m2 quadrat in each plot and mapped common species within the quadrat by recording the most abundant species in each of 64 cells. Quadrat-scale diversity and weed abundance were similar between drilled and broadcast plots, suggesting that processes that limited establishment and controlled invasion were not affected by such fine-scale seed distribution. However, native warm-season (C4) grasses were more abundant and occurred in less compact patches in drilled plots. This difference in C4 grass abundance and distribution may result from increased germination or vegetative propagation of C4 grasses in drilled plots. Our findings suggest that local plant density may control fine-scale heterogeneity and species composition in restored grasslands, processes that need to be further investigated to determine whether seed distributions can be manipulated to increase diversity in restored grasslands.

  4. UAV-based NDVI calculation over grassland: An alternative approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mejia-Aguilar, Abraham; Tomelleri, Enrico; Asam, Sarah; Zebisch, Marc

    2016-04-01

    portable spectroradiometer (Spectravista SVC HR-1024i). All data were collected on a dry alpine mountain grassland site in the Matsch valley, Italy, during the vegetation period of 2015. Data acquisition for the first comparison followed a pre-programmed flight plan in which the hyperspectral and alternative dual-camera constellation were mounted separately on an octocopter-UAV during two consecutive flight campaigns. Ground spectral measurements collection took place on the same site and on the same dates (three in total) of the flight campaigns. The proposed technique achieves promising results and therewith constitutes a cheap and simple way of collecting spatially explicit information on vegetated areas even in challenging terrain.

  5. 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.

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

  7. Vegetative regeneration

    Science.gov (United States)

    George A. Schier; John R. Jones; Robert P. Winokur

    1985-01-01

    Aspen is noted for its ability to regenerate vegetatively by adventitious shoots or suckers that arise on its long lateral roots. It also produces sprouts from stumps and root collars; but they are not common. In a survey of regeneration after clearcutting mature aspen in Utah. Baker (1918b) found that 92% of the shoots originated from roots, 7% from root collars, and...

  8. Understory vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steve Sutherland; Todd F. Hutchinson; Jennifer L. Windus

    2003-01-01

    This chapter documents patterns of species composition and diversity within the understory vegetation layer and provides a species list for the four study areas in southern Ohio. Within each of 108 plots, we recorded the frequency of all vascular plant species in sixteen 2-m² quadrats. We recorded 297 species, including 187 forbs (176 perennials, 9 annuals, 2...

  9. Linking snake habitat use to nest predation risk in grassland birds: the dangers of shrub cover.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klug, Page E; Jackrel, Sara L; With, Kimberly A

    2010-03-01

    Extremes in rangeland management, varying from too-frequent fire and intensive grazing to the suppression of both, threaten rangeland ecosystems worldwide. Intensive fire and grazing denude and homogenize vegetation whereas their suppression increases woody cover. Although habitat loss is implicated in grassland bird declines, degradation through intensive management or neglect also decreases breeding habitat and may reduce nesting success through increased rates of nest predation. Snakes are important nest predators, but little is known about how habitat use in snakes relates to predation risk for grassland birds nesting within tallgrass prairie subjected to different grazing and fire frequencies. We evaluated nest survival in the context of habitat used by nesting songbirds and two bird-eating snakes, the eastern yellowbelly racer Coluber constrictor flaviventris and Great Plains ratsnake Pantherophis emoryi. Daily nest survival rates decreased with increasing shrub cover and decreasing vegetation height, which characterize grasslands that have been neglected or intensively managed, respectively. Discriminant function analysis revealed that snake habitats were characterized by higher shrub cover, whereas successful nests were more likely to occur in areas with tall grass and forbs but reduced shrub cover. Because snakes often use shrub habitat, birds nesting in areas with increased shrub cover may be at higher risk of nest predation by snakes in addition to other predators known to use shrub habitat (e.g., mid-sized carnivores and avian predators). Depredated nests also occurred outside the discriminant space of the snakes, indicating that other predators (e.g., ground squirrels Spermophilus spp. and bullsnakes Pituophis catenifer) may be important in areas with denuded cover. Targeted removal of shrubs may increase nest success by minimizing the activity of nest predators attracted to shrub cover.

  10. 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

  11. Multi-index time series monitoring of drought and fire effects on desert grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel; Norman, Laura M.; Buckley, Steven; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Coe, Michelle A.

    2016-01-01

    The Western United States is expected to undergo both extended periods of drought and longer wildfire seasons under forecasted global climate change and it is important to understand how these disturbances will interact and affect recovery and composition of plant communities in the future. In this research paper we describe the temporal response of grassland communities to drought and fire in southern Arizona, where land managers are using repeated, prescribed fire as a habitat restoration tool. Using a 25-year atlas of fire locations, we paired sites with multiple fires to unburned control areas and compare satellite and field-based estimates of vegetation cover over time. Two hundred and fifty Landsat TM images, dating from 1985–2011, were used to derive estimates of Total Vegetation Fractional Cover (TVFC) of live and senescent grass using the Soil-Adjusted Total Vegetation Index (SATVI) and post-fire vegetation greenness using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). We also implemented a Greenness to Cover Index that is the difference of time-standardized SATVI-TVFC and NDVI values at a given time and location to identify post-fire shifts in native, non-native, and annual plant cover. The results highlight anomalous greening and browning during drought periods related to amounts of annual and non-native plant cover present. Results suggest that aggressive application of prescribed fire may encourage spread of non-native perennial grasses and annual plants, particularly during droughts.

  12. 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.

  13. Evaluating the Relationship between Field Aerodynamic Roughness and the MODIS BRDF, NDVI, and Wind Speed over Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qiang Xing

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Aerodynamic roughness (AR is an important parameter that influences the momentum and energy exchange between the earth’s surface and the atmosphere. In this study, profile wind data observed during the vegetation growing period (April–September in 2013 and 2014 at the A’rou grassland station, which is in the upstream of the Heihe River Basin (HRB, were used to determine the relationship between the field AR and the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS near-infrared (NIR bi-directional reflectance distribution function (BRDF R index, the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI, and a combination of these indices. In addition, the relationship between the average wind speed at a height of 1 m and the field AR is also presented. The results indicate that the MODIS NIR BRDF_R index and the NDVI are both sensitive indicators of the AR over grassland (R2: 0.5228 for NIR BRDF_R; R2: 0.579 for NDVI. Moreover, the combined index shows a significantly increased R2 value of 0.721, which is close to the result inferred from the wind speed (R2: 0.7411. The proposed remote sensing-based combination index (CI has the potential for use in evaluations of the AR over grasslands during growing season and its sensitivity can reach levels that are comparable to considering the effects of wind speed, which usually requires ground-based observations.

  14. componente vegetal

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fabio Moscovich

    2005-01-01

    Full Text Available In order to determine environmental impact, indicators based on vegetation characteristics that would generate the forestry monoculture with the adjacent native forest, 32 sample unit were installed in an area of LIPSIA private enterprise, Esperanza Department, Misiones with those characteristics. The plots of 100 m2 were distributed systematically every 25 meters. The vegetation was divided in stratum: superior (DBH ≥ 10 cm, middle (1,6 cm ≤ DBH > 10 cm and inferior (DBH< cm. There were installed 10 plots in a logged native forest, 10 plots in a 18 years old Pinus elliottii Engelm. with approximately 400 trees/ha., 6 plots in a 10 – 25 years old Araucaria angustifolia (Bertd. Kuntze limiting area with approximately 900 trees/ha., and 6 plots located in this plantation. In the studied area were identified 150 vegetation species. In the inferior stratum there were found differences as function of various floristic diversity indexes. In all the cases the native forest showed larger diversity than plantations, followed by Pinus elliottii, Araucaria plantation and Araucaria limiting area. All the studied forest fitted to a logarithmical series of species distributions, that would indicate the incidence of a environmental factor in this distribution.

  15. Global patterns of NDVI-indicated vegetation extremes and their sensitivity to climate extremes

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Liu Guo; Liu Hongyan; Yin Yi

    2013-01-01

    Extremes in climate have significant impacts on ecosystems and are expected to increase under future climate change. Extremes in vegetation could capture such impacts and indicate the vulnerability of ecosystems, but currently have not received a global long-term assessment. In this study, a robust method has been developed to detect significant extremes (low values) in biweekly time series of global normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from 1982 to 2006 and thus to acquire a global pattern of vegetation extreme frequency. This pattern coincides with vegetation vulnerability patterns suggested by earlier studies using different methods over different time spans, indicating a consistent mechanism of regulation. Vegetation extremes were found to aggregate in Amazonia and in the semi-arid and semi-humid regions in low and middle latitudes, while they seldom occurred in high latitudes. Among the environmental variables studied, extreme low precipitation has the highest slope against extreme vegetation. For the eight biomes analyzed, these slopes are highest in temperate broadleaf forest and temperate grassland, suggesting a higher sensitivity in these environments. The results presented here contradict the hypothesis that vegetation in water-limited semi-arid and semi-humid regions might be adapted to drought and suggest that vegetation in these regions (especially temperate broadleaf forest and temperate grassland) is highly prone to vegetation extreme events under more severe precipitation extremes. It is also suggested here that more attention be paid to precipitation-induced vegetation changes than to temperature-induced events. (letter)

  16. Vegetation change in northern KwaZulu-Natal since the Anglo-Zulu ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The quality of the landscape is declining in many grassland and savanna areas of Africa as a consequence of woody plant encroachment. We investigated the changes in vegetation at selected sites on the battlefields of the Anglo-Zulu War of 1879 in KwaZulu-Natal. We used fixed-point repeat photographs to compare the ...

  17. [Soil infiltration capacity under different vegetations in southern Ningxia Loess hilly region].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yang, Yong-Hui; Zhao, Shi-Wei; Lei, Ting-Wu; Liu, Han

    2008-05-01

    A new apparatus for measuring the run off-on-out under simulated rainfall conditions was used to study the soil infiltration capacity under different rainfall intensities and vegetations in loess hilly region of southern Ningxia, with the relationships between soil water-stable aggregate content and soil stable infiltration rate under different vegetations analyzed. The results showed that the regression equations between rainfall duration and soil infiltration rate under different vegetations all followed y = a + be(-cx), with R2 ranged from 0.9678 to 0.9969. With the increase of rainfall intensity, the soil stable infiltration rate on slope cropland decreased, while that on Medicago lupulina land, natural grassland, and Caragana korshinskii land increased. Under the rainfall intensity of 20 mm h(-1), the rainfall infiltration translation rate (RITR) was decreased in the order of M. lupulina land > slope cropland > natural grassland > C. korshinskii land; while under the rainfall intensity of 40 mm h(-1) and 56 mm h(-1), the RITR was in the sequence of M. lupulina land > natural grassland > slope cropland > C. korshinskii land, and decreased with increasing rainfall intensity. After the reversion of cropland to grassland and forest land, and with the increase of re-vegetation, the amount of >0.25 mm soil aggregates increased, and soil infiltration capacity improved. The revegetation in study area effectively improved soil structure and soil infiltration capacity, and enhanced the utilization potential of rainfall on slope.

  18. Environmental controls over carbon dioxide and water vapor exchange of terrestrial vegetation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Law, B.E.; Falge, E.; Gu, L.

    2002-01-01

    The objective of this research was to compare seasonal and annual estimates of CO2 and water vapor exchange across sites in forests, grasslands, crops, and tundra that are part of an international network called FLUXNET, and to investigating the responses of vegetation to environmental variables....

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Lalor, S.T.J.

    2014-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  1. Trend shifts in satellite-derived vegetation growth in Central Eurasia, 1982-2013.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xu, Hao-Jie; Wang, Xin-Ping; Yang, Tai-Bao

    2017-02-01

    Central Eurasian vegetation is critical for the regional ecological security and the global carbon cycle. However, climatic impacts on vegetation growth in Central Eurasia are uncertain. The reason for this uncertainty lies in the fact that the response of vegetation to climate change showed nonlinearity, seasonality and differences among plant functional types. Based on remotely sensed vegetation index and in-situ meteorological data for the years 1982-2013, in conjunction with the latest land cover type product, we analyzed how vegetation growth trend varied across different seasons and evaluated vegetation response to climate variables at regional, biome and pixel scales. We found a persistent increase in the growing season NDVI over Central Eurasia during 1982-1994, whereas this greening trend has stalled since the mid-1990s in response to increased water deficit. The stalled trend in the growing season NDVI was largely attributed by summer and autumn NDVI changes. Enhanced spring vegetation growth after 2002 was caused by rapid spring warming. The response of vegetation to climatic factors varied in different seasons. Precipitation was the main climate driver for the growing season and summer vegetation growth. Changes in temperature and precipitation during winter and spring controlled the spring vegetation growth. Autumn vegetation growth was mainly dependent on the vegetation growth in summer. We found diverse responses of different vegetation types to climate drivers in Central Eurasia. Forests were more responsive to temperature than to precipitation. Grassland and desert vegetation responded more strongly to precipitation than to temperature in summer but more strongly to temperature than to precipitation in spring. In addition, the growth of desert vegetation was more dependent on winter precipitation than that of grasslands. This study has important implications for improving the performance of terrestrial ecosystem models to predict future vegetation

  2. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-05-01

    Both arthropods and large grazing herbivores are important components and drivers of biodiversity in grassland ecosystems, but a synthesis of how arthropod diversity is affected by large herbivores has been largely missing. To fill this gap, we conducted a literature search, which yielded 141 studies on this topic of which 24 simultaneously investigated plant and arthropod diversity. Using the data from these 24 studies, we compared the responses of plant and arthropod diversity to an increase in grazing intensity. This quantitative assessment showed no overall significant effect of increasing grazing intensity on plant diversity, while arthropod diversity was generally negatively affected. To understand these negative effects, we explored the mechanisms by which large herbivores affect arthropod communities: direct effects, changes in vegetation structure, changes in plant community composition, changes in soil conditions, and cascading effects within the arthropod interaction web. We identify three main factors determining the effects of large herbivores on arthropod diversity: (i) unintentional predation and increased disturbance, (ii) decreases in total resource abundance for arthropods (biomass) and (iii) changes in plant diversity, vegetation structure and abiotic conditions. In general, heterogeneity in vegetation structure and abiotic conditions increases at intermediate grazing intensity, but declines at both low and high grazing intensity. We conclude that large herbivores can only increase arthropod diversity if they cause an increase in (a)biotic heterogeneity, and then only if this increase is large enough to compensate for the loss of total resource abundance and the increased mortality rate. This is expected to occur only at low herbivore densities or with spatio-temporal variation in herbivore densities. As we demonstrate that arthropod diversity is often more negatively affected by grazing than plant diversity, we strongly recommend considering the

  3. 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.

  4. Nitrogen and Warming Control the Vegetation in Inner Mongolia Tourist Area

    OpenAIRE

    Sun, Qiong; Hu, Xiaobing; Zhang, Chi

    2016-01-01

    The global warming and atmospheric nitrogen deposition problem has become more and more serious under the influence of human activities, and it has become one of the hot issues in this field, which will have far-reaching impact on all kinds of vegetation, thus the functioning of the ecosystem will be changed, which will be reflected in climate warming process. Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region is mainly composed of desert grasslands, so the development and protection of vegetation has consider...

  5. Electronics

    Science.gov (United States)

    2001-01-01

    International Acer Incorporated, Hsin Chu, Taiwan Aerospace Industrial Development Corporation, Taichung, Taiwan American Institute of Taiwan, Taipei, Taiwan...Singapore and Malaysia .5 - 4 - The largest market for semiconductor products is the high technology consumer electronics industry that consumes up...Singapore, and Malaysia . A new semiconductor facility costs around $3 billion to build and takes about two years to become operational

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Bingzhen Du

    2016-12-01

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

  7. Phenological characteristics of the main vegetation types on the Tibetan Plateau based on vegetation and water indices

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Peng, D L; Huang, W J; Zhou, B; Li, C J; Wu, Y P; Yang, X H

    2014-01-01

    Plant phenology is considered one of the most sensitive and easily observable natural indicators of climate change, though few studies have focused on the heterogeneities of phenology across the different vegetation types. In this study, we tried to find the phenological characteristics of the main vegetation types on the Tibetan Plateau. MCD12Q1 images over the Tibetan Plateau from 2001 to 2010 were used to extract the main vegetation types. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI), and Land Surface Water Index (LSWI) were calculated using surface reflectance values from the blue, red, near-infrared, short-wave infrared (SWIR) 6 (for LSIW6), and SWIR7 (for LSIW7) bands derived from MOD09A1 and used to explore the phenological characteristics of the main vegetation types on the Tibetan Plateau. The results showed that there were eight constant vegetation types on the Tibetan Plateau from 2001 to 2010 demonstrating multiple phenological characteristics. Evergreen needleleaf forest, evergreen broadleaf forest, and permanent wetland had the minimum NDVI values during the summer season, while open shrubland and grassland had the maximum NDVI/EVI values during this period. NDVI and EVI of cropland/natural vegetation had two peaks for their seasonal variations. EVI showed a more significant correlation with LSWI6/LSWI7 than NDVI. Compared to LSWI7, larger EVI values occurred in evergreen needleleaf forest, evergreen broadleaf forest, mixed forest, and permanent wetland, while smaller values occurred in shrubland and barren or sparsely vegetated cover, and nearly equal values occurred in grassland and cropland

  8. 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

  9. A method to the impact assessment of the returning grazing land to grassland project on regional eco-environmental vulnerability

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Shao, Huaiyong; Sun, Xiaofei; Wang, Haoxue; Zhang, Xiaoxue; Xiang, Zhiying; Tan, Rui; Chen, Xuanyi; Xian, Wei; Qi, Jiaguo

    2016-01-01

    The Chinese government has conducted the Returning Grazing Land to Grassland Project (RGLGP) across large portions of grasslands from western China since 2003. In order to explore and understand the impact in the grassland's eco-environment during the RGLGP, we utilized Projection Pursuit Model (PPM) and Geographic Information System (GIS) to develop a spatial assessment model to examine the ecological vulnerability of the grassland. Our results include five indications: (1) it is practical to apply the spatial PPM on ecological vulnerability assessment for the grassland. This methodology avoids creating an artificial hypothesis, thereby providing objective results that successfully execute a multi-index assessment process and analysis under non-linear systems in eco-environments; (2) the spatial PPM is not only capable of evaluating regional eco-environmental vulnerability in a quantitative way, but also can quantitatively demonstrate the degree of effect in each evaluation index for regional eco-environmental vulnerability; (3) the eco-environment of the Xianshui River Basin falls into the medium range level. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land use cover and change (LUCC) crucially influence the Xianshui River Basin's eco-environmental vulnerability. Generally, in the Xianshui River Basin, regional eco-environmental conditions improved during 2000 and 2010. The RGLGP positively affected NDVI and LUCC structure, thereby promoting the enhancement of the regional eco-environment; (4) the Xianshui River Basin divides its ecological vulnerability across different levels; therefore our study investigates three ecological regions and proposes specific suggestions for each in order to assist in eco-environmental protection and rehabilitation; and lastly that (5) the spatial PPM established by this study has the potential to be applied on all types of grassland eco-environmental vulnerability assessments under the RGLGP and under the similar

  10. A method to the impact assessment of the returning grazing land to grassland project on regional eco-environmental vulnerability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Shao, Huaiyong, E-mail: huaiyongshao@163.com [Key Laboratory of Geoscience Spatial Information Technology, Ministry of Land and Resources of China, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, Sichuan (China); Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48823, MI (United States); Sun, Xiaofei; Wang, Haoxue; Zhang, Xiaoxue [Key Laboratory of Geoscience Spatial Information Technology, Ministry of Land and Resources of China, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, Sichuan (China); Xiang, Zhiying [School of Earth Sciences, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310027, Zhejiang (China); Tan, Rui; Chen, Xuanyi [Key Laboratory of Geoscience Spatial Information Technology, Ministry of Land and Resources of China, Chengdu University of Technology, Chengdu 610059, Sichuan (China); Xian, Wei [College of Resources and Environment, Chengdu University of Information Technology, Chengdu 610225, Sichuan (China); Qi, Jiaguo [Center for Global Change and Earth Observations, Michigan State University, East Lansing 48823, MI (United States)

    2016-01-15

    The Chinese government has conducted the Returning Grazing Land to Grassland Project (RGLGP) across large portions of grasslands from western China since 2003. In order to explore and understand the impact in the grassland's eco-environment during the RGLGP, we utilized Projection Pursuit Model (PPM) and Geographic Information System (GIS) to develop a spatial assessment model to examine the ecological vulnerability of the grassland. Our results include five indications: (1) it is practical to apply the spatial PPM on ecological vulnerability assessment for the grassland. This methodology avoids creating an artificial hypothesis, thereby providing objective results that successfully execute a multi-index assessment process and analysis under non-linear systems in eco-environments; (2) the spatial PPM is not only capable of evaluating regional eco-environmental vulnerability in a quantitative way, but also can quantitatively demonstrate the degree of effect in each evaluation index for regional eco-environmental vulnerability; (3) the eco-environment of the Xianshui River Basin falls into the medium range level. The normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) and land use cover and change (LUCC) crucially influence the Xianshui River Basin's eco-environmental vulnerability. Generally, in the Xianshui River Basin, regional eco-environmental conditions improved during 2000 and 2010. The RGLGP positively affected NDVI and LUCC structure, thereby promoting the enhancement of the regional eco-environment; (4) the Xianshui River Basin divides its ecological vulnerability across different levels; therefore our study investigates three ecological regions and proposes specific suggestions for each in order to assist in eco-environmental protection and rehabilitation; and lastly that (5) the spatial PPM established by this study has the potential to be applied on all types of grassland eco-environmental vulnerability assessments under the RGLGP and under the

  11. Did Aboriginal vegetation burning affect the Australian summer monsoon?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Balcerak, Ernie

    2011-08-01

    For thousands of years, Aboriginal Australians burned forests, creating grasslands. Some studies have suggested that in addition to changing the landscape, these burning practices also affected the timing and intensity of the Australian summer monsoon. Different vegetation types can alter evaporation, roughness, and surface reflectivity, leading to changes in the weather and climate. On the basis of an ensemble of experiments with a global climate model, Notaro et al. conducted a comprehensive evaluation of the effects of decreased vegetation cover on the summer monsoon in northern Australia. They found that although decreased vegetation cover would have had only minor effects during the height of the monsoon season, during the premonsoon season, burning-induced vegetation loss would have caused significant decreases in precipitation and increases in temperature. Thus, by burning forests, Aboriginals altered the local climate, effectively extending the dry season and delaying the start of the monsoon season. (Geophysical Research Letters, doi:10.1029/2011GL047774, 2011)

  12. Modeling distribution of Schinus molle L. in the Brazilian Pampa: insights on vegetation dynamics and conservation of the biome

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    R.P.M. Lemos

    2014-12-01

    Full Text Available Natural establishment of forests in the Brazilian Pampa biome should occur due to soil, hydrology and climate conditions, although no significant forest expansion over grassland has been noticed, precluded mainly by human interference and lack of environmental management. In this study, we used niche-modeling distribution of the tree species Schinus molle L. based on climatic variables to access the vegetation dynamics of the Brazilian Pampa and to develop strategies that assure the conservation of this biome, concerning both grassland and forest formations. Here we show that a large area of the Brazilian Pampa is suitable for expansion of S. molle populations, supporting the forest expansion over grassland as a natural process in this biome. We propose that the current absence of tree species expansion over the grassland in these areas is a result of the resilience of the grassland and of human interferences through expansion of agriculture, ranching and forestry with exotic species. Therefore, conservationist actions should focus on establishing preservation unities that include forest populations and grassland, while environmental management should be applied just in farming areas with historical human interference. Such actions will respect the ecological dynamics of the Pampa and value the forest formations in this grassland-dominated environment.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, H.; Fan, J.

    2015-12-01

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

  14. Preliminary research concerning the use of electron accelerators to improve the conservability and to extend the shelf-life of fruits and vegetables

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Minea, R.

    1996-01-01

    The potential of ionizing radiation treatment for food preservation, shelf-life extension, control of microbial load and reduction of pathogenic microorganism was demonstrated. The irradiations were performed under normal conditions on the Institute of Physics and Technology for Radiation Device's linear electron accelerator, which has the following parameters: 5 μA mean beam current, 6 MeV electron mean energy, pulse period 3.5 μs and dose rates between 100-1500 Gy/min. This research project was aimed at assuring the consumer's acceptance for radiation-treated food and to obtain a significant reduction of food losses. We also propose a promising solution for the radiation processing of some bulk food products at the place of storage, consisting of a mobile electron accelerator. The main characteristics of the mobile electron accelerator are: electron energy 3 to 5 MeV, maximum beam power 5 kW, vertical electron beam; irradiation is possible both with electron beams and with bremsstrahlung. The results of our preliminary research lead to the conclusion that electron-beam irradiation and the use of electron accelerators is a promising solution for food preservation and food safety. Interesting future applications are outlined. (orig.)

  15. Rendering Future Vegetation Change across Large Regions of the US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sant'Anna Dias, Felipe; Gu, Yuting; Agarwalla, Yashika; Cheng, Yiwei; Patil, Sopan; Stieglitz, Marc; Turk, Greg

    2015-04-01

    We use two Machine Learning techniques, Decision Trees (DT) and Neural Networks (NN), to provide classified images and photorealistic renderings of future vegetation cover at three large regions in the US. The training data used to generate current vegetation cover include Landsat surface reflectance images, USGS Land Cover maps, 50 years of mean annual temperature and precipitation for the period 1950 - 2000, elevation, aspect and slope data. Present vegetation cover was generated on a 100m grid. Future vegetation cover for the period 2061- 2080 was predicted using the 1 km resolution bias corrected data from the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies Global Climate Model E simulation. The three test regions encompass a wide range of climatic gradients, topographic variation, and vegetation cover. The central Oregon site covers 19,182 square km and includes the Ochoco and Malheur National Forest. Vegetation cover is 50% evergreen forest and 50% shrubs and scrubland. The northwest Washington site covers 14,182 square km. Vegetation cover is 60% evergreen forest, 14% scrubs, 7% grassland, and 7% barren land. The remainder of the area includes deciduous forest, perennial snow cover, and wetlands. The third site, the Jemez mountain region of north central New Mexico, covers 5,500 square km. Vegetation cover is 47% evergreen forest, 31% shrubs, 13% grasses, and 3% deciduous forest. The remainder of the area includes developed and cultivated areas and wetlands. Using the above mentioned data sets we first trained our DT and NN models to reproduce current vegetation. The land cover classified images were compared directly to the USGS land cover data. The photorealistic generated vegetation images were compared directly to the remotely sensed surface reflectance maps. For all three sites, similarity between generated and observed vegetation cover was quite remarkable. The three trained models were then used to explore what the equilibrium vegetation would look like for

  16. Functional connectivity as a possible indicator of desertification in degraded grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vest, K. R.; Elmore, A. J.; Kaste, J. M.; Okin, G. S.

    2011-12-01

    Desertification of semi-arid grasslands impacts air quality, climate, biodiversity, and soil fertility. Desertification processes such as wind erosion lead to declining soil resources and sometimes local climate change. Desertification is irreversible; however, identifying when and where ecological changes are irreversible is problematic, requiring observations of a new ecological state, favoring the continued process of wind erosion and continued depletion of soil resources. Scientists hypothesize that an indicator of irreversibility in desertification might be "connected pathways". The connected pathway hypothesis requires that vegetation structure has changed from a grass to a shrub dominated system with increasing number and size of bare soil gaps. These bare soil gaps are functionally connected through the action of wind; therefore, functional connectivity of a landscape is related to the length and size of pathways through vegetation. This study used a combination of field measurements (total horizontal flux (Qtot) and vegetation structure) and landscape modeling to examine the difference in functional connectivity between grassland locations that were either degraded or relatively intact. At our field site, the degradation process was initiated by groundwater pumping, which adversely affects groundwater dependent grasses, providing a useful link to management seeking to limit the effects or extent of desertification. To analyze the functional connectivity of these locations in Owens Valley, we used circuit theory, a novel graph-based approach, which integrates all possible pathways to determine a "resistance distance" between any two points. Circuit theory uses current and resistance to represent movement of wind and the effect of vegetation and soil roughness on wind. Circuit theory was implemented using the open source software package, Circuitscape. To estimate landscape resistance, we performed a supervised classification on 1m aerial photographs. For

  17. Decreased surface albedo driven by denser vegetation on the Tibetan Plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Tian, Li; Zhang, Yangjian; Zhu, Juntao

    2014-01-01

    The Tibetan Plateau (TP) has fundamental ecological and environmental significance to China and Asia through its influence on regional and continental climates. In recent years, climate warming has caused unprecedented changes to land surface processes on the TP, which would unavoidably undermine the ecological and environmental functions of the TP. Among the numerous land surface processes potentially impacted by climate warming, the effect of vegetation greenness on surface energy balance is one of the most critical, but has been long ignored. In this study, we investigated the spatial and temporal patterns of land surface albedo (LSA) on the TP and evaluated the vegetation greenness in relation to patterns of LSA. We found that LSA has been decreasing in most of the vegetated grasslands on the TP from 2000 to 2013, as compared to a flat trend for desert area. The regions where LSA has been decreasing were spatially correlated to areas of increased vegetation greenness. Along rising altitude, LSA decreasing rate exhibited an overall decreasing trend. Across the TP, elevated vegetation greenness in grasslands acted as a primary factor pulling down LSA. The driving effects of vegetation greenness on LSA vary with grassland types, as revealed by a more significant relationship between vegetation greenness and LSA for the sparsely vegetated zone (i.e. steppe) than the more densely vegetated zone (i.e. meadow). Furthermore, the driving effect of vegetation greenness on LSA exhibited an obvious dependence on altitude as effects with rising altitude were relatively strong up to 3000 m, then weakened from 3500 m to 5000 m, and then the effects again increased from 5000 to 6000 m. The growing season LSA trend revealed in this study emphasizes the need to give greater attention to the growing season LSA flux in future surface energy balance studies. (letter)

  18. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

  19. Vegetation geographical patterns as a key to the past, with emphasis on the dry vegetation types of South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. J. A. Werger

    1983-11-01

    Full Text Available Southern Africa is characterized by a highly diversified vegetational cover with extremes as contrasting as desert, tropical forest, alpine grassland, or mediterranean type scrub, and many other types in between. This vegetational pattern is strongly correlated to the climatological pattern. It is therefore likely that past changes in climate can still be partly traced in the vegetational pattern, particularly in geographical anomalies, and that study of these patterns provides complementary evidence to palynological research. The following anomalies in the vegetational pattern are briefly discussed: 1. island-wise occurrence of Afro-montane vegetation on mesic, sheltered sites in the southern Sudano- Zambezian Region, in particular in the Highveld grassland/False Karoo transition area; 2. similar westward occurrence of Sudano-Zambezian scrub patches in the Karoo-Namib Region near the Orange/Vaal confluence; 3. scattered occurrence of Sudano-Zambezian woody species in a matrix of Karoo-Namib vegetation in the marginal Karoo-Namib Region; 4. island-wise occurrence of frost-tolerant, dry, karroid dwarf shrub vegetation of predominantly C,-plants on isolated peaks in the winter rainfall area of Namaqualand; 5. peculiar patchy distribution of some succulents in wide areas of climatically rather homogeneous, succulent dwarf shrub vegetation of predominantly CAM-plants in the escarpment area of Namaqualand. a pattern reminiscent of that in many Cape fynbos species. Interpretation of these patterns logically leads to the conclusion that these result from a previously wetter, a previously cooler, or a previously wetter and cooler climate, respectively, over the parts of southern Africa under discussion. This conclusion is compared with published palynological views.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Mara, F P

    2012-11-01

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

  1. Grassland to woodland transitions: Dynamic response of microbial community structure and carbon use patterns

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creamer, Courtney A.; Filley, Timothy R.; Boutton, Thomas W.; Rowe, Helen I.

    2016-06-01

    Woodland encroachment into grasslands is a globally pervasive phenomenon attributed to land use change, fire suppression, and climate change. This vegetation shift impacts ecosystem services such as ground water allocation, carbon (C) and nutrient status of soils, aboveground and belowground biodiversity, and soil structure. We hypothesized that woodland encroachment would alter microbial community structure and function and would be related to patterns in soil C accumulation. To address this hypothesis, we measured the composition and δ13C values of soil microbial phospholipids (PLFAs) along successional chronosequences from C4-dominated grasslands to C3-dominated woodlands (small discrete clusters and larger groves) spanning up to 134 years. Woodland development increased microbial biomass, soil C and nitrogen (N) concentrations, and altered microbial community composition. The relative abundance of gram-negative bacteria (cy19:0) increased linearly with stand age, consistent with decreases in soil pH and/or greater rhizosphere development and corresponding increases in C inputs. δ13C values of all PLFAs decreased with time following woody encroachment, indicating assimilation of woodland C sources. Among the microbial groups, fungi and actinobacteria in woodland soils selectively assimilated grassland C to a greater extent than its contribution to bulk soil. Between the two woodland types, microbes in the groves incorporated relatively more of the relict C4-C than those in the clusters, potentially due to differences in below ground plant C allocation and organo-mineral association. Changes in plant productivity and C accessibility (rather than C chemistry) dictated microbial C utilization in this system in response to shrub encroachment.

  2. UAV based mapping of variation in grassland yield for forage production in Arctic environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Davids, C.; Karlsen, S. R.; Jørgensen, M.; Ancin Murguzur, F. J.

    2017-12-01

    Grassland cultivation for animal feed is the key agricultural activity in northern Norway. Even though the growing season has increased by at least a week in the last 30 years, grassland yields appear to have declined, probably due to more challenging winter conditions and changing agronomy practices. The ability for local and regional crop productivity forecasting would assist farmers with management decisions and would provide local and national authorities with a better overview over productivity and potential problems due to e.g. winter damage. Remote sensing technology has long been used to estimate and map the variability of various biophysical parameters, but calibration is important. In order to establish the relationship between spectral reflectance and grass yield in northern European environments we combine Sentinel-2 time series, UAV-based multispectral measurements, and ground-based spectroradiometry, with biomass analyses and observations of species composition. In this presentation we will focus on the results from the UAV data acquisition. We used a multirotor UAV with different sensors (a multispectral Rikola camera, and NDVI and RGB cameras) to image a number of cultivated grasslands of different age and productivity in northern Norway in June/July 2016 and 2017. Following UAV data acquisition, 10 to 20 in situ measurements were made per field using a FieldSpec3 (350-2500 nm). In addition, samples were taken to determine biomass and grass species composition. The imaging and sampling was done immediately prior to harvesting. The Rikola camera, when used as a stand-alone camera mounted on a UAV, can collect 15 bands with a spectral width of 10-15 nm in the range between 500-890 nm. In the initial analysis of the 2016 data we investigated how well different vegetation indices correlated with biomass and showed that vegetation indices that include red edge bands perform better than widely used indices such as NDVI. We will extend the analysis with

  3. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lengyel, Szabolcs; Déri, Eszter; Magura, Tibor

    2016-01-01

    Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD) is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR) of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary) and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals) showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale) was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale) was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none) was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve biodiversity in

  4. Species Richness Responses to Structural or Compositional Habitat Diversity between and within Grassland Patches: A Multi-Taxon Approach.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Szabolcs Lengyel

    Full Text Available Habitat diversity (spatial heterogeneity within and between habitat patches in a landscape, HD is often invoked as a driver of species diversity at small spatial scales. However, the effect of HD on species richness (SR of multiple taxa is not well understood. We quantified HD and SR in a wet-dry gradient of open grassland habitats in Hortobágy National Park (E-Hungary and tested the effect of compositional and structural factors of HD on SR of flowering plants, orthopterans, true bugs, spiders, ground beetles and birds. Our dataset on 434 grassland species (170 plants, 264 animals showed that the wet-dry gradient (compositional HD at the between-patch scale was primarily related to SR in orthopterans, ground-dwelling arthropods, and all animals combined. The patchiness, or plant association richness, of the vegetation (compositional HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of vegetation-dwelling arthropods, whereas vegetation height (structural HD at the within-patch scale was related to SR of ground-dwelling arthropods and birds. Patch area was related to SR only in birds, whereas management (grazing, mowing, none was related to SR of plants and true bugs. All relationships between HD and SR were positive, indicating increasing SR with increasing HD. However, total SR was not related to HD because different taxa showed similar positive responses to different HD variables. Our findings, therefore, show that even though HD positively influences SR in a wide range of grassland taxa, each taxon responds to different compositional or structural measures of HD, resulting in the lack of a consistent relationship between HD and SR when taxon responses are pooled. The idiosyncratic responses shown here exemplify the difficulties in detecting general HD-SR relationships over multiple taxa. Our results also suggest that management and restoration aimed specifically to sustain or increase the diversity of habitats are required to conserve

  5. Matrix matters: differences of grand skink metapopulation parameters in native tussock grasslands and exotic pasture grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Konstanze Gebauer

    Full Text Available Modelling metapopulation dynamics is a potentially very powerful tool for conservation biologists. In recent years, scientists have broadened the range of variables incorporated into metapopulation modelling from using almost exclusively habitat patch size and isolation, to the inclusion of attributes of the matrix and habitat patch quality. We investigated the influence of habitat patch and matrix characteristics on the metapopulation parameters of a highly endangered lizard species, the New Zealand endemic grand skink (Oligosoma grande taking into account incomplete detectability. The predictive ability of the developed zxmetapopulation model was assessed through cross-validation of the data and with an independent data-set. Grand skinks occur on scattered rock-outcrops surrounded by indigenous tussock (bunch and pasture grasslands therefore implying a metapopulation structure. We found that the type of matrix surrounding the habitat patch was equally as important as the size of habitat patch for estimating occupancy, colonisation and extinction probabilities. Additionally, the type of matrix was more important than the physical distance between habitat patches for colonisation probabilities. Detection probability differed between habitat patches in the two matrix types and between habitat patches with different attributes such as habitat patch composition and abundance of vegetation on the outcrop. The developed metapopulation models can now be used for management decisions on area protection, monitoring, and the selection of translocation sites for the grand skink. Our study showed that it is important to incorporate not only habitat patch size and distance between habitat patches, but also those matrix type and habitat patch attributes which are vital in the ecology of the target species.

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tagesson, Torbern; Fensholt, Rasmus; Guiro, Idrissa

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

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

    2014-01-01

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

  8. Effects of wind energy development on nesting ecology of greater prairie-chickens in fragmented grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McNew, Lance B; Hunt, Lyla M; Gregory, Andrew J; Wisely, Samantha M; Sandercock, Brett K

    2014-08-01

    Wind energy is targeted to meet 20% of U.S. energy needs by 2030, but new sites for development of renewable energy may overlap with important habitats of declining populations of grassland birds. Greater Prairie-Chickens (Tympanuchus cupido) are an obligate grassland bird species predicted to respond negatively to energy development. We used a modified before-after control-impact design to test for impacts of a wind energy development on the reproductive ecology of prairie-chickens in a 5-year study. We located 59 and 185 nests before and after development, respectively, of a 201 MW wind energy facility in Greater Prairie-Chicken nesting habitat and assessed nest site selection and nest survival relative to proximity to wind energy infrastructure and habitat conditions. Proximity to turbines did not negatively affect nest site selection (β = 0.03, 95% CI = -1.2-1.3) or nest survival (β = -0.3, 95% CI = -0.6-0.1). Instead, nest site selection and survival were strongly related to vegetative cover and other local conditions determined by management for cattle production. Integration of our project results with previous reports of behavioral avoidance of oil and gas facilities by other species of prairie grouse suggests new avenues for research to mitigate impacts of energy development. © 2014 The Authors. Conservation Biology published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of Society for Conservation Biology.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Fritsche

    2008-12-01

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

  11. Temporal and spatial variations of canopy temperature over a C3C4 mixture grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shimoda, S.; Oikawa, T.

    2006-10-01

    This study discusses the photosynthetic pathway types involved in canopy temperature measurements on a mixed grassland consisting of C3 and C4 plants (dominant species in biomass were Solidago altissima (C3), Miscanthus sinensis (C4), and Imperata cylindrica (C4)). In the wet conditions immediately after the rainy season, the mean canopy temperature for S. altissima was the lowest among the dominant species, mainly due to its leaf conductance being twice as large as the other two species. Despite using the same C4 photosynthetic pathway, M. sinensis had a lower apparent canopy temperature than I. cylindrica due to a smaller proportion of sunlit elements in the field of view. In the dry conditions during late July, the mean canopy temperatures of the three dominant species were within 0.3 °C of one another. These results can be explained by poor water conditions for C3 species (S. altissima). The simultaneous survey of vegetation and thermal imaging can help clarify characteristics of C3 and C4 canopy temperature over complicated grassland.

  12. Species Diversity and Botanical Composition of Permanent Grassland as a Response to Different Grazing Management Practices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marie Štýbnarová

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available The effects of different levels of grazing utilization (two, three and four grazing cycles per year and mineral fertilization (nil-fertilization; N100P30K60 on the botanical composition of permanent grasslands were studied in the locality of Rapotín (Czech Republic, 332 m a.s.l. from 2003–2010. The vegetation of the experimental pasture was classified as Cynosurion. It was found that moderate treatment (three grazing cycles per year without mineral fertilization showed the highest value of diversity index (DI = 6.08, and maximum dominance of legumes (Dmax = 9.1%, particularly Trifolium repens. The highest dominance of grasses (Dmax = 77.7%, mainly Dactylis glomerata and Elytrigia repens, was achieved with the fertilized treatment utilized in two grazing cycles per year. Based on RDA results, tested management treatments explained 26% of species composition variability, where effect of number of grazing cycles per year was five-times higher than effect of fertilization. We recommend grassland utilization in three grazing cycles per year as the most suitable way from the objective of both species diversity and botanical composition of pastures in similar site conditions. Pasture fertilization should be more controlled by careful consideration of individual pasture goals, actual nutrient status of the soil and possible environmental risks.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wei Yan

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

  14. 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 ...

  15. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Joern, Anthony; Laws, Angela N

    2013-01-01

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

  16. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    DR. NJ TONUKARI

    2012-03-22

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

  18. Response of Vegetation to Climate Change in the Drylands of East Asia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Dai, L; Wang, K; Wang, R L; Zhang, L

    2014-01-01

    Over the past 25 years, global climate and environmental changes have caused an unprecedented rate of vegetation change, as exemplified in the drylands of East Asia. In this study, we investigated the spatio-temporal changes of vegetation in this region and analysed their relationship with climate data. Our results show that vegetation productivity significantly increased from 1982 to 2006. This increasing trend was observed for most of the region, particularly for northwest Mongolia and central Inner Mongolia. Grasslands, croplands, forests, and shrublands, all exhibited this trend. The annual growth rate of the grasslands determined using the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was the largest observed change; reaching 0.07% p.a, followed by shrublands (0.06%), croplands (0.03%), and forests (0.02%). In the different geographic regions, the roles of temperature and precipitation on vegetation growth were shown to be different. Temperature was the dominant factor for the observed NDVI increase in northwest Mongolia and the centre of Inner Mongolia. The combined influences of temperature and precipitation changes have resulted in the promotion of vegetation growth, as seen in eastern GanSu. Temperature change is the primary factor for initiating vegetation growth in spring and autumn because warmer temperatures increase the length of the growing season, and are thus evaluated as an increased NDVI value. Increased precipitation has been shown to play a positive role on vegetation growth during summer

  19. Effects of vegetation type on microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen in subalpine mountain forest soils.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ravindran, Anita; Yang, Shang-Shyng

    2015-08-01

    Microbial biomass plays an important role in nutrient transformation and conservation of forest and grassland ecosystems. The objective of this study was to determine the microbial biomass among three vegetation types in subalpine mountain forest soils of Taiwan. Tatachia is a typical high-altitude subalpine temperate forest ecosystem in Taiwan with an elevation of 1800-3952 m and consists of three vegetation types: spruce, hemlock, and grassland. Three plots were selected in each vegetation type. Soil samples were collected from the organic layer, topsoil, and subsoil. Microbial biomass carbon (Cmic) was determined by the chloroform fumigation-extraction method, and microbial biomass nitrogen (Nmic) was determined from the total nitrogen (Ntot) released during fumigation-extraction. Bacteria, actinomycetes, fungi, cellulolytic microbes, phosphate-solubilizing microbes, and nitrogen-fixing microbes were also counted. The Cmic and Nmic were highest in the surface soil and declined with the soil depth. These were also highest in spruce soils, followed by in hemlock soils, and were lowest in grassland soils. Cmic and Nmic had the highest values in the spring season and the lowest values in the winter season. Cmic and Nmic had significantly positive correlations with total organic carbon (Corg) and Ntot. Contributions of Cmic and Nmic, respectively, to Corg and Ntot indicated that the microbial biomass was immobilized more in spruce and hemlock soils than in grassland soils. Microbial populations of the tested vegetation types decreased with increasing soil depth. Cmic and Nmic were high in the organic layer and decreased with the depth of layers. These values were higher for spruce and hemlock soils than for grassland soils. Positive correlations were observed between Cmic and Nmic and between Corg and Ntot. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  20. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  1. PV water pumping systems for grassland and farmland conservation

    OpenAIRE

    Campana, Pietro Elia

    2013-01-01

    Grassland degradation is considered as one of the worst environmental and economic problems in China because of the negative impacts on water and food security. The application of the photovoltaic water pumping (PVWP) technology for irrigation is an innovative and sustainable solution to curb the progress of grassland desertification and to promote the conservation of farmland in remote areas. The combination of PVWP with water saving irrigation techniques and the sustainable management of th...

  2. Irrigated Grassland Monitoring Using a Time Series of TerraSAR-X and COSMO-SkyMed X-Band SAR Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammad El Hajj

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study was to analyze the sensitivity of radar signals in the X-band in irrigated grassland conditions. The backscattered radar signals were analyzed according to soil moisture and vegetation parameters using linear regression models. A time series of radar (TerraSAR-X and COSMO-SkyMed and optical (SPOT and LANDSAT images was acquired at a high temporal frequency in 2013 over a small agricultural region in southeastern France. Ground measurements were conducted simultaneously with the satellite data acquisitions during several grassland growing cycles to monitor the evolution of the soil and vegetation characteristics. The comparison between the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI computed from optical images and the in situ Leaf Area Index (LAI showed a logarithmic relationship with a greater scattering for the dates corresponding to vegetation well developed before the harvest. The correlation between the NDVI and the vegetation parameters (LAI, vegetation height, biomass, and vegetation water content was high at the beginning of the growth cycle. This correlation became insensitive at a certain threshold corresponding to high vegetation (LAI ~2.5 m2/m2. Results showed that the radar signal depends on variations in soil moisture, with a higher sensitivity to soil moisture for biomass lower than 1 kg/m². HH and HV polarizations had approximately similar sensitivities to soil moisture. The penetration depth of the radar wave in the X-band was high, even for dense and high vegetation; flooded areas were visible in the images with higher detection potential in HH polarization than in HV polarization, even for vegetation heights reaching 1 m. Lower sensitivity was observed at the X-band between the radar signal and the vegetation parameters with very limited potential of the X-band to monitor grassland growth. These results showed that it is possible to track gravity irrigation and soil moisture variations from SAR

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Fan Zhang

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D. Imer

    2013-09-01

    locations of permanently lower soil CH4 uptake rates at the extensively managed alpine site. Including hot spots was essential to obtain a representative mean soil flux for the respective ecosystem. At the intensively managed grassland, management effects clearly dominated over effects of environmental drivers on soil N2O fluxes. For CO2 and CH4, the importance of management effects did depend on the status of the vegetation (LAI.

  5. [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.

  6. Short vegetal-fiber reinforced HDPE—A study of electron-beam radiation treatment effects on mechanical and morphological properties

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ferreira, Maiara S.; Sartori, Mariana N.; Oliveira, Rene R.; Guven, Olgun; Moura, Esperidiana A.B.

    2014-01-01

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • HDPE reinforced with short piassava fiber composites were prepared by melt-mixing processing. • Glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) was tested as a radiation cross-linking agent. • The materials were irradiated with 100 and 200 kGy using a 1.5 MeV electron beam accelerator, at room temperature in presence of air. • The better interfacial adhesion between fiber and HDPE matrix was observed for composites with GMA addition irradiated with radiation dose of 200 kGy. - Abstract: The effects of electron-beam radiation treatment on fiber-matrix adhesion and mechanical properties of short piassava fibers reinforced high density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix were studied. Glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) was added at 2.5% and 5.0% (on piassava fiber wt) as a cross-linking agent and the effects upon the properties of the resulting composites treated by electron-beam radiation were also examined. HDPE reinforced with short piassava fiber composites was prepared by melt-mixing processing, using a twin screw extruder machine. The materials were irradiated with 100 and 200 kGy using a 1.5 MeV electron beam accelerator, at room temperature in presence of air. Material samples were submitted to mechanical and thermo-mechanical tests and SEM analyses. Correlation between properties was discussed. The comparison of mechanical and thermo-mechanical properties of the composites showed that electron-beam radiation treatment produced a significant improvement in mechanical properties, when compared with the non-irradiated composite sample and neat HDPE. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies of the composite failure surfaces indicated that there was an improved adhesion between fiber and matrix. Examination of the failure surfaces indicated dependence of the interfacial adhesion upon the radiation dose and GMA content. Better interfacial adhesion between fiber and HDPE matrix was observed for composites with 5.0% GMA addition and treated with electron

  7. Short vegetal-fiber reinforced HDPE—A study of electron-beam radiation treatment effects on mechanical and morphological properties

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Ferreira, Maiara S.; Sartori, Mariana N.; Oliveira, Rene R. [Nuclear and Energy Research Institute, IPEN-CNEN/SP, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes 2242, zip code 05508-000 São Paulo, SP (Brazil); Guven, Olgun [Hacettepe University, Department of Chemistry, Polymer Chemistry Division, Beytepe, zip code 06800 Ankara (Turkey); Moura, Esperidiana A.B., E-mail: eabmoura@ipen.br [Nuclear and Energy Research Institute, IPEN-CNEN/SP, Av. Prof. Lineu Prestes 2242, zip code 05508-000 São Paulo, SP (Brazil)

    2014-08-15

    Graphical abstract: - Highlights: • HDPE reinforced with short piassava fiber composites were prepared by melt-mixing processing. • Glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) was tested as a radiation cross-linking agent. • The materials were irradiated with 100 and 200 kGy using a 1.5 MeV electron beam accelerator, at room temperature in presence of air. • The better interfacial adhesion between fiber and HDPE matrix was observed for composites with GMA addition irradiated with radiation dose of 200 kGy. - Abstract: The effects of electron-beam radiation treatment on fiber-matrix adhesion and mechanical properties of short piassava fibers reinforced high density polyethylene (HDPE) matrix were studied. Glycidyl methacrylate (GMA) was added at 2.5% and 5.0% (on piassava fiber wt) as a cross-linking agent and the effects upon the properties of the resulting composites treated by electron-beam radiation were also examined. HDPE reinforced with short piassava fiber composites was prepared by melt-mixing processing, using a twin screw extruder machine. The materials were irradiated with 100 and 200 kGy using a 1.5 MeV electron beam accelerator, at room temperature in presence of air. Material samples were submitted to mechanical and thermo-mechanical tests and SEM analyses. Correlation between properties was discussed. The comparison of mechanical and thermo-mechanical properties of the composites showed that electron-beam radiation treatment produced a significant improvement in mechanical properties, when compared with the non-irradiated composite sample and neat HDPE. Scanning electron microscopy (SEM) studies of the composite failure surfaces indicated that there was an improved adhesion between fiber and matrix. Examination of the failure surfaces indicated dependence of the interfacial adhesion upon the radiation dose and GMA content. Better interfacial adhesion between fiber and HDPE matrix was observed for composites with 5.0% GMA addition and treated with electron

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. Phenological Characterization of Desert Sky Island Vegetation Communities with Remotely Sensed and Climate Time Series Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart E. Marsh

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and variability are expected to impact the synchronicity and interactions between the Sonoran Desert and the forested sky islands which represent steep biological and environmental gradients. The main objectives were to examine how well satellite greenness time series data and derived phenological metrics (e.g., season start, peak greenness can characterize specific vegetation communities across an elevation gradient, and to examine the interactions between climate and phenological metrics for each vegetation community. We found that representative vegetation types (11, varying between desert scrub, mesquite, grassland, mixed oak, juniper and pine, often had unique seasonal and interannual phenological trajectories and spatial patterns. Satellite derived land surface phenometrics (11 for each of the vegetation communities along the cline showed numerous distinct significant relationships in response to temperature (4 and precipitation (7 metrics. Satellite-derived sky island vegetation phenology can help assess and monitor vegetation dynamics and provide unique indicators of climate variability and patterns of change.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. Modeled Changes in Potential Grassland Productivity and in Grass-Fed Ruminant Livestock Density in Europe over 1961–2010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chang, Jinfeng; Viovy, Nicolas; Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Campioli, Matteo; Klumpp, Katja; Martin, Raphaël; Leip, Adrian; Soussana, Jean-François

    2015-01-01

    About 25% of European livestock intake is based on permanent and sown grasslands. To fulfill rising demand for animal products, an intensification of livestock production may lead to an increased consumption of crop and compound feeds. In order to preserve an economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture, a more forage based livestock alimentation may be an advantage. However, besides management, grassland productivity is highly vulnerable to climate (i.e., temperature, precipitation, CO2 concentration), and spatial information about European grassland productivity in response to climate change is scarce. The process-based vegetation model ORCHIDEE-GM, containing an explicit representation of grassland management (i.e., herbage mowing and grazing), is used here to estimate changes in potential productivity and potential grass-fed ruminant livestock density across European grasslands over the period 1961–2010. Here “potential grass-fed ruminant livestock density” denotes the maximum density of livestock that can be supported by grassland productivity in each 25 km × 25 km grid cell. In reality, livestock density could be higher than potential (e.g., if additional feed is supplied to animals) or lower (e.g., in response to economic factors, pedo-climatic and biotic conditions ignored by the model, or policy decisions that can for instance reduce livestock numbers). When compared to agricultural statistics (Eurostat and FAOstat), ORCHIDEE-GM gave a good reproduction of the regional gradients of annual grassland productivity and ruminant livestock density. The model however tends to systematically overestimate the absolute values of productivity in most regions, suggesting that most grid cells remain below their potential grassland productivity due to possible nutrient and biotic limitations on plant growth. When ORCHIDEE-GM was run for the period 1961–2010 with variable climate and rising CO2, an increase of potential annual production (over 3

  15. Modeled Changes in Potential Grassland Productivity and in Grass-Fed Ruminant Livestock Density in Europe over 1961-2010.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jinfeng Chang

    Full Text Available About 25% of European livestock intake is based on permanent and sown grasslands. To fulfill rising demand for animal products, an intensification of livestock production may lead to an increased consumption of crop and compound feeds. In order to preserve an economically and environmentally sustainable agriculture, a more forage based livestock alimentation may be an advantage. However, besides management, grassland productivity is highly vulnerable to climate (i.e., temperature, precipitation, CO2 concentration, and spatial information about European grassland productivity in response to climate change is scarce. The process-based vegetation model ORCHIDEE-GM, containing an explicit representation of grassland management (i.e., herbage mowing and grazing, is used here to estimate changes in potential productivity and potential grass-fed ruminant livestock density across European grasslands over the period 1961-2010. Here "potential grass-fed ruminant livestock density" denotes the maximum density of livestock that can be supported by grassland productivity in each 25 km × 25 km grid cell. In reality, livestock density could be higher than potential (e.g., if additional feed is supplied to animals or lower (e.g., in response to economic factors, pedo-climatic and biotic conditions ignored by the model, or policy decisions that can for instance reduce livestock numbers. When compared to agricultural statistics (Eurostat and FAOstat, ORCHIDEE-GM gave a good reproduction of the regional gradients of annual grassland productivity and ruminant livestock density. The model however tends to systematically overestimate the absolute values of productivity in most regions, suggesting that most grid cells remain below their potential grassland productivity due to possible nutrient and biotic limitations on plant growth. When ORCHIDEE-GM was run for the period 1961-2010 with variable climate and rising CO2, an increase of potential annual production (over

  16. Lake Bathymetric Aquatic Vegetation

    Data.gov (United States)

    Minnesota Department of Natural Resources — Aquatic vegetation represented as polygon features, coded with vegetation type (emergent, submergent, etc.) and field survey date. Polygons were digitized from...

  17. Does Evapotranspiration Increase When Forests are converted to Grasslands?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varcoe, Robert; Sterling, Shannon

    2017-04-01

    The conversion of forests to grasslands (FGC) is a widespread land cover change (LCC) and is also among the most commonly studied changes with respect to its impact on ET; such research employs a variety of experimental approaches, including, paired catchment (PC), Budyko and land surface models (LSM), and measurement methods, including the catchment water balance (CWB), eddy covariance (EC) and remote sensing (RS). Until recently, there has been consensus in the scientific literature that rates of ET decrease when a forest is converted to grassland; however, this consensus has recently come into question. Williams (2012) applied the Budyko framework to a global network of eddy covariance measurements with the results that grasslands have a 9% greater evaporative index than forests. In addition, HadGEM2, a recent Hadley Centre LSM, produced increased ET in the northern Amazon Basin after simulating global scale tropical deforestation (Brovkin et al., 2015). Here we present an analysis of available estimates of how ET rates change with FGC to increase our understanding of the forest - grassland-ET paradigm. We used two datasets to investigate the impacts land cover change on ET. I compiled a dataset of change in ET with land cover change (ΔETLCC) using published experiments that compare forest and grassland ET under conditions controlled for meteorological and landscape influences. Using the ΔETLCC dataset, we show that, in all cases, forest ET is higher than grassland under controlled conditions. Results suggest that the eddy covariance method measures smaller changes in ET when forests are converted to grasslands, though more data are needed for this result to be statistically significant. Finally, GETA2.0, a new global dataset of annual ET, projects that forest ET is greater than grassland, except at high latitudes and areas where orography influences precipitation (P). The data included in this study represent the data available on forest and grassland ET

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ligita Balezentiene

    2012-01-01

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

  19. The burying and grazing effects of plateau pika on alpine grassland are small: a pilot study in a semiarid basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    S. Yi

    2016-11-01

    Full Text Available There is considerable controversy about the effects of plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae, hereafter pika on alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP. On the one hand, pika is considered a keystone species. On the other hand, it is being poisoned. Although significant efforts have been made to study the effects of pika at a quadrat scale ( ∼  m2, our knowledge about its distribution and effects at a larger scale is very limited. In this study, we investigated the direct effects, i.e., burying and grazing, of pika by upscaling field sampling at a quadrat scale to a plot scale ( ∼  1000 m2 by aerial photographing. Altogether 168 plots were set on four different types of alpine grassland in a semiarid basin on the QTP. Results showed that (1 the effects of pika pile burying on the reduction of vegetation cover, biomass, soil carbon, and nitrogen were less than 10 %, which was much smaller than the effects of bald patches; and (2 pika consumed 8–21 % of annual net primary production of grassland. We concluded that the direct burying and grazing effects of pika on alpine grassland were minor in this region. The quadcopter is an efficient and economic tool for long-term repeated monitoring over large regions for further understanding the role of pika.

  20. The burying and grazing effects of plateau pika on alpine grassland are small: a pilot study in a semiarid basin on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yi, Shuhua; Chen, Jianjun; Qin, Yu; Xu, Gaowei

    2016-11-01

    There is considerable controversy about the effects of plateau pika (Ochotona curzoniae, hereafter pika) on alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP). On the one hand, pika is considered a keystone species. On the other hand, it is being poisoned. Although significant efforts have been made to study the effects of pika at a quadrat scale ( ˜ m2), our knowledge about its distribution and effects at a larger scale is very limited. In this study, we investigated the direct effects, i.e., burying and grazing, of pika by upscaling field sampling at a quadrat scale to a plot scale ( ˜ 1000 m2) by aerial photographing. Altogether 168 plots were set on four different types of alpine grassland in a semiarid basin on the QTP. Results showed that (1) the effects of pika pile burying on the reduction of vegetation cover, biomass, soil carbon, and nitrogen were less than 10 %, which was much smaller than the effects of bald patches; and (2) pika consumed 8-21 % of annual net primary production of grassland. We concluded that the direct burying and grazing effects of pika on alpine grassland were minor in this region. The quadcopter is an efficient and economic tool for long-term repeated monitoring over large regions for further understanding the role of pika.

  1. An analysis on vegetation pattern of ecotone in North China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Jia, J.C.; Zhang, H.Y. [North China Electric Power Univ., Beijing (China). Energy and Environmental Research Center

    2008-07-01

    Vegetation pattern is influenced by several natural factors, including climatic elements, elevation factors and soil conditions. Since soil formation and soil types are influenced by water-temperature conditions, much can be learned about vegetation distribution patterns by studying the relationship between water-temperature conditions and vegetation distribution. This paper presented the results of a study whose purpose was to provide scientific evidence for exploiting natural resources, planting trees, and restoring grassland from cropland. A warmth index (WI ) and humidity index (HI) were used to examine the relation between the distribution of vegetation and the water-temperature condition in North China's ecotone, the transition area between two adjacent but different plant communities, including steppe, bush and forest ecosystems. A vegetation map of the study site was digitized and then converted into a vegetation grid map from which 17 different vegetation types were chosen as the study object. A monthly mean temperature grid map and precipitation grid map of the study site were made based on the method of spatial interpolation, by using 119 meteorological data for 50 years during the period from 1951 to 2000. The thermal distribution curves and humidity distribution curves of 17 vegetation types in North China, determined the whole range and optimum range of WI and HI of 17 vegetation types. The relative proportion of each vegetation type distributed in the optimum range of WI and HI were calculated. The vegetation pattern was analyzed according to the WI and HI standard, and was described by species and their relative amount. 10 refs., 5 tabs., 3 figs.

  2. Factors that influence the beta-diversity of spider communities in northwestern Argentinean Grasslands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandra M. Rodriguez-Artigas

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Beta-diversity, defined as spatial replacement in species composition, is crucial to the understanding of how local communities assemble. These changes can be driven by environmental or geographic factors (such as geographic distance, or a combination of the two. Spiders have been shown to be good indicators of environmental quality. Accordingly, spiders are used in this work as model taxa to establish whether there is a decrease in community similarity that corresponds to geographic distance in the grasslands of the Campos & Malezales ecoregion (Corrientes. Furthermore, the influence of climactic factors and local vegetation heterogeneity (environmental factors on assemblage composition was evaluated. Finally, this study evaluated whether the differential dispersal capacity of spider families is a factor that influences their community structure at a regional scale. Spiders were collected with a G-Vac from vegetation in six grassland sites in the Campos & Malezales ecoregion that were separated by a minimum of 13 km. With this data, the impact of alpha-diversity and different environmental variables on the beta-diversity of spider communities was analysed. Likewise, the importance of species replacement and nesting on beta-diversity and their contribution to the regional diversity of spider families with different dispersion capacities was evaluated. The regional and site-specific inventories obtained were complete. The similarity between spider communities declined as the geographic distance between sites increased. Environmental variables also influenced community composition; stochastic events and abiotic forces were the principal intervening factors in assembly structure. The differential dispersal capacity of spider groups also influenced community structure at a regional scale. The regional beta-diversity, as well as species replacement, was greater in high and intermediate vagility spiders; while nesting was greater in spiders with low

  3. The Changing California Coast: The Effect of a Variable Water Budget on Coastal Vegetation Succession

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hsu, Wei-Chen; Remar, Alex; McClure, Adam; Williams, Emily; Kannan, Soumya; Steers, Robert; Schmidt, Cindy; Skiles, Joseph W.; Hsu, Wei-Chen

    2011-01-01

    The land-ocean interface along the central coast of California is one of the most diverse biogeographic regions of the state. This area is composed of a species-rich mosaic of coastal grassland, shrubland, and forest vegetation types. An acceleration of conifer encroachment into shrublands and shrub encroachment into grasslands along the coast has been recently documented. These vegetation changes are believed to be driven primarily by fire suppression and changing grazing patterns. Climatic variables such as precipitation, fog, cloud cover, temperature, slope, and elevation also play an important role in vegetation succession. Our study area is located along the central California coast, which is characterized by a precipitation gradient from the relatively wetter and cooler north to the drier and warmer south. Some studies indicate changing fog patterns along this coast, which may greatly impact vegetation. A decrease in water availability could slow succession processes. The primary objective of this project is to determine if vegetation succession rates are changing for the study area and to identify climate and ecosystem variables which contribute to succession, specifically the transition among grassland, shrubland, and forest. To identify vegetation types and rates of succession, we classified two Landsat TM 5 scenes from 1985 to 2010 with a resulting overall accuracy of 82.4%. Vegetation succession was correlated to changes in maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, and elevation for each sub-region of the study area. Fog frequency was then compared between the northern and southern regions of the study area for determining the spatial relation between fog frequency and the percent of vegetation change.

  4. Seed-bank structure and plant-recruitment conditions regulate the dynamics of a grassland-shrubland Chihuahuan ecotone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moreno-de Las Heras, Mariano; Turnbull, Laura; Wainwright, John

    2016-09-01

    Large areas of desert grasslands in the southwestern United States have shifted to sparse shrublands dominated by drought-tolerant woody species over the last 150 yr, accompanied by accelerated soil erosion. An important step toward the understanding of patterns in species dominance and vegetation change at desert grassland-shrubland transitions is the study of environmental limitations imposed by the shrub-encroachment phenomenon on plant establishment. Here, we analyze the structure of soil seed banks, environmental limitations for seed germination (i.e., soil-water availability and temperature), and simulated seedling emergence and early establishment of dominant species (black grama, Bouteloua eriopoda, and creosotebush, Larrea tridentata) across a Chihuahuan grassland-shrubland ecotone (Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico, USA). Average viable seed density in soils across the ecotone is generally low (200-400 seeds/m 2 ), although is largely concentrated in densely vegetated areas (with peaks up to 800-1,200 seeds/m 2 in vegetated patches). Species composition in the seed bank is strongly affected by shrub encroachment, with seed densities of grass species sharply decreasing in shrub-dominated sites. Environmental conditions for seed germination and seedling emergence are synchronized with the summer monsoon. Soil-moisture conditions for seedling establishment of B. eriopoda take place with a recurrence interval ranging between 5 and 8 yr for grassland and shrubland sites, respectively, and are favored by strong monsoonal precipitation. Limited L. tridentata seed dispersal and a narrow range of rainfall conditions for early seedling establishment (50-100 mm for five to six consecutive weeks) constrain shrub-recruitment pulses to localized and episodic decadal events (9-25 yr recurrence intervals) generally associated with late-summer rainfall. Re-establishment of B. eriopoda in areas now dominated by L. tridentata is strongly limited by the

  5. Notable shifting in the responses of vegetation activity to climate change in China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Aifang; He, Bin; Wang, Honglin; Huang, Ling; Zhu, Yunhua; Lv, Aifeng

    The weakening relationship between inter-annual temperature variability and vegetation activity in the Northern Hemisphere over the last three decades has been reported by a recent study. However, how and to what extent vegetation activity responds to climate change in China is still unclear. We applied the Pearson correlation and partial correlation methods with a moving 15-y window to the GIMMS NDVI dataset from NOAA/AVHRR and observed climate data to examine the variation in the relationships between vegetation activity and climate variables. Results showed that there was an expanding negative response of vegetation growth to climate warming and a positive role of precipitation. The change patterns between NDVI and climate variables over vegetation types during the past three decades pointed an expending negative correlation between NDVI and temperature and a positive role of precipitation over most of the vegetation types (meadow, grassland, shrub, desert, cropland, and forest). Specifically, correlation between NDVI and temperature (PNDVI-T) have shifted from positive to negative in most of the station of temperature-limited areas with evergreen broadleaf forests, whereas precipitation-limited temperate grassland and desert were characterized by a positive PNDVI-P. This study contributes to ongoing investigations of the effects of climate change on vegetation activity. It is also of great importance for designing forest management strategies to cope with climate change.

  6. Estimating fractional vegetation cover and the vegetation index of bare soil and highly dense vegetation with a physically based method

    Science.gov (United States)

    Song, Wanjuan; Mu, Xihan; Ruan, Gaiyan; Gao, Zhan; Li, Linyuan; Yan, Guangjian

    2017-06-01

    Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of highly dense vegetation (NDVIv) and bare soil (NDVIs), identified as the key parameters for Fractional Vegetation Cover (FVC) estimation, are usually obtained with empirical statistical methods However, it is often difficult to obtain reasonable values of NDVIv and NDVIs at a coarse resolution (e.g., 1 km), or in arid, semiarid, and evergreen areas. The uncertainty of estimated NDVIs and NDVIv can cause substantial errors in FVC estimations when a simple linear mixture model is used. To address this problem, this paper proposes a physically based method. The leaf area index (LAI) and directional NDVI are introduced in a gap fraction model and a linear mixture model for FVC estimation to calculate NDVIv and NDVIs. The model incorporates the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) Bidirectional Reflectance Distribution Function (BRDF) model parameters product (MCD43B1) and LAI product, which are convenient to acquire. Two types of evaluation experiments are designed 1) with data simulated by a canopy radiative transfer model and 2) with satellite observations. The root-mean-square deviation (RMSD) for simulated data is less than 0.117, depending on the type of noise added on the data. In the real data experiment, the RMSD for cropland is 0.127, for grassland is 0.075, and for forest is 0.107. The experimental areas respectively lack fully vegetated and non-vegetated pixels at 1 km resolution. Consequently, a relatively large uncertainty is found while using the statistical methods and the RMSD ranges from 0.110 to 0.363 based on the real data. The proposed method is convenient to produce NDVIv and NDVIs maps for FVC estimation on regional and global scales.

  7. Effects of permafrost degradation on alpine grassland in a semi-arid basin on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yi Shuhua; Zhou Zhaoye; Ren Shilong; Xu Ming; Qin Yu; Chen Shengyun; Ye Baisheng

    2011-01-01

    Permafrost on the Qinghai–Tibetan Plateau (QTP) has degraded over the last few decades. Its ecological effects have attracted great concern. Previous studies focused mostly at plot scale, and hypothesized that degradation of permafrost would cause lowering of the water table and drying of shallow soil and then degradation of alpine grassland. However, none has been done to test the hypothesis at basin scale. In this study, for the first time, we investigated the relationships between land surface temperature (LST) and fractional vegetation cover (FVC) in different types of permafrost zone to infer the limiting condition (water or energy) of grassland growth on the source region of Shule River Basin, which is located in the north-eastern edge of the QTP. LST was obtained from MODIS Aqua products at 1 km resolution, while FVC was upscaled from quadrat (50 cm) to the same resolution as LST, using 30 m resolution NDVI data of the Chinese HJ satellite. FVC at quadrat scale was estimated by analyzing pictures taken with a multi-spectral camera. Results showed that (1) retrieval of FVC at quadrat scale using a multi-spectral camera was both more accurate and more efficient than conventional methods and (2) the limiting factor of vegetation growth transitioned from energy in the extreme stable permafrost zone to water in the seasonal frost zone. Our study suggested that alpine grassland would respond differently to permafrost degradation in different types of permafrost zone. Future studies should consider overall effects of permafrost degradation, and avoid the shortcomings of existing studies, which focus too much on the adverse effects.

  8. Application of Multi-Source Remote Sensing Image in Yunnan Province Grassland Resources Investigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, J.; Wen, G.; Li, D.

    2018-04-01

    Trough mastering background information of Yunnan province grassland resources utilization and ecological conditions to improves grassland elaborating management capacity, it carried out grassland resource investigation work by Yunnan province agriculture department in 2017. The traditional grassland resource investigation method is ground based investigation, which is time-consuming and inefficient, especially not suitable for large scale and hard-to-reach areas. While remote sensing is low cost, wide range and efficient, which can reflect grassland resources present situation objectively. It has become indispensable grassland monitoring technology and data sources and it has got more and more recognition and application in grassland resources monitoring research. This paper researches application of multi-source remote sensing image in Yunnan province grassland resources investigation. First of all, it extracts grassland resources thematic information and conducts field investigation through BJ-2 high space resolution image segmentation. Secondly, it classifies grassland types and evaluates grassland degradation degree through high resolution characteristics of Landsat 8 image. Thirdly, it obtained grass yield model and quality classification through high resolution and wide scanning width characteristics of MODIS images and sample investigate data. Finally, it performs grassland field qualitative analysis through UAV remote sensing image. According to project area implementation, it proves that multi-source remote sensing data can be applied to the grassland resources investigation in Yunnan province and it is indispensable method.

  9. The VOC-Ozone connection: a grassland case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wohlfahrt, G.; Hoertnagl, L.; Bamberger, I.; Schnitzhofer, R.; Dunkel, J.; Hammerle, A.; Graus, M.; Hansel, A.

    2009-04-01

    Trophospheric ozone (O3) is formed in the presence of sunlight through the interaction of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and NOx (NO, NO2). O3 damages plants in several ways, most importantly by reducing net photosynthesis and growth. The extent of this damage depends on the time-integrated absorbed O3 flux (i.e. the dose), which is a function of leaf stomatal conductance and ambient O3 concentration, and further influenced by plant species specific defence mechanisms. VOCs are produced by plants through a variety of pathways and in response to a large number of different driving forces. A large variety of VOCs are emitted by plants in response to stress conditions, including the foliar uptake of O3. Here we present preliminary data from an ongoing study where concurrent measurements of the fluxes of VOCs and O3 are made above a managed mountain grassland in Tyrol/Austria. Fluxes of several different VOCs and O3 are measured by means of the eddy covariance method and a proton transfer reaction mass spectrometer (PTR-MS) and an ozone analyser, respectively. Our findings show that the Methanol (MeOH) flux is correlated with the daily time-integrated O3 uptake by vegetation (integrated daily from sunrise - a surrogate for the O3 dose absorbed and the oxidative stress experienced by plants) - MeOH deposition and emission prevailing at low and high time-integrated O3 uptake rates, respectively. Fluxes of other VOCs were not related to the time-integrated O3 uptake. Integrated over longer time scales (several weeks) no correlation between the O3 uptake and MeOH emissions were found. Our study thus confirms earlier leaf-level studies, who found that MeOH emission increase with O3 dose, at the ecosystems scale. As the reaction with the hydroxyl radical (OH), which is responsible for the destruction of the greenhouse gas methane (CH4), is the major sink of atmospheric MeOH, this process provides a potentially important indirect radiative forcing.

  10. The integrated nitrous oxide and methane grassland project

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Leffelaar, P.A.; Langeveld, C.A.; Hofman, J.E.; Segers, R.; Van den Pol-van Dasselaar, A.; Goudriaan, J.; Rabbinge, R.; Oenema, O. [Department of Theoretical Production Ecology, Wageningen Agricultural University, Wageningen (Netherlands)

    2000-07-01

    The integrated nitrous oxide (N{sub 2}O) and methane (CH{sub 4}) grassland project aims to estimate and explain emissions of these greenhouse gases from two ecosystems, namely drained agricultural peat soil under grass at the experimental farm Zegveld and undrained peat in the nature preserve Nieuwkoopse Plassen, both Netherlands. Peat soils were chosen because of their expected considerable contribution to the greenhouse gas budget considering the prevailing wet and partial anaerobic conditions. The emission dynamics of these ecosystems are considered representatives of large peat areas because the underlying processes are rather general and driven by variables like organic matter characteristics, water and nutrient conditions and type of vegetation. The research approach comprises measurements and modelling at different integration levels relating to the microbiology of the production and consumption of N{sub 2}O and CH{sub 4} (laboratory studies), their movement through peat soil (rhizolab and field studies), and the resulting fluxes (field studies). Typical emissions from drained soil were 15-40 kg ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} N{sub 2}O and virtually zero for CH{sub 4}. The undrained soil in the nature preserve emitted 100-280 kg ha{sup -1} y{sup -1} CH{sub 4}, and probably little N{sub 2}O. The process knowledge, collected and partly integrated in the models, helps to explain these data. For example, the low methane emission from drained peat can more coherently be understood and extrapolated because: (1) upper soil layers are aerobic, thus limiting methane production and stimulating methane oxidation, (2) absence of aerenchymatous roots of wetland plants that connect deeper anaerobic soil layers where methane is produced to the atmosphere and supply labile carbon, (3) a low methane production potential in deep layers due to the low decomposability of organic matter, and (4) long anaerobic periods needed in the topsoil to develop a methane production potential. This

  11. Drought-induced vegetation stress in southwestern North America

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhang Xiaoyang; Goldberg, Mitchell; Tarpley, Dan; Kogan, Felix; Yu Yunyue; Friedl, Mark A; Morisette, Jeffrey

    2010-01-01

    Trends towards earlier greenup and increased average greenness have been widely reported in both humid and dry ecosystems. By analyzing NOAA (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) AVHRR (Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer) data from 1982 to 2007, we report complex trends in both the growing season amplitude and seasonally integrated vegetation greenness in southwestern North America and further highlight regions consistently experiencing drought stress. In particular, greenness measurements from 1982 to 2007 show an increasing trend in grasslands but a decreasing trend in shrublands. However, vegetation greenness in this period has experienced a strong cycle, increasing from 1982 to 1993 but decreasing from 1993 to 2007. The significant decrease during the last decade has reduced vegetation greenness by 6% in shrublands and 13% in grasslands (16% and 21%, respectively, in the severe drought years). The greenness cycle correlates to both annual precipitation and dry season length derived from NOAA North America Regional Reanalysis data. If drought events continue as predicted by climate models, they will exacerbate ecosystem degradation and reduce carbon uptake.

  12. 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.

  13. Prescribed burning to affect a state transition in a shrub-encroached desert grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prescribed burning is a commonly advocated and historical practice for control of woody species encroachment into grasslands on all continents. However, desert grasslands of the southwestern United States often lack needed herbaceous fuel loads for effective prescriptions, dominant perennial gramin...

  14. Forest Vegetation Simulator translocation techniques with the Bureau of Land Management's Forest Vegetation Information system database

    Science.gov (United States)

    Timothy A. Bottomley

    2008-01-01

    The BLM uses a database, called the Forest Vegetation Information System (FORVIS), to store, retrieve, and analyze forest resource information on a majority of their forested lands. FORVIS also has the capability of easily transferring appropriate data electronically into Forest Vegetation Simulator (FVS) for simulation runs. Only minor additional data inputs or...

  15. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  16. Present and future thermal environments available to Sharp-tailed Grouse in an intact grassland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Edward J Raynor

    Full Text Available Better understanding animal ecology in terms of thermal habitat use has become a focus of ecological studies, in large part due to the predicted temperature increases associated with global climate change. To further our knowledge on how ground-nesting endotherms respond to thermal landscapes, we examined the thermal ecology of Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus during the nesting period. We measured site-specific iButton temperatures (TiB and vegetation characteristics at nest sites, nearby random sites, and landscape sites to assess thermal patterns at scales relevant to nesting birds. We asked if microhabitat vegetation characteristics at nest sites matched the characteristics that directed macrohabitat nest-site selection. Grouse selected sites sheltered by dense vegetation for nesting that moderated TiB on average up to 2.7°C more than available landscape sites. Successful nests were positioned in a way that reduced exposure to thermal extremes by as much as 4°C relative to failed nests with an overall mean daytime difference (±SE of 0.4 ±0.03°C. We found that macrohabitat nest-site selection was guided by dense vegetation cover and minimal bare ground as also seen at the microhabitat scale. Global climate projections for 2080 suggest that TiB at nest sites may approach temperatures currently avoided on the landscape, emphasizing a need for future conservation plans that acknowledge fine-scale thermal space in climate change scenarios. These data show that features of grassland landscapes can buffer organisms from unfavorable microclimatic conditions and highlight how thermal heterogeneity at the individual-level can drive decisions guiding nest site selection.

  17. Present and future thermal environments available to Sharp-tailed Grouse in an intact grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Raynor, Edward J; Powell, Larkin A; Schacht, Walter H

    2018-01-01

    Better understanding animal ecology in terms of thermal habitat use has become a focus of ecological studies, in large part due to the predicted temperature increases associated with global climate change. To further our knowledge on how ground-nesting endotherms respond to thermal landscapes, we examined the thermal ecology of Sharp-tailed Grouse (Tympanuchus phasianellus) during the nesting period. We measured site-specific iButton temperatures (TiB) and vegetation characteristics at nest sites, nearby random sites, and landscape sites to assess thermal patterns at scales relevant to nesting birds. We asked if microhabitat vegetation characteristics at nest sites matched the characteristics that directed macrohabitat nest-site selection. Grouse selected sites sheltered by dense vegetation for nesting that moderated TiB on average up to 2.7°C more than available landscape sites. Successful nests were positioned in a way that reduced exposure to thermal extremes by as much as 4°C relative to failed nests with an overall mean daytime difference (±SE) of 0.4 ±0.03°C. We found that macrohabitat nest-site selection was guided by dense vegetation cover and minimal bare ground as also seen at the microhabitat scale. Global climate projections for 2080 suggest that TiB at nest sites may approach temperatures currently avoided on the landscape, emphasizing a need for future conservation plans that acknowledge fine-scale thermal space in climate change scenarios. These data show that features of grassland landscapes can buffer organisms from unfavorable microclimatic conditions and highlight how thermal heterogeneity at the individual-level can drive decisions guiding nest site selection.

  18. Vegetation Description, Rare Plant Inventory, and Vegetation Monitoring for Craig Mountain, Idaho.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Mancuso, Michael; Moseley, Robert

    1994-12-01

    The Craig Mountain Wildlife Mitigation Area was purchased by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as partial mitigation for wildlife losses incurred with the inundation of Dworshak Reservoir on the North Fork Clearwater River. Upon completion of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process, it is proposed that title to mitigation lands will be given to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). Craig Mountain is located at the northern end of the Hells Canyon Ecosystem. It encompasses the plateau and steep canyon slopes extending from the confluence of the Snake and Salmon rivers, northward to near Waha, south of Lewiston, Idaho. The forested summit of Craig Mountain is characterized by gently rolling terrain. The highlands dramatically break into the canyons of the Snake and Salmon rivers at approximately the 4,700 foot contour. The highly dissected canyons are dominated by grassland slopes containing a mosaic of shrubfield, riparian, and woodland habitats. During the 1993 and 1994 field seasons, wildlife, habitat/vegetation, timber, and other resources were systematically inventoried at Craig Mountain to provide Fish and Game managers with information needed to draft an ecologically-based management plan. The results of the habitat/vegetation portion of the inventory are contained in this report. The responsibilities for the Craig Mountain project included: (1) vegetation data collection, and vegetation classification, to help produce a GIS-generated Craig Mountain vegetation map, (2) to determine the distribution and abundance of rare plants populations and make recommendations concerning their management, and (3) to establish a vegetation monitoring program to evaluate the effects of Fish and Game management actions, and to assess progress towards meeting habitat mitigation goals.

  19. Vegetation description, rare plant inventory, and vegetation monitoring for Craig Mountain, Idaho

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Mancuso, M.; Moseley, R.

    1994-12-01

    The Craig Mountain Wildlife Mitigation Area was purchased by Bonneville Power Administration (BPA) as partial mitigation for wildlife losses incurred with the inundation of Dworshak Reservoir on the North Fork Clearwater River. Upon completion of the National Environmental Protection Act (NEPA) process, it is proposed that title to mitigation lands will be given to the Idaho Department of Fish and Game (IDFG). Craig Mountain is located at the northern end of the Hells Canyon Ecosystem. It encompasses the plateau and steep canyon slopes extending from the confluence of the Snake and Salmon rivers, northward to near Waha, south of Lewiston, Idaho. The forested summit of Craig Mountain is characterized by gently rolling terrain. The highlands dramatically break into the canyons of the Snake and Salmon rivers at approximately the 4,700 foot contour. The highly dissected canyons are dominated by grassland slopes containing a mosaic of shrubfield, riparian, and woodland habitats. During the 1993 and 1994 field seasons, wildlife, habitat/vegetation, timber, and other resources were systematically inventoried at Craig Mountain to provide Fish and Game managers with information needed to draft an ecologically-based management plan. The results of the habitat/vegetation portion of the inventory are contained in this report. The responsibilities for the Craig Mountain project included: (1) vegetation data collection, and vegetation classification, to help produce a GIS-generated Craig Mountain vegetation map, (2) to determine the distribution and abundance of rare plants populations and make recommendations concerning their management, and (3) to establish a vegetation monitoring program to evaluate the effects of Fish and Game management actions, and to assess progress towards meeting habitat mitigation goals

  20. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald J. Gottfried

    2004-01-01

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

  2. Resilience and stability of the grasslands of the Transkei | B | African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In spite of very high stocking rates the grasslands of Transkei still have in many areas a high cover and many climax species. The concepts of resilience and stability are used in an attempt to explain dynamics of the grasslands. Keywords: resiliences|stabilities|grasslands|Transkei|stocking rates|basal covers|grass ...

  3. 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...

  4. Voluntary intake and in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands in dairy cows

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bruinenberg, M.H.; Valk, H.; Struik, P.C.

    2003-01-01

    To study in vivo digestibility of forages from semi-natural grasslands two experiments were carried out. In the first experiment lactating dairy cows were offered three different silage-based diets. Silage originated from intensively managed grassland (IM), extensively managed species-poor grassland

  5. Forest and grassland carbon in North America: A short course for land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chris Swanston; Michael J. Furniss; Kristen Schmitt; Jeffrey Guntle; Maria Janowiak; Sarah Hines

    2012-01-01

    This multimedia short-course presents a range of information on the science, management and policy of forest and grassland carbon. Forests and grasslands worldwide play a critical role in storing carbon and sequestering greenhouse gases from the atmosphere. The U.S. Forest Service, which manages 193 million acres of forests and grasslands, emphasizes the need for...

  6. Revealing livestock effects on bunchgrass vegetation with Landsat ETM+ data across a grazing season

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jansen, Vincent S.

    Remote sensing provides monitoring solutions for more informed grazing management. To investigate the ability to detect the effects of cattle grazing on bunchgrass vegetation with Landsat Enhanced Thematic Mapper Plus (ETM+) data, we conducted a study on the Zumwalt Prairie in northeastern Oregon across a gradient of grazing intensities. Biophysical vegetation data was collected on vertical structure, biomass, and cover at three different time periods during the grazing season: June, August, and October 2012. To relate these measures to the remotely sensed Landsat ETM+ data, Pearson's correlations and multiple regression models were computed. Using the best models, predicted vegetation metrics were then mapped across the study area. Results indicated that models using common vegetation indices had the ability to discern different levels of grazing across the study area. Results can be distributed to land managers to help guide grassland conservation by improving monitoring of bunchgrass vegetation for sustainable livestock management.

  7. Suitability of vegetation for erosion control on uranium mill tailings: a regional analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beedlow, P.A.; McShane, M.C.

    1983-11-01

    Inactive uranium mill tailings (UMTRAP sites) in the West were grouped into three major climatic regions to evaluate the adequacy of vegetation for long-term stabilization: the Colorado Plateau, the West Slope of the Rocky Mountains, and the Northern Great Plains. Four general vegetation types were found at western sites: grasslands, shrub-steppe, and saltshrub and woodland. Soil-loss rates, calculated using the Universal Soil Loss Equation, were variable within regions and vegetation types, but trends were apparent. Calculations indicated that vegetation or vegetation plus a layer of surface rock provided adequate stabilization against long-term average soil loss for slopes less than 10% at the UMTRAP sites evaluated. However, detailed analyses of erosion due to severe storm events, gully formation and channel cutting is necessary for designing protective covers at each site. 11 references, 3 figures, 3 tables

  8. The suitability of vegetation for erosion control on uranium mill tailings: A regional analysis

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Beedlow, P.A.; McShane, M.C.

    1984-01-01

    Inactive uranium mill tailings (UMTRAP sites) in the West were grouped into three major climatic regions to evaluate the suitability of vegetation for long-term stabilization: the Colorado Plateau, the West Slope of the Rocky Mountains, and the Northern Great Plains. Four general vegetation types were found at western sites: grassland, shrub, salt shrub and woodland. Soil-loss rates, calculated using the Universal Soil Loss Equation, were variable within regions and vegetation types, but trends were apparent. Calculations indicated that vegetation or vegetation plus a layer of surface rock provided adequate stabilization against long-term average soil loss on slopes of less than 10%. However, at each site, detailed analyses of erosion caused by severe storm events, gully formation and channel cutting is necessary for designing protective covers

  9. 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

  10. Dynamic vegetation modeling of tropical biomes during Heinrich events

    Science.gov (United States)

    Handiani, Dian Noor; Paul, André; Dupont, Lydie M.

    2010-05-01

    changed from warm temperate forest during the last glacial maximum to the grassland and dry shrubland, suggesting a drier climate during Heinrich event 1. In south-western Africa savanna and dry woodland changed into boreal forest and boreal-temperate forest suggesting wetter conditions. The biomes diagnosed from the control-run, were compared to the modern vegetation reconstruction of BIOME 4 (http://www.bridge.bris.ac.uk/resources/Databases/BIOMES_data). Consistent biome patterns were simulated for the tropical forests of western and south-western Africa and the grasslands of northern Africa. On the other hand, in southern Europe, where the BIOME 4 vegetation reconstruction is dominated by warm temperate and temperate forest, our model shows a strong bias towards the grassland.

  11. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Igl, Lawrence D.; Johnson, Douglas H.

    2016-01-01

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

  12. Vegetative biomass predicts inflorescence production along a CO2 concentration gradient in mesic grassland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Atmospheric CO2 concentration will likely exceed 500 uL L-1 by 2050, often increasing plant community productivity in part by increasing abundance of species favored by increased CA. Whether increased abundance translates to increased inflorescence production is poorly understood, and is important ...

  13. Estimating photosynthesis with high resolution field spectroscopy in a Mediterranean grassland under different nutrient availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Perez-Priego, O.; Guan, J.; Fava, F.; Rossini, M.; Wutzler, T.; Moreno, G.; Carrara, A.; Kolle, O.; Schrumpf, M.; Reichstein, M.; Migliavacca, M.

    2014-12-01

    Recent studies have shown how human induced N:P imbalances are affecting essential processes (e.g. photosynthesis, plant growth rate) that lead to important changes in ecosystem structure and function. In this regard, the accuracy of the approaches based on remotely-sensed data for monitoring and modeling gross primary production (GPP) relies on the ability of vegetation indices (VIs) to track the dynamics of vegetation physiological and biophysical properties/variables. Promising results have been recently obtained when Chlorophyll-sensitive VIs and Chlorophyll fluorescence are combined with structural indices in the framework of the Monteith's light use efficiency (LUE) model. However, further ground-based experiments are required to validate LUE model performances, and their capability to be generalized under different nutrient availability conditions. In this study, the overall objective was to investigate the sensitivity of VIs to track short- and long-term GPP variations in a Mediterranean grassland under different N and P fertilization treatments. Spectral VIs were acquired manually using high resolution spectrometers (HR4000, OceanOptics, USA) along a phenological cycle. The VIs examined included photochemical reflectance index (PRI), MERIS terrestrial-chlorophyll index (MTCI) and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). Solar-induced chlorophyll fluorescence calculated at the oxygen absorption band O2-A (F760) using spectral fitting methods was also used. Simultaneously, measurements of GPP and environmental variables were conducted using a transient-state canopy chamber. Overall, GPP, F760 and VIs showed a clear seasonal time-trend in all treatments, which was driven by the phenological development of the grassland. Results showed significant differences (p<0.05) in midday GPP values between N and without N addition plots, in particular at the peak of the growing season during the flowering stage and at the end of the season during senescence. While

  14. Aboveground vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore impact on net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Risch, Anita C; Schotz, Martin; Vandegehuchte, Martijn L; Van Der Putten, Wim H; Duyts, Henk; Raschein, Ursina; Gwiazdowicz, Dariusz J; Busse, Matt D; Page-dumroese, Deborah S; Zimmermann, Stephan

    2015-12-01

    Aboveground herbivores have strong effects on grassland nitrogen (N) cycling. They can accelerate or slow down soil net N mineralization depending on ecosystem productivity and grazing intensity. Yet, most studies only consider either ungulates or invertebrate herbivores, but not the combined effect of several functionally different vertebrate and invertebrate herbivore species or guilds. We assessed how a diverse herbivore community affects net N mineralization in subalpine grasslands. By using size-selective fences, we progressively excluded large, medium, and small mammals, as well as invertebrates from two vegetation types, and assessed how the exclosure types (ET) affected net N mineralization. The two vegetation types differed in long-term management (centuries), forage quality, and grazing history and intensity. To gain a more mechanistic understanding of how herbivores affect net N mineralization, we linked mineralization to soil abiotic (temperature; moisture; NO3-, NH4+, and total inorganic N concentrations/pools; C, N, P concentrations; pH; bulk density), soil biotic (microbial biomass; abundance of collembolans, mites, and nematodes) and plant (shoot and root biomass; consumption; plant C, N, and fiber content; plant N pool) properties. Net N mineralization differed between ET, but not between vegetation types. Thus, short-term changes in herbivore community composition and, therefore, in grazing intensity had a stronger effect on net N mineralization than long-term management and grazing history. We found highest N mineralization values when only invertebrates were present, suggesting that mammals had a negative effect on net N mineralization. Of the variables included in our analyses, only mite abundance and aboveground plant biomass explained variation in net N mineralization among ET. Abundances of both mites and leaf-sucking invertebrates were positively correlated with aboveground plant biomass, and biomass increased with progressive exclusion

  15. Vegetation und Management seltener Pflanzenarten im Küstengrünland einer dänischen Ostseeinsel

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Heimes, Christine; Kollmann, Johannes Christian; Bergmeier, Erwin

    2010-01-01

    Abstract: Grazed coastal grassland in eastern Denmark - Managing plant communities to preserve rare plant species This study analyzes vegetation of coastal grassland in an embanked nature reserve (c. 2000 ha) south of Copenhagen on the island Amager. The focus is on grazing effects on abundance...... on these results, management on the rare plants is discussed. Vegetation data, consisting of 73 relevés collected in summer 2008, are classified using TWINSPAN analysis and ordination by DCA. Thus, the main vegetation units and underlying environmental gradients are identified and assigned to plant communities...... of Iris spuria, Selinum dubium and Cerastium subtetrandrum. The main objectives are to identify plant communities and site factors related to the target species. Considering the ecological requirements of the species it is possible to estimate their potential distribution in the study area. Based...

  16. Seasonal and interannual variability of carbon dioxide and water balances of a grassland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Jacobs, A.F.G.; Heusinkveld, B.G.; Holtslag, A.A.M.

    2007-01-01

    There is great international concern over the increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide and its effect on vegetation and climate, and vice versa. Many studies on this issue are based on climate model calculations or indirect satellite observations. In contrast we present a 12-year study (1994-2005) on the net ecosystem exchange of carbon dioxide (NEE) and precipitation surplus (i.e., precipitation-evaporation) of a grassland area in the centre of the Netherlands. On basis of direct flux observations and a process-based model we study and quantify the carbon uptake via assimilation and carbon release via soil and plant respiration. It appears that nearly year-round the assimilation term dominates, which indicates an accumulation of carbon dioxide. The mean net carbon uptake for the 12-year period is about 3 tonnes C per hectare, but with a strong seasonal and interannual variability depending on the weather and water budget. This variability may severely hamper the accurate quantification of carbon storage by vegetation in our present climates and its projection for future climates

  17. Seasonal variation in carbon dioxide exchange over a Mediterranean annual grassland in California

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Xu, L; Baldocchi, D

    2004-05-01

    Understanding how environmental variables affect the processes that regulate the carbon flux over grassland is critical for large-scale modeling research, since grasslands comprise almost one-third of the earth's natural vegetation. To address this issue, fluxes of CO{sub 2} (F{sub c}, flux toward the surface is negative) were measured over a Mediterranean, annual grassland in California, USA for 2 years with the eddy covariance method. To interpret the biotic and abiotic factors that modulate F{sub c} over the course of a year we decomposed net ecosystem CO{sub 2} exchange into its constituent components, ecosystem respiration (R{sub eco}) and gross primary production (GPP). Daytime R{sub eco} was extrapolated from the relationship between temperature and nighttime F{sub c} under high turbulent conditions. Then, GPP was estimated by subtracting daytime values of F{sub c} from daytime estimates of R{sub eco}. Results show that most of carbon exchange, both photosynthesis and respiration, was limited to the wet season (typically from October to mid-May). Seasonal variations in GPP followed closely to changes in leaf area index, which in turn was governed by soil moisture, available sunlight and the timing of the last frost. In general, R{sub eco} was an exponential function of soil temperature, but with season-dependent values of Q{sub 10}. The temperature-dependent respiration model failed immediately after rain events, when large pulses of R{sub eco} were observed. Respiration pulses were especially notable during the dry season when the grass was dead and were the consequence of quickly stimulated microbial activity. Integrated values of GPP, R{sub eco}, and net ecosystem exchange (NEE) were 867, 735, and -132g C m{sup -2}, respectively, for the 2000-2001 season, and 729, 758, and 29g C m{sup -2} for the 2001-2002 season. Thus, the grassland was a moderate carbon sink during the first season and a weak carbon source during the second season. In contrast to a

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-05-01

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

  19. Comparing the effect of naturally restored forest and grassland on carbon sequestration and its vertical distribution in the Chinese Loess Plateau.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jie Wei

    Full Text Available Vegetation restoration has been conducted in the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP since the 1950s, and large areas of farmland have been converted to forest and grassland, which largely results in SOC change. However, there has been little comparative research on SOC sequestration and distribution between secondary forest and restored grassland. Therefore, we selected typical secondary forest (SF-1 and SF-2 and restored grassland (RG-1 and RG-2 sites and determined the SOC storage. Moreover, to illustrate the factors resulting in possible variance in SOC sequestration, we measured the soil δ(13C value. The average SOC content was 6.8, 9.9, 17.9 and 20.4 g kg(-1 at sites SF-1, SF-2, RG-1 and RG-2, respectively. Compared with 0-100 cm depth, the percentage of SOC content in the top 20 cm was 55.1%, 55.3%, 23.1%, and 30.6% at sites SF-1, SF-2, RG-1 and RG-2, suggesting a higher SOC content in shallow layers in secondary forest and in deeper layers in restored grassland. The variation of soil δ(13C values with depth in this study might be attributed to the mixing of new and old carbon and kinetic fractionation during the decomposition of SOM by microbes, whereas the impact of the Suess effect (the decline of (13C atmospheric CO(2 values with the burning of fossil fuel since the Industrial Revolution was minimal. The soil δ(13C value increased sharply in the top 20 cm, which then increased slightly in deeper layers in secondary forest, indicating a main carbon source of surface litter. However the soil δ(13C values exhibited slow increases in the whole profile in the restored grasslands, suggesting that the contribution of roots to soil carbon in deeper layers played an important role. We suggest that naturally restored grassland would be a more effective vegetation type for SOC sequestration due to higher carbon input from roots in the CLP.

  20. Vegetation dynamics and dynamic vegetation science

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Van der Maarel, E

    1996-01-01

    his contribution presents a review of the development of the study of vegetation dynamics since 1979, in the framework of a jubilee meeting on progress in the study of vegetation. However, an exhaustive review is both impossible and unnecessary. It is impossible within the few pages available

  1. Soil carbon fractions and enzyme activities under different vegetation types on the Loess Plateau of China

    OpenAIRE

    Zhang, Haixin; Zeng, Quanchao; An, Shaoshan; Dong, Yanghong; Darboux, Frédéric

    2016-01-01

    Vegetation restoration was effective way of protecting soil erosion and water conservation on the Loess Plateau. Carbon fractions and enzyme activities were sensitive parameters for assessment of soil remediation through revegetation. Forest, forest steppe and grassland soils were collected at 0–5 cm and 5–20 cm soil layers in Yanhe watershed, Shaanxi Province. Urease, sucrase, alkaline phosphatase, soil organic carbon (SOC), microbial biomass carbon (MBC), easily ox...

  2. The vegetation ecology of the Eastern Transvaal Escarpment in the Sabie area. 2. Floristic classification

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. B. Deall

    1989-10-01

    Full Text Available The indigenous vegetation of the Eastern Transvaal Escarpment in the Sabie area is classified with the aid of the PHYTOTAB program package. Four ecological-formation classes (efc based on floristics. physiognomy and climate correspond to four data subsets. Plant communities in each efc are defined by means of 46 differential species-groups distributed amongst forest, thicket, woodland, shrubland and grassland structural types. Environmental correlation is facilitated by means of 21 habitat types.

  3. Evaluation of Above Ground Biomass Estimation Accuracy for Alpine Meadow Based on MODIS Vegetation Indices

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Meng Bao-Ping

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Animal husbandry is the main agricultural type over the Tibetan Plateau, above ground biomass (AGB is very important to monitor the productivity for administration of grassland resources and grazing balance. The MODIS vegetation indices have been successfully used in numerous studies on grassland AGB estimation in the Tibetan Plateau area. However, there are considerable differences of AGB estimation models both in the form of the models and the accuracy of estimation. In this study, field measurements of AGB data at Sangke Town, Gansu Province, China in four years (2013-2016 and MODIS indices (NDVI and EVI are combined to construct AGB estimation models of alpine meadow grassland. The field measured AGB are also used to evaluate feasibility of models developed for large scale in applying to small area. The results show that (1 the differences in biomass were relatively large among the 5 sample areas of alpine meadow grassland in the study area during 2013-2016, with the maximum and minimum biomass values of 3,963 kg DW/ha and 745.5 kg DW/ha, respectively, and mean value of 1,907.7 kg DW/ha; the mean of EVI value range (0.42-0.60 are slightly smaller than the NDVI’s (0.59-0.75; (2 the optimum estimation model of grassland AGB in the study area is the exponential model based on MODIS EVI, with root mean square error of 656.6 kg DW/ha and relative estimation errors (REE of 36.3%; (3 the estimation errors of grassland AGB models previously constructed at different spatial scales (the Tibetan Plateau, the Gannan Prefecture, and Xiahe County are higher than those directly constructed based on the small area of this study by 9.5%–31.7%, with the increase of the modeling study area scales, the REE increasing as well. This study presents an improved monitoring algorithm of alpine natural grassland AGB estimation and provides a clear direction for future improvement of the grassland AGB estimation and grassland productivity from remote sensing

  4. A phytosociology survey and vegetation description of inselbergs in the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park World Heritage Site, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Robert F. Brand

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available No previous scientific surveys have been conducted on inselbergs in the Drakensberg. The aim of this study was to collect specimens, identify, describe and name the vegetation clusters and assess biogeographical connections with other Afromontane regions. A total of 103 relevés where sampled from six inselbergs. The plant sampling was carried out according to the Braun-Blanquet method with the plant and environmental data entered in TURBOVEG and exported as a Cornell Condensed format file (CC! into Juice. Classification was completed using TWINSPAN (Two-way Indicator Species Analysis (modified, resulting in 4 major communities, 11 communities, 13 sub-communities and 18 variants. Ordination (indirect was carried out using CANOCO (version 4.5 to investigate the relationship between species. The four major communities identified are Rhodohypoxis rubella (wetland grass and forblands, Scirpus ficinioides – Crassula peploides (sheet rock grass and forblands, Pentaschistis exserta (high-altitude alpine grassland, previously undescribed, and Merxmuellera drakensbergensis – Helichrysum trilineatum (high-altitude alpine fynbos grassland, described in other vegetation and floristic studies. Four habitats were identified, namely wetlands, sheet rock shallow soil, highaltitude alpine grassland and deep soil high-altitude fynbos grasslands. Substrate and moisture availability appeared to be the defining micro-climatic conditions determining the different vegetation clusters whilst altitude is the overriding environmental factor influencing all vegetation. Conservation implications: Rising temperatures as a result of carbon dioxide increase is predicted to drastically decrease the number of endemic and near-endemic montane species, whilst altering the composition of vegetation units which comprise the alpine vegetation.

  5. Temperate grassland songbird species accumulate incrementally along a gradient of primary productivity.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William L Harrower

    Full Text Available Global analyses of bird communities along elevation gradients suggest that bird diversity on arid mountains is primarily limited by water availability, not temperature or altitude. However, the mechanism by which water availability, and subsequently primary productivity, increases bird diversity is still unclear. Here we evaluate two possible mechanisms from species-energy theory. The more individuals hypothesis proposes that a higher availability of resources increases the total number of individuals that can be supported, and therefore the greater number of species that will be sampled. By contrast, the more specialization hypothesis proposes that increasing resource availability will permit specialists to exploit otherwise rare resources, thus increasing total diversity. We used 5 years of surveys of grassland songbird communities along an elevational gradient in British Columbia, Canada, to distinguish between these hypotheses. Vegetation changed markedly in composition along the gradient and contrary to the expectations of the more specialization hypothesis, bird community composition was remarkably constant. However, both total abundance and species richness of birds increased with increasing water availability to plants. When we used rarefaction to correct species richness for differences in total abundance, much of the increase in bird diversity was lost, consistent with the expectations of the more individuals hypothesis. Furthermore, high species richness was associated with reductions in territory size of common bird species, rather than the fine-scale spatial partitioning of the landscape. This suggests that bird diversity increases when greater resource availability allows higher densities rather than greater habitat specialization. These results help explain a pervasive global pattern in bird diversity on arid mountains, and suggest that in such landscapes conservation of grassland birds is strongly linked to climate and hydrology.

  6. Prescribed-fire effects on an aquatic community of a southwest montane grassland system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Caldwell, Colleen A.; Jacobi, Gerald Z.; Anderson, Michael C.; Parmenter, Robert R.; McGann, Jeanine; Gould, William R.; DuBey, Robert; Jacobi, M. Donna

    2013-01-01

    The use of prescription fire has long been recognized as a reliable management tool to suppress vegetative succession processes and to reduce fuel loading to prevent catastrophic wildfires, but very little attention has been paid to the effects on aquatic systems. A late-fall prescribed burn was implemented to characterize effects on an aquatic community within a montane grassland system in north-central New Mexico. The fire treatment was consistent with protocols of a managed burn except that the fire was allowed to burn through the riparian area to the treatment stream to replicate natural fire behavior. In addition to summer and fall preburn assessment of the treatment and reference stream, we characterized immediate postfire effects (within a week for macroinvertebrates and within 6 months for fish) and seasonal effects over a 2-year period. Responses within the treatment stream were compared with an unburned reference stream adjacent to the prescription burn. During the burn, the diel range in air temperature increased by 5°C while diel range in water temperature did not change. Carbon–nitrogen ratios did not differ between treatment and reference streams, indicating the contribution of ash from the surrounding grassland was negligible. Although total taxa and species richness of aquatic macroinvertebrates were not altered, qualitative indices revealed departure from preburn condition due to loss of sensitive taxa (mayflies [order Ephemeroptera] and stoneflies [order Plecoptera]) and an increase in tolerant taxa (midges [order Chironomidae]) following the burn. Within 1 year of the burn, these attributes returned to preburn conditions. The density and recruitment of adult Brown Trout Salmo trutta did not differ between pre- and postburn collections, nor did fish condition differ. Fire is rarely truly replicated within a given study. Although our study represents one replication, the results will inform managers about the importance in timing (seasonality

  7. Fruits and vegetables (image)

    Science.gov (United States)

    A healthy diet includes adding vegetables and fruit every day. Vegetables like broccoli, green beans, leafy greens, zucchini, cauliflower, cabbage, carrots, and tomatoes are low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. ...

  8. Vegetable Production System (Veggie)

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Vegetable Production System (Veggie) was developed to be a simple, easily stowed, high growth volume, low resource facility capable of producing fresh vegetables...

  9. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tomecek, John M; Pierce, Brian L; Reyna, Kelly S; Peterson, Markus J

    2017-01-01

    probably other species would experience lethal temperatures without these thermal refuges in the context of proper habitat condition, nesting vegetation is a critical component of niche space for bobwhites and other ground nesting birds in semi-arid regions. Many contemporary land uses, however, degrade or destroy bunch grasses and grassland systems, and thus decrease landscape inhabitability. Conservationists working with obligate grassland species that require bunch grasses in semi-arid regions should develop land management strategies that maximize the availability of these thermal refuges across space and time.

  10. Inadequate thermal refuge constrains landscape habitability for a grassland bird species

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John M. Tomecek

    2017-08-01

    and probably other species would experience lethal temperatures without these thermal refuges in the context of proper habitat condition, nesting vegetation is a critical component of niche space for bobwhites and other ground nesting birds in semi-arid regions. Many contemporary land uses, however, degrade or destroy bunch grasses and grassland systems, and thus decrease landscape inhabitability. Conservationists working with obligate grassland species that require bunch grasses in semi-arid regions should develop land management strategies that maximize the availability of these thermal refuges across space and time.

  11. 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.

  12. Changes in vegetation phenology on the Mongolian Plateau and their climatic determinants.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lijuan Miao

    Full Text Available Climate change affects the timing of phenological events, such as the start, end, and length of the growing season of vegetation. A better understanding of how the phenology responded to climatic determinants is important in order to better anticipate future climate-ecosystem interactions. We examined the changes of three phenological events for the Mongolian Plateau and their climatic determinants. To do so, we derived three phenological metrics from remotely sensed vegetation indices and associated these with climate data for the period of 1982 to 2011. The results suggested that the start of the growing season advanced by 0.10 days yr-1, the end was delayed by 0.11 days yr-1, and the length of the growing season expanded by 6.3 days during the period from 1982 to 2011. The delayed end and extended length of the growing season were observed consistently in grassland, forest, and shrubland, while the earlier start was only observed in grassland. Partial correlation analysis between the phenological events and the climate variables revealed that higher temperature was associated with an earlier start of the growing season, and both temperature and precipitation contributed to the later ending. Overall, our findings suggest that climate change will substantially alter the vegetation phenology in the grasslands of the Mongolian Plateau, and likely also in biomes with similar environmental conditions, such as other semi-arid steppe regions.

  13. Changes in vegetation phenology on the Mongolian Plateau and their climatic determinants.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miao, Lijuan; Müller, Daniel; Cui, Xuefeng; Ma, Meihong

    2017-01-01

    Climate change affects the timing of phenological events, such as the start, end, and length of the growing season of vegetation. A better understanding of how the phenology responded to climatic determinants is important in order to better anticipate future climate-ecosystem interactions. We examined the changes of three phenological events for the Mongolian Plateau and their climatic determinants. To do so, we derived three phenological metrics from remotely sensed vegetation indices and associated these with climate data for the period of 1982 to 2011. The results suggested that the start of the growing season advanced by 0.10 days yr-1, the end was delayed by 0.11 days yr-1, and the length of the growing season expanded by 6.3 days during the period from 1982 to 2011. The delayed end and extended length of the growing season were observed consistently in grassland, forest, and shrubland, while the earlier start was only observed in grassland. Partial correlation analysis between the phenological events and the climate variables revealed that higher temperature was associated with an earlier start of the growing season, and both temperature and precipitation contributed to the later ending. Overall, our findings suggest that climate change will substantially alter the vegetation phenology in the grasslands of the Mongolian Plateau, and likely also in biomes with similar environmental conditions, such as other semi-arid steppe regions.

  14. 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.

  15. DYNAMICS OF CARBON SEQUESTRATION IN ABANDONED GRASSLANDS OF NORTHEASTERN MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Israel Yerena Yamallel

    2014-04-01

    Full Text Available Livestock activities due to the improper handling of the load capacity, suffer from low productivity in their grasslands, which are abandoned giving rise to the appearance of species considered invasive and undesirable for producers, without knowing the qualities of these as mitigating of climate change. The objective of the present study was to estimate the carbon content in tamaulipan thornscrub and three abandoned grasslands with a time of abandonment of 10, 20 and 30 years. For the estimation of the carbon content was used a systematic sampling design, in each area were established four sampling sites of 1,600 m2. The primary scrub is the system that resulted in the largest value of carbon content of 14.25 Mg ha-1, followed by the grasslands of 30, 20 and 10 years with 8.03, 7.33 and 4.13 Mg ha-1 respectively. It was concluded that recovering the initial state of the primary scrub take many years, as can be seen in the grasslands system 30 years reaching only 56% of what it had in reserves of primary scrub.

  16. Quantitative ecological relationships in the alpine grassland of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A survey, based on 56 000 points at 102 sampling sites in the Tsehlanyane valley of the Oxbow (Madibamatso) Dam catchment in the alpine grassland of Lesotho, indicates that the area is generally in good condition. Physiographic and floristic criteria were measured and the association between pairs of criteria statistically ...

  17. 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.

  18. Intensification of grassland and forage use: driving forces and constraints

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Klein, de C.; Alfaro, M.

    2014-01-01

    The increasing demand for safe and nutritional dairy and beef products in a globalising world, together with the needs to increase resource use efficiency and to protect biodiversity, provide strong incentives for intensification of grassland and forage use. This paper addresses the question: 'Does

  19. Achieving grassland production and quality that matches animal needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Busqué, Juan; Golinski, P.; Noorkõiv, Katrin; O'Donovan, Michael; Peratoner, Giovanni; Reheul, D.

    2016-01-01

    Permanent grasslands are exploited by grazing animals or as meadows depending on different
    constraints. Grazing is the most common use in large parts of Europe, especially in the northwest of
    Europe. However, certain areas are less suitable for grazing. In the Alps e.g. meadows are the

  20. Achieving grassland production and quality that matching animal needs

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pol, van den A.; Busqué, Juan; Golinski, P.; Noorkõiv, Katrin; O'Donovan, Michael; Peratoner, Giovanni; Reheul, D.

    2016-01-01

    Permanent grasslands are exploited by grazing animals or as meadows depending on different constraints. Grazing is the most common use in large parts of Europe, especially in the northwest of Europe. However, certain areas are less suitable for grazing. In the Alps e.g. meadows are the most relevant

  1. Avian diversity in the Naliya Grassland, Abdasa Taluka, Kachchh, India

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available Naliya Grassland is one of the significant grasslands of Gujarat. In this study the importance of the Naliya Grassland has been explored with special reference to avian diversity. Field work for the study was carried out throughout the year of 2007 on a monthly basis covering three distinct seasons to explore avian diversity. A total of 177 species belonging to 54 families were recorded wherein most species belonged to the family Accipitridae (20 species followed by Alaudidae (11 species. Of the total families, five were represented by more than seven species, 18 families by 3-7 species and 31 families by one or two species respectively. Among the species observed, 16 species ware globally threatened (three Critically Endangered, four Endangered and nine Near Threatened. Most of the species were chiefly terrestrial (68.2%, about 23.9% species were freshwater dependant and 7.9% utilized mixed habitats. Maximum species richness was recorded in the monsoons and minimum in summer. Constant turnover and fluctuation in species richness occurred because of seasonal immigration and emigration. Maximum emigration took place during February and March and maximum immigration occurred during June and July. Many water dependant birds attracted to the flooded grassland during the monsoons explained the high species richness during this season. In winter, the area was inhabited by resident species as well as many migratory species.

  2. Homogenization of the soil surface following fire in semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carleton S. White

    2011-01-01

    Semiarid grasslands accumulate soil beneath plant "islands" that are raised above bare interspaces. This fine-scale variation in microtopographic relief is plant-induced and is increased with shrub establishment. Research found that fire-induced water repellency enhanced local-scale soil erosion that reduced variation in microtopographic relief, suggesting...

  3. 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

  4. Transformation of a savanna grassland by drought and grazing | O ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The relative effects of drought and heavy grazing on the floristic composition, population size and and structure, and basal cover of an African savanna grassland were differentiated by comparing changes over eight years over eight years, which included a severe drought year, across a gradient of grazing history. Drought ...

  5. Controlling nitrous oxide emissions from grassland livestock production systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oenema, O.; Gebauer, G.; Rodriguez, M.; Sapek, A.; Jarvis, S.C.; Corré, W.J.; Yamulki, S.

    1998-01-01

    There is growing awareness that grassland livestock production systems are major sources of nitrous oxide (N2O). Controlling these emissions requires a thorough understanding of all sources and controlling factors at the farm level. This paper examines the various controlling factors and proposes

  6. Effects of large herbivores on grassland arthropod diversity

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kayser, M; Isselstein, J

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

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2012-01-01

    Enchytraeids (small white earthworms between 3 to 35 mm) are important regulators of nitrogen turnover in grasslands, as their activities accelerate the decomposition and nutrient recycling processes. In this study, the effect of management on species composition, abundance and biomass of the enc...... biomass and density of the grazed plots are due to compaction by grazing animals....

  9. Effect of burn area on invertebrate recolonization in grasslands in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Our study examined the short-term response of grassland invertebrate communities to fire in the South African Drakensberg, in relation to distance from the edge of a burn. We aimed to establish which species survive fire and the dynamics of the post-fire recolonization process, and thereby contribute to establishing the ...

  10. 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

  11. European Vegetation Archive (EVA)

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Chytrý, Milan; Hennekens, S.M.; Jiménez-Alfaro, Borja; Schaminée, J.H.J.; Haveman, Rense; Janssen, J.A.M.

    2016-01-01

    The European Vegetation Archive (EVA) is a centralized database of European vegetation plots developed by the IAVS Working Group European Vegetation Survey. It has been in development since 2012 and first made available for use in research projects in 2014. It stores copies of national and

  12. Conversion of sagebrush shrublands to exotic annual grasslands negatively impacts small mammal communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ostoja, S.M.; Schupp, E.W.

    2009-01-01

    Aim The exotic annual cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) is fast replacing sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) communities throughout the Great Basin Desert and nearby regions in the Western United States, impacting native plant communities and altering fire regimes, which contributes to the long-term persistence of this weedy species. The effect of this conversion on native faunal communities remains largely unexamined. We assess the impact of conversion from native perennial to exotic annual plant communities on desert rodent communities. Location Wyoming big sagebrush shrublands and nearby sites previously converted to cheatgrass-dominated annual grasslands in the Great Basin Desert, Utah, USA. Methods At two sites in Tooele County, Utah, USA, we investigated with Sherman live trapping whether intact sagebrush vegetation and nearby converted Bromus tectorum-dominated vegetation differed in rodent abundance, diversity and community composition. Results Rodent abundance and species richness were considerably greater in sagebrush plots than in cheatgrass-dominated plots. Nine species were captured in sagebrush plots; five of these were also trapped in cheatgrass plots, all at lower abundances than in the sagebrush. In contrast, cheatgrass-dominated plots had no species that were not found in sagebrush. In addition, the site that had been converted to cheatgrass longer had lower abundances of rodents than the site more recently converted to cheatgrass-dominated plots. Despite large differences in abundances and species richness, Simpson's D diversity and Shannon-Wiener diversity and Brillouin evenness indices did not differ between sagebrush and cheatgrass-dominated plots. Main conclusions This survey of rodent communities in native sagebrush and in converted cheatgrass-dominated vegetation suggests that the abundances and community composition of rodents may be shifting, potentially at the larger spatial scale of the entire Great Basin, where cheatgrass continues to invade

  13. Trends in landscape and vegetation change and implications for the Santa Cruz Watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villarreal, Miguel; Norman, Laura M.; Webb, Robert H.; Turner, Raymond M.

    2013-01-01

    Monitoring and characterizing the interactive effects of land use and climate on land surface processes is a primary focus of land change science, and of particular concern in arid Wells Distribution in Shallow Groundwater Areas Pumping Trends Increase Streamflow Extent Declines 27 environments where both landscapes and livelihoods can be impacted by short-term climate variability. Using a multi-observational approach to land-change analysis that included landownership data as a proxy for land-use practices, multitemporal land-cover maps, and repeat photography dating to the late 19th century, we examine changing spatial and temporal distributions of two vegetation types with high conservation value in the southwestern United States: grasslands and riparian vegetation. Our study area is the bi-national Santa Cruz Watershed, a topographically complex watershed that straddles the Sonoran Desert and the Madrean Archipelago Ecoregions. In this presentation we focus on historical changes in vegetation and land use in grasslands and riparian areas of the Madrean Ecoregion (San Raphael Valley, Cienega Creek, Sonoita), and compare changes in these areas to changes in the warmer and drier Sonoran Ecoregion. Analysis of historical photography confirms major 20th century vegetation shifts documented in other research: woody plant encroachment, desertification of grasslands, and changing riparian and xeroriparian vegetation occurred in both ecoregions following human settlement. However, vegetation changes over the past decade appear to be more subtle and some of the past trajectories appear to be reversing; most notable are recent mesquite declines in xeroriparian and upland areas, and changes from shrubland to grassland area in the Madrean ecoregion. Land cover changes were temporally variable, reflecting broad climate changes. The most dynamic cover changes occurred during the period from 1989 to 1999, a period with two intense droughts. The degree of vegetation change

  14. Effects of temperature and precipitation on grassland bird nesting success as mediated by patch size.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zuckerberg, Benjamin; Ribic, Christine A; McCauley, Lisa A

    2018-02-06

    Grassland birds are declining faster than any other bird guild across North America. Shrinking ranges and population declines are attributed to widespread habitat loss and increasingly fragmented landscapes of agriculture and other land uses that are misaligned with grassland bird conservation. Concurrent with habitat loss and degradation, temperate grasslands have been disproportionally affected by climate change relative to most other terrestrial biomes. Distributions of grassland birds often correlate with gradients in climate, but few researchers have explored the consequences of weather on the demography of grassland birds inhabiting a range of grassland fragments. To do so, we modeled the effects of temperature and precipitation on nesting success rates of 12 grassland bird species inhabiting a range of grassland patches across North America (21,000 nests from 81 individual studies). Higher amounts of precipitation in the preceding year were associated with higher nesting success, but wetter conditions during the active breeding season reduced nesting success. Extremely cold or hot conditions during the early breeding season were associated with lower rates of nesting success. The direct and indirect influence of temperature and precipitation on nesting success was moderated by grassland patch size. The positive effects of precipitation in the preceding year on nesting success were strongest in relatively small grassland patches and had little effect in large patches. Conversely, warm temperatures reduced nesting success in small grassland patches but increased nesting success in large patches. Mechanisms underlying these differences may be patch-size-induced variation in microclimates and predator activity. Although the exact cause is unclear, large grassland patches, the most common metric of grassland conservation, appears to moderate the effects of weather on grassland-bird demography and could be an effective component of climate-change adaptation.

  15. Vegetation studies on Vandenberg Air Force Base, California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schmalzer, Paul A.; Hickson, Diana E.; Hinkle, C. Ross

    1988-01-01

    Vandenburg Air Force Base, located in coastal central California with an area of 98,400 ac, contains resources of considerable biological significance. Available information on the vegetation and flora of Vandenburg is summarized and new data collected in this project are presented. A bibliography of 621 references dealing with vegetation and related topics related to Vanderburg was compiled from computer and manual literature searches and a review of past studies of the base. A preliminary floristic list of 642 taxa representing 311 genera and 80 families was compiled from past studies and plants identified in the vegetation sampling conducted in this project. Fifty-two special interest plant species are known to occur or were suggested to occur. Vegetation was sampled using permanent plots and transects in all major plant communities including chaparral, Bishop pine forest, tanbark oak forest, annual grassland, oak woodland, coastal sage scrub, purple sage scrub, coastal dune scrub, coastal dunes, box elder riparian woodland, will riparian woodland, freshwater marsh, salt marsh, and seasonal wetlands. Comparison of the new vegetation data to the compostie San Diego State University data does not indicate major changes in most communities since the original study. Recommendations are made for additional studies needed to maintain and extend the environmental data base and for management actions to improve resource protection.

  16. Vegetation dynamics of the Tanbi Wetland National Park, The Gambia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ceesay, A.

    2016-12-01

    Changes in mangrove vegetation have been identified as an important indicator of environmental change. The mangroves of the Tanbi Wetland National Park (TWNP) connect the Atlantic coast with the estuary of the River Gambia and as such, play an invaluable role in the agriculture, tourism and fisheries sectors of The Gambia. Our research seeks to understand the long-term changes in the mangrove vegetation to strengthen the formulation of sustainable alternative livelihoods and adaptation strategies to climate change. Mangrove vegetation dynamics was assessed by remote sensing, using decadal Landsat images covering 1973 - 2012. Physicochemical parameters were analyzed during the rainy and dry seasons of The Gambia for correlation with climate data. Our findings indicate that the long-term changes in salinity (24.5 and 35.8ppt) and water temperature (27.6oC and 30.2oC) during the rainy and dry seasons respectively are retarding mangrove growth. Mangrove vegetation cover declined by 6%, while grassland increased by 56.4%. This research concludes that long-term hyper-salinity is the cause for the stunted vegetation and lack of mangrove rejuvenation. We propose that specialized replanting systems such as the use of saplings be adopted instead of the conventional use of propagules. Alternative livelihoods also need to be diversified to support coastal communities.

  17. Habitat‐ and rainfall‐dependent biodiversity responses to cattle removal in an arid woodland–grassland environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank, Anke S K; Wardle, Glenda M; Dickman, Chris R; Greenville, Aaron C

    Biodiversity conservation in rangeland environments is often addressed by removing livestock, but inconsistent responses by biota mean that the efficacy of this form of management is hotly debated. Reasons for this inconsistency include the usually short duration and small spatial scale of manipulations compared to the area of grazing properties, as well as divergent responses amongst biota. In low-productivity arid environments, the pulse-reserve dynamic also complicates the outcome of manipulations. Here, we tested and extended these ideas in a heterogeneous desert environment in central Australia that consists of small patches of open woodland (gidgee) in a grassland (spinifex) matrix. Taking advantage of a controlled property-scale removal of cattle, and a rain event that stimulated productivity, we first quantified differences in the vegetation and small vertebrates of these two habitats, and then tracked the diversity, composition, and abundance of these biota for 6–19 months post-rain. We predicted that the two habitats would differ in the structure, composition, and reproductive output of their constituent plant species. We predicted also that the effects of cattle removal would interact with these habitat differences, with the abundance, richness, and diversity of small mammals and reptiles differing across habitats and grazing treatments. As anticipated, plant species composition in woodland was distinct from that in grassland and varied over time. The effects of cattle removal were habitat specific: Plant composition responded to de-stocking in woodland, but not in grassland; flowers were more abundant, and palatable plant cover also was greater following cessation of grazing pressure. The responses of small mammals but not reptiles showed some accord with our predictions, varying over time but inconsistently with treatment, and perhaps reflected high variability in capture success. We conclude that the timing and length of sampling are important when

  18. Satellite mapping of surface biophysical parameters at the biome scale over the North American grasslands: A case study

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wylie, B.K.; Meyer, D.J.; Tieszen, L.L.; Mannel, S.

    2002-01-01

    Quantification of biophysical parameters is needed by terrestrial process modeling and other applications. A study testing the role of multispectral data for monitoring biophysical parameters was conducted over a network of grassland field sites in the Great Plains of North America. Grassland biophysical parameters [leaf area index (LAI), fraction of absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (fPAR), and biomass] and their relationships with ground radiometer normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) were established in this study (r2=.66–.85) from data collected across the central and northern Great Plains in 1995. These spectral/biophysical relationships were compared to 1996 field data from the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in northeastern Oklahoma and showed no consistent biases, with most regression estimates falling within the respective 95% confidence intervals. Biophysical parameters were estimated for 21 “ground pixels” (grids) at the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in 1996, representing three grazing/burning treatments. Each grid was 30×30 m in size and was systematically sampled with ground radiometer readings. The radiometric measurements were then converted to biophysical parameters and spatially interpolated using geostatistical kriging. Grid-based biophysical parameters were monitored through the growing season and regressed against Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM) NDVI (r2=.92–.94). These regression equations were used to estimate biophysical parameters for grassland TM pixels over the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve in 1996. This method maintained consistent regression development and prediction scales and attempted to minimize scaling problems associated with mixed land cover pixels. A method for scaling Landsat biophysical parameters to coarser resolution satellite data sets (1 km2) was also investigated.

  19. On the ecology of the cursorial spider Odo bruchi (Araneae: Zoridae in a grassland natural reserve from central Argentina

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Gabriel Pompozzi

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available The “Ernesto Tornquist” Provincial Park (ETPP is located inside the Ventania system (Argentina and was created to protect one of the last relicts of pampean grasslands. Even though many studies have looked at the vertebrate faunal diversity, biology, and conservation in this Park, few studies have been dedicated to arthropods. Among these, spiders have been used as ecological indicators to evaluate nature conservation status, nevertheless, basic information on their distribution and ecology is necessary for their use as indicator taxa in this region. Thus the goal of this study was to present the phenology and demography of the spider Odo bruchi, a cursorial spider present in the ETPP. For this, spiders were sampled bimonthly using pitfall traps between September 2009-2010 (first year, and March 2011-2012 (second year. A total of 10 traps were placed every 10m along a transect of 100m parallel to the longest axis of a grassland slope with native vegetation. Traps were filled with 1 500mL of ethylene glycol, that were examined and refilled every 60 day period. We collected a total of 799 specimens in two years. Juveniles were the most abundant reaching 47.8% of the total, while males corresponded to 27.8% and females 24.4%. We found significant differences in the mean abundance of O. bruchi: the abundance during spring-summer (Nov-Dec-Jan-Feb was significantly higher than the other periods of the two years period. Moreover, we found an even abundance distribution throughout the year in the entire study. This work represents one of the first contributions to the ecology of this spider family in the area. Also, our results comprise relevant information to encourage future studies on this spider species as a bio-indicator of the conservation status of pampean grasslands.

  20. Semi-arid vegetation response to antecedent climate and water balance windows

    Science.gov (United States)

    Thoma, David P.; Munson, Seth M.; Irvine, Kathryn M.; Witwicki, Dana L.; Bunting, Erin

    2016-01-01

    Questions Can we improve understanding of vegetation response to water availability on monthly time scales in semi-arid environments using remote sensing methods? What climatic or water balance variables and antecedent windows of time associated with these variables best relate to the condition of vegetation? Can we develop credible near-term forecasts from climate data that can be used to prepare for future climate change effects on vegetation? Location Semi-arid grasslands in Capitol Reef National Park, Utah, USA. Methods We built vegetation response models by relating the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) from MODIS imagery in Mar–Nov 2000–2013 to antecedent climate and water balance variables preceding the monthly NDVI observations. We compared how climate and water balance variables explained vegetation greenness and then used a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance models to forecast monthly NDVI for three holdout years. Results Water balance variables explained vegetation greenness to a greater degree than climate variables for most growing season months. Seasonally important variables included measures of antecedent water input and storage in spring, switching to indicators of drought, input or use in summer, followed by antecedent moisture availability in autumn. In spite of similar climates, there was evidence the grazed grassland showed a response to drying conditions 1 mo sooner than the ungrazed grassland. Lead times were generally short early in the growing season and antecedent window durations increased from 3 mo early in the growing season to 1 yr or more as the growing season progressed. Forecast accuracy for three holdout years using a multi-model ensemble of climate and water balance variables outperformed forecasts made with a naïve NDVI climatology. Conclusions We determined the influence of climate and water balance on vegetation at a fine temporal scale, which presents an opportunity to forecast vegetation

  1. Factors controlling accumulation of soil organic carbon along vegetation succession in a typical karst region in Southwest China

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Liu, Shujuan [Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125 (China); Huanjiang Observation and Research Station of Karst Ecosystem, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Huanjiang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 547100 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Zhang, Wei [Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125 (China); Huanjiang Observation and Research Station of Karst Ecosystem, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Huanjiang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 547100 (China); Wang, Kelin, E-mail: kelin@isa.ac.cn [Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125 (China); Huanjiang Observation and Research Station of Karst Ecosystem, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Huanjiang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 547100 (China); Pan, Fujing [Key Laboratory of Agro-ecological Processes in Subtropical Region, Institute of Subtropical Agriculture, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Changsha 410125 (China); Huanjiang Observation and Research Station of Karst Ecosystem, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Huanjiang, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region 547100 (China); University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China); Yang, Shan [Changsha university, Changsha 410003 (China); Shu, Shiyan [Changjiang Project Supervision & Consultancy Co. Ltd, Wuhan 430010 (China); Changjiang Ecology (Hubei) Technology Development LLC, Wuhan 430010 (China)

    2015-07-15

    Vegetation succession enhances the accumulation of carbon in the soil. However, little is known about the mechanisms underlying soil organic carbon (SOC) accumulation in different vegetation types in the karst region of Southwest China. The goal of this study was to identify and prioritize the effects of environmental parameters, including soil physico-chemical properties, microbial biomass, enzyme activities, and litter characteristics, on SOC accumulation along a vegetation succession sere (grassland, shrubland, secondary forest, and primary forest) in the karst landscape of Southwest China. Relationships between these parameters and SOC were evaluated by redundancy analysis. The results showed that SOC accumulation was significantly different among vegetation types (P < 0.01) and increased with vegetation succession (from 29.10 g·kg{sup −1} in grassland to 73.92 g·kg{sup −1} in primary forest). Soil biochemistry and physical characteristics significantly affected the accumulation of SOC. Soil microbial biomass showed a predominant effect on SOC in each of the four vegetation types. In addition, the soil physical property (especially the silt content) was another controlling factor in the early stages (grassland), and urease activity and saccharase activity were important controlling factors in the early-middle and middle-late stages, respectively. Litter characteristics only showed mild effects on SOC accumulation. Variation partitioning analysis showed that the contribution of sole main factors to SOC variation decreased, while the interaction effect among parameters increased along the succession gradient. - Highlights: • Vegetation restoration is conducive to soil carbon sequestration in karst areas. • The factors controlling SOC accumulation differed along vegetation succession. • The interaction effect among significant factors became more and more prominent along succession.

  2. Impacts of fire and grazing management on South Africa’s moist highland grasslands: A case study of the Steenkampsberg Plateau, Mpumalanga, South Africa

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ian T. Little

    2015-11-01

    Full Text Available Background: Grasslands are heavily utilised for livestock agriculture and the resultant degradation through mismanagement contributes to an estimated 60% of this biome being permanently transformed. This study focused on the impact of fire and grazing in moist highland grasslands. Objectives: To determine the contribution of burning frequency and grazing intensity combined (for domestic livestock and indigenous ungulates on vegetation structure heterogeneity and species diversity. Methods: Eight study sites under different management regimes were sampled over two summers. Vegetation structure characteristics and diversity data were collected monthly within multiple replicates in each study site. A disc pasture meter was used to assess standing biomass. Differences in vegetation structure characteristics, plant community composition and plant species assemblage structure across sites were statistically analysed using analyses of variance, indicator species analyses, multidimensional scaling ordinations and two-way cluster analyses. Results: The combination of heavy grazing and annual burning leads to a distinct plant community dominated by disturbance specialist species. Selective grazing by indigenous herbivores promotes a community of unpalatable species. This study illustrates that fenced indigenous herbivores, even at moderate stocking densities, have a greater detrimental impact on plant diversity and structure than do domestic livestock. Conclusion: Intensive grazing and burning have a detrimental impact on plant species diversity and structure. This also affects resultant palatability for grazing livestock and fenced game. To promote both grazing quality and ecological integrity we recommend a minimum sustainable ‘fodder capacity’ or standing phytomass of 5000 kg per large-animal unit per hectare for domestic livestock in moist highland grasslands.

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Natural vegetation restoration is more beneficial to soil surface organic and inorganic carbon sequestration than tree plantation on the Loess Plateau of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jin, Zhao; Dong, Yunshe; Wang, Yunqiang; Wei, Xiaorong; Wang, Yafeng; Cui, Buli; Zhou, Weijian

    2014-07-01

    Natural vegetation restoration and tree plantation are the two most important measures for ecosystem restoration on the Loess Plateau of China. However, few studies have compared the effects of the two contrasting measures on soil organic and inorganic carbon (SOC and SIC) sequestration or have further used SOC and SIC isotopes to analyze the inherent sequestration mechanism. This study examined a pair of neighboring small watersheds with similar topographical and geological backgrounds. Since 1954, natural vegetation restoration has been conducted in one of these watersheds, and tree plantation has been conducted in the other. The two watersheds have now formed completely different landscapes (naturally restored grassland and artificial forestland). Differences in soil bulk density, SOC and SIC content and storage, and SOC and SIC δ(13)C values were investigated in the two ecosystems in the upper 1m of the soil. We found that SOC storage was higher in the grassland than in the forestland, with a difference of 14.90 Mg ha(-1). The vertical changes in the δ(13)CSOC value demonstrated that the two ecosystems have different mechanisms of soil surface organic carbon accumulation. The SIC storage in the grassland was lower than that in the forestland, with a difference of 38.99 Mg ha(-1). The δ(13)CSIC values indicated that the grassland generates more secondary carbonate than the forestland and that SIC was most likely transported to the rivers from the grassland as dissolved inorganic carbon (DIC). The biogeochemical characteristics of the grassland were favorable for the formation of bicarbonate. Thus, more DIC derived from the dissolution of root and microbial respired CO2 into soil water could have been transported to the rivers through flood runoff. It is necessary to study further the transportation of DIC from the grassland because this process can produce a large potential carbon sink. Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-09-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  7. Rapid response of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities to short-term fertilization in an alpine grassland on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Xingjia Xiang

    2016-07-01

    Full Text Available Background: The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP is home to the vast grassland in China. The QTP grassland ecosystem has been seriously degraded by human land use practices and climate change. Fertilization is used in this region to increase vegetation yields for grazers. The impact of long-term fertilization on plant and microbial communities has been studied extensively. However, the influence of short-term fertilization on arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal (AMF communities in the QTP is largely unknown, despite their important functional role in grassland ecosystems. Methods: We investigated AMF community responses to three years of N and/or P addition at an experimental field site on the QTP, using the Illumina MiSeq platform (PE 300. Results: Fertilization resulted in a dramatic shift in AMF community composition and NP addition significantly increased AMF species richness and phylogenetic diversity. Aboveground biomass, available phosphorus, and NO3− were significantly correlated with changes in AMF community structure. Changes in these factors were driven by fertilization treatments. Thus, fertilization had a large impact on AMF communities, mediated by changes in aboveground productivity and soil chemistry. Discussion: Prior work has shown how plants often lower their reliance on AMF symbioses following fertilization, leading to decrease AMF abundance and diversity. However, our study reports a rise in AMF diversity with fertilization treatment. Because AMF can provide stress tolerance to their hosts, we suggest that extreme weather on the QTP may help drive a positive relationship between fertilizer amendment and AMF diversity.

  8. Assessment of water availability and its relationship with vegetation distribution over a tropical montane system

    Science.gov (United States)

    Streher, A. S.; Sobreiro, J. F. F.; Silva, T. S. F.

    2017-12-01

    Water availability is one of the main drivers of vegetation distribution, but assessing it over mountainous regions is difficult given the effects of rugged topography on hydroclimatic dynamics (orographic rainfall, soil water, and runoff). We assessed how water availability may influence the distribution of vegetation types in the Espinhaço Range, a South American tropical mountain landscape comprised of savannas, grasslands, rock outcrops, cloud forests, and semi-deciduous/deciduous forests. For precipitation, we used CHIRPS monthly and daily products (1981- 2016) and 112 rain gauge ground stations, and assessed potential evapotranspiration (PET) using the MODIS MOD16A3 (2000-2013) product. Vegetation types were classified according to the Global Ecoregions by WWF. We show that rainfall has well-defined rainy and dry seasons with a strong latitudinal pattern, there is evidence for local orographic effects. Dry forests (907 mm/yr; 8% cv) and caatinga vegetation (795 mm/yr; 7% cv) had the lowest average annual precipitation and low variance, whilst Atlantic tropical forest in the southeast (1267 mm/yr; 15% cv), cerrado savanna vegetation in the west (1086 mm/yr; 15% cv) and rupestrian grasslands above 800m (1261 mm/yr; 20% cv) received the highest annual precipitation, with the largest observed variance due to their wide latitudinal distribution. Forests and rupestrian grasslands in the windward side of the mountain had a higher frequency of intense rainfall events (> 20mm), accounting for 6% of the CHIRPS daily time series, suggesting orographic effects on precipitation. Annual average PET was highest for dry forests (2437 mm/yr) and caatinga (2461 mm/yr), intermediate for cerrado (2264 mm/yr) and lowest for Atlantic tropical forest (2083 mm/yr) and rupestrian grasslands (2136 mm/yr). All vegetation types received less rainfall than its PET capacity based on yearly data, emphasizing the need for ecophysiological adaptations to water use. Climate change threatens

  9. 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

  10. Drought Dynamics and Vegetation Productivity in Different Land Management Systems of Eastern Cape, South Africa—A Remote Sensing Perspective

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Valerie Graw

    2017-09-01

    Full Text Available Eastern Cape Province in South Africa has experienced extreme drought events during the last decade. In South Africa, different land management systems exist belonging to two different land tenure classes: commercial large scale farming and communal small-scale subsistence farming. Communal lands are often reported to be affected by land degradation and drought events among others considered as trigger for this process. Against this background, we analyzed vegetation response to drought in different land management and land tenure systems through assessing vegetation productivity trends and monitoring the intensity, frequency and distribution of the drought hazard in grasslands and communal and commercial croplands during drought and non-drought conditions. For the observation period 2000–2016, we used time series of 250 m Vegetation Condition Index (VCI based on the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS Enhanced Vegetation Index (EVI and Climate Hazard Group InfraRed Precipitation with Station data (CHIRPS precipitation data with 5 km resolution. For the assessment of vegetation dynamics, we: (1 analyzed vegetation productivity in Eastern Cape over the last 16 years with EVI; (2 analyzed the impact of drought events on vegetation productivity in grasslands as well as commercial and communal croplands; and (3 compared precipitation-vegetation dynamics between the drought season 2015/2016 and the non-drought season 2011/2012. Change in total annual vegetation productivity could detect drought years while drought dynamics during the season could be rather monitored by the VCI. Correlation of vegetation condition and precipitation indicated areas experiencing significant vegetation productivity trends showing low and even negative correlation coefficients indicating other drivers for productivity change and drought impact besides rainfall.

  11. 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

  12. Current floristic composition, life form and productivity of the grasslands in the Hunting Zone of Djona (Benin)

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ahoudji, Myrese C.; Teka, Oscar; Axelsen, Jørgen Aagaard

    2014-01-01

    Objectives: This paper addressed temporal changes in floristic composition, plant communities’ structures and productivity of grasslands. The study was conducted in the Hunting zone of Djona in the Transboundary Biosphere Reserve of W (TBRW) Benin. Methodology and Results: For these purpose 30...... plots of 900m² were used and “phytosociological relevés” were done following ecological uniformity, floristic homogeneity and samples representativeness to established plants communities. Biomass was estimated in 30 plots of 100 m². Results showed that the greatest productivity value (8320 ± 0.21 kg DM...... with broad distribution. Conclusions and application of findings: The identified life forms and chorological types showed an evolution of the post farming pastures to woodlands and savannas vegetation, which explains the current floristic composition of the area. Moreover, it will be possible to model...

  13. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borer, Elizabeth T.; Seabloom, Eric W.; Gruner, Daniel S.; Harpole, W. Stanley; Hillebrand, Helmut; Lind, Eric M.; 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.

  15. 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)

  16. 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...

  17. Species interactions reverse grassland responses to changing climate.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-02-02

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

  18. Irradiation of dehydrated vegetables

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Esterhuyse, A; Esterhuizen, T.

    1985-01-01

    The reason for radurization was to decreased the microbial count of dehydrated vegetables. The average absorbed irradiation dose range between 2kGy and 15kGy. The product catagories include a) Green vegetables b) White vegetables c) Powders of a) and b). The microbiological aspects were: Declining curves for the different products of T.P.C., Coliforms, E. Coli, Stap. areus, Yeast + Mold at different doses. The organoleptical aspects were: change in taste, flavour, texture, colour and moisture. The aim is the marketing of irradiated dehydrated vegetables national and international basis

  19. Assessing the impacts of mountain biking and hiking on subalpine grassland in Australia using an experimental protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pickering, Catherine Marina; Rossi, Sebastian; Barros, Agustina

    2011-12-01

    Mountain biking is an increasingly popular, but sometimes controversial, activity in protected areas. Limited research on its impacts, including studies comparing biking with hiking, contributes to the challenges for mangers in assessing its appropriateness. The impacts of mountain bike riding off trail were compared to those of hiking on subalpine grassland in Australia using a modification of a common trampling experimental methodology. Vegetation and soil parameters were measured immediately and two weeks after different intensities of mountain biking (none, 25, 75, 200 and 500 passes across slope, 200 pass up and down slope) and hiking (200 and 500 passes across slope). There were reductions in vegetation height, cover and species richness, as well as changes in species composition and increases in litter and soil compaction with riding. Riding up and down a moderate slope had a greater impact than riding across the slope. Hiking also affected vegetation height, cover and composition. Mountain biking caused more damage than hiking but only at high use (500 passes). Further research including other ecosystems, topography, styles of riding, and weather conditions are required, but under the conditions tested here, hiking and mountain biking appear to be similar in their environmental impacts. Copyright © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. [Correlation analysis on normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) of different vegetations and climatic factors in Southwest China].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Yuan-Dong; Zhang, Xiao-He; Liu, Shi-Rong

    2011-02-01

    Based on the 1982-2006 NDVI remote sensing data and meteorological data of Southwest China, and by using GIS technology, this paper interpolated and extracted the mean annual temperature, annual precipitation, and drought index in the region, and analyzed the correlations of the annual variation of NDVI in different vegetation types (marsh, shrub, bush, grassland, meadow, coniferous forest, broad-leaved forest, alpine vegetation, and cultural vegetation) with corresponding climatic factors. In 1982-2006, the NDVI, mean annual temperature, and annual precipitation had an overall increasing trend, and the drought index decreased. Particularly, the upward trend of mean annual temperature was statistically significant. Among the nine vegetation types, the NDVI of bush and mash decreased, and the downward trend was significant for bush. The NDVI of the other seven vegetation types increased, and the upward trend was significant for coniferous forest, meadow, and alpine vegetation, and extremely significant for shrub. The mean annual temperature in the areas with all the nine vegetation types increased significantly, while the annual precipitation had no significant change. The drought index in the areas with marsh, bush, and cultural vegetation presented an increasing trend, that in the areas with meadow and alpine vegetation decreased significantly, and this index in the areas with other four vegetation types had an unobvious decreasing trend. The NDVI of shrub and coniferous forest had a significantly positive correlation with mean annual temperature, and that of shrub and meadow had significantly negative correlation with drought index. Under the conditions of the other two climatic factors unchanged, the NDVI of coniferous forest, broad-leaved forest, and alpine vegetation showed the strongest correlation with mean annual temperature, that of grass showed the strongest correlation with annual precipitation, and the NDVI of mash, shrub, grass, meadow, and cultural

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

    OpenAIRE

    Le Stradic, Soizig

    2012-01-01

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

  2. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

    Asian Development Bank (ADB)

    2014-01-01

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

  4. Improving dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) simulation of western U.S. rangelands vegetation seasonal phenology and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerns, B. K.; Kim, J. B.; Day, M. A.; Pitts, B.; Drapek, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem process models are increasingly being used in regional assessments to explore potential changes in future vegetation and NPP due to climate change. We use the dynamic global vegetation model MAPSS-Century 2 (MC2) as one line of evidence for regional climate change vulnerability assessments for the US Forest Service, focusing our fine tuning model calibration from observational sources related to forest vegetation. However, there is much interest in understanding projected changes for arid rangelands in the western US such as grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands. Rangelands provide many ecosystem service benefits and local rural human community sustainability, habitat for threatened and endangered species, and are threatened by annual grass invasion. Past work suggested MC2 performance related to arid rangeland plant functional types (PFT's) was poor, and the model has difficulty distinguishing annual versus perennial grasslands. Our objectives are to increase the model performance for rangeland simulations and explore the potential for splitting the grass plant functional type into annual and perennial. We used the tri-state Blue Mountain Ecoregion as our study area and maps of potential vegetation from interpolated ground data, the National Land Cover Data Database, and ancillary NPP data derived from the MODIS satellite. MC2 historical simulations for the area overestimated woodland occurrence and underestimated shrubland and grassland PFT's. The spatial location of the rangeland PFT's also often did not align well with observational data. While some disagreement may be due to differences in the respective classification rules, the errors are largely linked to MC2's tree and grass biogeography and physiology algorithms. Presently, only grass and forest productivity measures and carbon stocks are used to distinguish PFT's. MC2 grass and tree productivity simulation is problematic, in particular grass seasonal phenology in relation to seasonal patterns

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1999-01-01

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

  6. Object-based random forest classification of Landsat ETM+ and WorldView-2 satellite imagery for mapping lowland native grassland communities in Tasmania, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melville, Bethany; Lucieer, Arko; Aryal, Jagannath

    2018-04-01

    This paper presents a random forest classification approach for identifying and mapping three types of lowland native grassland communities found in the Tasmanian Midlands region. Due to the high conservation priority assigned to these communities, there has been an increasing need to identify appropriate datasets that can be used to derive accurate and frequently updateable maps of community extent. Therefore, this paper proposes a method employing repeat classification and statistical significance testing as a means of identifying the most appropriate dataset for mapping these communities. Two datasets were acquired and analysed; a Landsat ETM+ scene, and a WorldView-2 scene, both from 2010. Training and validation data were randomly subset using a k-fold (k = 50) approach from a pre-existing field dataset. Poa labillardierei, Themeda triandra and lowland native grassland complex communities were identified in addition to dry woodland and agriculture. For each subset of randomly allocated points, a random forest model was trained based on each dataset, and then used to classify the corresponding imagery. Validation was performed using the reciprocal points from the independent subset that had not been used to train the model. Final training and classification accuracies were reported as per class means for each satellite dataset. Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) was undertaken to determine whether classification accuracy differed between the two datasets, as well as between classifications. Results showed mean class accuracies between 54% and 87%. Class accuracy only differed significantly between datasets for the dry woodland and Themeda grassland classes, with the WorldView-2 dataset showing higher mean classification accuracies. The results of this study indicate that remote sensing is a viable method for the identification of lowland native grassland communities in the Tasmanian Midlands, and that repeat classification and statistical significant testing can be

  7. Efforts to improve and sustain the productive utilization of dry grasslands in Armenia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mezhunts, Bagrat; Navasardyan, Marine

    2014-05-01

    Armenia is a small mountainous country (29,743 km2) located in the South Caucasus. It lies in the sub-tropical zone and has a continental climate with hot summers (av. +250C) and cold winters (av. -60C). The average precipitation is 550 mm; in the dry-steppe zone it amounts to only 250 mm and with a rainy season in spring-early summer. Altitudinal variation (390-4,095 m) gives rise to a range of climatic zones (from semi-desert to alpine), soil types and plant communities. Besides, Armenia is situated on the crossroads of Caucasian - mesophyllous (humid) and Armeno-Iranian - xerophyllous (arid) floristic provinces, which has made it to a "biodiversity hotspot". Agriculture is important as a source of employment and for domestic food supply. The rural population (ca. 1.2 million) is largely dependent on livestock for their livelihood. The principal feed resource is extensive grasslands (60% of total agricultural lands), but past practices of uncontrolled grazing management has led to low grassland productivity and low proportion of valuable legume forages. Improvement of natural grasslands, enhancement of feed quality, prevention of soil erosion and re-establishment of vegetation cover are key socio-economic challenges and are needed to raise the livelihood of rural population in Armenia. This presentation focuses on present status and trends of dry pastureland degradation, exposed to intensive grazing, and on results from case studies to increase productivity and restore valuable forage species for sustainable use in agriculture. Three different conventional approaches have been applied in these studies including: fertilization with moderate doses of ammonium and potassium nitrate and superphosphate, over-sowing by local legume seeds and implementation of a 2-year rest period in overgrazed areas. From 1986 to 2007, the total yield (TY) in studied dry-steppe pastures decreased by 40%, while at the same time, the proportion of grasses in total yield decreased by 50

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fort, Florian; Jouany, Claire; Cruz, Pablo

    2015-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Florian eFort

    2015-02-01

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

  12. The MODIS Vegetation Canopy Water Content product

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ustin, S. L.; Riano, D.; Trombetti, M.

    2008-12-01

    Vegetation water stress drives wildfire behavior and risk, having important implications for biogeochemical cycling in natural ecosystems, agriculture, and forestry. Water stress limits plant transpiration and carbon gain. The regulation of photosynthesis creates close linkages between the carbon, water, and energy cycles and through metabolism to the nitrogen cycle. We generated systematic weekly CWC estimated for the USA from 2000-2006. MODIS measures the sunlit reflectance of the vegetation in the visible, near-infrared, and shortwave infrared. Radiative transfer models, such as PROSPECT-SAILH, determine how sunlight interacts with plant and soil materials. These models can be applied over a range of scales and ecosystem types. Artificial Neural Networks (ANN) were used to optimize the inversion of these models to determine vegetation water content. We carried out multi-scale validation of the product using field data, airborne and satellite cross-calibration. An Algorithm Theoretical Basis Document (ATBD) of the product is under evaluation by NASA. The CWC product inputs are 1) The MODIS Terra/Aqua surface reflectance product (MOD09A1/MYD09A1) 2) The MODIS land cover map product (MOD12Q1) reclassified to grassland, shrub-land and forest canopies; 3) An ANN trained with PROSPECT-SAILH; 4) A calibration file for each land cover type. The output is an ENVI file with the CWC values. The code is written in Matlab environment and is being adapted to read not only the 8 day MODIS composites, but also daily surface reflectance data. We plan to incorporate the cloud and snow mask and generate as output a geotiff file. Vegetation water content estimates will help predicting linkages between biogeochemical cycles, which will enable further understanding of feedbacks to atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases. It will also serve to estimate primary productivity of the biosphere; monitor/assess natural vegetation health related to drought, pollution or diseases

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-12-01

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

  14. 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

  15. The influence of boundary features on grassland-edge communities of Alta Murgia

    OpenAIRE

    Cassano, Stefania; Alignier, Audrey; Forte, Luigi; Labadessa, Rocco; Mairota, Paola

    2016-01-01

    Many studies suggest the importance of boundary features on plant community dynamics. Our aim was to investigate the influence of boundary features on edge plant assemblages in semi-natural dry grasslands. For this purpose we selected 16 grassland edges in the central portion of the Natura 2000 site Murgia Alta, in southeastern Italy. These sites were selected according to a combination of boundary features, i.e. the adjoining land use type (road or cereal crop), slope (grassland tilted towar...

  16. 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

  17. Disentangling the role of management, vegetation structure, and plant quality for Orthoptera in lowland meadows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schirmel, Jens; Gerlach, Rebekka; Buhk, Constanze

    2017-08-17

    Seminatural grasslands provide habitats for various species and are important for biodiversity conservation. The understanding of the diverse responses of species and traits to different grassland management methods is therefore urgently needed. We disentangled the role of grassland management (fertilization and irrigation), vegetation structure (biomass, sward height) and plant quality (protein and fiber content) for Orthoptera communities in lowland hay meadows in Germany. We found vegetation structure to be the most important environmental category in explaining community structure of Orthoptera (species richness, total individuals, functional diversity and species composition). Intensively used meadows (fertilized, irrigated, high plant biomass) were characterized by assemblages with few species, low functional diversity, and low conservation value. Thereby, the relatively moderate fertilizer inputs in our study system of up to ∼75 kg N/ha/year reduced functional diversity of Orthoptera, while this negative effect of fertilization was not detectable when solely considering taxonomic aspects. We found strong support for a prominent role of plant quality in shaping Orthoptera communities and especially the trait composition. Our findings demonstrate the usefulness of considering both taxonomic and functional components (functional diversity) in biodiversity research and we suggest a stronger involvement of plant quality measures in Orthoptera studies. © 2017 Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences.

  18. Vegetation Dynamics and Rainfall Sensitivity of the Amazon

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilker, Thomas; Lyapustin, Alexei I.; Tucker, Compton J.; Hall, Forrest G.; Myneni, Ranga B.; Wang, Yujie; Bi, Jian; Mendes de Moura, Yhasmin; Sellers, Piers J.

    2014-01-01

    We show that the vegetation canopy of the Amazon rainforest is highly sensitive to changes in precipitation patterns and that reduction in rainfall since 2000 has diminished vegetation greenness across large parts of Amazonia. Large-scale directional declines in vegetation greenness may indicate decreases in carbon uptake and substantial changes in the energy balance of the Amazon. We use improved estimates of surface reflectance from satellite data to show a close link between reductions in annual precipitation, El Nino southern oscillation events, and photosynthetic activity across tropical and subtropical Amazonia. We report that, since the year 2000, precipitation has declined across 69% of the tropical evergreen forest (5.4 million sq km) and across 80% of the subtropical grasslands (3.3 million sq km). These reductions, which coincided with a decline in terrestrial water storage, account for about 55% of a satellite-observed widespread decline in the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI). During El Nino events, NDVI was reduced about 16.6% across an area of up to 1.6 million sq km compared with average conditions. Several global circulation models suggest that a rise in equatorial sea surface temperature and related displacement of the intertropical convergence zone could lead to considerable drying of tropical forests in the 21st century. Our results provide evidence that persistent drying could degrade Amazonian forest canopies, which would have cascading effects on global carbon and climate dynamics.

  19. DOMINANCE PATTERN CHANGES OF A LICHEN-RICH CORYNEPHORUS GRASSLAND IN THE INLAND OF THE NETHERLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.J.A. DANIELS

    2008-04-01

    Full Text Available This paper documents the pattern changes of a Corynephorion-grassland during the period 1981-2004. All 2-3 years the dominant moss- and lichen microcommunity (mc types and the dominant grass species were recorded in all 936 square meter subplots of a 26 m x 36 m plot. The study site is situated in the National Park “De Hoge Veluwe”, the Netherlands. The area is roamed mainly by deer and wild sheep. Climate is oceanic. Main purpose of the study is long-term monitoring of vegetation dynamics in relation to grazing and climate. In 1981 the densely vegetated plot was mainly dominated by the Cladonia glauca – Trapeliopsis granulosa mc type (5, the Cladonia glauca mc type with reindeer lichens (6 and the Cladonia portentosa mc type (8 and the grasses Corynephorus canescens (C and Festuca filiformis (F. The subplot dominance of Corynephorus canescens appeared positively correlated with that of mc type 5, whereas the subplot dominance of Festuca filiformis was correlated with those of mc types 6 and 8. The Campylopus introflexus mc type (4 was dominant in one subplot only. During 1981-1984 the subplot dominance frequency of mc types 6 and 8 increased, while that of mc type 5 decreased. These changes are in line with known progressive succession features of the Spergulo-Corynephoretum. During 1984-1994 almost all mc types from 1981 disappeared and in 1994 the plot was almost completely dominated by the Campylopus introflexus mc type (4 and Corynephorus canescens. In the beginning of this period (1985, 1986, 1987 some winter months were very cold and dry (continental. Thereafter the oceanic Festuca filiformis and Cladonia portentosa (mc type 8 died off. Moreover game density in the National Park increased. The resulting open places with sand and litter were easily occupied by the highly invasive neophytic moss Campylopus introflexus (mc type 4. From 1994 onwards we observe again a development towards the situation of 1981.The dominance frequency of

  20. DOMINANCE PATTERN CHANGES OF A LICHEN-RICH CORYNEPHORUS GRASSLAND IN THE INLAND OF THE NETHERLANDS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    O. LEPPING

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper documents the pattern changes of a Corynephorion-grassland during the period 1981-2004. All 2-3 years the dominant moss- and lichen microcommunity (mc types and the dominant grass species were recorded in all 936 square meter subplots of a 26 m x 36 m plot. The study site is situated in the National Park “De Hoge Veluwe”, the Netherlands. The area is roamed mainly by deer and wild sheep. Climate is oceanic. Main purpose of the study is long-term monitoring of vegetation dynamics in relation to grazing and climate. In 1981 the densely vegetated plot was mainly dominated by the Cladonia glauca – Trapeliopsis granulosa mc type (5, the Cladonia glauca mc type with reindeer lichens (6 and the Cladonia portentosa mc type (8 and the grasses Corynephorus canescens (C and Festuca filiformis (F. The subplot dominance of Corynephorus canescens appeared positively correlated with that of mc type 5, whereas the subplot dominance of Festuca filiformis was correlated with those of mc types 6 and 8. The Campylopus introflexus mc type (4 was dominant in one subplot only. During 1981-1984 the subplot dominance frequency of mc types 6 and 8 increased, while that of mc type 5 decreased. These changes are in line with known progressive succession features of the Spergulo-Corynephoretum. During 1984-1994 almost all mc types from 1981 disappeared and in 1994 the plot was almost completely dominated by the Campylopus introflexus mc type (4 and Corynephorus canescens. In the beginning of this period (1985, 1986, 1987 some winter months were very cold and dry (continental. Thereafter the oceanic Festuca filiformis and Cladonia portentosa (mc type 8 died off. Moreover game density in the National Park increased. The resulting open places with sand and litter were easily occupied by the highly invasive neophytic moss Campylopus introflexus (mc type 4. From 1994 onwards we observe again a development towards the situation of 1981.The dominance frequency of

  1. Herbivores sculpt leaf traits differently in grasslands depending on life form and land-use histories.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Firn, Jennifer; Schütz, Martin; Nguyen, Huong; Risch, Anita C

    2017-01-01

    Vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores alter plant communities directly by selectively consuming plant species; and indirectly by inducing morphological and physiological changes to plant traits that provide competitive or survivorship advantages to some life forms over others. Progressively excluding aboveground herbivore communities (ungulates, medium and small sized mammals, invertebrates) over five growing seasons, we explored how leaf morphology (specific leaf area or SLA) and nutrition (nitrogen, carbon, phosphorous, potassium, sodium, and calcium) of different plant life forms (forbs, legumes, grasses, sedges) correlated with their dominance. We experimented in two subalpine grassland types with different land-use histories: (1) heavily grazed, nutrient-rich, short-grass vegetation and (2) lightly grazed, lower nutrient tall-grass vegetation. We found differences in leaf traits between treatments where either all herbivores were excluded or all herbivores were present, showing the importance of considering the impacts of both vertebrates and invertebrates on the leaf traits of plant species. Life forms responses to the progressive exclusion of herbivores were captured by six possible combinations: (1) increased leaf size and resource use efficiency (leaf area/nutrients) where lower nutrient levels are invested in leaf construction, but a reduction in the number of leaves, for example, forbs in both vegetation types, (2) increased leaf size and resource use efficiency, for example, legumes in short grass, (3) increased leaf size but a reduction in the number of leaves, for example, legumes in the tall grass, (4) increased number of leaves produced and increased resource use efficiency, for example, grasses in the short grass, (5) increased resource use efficiency of leaves only, for example, grasses and sedges in the tall grass, and (6) no response in terms of leaf construction or dominance, for example, sedges in the short grass. Although we found multiple

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

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

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

    1993-01-01

    An unused area of the British Nuclear Fuels plc low level disposal site at Drigg in Cumbria, together with a control site in Cheshire, have been used to investigate the behaviour of 137 Cs in semi-natural grasslands over the period 1985-1988. Both sites showed significant inputs of 137 Cs and 134 Cs from the Chernobyl incident in 1986, estimated at up to 7330 Bq/m 2 at Drigg and less than 230 Bq/m 2 in Cheshire. Surface soil horizons showed the highest levels of 137 Cs and 134 Cs. During the study period,