WorldWideScience

Sample records for mesic mountain grasslands

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

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

    2014-08-01

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

  2. Effects of forest expansion on mountain grassland

    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...

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

    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...

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

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

    2015-11-01

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

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

    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...

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

    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.

  7. Carbohydrates and thermal properties indicate a decrease in stable aggregate carbon following forest colonization of mountain grassland

    Guidi, Claudia; Cannella, David; Leifeld, Jens

    2015-01-01

    and thermally labile C showed similar patterns in bulk soil, suggesting that thermal analysis can be used to complement chemical analysis although a straightforward relationship could not be established. Following forest expansion on abandoned grassland, ratios of microbially to plant-derived carbohydrates......In mountainous areas of Europe, the abandonment of grasslands followed by forest expansion is the dominant land-use change. Labile (i.e. easily decomposable) litter represents the major source for soil microbial products, which promote soil aggregation and long-term C stabilization. Our objective...... was to investigate changes in the content and origin of soil C components involved into aggregate stabilization (i.e. carbohydrates) following forest expansion on abandoned grassland in the Alps, where only few studies have been conducted. Changes in carbohydrates and thermally labile C were assessed along a land...

  8. Effects of Recurring Droughts on Extracellular Enzyme Activity in Mountain Grassland

    Fuchslueger, L.; Bahn, M.; Kienzl, S.; Hofhansl, F.; Schnecker, J.; Richter, A.

    2015-12-01

    Water availability is a key factor for biogeochemical processes and determines microbial activity and functioning, and thereby organic matter decomposition in soils by affecting the osmotic potential, soil pore connectivity, substrate diffusion and nutrient availability. Low water availability during drought periods therefore directly affects microbial activity. Recurring drought periods likely induce shifts in microbial structure that might be reflected in altered responses of microbial turnover of organic matter by extracellular enzymes. To study this we measured a set of potential extracellular enzyme activity rates (cellobiohydrolase CBH; leucine-amino-peptidase LAP; phosphatase PHOS; phenoloxidase POX), in grassland soils that were exposed to extreme experimental droughts during the growing seasons of up to five subsequent years. During the first drought period after eight weeks of rain exclusion all measured potential enzyme activities were significantly decreased. In parallel, soil extractable organic carbon and nitrogen concentrations increased and microbial community structure, determined by phospholipid fatty acid analysis, changed. In soils that were exposed to two and three drought periods only PHOS decreased. After four years of drought again CBH, PHOS and POX decreased, while LAP was unaffected; after five years of drought PHOS and POX decreased and CBH and LAP remained stable. Thus, our results suggest that recurring extreme drought events can cause different responses of extracellular enzyme activities and that the responses change over time. We will discuss whether and to what degree these changes were related to shifts in microbial community composition. However, independent of whether a solitary or a recurrent drought was imposed, in cases when enzyme activity rates were altered during drought, they quickly recovered after rewetting. Overall, our data suggest that microbial functioning in mountain grassland is sensitive to drought, but highly

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

    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.

  10. Soil emission and uptake of carbonyl sulfide at a temperate mountain grassland

    Kitz, Florian; Hammerle, Albin; Laterza, Tamara; Spielmann, Felix M.; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2016-04-01

    Flux partitioning, i.e. inferring gross primary productivity (GPP) and ecosystem respiration from the measured net ecosystem carbon dioxide (CO2) exchange, is one uncertainty in modelling the carbon cycle and in times where robust models are needed to assess future global changes a persistent problem. A promising new approach is to derive GPP by measuring carbonyl sulfide (COS), the most abundant sulfur-containing trace gas in the atmosphere, with a mean concentration of about 500 pptv in the troposphere. This is possible because COS and CO2 enter the leaf via a similar pathway and are processed by the same enzyme (carbonic anhydrase). A prerequisite to use COS as a proxy for canopy photosynthesis is a robust estimation of COS sources and sinks in an ecosystem. Past studies described soils either as a sink or source, depending on properties like soil temperature and soil water content. The main aim of this study was to quantify the soil COS exchange and its drivers of a temperate mountain grassland in order to aid the use of COS as tracer for canopy CO2 and water vapor exchange. We conducted a field campaign with a Quantum cascade laser at a temperate mountain grassland to estimate the soil COS fluxes under ambient conditions and while simulating a drought. We used self-built fused silica (i.e. light-transparent) soil chambers to avoid COS emissions from built-in materials and to assess the impact of radiation. Vegetation was removed within the chambers, therefor more radiation reached the soil surface compared to natural conditions. This might be the reason for highly positive fluxes during daytime more similar to agricultural study sites. To further investigate this large soil COS source we conducted within canopy concentration measurements near the soil surface and still recorded fluxes confirming the soil as a COS source during daytime. Results from the drought experiment suggested a strong impact of incoming radiation on soil COS fluxes followed by soil

  11. Greenhouse gas balance of mountain dairy farms as affected by grassland carbon sequestration.

    Salvador, Sara; Corazzin, Mirco; Romanzin, Alberto; Bovolenta, Stefano

    2017-07-01

    Recent studies on milk production have often focused on environmental impacts analysed using the Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) approach. In grassland-based livestock systems, soil carbon sequestration might be a potential sink to mitigate greenhouse gas (GHG) balance. Nevertheless, there is no commonly shared methodology. In this work, the GHG emissions of small-scale mountain dairy farms were assessed using the LCA approach. Two functional units, kg of Fat and Protein Corrected Milk (FPCM) and Utilizable Agricultural Land (UAL), and two different emissions allocations methods, no allocation and physical allocation, which accounts for the co-product beef, were considered. Two groups of small-scale dairy farms were identified based on the Livestock Units (LU) reared: 30 LU (HLU). Before considering soil carbon sequestration in LCA, performing no allocation methods, LLU farms tended to have higher GHG emission than HLU farms per kg of FPCM (1.94 vs. 1.59 kg CO 2 -eq/kg FPCM, P ≤ 0.10), whereas the situation was reversed upon considering the m 2 of UAL as a functional unit (0.29 vs. 0.89 kg CO 2 -eq/m 2 , P ≤ 0.05). Conversely, considering physical allocation, the difference between the two groups became less noticeable. When the contribution from soil carbon sequestration was included in the LCA and no allocation method was performed, LLU farms registered higher values of GHG emission per kg of FPCM than HLU farms (1.38 vs. 1.10 kg CO 2 -eq/kg FPCM, P ≤ 0.05), and the situation was likewise reversed in this case upon considering the m 2 of UAL as a functional unit (0.22 vs. 0.73 kg CO 2 -eq/m 2 , P ≤ 0.05). To highlight how the presence of grasslands is crucial for the carbon footprint of small-scale farms, this study also applied a simulation for increasing the forage self-sufficiency of farms to 100%. In this case, an average reduction of GHG emission per kg of FPCM of farms was estimated both with no allocation and with physical allocation

  12. Is multifunctionality the future of mountain pastoralism? Lessons from the management of semi-natural grasslands in the Pyrenees

    López-i-Gelats, F.; Rivera-Ferre, M.G.; Madruga-Andreu, C.; Bartolomé-Filella, J.

    2015-07-01

    Land abandonment is pervasive in mountainous Europe. In the present situation of price-cost squeeze on pastoral households and general shift in the role of farming, the development of farming abandonment risk regions is generally associated with adoption of new multifunctional rural development strategies, such as farm tourism, which in the end entail less time being devoted to farming practices. We explored the effects of such developmental scheme on the preservation of semi-natural grasslands, in particular, and on the sustainability of mountain pastoralism, in general. While the effects on the preservation of semi-natural grasslands of full abandonment have been extensively explored, this is not the case of partial abandonment. Results showed that the adoption of simplified and low-cost management regimes, associated with partial abandonment and the increased adoption of part-time farming, immerses semi-natural grasslands in processes of secondary succession that undermine both their conservation and pastoral functions. This points the need for caution when endorsing multifunctional developmental schemes in farming abandonment risk regions, particularly when those imply less labor being devoted to pastoral practices. In conclusion, we stress that in farming abandonment risk regions it is possible to guarantee both viable pastoralism and diversified rural economy. However, it is necessary to implement developmental strategies that are centered on stimulating synergies between pastoralism and other economic activities, rather than promoting activities that depend on additional farmers’ polyvalence. (Author)

  13. Is multifunctionality the future of mountain pastoralism? Lessons from the management of semi-natural grasslands in the Pyrenees

    López-i-Gelats, F.; Rivera-Ferre, M.G.; Madruga-Andreu, C.; Bartolomé-Filella, J.

    2015-01-01

    Land abandonment is pervasive in mountainous Europe. In the present situation of price-cost squeeze on pastoral households and general shift in the role of farming, the development of farming abandonment risk regions is generally associated with adoption of new multifunctional rural development strategies, such as farm tourism, which in the end entail less time being devoted to farming practices. We explored the effects of such developmental scheme on the preservation of semi-natural grasslands, in particular, and on the sustainability of mountain pastoralism, in general. While the effects on the preservation of semi-natural grasslands of full abandonment have been extensively explored, this is not the case of partial abandonment. Results showed that the adoption of simplified and low-cost management regimes, associated with partial abandonment and the increased adoption of part-time farming, immerses semi-natural grasslands in processes of secondary succession that undermine both their conservation and pastoral functions. This points the need for caution when endorsing multifunctional developmental schemes in farming abandonment risk regions, particularly when those imply less labor being devoted to pastoral practices. In conclusion, we stress that in farming abandonment risk regions it is possible to guarantee both viable pastoralism and diversified rural economy. However, it is necessary to implement developmental strategies that are centered on stimulating synergies between pastoralism and other economic activities, rather than promoting activities that depend on additional farmers’ polyvalence. (Author)

  14. Is multifunctionality the future of mountain pastoralism? Lessons from the management of semi-natural grasslands in the Pyrenees

    Feliu López-i-Gelats

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Land abandonment is pervasive in mountainous Europe. In the present situation of price-cost squeeze on pastoral households and general shift in the role of farming, the development of farming abandonment risk regions is generally associated with adoption of new multifunctional rural development strategies, such as farm tourism, which in the end entail less time being devoted to farming practices. We explored the effects of such developmental scheme on the preservation of semi-natural grasslands, in particular, and on the sustainability of mountain pastoralism, in general. While the effects on the preservation of semi-natural grasslands of full abandonment have been extensively explored, this is not the case of partial abandonment. Results showed that the adoption of simplified and low-cost management regimes, associated with partial abandonment and the increased adoption of part-time farming, immerses semi-natural grasslands in processes of secondary succession that undermine both their conservation and pastoral functions. This points the need for caution when endorsing multifunctional developmental schemes in farming abandonment risk regions, particularly when those imply less labor being devoted to pastoral practices. In conclusion, we stress that in farming abandonment risk regions it is possible to guarantee both viable pastoralism and diversified rural economy. However, it is necessary to implement developmental strategies that are centered on stimulating synergies between pastoralism and other economic activities, rather than promoting activities that depend on additional farmers’ polyvalence.

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

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

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

    2016-04-01

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

  17. MAPPING ERODED AREAS ON MOUNTAIN GRASSLAND WITH TERRESTRIAL PHOTOGRAMMETRY AND OBJECT-BASED IMAGE ANALYSIS

    A. Mayr

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available In the Alps as well as in other mountain regions steep grassland is frequently affected by shallow erosion. Often small landslides or snow movements displace the vegetation together with soil and/or unconsolidated material. This results in bare earth surface patches within the grass covered slope. Close-range and remote sensing techniques are promising for both mapping and monitoring these eroded areas. This is essential for a better geomorphological process understanding, to assess past and recent developments, and to plan mitigation measures. Recent developments in image matching techniques make it feasible to produce high resolution orthophotos and digital elevation models from terrestrial oblique images. In this paper we propose to delineate the boundary of eroded areas for selected scenes of a study area, using close-range photogrammetric data. Striving for an efficient, objective and reproducible workflow for this task, we developed an approach for automated classification of the scenes into the classes grass and eroded. We propose an object-based image analysis (OBIA workflow which consists of image segmentation and automated threshold selection for classification using the Excess Green Vegetation Index (ExG. The automated workflow is tested with ten different scenes. Compared to a manual classification, grass and eroded areas are classified with an overall accuracy between 90.7% and 95.5%, depending on the scene. The methods proved to be insensitive to differences in illumination of the scenes and greenness of the grass. The proposed workflow reduces user interaction and is transferable to other study areas. We conclude that close-range photogrammetry is a valuable low-cost tool for mapping this type of eroded areas in the field with a high level of detail and quality. In future, the output will be used as ground truth for an area-wide mapping of eroded areas in coarser resolution aerial orthophotos acquired at the same time.

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

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

    2016-12-01

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

  19. K-bar-mesic nuclei

    Dote, Akinobu; Akaishi, Yoshinori; Yamazaki, Toshimitsu

    2005-01-01

    New nuclei 'K-bar-Mesic Nuclei' having the strangeness are described. At first it is shown that the strongly attractive nature of K-bar N interaction is reasoned inductively from consideration of the relation between Kaonic hydrogen atom and Λ (1405) which is an excited state of hyperon Λ. The K-bar N interactions are reviewed and summarized into three categories: 1. Phenomenological approach with density dependent K-bar N interaction (DD), relativistic mean field (RMF) approach, and hybrid of them (RMF+DD). 2. Boson exchange model. 3. Chiral SU(3) theory. The investigation of some light K-bar-nuclei by Akaishi and Yamazaki using phenomenological K-bar N interaction is explained in detail. Studies by antisymmetrized molecular dynamics (AMD) approach are also presented. From these theoretical researches, the following feature of K-bar-mesic nuclei are revealed: 1) Ground state is discrete and bound by 100 MeV or more. 2) Density is very high in side the K-bar-mesic nuclei. 3) Strange structures develop which are not seen in ordinary nuclei. Finally some recent experiments to explore K-bar-mesic nuclei are reviewed. (S. Funahashi)

  20. Assessing the impacts of mountain biking and hiking on subalpine grassland in Australia using an experimental protocol.

    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.

  1. Behavior of spring discharge dynamic at forest and grassland mountain catchments

    Pavelka, Marian; Acosta, Manuel; Janouš, Dalibor; Czerný, Radek; Tomášková, Ivana

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 20 (2007), s. 55-60. ISBN 978-80-7375-069-5 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1P05OC027 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : precipitation * spring discharge * evapotranspiration * Norway spruce * grassland * roots Subject RIV: GK - Forestry

  2. Behavior of spring discharge dynamic at forest and Grassland mountain catchments

    Pavelka, Marian; Acosta, Manuel; Janouš, Dalibor; Czerný, Radek; Tomášková, Ivana

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 1 (2007), s. 55-60 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA MŠk 1P05OC027 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : precipitation * spring discharge * evapotranspiration * Norway spruce * grassland * roots Subject RIV: GK - Forestry

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Using functional traits to assess the resistance of subalpine grassland to trampling by mountain biking and hiking.

    Pickering, Catherine Marina; Barros, Agustina

    2015-12-01

    Functional traits reflect plant responses to disturbance, including from visitor impacts. The impacts of mountain biking and hiking on functional composition were compared using a common experimental protocol in a subalpine grassland in the Australian Alps. The overlapping cover of all species was recorded two weeks after different intensities of hiking (200 and 500 passes) and mountain biking (none, 25, 75, 200 and 500 passes). Species' functional trait data were combined with their relative cover to calculate community trait weighted means for plant height, leaf area, percentage leaf dry matter content and Specific Leaf Area (SLA). Species such as Poa fawcettiae with larger leaves and SLA but lower dry weight content of leaves were more resistant to use, with differences between bikers and hikers only apparent at the highest levels of use tested. This differs from some vegetation communities in Europe where plants with smaller leaves were more resistant to hiking. More research using functional traits may account for differences in species responses to trampling. Managers of conservation areas used for hiking and biking need to minimise off trail use by both user groups. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

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

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

    2014-05-01

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

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

    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.

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

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

    2018-01-01

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

  9. Sources and sinks of carbonyl sulfide in a mountain grassland and relationships to the carbon dioxide exchange

    Spielmann, Felix M.; Kitz, Florian; Hammerle, Albin; Gerdel, Katharina; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2016-04-01

    The trace gas carbonyl sulfide (COS) has been proposed as a tracer for canopy gross primary production (GPP), canopy transpiration and stomatal conductance of plant canopies in the last few years. COS enters the plant leaf through the stomata and diffuses through the intercellular space, the cell wall, the plasma membrane and the cytosol like CO2. It is then catalyzed by the enzyme carbonic anhydrase (CA) in a one-way reaction to H2S and CO2. This one-way flux into the leaf makes COS a promising tracer for the GPP. However there is growing evidence, that plant leaves aren't the only contributors to the ecosystem flux of COS. Therefor the COS uptake of soil microorganisms also containing CA and abiotic COS production might have to be accounted for when using COS as a tracer at the ecosystem scale. The overarching objective of this study was to quantify the relationship between the ecosystem-scale exchange of COS, CO2 and H2O and thus to test for the potential of COS to be used as a tracer for the plant canopy CO2 and H2O exchange. More specifically we aimed at quantifying the contribution of the soil to the ecosystem-scale COS exchange in order to understand complications that may arise due to a non-negligible soil COS exchange. In May 2015 we set up our quantum cascade laser (QCL) (Aerodyne Research Inc., MA, USA) at a temperate mountain grassland in Stubai Valley close to the village of Neustift, Austria. Our site lies at the valley bottom and is an intensively managed mountain grassland, which is cut 3-4 times a year. With the QCL we were able to measure concurrently the concentrations of COS, CO2, H2O (and CO) at a frequency of 10 Hz with minimal noise. This allowed us to conduct ecosystem-scale eddy covariance measurements. The eddy covariance flux measurements revealed that the COS uptake continues at night, which we confirmed was not caused by soil microorganisms, as the soil exchange was close to neutral during nighttime. Instead, the nocturnal COS uptake

  10. ENSTAR detector for η-mesic studies

    We have initiated a search for a new type of nuclear matter, the -mesic nucleus, using beams from the multi-GeV hadron facility, COSY at Juelich, Germany. A large acceptance ... The layers are used to generate - spectra for particle identification and total energy information of stopped particles. The granularity of the ...

  11. Photosynthetic response of mountain grassland species to drought stress is affected by UV-induced accumulation of epidermal flavonols

    Rapantová, Barbora; Klem, Karel; Holub, Petr; Novotná, Kateřina; Urban, Otmar

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 9, 1-2 (2016), s. 31-40 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : Agrostis capillaris * CO2 assimilation * drought stress * flavonols * grassland * Holcus mollis * Hypericum maculatum * precipitation * Rumex obtusifolius * UV radiation Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

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

    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

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

    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

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

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

    2008-04-27

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

  15. Does resource availability, resource heterogeneity or species turnover mediate changes in plant species richness in grazed grasslands?

    Bakker, C; Blair, JM; Knapp, AK

    2003-01-01

    Grazing by large ungulates often increases plant species richness in grasslands of moderate to high productivity. In a mesic North American grassland with and without the presence of bison (Bos bison), a native ungulate grazer, three non-exclusive hypotheses for increased plant species richness in

  16. Mountains

    Regina M. Rochefort; Laurie L. Kurth; Tara W. Carolin; Robert R. Mierendorf; Kimberly Frappier; David L. Steenson

    2006-01-01

    This chapter concentrates on subalpine parklands and alpine meadows of southern British Columbia, Washington, Oregon, and western Montana. These areas lie on the flanks of several mountain ranges including the Olympics, the Cascades of Oregon and Washington, and the Coast Mountains in British Columbia.

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

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

    2018-04-10

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

  18. Grassland Sustainability

    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...

  19. Physiological adjustments to arid and mesic environments in larks (Alaudidae).

    Tieleman, B Irene; Williams, Joseph B; Buschur, Michael E

    2002-01-01

    Because deserts are characterized by low food availability, high ambient temperature extremes, and absence of drinking water, one might expect that birds that live in these conditions exhibit a lower basal metabolic rate (BMR), reduced total evaporative water loss (TEWL), and greater ability to cope with high air temperatures than their mesic counterparts. To minimize confounding effects of phylogeny, we compared the physiological performance of four species of larks at ambient temperatures (T(a)'s) ranging from 0 degrees to 50 degrees C: hoopoe larks (Alaemon alaudipes) and Dunn's larks (Eremalauda dunni) live in hot and dry deserts, whereas skylarks (Alauda arvensis) and woodlarks (Lullula arborea) occur in temperate mesic areas. Mass-adjusted BMR and TEWL were indistinguishable between hoopoe lark and Dunn's lark and between skylark and woodlark. When grouping the data of the two desert larks in one set and the data of the two mesic larks in another, desert larks are shown to have 43% lower BMR levels and 27% lower TEWL values than the mesic species. Their body temperatures (T(b)'s) were 1.1 degrees C lower, and the minimal dry heat transfer coefficients (h) were 26% below values for the mesic larks. When T(a) exceeded T(b), the h of hoopoe larks and Dunn's larks was high and indistinguishable from h at 40 degrees C, in contrast to the prediction that h should be decreased to minimize heat gain through conductance, convection, or radiation from the environment when T(a) exceeds T(b).

  20. Evaluation of drought and UV radiation impacts on above-ground biomass of mountain grassland by spectral reflectance and thermal imaging techniques

    Novotná, Kateřina; Klem, Karel; Holub, Petr; Rapantová, Barbora; Urban, Otmar

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 9, 1-2 (2016), s. 21-30 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA MŠk(CZ) LO1415 Institutional support: RVO:67179843 Keywords : above-ground biomass * drought stress * grassland * UV radiation * precipitation * spectral reflectance * thermal imaging Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

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

    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 ...

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

    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 unchanged the potential for genetic variability and evolutionary change in future generations in response to global change drivers.

  3. Formation of η′(958 mesic nuclei

    Nagahiro Hideko

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available In this report, we show the theoretical results of the formation spectra of the η′-nucleus systems in the (p, d reactions based on the latest theoretical considerations of the η′ properties in nucleus. The results shown here are important to give predictions and supports to the future experiment, and to make clear relations between the η′ mesic nucleus formation spectra and the modifications of the η′ properties at finite density, which will give us new information on the η′ mass generation mechanism.

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

    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

  5. Frequent burning promotes invasions of alien plants into a mesic African savanna

    Masocha, M.; Skidmore, A.K.; Poshiwa, X.; Prins, H.H.T.

    2011-01-01

    Fire is both inevitable and necessary for maintaining the structure and functioning of mesic savannas. Without disturbances such as fire and herbivory, tree cover can increase at the expense of grass cover and over time dominate mesic savannas. Consequently, repeated burning is widely used to

  6. A phylogenetic analysis of basal metabolism, total evaporative water loss, and life-history among foxes from desert and mesic regions.

    Williams, J B; Muñoz-Garcia, A; Ostrowski, S; Tieleman, B I

    2004-01-01

    We measured basal metabolic rate (BMR) and total evaporative water loss (TEWL) of species of foxes that exist on the Arabian Peninsula, Blanford's fox (Vulpes cana) and two subspecies of Red fox (Vulpes vulpes). Combining these data with that on other canids from the literature, we searched for specialization of physiological traits among desert foxes using both conventional least squares regression and regressions based on phylogenetic independent contrasts. Further, we explored the consequences of reduced body size of foxes on life history parameters such as litter size and neonate mass. For Blanford's foxes, Red foxes from the central desert of Arabia, and Red foxes from the more mesic Asir mountains, body mass averaged 1,285 +/- 52 g, 1,967 +/- 289 g, and 3,060 +/- 482 g, respectively, whereas mean BMR, during summer, was 304.5 +/- 32.3 kJ/day, 418.0 +/- 32.4 kJ/day, and 724.1 +/- 120.2 kJ/day (+/- SD). An analysis of covariance with body mass as a covariate showed no statistical differences in BMR among foxes. Analysis of covariance indicated that Red fox from the Asir mountains had a higher TEWL than Red foxes from central Arabia or than Blanford's foxes also from the mountains. Comparisons of all species of desert and mesic foxes showed no significant differences in BMR, nor did desert foxes have a significantly lower BMR than other carnivores. TEWL of desert foxes was lower than other more mesic carnivores; deviations in TEWL ranged from -17.7% for the Fennec fox (Fennecus zerda) to -57.4% for the Kit fox (Vulpes velox). Although desert foxes have a BMR comparable to other more mesic species, it appears that desert foxes do have a smaller body mass, lowering overall energy requirements. We attribute this reduction in body size to the "resource limitation hypothesis" whereby natural selection favors smaller individuals in a resource-limited environment, especially during periods of severe food shortage. However, until common garden experiments are performed

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

    周德成; 罗格平; 韩其飞; 尹昌应; 李龙辉; 胡玉昆

    2012-01-01

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

  8. Charge exchange of excited mesic atoms of hydrogen isotopes in triple collisions with molecules

    Men'shikov, L.I.; Ponomarev, L.I.

    1985-01-01

    At high densities of deuterium-tritium mixture the probability for the occurrence of the isotope-exchange reaction (dμ)/sub n/+t → d+(tμ)/sub n/ from the excited states of n mesic atoms of deuterium is high in the triple collisions of mesic atoms with the molecules of hydrogen isotopes. This reaction should be taken into account in describing the kinetics of muon catalysis

  9. Energy levels of mesic molecules ddμ and dt μ in a homogeneous magnetic field

    Choi Nam Chol.

    1990-01-01

    The energy levels of mesic molecules ddμ and dtμ in a homogeneous magnetic field 0-10 8 Gs have been calculated. Calculations are carried out in the adiabatic representation of three-body problem. It is shown that in really existing fields ( 5 Gs) the shifts of energy levels produce no considerable effect on the process of resonant production of mesic molecules. 13 refs.; 3 figs.; 2 tabs

  10. Phylogeography of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, Suggests a Mesic Refugium in Eastern Australia.

    Brett A Coghlan

    Full Text Available Phylogeographic studies around the world have identified refugia where fauna were able to persist during unsuitable climatic periods, particularly during times of glaciation. In Australia the effects of Pleistocene climate oscillations on rainforest taxa have been well studied but less is known about the effects on mesic-habitat fauna, such as the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus. The eastern grey kangaroo is a large mammal that is common and widespread throughout eastern Australia, preferring dry mesic habitat, rather than rainforest. As pollen evidence suggests that the central-eastern part of Australia (southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales experienced cycles of expansion in mesic habitat with contraction in rainforests, and vice versa during glacial and interglacial periods, respectively, we hypothesise that the distribution of the eastern grey kangaroo was affected by these climate oscillations and may have contracted to mesic habitat refugia. From 375 mitochondrial DNA control region sequences from across the distribution of eastern grey kangaroos we obtained 108 unique haplotypes. Phylogenetic analysis identified two clades in Queensland, one of which is newly identified and restricted to a small coastal region in southern Queensland north of Brisbane, known as the Sunshine Coast. The relatively limited geographic range of this genetically isolated clade suggests the possibility of a mesic habitat refugium forming during rainforest expansion during wetter climate cycles. Other potential, although less likely, reasons for the genetic isolation of the highly distinct clade include geographic barriers, separate northward expansions, and strong local adaptation.

  11. Phylogeography of Eastern Grey Kangaroos, Macropus giganteus, Suggests a Mesic Refugium in Eastern Australia.

    Coghlan, Brett A; Goldizen, Anne W; Thomson, Vicki A; Seddon, Jennifer M

    2015-01-01

    Phylogeographic studies around the world have identified refugia where fauna were able to persist during unsuitable climatic periods, particularly during times of glaciation. In Australia the effects of Pleistocene climate oscillations on rainforest taxa have been well studied but less is known about the effects on mesic-habitat fauna, such as the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus). The eastern grey kangaroo is a large mammal that is common and widespread throughout eastern Australia, preferring dry mesic habitat, rather than rainforest. As pollen evidence suggests that the central-eastern part of Australia (southeast Queensland and northern New South Wales) experienced cycles of expansion in mesic habitat with contraction in rainforests, and vice versa during glacial and interglacial periods, respectively, we hypothesise that the distribution of the eastern grey kangaroo was affected by these climate oscillations and may have contracted to mesic habitat refugia. From 375 mitochondrial DNA control region sequences from across the distribution of eastern grey kangaroos we obtained 108 unique haplotypes. Phylogenetic analysis identified two clades in Queensland, one of which is newly identified and restricted to a small coastal region in southern Queensland north of Brisbane, known as the Sunshine Coast. The relatively limited geographic range of this genetically isolated clade suggests the possibility of a mesic habitat refugium forming during rainforest expansion during wetter climate cycles. Other potential, although less likely, reasons for the genetic isolation of the highly distinct clade include geographic barriers, separate northward expansions, and strong local adaptation.

  12. El efecto del pastoreo sobre la diversidad florística y estructural en pastizales de montaña del centro de Argentina Grazing effects on the floristic and structural diversity in mountain grasslands from central Argentina

    MARIANA NAI-BREGAGLIO

    2002-09-01

    vertical como horizontal, afectando probablemente a otros niveles tróficos del ecosistema. La alternancia en el espacio de los dos tipos de parches estudiados permitiría obtener un mejor compromiso entre pastoreo y conservación de la diversidad florística y estructuralThe effects of grazing and 10 years of cattle exclusion on floristic composition and diversity and on structural diversity were studied in natural mountain grasslands at Sierras de Córdoba (2,200 m of elevation, Argentine. We consider structural diversity as the arrangement complexity of biomass in space, both horizontal and vertical. The abundance of all plant species and their vertical and horizontal arrangement were recorded by means of 50 randomly assorted pins, each of them subdivided into 20 cm height intervals. Sampling was performed inside five replicates, each of them consisted of two adjacent 20 x 20 m plots separated by a fence, one grazed and another excluded from grazing. Floristic and vertical structure diversity were estimated by means of Shannon index. The variance in floristic and vertical structure diversity indexes were compared among treatments to study possible variations in the horizontal distribution of both floristic diversity and vertical structure, respectively. Species richness and floristic diversity were higher in grazed grasslands. Over 85 % of total plant species occurred at grazed grasslands, in contrast to 65 % in sites excluded from grazing. Only three exotic plant species were found, one of them exclusive to grazed sites. Cattle grazing produced a significant decrease in vertical structure diversity and in the variance in horizontal space of floristic diversity, but did not produce significant changes in the variance in horizontal space of vertical structure diversity. Although cattle grazing promotes lawns of high floristic diversity, it produces an over simplification of the community structure, both vertical and horizontal, probably affecting other trophic levels of

  13. Sudden changes in environmental conditions do not increase invasion risk in grassland

    Ruprecht, Eszter; Fenesi, Annamária; Nijs, Ivan

    2013-02-01

    After direct habitat transformation, biological invasions are considered to be the second most important threat to biodiversity. A better understanding of the factors affecting invasion success in new areas is crucial, and may provide insight into potential control actions. We hypothesized that invasion risk increases in habitats undergoing a sudden change in the disturbance regime or environmental conditions. For testing this assumption we initiated a seed sowing experiment while introducing two novel treatments, mowing twice and fertilizer application, in two grassland sites (one dryer and one mesic) in Romania. The seeds of two invasive species, Solidago canadensis and Rudbeckia laciniata, and two resident natives of similar seed sizes, life-forms and strategies were sowed in treated and control plots, and seed germination, seedling establishment and growth were followed during four months. Contrary to our expectations, there was no difference in the treatment effects on seed germination and seedling establishment between species, while there was on seedling vigour of the larger seeded species in the dryer grassland site, where the native had a higher performance especially in increased nutrient conditions. Indifferently from applied treatments, invasive species had greater cumulative germination in the mesic site, while natives were far more successful in seedling establishment in the drier site. At the same time, seed size was found to be a very important factor explaining germination and establishment success, with large seeded species outperforming small seeded species in any circumstances. Our results call the attention upon management interventions in mesic, productive grassland sites opening colonization windows for the recruitment of those invasive species of which ecological requirements correspond to local environmental conditions.

  14. The California Valley grassland

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

    1990-01-01

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

  15. Status and perspectives of the search for Eta-Mesic nuclei

    Moskal, Paweł, E-mail: p.moskal@uj.edu.pl; Skurzok, Magdalena, E-mail: magdalena.skurzok@if.uj.edu.pl [M. Smoluchowski Institute of Physics, Jagiellonian University, 30-348 Cracow (Poland); Krzemień, Wojciech, E-mail: wojciech.krzemien@ncbj.gov.pl [National Centre for Nuclear Research, Świerk, 05-400 Otwock (Poland)

    2016-07-07

    In this report the search for η-mesic nuclei is reviewed. The brief description of the experimental studies is presented with a focus on the possible production of the η-nucleus bound states for light nuclei like {sup 4}He and {sup 3}He.

  16. Seasonal variability of leaf area index and foliar nitrogen in contrasting dry-mesic tundras

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Lemeur, Raoul

    2009-01-01

    Assimilation and exchange of carbon for arctic ecosystems depend strongly on leaf area index (LAI) and total foliar nitrogen (TFN). For dry-mesic tundras, the seasonality of these characteristics is unexplored. We addressed this knowledge gap by measuring variations of LAI and TFN at five contras...

  17. Effects impeding the observation of weak neutral interaction between muons and nuclei in light mesic atoms

    Grechukhin, D.P.; Soldatov, A.A.

    1977-01-01

    The intensity of the satellite lines of the 2s1/2→1s1/2 radiative transition in a mesic atom due to configurational interaction between the meson and shell electrons of the mesic atom is estimated. The intensity of these satellite lines is shown to be about six orders of magnitude greater than the intensity of the emission in the 2s1/2→1s1/2 meson transition. Configurational interaction between the meson and conductivity band electrons in metals precludes the usage of a metal target for stopping the mesons in the experiment. Estimates show that for mesic atoms produced in a gas the Stark effect of the electric dipole field induced in collisions between atoms of the medium and a mesic atom (Z>=2) stripped of electrons significantly restricts the density of the medium from above such that the density is 14 at/cm 3 ; in the case of the Stark effect of the intra-atomic field and collisions between a μH atom and atoms of the medium the corresponding value is 11 at/cm 3

  18. An Old-Growth Definition for Dry and Dry-Mesic Oak-Pine Forests.

    David L. White; F. Thomas. Lloyd

    1998-01-01

    Dry and dry-mesic oak-pine forests are widely distributed from New Jersey to Texas, but representative old-growth stands are rare. Historical accounts of composition, along with information from existing old-growth stands, were used to characterize this type. Shortleaf pine and white oak were the most widely distributed trees across all old-growth stands. Shortleaf was...

  19. Occurrence of an exotic earthworm (Amynthas agrestis) in undisturbed soils of the southern Appalachian Mountains, USA

    Mac. A. Callaham; Paul F. Hendrix; Ross J. Phillips

    2003-01-01

    This study documents the occurrence of an aggressive invasive earthworm species in undisturbed forest soils of the southern Appalachian Mountains of northern Georgia, USA. Earthworms were sorted from samples collected in pitfall traps that had been set in mature, mesic oak-hickory forests in remote, high elevation, locations across northern Georgia. Specimens were...

  20. Quasiresonant formation of dtμ mesic molecules in triple collisions

    Men'shikov, L.I.; Ponomarev, L.I.

    1985-01-01

    A quasiresonant mechanism of mesic molecules formation, in triple collisions of the type tμ+D 2 +D 2 → [(dtμ)d2e] * +D ν is considered. It is shown that at small resonance defects and big D 2 +T 2 mixture densities φ the rate of this process λ qr ∼ φ 2 and it is comparable with the rate λ r ∼ φ of the mesic molecules resonant formation in the reactions of the type tμ+D 2 → [(dtμ)d2e] ν *. The observable manifestations of the process considered and its role in the muon catalyzed fusion in deuterium-tritium mixture are discussed

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

    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.

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

    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

  3. Drought Influence over Radial Growth of Mexican Conifers Inhabiting Mesic and Xeric Sites

    Marín Pompa-García

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Drought is a major constraint of forest productivity and tree growth across diverse habitat types. In this study, we investigated the drought responses of four conifer species growing within two locations of differing elevation and climatic conditions in northern Mexico. Two species were selected at a mesic site (Cupressus lusitanica Mill., Abies durangensis Martínez and the other two species were sampled at a xeric site (Pinus engelmannii Carr., Pinus cembroides Zucc.. Using a dendrochronological approach, we correlated the radial-growth series of each species and the climatic variables. All study species positively responded to wet-cool conditions during winter and spring. Despite the close proximity of species at a mesic site, A. durangensis had high responsiveness to hydroclimatic variability, but C. lusitanica was not responsive. At the xeric site, P. engelmannii and P. cembroides were very responsive to drought severity, differentiated only by the longer time scale of the response to accumulated drought of P. engelmannii. The responsiveness to hydroclimate and drought of these tree species seems to be modulated by site conditions, or by the functional features of each species that are still little explored. These findings indicate that differentiating between mesic and xeric habitats is a too coarse approach in diverse forests with a high topographic heterogeneity.

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

    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. Significant mean and extreme climate sensitivity of Norway spruce and silver fir at mid-elevation mesic sites in the Alps.

    Marco Carrer

    Full Text Available Climate forcing is the major abiotic driver for forest ecosystem functioning and thus significantly affects the role of forests within the global carbon cycle and related ecosystem services. Annual radial increments of trees are probably the most valuable source of information to link tree growth and climate at long-term time scales, and have been used in a wide variety of investigations worldwide. However, especially in mountainous areas, tree-ring studies have focused on extreme environments where the climate sensitivity is perhaps greatest but are necessarily a biased representation of the forests within a region. We used tree-ring analyses to study two of the most important tree species growing in the Alps: Norway spruce (Picea abies and silver fir (Abies alba. We developed tree-ring chronologies from 13 mesic mid-elevation sites (203 trees and then compared them to monthly temperature and precipitation data for the period 1846-1995. Correlation functions, principal component analysis and fuzzy C-means clustering were applied to 1 assess the climate/growth relationships and their stationarity and consistency over time, and 2 extract common modes of variability in the species responses to mean and extreme climate variability. Our results highlight a clear, time-stable, and species-specific response to mean climate conditions. However, during the previous-year's growing season, which shows the strongest correlations, the primary difference between species is in their response to extreme events, not mean conditions. Mesic sites at mid-altitude are commonly underrepresented in tree-ring research; we showed that strong climatic controls of growth may exist even in those areas. Extreme climatic events may play a key role in defining the species-specific responses on climatic sensitivity and, with a global change perspective, specific divergent responses are likely to occur even where current conditions are less limited.

  6. Encroachment Dynamics of Juniperus virginiana L. and Mesic Hardwood Species into Cross Timbers Forests of North-Central Oklahoma, USA

    Daniel L. Hoff

    2018-02-01

    Full Text Available Cross Timbers forests, typically dominated by Quercus stellata Wangenh. and Q. marilandica Muenchh., are the transition zone between eastern deciduous forest and prairie in the southern Great Plains. Fire exclusion beginning in the mid-1900s has led to increasing stand density and encroachment of fire-intolerant Juniperus virginiana L. and mesic hardwood. We measured current forest structure and tree ages of 25 stands (130 plots in north-central Oklahoma to characterize the extent and dynamics of encroachment. The respective basal area and stand density of the overstory (diameter at breast height; dbh > 10 cm were 19.0 m2 ha−1 and 407 trees ha−1 with Q. stellata comprising 43% of basal area and 42% of stand density. Quercus marilandica represented only 3% of basal area and 4% of overstory density. Juniperus virginiana represented 7% of basal area and 14% of stand density while mesic hardwoods, e.g., Celtis spp., Ulmus spp., Carya spp., 33% of basal area and stand density. The sapling layer was dominated by mesic hardwoods (68% and J. virginiana (25% while the seedling layer was dominated by mesic hardwoods (74%. The majority of Quercus recruited into the overstory between 1910–1970, while recruitment of J. virginiana and mesic hardwoods began more recently (post 1950s. Growth rate, based on the relationship between age and dbh, was faster for mesic hardwoods than for J. virginiana and Q. stellata. These results indicate that removal of recurrent surface fire as a disturbance agent has significantly altered forest composition in the Cross Timbers region by allowing encroachment of J. virginiana and fire-intolerant, mesic hardwoods. This increases wildfire risk because J. virginiana is very flammable and will alter how these forests respond to future drought and other disturbance events.

  7. Contrasting effects of repeated summer drought on soil carbon efflux in hydric and mesic heathland soils

    Sowerby, Alwyn; Emmett, Bridget A.; Tietema, Albert

    2008-01-01

    storage. To test the importance of drought, and more importantly repeated drought year-on-year, we used automated retractable curtains to exclude rain and produce repeated summer drought in three heathlands at varying moisture conditions. This included a hydric system limited by water-excess (in the UK...... and DK sites during the winter re-wetting period that indicates any change in soil C storage due to changes in soil C efflux may be short lived in these mesic systems. In contrast, in the hydric UK site after 2 years of drought treatment, the persistent reduction in soil moisture throughout the year...

  8. Evolution in Australia's mesic biome under past and future climates: Insights from a phylogenetic study of the Australian Rock Orchids (Dendrobium speciosum complex, Orchidaceae).

    Simpson, Lalita; Clements, Mark A; Crayn, Darren M; Nargar, Katharina

    2018-01-01

    The Australian mesic biome spans c. 33° of latitude along Australia's east coast and ranges and is dissected by historical and contemporary biogeographical barriers. To investigate the impact of these barriers on evolutionary diversification and to predict the impact of future climate change on the distribution of species and genetic diversity within this biome, we inferred phylogenetic relationships within the Dendrobium speciosum complex (Orchidaceae) across its distribution and undertook environmental niche modelling (ENM) under past, contemporary and projected future climates. Neighbor Joining tree inference, NeighborNet and Structure analyses of Amplified Fragment Length Polymorphism (AFLP) profiles for D. speciosum sampled from across its distribution showed that the complex consists of two highly supported main groups that are geographically separated by the St. Lawrence gap, an area of dry sclerophyll forest and woodland. The presence of several highly admixed individuals identified by the Structure analysis provided evidence of genetic exchange between the two groups across this gap. Whereas previous treatments have recognised between one to eleven species, the molecular results support the taxonomic treatment of the complex as a single species with two subspecies. The ENM analysis supported the hypothesis that lineage divergence within the complex was driven by past climatic changes. The St. Lawrence gap represented a stronger biogeographic barrier for the D. speciosum complex during the cool and dry glacial climatic conditions of the Pleistocene than under today's interglacial conditions. Shallow genetic divergence was found within the two lineages, which mainly corresponded to three other biogeographic barriers: the Black Mountain Corridor, Glass House Mountains and the Hunter Valley. Our ENM analyses provide further support for the hypothesis that biogeographic barriers along Australia's east coast were somewhat permeable to genetic exchange due to

  9. Search for η'-mesic states at BGO-OD

    Gutz, Eric [II. Physikalisches Institut, Justus-Liebig-Universitaet Giessen (Germany)

    2015-07-01

    The study of the interaction between mesons and the nuclear medium is a very promising approach to understand strong QCD at a fundamental level. The determination of the real and imaginary part of the η'-nucleus potential indicates attraction and a relatively narrow in-medium width of the η' meson, making it a suitable candidate for the observation of meson-nucleus bound states. It has been proposed to search such states in the {sup 12}C(γ,p)η' x {sup 11}B reaction, using the BGO-OD setup at ELSA which combines a magnetic spectrometer at forward angles with photon detection over a large solid angle in the BGO ball. This setup allows a search for η' mesic states by missing mass spectrometry as well as by looking for decays from η' mesic states in coincidence with forward going protons. Simulations of the proposed reaction are presented, and the feasibility of the experiment is discussed in view of a recent test experiment.

  10. A mesic maximum in biological water use demarcates biome sensitivity to aridity shifts.

    Good, Stephen P; Moore, Georgianne W; Miralles, Diego G

    2017-12-01

    Biome function is largely governed by how efficiently available resources can be used and yet for water, the ratio of direct biological resource use (transpiration, E T ) to total supply (annual precipitation, P) at ecosystem scales remains poorly characterized. Here, we synthesize field, remote sensing and ecohydrological modelling estimates to show that the biological water use fraction (E T /P) reaches a maximum under mesic conditions; that is, when evaporative demand (potential evapotranspiration, E P ) slightly exceeds supplied precipitation. We estimate that this mesic maximum in E T /P occurs at an aridity index (defined as E P /P) between 1.3 and 1.9. The observed global average aridity of 1.8 falls within this range, suggesting that the biosphere is, on average, configured to transpire the largest possible fraction of global precipitation for the current climate. A unimodal E T /P distribution indicates that both dry regions subjected to increasing aridity and humid regions subjected to decreasing aridity will suffer declines in the fraction of precipitation that plants transpire for growth and metabolism. Given the uncertainties in the prediction of future biogeography, this framework provides a clear and concise determination of ecosystems' sensitivity to climatic shifts, as well as expected patterns in the amount of precipitation that ecosystems can effectively use.

  11. Developmental plasticity of cutaneous water loss and lipid composition in stratum corneum of desert and mesic nestling house sparrows.

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B

    2008-10-07

    Intercellular lipids of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, form a barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. Previously, we measured cutaneous water loss (CWL) and lipid composition of the SC of adult house sparrows from two populations, one living in the deserts of Saudi Arabia and another living in mesic Ohio. Adult desert house sparrows had a lower CWL, a lower proportion of free fatty acids, and a higher proportion of ceramides and cerebrosides in the SC compared with mesic sparrows. In this study, we investigated developmental plasticity of CWL and lipid composition of the SC in desert and mesic nestling house sparrows reared in low and high humidity and compared our results with previous work on adults. We measured CWL of nestlings and analyzed the lipid composition of the SC using thin-layer chromatography. We showed that nestling house sparrows from both localities had higher CWL than adults in their natural environment, a result of major modifications of the lipid composition of the SC. The expression of plasticity in CWL seems to be a response to opposed selection pressures, thermoregulation and water conservation, at different life stages, on which regulation of CWL plays a crucial role. Desert nestlings showed a greater degree of plasticity in CWL and lipid composition of the SC than did mesic nestlings, a finding consistent with the idea that organisms exposed to more environmental stress ought to be more plastic than individuals living in more benign environments.

  12. Forest Patch Size, Land Use, and Mesic Forest Herbs in the French Broad River Basin, North Carolina

    Scott M. Pearson; Alan B. Smith; Monica G. Turner

    1998-01-01

    The effect of forest fragmentation on cove-forest herbs was studied in the Southern Blue Ridge Province. Patches of mesic forests were sampled with 4 ha study plots. The coverage and density of herb species were greater in large patches (>200 ha) than in small patches (

  13. Determining the meson-nucleus potential - on the way to mesic states

    Metag, Volker, E-mail: volker.metag@exp2.physik.uni-giessen.de [Universität Giessen, II. Physikalisches Institut (Germany)

    2015-08-15

    Experimental approaches to determine the real and imaginary part of the meson-nucleus potential are described. The experiments have been performed with the Crystal Barrel/TAPS detector at the electron accelerator ELSA (Bonn) and the Crystal Ball/TAPS detector at MAMI (Mainz). Measuring the transparency ratio as well as the excitation function and momentum distribution for photo production of ω and η′ mesons, the imaginary part of the η′-nucleus potential is found to be smaller than the real part. In case of the ω meson the opposite is observed. This makes the η′ meson a good candidate for the search for meson-nucleus bound states while no resolved ω mesic states can be expected. The results are discussed and compared to theoretical predictions. An outlook on future experiments is given.

  14. Grassland biodiversity can pay.

    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.

  15. Differences in hydraulic architecture between mesic and xeric Pinus pinaster populations at the seedling stage.

    Corcuera, Leyre; Gil-Pelegrín, Eustaquio; Notivol, Eduardo

    2012-12-01

    We studied the intraspecific variability of maritime pine in a set of morphological and physiological traits: soil-to-leaf hydraulic conductance, intrinsic water-use efficiency (WUE, estimated by carbon isotope composition, δ(13)C), root morphology, xylem anatomy, growth and carbon allocation patterns. The data were collected from Pinus pinaster Aiton seedlings (25 half-sib families from five populations) grown in a greenhouse and subjected to water and water-stress treatments. The aims were to relate this variability to differences in water availability at the geographic location of the populations, and to study the potential trade-offs among traits. The drought-stressed seedlings demonstrated a decrease in hydraulic conductance and root surface area and increased WUE and root tip number. The relationships among the growth, morphological, anatomical and physiological traits changed with the scale of study: within the species, among/within populations. The populations showed a highly significant relationship between the percentage reduction in whole-plant hydraulic conductance and WUE. The differences among the populations in root morphology, whole-plant conductance, carbon allocation, plant growth and WUE were significant and consistent with dryness of the site of seed origin. The xeric populations exhibited lower growth and a conservative water use, as opposed to the fast-growing, less water-use-efficient populations from mesic habitats. The xeric and mesic populations, Tamrabta and San Cipriano, respectively, showed the most contrasting traits and were clustered in opposite directions along the main axis in the canonical discriminant analysis under both the control and drought treatments. The results suggest the possibility of selecting the Arenas population, which presents a combination of traits that confer increased growth and drought resistance.

  16. No Significant Changes in Topsoil Carbon in the Grasslands of Northern China Between the 1980s and 2000s

    Liu, S.; Yang, Y.; Shen, H.; Hu, H.; Zhao, X.; Li, H.; Liu, T.; Fang, J.

    2017-12-01

    The grasslands of northern China store a large amount of soil organic carbon (SOC), and the small changes in SOC stock could significantly affect the regional C cycle. However, recent estimates of SOC changes in this region are highly controversial. In this study, we examined and mapped the changes in the SOC density (SOCD) in the upper 30 cm of the grasslands of northern China between the 1980s and 2000s, using an improved approach that integrates field-based measurements into machine learning algorithms (artificial neural network and random forest). The random forest-generated SOCD averaged 5.55 kg C m-2 in the 1980s and 5.53 kg C m-2 in the 2000s. The change ranged between -0.17 and 0.22 kg C m-2 at the 95% confidence level, suggesting that the overall SOCD did not change significantly during the study period. However, the change in SOCD exhibited large regional variability. The topsoil of the Inner Mongolian grasslands experienced a significant C loss (4.86 vs. 4.33 kg C m-2), whereas that of the Xinjiang grasslands exhibited an accumulation of C (5.55 vs. 6.46 kg C m-2). In addition, the topsoil C in the Tibetan alpine grasslands remained relatively stable (6.12 vs. 6.06 kg C m-2). A comparison of different grassland types indicated that SOCD exhibited significant decreases in typical steppe, whereas showed increases in mountain meadow, and were stable in the remaining grasslands (alpine meadow, alpine steppe, mountain steppe and desert steppe). Climate variables were shown to be the main determines of the change of SOCD. Increases in precipitation could lead to SOC increase in temperate grasslands and SOC loss in alpine grasslands, while climate warming is likely to cause SOC loss in temperate grasslands. Overall, our study shows that northern grasslands in China remained a neutral SOC sink between the 1980s and 2000s.

  17. Constraints on tree seedling establishment in montane grasslands of the Valles Caldera, New Mexico

    Jonathan D. Coop; Thomas J. Givnish

    2008-01-01

    Montane and subalpine grasslands are prominent, but poorly understood, features of the Rocky Mountains. These communities frequently occur below reversed tree lines on valley floors, where nightly cold air accumulation is spatially coupled with fine soil texture. We used field experiments to assess the roles of minimum temperature, soil texture, grass competition, and...

  18. Seed banks of managed and degraded grasslands in the Krkonoše Mts., Czech Republic

    Handlová, Viola; Münzbergová, Zuzana

    2006-01-01

    Roč. 41, - (2006), s. 275-288 ISSN 1211-9520 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA526/05/0430 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : degradation * mountain grasslands * seed bank Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.196, year: 2006

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

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

    2010-05-01

    manipulated for only a single year. And when similar short-term experimental manipulations of precipitation variability were conducted in more arid grasslands, responses in ANPP were opposite those in mesic grassland. This suggests that grassland responses to alterations in precipitation inputs may vary dramatically depending on the long-term hydrologic regime.

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

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

    2017-04-01

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

  1. Net Primary Production and Carbon Stocks for Subarctic Mesic-Dry Tundras with Contrasting Microtopography, Altitude, and Dominant Species

    Campioli, Matteo; Michelsen, Anders; Demey, A

    2009-01-01

    Mesic-dry tundras are widespread in the Arctic but detailed assessments of net primary production (NPP) and ecosystem carbon (C) stocks are lacking. We addressed this lack of knowledge by determining the seasonal dynamics of aboveground vascular NPP, annual NPP, and whole-ecosystem C stocks in five...... mesic-dry tundras in Northern Sweden with contrasting microtopography, altitude, and dominant species. Those measurements were paralleled by the stock assessments of nitrogen (N), the limiting nutrient. The vascular production was determined by harvest or in situ growing units, whereas the nonvascular...... hermaphroditum is more productive than Cassiope tetragona vegetation. Although the large majority of the apical NPP occurred in early-mid season (85%), production of stems and evergreen leaves proceeded until about 2 weeks before senescence. Most of the vascular vegetation was belowground (80%), whereas most...

  2. Long-term changes in tree composition in a mesic old-growth upland forest in southern Illinois

    James J. Zaczek; John W. Groninger; J.W. Van Sambeek

    1999-01-01

    The Kaskaskia Woods (Lat. 37.5 N, Long. 88.3 W), an old-growth hardwood forest in southern Illinois, has one of the oldest and best documented set of permanent plots with individual tree measurements in the Central Hardwood Region. In 1935, eight 0.101-ha plots were installed in a 7.4 ha upland area consisting of xeric oak-hickory and mesic mixed hardwoods communities...

  3. Interpreting landscape change in high mountains of northeastern Oregon from long-term repeat photography.

    Jon M. Skovlin; Gerald S. Strickler; Jesse L. Peterson; Arthur W. Sampson

    2001-01-01

    We compared 45 photographs taken before 1925 to photographs taken as late as 1999 and documented landscape changes above 5,000 feet elevation in the Wallowa, Elkhorn, and Greenhorn Mountains of northeastern Oregon. We noted the following major changes from these comparisons: (1) the expansion of subalpine fir into mountain grasslands, (2) the invasion of moist and wet...

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

    ... 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.

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

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

    2017-01-01

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

  6. Appreciation of grassland functions by European stakeholders

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Ants accelerate succession from mountain grassland towards spruce forest

    Vlasáková, B.; Raabová, J.; Kyncl, T.; Dostál, Petr; Kovářová, Marcela; Kovář, P.; Herben, Tomáš

    2009-01-01

    Roč. 20, č. 4 (2009), s. 577-587 ISSN 1100-9233 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : anthills * chronosequence * disturbance Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 2.376, year: 2009

  8. Changes in grassland management and plant diversity in a marginal region of the Carpathian Mts. in 1999-2015.

    Halada, Ľuboš; David, Stanislav; Hreško, Juraj; Klimantová, Alexandra; Bača, Andrej; Rusňák, Tomáš; Buraľ, Miroslav; Vadel, Ľuboš

    2017-12-31

    The political change from socialism to democracy in countries of Central and Eastern Europe at the end of the 20th century induced broad changes in agriculture mostly due to land ownership changes and strong reduction of subsidies to agriculture. This resulted in agricultural decline, including grassland abandonment, which influenced grassland biodiversity and conservation. Between 1999 and 2015 we studied the grasslands in the area depopulated in the early 1980's in the Poloniny National Park (NE Slovakia, Carpathian Mts.). The aim of the study was to examine influence of environmental factors and grassland management driven by the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) to plant community structure and taxonomical diversity. We identified altitude and soil properties as the main environmental factors: altitude determines climate gradient and probably also management intensity gradient and soil properties express soil fertility via A-horizon depth. We identified remarkable increase of proportion of managed grasslands from only 8% in 1999 to 40% in 2012-2015; other 7% of sampled grasslands were recently restored and prepared for future management. The average species richness in grasslands managed in 2012-2015 increased from 47.5 species per record in 1999 to 54.2 species in 2012-2015, the increase was found statistically significant. In 2012-2015, we observed statistically significant difference in the average species richness between managed (54.2) and abandoned grasslands (46.3). The agricultural subsidies of the CAP drive the grassland management in the study area. Therefore, we conclude that CAP enabled grassland biodiversity maintenance in significant part of the Poloniny National Park following start of its application in 2004 and above provided figures can be considered as indicators of the CAP effectiveness in our study area. However, the conservation of mountain meadows remains a challenge because of their poor accessibility. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All

  9. Discrimination of grassland species and their classification in botanical families by laboratory scale hyperspectral imaging NIR: preliminary results

    The objective of this study was to discriminate by on-line hyperspectral imaging, taxonomic plant families comprised of different grassland species. Plants were collected from semi-natural meadows of the National Apuseni Park, Apuseni Mountains, Gârda area (Romania) according to botanical families. ...

  10. Eta-mesic nuclei formation in dA-collisions at the nuclotron (first results of the experimental study)

    Artemov, A.S.; Afanasiev, S.V.; Bekmirzaev, R.N.; Dryablov, D.K.; Igamkulov, Z.A.; Ivanov, V.I.; Isupov, A.Ju.; Malakhov, A.I.; Lebedev, A.I.; L'vov, A.I.; Pavlyuchenko, L.N.; Polyansky, V.V.; Sidorin, S.S.; Sokol, G.A.

    2006-01-01

    Full text: We present the first results on searching up of η -mesic nuclei obtained on an internal beam of Nuclotron. The reaction d + C→π+ p + was investigated for two energies of deuterons - 1.4 AGeV and 1.5 AGeV. For energy 1.5 AGeV in the spectrum of effective mass of proton-meson pairs the similarity of a resonance in region 1500 MeV is found. The analysis of the obtained data is given. (author)

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

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

    2018-03-05

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

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

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

    2009-04-01

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

  13. Monitoring in South African grasslands

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

    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.

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

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

    2017-04-01

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

  16. 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

    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

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

    Yang, Ran; Ma, Jun

    2018-01-01

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

  18. Mountaineering Tourism

    Patrick Maher

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available Reviewed: Mountaineering Tourism Edited by Ghazali Musa, James Higham, and Anna Thompson-Carr. Abingdon, United Kingdom: Routledge, 2015. xxvi + 358 pp. Hardcover. US$ 145.00. ISBN 978-1-138-78237-2.

  19. Habitat use by mountain nyala Tragelaphus buxtoni determined using stem bite diameters at point of browse, bite rates, and time budgets in the Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia

    Solomon A. TADESSE, Burt P. KOTLER

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available We studied the habitat use of mountain nyala Tragelaphus buxtoni in the northern edge of the Bale Mountains National Park, Ethiopia. The aims of this study were to: (1 measure and quantify habitat-specific stem bite diameters of mountain nyala foraging on common natural plant species in two major habitat types (i.e. grasslands versus woodlands, and (2 quantify the bite rates (number of bites per minute and the activity time budgets of mountain nyala as functions of habitat type and sex-age category. We randomly laid out three transects in each habitat type. Following each transect, through focal animal observations, we assessed and quantified stem diameters at point of browse (dpb, bite rates, and time budgets of mountain nyala in grasslands versus woodlands. Stem dpb provide a measure of natural giving-up densities (GUDs and can be used to assess foraging costs and efficiencies, with greater stem dpb corresponding to lower costs and greater efficiencies. The results showed that stem dpb, bite rates, induced vigilance, and proportion of time spent in feeding differed between habitats. In particular, mountain nyala had greater stem dpb, higher bite rates, and spent a greater proportion of their time in feeding and less in induced vigilance in the grasslands. In addition, adult females had the highest bite rates, and the browse species Solanum marginatum had the greatest stem dpb. Generally, grasslands provide the mountain nyala with several advantages over the woodlands, including offering lower foraging costs, greater safety, and more time for foraging. The study advocates how behavioural indicators and natural GUDs are used to examine the habitat use of the endangered mountain nyala through applying non-invasive techniques. We conclude that the resulting measures are helpful for guiding conservation and management efforts and could be applicable to a number of endangered wildlife species including the mountain nyala [Current Zoology 59 (6 : 707

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

    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

  1. Ecological Effects of Grazing in the Northern Tianshan Mountains

    Xiaotao Huang

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available Identifying the effects of grazing is critical for the conservation, protection and sustainable use of arid grassland ecosystems. However, research regarding the ecological effects of grazing along mountainous elevation gradients is limited in arid areas, particularly at the regional scale. Using the Biome-BGC grazing model, we explored the effects of grazing on grassland net primary productivity (NPP, evapotranspiration (ET and water use efficiency (WUE from 1979 to 2012 along an elevation gradient in the northern Tianshan Mountains. The NPP, ET and WUE values were generally lower under the grazing scenario than under the ungrazed scenario; the differences between the grazing and ungrazed scenarios showed increasing trends over time; and distinct spatial heterogeneity in these differences was observed. Distinct decreases in NPP and WUE under the grazing scenario mainly occurred in regions with high livestock consumption. The decrease in ET was greater in mountainous areas with high grazing intensity due to decreased transpiration and increased surface runoff. This study contributes to a better understanding of the ecological effects of grazing along an elevation gradient in the northern Tianshan Mountains and provides data to support the scientific management of grassland ecosystems.

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

    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.

  3. Changes in productivity of grassland with ageing

    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

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

    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.

  5. Variability of annual CO2 exchange from Dutch grasslands

    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,

  6. Integrating Extensive Livestock and Soil Conservation Policies in Mediterranean Mountain Areas for Recovery of Abandoned Lands in the Central Spanish Pyrenees. A Long-Term Research Assessment

    Nadal-Romero, Estela; Lasanta, Teodoro; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio

    2018-01-01

    Land abandonment is a global issue with important implications in Mediterranean mountain areas. Abandoned Mediterranean croplands start a process of secondary succession that is initially colonized by grasslands, shrubs and forest. In Mediterranean mountain areas, the process is very slow, so the

  7. Satellite-based assessment of grassland yields

    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.

  8. Long-term modeling of the forest-grassland ecotone in the French Alps: implications for land management and conservation.

    Carlson, Bradley Z; Renaud, Julien; Biron, Pierre Eymard; Choler, Philippe

    2014-07-01

    Understanding decadal-scale land-cover changes has the potential to inform current conservation policies. European mountain landscapes that include numerous protected areas provide a unique opportunity to weigh the long-term influences of land-use practices and climate on forest-grassland ecotone dynamics. Aerial photographs from four dates (1948, 1978, 1993, and 2009) were used to quantify the extent of forest and grassland cover at 5-m resolution across a 150-km2 area in a protected area of the southwestern French Alps. The study area included a grazed zone and a nongrazed zone that was abandoned during the 1970s. We estimated time series of a forestation index (FI) and analyzed the effects of elevation and grazing on FI using a hierarchical linear mixed effect model. Forest extent (composed primarily of mountain pine, Pinus uncinata) expanded from 50.6 km2 in 1948 to 85.5 km2 in 2009, i.e., a 23% increase in relative cover at the expense of grassland communities. Over the sixty-year period, the treeline rose by 118 m, from 1564 to 1682 m. Rapid forest expansion within the nongrazed zone followed the cessation of logging activities and was likely accelerated by climate warming during the 1980s. Within the grazed zone, the maintained presence of sheep did not fully counteract mountain pine expansion and led to highly contrasting rates of land-cover change based on the location of shepherds' cabins and water sources. Projections of FI for 2030 showed remnant patches of intensively used grasslands interspersed in a densely forested matrix. Our analysis of mountain land-cover dynamics provided strong evidence for forest encroachment into grassland habitat despite consistent grazing pressure. This pattern may be attributed to the disappearance of traditional land-use practices such as shrub burning and removal. Our findings prompt land managers to reconsider their initial conservation priority (i.e., the protection of a renowned mountain pine forest) and to implement

  9. The arrival at CERN of the President of the Republic of Croatia, Stjepan Mesic. In the first row, from left to right: Maurice Bourquin, President of CERN Council, Stjepan Mesic, President of the Republic of Croatia and Robert Aymar, Director General of CERN.

    Patrice Loiez

    2003-01-01

    On 11 December, President Stjepan Mesic of the Republic of Croatia visited CERN. He was welcomed by Director General, Robert Aymar, and the President of CERN Council, Maurice Bourquin. Afterwards he met, among others, the Directors of CERN and Croatian scientists working here. He finished his tour by visiting the underground cavern for the ATLAS experiment.

  10. Description of the Grassland Biome Project

    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...

  11. Reproductive characteristics of the Point Arena mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa nigra)

    William Zielinski; M. J. Mazurek

    2016-01-01

    Little is known about the ecology and life history of the federally endangered Point Arena mountain beaver (Aplodontia rufa nigra). The distribution of this primitive burrowing rodent is disjunct from the balance of the species’ range and occurs in a unique maritime environment of coastal grasslands and forests. Fundamental to protecting this taxon...

  12. Biogeographic, cultural, and historical setting of the Northern Rocky Mountains [Chapter 2

    S. Karen. Dante-Wood

    2018-01-01

    The Northern Rockies Adaptation Partnership (NRAP) includes diverse landscapes, ranging from high mountains to grasslands, from alpine glaciers to broad rivers (fig. 1.1). This region, once inhabited solely by Native Americans, has been altered by two centuries of settlement by Euro- Americans through extractive practices such as timber harvest, grazing, and mining,...

  13. Cutaneous water loss and the development of the stratum corneum of nestling house sparrows (Passer domesticus) from desert and mesic environments.

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Williams, Joseph B

    2011-01-01

    Evaporation through the skin contributes to more than half of the total water loss in birds. Therefore, we expect the regulation of cutaneous water loss (CWL) to be crucial for birds, especially those that live in deserts, to maintain a normal state of hydration. Previous studies in adult birds showed that modifications of the lipid composition of the stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, were associated with changes in rates of CWL. However, few studies have examined the ontogeny of CWL and the lipids of the SC in nestling birds. In this study, we measured CWL and the lipid composition of the SC during development of nestlings from two populations of house sparrows, one from the deserts of Saudi Arabia and the other from mesic Ohio. We found that desert and mesic nestlings followed different developmental trajectories for CWL. Desert nestlings seemed to make a more frugal use of water than did mesic nestlings. To regulate CWL, nestlings appeared to modify the lipid composition of the SC during ontogeny. Our results also suggest a tighter regulation of CWL in desert nestlings, presumably as a result of the stronger selection pressures to which nestlings are exposed in deserts.

  14. Soil disturbance as a grassland restoration measure

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    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

  16. Man-induced transformation of mountain meadow soils of Aragats mountain massif (Armenia)

    Avetisyan, M. H.

    2018-01-01

    The article considers issues of degradation of mountain meadow soils of the Aragats mountain massif of the Republic of Armenia and provides the averaged research results obtained for 2013 and 2014. The present research was initiated in the frames of long-term complex investigations of agroecosystems of Armenia’s mountain massifs and covered sod soils of high mountain meadow pasturelands and meadow steppe grasslands lying on southern slope of Mt. Aragats. With a purpose of studying the peculiarities of migration and transformation of flows of major nutrients namely carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus in study mountain meadow and meadow steppe belts of the Aragats massif we investigated water migration of chemical elements and regularities of their leaching depending on different belts. Field measurement data have indicated that organic carbon and humus in a heavily grazed plot are almost twice as low as on a control site. Lysimetric data analysis has demonstrated that heavy grazing and illegal deforestation have brought to an increase in intrasoil water acidity. The results generated from this research support a conclusion that a man’s intervention has brought to disturbance of structure and nutrient and water regimes of soils and loss of significant amounts of soil nutrients throughout the studied region.

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

    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.

  18. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

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

    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.

  20. Sequential effects of severe drought and defoliation on tree growth and survival in a diverse temperate mesic forest

    Matthes, J. H.; Pederson, N.; David, O.; Martin-Benito, D.

    2017-12-01

    Understanding the effects of climate change and biotic disturbance within diverse temperate mesic forests is complicated by the need to scale between impacts within individuals and across species in the community. It is not clear how these impacts within individuals and across a community influences the stand- and regional-scale response. Furthermore, co-occurring or sequential disturbances can make it challenging to interpret forest responses from observational data. In the northeastern United States, the 1960s drought was perhaps the most severe period of climatic stress within the past 300 years and negatively impacted the growth of individual trees across all species, but unevenly. Additionally, in 1981 the northeast experienced an outbreak of the defoliator Lymantria dispar, which preferentially consumes oak leaves, but in 1981 impacted a high proportion of other species as well. To investigate the effects of drought (across functional groups) and defoliation (within a functional group), we combined a long-term tree-ring dataset from an old-growth forest within the Palmaghatt Ravine in New York with a version of the Ecosystem Demography model that includes a scheme for representing forest insects and pathogens. We explored the sequential impacts of severe drought and defoliation on tree growth, community composition, and ecosystem-atmosphere interactions (carbon, water, and heat flux). W­e also conducted a set of modeling experiments with climate and defoliation disturbance scenarios to bound the potential long-term response of this forest to co-occurring and sequential drought-defoliator disturbances over the next fifty years.

  1. The origin of soil organic matter controls its composition and bioreactivity across a mesic boreal forest latitudinal gradient

    Kohl, L.; Philben, M. J.; Edwards, K. A.; Podrebarac, F. A.; Jamie, W.; Ziegler, S. E.

    2017-12-01

    Warmer climates have been associated with reduced soil organic matter (SOM) bioreactivity, lower respiration rates at a given temperature, which is typically attributed to the presence of more decomposed SOM. Cross site studies, however, indicate that ecosystem regime shifts associated with long-term climate warming can affect SOM properties through changes in vegetation and plant litter inputs to soils. The relative importance of these two controls, diagenesis and inputs, on SOM properties as ecosystems experience climate warming remains poorly understood. To address this, we characterized the elemental, chemical (nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and total hydrolysable amino acids), and isotopic composition of plant litter and SOM across a well-constrained mesic boreal forest latitudinal transect in Atlantic Canada. Results across forest sites within each of three climate regions indicated that (1) climate history and diagenesis affect distinct parameters of SOM chemistry, (2) increases in SOM bioreactivity with latitude were associated with elevated proportions of carbohydrates relative to plant waxes and lignin, and (3) despite the common forest type across regions, differences in SOM chemistry by climate region were associated with chemically distinct litter inputs and not different degrees of diagenesis. Climate effects on vascular plant litter chemistry explained only part of the regional differences in SOM chemistry, most notably the higher protein content of SOM from warmer regions. Greater proportions of lignin and aliphatic compounds and smaller proportions of carbohydrates in warmer sites' soils were explained by the higher proportion of vascular plant relative to moss litter in the warmer forests. These results indicate that a climate induced decrease in the proportion of moss inputs will not only impact SOM chemistry but also increase the resistance of SOM to decomposition, thus significantly altering SOM cycling in these boreal forest soils.

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  5. Importance and functions of European grasslands.

    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. [Research progress and trend on grassland agroecology].

    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. Plutonium in a grassland ecosystem

    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

  8. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    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 ...

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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

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

    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...

  13. Appreciation of the functions of grasslands by Irish stakeholders

    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

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

    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 ...

  15. COENOLOGICAL SHIFT FOLLOWING FERTILIZATION IN MEDITERRANEAN GRASSLAND

    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.

  16. Radioecological sensitivity of permanent grasslands

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

    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...

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

    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.

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

    Edward Gage; David J. Cooper

    2013-01-01

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

  20. On the stability of mixed grasslands

    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

  1. Purpose and Need for a Grassland Assessment

    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,...

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

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

    2009-11-01

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

  3. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever

    ... with facebook share with twitter share with linkedin Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever Credit: CDC A male cayenne tick, Amblyomma cajennense, ... and New Mexico. Why Is the Study of Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever a Priority for NIAID? Tickborne diseases are becoming ...

  4. Rocky Mountain spotted fever

    ... spotted fever on the foot Rocky Mountain spotted fever, petechial rash Antibodies Deer and dog tick References McElligott SC, Kihiczak GG, Schwartz RA. Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other rickettsial infections. In: Lebwohl MG, Heymann ...

  5. Larval habitat for the avian malaria vector culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae) in altered mid-elevation mesic-dry forests in Hawai'i

    Reiter, M.E.; Lapointe, D.A.

    2009-01-01

    Effective management of avian malaria (Plasmodium relictum) in Hawai'i's endemic honeycreepers (Drepanidinae) requires the identification and subsequent reduction or treatment of larval habitat for the mosquito vector, Culex quinquefasciatus (Diptera: Culicidae). We conducted ground surveys, treehole surveys, and helicopter aerial surveys from 20012003 to identify all potential larval mosquito habitat within two 100+ ha mesic-dry forest study sites in Hawai'i Volcanoes National Park, Hawai'i; 'Ainahou Ranch and Mauna Loa Strip Road. At 'Ainahou Ranch, anthropogenic sites (43%) were more likely to contain mosquitoes than naturally occurring (8%) sites. Larvae of Cx. quinquefasciatus were predominately found in anthropogenic sites while Aedes albopictus larvae occurred less frequently in both anthropogenic sites and naturally-occurring sites. Additionally, moderate-size (???20-22,000 liters) anthropogenic potential larval habitat had >50% probability of mosquito presence compared to larger- and smaller-volume habitat (malaria, may be controlled by larval habitat reduction in the mesic-dry landscapes of Hawai'i where anthropogenic sources predominate.

  6. Ventilatory accommodation of oxygen demand and respiratory water loss in kangaroos from mesic and arid environments, the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus).

    Dawson, T J; Munn, A J; Blaney, C E; Krockenberger, A; Maloney, S K

    2000-01-01

    We studied ventilation in kangaroos from mesic and arid environments, the eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) and the red kangaroo (Macropus rufus), respectively, within the range of ambient temperatures (T(a)) from -5 degrees to 45 degrees C. At thermoneutral temperatures (Ta=25 degrees C), there were no differences between the species in respiratory frequency, tidal volume, total ventilation, or oxygen extraction. The ventilatory patterns of the kangaroos were markedly different from those predicted from the allometric equation derived for placentals. The kangaroos had low respiratory frequencies and higher tidal volumes, even when adjustment was made for their lower basal metabolism. At Ta>25 degrees C, ventilation was increased in the kangaroos to facilitate respiratory water loss, with percent oxygen extraction being markedly lowered. Ventilation was via the nares; the mouth was closed. Differences in ventilation between the two species occurred at higher temperatures, and at 45 degrees C were associated with differences in respiratory evaporative heat loss, with that of M. giganteus being higher. Panting in kangaroos occurred as a graded increase in respiratory frequency, during which tidal volume was lowered. When panting, the desert red kangaroo had larger tidal volumes and lower respiratory frequencies at equivalent T(a) than the eastern grey kangaroo, which generally inhabits mesic forests. The inference made from this pattern is that the red kangaroo has the potential to increase respiratory evaporative heat loss to a greater level.

  7. Habitat and nesting biology of Mountain Plovers in Wyoming

    Plumb, R.E.; Anderson, S.H.; Knopf, F.L.

    2005-01-01

    Although previous research has considered habitat associations and breeding biology of Mountain Plovers in Wyoming at discrete sites, no study has considered these attributes at a statewide scale. We located 55 Mountain Plover nests in 6 counties across Wyoming during 2002 and 2003. Nests occurred in 2 general habitat types: grassland and desert-shrub. Mean estimated hatch date was 26 June (n = 31) in 2002 and 21 June (n = 24) in 2003. Mean hatch date was not related to latitude or elevation. Hatch success of nests was inferred in 2003 by the presence of eggshell fragments in the nest scrape. Eggs in 14 of 22 (64%) known-fate nests hatched. All grassland sites and 90% of desert sites were host to ungulate grazers, although prairie dogs were absent at 64% of nest sites. Nest plots had less grass coverage and reduced grass height compared with random plots. More than 50% of nests occurred on elevated plateaus. The Mountain Plover's tendency to nest on arid, elevated plateaus further substantiates claims that the bird is also a disturbed-prairie species.

  8. Grazing damage to plants and gastropod and grasshopper densities in a CO 2-enrichment experiment on calcareous grassland

    Ledergerber, Stephan; Thommen, G. Heinrich; Baur, Bruno

    Plant-herbivore interactions may change as atmospheric CO 2 concentrations continue to rise. We examined the effects of elevated atmospheric CO 2 and CO 2-exposure chambers on the grazing damage to plants, and on the abundances of potential herbivores (terrestrial gastropods and grasshoppers) in a calcareous grassland in the Jura mountains of Switzerland (village of Nenzlingen). Individuals of most plant species examined showed slight grazing damage. However, plots with CO 2 enrichment and plots with ambient atmosphere did not differ in the extent of grazing damage. Similarly, plots with CO 2 enrichment and plots with ambient atmosphere did not differ in either gastropod or grasshopper density. Experimental plots with and without chambers did not differ in the number of gastropods. However, the densities of gastropods and grasshoppers and extent of grazing damage to plants were generally lower in the experimental area than in the grassland outside the experimental field.

  9. The origin of soil organic matter dictates its composition and bioreactivity across a mesic boreal forest latitudinal gradient

    Kohl, Lukas; Philben, Michael; Edwards, Kate A.; Podrebarac, Frances A.; Warren, Jamie; Ziegler, Susan E.

    2017-04-01

    Climate transect studies and soil warming experiments have shown that soil organic matter (SOM) formed under a warmer climate is typically more resistant to microbial decomposition, as indicated by lower decomposition rates at a given temperature (bioreactivity). However, it remains unclear how climate impacts SOM via its effect on vegetation and thus litter inputs to soils, or on decomposition and thus how SOM changes over time (diagenesis). We addressed this question by studying how the chemical and biological properties of SOM vary with decomposition (depth) and climate history (latitude) in mesic boreal forests of Atlantic Canada. SOM bioreactivity, measured in a 15-months decomposition experiment, decreased from cold to warm regions, and from the topmost (L) to the deepest horizon studied (H). The variations in SOM bioreactivity with climate history and depth, however, were associated with distinct parameters of SOM chemistry. More decomposed SOM with depth was associated with lower proportions of %N as total hydrolysable amino acids (THAA), and a different THAA-based degradation index signifying a more degraded state. However, SOM from the warmer region exhibited higher lignin to carbohydrate ratios, as detected by NMR. None of the measured parameters associated with regional differences in SOM chemistry increased with depth. Together, these results indicate that the regional differences in SOM chemistry and bioreactivity in these soils did not result from significant differences in the degree of degradation, but rather resulted from chemically distinct litter inputs. The comparison of SOM and plant litter chemistry allowed us to identify how climate affects litter inputs in these forests. Vascular plant litter collected in litter traps, unlike SOM, exhibited largely similar chemical composition across all transect regions. Litter traps, however, do not collect moss litter, which is chemically distinct from vascular plant litter. We, therefore, assessed the

  10. Comparative seed germination traits in alpine and subalpine grasslands: higher elevations are associated with warmer germination temperatures.

    Fernández-Pascual, E; Jiménez-Alfaro, B; Bueno, Á

    2017-01-01

    Seed germination traits in alpine grasslands are poorly understood, despite the sensitivity of these communities to climate change. We hypothesise that germination traits predict species occurrence along the alpine-subalpine elevation gradient. Phylogenetic comparative analyses were performed using fresh seeds of 22 species from alpine and subalpine grasslands (1600-2400 m) of the Cantabrian Mountains, Spain (43° N, 5° W). Laboratory experiments were conducted to characterise germinability, optimum germination temperature and effect of cold and warm stratification on dormancy breaking. Variability in these traits was reduced by phylogenetic principal component analysis (phyl.PCA). Phylogenetic generalised least squares regression (PGLS) was used to fit a model in which species average elevation was predicted from their position on the PCA axes. Most subalpine species germinated in snow-like conditions, whereas most alpine species needed accumulation of warm temperatures. Phylogenetic signal was low. PCA1 ordered species according to overall germinability, whilst PCA2 ordered them according to preference for warm or cold germination. PCA2 significantly predicted species occurrence in the alpine-subalpine gradient, as higher elevation species tended to have warmer germination preferences. Our results show that germination traits in high-mountain grasslands are closely linked to the alpine-subalpine gradient. Alpine species, especially those from stripped and wind-edge communities, prefer warmer germination niches, suggesting that summer emergence prevents frost damage during seedling establishment. In contrast, alpine snowfield and subalpine grassland plants have cold germination niches, indicating that winter emergence may occur under snow to avoid drought stress. © 2016 German Botanical Society and The Royal Botanical Society of the Netherlands.

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

    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.

  12. Energy analysis of various grassland utilisation systems

    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.

  13. SOWING GRASSLANDS – EFFICIENT SOLUTION FOR ZOOTEHNICAL PRODUCTION

    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.

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

    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.

  15. A simple, effective adiabatic representation in the three-body problem and modeling of the transition of the quasistationary state to a loosely bound state for the dtμ mesic molecule

    Vinitskii, S.I.; Puzynin, I.V.; Puzynina, T.P.

    1992-01-01

    An effective adiabatic approach is given for the analysis of three-particle interactions that makes it possible, even in the simple two-level approximation, to reflect all the qualitative characteristics of mesic-atom resonance reactions and to obtain good qualitative agreement with various time-consuming calculations. 6 figs

  16. Soil carbon stocks and carbon sequestration rates in seminatural grassland in Aso region, Kumamoto, Southern Japan.

    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.

  17. Mountain Plover [ds109

    California Natural Resource Agency — Point locations representing observations of mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) feeding and roosting flocks (and occasional individuals) documented during an...

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

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

    2015-03-01

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

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

    Eduardo Medina-Roldán

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

  20. Woody encroachment in northern Great Plains grasslands: Perceptions, actions, and needs

    Symstad, Amy J.; Leis, Sherry A.

    2017-01-01

    The United States Northern Great Plains (NGP) has a high potential for landscape-scale conservation, but this grassland landscape is threatened by encroachment of woody species. We surveyed NGP land managers to identify patterns in, and illustrate a broad range of, individual managers' perceptions on (1) the threat of woody encroachment to grasslands they manage, and (2) what management practices they use that may influence woody encroachment in this region. In the 34 surveys returned, which came from predominantly public lands in the study area, 79% of responses reported moderate or substantial woody encroachment. Eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana) and Rocky Mountain juniper (Juniperus scopulorum) were the most problematic encroachers. Thirty-one survey respondents said that prescribed fire was used on the lands they manage, and 64% of these responses reported that controlling woody encroachment was a fire management objective. However, only 18% of survey respondents using prescribed fire were achieving their desired fire return interval. Most respondents reported using mechanical and/or chemical methods to control woody species. In contrast to evidence from the central and southern Great Plains, few survey respondents viewed grazing as affecting encroachment. Although the NGP public land managers we surveyed clearly recognize woody encroachment as a problem and are taking steps to address it, many feel that the rate of their management is not keeping pace with the rate of encroachment. Developing strategies for effective woody plant control in a variety of NGP management contexts requires filling ecological science gaps and overcoming societal barriers to using prescribed fire.

  1. Distinguishing Intensity Levels of Grassland Fertilization Using Vegetation Indices

    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.

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

    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

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

    Michael R. White

    2000-01-01

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

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

    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 ...

  5. Mountain pastures of Qilian Shan: plant communities, grazing impact and degradation status (Gansu province, NW China)

    Baranova, Alina; Schickhoff, Udo; Shunli, Wang; Ming, Jin

    2015-04-01

    Qilian Mountains are the water source region for the low arid reaches of HeiHe river basin (Gansu province, NW China). Due to overstocking and overgrazing during the last decades adverse ecological ef¬fects, in particular on soil properties and hydrological cycle, are to be expected in growing land areas. Vegetation cover is very important to prevent erosion process and to sustain stable subsurface runoff and ground water flow. The aim of this research is to identify plant communities, detecting grazing-induced and spatially differentiated changes in vegetation patterns, and to evaluate status of pasture land degradation.The study area is located in the spring/autumn pasture area of South Qilian Mountains between 2600-3600 m a.s.l., covering five main vegetation types: spruce forest, alpine shrubland, shrubby grassland, mountain grassland, degraded mountain grassland. In order to analyze gradual changes in vegetation patterns along altitudinal and grazing gradients and to classify related plant communities, quantitative and qualitative relevé data were collected (coverage, species composition, abundance of unpalatable plants, plant functional types, etc.). Vegetation was classified using hierarchical cluster analyses. Indirect Detrended Correspondence Analysis (DCA) was used to analyze variation in relationships between vegetation, environmental factors, and grazing impact. According to DCA results, distribution of the plant communities was strongly affected by altitude and exposition. Grassland floristic gradients showed greater dependence on grazing impact, which correlated contrarily with soil organic content, soil moisture and pH. Highest numbers of species richness and alpha diversity were detected in alpine shrubland vegetation type. Comparing the monitoring data for the recent nine years, a trend of deterioration, species successions and shift in dominant species becomes obvious. Species indicating degrading site environmental conditions were identified

  6. Mapping mountain meadow with high resolution and polarimetric SAR data

    Tian, Bangsen; Li, Zhen; Xu, Juan; Fu, Sitao; Liu, Jiuli

    2014-01-01

    This paper presents a method to map the large grassland in the eastern margin of the Tibetan Plateau with the high resolution polarimetric SAR (PolSAR) imagery. When PolSAR imagery is used for land cover classification, the brightness of a SAR image is affected by topography due to varying projection between ground and image coordinates. The objective of this paper is twofold: (1) we first extend the theory of SAR terrain correction to the polarimetric case, to utilize the entire available polarimetric signature, where correction is performed explicitly based on a matrix format like covariance matrix. (2) Next, the orthoectified PolSAR is applied to classify mountain meadow and investigate the potential of PolSAR in mapping grassland. In this paper, the gamma naught radiometric correction estimates the local illuminated area at each grid point in the radar geometry. Then, each element of the coherency matrix is divided by the local area to produce a polarimetric product. Secondly, the impact of radiometric correction upon classification accuracy is investigated. A supervised classification is performed on the orthorectified Radarsat-2 PolSAR to map the spatial distribution of meadow and evaluate monitoring capabilities of mountain meadow

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

    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.

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

    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.

  9. Advances in global mountain geomorphology

    Slaymaker, Olav; Embleton-Hamann, Christine

    2018-05-01

    Three themes in global mountain geomorphology have been defined and reinforced over the past decade: (a) new ways of measuring, sensing, and analyzing mountain morphology; (b) a new emphasis on disconnectivity in mountain geomorphology; and (c) the emergence of concerns about the increasing influence of anthropogenic disturbance of the mountain geomorphic environment, especially in intertropical mountains where population densities are higher than in any other mountain region. Anthropogenically induced hydroclimate change increases geomorphic hazards and risks but also provides new opportunities for mountain landscape enhancement. Each theme is considered with respect to the distinctiveness of mountain geomorphology and in relation to important advances in research over the past decade. The traditional reliance on the high energy condition to define mountain geomorphology seems less important than the presence of unique mountain landforms and landscapes and the distinctive ways in which human activity and anthropogenically induced hydroclimate change are transforming mountain landscapes.

  10. Yucca Mountain digital database

    Daudt, C.R.; Hinze, W.J.

    1992-01-01

    This paper discusses the Yucca Mountain Digital Database (DDB) which is a digital, PC-based geographical database of geoscience-related characteristics of the proposed high-level waste (HLW) repository site of Yucca Mountain, Nevada. It was created to provide the US Nuclear Regulatory Commission's (NRC) Advisory Committee on Nuclear Waste (ACNW) and its staff with a visual perspective of geological, geophysical, and hydrological features at the Yucca Mountain site as discussed in the Department of Energy's (DOE) pre-licensing reports

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

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

    2010-05-01

    ecosystem respiration (RECO), (ii) GPP depended mainly on the amount of incident photosynthetically active radiation and the amount of green plant matter, the scale of influence of these two factors varying fourfold between the sites, and not so much on the available water, (iii) RECO was mainly affected by the soil temperature, but some evidence for priming effects was also found, (iv) the NEE was mainly influenced by GPP and to a lower extent by RECO. Taken together our results indicate that even within the same ecosystem type exposed to similar climate and land use, site selection may strongly affect the resulting NEE estimates. References: [1] D.D. Baldocchi, "Breathing of the terrestrial biosphere: lessons learned from a global network of carbon dioxide flux measurement systems", Australian Journal of Botany vol.56 (2008) pp. 1-26. [2] A. Hammerle, A. Haslwanter, U. Tappeiner, A. Cernusca, G. Wohlfahrt, "Leaf area controls on energy partitioning of a temperate mountain grassland", Biogeosciences vol.5 (2008) pp. 421 431. [3] G. Wohlfahrt, A. Hammerle, A. Haslwanter, M. Bahn, U. Tappeiner, A. Cernusca, "Seasonal and inter-annual variability of the net ecosystem CO2 exchange of a temperate mountain grassland: effects of weather and management", Journal of Geophysical Research 113 (2008) D08110, doi:10.1029/2007JD009286.

  12. Indirect Effects of Energy Development in Grasslands

    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

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

    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

  14. Education and Yucca Mountain

    Lamont, M.A.

    1995-01-01

    This paper outlines a middle school social studies curriculum taught in Nevada. The curriculum was designed to educate students about issues related to the Yucca Mountain project. The paper focuses on the activities used in the curriculum

  15. Recreational mountain biking injuries.

    Aitken, S A; Biant, L C; Court-Brown, Charles M

    2011-04-01

    Mountain biking is increasing in popularity worldwide. The injury patterns associated with elite level and competitive mountain biking are known. This study analysed the incidence, spectrum and risk factors for injuries sustained during recreational mountain biking. The injury rate was 1.54 injuries per 1000 biker exposures. Men were more commonly injured than women, with those aged 30-39 years at highest risk. The commonest types of injury were wounding, skeletal fracture and musculoskeletal soft tissue injury. Joint dislocations occurred more commonly in older mountain bikers. The limbs were more commonly injured than the axial skeleton. The highest hospital admission rates were observed with head, neck and torso injuries. Protective body armour, clip-in pedals and the use of a full-suspension bicycle may confer a protective effect.

  16. Landforms of High Mountains

    Derek A. McDougall

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available Reviewed: Landforms of High Mountains. By Alexander Stahr and Ewald Langenscheidt. Heidelberg, Germany: Springer, 2015. viii + 158 pp. US$ 129.99. Also available as an e-book. ISBN 978-3-642-53714-1.

  17. Acute mountain sickness

    ... GO About MedlinePlus Site Map FAQs Customer Support Health Topics Drugs & Supplements Videos & Tools Español You Are Here: Home → Medical Encyclopedia → Acute mountain sickness URL of this page: //medlineplus.gov/ency/article/ ...

  18. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    Simmons, A.M.

    2004-01-01

    The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' summarizes, in a single document, the current state of knowledge and understanding of the natural system at Yucca Mountain. It describes the geology; geochemistry; past, present, and projected future climate; regional hydrologic system; and flow and transport within the unsaturated and saturated zones at the site. In addition, it discusses factors affecting radionuclide transport, the effect of thermal loading on the natural system, and tectonic hazards. The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' is broad in nature. It summarizes investigations carried out as part of the Yucca Mountain Project since 1988, but it also includes work done at the site in earlier years, as well as studies performed by others. The document has been prepared under the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management quality assurance program for the Yucca Mountain Project. Yucca Mountain is located in Nye County in southern Nevada. The site lies in the north-central part of the Basin and Range physiographic province, within the northernmost subprovince commonly referred to as the Great Basin. The basin and range physiography reflects the extensional tectonic regime that has affected the region during the middle and late Cenozoic Era. Yucca Mountain was initially selected for characterization, in part, because of its thick unsaturated zone, its arid to semiarid climate, and the existence of a rock type that would support excavation of stable openings. In 1987, the United States Congress directed that Yucca Mountain be the only site characterized to evaluate its suitability for development of a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel

  19. YUCCA MOUNTAIN SITE DESCRIPTION

    A.M. Simmons

    2004-04-16

    The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' summarizes, in a single document, the current state of knowledge and understanding of the natural system at Yucca Mountain. It describes the geology; geochemistry; past, present, and projected future climate; regional hydrologic system; and flow and transport within the unsaturated and saturated zones at the site. In addition, it discusses factors affecting radionuclide transport, the effect of thermal loading on the natural system, and tectonic hazards. The ''Yucca Mountain Site Description'' is broad in nature. It summarizes investigations carried out as part of the Yucca Mountain Project since 1988, but it also includes work done at the site in earlier years, as well as studies performed by others. The document has been prepared under the Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management quality assurance program for the Yucca Mountain Project. Yucca Mountain is located in Nye County in southern Nevada. The site lies in the north-central part of the Basin and Range physiographic province, within the northernmost subprovince commonly referred to as the Great Basin. The basin and range physiography reflects the extensional tectonic regime that has affected the region during the middle and late Cenozoic Era. Yucca Mountain was initially selected for characterization, in part, because of its thick unsaturated zone, its arid to semiarid climate, and the existence of a rock type that would support excavation of stable openings. In 1987, the United States Congress directed that Yucca Mountain be the only site characterized to evaluate its suitability for development of a geologic repository for high-level radioactive waste and spent nuclear fuel.

  20. Spatio-temporal characteristics of evapotranspiration and water use efficiency in grasslands of Xinjiang%新疆草地蒸散与水分利用效率的时空特征

    黄小涛; 罗格平

    2017-01-01

    Aims Xinjiang is located in the hinterland of the Eurasian arid areas,with grasslands widely distributed.Grasslands in Xinjiang provide significant economic and ecological benefits.However,research on evapotranspiration (ET) and water use efficiency (WUE) of the grasslands is still relatively weak.This study aimed to explore the spatio-temporal characteristics on ET and WUE in the grasslands of Xinjiang in the context of climate change.Methods The Biome-BGC model was used to determine the spatio-temporal characteristics of ET and WUE of the grasslands over the period 1979-2012 across different seasons,areas and grassland types in Xinjiang.Important findings The average annual ET in the grasslands of Xinjiang was estimated at 245.7 mm,with interannual variations generally consistent with that of precipitation.Overall,the value of ET was lower than that of precipitation.The higher values of ET mainly distributed in the Tianshan Mountains,Altai Mountains,Altun Mountains and the low mountain areas on the northern slope of Kunlun Mountains.The lower values of ET mainly distributed in the highland areas of Kunlun Mountains and the desert plains.Over the period 1979-2012,average annual ET was 183.2 mm in the grasslands of southern Xinjiang,357.9 mm in the grasslands of the Tianshan Mountains,and 221.3 mm in grasslands of northern Xinjiang.In winter,ET in grasslands of northern Xinjiang was slightly higher than that of Tianshan Mountains.Average annual ET ranked among grassland types as:mid-mountain meadow > swamp meadow > typical grassland > desert grassland > alpine meadow > saline meadow.The highest ET value occurred in summer,and the lowest ET value occurred in winter,with ET in spring being slightly higher than that in autumn.The higher WUE values mainly distributed in the areas of Tianshan Mountains and Altai Mountains.The lower WUE values mainly distributed in the highland areas of Kunlun Mountains and part of the desert plains.The average annual WUE in

  1. Cutaneous water loss and sphingolipids in the stratum corneum of house sparrows, Passer domesticus L., from desert and mesic environments as determined by reversed phase high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure photospray ionization mass spectrometry.

    Muñoz-Garcia, Agustí; Ro, Jennifer; Brown, Johnie C; Williams, Joseph B

    2008-02-01

    Because cutaneous water loss (CWL) represents half of total water loss in birds, selection to reduce CWL may be strong in desert birds. We previously found that CWL of house sparrows from a desert population was about 25% lower than that of individuals from a mesic environment. The stratum corneum (SC), the outer layer of the epidermis, serves as the primary barrier to water vapor diffusion through the skin. The avian SC is formed by layers of corneocytes embedded in a lipid matrix consisting of cholesterol, free fatty acids and two classes of sphingolipids, ceramides and cerebrosides. The SC of birds also serves a thermoregulatory function; high rates of CWL keep body temperatures under lethal limits in episodes of heat stress. In this study, we used high-performance liquid chromatography coupled with atmospheric pressure photoionization-mass spectrometry (HPLC/APPI-MS) to identify and quantify over 200 sphingolipids in the SC of house sparrows from desert and mesic populations. Principal components analysis (PCA) led to the hypotheses that sphingolipids in the SC of desert sparrows have longer carbon chains in the fatty acid moiety and are more polar than those found in mesic sparrows. We also tested the association between principal components and CWL in both populations. Our study suggested that a reduction in CWL found in desert sparrows was, in part, the result of modifications in chain length and polarity of the sphingolipids, changes that apparently determine the interactions of the lipid molecules within the SC.

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

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

    2016-11-01

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

  3. Measurement of grassland evaporation using a surface-layer ...

    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 ...

  4. Ecological mechanisms underlying arthropod species diversity in grasslands.

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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...

  9. Methods for evaluation of the invasibility of grasslands

    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....

  10. PV water pumping systems for grassland and farmland conservation

    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...

  11. Belowground plant biomass of mountain grassland affected by regular and manipulated rainfall in 2006 and 2007

    Fiala, Karel; Tůma, Ivan

    2008-01-01

    Roč. 1, č. 1 (2008), s. 19-22 ISSN 1803-2451 R&D Projects: GA ČR(CZ) GA526/06/0556 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60050516 Keywords : root increments * total belowground biomass * manipulated rainfall Subject RIV: EF - Botanics

  12. Hyperspectral predictors for monitoring biomass production in Mediterranean mountain grasslands: Majella National Park, Italy

    Cho, M.A.; Skidmore, A.K.

    2009-01-01

    The research objective was to determine robust hyperspectral predictors for monitoring grass/herb biomass production on a yearly basis in the Majella National Park, Italy. HyMap images were acquired over the study area on 15 July 2004 and 4 July 2005. The robustness of vegetation indices and

  13. Comparison of plant species composition and heat balance in three mountain grassland communities

    Šmahel, L.; Schusserová, A.; Květ, Jan

    2001-01-01

    Roč. 7, - (2001), s. 55-67 ISSN 1211-7420 R&D Projects: GA ČR GA206/99/1410; GA Mžp SE/620/5/97 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z6005908; CEZ:MSM 123100004 Keywords : Bohemian Forest * meadows * phytocenology * gradient analysis * solar radiation * PhAR attenuation * evapotranspiration Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour

  14. Temperature dependences of carbon assimilation processes in four mountain grassland ecosystem

    Urban, Otmar; Ač, Alexander; Kalina, J.; Priwitzer, T.; Šprtová, Miroslava; Špunda, V.; Marek, Michal V.

    2007-01-01

    Roč. 45, č. 3 (2007), s. 392-399 ISSN 0300-3604 R&D Projects: GA MŠk OC 627.001; GA MŽP SM/640/18/03 Grant - others:EU(XE) EVK2-CT-2001-000125 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z60870520 Keywords : ambient and intercellular CO2 concentration * photosynthesis * water use efficiency Subject RIV: ED - Physiology Impact factor: 0.976, year: 2007

  15. Development of organs and tissues in lambs raised on Spanish mountain grassland

    Álvarez-Rodríguez, J.; Sanz, A.; Joy, M.; Carrasco, S.; Ripoll, G.; Teixeira, A.

    2009-01-01

    The present study was conducted to establish the pattern of body development in grass-raised Churra Tensina lambs. Forty-nine single male lambs were slaughtered at three body-weight intervals, according to the commercial categories of suckling (11.191.0kg), light (22.190.8 kg) and heavy lamb (32.092.9 kg). Non-carcass and carcass components were recorded and the half left carcasses were completely dissected. Lambs showed a low growth rate of main organs in relation to empty body w...

  16. Hyperspectral predictors for monitoring biomass production in Mediterranean mountain grasslands: Majella national park, Italy

    Cho, Moses A

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available species include Brachypodium genuense, Briza media, Bromus erectus and 101 Festuca sp. Herbs include Helichrysum italicum, Galium verum, Trifolium pratense, Plantago 102 lanceolata, Sanguisorba officinalis and Ononis spinosa. 103 104 2.2. Field data...

  17. The effect of management on productivity, litter accumulation and seedling recruitment in a Carpathian mountain grassland

    Galvánek, D.; Lepš, Jan

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 213, č. 3 (2012), s. 523-533 ISSN 1385-0237 Grant - others:GA ČR(CZ) GA206/09/1471 Institutional support: RVO:60077344 Keywords : standing crop * forbs * abandonment Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.534, year: 2012 http://www.springerlink.com/content/3202nxl6h0304063/fulltext.pdf

  18. Macronutrient cycling in mountain grasslands of Sierra de la Ventana, Argentina:

    Pérez, Carolina Alejandra; Frangi, Jorge Luis

    2007-01-01

    Los pastizales serranos de Sierra de la Ventana no muestran variaciones en la productividad primaria neta (PPN) a lo largo de un gradiente altitudinal a pesar de que la elevación determine condiciones de clima y suelos menos favorables para el crecimiento. No obstante, a lo largo de ese gradiente aumentan el cociente entre la biomasa subterránea y aérea, y la fracción de la PPN asignada a los tejidos subterráneos. El objetivo de este trabajo consistió en determinar si la falta de variación de...

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

    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.

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

    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.

  1. Mountain Biking Injuries.

    Ansari, Majid; Nourian, Ruhollah; Khodaee, Morteza

    With the increasing popularity of mountain biking, also known as off-road cycling, and the riders pushing the sport into extremes, there has been a corresponding increase in injury. Almost two thirds of acute injuries involve the upper extremities, and a similar proportion of overuse injuries affect the lower extremities. Mountain biking appears to be a high-risk sport for severe spine injuries. New trends of injury patterns are observed with popularity of mountain bike trail parks and freeride cycling. Using protective gear, improving technical proficiency, and physical fitness may somewhat decrease the risk of injuries. Simple modifications in bicycle-rider interface areas and with the bicycle (bike fit) also may decrease some overuse injuries. Bike fit provides the clinician with postural correction during the sport. In this review, we also discuss the importance of race-day management strategies and monitoring the injury trends.

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

    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

  3. Structure and Processes in Temperate Grassland Vegetation

    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...

  4. Eddy covariance VOC emission and deposition fluxes above grassland using PTR-TOF

    T. M. Ruuskanen

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Eddy covariance (EC is the preferable technique for flux measurements since it is the only direct flux determination method. It requires a continuum of high time resolution measurements (e.g. 5–20 Hz. For volatile organic compounds (VOC soft ionization via proton transfer reaction has proven to be a quantitative method for real time mass spectrometry; here we use a proton transfer reaction time of flight mass spectrometer (PTR-TOF for 10 Hz EC measurements of full mass spectra up to m/z 315. The mass resolution of the PTR-TOF enabled the identification of chemical formulas and separation of oxygenated and hydrocarbon species exhibiting the same nominal mass. We determined 481 ion mass peaks from ambient air concentration above a managed, temperate mountain grassland in Neustift, Stubai Valley, Austria. During harvesting we found significant fluxes of 18 compounds distributed over 43 ions, including protonated parent compounds, as well as their isotopes and fragments and VOC-H+ – water clusters. The dominant BVOC fluxes were methanol, acetaldehyde, ethanol, hexenal and other C6 leaf wound compounds, acetone, acetic acid, monoterpenes and sequiterpenes.

    The smallest reliable fluxes we determined were less than 0.1 nmol m−2 s−1, as in the case of sesquiterpene emissions from freshly cut grass. Terpenoids, including mono- and sesquiterpenes, were also deposited to the grassland before and after the harvesting. During cutting, total VOC emission fluxes up to 200 nmolC m−2 s−1 were measured. Methanol emissions accounted for half of the emissions of oxygenated VOCs and a third of the carbon of all measured VOC emissions during harvesting.

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

    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.

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

    Scholz, Katharina; Hammerle, Albin; Hiltbrunner, Erika; Wohlfahrt, Georg

    2017-04-01

    To understand the processes and magnitude of carbon dynamics of the biosphere, modeling approaches are an important tool to analyze carbon budgets from regional to global scale. Here, a simple process-based ecosystem carbon model was used to investigate differences in CO2 fluxes of a high mountain grassland near Furka Pass in the Swiss central Alps at an elevation of about 2400 m a.s.l. during two growing seasons differing in snow melt date. Data on net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) as well as meteorological conditions was available from 20.06.2013 - 08.10.2014 covering two snow free periods. The NEE data indicates that the carbon uptake during the growing season in 2013 was considerably lower than in 2014. To investigate whether the lower carbon uptake in 2013 was mainly due to the short growing season, an effect of biotic response to spring environmental conditions, or the direct effect of the weather conditions during the growing season, a modeling approach was applied. For this purpose, an ecosystem mass balance C model with 13 unknown parameters was constructed based on the DALEC model to represent the major C fluxes among six carbon pools (foliage, roots, necromass, litter, soil organic carbon and a labile pool to support leaf onset in spring) of the grassland ecosystem. Daily gross primary production was estimated by use of a sun/shade big-leaf model of canopy photosynthesis. By calibrating the model with NEE data from individual years, two sets of parameters were retrieved which were then used to run the model under environmental conditions of the same as well as the other year. The parameter estimation was done using DREAM, an algorithm for statistical inference of parameters using Bayesian statistics. In order to account for non-normality, heteroscedasticity and correlation of model residuals, a common problem in ecological modeling, a generalized likelihood function was applied. The results indicate that the late growing season start in 2013 led to a

  7. Mountain-Plains Curriculum.

    Mountain-Plains Education and Economic Development Program, Inc., Glasgow AFB, MT.

    The document lists the Mountain-Plains curriculum by job title (where applicable), including support courses. The curriculum areas covered are mathematics skills, communication skills, office education, lodging services, food services, marketing and distribution, welding support, automotive, small engines, career guidance, World of Work, health…

  8. Injuries in mountain biking.

    Gaulrapp, H; Weber, A; Rosemeyer, B

    2001-01-01

    Despite still growing attraction mountain biking as a matter of sports traumatology still lacks relevant data based on large cross-sectional surveys. To obtain an overview of risk factors, types, and main body sites of injuries occurring in mountain biking we assessed the results of a questionnaire answered by 3873 athletes. A total of 8133 single lesions were reported by 3474 athletes, 36% of whom regularly participated in competitions. The incidence of injuries in mountain biking is comparable to that in other outdoor sports, the majority of injuries being minor. Mountain biking athletes were found to have an overall injury risk rate of 0.6% per year and 1 injury per 1000 h of biking. The main risk factors included slippery road surface, cyclist's poor judgement of the situation, and excessive speed, representing personal factors that could be altered by preventive measures. Of all injuries 14% were due to collision with some part of the bike, especially the pedals and the handlebar. While 75% of the injuries were minor, such as skin wounds and simple contusions, 10% were so severe that hospitalization was required. A breakdown of the injuries according to body site and frequency of occurrence is presented.

  9. Rocky Mountain Riparian Digest

    Deborah M. Finch

    2008-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Riparian Digest presents the many facets of riparian research at the station. Included are articles about protecting the riparian habitat, the social and economic values of riparian environments, watershed restoration, remote sensing tools, and getting kids interested in the science.

  10. Rocky Mountain High.

    Hill, David

    2001-01-01

    Describes Colorado's Eagle Rock School, which offers troubled teens a fresh start by transporting them to a tuition- free campus high in the mountains. The program encourages spiritual development as well as academic growth. The atmosphere is warm, loving, structured, and nonthreatening. The article profiles several students' experiences at the…

  11. Incorporating grassland management in a global vegetation model

    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

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

    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.

  13. Classification of Grassland Successional Stages Using Airborne Hyperspectral Imagery

    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.

  14. Grassland ecology and population growth: striking a balance.

    Hou, D; Duan, C; Zhang, D

    2000-06-01

    Degradation of forest and grasslands in western China attributes to the soil erosion and desertification in the country. Researchers have established that the primary reason for the degradation of grasslands is overgrazing, which in turn is caused by a number of factors, including over-population and over-reliance on animal husbandry. In addition, the existing administrative system has also proved ineffective in ensuring sustainable development. On contrary, many local governments even encourage exploitative development of grassland; thus, localities opened up grassland for growing crops in an effort to increase income. According to estimates, degraded grassland accounts for more than one-third of utilizable acreage and another one-third suffers from a profusion of rats and pests. To redress the situation, central government should implement strategies in achieving sustainable development, such as providing banking and tax incentives for the development of the secondary and tertiary industries, and supporting education and training of youths from herding areas. Moreover, government should increase spending on infrastructural construction and ecological preservation. Finally, the family planning program needs to be enforced to control population growth and improve the quality of peoples¿ lives.

  15. Mountains: top down.

    Woodwell, George M

    2004-11-01

    Mountainous regions offer not only essential habitat and resources, including water, to the earth's more than 6 billion inhabitants, but also insights into how the global human habitat works, how it is being changed at the moment as global climates are disrupted, and how the disruption may lead to global biotic and economic impoverishment. At least 600 million of the earth's more than 6 billion humans dwell in mountainous regions. Such regions feed water into all the major rivers of the world whose valleys support most of the rest of us. At least half of the valley dwellers receive part or all of their water from montane sources, many from the melt water of glaciers, others from the annual snow melt. Glaciers are retreating globally as the earth warms as a result of human-caused changes in the composition of the atmosphere. Many are disappearing, a change that threatens municipal water supplies virtually globally. The warming is greatest in the higher latitudes where the largest glaciers such as those of Greenland and the Antarctic Continent have become vulnerable. The melting of ice in the northern hemisphere raises serious concerns about the continued flow of the Gulf Stream and the possibility of massive climatic changes in Scandinavia and northern Europe. Mountains are also biotic islands in the sea life, rich in endemism at the ecotype level. The systematic warming of the earth changes the environment out from under these genetically specialized strains (ecotypes) which are then maladapted and vulnerable to diseases of all types. The process is systematic impoverishment in the pattern conspicuous on mountain slopes with increasing exposure to climatic extremes. It is seen now in the increased mortality and morbidity of plants as climatic changes accumulate. The seriousness of the global climatic disruption is especially clear in any consideration of mountains. It can and must be addressed constructively despite the adamancy of the current US administration.

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

    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.

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

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

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

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

    2014-10-01

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

  19. Mortality of Parental Mountain Plovers (Charadrius montanus during the Post-hatching Stage.

    Victoria J. Dreitz

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available Monitoring, management, and conservation of grassland birds are topics of importance because of widespread population declines. Annual estimates of survival are available for many species, however knowledge of how survival varies on a seasonal basis remains poor. Information on the relative effects of breeding, overwintering, and migratory periods on population dynamics is necessary for effective management. Mortality risks often vary with the stage of the breeding cycle. In precocial species, mortality risks of adult birds are often higher during post-hatching care than prehatching. Using a multistate modeling approach, I investigated the influence of both environmental characteristics, measured by habitat, and individual characteristics, measured by sex and body mass, on post-hatching parental mortality of a declining grassland species, the Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus. I found minimal evidence to support the effect of habitat, sex, or body mass on post-hatching parental mortality. Daily parental mortality was 0.0037 (SE = 0.0007, CI = 0.0026, 0.0053 and survival during the 30-day post-hatching period was 0.8943 (SE = 0.0187, CI = 0.8512, 0.9255. The findings from this study provide an understanding of the associations with today's grassland habitats and the dynamics of Mountain Plovers during the breeding season. Prior to assessing if alterations in habitats are acting more on post-hatching than the other stages of the annual cycle for the Mountain Plover, information on survival during other breeding stages and during migration is needed to assist in developing effective conservation and management plans.

  20. Carbon fluxes from an urban tropical grassland

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

    2015-01-01

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

  1. Mountain plover nest survival in relation to prairie dog and fire dynamics in shortgrass steppe

    Augustine, David J.; Skagen, Susan K.

    2014-01-01

    Disturbed xeric grasslands with short, sparse vegetation provide breeding habitat for mountain plovers (Charadrius montanus) across the western Great Plains. Maintaining local disturbance regimes through prairie dog conservation and prescribed fire may contribute to the sustainability of recently declining mountain plover populations, but these management approaches can be controversial. We estimated habitat-specific mountain plover densities and nest survival rates on black-tailed prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) colonies and burns in the shortgrass steppe of northeastern Colorado. Mountain plover densities were similar on prairie dog colonies (5.9 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.7–7.4) and sites burned during the preceding dormant season (6.7 birds/km2; 95% CI = 4.6–9.6), whereas the 29-day nest survival rate was greater on prairie dog colonies (0.81 in 2011 and 0.39 in 2012) compared to the burned sites (0.64 in 2011 and 0.17 in 2012). Reduced nest survival in 2012 compared to 2011 was associated with higher maximum daily temperatures in 2012, consistent with a previous weather-based model of mountain plover nest survival in the southern Great Plains. Measurements of mountain plover density relative to time since disturbance showed that removal of prairie dog disturbance by sylvatic plague reduced mountain plover density by 70% relative to active prairie dog colonies after 1 year. Plover densities declined at a similar rate (by 78%) at burned sites between the first and second post-burn growing season. Results indicate that black-tailed prairie dog colonies are a particularly important nesting habitat for mountain plovers in the southern Great Plains. In addition, findings suggest that prescribed burning can be a valuable means to create nesting habitat in landscapes where other types of disturbances (such as prairie dog colonies) are limited in distribution and size. 

  2. Modeling effects of conservation grassland losses on amphibian habitat

    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.

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

    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...

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

    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 ...

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

    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...

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

    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

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

    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...

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

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

    2017-07-15

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

  9. Mesic forces in quantum mechanics

    Šimáně, Čestmír

    T151, NOV 2012 (2012), 014072/1-014072/3 ISSN 0031-8949 Institutional support: RVO:61389005 Keywords : matter * continuum Subject RIV: BG - Nuclear, Atomic and Molecular Physics, Colliders Impact factor: 1.032, year: 2012

  10. Effects of haying on breeding birds in CRP grasslands

    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

  11. DOE's Yucca Mountain studies

    1992-12-01

    This booklet is about the disposal of high-level nuclear waste in the United States. It is for readers who have a general rather than a technical background. It discusses why scientists and engineers thinkhigh-level nuclear waste may be disposed of safely underground. It also describes why Yucca Mountain, Nevada, is being studied as a potential repository site and provides basic information about those studies

  12. Yucca Mountain Milestone

    Hunt, Rod

    1997-01-01

    The Department of Energy project to determine if the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada is suitable for geologic disposal of high-level nuclear waste reached a major milestone in late April when a 25-foot-diameter tunnel boring machine ''holed through'' completing a five-mile-long, horseshoe-shaped excavation through the mountain. When the cutting-head of the giant machine broke through to daylight at the tunnel's south portal, it ended a 2 1/2-year excavation through the mountain that was completed ahead of schedule and with an outstanding safety record. Video of the event was transmitted live by satellite to Washington, DC, where it was watched by Secretary of Energy Frederico Pena and other high-level DOE officials, signifying the importance of the project's mission to find a repository for high-level nuclear waste and spent nuclear fuel produced by nuclear power plants. This critical undertaking is being performed by DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (OCRWM). The tunnel is the major feature of the Exploratory Studies Facility (ESF), which serves as an underground laboratory for engineers and scientists to help determine if Yucca Mountain is suitable to serve as a repository for the safe disposal of high-level nuclear waste. Morrison Knudsen's Environmental/Government Group is providing design and construction-management services on the project. The MK team is performing final design for the ESF and viability assessment design for the underground waste repository that will be built only if the site is found suitable for such a mission. In fact, if at anytime during the ESF phase, the site is found unsuitable, the studies will be stopped and the site restored to its natural state

  13. ACUTE MOUNTAIN SICKNESS

    Jakub Krzeszowiak

    2012-03-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents the most likely pathophysiological causes of the development of acute mountain sickness (AMS, also known as altitude sickness, its pulmonary form i.e. high altitude pulmonary edema (HAPE, and high altitude cerebral edema (HACE. These diseases constitute extraordinary environmental hazards because they are directly connected with low atmospheric pressure, and thus low partial oxygen pressure. The above adverse atmospheric conditions start to affect humans already at an altitude of 2,500 meters above the sea level and, coupled with extreme physical exertion, can quickly lead to respiratory alkalosis, which is not present under any other conditions in the lowlands. Mountaineering above 4,500 m a.s.l. leads to hypoxia of internal organs and, primarily, reduced renal perfusion with all its consequences. The above adverse changes, combined with inadequate acclimatization, can lead to a situation of imminent danger to life and health. This paper describes in detail the consequences of acute mountain sickness, which can ultimately lead to the development of AMS and one of severe forms of HACE and/or HAPE.

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

    José Israel Yerena Yamallel

    2014-04-01

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

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

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

  16. Crude protein changes on grassland along a degradation gradient ...

    Evapotranspiration was determined by quantifying the soil-water balance equation with the aid of runoff plots and soil-water content measurements. Crude protein ... The study shows that it is important to keep grassland in optimal condition to utilize limited soil water for sustainable plant and therefore animal production.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  18. Achieving grassland production and quality that matches animal needs

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. Achieving grassland production and quality that matching animal needs

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    Sandeep B Munjpara

    2012-03-01

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

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

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

    2015-06-01

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

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

    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

    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 ...

    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

    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

    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

    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

    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 ...

    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

    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. Vegetation diversity of salt-rich grasslands in Southeast Europe

    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

  12. Sex ratios of Mountain Plovers from egg production to fledging

    Margaret M. Riordan

    2015-12-01

    Full Text Available Skewed sex ratios can have negative implications for population growth if they do not match a species' life history. A skewed tertiary sex ratio has been detected in a population of Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus, a grassland shorebird experiencing population declines. To study the cause of the observed male skew, we examined three early life stages between egg and fledgling in eastern Colorado from 2010 to 2012. This allows us to distinguish between egg production and chick survival as an explanation for the observed skew. We examined the primary sex ratio in eggs produced and the secondary sex ratio in hatched chicks to see if the sex ratio bias occurs before hatching. We also determined the sex ratio at fledging to reveal sex-specific mortality of nestlings. The primary sex ratio was 1.01 (± 0.01 males per female. The secondary sex ratio consisted of 1.10 (± 0.02 males per female. The probability of a chick surviving to fledging differed between males (0.55 ± 0.13 and females (0.47 ± 0.15, but the precision of these survival estimates was low. Sex ratios in early life stages of the Mountain Plover do not explain the skewed sex ratio observed in adults in this breeding population.

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

    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.

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

    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. The impact of climate change on ecosystem carbon dynamics at the Scandinavian mountain birch forest-tundra heath ecotone.

    Sjögersten, Sofie; Wookey, Philip A

    2009-02-01

    Changes in temperature and moisture resulting from climate change are likely to strongly modify the ecosystem carbon sequestration capacity in high-latitude areas, both through vegetation shifts and via direct warming effects on photosynthesis and decomposition. This paper offers a synthesis of research addressing the potential impacts of climate warming on soil processes and carbon fluxes at the forest-tundra ecotone in Scandinavia. Our results demonstrated higher rates of organic matter decomposition in mountain birch forest than in tundra heath soils, with markedly shallower organic matter horizons in the forest. Field and laboratory experiments suggest that increased temperatures are likely to increase CO2 efflux from both tundra and forest soil providing moisture availability does not become limiting for the decomposition process. Furthermore, colonization of tundra heath by mountain birch forest would increase rates of decomposition, and thus CO2 emissions, from the tundra heath soils, which currently store substantial amounts of potentially labile carbon. Mesic soils underlying both forest and tundra heath are currently weak sinks of atmospheric methane, but the strength of this sink could be increased with climate warming and/or drying.

  16. "Christ is the Mountain"

    Carl Hallencreutz

    1979-01-01

    Full Text Available In this paper the author focuses on the religious function of symbols in the encounter and interaction of Christianity and other religions. Some observations on the religious function of the symbol of the Holy Mountain in different African contexts are presented. These contexts are a traditional Kikuyu religion, b a Christian hymn from Northern Tanzania, and c the New Year's Fiest of the independent Nazaretha Church among Zulu in South Africa. The examples of how the symbol of the holy mountain is used in different religious contexts in Africa are, of course, too limited to provide a basis for far-reaching generalizations on how symbols function religiously in the encounter of Christianity and other religions. However, this kind of analysis can be applied also when studying other encounters of religions inside and outside Africa. The symbol functions both as a carrier of a new religious message and as an indigenous means to appropriate this message locally and give it adequate form in different milieus. The symbols, which most likely have the religious functions are those which are of a general nature; light, way, living water, and which some are tempted to speak of as archetypes. Yet the comparison between the Chagga-hymn to the holy mountain and Shembe's interpretation of the blessing of the New Year's Fiest on Inhlangakozi indicates, that in the encounter of Christianity and other religions it is not only the symbols as such which produce the local appropriation of the new religious message and give it adequate localized form. Not even in the encounter of Christianity and other religions the symbols function religiously without human beings as actors in the historical process.

  17. Human impacts to mountain streams

    Wohl, Ellen

    2006-09-01

    Mountain streams are here defined as channel networks within mountainous regions of the world. This definition encompasses tremendous diversity of physical and biological conditions, as well as history of land use. Human effects on mountain streams may result from activities undertaken within the stream channel that directly alter channel geometry, the dynamics of water and sediment movement, contaminants in the stream, or aquatic and riparian communities. Examples include channelization, construction of grade-control structures or check dams, removal of beavers, and placer mining. Human effects can also result from activities within the watershed that indirectly affect streams by altering the movement of water, sediment, and contaminants into the channel. Deforestation, cropping, grazing, land drainage, and urbanization are among the land uses that indirectly alter stream processes. An overview of the relative intensity of human impacts to mountain streams is provided by a table summarizing human effects on each of the major mountainous regions with respect to five categories: flow regulation, biotic integrity, water pollution, channel alteration, and land use. This table indicates that very few mountains have streams not at least moderately affected by land use. The least affected mountainous regions are those at very high or very low latitudes, although our scientific ignorance of conditions in low-latitude mountains in particular means that streams in these mountains might be more altered than is widely recognized. Four case studies from northern Sweden (arctic region), Colorado Front Range (semiarid temperate region), Swiss Alps (humid temperate region), and Papua New Guinea (humid tropics) are also used to explore in detail the history and effects on rivers of human activities in mountainous regions. The overview and case studies indicate that mountain streams must be managed with particular attention to upstream/downstream connections, hillslope

  18. Protected areas in mountains

    Hamilton, L. S.

    2006-12-01

    Full Text Available

    The importance of a global Protected Areas Network in sustaining appropriate mountain development is presented in this paper. Present status of the world’s “official” Protected Areas in the UN List, and the proportion that are in mountain areas, and including international designations (World Heritage and Biosphere Reserves. Current and future challenges in the management of these special areas are also commented.



    El autor destaca la importancia de una Red Mundial de Espacios Protegidos para el desarrollo sostenible de las montañas. Comenta luego el estatus actual de las Áreas Protegidas “oficiales” del Mundo en la Lista de las Naciones Unidas y qué proporción de ellas forma parte de las montañas, sin olvidar las figuras internacionales de protección como Patrimonio de la Humanidad y Reservas de Biosfera. Para terminar, se discuten los problemas de gestión actuales y futuros de estas áreas tan especiales

  19. SP mountain data analysis

    Rawson, R. F.; Hamilton, R. E.; Liskow, C. L.; Dias, A. R.; Jackson, P. L.

    1981-01-01

    An analysis of synthetic aperture radar data of SP Mountain was undertaken to demonstrate the use of digital image processing techniques to aid in geologic interpretation of SAR data. These data were collected with the ERIM X- and L-band airborne SAR using like- and cross-polarizations. The resulting signal films were used to produce computer compatible tapes, from which four-channel imagery was generated. Slant range-to-ground range and range-azimuth-scale corrections were made in order to facilitate image registration; intensity corrections were also made. Manual interpretation of the imagery showed that L-band represented the geology of the area better than X-band. Several differences between the various images were also noted. Further digital analysis of the corrected data was done for enhancement purposes. This analysis included application of an MSS differencing routine and development of a routine for removal of relief displacement. It was found that accurate registration of the SAR channels is critical to the effectiveness of the differencing routine. Use of the relief displacement algorithm on the SP Mountain data demonstrated the feasibility of the technique.

  20. Drought and Cooler Temperatures Are Associated with Higher Nest Survival in Mountain Plovers

    Victoria J. Dreitz

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Native grasslands have been altered to a greater extent than any other biome in North America. The habitats and resources needed to support breeding performance of grassland birds endemic to prairie ecosystems are currently threatened by land management practices and impending climate change. Climate models for the Great Plains prairie region predict a future of hotter and drier summers with strong multiyear droughts and more frequent and severe precipitation events. We examined how fluctuations in weather conditions in eastern Colorado influenced nest survival of an avian species that has experienced recent population declines, the Mountain Plover (Charadrius montanus. Nest survival averaged 27.2% over a 7-yr period (n = 936 nests and declined as the breeding season progressed. Nest survival was favored by dry conditions and cooler temperatures. Projected changes in regional precipitation patterns will likely influence nest survival, with positive influences of predicted declines in summer rainfall yet negative effects of more intense rain events. The interplay of climate change and land use practices within prairie ecosystems may result in Mountain Plovers shifting their distribution, changing local abundance, and adjusting fecundity to adapt to their changing environment.

  1. Aspen Ecology in Rocky Mountain National Park: Age Distribution, Genetics, and the Effects of Elk Herbivory

    Tuskan, Gerald A [ORNL; Yin, Tongming [ORNL

    2008-10-01

    Lack of aspen (Populus tremuloides) recruitment and canopy replacement of aspen stands that grow on the edges of grasslands on the low-elevation elk (Cervus elaphus) winter range of Rocky Mountain National Park (RMNP) in Colorado has been a cause of concern for more than 70 years (Packard, 1942; Olmsted, 1979; Stevens, 1980; Hess, 1993; R.J. Monello, T.L. Johnson, and R.G. Wright, Rocky Mountain National Park, 2006, written commun.). These aspen stands are a significant resource since they are located close to the park's road system and thus are highly visible to park visitors. Aspen communities are integral to the ecological structure of montane and subalpine landscapes because they contain high native species richness of plants, birds, and butterflies (Chong and others, 2001; Simonson and others, 2001; Chong and Stohlgren, 2007). These low-elevation, winter range stands also represent a unique component of the park's plant community diversity since most (more than 95 percent) of the park's aspen stands grow in coniferous forest, often on sheltered slopes and at higher elevations, while these winter range stands are situated on the low-elevation ecotone between the winter range grasslands and some of the park's drier coniferous forests.

  2. YUCCA MOUNTAIN PROJECT - A BRIEFING -

    2003-01-01

    This report has the following articles: Nuclear waste--a long-term national problem; Spent nuclear fuel; High-level radioactive waste; Radioactivity and the environment; Current storage methods; Disposal options; U.S. policy on nuclear waste; The focus on Yucca Mountain; The purpose and scope of the Yucca Mountain Project; The approach for permanently disposing of waste; The scientific studies at Yucca Mountain; The proposed design for a repository at Yucca Mountain; Natural and engineered barriers would work together to isolate waste; Meticulous science and technology to protect people and the environment; Licensing a repository; Transporting waste to a permanent repository; The Environmental Impact Statement for a repository; Current status of the Yucca Mountain Project; and Further information available on the Internet

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

    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.

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

    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

  5. Potential Risk Assessment of Mountain Torrent Disasters on Sloping Fields in China

    GAO, X.

    2017-12-01

    China's sloping fields have the problems of low production and serious soil erosion, and mountain torrent disasters will bring more serious soil and water loss to traditional extensive exploitation of sloping field resources. In this paper, China's sloping fields were classified into three grades, such as slightly steep, steep and very steep grade. According to the geological hazards prevention and control regulation, the historical data of China's mountain torrent disasters were spatially interpolated and divided into five classes, such as extremely low, low, middle, high and extremely high level. And the risk level map of mountain torrents was finished in ArcGIS. By using overlaying analysis on sloping fields and risk level map, the potential risk regionalization map of sloping fields in various slope grades was obtained finally. The results shows that the very steep and steep sloping fields are mainly distributed in the first or second stage terraces in China. With the increase of hazard risk level, the area of sloping fields decreases rapidly and the sloping fields in extremely low and low risk levels of mountain torrents reach 98.9%. With the increase of slope grade, the area of sloping fields in various risk levels also declines sharply. The sloping fields take up approximately 60 65% and 26 30% in slightly steep and steep grade areas separately at different risk level. The risk regionalization map can provide effective information for returning farmland to forests or grassland and reducing water and soil erosion of sloping fields in the future.

  6. European mountain biodiversity

    Nagy, Jennifer

    1998-12-01

    Full Text Available This paper, originally prepared as a discussion document for the ESF Exploratory Workshop «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop», provides an overview of current mountain biodiversity research in Europe. It discusses (a biogeographical trends, (b the general properties of biodiversity, (c environmental factors and the regulation of biodiversity with respect to ecosystem function, (d the results of research on mountain freshwater ecosystems, and (e climate change and air pollution dominated environmental interactions.- The section on biogeographical trends highlights the importance of altitude and latitude on biodiversity. The implications of the existence of different scales over the different levels of biodiversity and across organism groups are emphasised as an inherent complex property of biodiversity. The discussion on ecosystem function and the regulation of biodiversity covers the role of environmental factors, productivity, perturbation, species migration and dispersal, and species interactions in the maintenance of biodiversity. Regional and long-term temporal patterns are also discussed. A section on the relatively overlooked topic of mountain freshwater ecosystems is presented before the final topic on the implications of recent climate change and air pollution for mountain biodiversity.

    [fr] Ce document a été préparé à l'origine comme une base de discussion pour «ESF Exploratory Workshop» intitulé «Trends in European Mountain Biodiversity - Research Planning Workshop»; il apporte une vue d'ensemble sur les recherches actuelles portant sur la biodiversité des montagnes en Europe. On y discute les (a traits biogéographiques, (b les caractéristiques générales- de la biodiversité, (c les facteurs environnementaux et la régulation de la biodiversité par rapport à la fonction des écosystèmes, (d les résultats des études sur les écosystèmes aquatiques des montagnes et (e les

  7. Terrestrial ecology. Comprehensive study of the grassland biome

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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)

  11. Acidification of sandy grasslands - consequences for plant diversity

    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...

  12. Species interactions reverse grassland responses to changing climate.

    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.

  13. Past and future landscape dynamics in pasture-woodlands of the Swiss Jura Mountains under climate change

    Alexander Peringer

    2013-09-01

    We present a refined version of the spatially explicit, dynamic simulation model WoodPaM with improved climate sensitivity of simulated vegetation. We investigate pasture-woodland dynamics by applying an innovative combination of retrospective simulations starting in the Middle Ages with prospective simulations following two climate change scenarios. The retrospective simulations demonstrate the strong dependency of the landscape mosaic on both climate and management. In high elevation mountain pastures, climate cooling during the Little Ice Age hindered simulated tree regeneration and reduced forage production of grasslands. Both led to an increase in open grassland and to a structural simplification of the landscape. In turn, climate warming afterwards showed the opposite effect. At lower elevations, high cattle stocking rates generally dominate simulated succession, leading to a slow development of quite homogenous landscapes whose structures are hardly affected by historical climate variability. Aerial photographs suggest that logging and windstorms critically shaped the current landscape, both homogenizing mosaic structures that emerge from selective grazing. Simulations of climate change scenarios suggest delayed but inevitable structural changes in the landscape mosaic and a temporary breakdown of the ecosystem service wood production. The population of currently dominating Norway spruce collapses due to simulated drought. Spruce is only slowly replaced either by beech under moderate warming or by Scots pine under extreme warming. In general, the shift in tree species dominance results in landscapes of less structural richness than today. In order to maintain the mosaic structure of pasture-woodlands, we recommend a future increase in cattle stocking on mountain pastures. The (re- introduction of mixed herds (cattle with horses, sheep, and goats could mitigate the simulated trend towards structural homogenization of the forest-grassland mosaic because

  14. Geology at Yucca Mountain

    Anon.

    1993-01-01

    Both advocates and critics disagree on the significance and interpretation of critical geological features which bear on the safety and suitability of Yucca Mountain as a site for the construction of a high-level radioactive waste repository. Critics believe that there is sufficient geological evidence to rule the site unsuitable for further investigation. Some advocates claim that there is insufficient data and that investigations are incomplete, while others claim that the site is free of major obstacles. We have expanded our efforts to include both the critical evaluations of existing geological and geochemical data and the collection of field data and samples for the purpose of preparing scientific papers for submittal to journals. Summaries of the critical reviews are presented in this paper

  15. The Yucca Mountain tours

    Shepard, N.F.; Champagne, D.L.

    1992-01-01

    In 1978, Mderthaner et al. observed that opposition to nuclear facilities was lowest near the facility. This suggested that opposition decreased as familiarity with the facility increased, with distance from the facility as an inverse measure of familiarity. In this paper, the authors analyze data from the literature supporting this hypothesis and examine a poll of 1200 public visitors to the candidate repository site at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, in March through June 1991. The tour poll and independent pools show that most Nevadans support the present scientific investigation of the site while opposing the repository. Among the visitors, support for the investigation increased from 66 to 90 percent, which we attribute to increased familiarity

  16. Shrinking windows of opportunity for oak seedling establishment in southern California mountains

    Davis, Frank W.; Sweet, Lynn C.; Serra-Diaz, Josep M.; Franklin, Janet; McCullough, Ian M.; Flint, Alan L.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Dingman, John; Regan, Helen M.; Syphard, Alexandra D.; Hannah, Lee; Redmond, Kelly; Moritz, Max A.

    2016-01-01

    Seedling establishment is a critical step that may ultimately govern tree species’ distribution shifts under environmental change. Annual variation in the location of seed rain and microclimates results in transient “windows of opportunity” for tree seedling establishment across the landscape. These establishment windows vary at fine spatiotemporal scales that are not considered in most assessments of climate change impacts on tree species range dynamics and habitat displacement. We integrate field seedling establishment trials conducted in the southern Sierra Nevada and western Tehachapi Mountains of southern California with spatially downscaled grids of modeled water-year climatic water deficit (CWDwy) and mean August maximum daily temperature (Tmax) to map historical and projected future microclimates suitable for establishment windows of opportunity for Quercus douglasii, a dominant tree species of warm, dry foothill woodlands, and Q. kelloggii, a dominant of cooler, more mesic montane woodlands and forests. Based on quasi-binomial regression models, Q. douglasii seedling establishment is significantly associated with modeled CWDwy and to a lesser degree with modeled Tmax. Q. kelloggii seedling establishment is most strongly associated with Tmax and best predicted by a two-factor model including CWDwy and Tmax. Establishment niche models are applied to explore recruitment window dynamics in the western Tehachapi Mountains, where these species are currently widespread canopy dominants. Establishment windows are projected to decrease by 50–95%, shrinking locally to higher elevations and north-facing slopes by the end of this century depending on the species and climate scenario. These decreases in establishment windows suggest the potential for longer-term regional population declines of the species. While many additional processes regulate seedling establishment and growth, this study highlights the need to account for topoclimatic controls and

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

    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.

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

    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

  19. Carbon dynamics in an Imperata grassland in Northeast India

    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  

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

    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

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

    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...

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

    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.

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    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

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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

  12. The influence of boundary features on grassland-edge communities of Alta Murgia

    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...

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

    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

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

    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.

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

    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

  16. Efforts to improve and sustain the productive utilization of dry grasslands in Armenia

    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

  17. A mountain of millipedes IV

    Enghoff, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Two species of the genus Prionopetalum Attems, 1909, are recorded from the Udzungwa Mountains: P. asperginis sp. nov. and P. kraepelini (Attems, 1896). Prionopetalum stuhlmanni Attems, 1914, is synonymized under P. kraepelini. Odontopyge fasciata Attems, 1896, is transferred from Prionopetalum...

  18. The Table Mountain Field Site

    Federal Laboratory Consortium — The Table Mountain Field Site, located north of Boulder, Colorado, is designated as an area where the magnitude of strong, external signals is restricted (by State...

  19. Geography and Weather: Mountain Meterology.

    Mogil, H. Michael; Collins, H. Thomas

    1990-01-01

    Provided are 26 ideas to help children explore the effects of mountains on the weather. Weather conditions in Nepal and Colorado are considered separately. Nine additional sources of information are listed. (CW)

  20. Extinction of Harrington's mountain goat

    Mead, J.I.; Martin, P.S.; Euler, R.C.; Long, A.; Jull, A.J.T.; Toolin, L.J.; Donahue, D.J.; Linick, T.W.

    1986-01-01

    Keratinous horn sheaths of the extinct Harrington's mountain goat, Oreamnos harringtoni, were recovered at or near the surface of dry caves of the Grand Canyon, Arizona. Twenty-three separate specimens from two caves were dated nondestructively by the tandem accelerator mass spectrometer (TAMS). Both the TAMS and the conventional dates indicate that Harrington's mountain goat occupied the Grand Canyon for at least 19,000 years prior to becoming extinct by 11,160 +/- 125 radiocarbon years before present. The youngest average radiocarbon dates on Shasta ground sloths, Nothrotheriops shastensis, from the region are not significantly younger than those on extinct mountain goats. Rather than sequential extinction with Harrington's mountain goat disappearing from the Grand Canyon before the ground sloths, as one might predict in view of evidence of climatic warming at the time, the losses were concurrent. Both extinctions coincide with the regional arrival of Clovis hunters

  1. The Dilemma of Mountain Roads

    Mountain roads and trails are proliferating throughout developing Southeast Asia with severe but largely unrecognized long-term consequences related to effects of landslides and surface erosion on communities and downstream resources.

  2. Yucca Mountain Project public interactions

    Reilly, B.E.

    1990-01-01

    The US Department of Energy (DOE) is committed to keeping the citizens of Nevada informed about activities that relate to the high-level nuclear waste repository program. This paper presents an overview of the Yucca Mountain Project's public interaction philosophy, objectives, activities and experiences during the two years since Congress directed the DOE to conduct site characterization activities only for the Yucca Mountain site

  3. Integrating soils and geomorphology in mountains - An example from the Front Range of Colorado

    Birkeland, P.W.; Shroba, R.R.; Burns, S.F.; Price, A.B.; Tonkin, P.J.

    2003-01-01

    Soil distribution in high mountains reflects the impact of several soil-forming factors. Soil geomorphologists use key pedological properties to estimate ages of Quaternary deposits of various depositional environments, estimate long-term stability and instability of landscapes, and make inferences on past climatic change. Once the influence of the soil-forming factors is known, soils can be used to help interpret some aspects of landscape evolution that otherwise might go undetected. The Front Range of Colorado rises from the plains of the Colorado Piedmont at about 1700 m past a widespread, dissected Tertiary erosion surface between 2300 and 2800 m up to an alpine Continental Divide at 3600 to over 4000 m. Pleistocene valley glaciers reached the western edge of the erosion surface. Parent rocks are broadly uniform (granitic and gneissic). Climate varies from 46 cm mean annual precipitation (MAP) and 11 ??C mean annual temperature (MAT) in the plains to 102 cm and -4 ??C, respectively, near the range crest. Vegetation follows climate with grassland in the plains, forest in the mountains, and tundra above 3450 m. Soils reflect the bioclimatic transect from plains to divide: A/Bw or Bt/Bk or K (grassland) to A/E/Bw or Bt/C (forest) to A/Bw/C (tundra). Corresponding soil pH values decrease from 8 to less than 5 with increasing elevation. The pedogenic clay minerals dominant in each major vegetation zone are: smectite (grassland), vermiculite (forest), and 1.0-1.8 nm mixed-layer clays (tundra). Within the lower forested zone, the topographic factor (aspect) results in more leached, colder soils, with relatively thin O horizons, well-expressed E horizons and Bt horizons (Alfisols) on N-facing slopes, whereas soils with thicker A horizons, less developed or no E horizons, and Bw or Bt horizons (Mollisols) are more common on S-facing slopes. The topographic factor in the tundra results in soil patterns as a consequence of wind-redistributed snow and the amount of time it

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

    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

  5. From Fireproof Desert to Flammable Grassland: Buffelgrass Invasion in the Sonoran Desert

    Betancourt, J. L.

    2007-12-01

    Only a few decades ago, the Sonoran Desert of northwestern Mexico and southern Arizona was considered mostly fireproof, a case of not enough fine fuel to connect the dominant shrubs and cacti. This has changed with invasions by non-native, winter annual and summer-flower perennial grasses that are rapidly transforming fireproof desert into flammable grassland. Of particular concern is buffelgrass, Pennisetum ciliare, a fire-prone and invasive African perennial grass that has already converted millions of hectares across Sonora since the mid-1960s and has made quick headway in southern and central Arizona beginning in the 1980s. Near Tucson and Phoenix, AZ, buffelgrass invasion is proceeding exponentially, with population expansion (and the costs of mitigation) more than doubling every year. As this conversion progresses, there will be increased fire risks, lost tourist revenue, diminished property values, insurmountable setbacks to conservation efforts, and the threat of large ignition fronts in desert valleys routinely spreading into the mountains. Although somewhat belated, an integrated, multi-jurisdictional effort is being organized to reduce ecological and economic impacts. My presentation will summarize the history and context of buffelgrass introduction and invasion, the disconnect in attitudes and policies across state and international boundaries, ongoing management efforts, the role of science and responsibilities of scientists, accelerated spread with changing climate, and impacts to regional ecosystems and economies. This narrative may serve as a template for other semi-arid lands where buffelgrass and similar grasses have become invasive, including Australia, South America, and many islands in the Pacific Ocean (including Hawaii), Indian Ocean, and Caribbean Sea.

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

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

    2013-04-01

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

  7. Estimating N2O processes during grassland renewal and grassland conversion to maize cropping using N2O isotopocules

    Buchen, Caroline; Well, Reinhard; Flessa, Heinz; Fuß, Roland; Helfrich, Mirjam; Lewicka-Szczebak, Dominika

    2017-04-01

    Grassland break-up due to grassland renewal and grassland conversion to cropland can lead to a flush of mineral nitrogen from decomposition of the old grass sward and the decomposition of soil organic matter. Moreover, increased carbon and nitrogen mineralisation can result in enhanced nitrous oxide (N2O) emissions. As N2O is known to be an important greenhouse gas and a major precursor for ozone depletion, its emissions need to be mitigated by adjusting agricultural management practices. Therefore, it is necessary to understand the N2O processes involved, as well as the contribution of N2O reduction to N2. Apart from the widely used 15N gas flux method, natural abundance isotopic analysis of the four most abundant isotopocules of N2O species is a promising alternative to assess N2O production pathways. We used stable isotope analyses of soil-emitted N2O (δ18ON2O, δ15NN2Obulk and δ15NN2OSP= intramolecular distribution of 15N within the linear N2O molecule) with an isotopocule mapping approach to simultaneously estimate the magnitude of N2O reduction to N2 and the fraction of N2O originating from the bacterial denitrification pathway or fungal denitrification and/or nitrification. This approach is based on endmember areas of isotopic values for the N2O produced from different sources reported in the literature. For this purpose, we calculated two main scenarios with different assumptions for N2O produced: N2O is reduced to N2 before residual N2O is mixed with N2O of various sources (Scenario a) and vice versa (Scenario b). Based on this, we applied seven different scenario variations, where we evaluated the range of possible values for the potential N2O production pathways (heterotrophic bacterial denitrification and/or nitrifier denitrification and fungal denitrification and/or nitrification). This was done by using a range of isotopic endmember values and assuming different fractionation factors of N2O reduction in order to find the most reliable scenario

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

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

    2017-10-01

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

  9. The origins of mountain geoecology

    Ives, Jack D.

    2012-05-01

    Full Text Available Mountain geoecology, as a sub-discipline of Geography, stems from the life and work of Carl Troll who, in turn, was inspired by the philosophy and mountain travels of Alexander von Humboldt. As founding chair of the IGU Commission on High-Altitude Geoecology (1968, Troll laid the foundations for inter-disciplinary and international mountain research. The paper traces the evolution of the Commission and its close links with the UNESCO Man and Biosphere Programme (1972- and the United Nations University’s mountain Project (1978-. This facilitated the formation of a major force for inclusion of a mountain chapter in AGENDA 21 during the 1992 Rio de Janeiro Herat Summit (UNCED and the related designation by the United Nations of 2002 as the International Year of Mountains. In this way, mountain geoecology not only contributed to worldwide mountain research but also entered the political arena in the struggle for sustainable mountain development and the well-being of mountain people.La geoecología de montaña, como sub-disciplina de la Geografía, entronca con la vida y trabajo de Carl Troll, quien, a su vez, fue inspirado por la filosofía y viajes de Alexander von Humboldt. Como presidente fundador de la comisión de la UGI sobre High Altitude Geoecology (1968, Troll colocó las bases para la investigación interdisciplinar e internacional de las montañas. Este trabajo presenta la evolución de la Comisión y sus estrechas relaciones con el Programa Hombre y Biosfera de UNESCO (1972- y con el Proyecto de montaña de la Universidad de Naciones Unidas (1978-. Esto facilitó la inclusión de un capítulo sobre la montaña en AGENDA 21 durante la Cumbre de la Tierra de Río de Janeiro (UNCED, y la consiguiente designación de 2002 como el Año Internacional de las Montañas por parte de Naciones Unidas. En este sentido, la geoecología de montaña no sólo contribuyó a la investigación de las montañas del mundo sino que también empujó a la pol

  10. Machine Learning to Assess Grassland Productivity in Southeastern Arizona

    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

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

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

    2016-12-08

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

  12. Distribution, species diversity and composition of plant communities in relation to various affecting factors in an alpine grassland at Bandipora, Kashmir

    Dad, J. M.

    2016-01-01

    This study provides a broad understanding of vascular plant richness and community structure of mountain grassland (Matri) at Bandipora, Kashmir and links it various environmental variables. Employing a stratified sampling design, six sites were selected wherein vegetation was sampled by placing quadrats (n=210). Elucidating an important effect of topography and anthropic pressure, numerical classification TWINSPAN segregated the quadrats into seven community types. Contrary to species rich communities which showed an explicit composition and localized distribution, the other communities depicted a vague composition and stretched unevenly between the lower and middle altitudes. Using canonical correspondence analysis (CCA), elevation and disturbance were found as most influencing factors whereas steepness of slope, organic carbon, soil reaction (pH) and soil salinity (electrical conductivity) were other important factors. Indices of diversity measured at two measurement scales varied differently between communities and at a macro scale (site level) highest values were recorded in least disturbed communities. However, on a micro scale (quadrat level) the indices behaved differently. For effective conservation of these species rich grasslands, acknowledging the local level variability in vegetation structure is all but crucial. (author)

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Felske, A.

    1999-01-01

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

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

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

    1995-01-01

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

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

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. The Impact of Ecological Construction Programs on Grassland Conservation in Inner Mongolia, China

    Liu, Min; Dries, Liesbeth; Heijman, Wim; Huang, Jikun; Zhu, Xueqin; Hu, Yuanning; Chen, Haibin

    2018-01-01

    A series of Ecological Construction Programs have been initiated to protect the condition of grasslands in China during recent decades. However, grassland degradation is still severe, and conditions have not been restored as intended. This paper aims to empirically examine the effectiveness of these

  18. 78 FR 19444 - Pawnee National Grassland, Colorado; Oil and Gas Leasing Analysis Environmental Impact Statement

    2013-04-01

    ... Leasing Analysis on the Pawnee National Grassland (PNG), was signed. That decision determined which Lands... National Grassland. Much of the PNG's federal mineral estate made available per the 1997 ROD has already... [36 CFR 228.102(e)]. Accordingly, the PNG finds it is necessary to disclose the potential effects of...

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

  20. 77 FR 75119 - Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas Development Supplemental Environmental...

    2012-12-19

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Dakota Prairie Grasslands, North Dakota; Oil and Gas... to prepare a supplemental environmental impact statement. SUMMARY: In June of 2003, the Dakota... Dakota Prairie Grasslands Land and Resource Management Plan, based on the 2001 Northern Great Plains...

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

    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.

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

    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...

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

    Keshab Shrestha

    2016-09-01

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

  4. Grassland simulation with the LPJmL model : version 3.4.018

    Boons-Prins, E.R.

    2010-01-01

    One third of the land surface is covered with natural and cultivated grasslands. Most of these grasslands are intensively or extensively exploited by humans to feed animals. With growing wealth, causing an increase of meat consumption, there is a need to better understand the processes that

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

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

    1995-11-01

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

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

    Fujita, Y.

    2010-01-01

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

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

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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Vascular plants and a brief history of the Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands

    Donald L. Hazlett; Michael H. Schiebout; Paulette L. Ford

    2009-01-01

    Administered by the USDA Forest Service, the Kiowa and Rita Blanca National Grasslands occupy 230,000 acres of public land extending from northeastern New Mexico into the panhandles of Oklahoma and Texas. A mosaic of topographic features including canyons, plateaus, rolling grasslands and outcrops supports a diverse flora. Eight hundred twenty six (826) species of...

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

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

  11. Linear objects impact on grassland degradation in the typical steppe region of China

    Li, Suying; Verburg, Peter H.; Lv, Shihai; Gao, Shangyu; Wu, Jingle

    2011-01-01

    Despite growing recognition of the issue of grassland degradation, few regional estimates of linear object impacts on grassland degradation [1]. We presented a methodology for evaluating regional impacts on steppe degradation from linear objects which were two uppermost types, rivers and roads, in

  12. Secondary succession after fire in Imperata grasslands of East Kalimantan Indonesia

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

    2010-01-01

    Regeneration of grassland areas is becoming increasingly important, not only to create new secondary forest and recover the original biodiversity, but also recover for agriculture. We studied an early succession in Imperata grasslands in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, using plots that last burned 3

  13. Potential of endozoochorous seed dispersal by sheep in calcareous grasslands: correlations with seed traits.

    Kuiters, A.T.; Huiskes, H.P.J.

    2010-01-01

    Questions: What is the potential of sheep to serve as seed dispersers via ingestion and defecation in calcareous grasslands? Is the presence of viable seeds from dung correlated with specific seed traits? Location: Calcareous grasslands, South Limburg, the Netherlands/Belgium. Methods: Dung samples

  14. Hemiptera community and species responses to grassland sward islets

    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...

  15. Organic matter dynamics and N mineralization in grassland soils

    Hassink, J.

    1995-01-01


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

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  17. 78 FR 65609 - Medicine Bow-Routt National Forests and Thunder Basin National Grassland; Wyoming; Thunder Basin...

    2013-11-01

    ... National Grassland; Wyoming; Thunder Basin National Grassland Prairie Dog Amendment Environmental Impact... Cooperating Agencies. No changes to the Proposed Action or Purpose of and Need for Action have been made... alternatives will be analyzed in the Thunder Basin National Grassland Prairie Dog Amendment EIS. The EIS will...

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

    Lu Wen

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  20. Grasslands of Mexico: A perspective on their conservation (Los pastizales del norte de Mexico: Una perspectiva para su conservacion)

    Patricia Manzano; Rurik List

    2006-01-01

    Grasslands are areas dominated by grasses and herbs with few or no trees. Grasslands receive too much rain for a desert environment and too little for a forest. Temperate North American grasslands, especially, have undergone changes on a continental level. Their high productivity and fertility, added to their level topography and lack of trees, make them ideal sites...

  1. Greenhouse effect gases sources and sinks (CO2, CH4, N2O) in grasslands and reduction strategies. Greenhouse effect gases prairies. Final report of the second part of the project. April 2004

    Soussana, J.F.

    2004-04-01

    The project 'GES-Prairies' (Greenhouse Gases - Grasslands) had two main objectives: 1. To measure more accurately the fluxes of CO 2 , CH 4 and N 2 O of French grasslands and determine the greenhouse gas (GHG) balance of these areas. 2. To calculate the net GHG emissions of cattle production farms and finally to propose and evaluate some management scenarios leading to a reduction of GHG emissions. This project deals with three different spatial scales: the field scale, the farm scale and finally, the regional scale. At the field scale, during two years, fluxes of CO 2 , CH 4 and N 2 O were measured in a mid-mountain permanent grassland, previously managed intensively by cutting and grazing (Laqueuille, Auvergne, France). Results from the first complete year of measurements show that the extensification process (reduction of the stocking rate and stopping N fertilization) allows to stock more carbon in the ecosystem. At the farm scale, We developed a model (FARMSIM, coupled to PASIM) able to simulate the GHG balance of a livestock farm. FARMSIM has been tested with data obtained from a mixed livestock farm in Lorraine (dairy and meat production, annual average stocking rate = 1.3 LU ha -1 ) of 100 ha (including 76 ha of grasslands and 21 of annual crops). The results indicate a net emission of 175 t equivalent C-CO 2 for this farm. If expressed per unit of product, it represents 1.34 t equivalent C-CO 2 per LU and per year or 0.54 kg CO 2 per kg of milk and per year. At the regional scale/. The PASIM model has been used to simulate the European grasslands with a spatial resolution of 1' (about 200 * 200 km). For each grid cell, a sensibility analysis allowed to determine the N application which correspond to 30% of the N application that would maximize the annual yield of the pasture. Simulation runs on mixed systems (combining grazing and cutting) show that almost one half of the grassland area is, on average, used for cutting. These simulations predict N 2 O

  2. Internal Migration and Land Use and Land Cover Changes in the Middle Mountains of Nepal

    Bhawana KC

    2017-11-01

    Full Text Available The movement of rural households from remote uplands to valley floors and to semiurban and urban areas (internal migration is a common phenomenon in the middle mountain districts of Nepal. Understanding the causes and effects of internal migration is critical to the development and implementation of policies that promote land use planning and sustainable resource management. Using geospatial information technologies and social research methods, we investigated the causes and effects of internal migration on land use and land cover patterns in a western mountain district of Nepal between 1998 and 2013. The results show a decreasing number of households at high elevations (above 1400 m, where an increase in forest cover has been observed with a consequent decrease in agricultural land and shrub- or grassland. At lower elevations (below 1400 m, forest cover has remained constant over the last 25 years, and the agricultural land area has increased but has become geometrically complex to meet the diverse needs and living requirements of the growing population. Our findings indicate that internal migration plays an important role in shaping land use and land cover change in the middle mountains of Nepal and largely determines the resource management, utilization, and distribution patterns within a small geographic unit. Therefore, land use planning must take an integrated and interdisciplinary approach rather than considering social, environmental, and demographic information in isolation.

  3. Future productivity and phenology changes in European grasslands for different warming levels: implications for grassland management and carbon balance

    Chang, Jinfeng; Ciais, Philippe; Viovy, Nicolas; Soussana, Jean-Fran?ois; Klumpp, Katja; Sultan, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Background Europe has warmed more than the global average (land and ocean) since pre-industrial times, and is also projected to continue to warm faster than the global average in the twenty-first century. According to the climate models ensemble projections for various climate scenarios, annual mean temperature of Europe for 2071?2100 is predicted to be 1?5.5??C higher than that for 1971?2000. Climate change and elevated CO2 concentration are anticipated to affect grassland management and liv...

  4. Mountain biking injuries: a review.

    Carmont, Michael R

    2008-01-01

    Mountain biking is a fast, exciting adventure sport with increasing numbers of participants and competitions. A search of PubMed, Medline, CINAHL, DH data, and Embase databases was performed using the following keywords: mountain, biking and injuries. This revealed 2 review articles, 17 case controlled studies, 4 case series and 5 case reports. This review summarises the published literature on mountain biking injuries, discusses injury frequency and common injury mechanisms. Riders are quick to adopt safety measures. Helmet usage is now increasingly common and handlebar adaptations have been discontinued. Although the sport has a reputation for speed and risk with research and awareness, injury prevention measures are being adopted making the sport as safe as possible.

  5. The Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX)

    Houze, Robert A. [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington; McMurdie, Lynn A. [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Petersen, Walter A. [NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama; Schwaller, Mathew R. [NASA Goddard Space Flight Center, Greenbelt, Maryland; Baccus, William [Olympic National Park, Port Angeles, Washington; Lundquist, Jessica D. [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Mass, Clifford F. [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Nijssen, Bart [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Rutledge, Steven A. [Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado; Hudak, David R. [Environment and Climate Change Canada, King City, Ontario, Canada; Tanelli, Simone [Jet Propulsion Laboratory, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, California; Mace, Gerald G. [University of Utah, Salt Lake City, Utah; Poellot, Michael R. [University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota; Lettenmaier, Dennis P. [University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, California; Zagrodnik, Joseph P. [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Rowe, Angela K. [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; DeHart, Jennifer C. [University of Washington, Seattle, Washington; Madaus, Luke E. [National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado; Barnes, Hannah C. [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, Richland, Washington

    2017-10-01

    the Olympic Mountains Experiment (OLYMPEX) took place during the 2015-2016 fall-winter season in the vicinity of the mountainous Olympic Peninsula of Washington State. The goals of OLYMPEX were to provide physical and hydrologic ground validation for the U.S./Japan Global Precipitation Measurement (GPM) satellite mission and, more specifically, to study how precipitation in Pacific frontal systems is modified by passage over coastal mountains. Four transportable scanning dual-polarization Doppler radars of various wavelengths were installed. Surface stations were placed at various altitudes to measure precipitation rates, particle size distributions, and fall velocities. Autonomous recording cameras monitored and recorded snow accumulation. Four research aircraft supplied by NASA investigated precipitation processes and snow cover, and supplemental rawinsondes and dropsondes were deployed during precipitation events. Numerous Pacific frontal systems were sampled, including several reaching "atmospheric river" status, warm and cold frontal systems, and postfrontal convection

  6. Yucca Mountain project prototype testing

    Hughes, W.T.; Girdley, W.A.

    1990-01-01

    The U.S. DOE is responsible for characterizing the Yucca Mountain site in Nevada to determine its suitability for development as a geologic repository to isolate high-level nuclear waste for at least 10,000 years. This unprecedented task relies in part on measurements made with relatively new methods or applications, such as dry coring and overcoring for studies to be conducted from the land surface and in an underground facility. The Yucca Mountain Project has, since 1988, implemented a program of equipment development and methods development for a broad spectrum of hydrologic, geologic, rock mechanics, and thermomechanical tests planned for use in an Exploratory Shaft during site characterization at the Yucca Mountain site. A second major program was fielded beginning in April 1989 to develop and test methods and equipment for surface drilling to obtain core samples from depth using only air as a circulating medium. The third major area of prototype testing has been during the ongoing development of the Instrumentation/ Data Acquisition System (IDAS), designed to collect and monitor data from down-hole instrumentation in the unsaturated zone, and store and transmit the data to a central archiving computer. Future prototype work is planned for several programs including the application of vertical seismic profiling methods and flume design to characterizing the geology at Yucca Mountain. The major objectives of this prototype testing are to assure that planned Site Characterization testing can be carried out effectively at Yucca Mountain, both in the Exploratory Shaft Facility (ESF), and from the surface, and to avoid potential major failures or delays that could result from the need to re-design testing concepts or equipment. This paper will describe the scope of the Yucca Mountain Project prototype testing programs and summarize results to date. 3 figs

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

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

    2016-03-10

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

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

    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.

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

    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. Mountain Warfare: The Need for Specialist Training

    Malik, Muhammad

    2003-01-01

    This study focuses on the need for specialist training for mountain warfare. It analyzes the special characteristics of mountain and high altitude terrain which affect conduct of military operations...

  11. The Late Holocene upper montane cloud forest and high altitude grassland mosaic in the Serra da Igreja, Southern Brazil

    MAURÍCIO B. SCHEER

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Many soils of the highlands of Serra do Mar, as in other mountain ranges, have thick histic horizons that preserve high amounts of carbon. However, the age and constitution of the organic matter of these soils remain doubtful, with possible late Pleistocene or Holocene ages. This study was conducted in three profiles (two in grassland and one in forest in Serra da Igreja highlands in the state of Paraná. We performed δ13C isotope analysis of organic matter in soil horizons to detect whether C3 or C4 plants dominated the past communities and 14C dating of the humin fraction to obtain the age of the studied horizons. C3 plants seem to have dominated the mountain ridges of Serra da Igreja since at least 3,000 years BP. Even though the Serra da Igreja may represents a landscape of high altitude grasslands in soils containing organic matter from the late Pleistocene, as reported elsewhere in Southern and Southeastern Brazil, our results indicate that the sites studied are at least from the beginning of the Late Holocene, when conditions of high moisture enabled the colonization/recolonization of the Serra da Igreja ridges by C3 plants. This is the period, often reported in the literature, when forests advanced onto grasslands and savannas.Muitos solos dos picos da Serra do Mar, como em muitas outras serras, apresentam horizontes hísticos espessos com elevados estoques de carbono. No entanto, a idade e constituição da matéria orgânica destes solos ainda é pouco conhecida e não se sabe se é predominantemente proveniente de comunidades de plantas do final do Pleistoceno ou do Holoceno. Este estudo foi realizado em três perfis, dois em campos altomontanos sobre Organossolos (1.335 m s.n.m e um em um colo (ponto de sela, onde a floresta altomontana sobre Gleissolos alcança seu patamar mais alto (1.325 m s.n.m. Foram realizadas análises isotópicas (δ13C da matéria orgânica de horizontes do solo para saber se plantas C3 ou C4 dominaram

  12. Vegetation description of the Doornhoek section of the Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP, South Africa

    Hugo Bezuidenhout

    2008-12-01

    Full Text Available The Mountain Zebra National Park (MZNP has been extended over the last couple of years. One of the newly procured areas is the Doornhoek section, which had been adjacent to the park. To develop scientifically sound management programmes for conservation areas, it is essential that an inventory of their natural resources be undertaken. The aim of this study was to classify, describe and map the vegetation of the Doornhoek section of the park. The floristic data were analysed in accordance with the Braun-Blanquet procedures using the BBPC suite. The data analysis resulted in the identification of eight communities, which can be grouped into seven major community types (Rhus lucida–Buddleja glomerata Shrubland, Rhigozum obovatum–Rhus longispina Shrubland, Helichrysum dregeanum–Aristida diffusa Grassland, Pentzia globosa–Enneapogon scoparius Grassland, Aristida adscensionus–Pentzia globosa Grassland, Cadaba aphylla–Acacia karroo Woodland and Lycium oxycarpum–Acacia karroo Woodland. Four of these communities occur on the higher-lying plateau, mid-slope and crest areas, while the other four communities are located on the lower-lying mid-plateau and foot slope, along drainage lines and in valley-bottom areas. The description of the plant communities, together with the vegetation map, can serve as a basis for formulating a management programme for the larger park. Although sections of Doornhoek have been overgrazed and degraded in the past, its recent addition to the MZNP contributes to the available habitat preferred by large herbivores, such as valley bottoms, foot-slopes and plateaux.

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

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

    2014-09-23

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

  14. Modeling alpine grasslands with two integrated hydrologic models: a comparison of the different process representation in CATHY and GEOtop

    Camporese, M.; Bertoldi, G.; Bortoli, E.; Wohlfahrt, G.

    2017-12-01

    Integrated hydrologic surface-subsurface models (IHSSMs) are increasingly used as prediction tools to solve simultaneously states and fluxes in and between multiple terrestrial compartments (e.g., snow cover, surface water, groundwater), in an attempt to tackle environmental problems in a holistic approach. Two such models, CATHY and GEOtop, are used in this study to investigate their capabilities to reproduce hydrological processes in alpine grasslands. The two models differ significantly in the complexity of the representation of the surface energy balance and the solution of Richards equation for water flow in the variably saturated subsurface. The main goal of this research is to show how these differences in process representation can lead to different predictions of hydrologic states and fluxes, in the simulation of an experimental site located in the Venosta Valley (South Tyrol, Italy). Here, a large set of relevant hydrological data (e.g., evapotranspiration, soil moisture) has been collected, with ground and remote sensing observations. The area of interest is part of a Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site, a mountain steep, heterogeneous slope, where the predominant land use types are meadow, pasture, and forest. The comparison between data and model predictions, as well as between simulations with the two IHSSMs, contributes to advance our understanding of the tradeoffs between different complexities in modeĺs process representation, model accuracy, and the ability to explain observed hydrological dynamics in alpine environments.

  15. Understanding of Grassland Ecosystems under Climate Change and Economic Development Pressures in the Mongolia Plateau

    Qi, J.; Chen, J.; Shan, P.; Pan, X.; Wei, Y.; Wang, M.; Xin, X.

    2011-12-01

    The land use and land cover change, especially in the form of grassland degradation, in the Mongolian Plateau, exhibited a unique spatio-temporal pattern that is a characteristic of a mixed stress from economic development and climate change of the region. The social dimension of the region played a key role in shaping the landscape and land use change, including the cultural clashes with economic development, conflicts between indigenous people and business ventures, and exogenous international influences. Various research projects have been conducted in the region to focus on physical degradation of grasslands and/or on economic development but there is a lack of understanding how the social and economic dimensions interact with grassland ecosystems and changes. In this talk, a synthesis report was made based on the most recent workshop held in Hohhot, Inner Mongolia, of China, that specifically focused on climate change and grassland ecosystems. The report analyzed the degree of grassland degradation, its climate and social drivers, and coupling nature of economic development and conservation of traditional grassland values. The goal is to fully understand the socio-ecological-economic interactions that together shape the trajectory of the grassland ecosystems in the Mongolia Plateau.

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

    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.

  17. Are Agrofuels a conservation threat or opportunity for grassland birds in the 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.

  18. Prairie dog decline reduces the supply of ecosystem services and leads to desertification of semiarid grasslands.

    Lourdes Martínez-Estévez

    Full Text Available Anthropogenic impacts on North American grasslands, a highly endangered ecosystem, have led to declines of prairie dogs, a keystone species, over 98% of their historical range. While impacts of this loss on maintenance of grassland biodiversity have been widely documented, much less is known about the consequences on the supply of ecosystem services. Here we assessed the effect of prairie dogs in the supply of five ecosystem services by comparing grasslands currently occupied by prairie dogs, grasslands devoid of prairie dogs, and areas that used to be occupied by prairie dogs that are currently dominated by mesquite scrub. Groundwater recharge, regulation of soil erosion, regulation of soil productive potential, soil carbon storage and forage availability were consistently quantitatively or qualitatively higher in prairie dog grasslands relative to grasslands or mesquite scrub. Our findings indicate a severe loss of ecosystem services associated to the absence of prairie dogs. These findings suggest that contrary to a much publicize perception, especially in the US, prairie dogs are fundamental in maintaining grasslands and their decline have strong negative impacts in human well - being through the loss of ecosystem services.

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

    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.

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

    Terence P. McGonigle

    2017-07-01

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

  1. Plant trait variation along an altitudinal gradient in Mediterranean high mountain grasslands: controlling the species turnover effect

    Pescador, D. S.; de Bello, Francesco; Valladares, F.; Escudero, A.

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 3 (2015), e0118876 E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : intraspecific trait variability * altitude * filtering * functional diversity Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 3.057, year: 2015

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

    Dostál, Petr

    2005-01-01

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

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

    Debouk, H.; de Bello, Francesco; Sebastia, M.-T.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 10, č. 10 (2016), č. článku e0141899. E-ISSN 1932-6203 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : biomass * climate * species diversity Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 2.806, year: 2016

  4. Different effects of elevation, habitat fragmentation and grazing management on the functional, phylogenetic and taxonomic structure of mountain grasslands

    Dainese, M.; Lepš, Jan; de Bello, Francesco

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 17, č. 1 (2015), s. 44-53 ISSN 1433-8319 R&D Projects: GA ČR GAP505/12/1296 Grant - others: University of Padova(IT) GRIC12FBMS Institutional support: RVO:60077344 ; RVO:67985939 Keywords : biodiversity components * community weighted mean (CWM) * environmental filtering Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour; EF - Botanics (BU-J) Impact factor: 3.578, year: 2015 http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1433831914000705

  5. A mountain of millipedes I

    Enghoff, Henrik

    2014-01-01

    Twenty new species of the millipede genus Chaleponcus Attems, 1914, are described from the Udzungwa Mountains: C. netus sp. nov., C. quasimodo sp. nov., C. malleolus sp. nov., C. scopus sp. nov., C. nikolajscharffi sp. nov., C. mwanihanensis sp. nov., C. basiliscus sp. nov., C. krai sp. nov., C...

  6. Soil variability in mountain areas

    Zanini, E.; Freppaz, M.; Stanchi, S.; Bonifacio, E.; Egli, M.

    2015-01-01

    The high spatial variability of soils is a relevant issue at local and global scales, and determines the complexity of soil ecosystem functions and services. This variability derives from strong dependencies of soil ecosystems on parent materials, climate, relief and biosphere, including human impact. Although present in all environments, the interactions of soils with these forming factors are particularly striking in mountain areas.

  7. The Mountaineer-Malaysia Connection.

    Young, Jeff

    1997-01-01

    A 26-day summer field course of West Virginia University's (WVU) Recreation and Parks Department took students to Malaysia's mountains and rainforests to observe how Malaysians are managing national parks, problem elephants, and population pressures on parks. The adventure provided powerful learning experiences. Further exchanges between WVU and…

  8. A mountain of millipedes V

    Enghoff, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    Three new genera of Odontopygidae are described, all based on new species from the Udzungwa mountains, Tanzania, and all monotypic: Casuariverpa gen. nov. (type species: C. scarpa gen. et sp. nov.), Yia gen. nov. (type species: Y. geminispina gen. et sp. nov.), and Utiliverpa gen. nov. (type spec...

  9. Mountain biking injuries: an update.

    Kronisch, Robert L; Pfeiffer, Ronald P

    2002-01-01

    This article reviews the available literature regarding injuries in off-road bicyclists. Recent progress in injury research has allowed the description of several patterns of injury in this sport. Mountain biking remains popular, particularly among young males, although sales and participation figures have decreased in the last several years. Competition in downhill racing has increased, while cross-country racing has decreased somewhat in popularity. Recreational riders comprise the largest segment of participants, but little is known about the demographics and injury epidemiology of noncompetitive mountain cyclists. Most mountain bikers participating in surveys reported a history of previous injuries, but prospective studies conducted at mountain bike races have found injury rates of bike racing the risk of injury may be higher for women than men. Minor injuries such as abrasions and contusions occur frequently, but are usually of little consequence. Fractures usually involve the torso or upper extremities, and shoulder injuries are common. Head and face injuries are not always prevented by current helmet designs. Fatal injuries are rare but have been reported. Improvements in safety equipment, rider training and racecourse design are suggested injury prevention measures. The authors encourage continued research in this sport.

  10. Gearing Up for Mountain Biking.

    Jahnke, Thomas; Hamson, Mike

    1999-01-01

    Examines the gear system of a mountain bike to discover any redundancy in the many gear settings available to the cyclist. Suggests a best strategy for changing up through the gears on a typical 21-gear system and an adjustment to the available gears that would result in a smoother change. (Author/ASK)

  11. A mountain of millipedes III

    Enghoff, Henrik

    2016-01-01

    The new genus Geotypodon gen. nov. is described. It includes two species from the Udzungwa Mountains: G. millemanus gen. et sp. nov. (type species) and G. submontanus gen. et sp. nov., one species from nearby Iringa: G. iringensis gen. et sp. nov., and 18 previously described species hitherto...

  12. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Panama.

    Estripeaut, Dora; Aramburú, María Gabriela; Sáez-Llorens, Xavier; Thompson, Herbert A; Dasch, Gregory A; Paddock, Christopher D; Zaki, Sherif; Eremeeva, Marina E

    2007-11-01

    We describe a fatal pediatric case of Rocky Mountain spotted fever in Panama, the first, to our knowledge, since the 1950s. Diagnosis was established by immunohistochemistry, PCR, and isolation of Rickettsia rickettsii from postmortem tissues. Molecular typing demonstrated strong relatedness of the isolate to strains of R. rickettsii from Central and South America.

  13. Rocky Mountain spotted fever, Colombia.

    Hidalgo, Marylin; Orejuela, Leonora; Fuya, Patricia; Carrillo, Pilar; Hernandez, Jorge; Parra, Edgar; Keng, Colette; Small, Melissa; Olano, Juan P; Bouyer, Donald; Castaneda, Elizabeth; Walker, David; Valbuena, Gustavo

    2007-07-01

    We investigated 2 fatal cases of Rocky Mountain spotted fever that occurred in 2003 and 2004 near the same locality in Colombia where the disease was first reported in the 1930s. A retrospective serosurvey of febrile patients showed that > 21% of the serum samples had antibodies aaainst spotted fever group rickettsiae.

  14. Assessing the biophysical naturalness of grassland in eastern North Dakota with hyperspectral imagery

    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

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

    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

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

    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

  18. Runoff and soil erosion of field plots in a subtropical mountainous region of China

    Fang, N. F.; Wang, L.; Shi, Z. H.

    2017-09-01

    Anthropogenic pressure coupled with strong precipitation events and a mountainous landscape have led to serious soil erosion and associated problems in the subtropical climate zone of China. This study analyzes 1576 rainfall-runoff-soil loss events at 36 experimental plots (a total of 148 plot-years of data) under a wide range of conditions in subtropical mountainous areas of China where slope farming is commonly practiced. The plots, which have standardized dimensions, represent five common types of land use and have four different slopes. Event-based analyses show that almost half of the total rainfall caused soil erosion in the study area. The dominant factor controlling the runoff coefficient is the slope gradient rather than the land use type. The maximum soil lossfor crop plots under steep tillage (35°) is 5004 t km-2 for a single event. Among the common local crops, the average soil loss values increase in the following order: buckwheat soil loss increase in the following order: red clover soil loss is caused by a small number of extreme events. The annual average soil loss of the 44 plots ranges from 19 to 4090 t km-2 year-1. The annual soil loss of plots of different land use types decrease in the following order: bare land (1533 t km-2 year-1) > cropland (1179 t km-2 year-1) > terraced cropland (1083 t km-2 year-1) > orchard land (1020 t km-2 year-1) > grassland (762 t km-2 year-1) > terraced orchard land (297 t km-2 year-1) > forest and grassland (281 t km-2 year-1).

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

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

    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

  1. Effects of management practices on grassland birds: Grasshopper Sparrow

    Dechant, Jill A.; Sondreal, Marriah L.; Johnson, Douglas H.; Igl, Lawrence D.; Goldade, Christopher M.; Nenneman, Melvin P.; Euliss, Betty R.

    1998-01-01

    Information on the habitat requirements and effects of habitat management on grassland birds were summarized from information in more than 5,500 published and unpublished papers. A range map is provided to indicate the relative densities of the species in North America, based on Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. Although birds frequently are observed outside the breeding range indicated, the maps are intended to show areas where managers might concentrate their attention. It may be ineffectual to manage habitat at a site for a species that rarely occurs in an area. The species account begins with a brief capsule statement, which provides the fundamental components or keys to management for the species. A section on breeding range outlines the current breeding distribution of the species in North America, including areas that could not be mapped using BBS data. The suitable habitat section describes the breeding habitat and occasionally microhabitat characteristics of the species, especially those habitats that occur in the Great Plains. Details on habitat and microhabitat requirements often provide clues to how a species will respond to a particular management practice. A table near the end of the account complements the section on suitable habitat, and lists the specific habitat characteristics for the species by individual studies. A special section on prey habitat is included for those predatory species that have more specific prey requirements. The area requirements section provides details on territory and home range sizes, minimum area requirements, and the effects of patch size, edges, and other landscape and habitat features on abundance and productivity. It may be futile to manage a small block of suitable habitat for a species that has minimum area requirements that are larger than the area being managed. The Brown-headed Cowbird (Molothrus ater) is an obligate brood parasite of many grassland birds. The section on cowbird brood parasitism summarizes rates

  2. Monitoring soil greenhouse gas emissions from managed grasslands

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

    2014-05-01

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

  3. Nocturnal activity of nesting shrubland and grassland passerines: Chapter 9

    Slay, Christy M.; Ellison, Kevin S.; Ribic, Christine; Smith, Kimberly G.; Schmitz, Carolyn M.

    2013-01-01

    Nocturnal activity of nesting passerines is largely undocumented in field situations. We used video recordings to quantify sleep patterns of four shrubland and three grassland bird species during the nestling period. All species exhibited “back sleep” (bill tucked under scapular feathers); individuals woke frequently for vigils of their surroundings. Sleep-bout duration varied from 6 minutes (grasshopper sparrow) to 28 minutes (blue-winged warbler, field sparrow). Duration on nest varied from 6.4 hours (field sparrow) to 8.8 hours (indigo bunting). Adults woke 20–30 minutes before sunrise. First morning absence from the nest was short; nestlings were fed within 12 minutes of a parent’s departure. Further research is needed to understand energetic costs of sleep and behavioral adaptations to environmental pressures.

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

    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

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

    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.

  6. Surface temperature retrieval in a temperate grassland with multiresolution sensors

    Goetz, S. J.; Halthore, R. N.; Hall, F. G.; Markham, B. L.

    1995-12-01

    Radiometric surface temperatures retrieved at various spatial resolutions from aircraft and satellite measurements at the FIFE site in eastern Kansas were compared with near-surface temperature measurements to determine the accuracy of the retrieval techniques and consistency between the various sensors. Atmospheric characterizations based on local radiosonde profiles of temperature, pressure, and water vapor were used with the LOWTRAN-7 and MODTRAN atmospheric radiance models to correct measured thermal radiances of water and grassland targets for atmospheric attenuation. Comparison of retrieved surface temperatures from a helicopter-mounted modular multispectral radiometer (MMR) (˜5-m "pixel"), C-130 mounted thematic mapper simulator (TMS) (NS001, ˜20-m pixel), and the Landsat 5 thematic mapper (TM) (120-m pixel) was done. Differences between atmospherically corrected radiative temperatures and near-surface measurements ranged from less than 1°C to more than 8°C. Corrected temperatures from helicopter-MMR and NS001-TMS were in general agreement with near-surface infrared radiative thermometer (IRT) measurements collected from automated meteorological stations, with mean differences of 3.2°C and 1.7°C for grassland targets. Much better agreement (within 1°C) was found between the retrieved aircraft surface temperatures and near-surface measurements acquired with a hand-held mast equipped with a MMR and IRT. The NS001-TMS was also in good agreement with near-surface temperatures acquired over water targets. In contrast, the Landsat 5 TM systematically overestimated surface temperature in all cases. This result has been noted previously but not consistently. On the basis of the results reported here, surface measurements were used to provide a calibration of the TM thermal channel. Further evaluation of the in-flight radiometric calibration of the TM thermal channel is recommended.

  7. Modelling nitrous oxide emissions from grazed grassland systems

    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.

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

    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

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

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

    2007-09-01

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

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

    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.

  11. Projected hydrologic changes in monsoon-dominated Himalaya Mountain basins with changing climate and deforestation

    Neupane, Ram P.; White, Joseph D.; Alexander, Sara E.

    2015-06-01

    In mountain headwaters, climate and land use changes affect short and long term site water budgets with resultant impacts on landslide risk, hydropower generation, and sustainable agriculture. To project hydrologic change associated with climate and land use changes in the Himalaya Mountains, we used the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) calibrated for the Tamor and Seti River basins located at eastern and western margins of Nepal. Future climate change was modeled using averaged temperature and precipitation for 2080 derived from Special Report on Emission Scenarios (SRES) (B1, A1B and A2) of 16 global circulation models (GCMs). Land use change was modeled spatially and included expansion of (1) agricultural land, (2) grassland, and (3) human settlement area that were produced by considering existing land use with projected changes associated with viability of elevation and slope characteristics of the basins capable of supporting different land use type. From these simulations, higher annual stream discharge was found for all GCM-derived scenarios compared to a baseline simulation with maximum increases of 13 and 8% in SRES-A2 and SRES-A1B for the Tamor and Seti basins, respectively. On seasonal basis, we assessed higher precipitation during monsoon season in all scenarios that corresponded with higher stream discharge of 72 and 68% for Tamor and Seti basins, respectively. This effect appears to be geographically important with higher influence in the eastern Tamor basin potentially due to longer and stronger monsoonal period of that region. However, we projected minimal changes in stream discharge for the land use scenarios potentially due to higher water transmission to groundwater reservoirs associated with fractures of the Himalaya Mountains rather than changes in surface runoff. However, when combined the effects of climate and land use changes, discharge was moderately increased indicating counteracting mechanisms of hydrologic yield in these mountains

  12. Spiders in mountain habitats of the Giant Mountains

    Růžička, Vlastimil; Vaněk, J.; Šmilauer, P.

    2012-01-01

    Roč. 43, č. 4 (2012), s. 341-347 ISSN 1067-4136 Institutional research plan: CEZ:AV0Z50070508 Keywords : Giant Mountains (Krkonoše, Karkonosze) * spider s * anemo-orographic systems Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 0.236, year: 2012 http://www.springerlink.com/content/0k5g721q1155r146/fulltext.pdf

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

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

    1999-01-01

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

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

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

    1999-01-01

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

  15. NPP Grassland: Beacon Hill, U.K., 1972-1993, R1

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This data set contains two ASCII text files, one providing productivity measurements for a chalk grassland on Beacon Hill, West Sussex, U.K. (50.92 N, -0.85 W) and...

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

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

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

    2001-01-01

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

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

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

    2015-02-02

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

  19. Monitoring Grassland Tourist Season of Inner Mongolia, China Using Remote Sensing Data

    Quansheng Ge

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available Phenology-driven events, such as spring wildflower displays or fall tree colour, are generally appreciated by tourists for centuries around the world. Monitoring when tourist seasons occur using satellite data has been an area of growing research interest in recent decades. In this paper, a valid methodology for detecting the grassland tourist season using remote sensing data was presented. On average, the beginning, the best, and the end of grassland tourist season of Inner Mongolia, China, occur in late June (±30 days, early July (±30 days, and late July (±50 days, respectively. In south region, the grassland tourist season appeared relatively late. The length of the grassland tourist season is about 90 days with strong spatial trend. South areas exhibit longer tourist season.

  20. Plant species occurrence patterns in Eurasian grasslands reflect adaptation to nutrient ratios

    Roeling, Ineke S.; Ozinga, Wim A.; van Dijk, Jerry; Eppinga, Maarten B.; Wassen, Martin J.

    2018-01-01

    Previous studies of Eurasian grasslands have suggested that nutrient ratios, rather than absolute nutrient availabilities and associated productivity, may be driving plant species richness patterns. However, the underlying assumption that species occupy distinct niches along nutrient ratio gradients

  1. Spontaneous colonization of restored dry grasslands by target species: restoration proceeds beyond sowing regional seed mixtures

    Johanidesová, E.; Fajmon, K.; Jongepierová, I.; Prach, Karel

    2015-01-01

    Roč. 70, č. 4 (2015), s. 631-638 ISSN 0142-5242 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : restoration * grasslands * spontaneous colonization Subject RIV: EH - Ecology, Behaviour Impact factor: 1.617, year: 2015

  2. PCDD/F and Aromatic Emissions from Simulated Forest and Grassland Fires

    Emissions of polychlorinated dibenzodioxin and polychlorinated dibenzofuran (PCDD/F) from simulated grassland and forest fires were quantitatively sampled to derive emission factors in support of PCDD/F inventory development. Grasses from Kentucky and Minnesota; forest shrubs fro...

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

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Strategic Grassland Bird Conservation throughout the Annual Cycle: Linking Policy Alternatives, Landowner Decisions, and Biological Population Outcomes.

    Ryan G Drum

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

  5. N-P Fertilization Inhibits Growth of Root Hemiparasite Pedicularis kansuensis in Natural Grassland

    Liu, Yanyan; Taxipulati, Teyibai; Gong, Yanming; Sui, Xiaolin; Wang, Xuezhao; Parent, Serge-Étienne; Hu, Yukun; Guan, Kaiyun; Li, Airong

    2017-01-01

    Fertilization has been shown to affect interactions between root hemiparasitic plants and their host plants, alleviating damage to the hosts by parasitism. However, as a majority of studies were conducted in pot cultivation, the influence of fertilizer application on root hemiparasites and the surrounding plant community in field conditions as well as relevant mechanisms remain unclear. We manipulated soil nutrient resources in a semi-arid subalpine grassland in the Tianshan Mountains, northwestern China, to explore the links between fertilization and plant community composition, productivity, survival, and growth of a weedy root hemiparasite (Pedicularis kansuensis). Nitrogen (at a low rate, LN, 30 kg N ha-1 year-1 as urea; or at a high rate, HN, 90 kg N ha-1 year-1 as urea) and phosphorus [100 kg ha-1 year-1 as Ca(H2PO4)2⋅H2O] were added during two growing seasons. Patterns of foliar nutrient balances were described with isometric log ratios for the different plant functional groups receiving these fertilization regimes. Fertilization with LN, HN, and P reduced above-ground biomass of P. kansuensis, with above-ground biomass in the fertilization treatments, respectively, 12, 1, and 39% of the value found in the unfertilized control. Up to three times more above-ground biomass was produced in graminoids receiving fertilizers, whereas forb above-ground biomass was virtually unchanged by the fertilization regimes and forb species richness was reduced by 52% in the HN treatment. Fertilization altered foliar nutrient balances, and distinct patterns emerged for each plant functional group. Foliar [C | P,N] balance in the plant community was negatively correlated with above-ground biomass (P = 0.03). The inhibited competitiveness of P. kansuensis, which showed a much higher [C | P,N] balance, could be attributed to reduced C assimilation rather than mineral nutrient acquisition, as shown by significant increase in foliar N and P concentrations but little increase in C

  6. Mercury fluxes over an Australian alpine grassland and observation of nocturnal atmospheric mercury depletion events

    D. Howard

    2018-01-01

    Full Text Available Aerodynamic gradient measurements of the air–surface exchange of gaseous elemental mercury (GEM were undertaken over a 40 ha alpine grassland in Australia's Snowy Mountains region across a 3-week period during the late austral summer. Bi-directional GEM fluxes were observed throughout the study, with overall mean value of 0.2 ± 14.5 ng m−2 h−1 and mean nocturnal fluxes of −1.5 ± 7.8 ng m−2 h−1 compared to diurnal fluxes of 1.8 ± 18.6 ng m−2 h−1. Deposition velocities ranged from −2.2 to 2.9 cm s−1, whilst ambient GEM concentrations throughout the study were 0.59 ± 0.10 ng m−3. Cumulative GEM fluxes correlated well with 24 h running mean soil temperatures, and one precipitation event was shown to have a positive impact on diurnal emission fluxes. The underlying vegetation had largely senesced and showed little stomatal control on fluxes. Nocturnal atmospheric mercury depletion events (NAMDEs were observed concomitant with O3 depletion and dew formation under shallow, stable nocturnal boundary layers. A mass balance box model was able to reproduce ambient GEM concentration patterns during NAMDE and non-NAMDE nights without invoking chemical oxidation of GEM throughout the column, indicating a significant role of surface processes controlling deposition in these events. Surface deposition was enhanced under NAMDE nights, though uptake to dew likely represents less than one-fifth of this enhanced deposition. Instead, enhancement of the surface GEM gradient as a result of oxidation at the surface in the presence of dew is hypothesised to be responsible for a large portion of GEM depletion during these particular events. GEM emission pulses following nights with significant deposition provide evidence for the prompt recycling of 17 % of deposited mercury, with the remaining portion retained in surface sinks. The long-term impacts of any sinks are however likely to be minimal, as

  7. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    Horn, J.M.; Meike, A.

    1995-01-01

    The U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in a suitability study for a potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the containment and storage of commercially generated spent fuel and defense high-level nuclear waste. There is growing recognition of the role that biotic factors could play in this repository, either directly through microbially induced corrosion (MIC), or indirectly by altering the chemical environment or contributing to the transport of radionuclides. As a first step toward describing and predicting these processes, a workshop was held on April 10-12, 1995, in Lafayette, California. The immediate aims of the workshop were: (1) To identify microbially related processes relevant to the design of a radioactive waste repository under conditions similar to those at Yucca Mountain. (2) To determine parameters that are critical to the evaluation of a disturbed subterranean environment. (3) To define the most effective means of investigating the factors thus identified

  8. Microbial activity at Yucca Mountain

    Horn, J.M.; Meike, A.

    1995-09-25

    The U.S. Department of Energy is engaged in a suitability study for a potential geological repository at Yucca Mountain, Nevada, for the containment and storage of commercially generated spent fuel and defense high-level nuclear waste. There is growing recognition of the role that biotic factors could play in this repository, either directly through microbially induced corrosion (MIC), or indirectly by altering the chemical environment or contributing to the transport of radionuclides. As a first step toward describing and predicting these processes, a workshop was held on April 10-12, 1995, in Lafayette, California. The immediate aims of the workshop were: (1) To identify microbially related processes relevant to the design of a radioactive waste repository under conditions similar to those at Yucca Mountain. (2) To determine parameters that are critical to the evaluation of a disturbed subterranean environment. (3) To define the most effective means of investigating the factors thus identified.

  9. Managing Rocky Mountain spotted fever.

    Minniear, Timothy D; Buckingham, Steven C

    2009-11-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever is caused by the tick-borne bacterium Rickettsia rickettsii. Symptoms range from moderate illness to severe illness, including cardiovascular compromise, coma and death. The disease is prevalent in most of the USA, especially during warmer months. The trademark presentation is fever and rash with a history of tick bite, although tick exposure is unappreciated in over a third of cases. Other signature symptoms include headache and abdominal pain. The antibiotic therapy of choice for R. rickettsii infection is doxycycline. Preventive measures for Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other tick-borne diseases include: wearing long-sleeved, light colored clothing; checking for tick attachment and removing attached ticks promptly; applying topical insect repellent; and treating clothing with permethrin.

  10. The physiology of mountain biking.

    Impellizzeri, Franco M; Marcora, Samuele M

    2007-01-01

    Mountain biking is a popular outdoor recreational activity and an Olympic sport. Cross-country circuit races have a winning time of approximately equal 120 minutes and are performed at an average heart rate close to 90% of the maximum, corresponding to 84% of maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max). More than 80% of race time is spent above the lactate threshold. This very high exercise intensity is related to the fast starting phase of the race; the several climbs, forcing off-road cyclists to expend most of their effort going against gravity; greater rolling resistance; and the isometric contractions of arm and leg muscles necessary for bike handling and stabilisation. Because of the high power output (up to 500W) required during steep climbing and at the start of the race, anaerobic energy metabolism is also likely to be a factor of off-road cycling and deserves further investigation. Mountain bikers' physiological characteristics indicate that aerobic power (VO2max >70 mL/kg/min) and the ability to sustain high work rates for prolonged periods of time are prerequisites for competing at a high level in off-road cycling events. The anthropometric characteristics of mountain bikers are similar to climbers and all-terrain road cyclists. Various parameters of aerobic fitness are correlated to cross-country performance, suggesting that these tests are valid for the physiological assessment of competitive mountain bikers, especially when normalised to body mass. Factors other than aerobic power and capacity might influence off-road cycling performance and require further investigation. These include off-road cycling economy, anaerobic power and capacity, technical ability and pre-exercise nutritional strategies.

  11. Specialist plant species harbour higher reproductive performances in recently restored calcareous grasslands than in reference habitats

    Harzé, Mélanie; Mahy, Grégory; Bizoux, Jean-Philippe; Piqueray, Julien; Monty, Arnaud

    2015-01-01

    Background and aims_Calcareous grasslands are local biodiversity hotspots in temperate regions that suffered intensive fragmentation. Ecological restoration projects took place all over Europe. Their success has traditionally been assessed using a plant community approach. However, population ecology can also be useful to assess restoration success and to understand underlying mechanisms. Methods_We took advantage of three calcareous grassland sites in Southern Belgium, where reference p...

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Energy production from grassland - Assessing the sustainability of different process chains under German conditions

    Roesch, Christine; Skarka, J.; Raab, K.; Stelzer, V.

    2009-01-01

    In many regions of Europe, grassland shapes the landscape and fulfils important functions in protecting nature, soil, and water. However, the traditional uses of grassland for forage production are vanishing with progress in breeding and structural adaptations in agriculture. On the other hand, the demand for biomass energy is rising due to political sustainability goals and financial measures to support renewable energy. Against this background, the Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis investigated the applicability, economic efficiency, and sustainability of different techniques for energy production from grassland as well as from grassland converted into maize fields or short-rotation poplars under German conditions. The results show that despite relatively high energy prices and the financial support for bioenergy, the effects of energy production from grassland on employment in agriculture and farmers' income are modest. What is beneficial are savings in non-renewable energy, reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and local provision of energy carriers. If grassland biomass (grass silage or hay) is used for energy purposes, this brings the further advantages of preserving biodiversity and the cultural landscape and protecting of soil and groundwater. Negative impacts on sustainable development result from an increase in emissions, which leads to acidification, eutrophication, and risks to human health. The overall evaluation indicates that short-rotation poplars are comparatively advantageous from the economic and ecological point of view. Therefore, a development plan for grassland is required to identify areas where grassland could be used as an energy resource or where it would be favourable to install energy plantations with fast-growing perennial plants

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

    Freitas, L; Sazima, M

    2006-01-01

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

  15. Farming for pests? Local and landscape-scale effects of grassland management on rabbit densities

    Petrovan , Silviu O.; Barrio , Isabel C.; Ward , Alastair I.; Wheeler , Philip M.

    2010-01-01

    Abstract In recent decades in the UK, there has been an increasing trend in numbers of the European wild rabbit, a significant agricultural pest typically associated with grassland habitats. However, the relationship between rabbit abundance and grassland management, in particular grazing, has not been sufficiently explained. We studied rabbit densities in seven pasture-dominated sites in north-east England between autumn and spring in two consecutive years, and used generalised li...

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

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

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

    2013-01-01

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

  18. Mountain Plant Community Sentinels: AWOL

    Malanson, G. P.

    2017-12-01

    Mountain plant communities are thought to be sensitive to climate change. Because climatic gradients are steep on mountain slopes, the spatial response of plant communities to climate change should be compressed and easier to detect. These expectations have led to identifying mountain plant communities as sentinels for climate change. This idea has, however, been criticized. Two critiques, for alpine treeline and alpine tundra, are rehearsed and supplemented. The critique of alpine treeline as sentinel is bolstered with new model results on the confounding role of dispersal mechanisms and sensitivity to climatic volatility. In alpine tundra, for which background turnover rates have yet to be established, community composition may reflect environmental gradients only for extremes where effects of climate are most indirect. Both plant communities, while primarily determined by energy at broad scales, may respond to water as a proximate driver at local scales. These plant communities may not be in equilibrium with climate, and differently scaled time lags may mean that ongoing vegetation change may not signal ongoing climate change (or lack thereof). In both cases a double-whammy is created by scale dependence for time lags and for drivers leading to confusion, but these cases present opportunities for insights into basic ecology.

  19. Effect to groundwater recharge caused by land use change, comparative filed observation in forest and grassland watersheds, Southwestern Japan

    Kudo, K.; Shimada, J.; Tanaka, N.

    2011-12-01

    City of Kumamoto and their surrounding area are totally supported by the local groundwater as their tap water source, which is quite unique as comparing to the other large cities in Japan because Japanese large cities are mostly supplied by the surface water which is relatively easy to access for their tap water. Because of this, prefecture government of the Kumamoto City has much concern about the sustainable use of groundwater resources for their future generations. In Japan, for the sustainable use of groundwater resources, the forestation in the groundwater recharge area believed to increase the groundwater recharge to the local groundwater aquifer. It is true that the forestation surely works to reduce the direct runoff rate during the flooding period and also works to maintain a bit higher base flow rate during the low flow period than without forestation. However, the effect to the groundwater recharge rate by the forestation is not well understood because of the increase of evapo-transpiration by the tree itself. In order to understand the change of the groundwater recharge rate by the forestation, a paired catchments field observation has been conducted in two adjacent forest (0.088km2) and grassland (0.14km2) watersheds at the western foot of Mt. Aso known as recharge area of major local aquifer of Kumamoto region. The study sites are located at 32°53'N, 130°57'E with elevation ranging from 500 to 800m. The forest watershed consists mainly of around 30 year aged Japanese cypress plantations surrounded by Japanese cedar and mixture forest. The grassland watershed consists mainly of pasture and Japanese silver grass. Both catchments develop on the mountain foot slope consists of the Aso-2 pyroclastic sediments. As for the hydrometric observation system for each catchments, parshall flume runoff weir for the river discharge, meteoric tower for the evapo-transpiration monitoring purpose, and precipitation gage are installed to calculate groundwater recharge

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

    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.

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

    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.

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

    G. Lemaire

    2007-07-01

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

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

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

    2017-03-01

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

  4. Providing more informative projections of climate change impact on plant distribution in a mountain environment

    Randin, C.; Engler, R.; Pearman, P.; Vittoz, P.; Guisan, A.

    2007-12-01

    warmer conditions as far as competition is low However, in subalpine grasslands, competition of already present species is probably important and limit establishment of newly arrived species. Results from future simulations also showed that heavy extinctions of alpine plants may start already in 2040, but the latest in 2080. Our study also highlighted the importance of fine scale and regional assessments of climate change impact on mountain vegetation, using more direct predictor variables. Indeed, predictions at the continental scale may fail to predict local refugees or local extinctions, as well as loss of connectivity between local populations. On the other hand, migrations of low-elevation species to higher altitude may be difficult to predict at the local scale.

  5. Mountain Weather and Climate, Third Edition

    Hastenrath, Stefan

    2009-05-01

    For colleagues with diverse interests in the atmosphere, glaciers, radiation, landforms, water resources, vegetation, human implications, and more, Mountain Weather and Climate can be a valuable source of guidance and literature references. The book is organized into seven chapters: 1, Mountains and their climatological study; 2,Geographical controls of mountain meteorological elements; 3, Circulation systems related to orography; 4, Climatic characteristics of mountains; 5, Regional case studies; 6, Mountain bioclimatology; and 7, Changes in mountain climates. These chapters are supported by l78 diagrams and photographs, 47 tables, and some 2000 literature references. The volume has an appendix of units and energy conversion factors and a subject index, but it lacks an author index.

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

    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.

  7. From Mountains to Plains: The Hydrogeochemistry of the Boulder Creek Watershed, Colorado during High- and Low-Flow Conditions 2000

    Verplanck, P. L.; Murphy, S. F.; McCleskey, R. B.; Barber, L. B.; Roth, D. A.

    2002-05-01

    A hydrogeochemical study of the Boulder Creek watershed was undertaken to evaluate natural and anthropogenic sources of solutes and the geochemical processes that affect stream chemistry. The Boulder Creek watershed, 1160 km{2}, is in the Front Range of the Rocky Mountains in Colorado and can be delineated into five physiographic/land use regions: the headwater region (elev. 4100 to 2600 m, tundra to pine/fir forest, Precambrian and Tertiary gneisses and plutons, sparse habitation), the mountain corridor (elev. 2600 to 1750 m, ponderosa pine, Precambrian and Tertiary gneisses and plutons, small mountain communities), the urban region (elev. 1750 to 1560 m, grassland, Mesozoic sedimentary units, City of Boulder), the wastewater-dominated reach (elev. 1560 to 1540 m, grassland, Mesozoic sedimentary units, sewage treatment plant effluent), and the agriculture region (elev. 1540 to 1480 m, grassland, Mesozoic sedimentary units, mixed urban and agricultural). Potential anthropogenic sources of solutes include: mining (hardrock and aggregate), septic systems, highway runoff, urban wastewater, and agricultural practices. A 70 km reach of Boulder Creek (16 sites) and its major inflows (13 sites) were sampled during high- and low-flow conditions in 2000. At all sites, discharge was measured or estimated, and water samples were analyzed for major and trace elements and organic carbon. At selected sites, analyses also included a suite of pesticides, pharmaceuticals, and wastewater-derived organic compounds and the strontium isotopic composition. Stream water in the headwater region is a dilute Ca-Mg-HCO3-SO4- water, and in the mountain corridor a slight increase in solutes was observed. Within the urban reach solute concentrations increased, with the most dramatic increase below the sewage treatment plant. Many constituents continue to increase in concentration through the urban/agriculture region. Similar trends were observed during high- and low-flow conditions with

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

    Deepa Dhital; Tomoharu Inoue; Hiroshi Koizumi

    2014-01-01

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

  9. Measuring denitrification after grassland renewal and grassland conversion to cropland by using the 15N gas-flux method

    Buchen, Caroline; Eschenbach, Wolfram; Flessa, Heinz; Giesemann, Anette; Lewicka-Szczebak, Dominika; Well, Reinhard

    2015-04-01

    Denitrification, the reduction of oxidized forms of inorganic N to N2O and N2 is an important pathway of gaseous nitrogen losses. Measuring denitrification, especially the reduction of N2O to N2, expressed in the product ratio (N2O/(N2O + N2)), is rather difficult and hence rarely performed under field conditions. But using the 15N gas-flux method allows determining N transformation processes in their natural environment. In order to develop effective climate mitigation strategies understanding the N2O source is essential. We used the 15N gas-flux method to determine N2O and N2 emissions following grassland renewal and conversion techniques. Therefore we selected three different treatments: control (C), mechanical grassland renovation (GR) (autumn 2013) and grassland conversion to maize (GM) (spring 2014) from field plot trials on two different sites (Histic Gleysoil and Plaggic Anthrosol) near Oldenburg, Lower Saxony, Germany. We applied 15N labeled KNO3- (60 atom. % 15N) at a rate equivalent to common farming practices (150 kg N*ha-1) using needle injection of fertilizer solution in three different depths (10 cm, 15 cm, 20 cm) for homogeneous soil labeling up to 30 cm in microplots. During the first 10 days after application (May 2014) gas flux measurements from closed chambers were performed every second day and then weekly following a period of 8 weeks. Gas samples were analyzed for δ15N of N2 and N2O by IRMS according to Lewicka-Szczebak et al. (2013). Concentration and 15N enrichment of NO3- in soil water was determined on weekly samples using the SPIN-MAS technique (Stange et al. 2007). Fluxes of N2 and N2O evolved from the 15N labeled soil nitrogen pool were calculated using the equations of Spott et al. (2006). Peak events of N2 and N2O emissions occurred during the first 10 days of measurement, showing differences in soil types, as well as treatment variations. N2 fluxes up to 178 g*ha-1*day-1 and N2O fluxes up to 280 g*ha-1*day-1 were measured on the

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

    Adane, Zablon A.

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

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

    L. M. Cardenas

    2017-10-01

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

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

    Little, C.A.

    1976-08-01

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

  13. Metacommunity analysis of amoeboid protists in grassland soils.

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

    2016-01-11

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

  14. Soil invertebrate fauna enhances grassland succession and diversity.

    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.

  15. The nutritive value of Valjevac grassland - Zasavica reservation

    Grdović Svetlana

    2013-01-01

    Full Text Available Valjevac pasture of Zasavica reservation with its area of 300 ha presents a significant area for grazing cattle. In order to evaluate its potential for livestock production, the botanical and chemical composition of hay in three different time periods was observed (spring, summer and autumn. The determined plants species confirmed the richness of Zasavica grasslands, as well as the presence of dry, moist and forest habitat plants. The analyzed plants mostly belong to the Poaceae, Fabaceae, Asteraceae and Plantaginaceae families. Chemical analysis determined that the protein content decreased (P<0.01 from April (17.22±0.40 % to October (10.30±0.16 %, and cellulose content increased (P<0.01 (from 19.07±0.38 % in April to 21.65±0.41 % in October. The calculated energy density of hay samples ranged from 0.425 Starch Units (SU in October, 0.443 SU in April to 0.448 SU in June. The Valjevac pasture with its numerous plant species is of great importance in upkeeping biodiversity and also presents a solid base for livestock production. The determined levels of manganese and copper point out to the need of copper supplementation especially during the late summer and autumn periods. [Projekat Ministarstva nauke Republike Srbije, br. III46002

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

    Syamsu Bahar

    1999-10-01

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

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

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

    2004-12-01

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

  18. Seasonal methane dynamics in three temperate grasslands on peat

    Schäfer, Carolyn; Elsgaard, Lars; Hoffmann, Carl Christian

    2012-01-01

    Background and Aims Drained peatlands are considered to be insignificant CH4 sources, but the effect of drainage on CH4 dynamics has not been extensively studied. We investigated seasonal dynamics of CH4 in two fen peat soils and one bog peat soil under permanent grassland in Denmark. Methods Soil......, even though soil CH4 concentrations of up to 155 and 1000 μmol CH4 dm−3 were measured in one of the fen peats and in the bog peat, respectively. Significant CH4 concentrations were observed above the water table. Methane production assays confirmed the presence of viable methanogens in the upper parts...... of the bog peat soil. The aerenchymous plant Juncus effusus L. liberated CH4 from the peat at rates of up to 3.3 mg CH4 m−2 h−1. No CH4 dynamics were observed in the second fen peat which, in contrast to the other two sites, had high sulfate concentrations. Conclusions Peat type and the distribution...

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

    Schulte, R.P.O.

    2003-01-01

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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  1. [Diversity and distribution of grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acridoidea) in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region, Argentina].

    Mariottini, Yanina; De Wysiecki, María Laura; Lange, Carlos Ernesto

    2013-03-01

    In Argentina, the grasslands of Pampas region comprise approximately 15% of the country. As in other grasslands of the world, grasshoppers are among the most important native herbivores. Their economic importance has been recognized in Argentina since the mid to late nineteenth century, since outbreaks of different species have become recurrent phenomena. Therefore, the main objective of this work was to study their diversity and distribution in grasslands of the Southern Pampas region (Laprida county, Buenos Aires province), as one of the most affected areas. The study was conducted during five seasons (2005-10). Sampling sites were represented by the most common plant communities in this area, classified in four categories: native grasslands, disturbed grasslands, implanted pastures and halophilous grasslands. The samplings were conducted from mid-spring to early autumn, with five or six samples per season. We estimated the following population descriptors: species richness (S), eveness (E), dominance (J), and diversity index (H'). In order to evaluate the similitude of the grasshopper communities present in the different plant communities, we used qualitative and quantitative coefficients of similitude. A total of 22 species of grasshoppers were collected, of which 21 belong to the family Acrididae. The subfamily Melanoplinae was the most diverse with eight species. The largest species richness was recorded in native grasslands (18). The different communities of grasshoppers had similar indices of evenness and dominance (p>0.05). Considering all plant communities, the average value of Shannon-Wiener index was 1.58+/-0.075. There was a positive correlation between evenness index and species richness (pgrasshoppers species richness, and diversity of grasshoppers. According to the qualitative indices applied, the similitude between different grasshopper communities was higher than 60%. In general, the species that had a higher frequency of occurrence showed greater

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

    Tianjie Lei

    2016-10-01

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

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

    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

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    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.

  6. OS X Mountain Lion bible

    Gruman, Galen

    2012-01-01

    The complete guide to Mac OS X, fully updated for the newest release! The Mac's solid, powerful operating system and the exploding popularity of iOS devices are fueling a strong increase in market share for Apple. Previous editions of this book have sold more than 75,000 copies, and this new edition is fully updated with all the exciting features of OS X Mountain Lion, including Game Center, Messages, and Notifications. Written by industry expert Galen Gruman, it covers all the basics and then delves deep into professional and higher-end topics, making it the one book you need to succeed with

  7. Seaside, mountain and... wind turbines

    Gossement, A.

    2011-01-01

    Several courts have given a ruling considering that the law 'Montagne' (January 9., 1985) and the law 'Littoral' (January 3., 1986) are opposable to the building license of wind turbines. The law 'Littoral' imposes that any new construction in seaside areas has to be built in continuity of existing villages or hamlets. The law 'Montagne' imposes similar constraints to avoid the construction of isolated buildings in mountain areas but, contrary to the law 'Littoral', it allows some impairment for instance for the construction of certain public equipment. (A.C.)

  8. Yucca Mountain and The Environment

    NA

    2005-01-01

    The Yucca Mountain Project places a high priority on protecting the environment. To ensure compliance with all state and federal environmental laws and regulations, the Project established an Environmental Management System. Important elements of the Environmental Management System include the following: (1) monitoring air, water, and other natural resources; (2) protecting plant and animal species by minimizing land disturbance; (3) restoring vegetation and wildlife habitat in disturbed areas; (4) protecting cultural resources; (5) minimizing waste, preventing pollution, and promoting environmental awareness; and (6) managing of hazardous and non-hazardous waste. Reducing the impacts of Project activities on the environment will continue for the duration of the Project

  9. SANDIA MOUNTAIN WILDERNESS, NEW MEXICO.

    Hedlund, D.C.; Kness, R.F.

    1984-01-01

    Geologic and mineral-resource investigations in the Sandia Mountains in New Mexico indicate that a small part of the area has a probable mineral-resource potential. Most of the mineral occurrences are small barite-fluorite veins that occur along faults on the eastern slope of the range. The barite veins in the Landsend area and in the Tunnel Spring area are classed as having a probable mineral-resource potential. Fluorite veins which occur at the La Luz mine contain silver-bearing galeana and the area near this mine is regarded as having a probable resource potential for silver. No energy resources were identified in this study.

  10. Changes in the high-mountain vegetation of the Central Iberian Peninsula as a probable sign of global warming.

    Sanz-Elorza, Mario; Dana, Elías D; González, Alberto; Sobrino, Eduardo

    2003-08-01

    Aerial images of the high summits of the Spanish Central Range reveal significant changes in vegetation over the period 1957 to 1991. These changes include the replacement of high-mountain grassland communities dominated by Festuca aragonensis, typical of the Cryoro-Mediterranean belt, by shrub patches of Juniperus communis ssp. alpina and Cytisus oromediterraneus from lower altitudes (Oro-Mediterranean belt). Climatic data indicate a shift towards warmer conditions in this mountainous region since the 1940s, with the shift being particularly marked from 1960. Changes include significantly higher minimum and maximum temperatures, fewer days with snow cover and a redistribution of monthly rainfall. Total yearly precipitation showed no significant variation. There were no marked changes in land use during the time frame considered, although there were minor changes in grazing species in the 19th century. It is hypothesized that the advance of woody species into higher altitudes is probably related to climate change, which could have acted in conjunction with discrete variations in landscape management. The pronounced changes observed in the plant communities of the area reflect the susceptibility of high-mountain Mediterranean species to environmental change.

  11. Protection of the Mountain Ridgelines Utilizing GIS

    Lee, S.; Lee, M.

    2013-12-01

    Korean peninsula is characterized by numerous hills and mountains. The longest mountain ridgeline starting from Mt. Baekdusan to Mt. Jirisan is called Baekdudaegan which is similar to the continental divide or topographical watershed. In this study, GIS data, such as remotesensing images, national digital map, and watershed map, are used to analyze Korean mountain ridgelines structure and one Baekdudaegan data and nine Ridgelines are extracted. When extracted Baekdudaegan and other Ridgelines are overlaid on geologic maps, granite and gneiss are main components on the mountain ridgelines. The main mountain ridgelines are considered as the spiritual heritage overlapped in the land in Korea. As the environmental state is relatively better than those of other region in Korea, so many mountain ridgelines are legally protected by national legislation. The mountain ridgelines has hierarchical system; Baekdudaegan, Jeongmaek, Gimaek and Jimaek etc. according to their scale and total lengths of ridgelines. As only part of mountain ridgelines are currently protected by law or managed in environmental impact assessment (EIA) procedure, we think that most part of them should be under protection. Considering the environmental state of the ridgelines, we think that some protective measures should be set up nearby 1 km on both sides of them. If there goes a development plan or project near the main mountain ridgelines, topographical change index (TCI) and topographical scale index (TSI) etc. are to be applied in EIA. This study intends: firstly, to analyze the topological characteristics of the Korean mountain ridgelines using GIS, secondly, to analyze the geological characteristics of nearby mountain ridgelines, and lastly, to find a way to utilize the results on EIA.

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

    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.

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

    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.

  14. Mountaineers

    Thomson, John, 1837-1921, photographer

    2003-01-01

    89 x 110 mm. Woodburytype. A half-length portrait of a seated man from the village of Prodromos. The portrait appears in Thomson's 'Through Cyprus with the camera, in the autumn of 1878' (vol.2, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1879). It is annotated: 'The villagers are a robust race, as may be gathered from the two following photographs, the first of which represents one of the chief people of the place, a man who deserves to be rendered famous for the kind manner in w...

  15. Mountaineers

    Thomson, John, 1837-1921, photographer

    2003-01-01

    84 x 107 mm. Woodburytype. A posed portrait of a man from Prodromos. The portrait appears in Thomson's 'Through Cyprus with the camera, in the autumn of 1878' (vol.2, London: Sampson Low, Marston, Searle, and Rivington, 1879). It is annotated: 'Another Highlander figures in the second plate - a tall, bony man of a most obligingly good-natured disposition. He, however, looked a bold, determined character, whose massive hands and muscular frame would stand him in good stead in carrying out ...

  16. Rocky Mountain Research Station: 2011 Annual Accomplishments

    Rick Fletcher

    2011-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Research Station is one of seven regional units that make up the USDA Forest Service Research and Development organization ­ the most extensive natural resources research organization in the world. We maintain 12 field laboratories throughout a 12-state territory encompassing the Great Basin, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and parts of the Great Plains...

  17. Rocky Mountain Research Station: 2010 Research Accomplishments

    Rick Fletcher

    2010-01-01

    The Rocky Mountain Research Station is one of seven regional units that make up the USDA Forest Service Research and Development organization ­ the most extensive natural resources research organization in the world. We maintain 12 field laboratories throughout a 12-state territory encompassing the Great Basin, Southwest, Rocky Mountains, and parts of the Great Plains...

  18. Impact of Hypoxia on Man on Mountaineering

    A. N. Kislitsyn

    2006-01-01

    Full Text Available External respiratory function was studied in those engaged in mountaineering. A negative correlation was found between the intensity of exercise and the changes in vital capacity under mountainous conditions. Changes occurring in the levels of glucose and cholesterol were considered in tourists.

  19. Rocky Mountain spotted fever in children.

    Woods, Charles R

    2013-04-01

    Rocky Mountain spotted fever is typically undifferentiated from many other infections in the first few days of illness. Treatment should not be delayed pending confirmation of infection when Rocky Mountain spotted fever is suspected. Doxycycline is the drug of choice even for infants and children less than 8 years old. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

  20. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever: Statistics and Epidemiology

    ... Search Form Controls Cancel Submit Search the CDC Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) Note: Javascript is disabled or is not ... message, please visit this page: About CDC.gov . Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever (RMSF) Transmission Signs and Symptoms Diagnosis and Testing ...

  1. 78 FR 29366 - Green Mountain Power Corporation

    2013-05-20

    ... DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Docket No. TS04-277-002] Green Mountain Power Corporation Notice of Filing Take notice that on May 2, 2013, Green Mountain Power Corporation filed additional information in support of its request for continued waiver of Standards of Conduct. Any...

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

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

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

    1999-07-01

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

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

    David Paul Belesky

    2016-06-01

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

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

    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.

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

    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.

  7. Breeding Biology of Grassland Birds in Western New York: Conservation and Management Implications

    Christopher J. Norment

    2010-12-01

    Full Text Available Declining grassland breeding bird populations have led to increased efforts to assess habitat quality, typically by estimating density or relative abundance. Because some grassland habitats may function as ecological traps, a more appropriate metric for determining quality may be breeding success. Between 1994 and 2003 we gathered data on the nest fates of Eastern Meadowlarks (Sturnella magna, Bobolinks (Dolichonyx oryzivorous, and Savannah Sparrows (Passerculus sandwichensis in a series of fallow fields and pastures/hayfields in western New York State. We calculated daily survival probabilities using the Mayfield method, and used the logistic-exposure method to model effects of predictor variables on nest success. Nest survival probabilities were 0.464 for Eastern Meadowlarks (n = 26, 0.483 for Bobolinks (n = 91, and 0.585 for Savannah Sparrows (n = 152. Fledge dates for first clutches ranged between 14 June and 23 July. Only one obligate grassland bird nest was parasitized by Brown-headed Cowbirds (Molothrus ater, for an overall brood parasitism rate of 0.004. Logistic-exposure models indicated that daily nest survival probabilities were higher in pastures/hayfields than in fallow fields. Our results, and those from other studies in the Northeast, suggest that properly managed cool season grassland habitats in the region may not act as ecological traps, and that obligate grassland birds in the region may have greater nest survival probabilities, and lower rates of Brown-headed Cowbird parasitism, than in many parts of the Midwest.

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

    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.

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

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

    2017-12-01

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

  10. Air quality and human health impacts of grasslands and shrublands in the 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.

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

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

    2007-04-15

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

  12. Floristic composition, environmental variation and species distribution patterns in burned grassland in southern Brazil.

    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.

  13. Habitat fragmentation effects on birds in grasslands and wetlands: A critique of our knowledge

    Johnson, D.H.

    2001-01-01

    Habitat fragmentation exacerbates the problem of habitat loss for grassland and wetland birds. Remaining patches of grasslands and wetlands may be too small, too isolated, and too influenced by edge effects to maintain viable populations of some breeding birds. Knowledge of the effects of fragmentation on bird populations is critically important for decisions about reserve design, grassland and wetland management, and implementation of cropland set-aside programs that benefit wildlife. In my review of research that has been conducted on habitat fragmentation, I found at least five common problems in the methodology used. The results of many studies are compromised by these problems: passive sampling (sampling larger areas in larger patches), confounding effects of habitat heterogeneity, consequences of inappropriate pooling of data from different species, artifacts associated with artificial nest data, and definition of actual habitat patches. As expected, some large-bodied birds with large territorial requirements, such as the northern harrier (Circus cyaneus), appear area sensitive. In addition, some small species of grassland birds favor patches of habitat far in excess of their territory size, including the Savannah (Passerculus sandwichensis), grasshopper (Ammodramus savannarum) and Henslow's (A. henslowii) sparrows, and the bobolink (Dolichonyx oryzivorus). Other species may be area sensitive as well, but the data are ambiguous. Area sensitivity among wetland birds remains unknown since virtually no studies have been based on solid methodologies. We need further research on grassland bird response to habitat that distinguishes supportable conclusions from those that may be artifactual.

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

    Bassin, S.; Volk, M.; Fuhrer, J.

    2007-01-01

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

  15. DIVERSITY OF PLANT COMMUNITIES IN SECONDARY SUCCESSION OF IMPERATA GRASSLANDS IN SAMBOJA LESTARI, EAST KALIMANTAN, INDONESIA

    Ishak Yassir

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Regeneration of  Imperata grassland areas is becoming increasingly important, both to create new secondary forest and to recover the original biodiversity. The diversity of  plant communities in secondary succession of  Imperata grasslands was studied using 45 subplots of  9 linear transects (10 m x 100 m. Data was collected and all stems over 10 cm dbh were identified, the Importance Values Index (IVI for all trees were calculated, saplings and seedlings were counted  and analysed, and soil samples were taken and analysed. Results showed that  after more than 10 years of  regeneration, 65 families were encountered consisting of  164 species, which were dominated by Vernonia arborea Buch.-Ham, Vitex pinnata L., Macaranga gigantea (Reichb.f. & Zoll. Muell.Arg., Symplocos crassipes C.B. Clarke, Artocarpus odoratissimus Miq., and Bridelia glauca Blume. The effects of  regeneration, from Imperata grassland to secondary forest, on soil were the strongest in the A-horizon where an increase in carbon, N content, and pH were observed. Our result shows that Imperata grasslands appear to be permanent because of  frequent fires and human interferences and so far few efforts have been made to promote sustainable rehabilitation. If  protected from fire and other disturbances, such as shifting cultivation, Imperata grassland will grow and develop into secondary forest.

  16. Association of wintering raptors with Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program grasslands in Pennsylvania

    Wilson, A.; Brittingham, M.; Grove, G.

    2010-01-01

    Conservation grasslands can provide valuable habitat resource for breeding songbirds, but their value for wintering raptors has received little attention. We hypothesized that increased availability of grassland habitat through the Conservation Reserve Enhancement Program (CREP) has resulted in an increase or redistribution in numbers of four species of raptors in Pennsylvania since 2001. We tested this by analyzing winter raptor counts from volunteer surveys, conducted from 2001 to 2008, for Red-tailed Hawks (Buteo jamaicensis), Rough-legged Hawks (Buteo lagopus), Northern Harriers (Circus cyaneus), and American Kestrels (Falco sparverius). During that period, numbers of wintering Northern Harriers increased by more than 20% per year. Log-linear Poisson regression models show that all four species increased in the region of Pennsylvania that had the most and longest-established conservation grasslands. At the county scale (N= 67), Bayesian spatial models showed that spatial and temporal population trends of all four species were positively correlated with the amount of conservation grassland. This relationship was particularly strong for Northern Harriers, with numbers predicted to increase by 35.7% per year for each additional 1% of farmland enrolled in CREP. Our results suggest that conservation grasslands are likely the primary cause of the increase in numbers of wintering Northern Harriers in Pennsylvania since 2001. ?? 2010 The Authors. Journal of Field Ornithology ?? 2010 Association of Field Ornithologists.

  17. Assessment of Grassland Health Based on Spatial Information Technology in Changji Autonomous Prefecture, Xinjiang

    Du, M. J.; Zheng, J. H.; Mu, C.

    2018-04-01

    Based on the "pressure-state-response" (PSR) model, comprehensively applied GIS and RS techniques, 20 evaluation indicators were selected based on pressure, state and response, the entropy weight method was used to determine the weight of each index and build a grassland health evaluation system in Changji Prefecture, Xinjiang. Based on this, evaluation and dynamic analysis of grassland health in Changji Prefecture from 2000 to 2016, using GIS/RS technology, the trend of grassland health status in Changji is analyzed and studied. The results show that: 1) Grassland with low health leveld, lower health level, sub-health level, health level and high health level accounts for 1.46 %,27.67 %,38.35 %,29.21 % and 3.31 % of the total area of Changji. Qitai County, Hutubi County, and Manas County are lower health levels, Jimsar County, Changji City, and Mulei County are at a relatively high level, and Fukang City has a healthy level of health. 2) The level of grassland health in Changji County decreased slightly during the 17 years, accounting for 38.42 % of the total area. The area of 23,87 % showed a stable trend, and the improved area accounted for 37.31 % of the vertical surface area.

  18. Contingency & Agency in the Holocene Anthropization of Mountain Landscapes of the Western Pyrenees

    Gragson, Theodore; Coughlan, Michael; Leigh, David

    2017-04-01

    Mounting evidence indicates that mixed forests of the humid-temperate western Pyrenees mountains were converted by human agency to managed grasslands by at least the late Neolithic. We first realized major ramifications of the conversation process from pronounced differences we observed between soil profiles of ancient pastures and old-growth forests in otherwise similar landscape positions. Subsequently through radiocarbon dating of colluvial deposits we established a chronology for anthropic manipulation of the biotic factor of pedogenesis resulting in the creation of new soil materials, processes and functions. Regional- and biome-scale paleoecological analyses and archaeological syntheses suggest that it was Neolithic agropastoral land use that initiated anthropization of mountain landscapes of the western Pyrenees. However, such macroscopic views of human behavior cannot reveal the contingency and agency on which human causality rests. We have thus followed a complementary place-based investigative strategy that couples geoarchaeological, biophysical and socio-ecological factors spatially and temporally to arrive at the coevolutionary processes of human-environment interactions and landscape history. The results often contrast sharply with conventional narratives about human landscape degradation in agropastoral systems. For the last 2000 years, the western Pyrenees mountains were spatially removed from regional centers such as Pamplona and Bordeaux, and economically and politically peripheral to continental social and governmental processes. This marginality favored a macroscopic and time-invariant interpretation of agropastoral production in the western Pyrenees as the result of unambiguously enforced social norms exacted by intense solidarities of kin and neighbors. However, anthropization of the western Pyrenees was a spatially and temporally heterogeneous process in which land transitions appear to precede intensification. Radiocarbon dating shows three

  19. A sightability model for mountain goats

    Rice, C.G.; Jenkins, K.J.; Chang, W.-Y.

    2009-01-01

    Unbiased estimates of mountain goat (Oreamnos americanus) populations are key to meeting diverse harvest management and conservation objectives. We developed logistic regression models of factors influencing sightability of mountain goat groups during helicopter surveys throughout the Cascades and Olympic Ranges in western Washington during summers, 20042007. We conducted 205 trials of the ability of aerial survey crews to detect groups of mountain goats whose presence was known based on simultaneous direct observation from the ground (n 84), Global Positioning System (GPS) telemetry (n 115), or both (n 6). Aerial survey crews detected 77 and 79 of all groups known to be present based on ground observers and GPS collars, respectively. The best models indicated that sightability of mountain goat groups was a function of the number of mountain goats in a group, presence of terrain obstruction, and extent of overstory vegetation. Aerial counts of mountain goats within groups did not differ greatly from known group sizes, indicating that under-counting bias within detected groups of mountain goats was small. We applied HorvitzThompson-like sightability adjustments to 1,139 groups of mountain goats observed in the Cascade and Olympic ranges, Washington, USA, from 2004 to 2007. Estimated mean sightability of individual animals was 85 but ranged 0.750.91 in areas with low and high sightability, respectively. Simulations of mountain goat surveys indicated that precision of population estimates adjusted for sightability biases increased with population size and number of replicate surveys, providing general guidance for the design of future surveys. Because survey conditions, group sizes, and habitat occupied by goats vary among surveys, we recommend using sightability correction methods to decrease bias in population estimates from aerial surveys of mountain goats.

  20. Changes of agrochemical properties of cambisol under grassland after abandonment

    Ján Jančovič

    2012-01-01

    Full Text Available On the grassland (association Lolio-Cynosuretum cristati R. 1937 with brown acidic soil (cambisol the basic agrochemical properties (pH, Cox, Nt, P, K was studied during the years 1986–2006. Various systems of management (fertilizing + cutting, liming, no management had different influences to the cambisol qualities, but had not so significant effect. The pH of the soil decreased after application of mineral fertilization and also in the period without anthropogenic interference. The balanced content of oxidizable carbon (Cox preserved during the experimental period. The total nitrogen content (Nt increased in the period of fertilization and the aftermath of fertilization. The content of phosphorus (P decreased significantly in the years of fertilization and this trend continued after the absence of fertilization too. The content of potassium (K decreased in the period of fertilization, except for a variant with PK nutrition. The content of potassium (K increased on the all variants in both sampling depths of almost 1.5-fold after a period without management. We found a significant effect of year and depth of soil sampling for most of soil parameters. Variants had not significant impact on all evaluated soil characteristics. Between the years there was relatively great variability at the available nutrients values (8–75 %. The available phosphorus had greatest variability (19–96 % and also potassium (18–82 %. Medium till small variability was characteristic for pH (9–14 %, Cox (17–19 % and Nt (8–16 %. The results are indicating that changes of management systems mean not automatically changes of soil features.

  1. Effects of wind-energy facilities on grassland bird distributions

    Shaffer, Jill A.; Buhl, Deb

    2016-01-01

    The contribution of renewable energy to meet worldwide demand continues to grow. Wind energy is one of the fastest growing renewable sectors, but new wind facilities are often placed in prime wildlife habitat. Long-term studies that incorporate a rigorous statistical design to evaluate the effects of wind facilities on wildlife are rare. We conducted a before-after-control-impact (BACI) assessment to determine if wind facilities placed in native mixed-grass prairies displaced breeding grassland birds. During 2003–2012, we monitored changes in bird density in 3 study areas in North Dakota and South Dakota (U.S.A.). We examined whether displacement or attraction occurred 1 year after construction (immediate effect) and the average displacement or attraction 2–5 years after construction (delayed effect). We tested for these effects overall and within distance bands of 100, 200, 300, and >300 m from turbines. We observed displacement for 7 of 9 species. One species was unaffected by wind facilities and one species exhibited attraction. Displacement and attraction generally occurred within 100 m and often extended up to 300 m. In a few instances, displacement extended beyond 300 m. Displacement and attraction occurred 1 year after construction and persisted at least 5 years. Our research provides a framework for applying a BACI design to displacement studies and highlights the erroneous conclusions that can be made without the benefit of adopting such a design. More broadly, species-specific behaviors can be used to inform management decisions about turbine placement and the potential impact to individual species. Additionally, the avoidance distance metrics we estimated can facilitate future development of models evaluating impacts of wind facilities under differing land-use scenarios.

  2. Precipitation alters interactions in a grassland ecological community.

    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

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

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

    2008-01-01

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

  4. Effect of climate change on halophytic grasslands loss and its impact in the viability of Gopherus flavomarginatus

    Jorge Luis Becerra-López

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available The decrease of the habitat is one of the main factors that affect the survival of G. flavomarginatus. This study assesses the halophytic grasslands loss over a period of 30 years in the distribution area of the Bolson tortoise and the effects of climate change on the habitat suitability of these grasslands and its possible impact on this tortoise. Grassland loss was assessed by an analysis of symmetric differences and the habitat suitability model was carried out by the method of overlapping layers raster. Our results showed a grassland loss of 63.7%; however, our current habitat suitability model points out that much of the grassland loss has occurred where the environmental conditions are suitable. These results suggest that anthropic activity is a main factor in the habitat disturbance in the study area. Likewise, the models for years 2050 and 2070 under the criteria RCP 2.6, RCP 4.5, RCP 6.0, suggest that anthropic activity will continue be the main cause of the grassland loss. Therefore, considering the association between the Bolson tortoise and grassland halophyte Hilaria mutica, which comprises around 60% of its diet, the viability of the Bolson tortoise depends largely on strategies aimed at protecting the soil that allow the presence of this grassland.

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

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

    2014-01-01

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

  6. Evaluating effects of habitat loss and land-use continuity on ant species richness in seminatural grassland remnants.

    Dauber, Jens; Bengtsson, Jan; Lenoir, Lisette

    2006-08-01

    Seminatural grasslands in Europe are susceptible to habitat destruction and fragmentation that result in negative effects on biodiversity because of increased isolation and area effects on extinction rate. However even small habitatpatches of seminatural grasslands might be of value for conservation and restoration of species richness in a landscape with a long history of management, which has been argued to lead to high species richness. We tested whether ant communities have been negatively affected by habitat loss and increased isolation of seminatural grasslands during the twentieth century. We examined species richness and community composition in seminatural grasslands of different size in a mosaic landscape in Central Sweden. Grasslands managed continuously over centuries harbored species-rich and ecologically diverse ant communities. Grassland remnant size had no effect on ant species richness. Small grassland remnants did not harbor a nested subset of the ant species of larger habitats. Community composition of ants was mainly affected by habitat conditions. Our results suggest that the abandonment of traditional land use and the encroachment of trees, rather than the effects of fragmentation, are important for species composition in seminatural grasslands. Our results highlight the importance of considering land-use continuity and dispersal ability of thefocal organisms when examining the effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on biodiversity. Landscape history should be considered in conservation programs focusing on effects of land-use change.

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

    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

  8. Mapping grassland productivity with 250-m eMODIS NDVI and SSURGO database over the Greater Platte River Basin, USA

    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.

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

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

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

    2008-09-15

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

  11. Using the theory of planned behavior to identify key beliefs underlying Brazilian cattle farmers' intention to use improved natural grassland

    Rossi Borges, Joao; Tauer, Loren Willian; Oude Lansink, Alfons

    2016-01-01

    In biome Pampa, Brazil, cattle farmers have managed the natural grasslands using practices that result in overgrazing, low productivity and low farm income. In addition, farmers in the region converted natural grasslands from beef production to more profitable activities, such as cash crops. This

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

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

    2012-01-01

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

  13. Fate of semi-natural grassland in England between 1960 and 2013: A test of national conservation policy

    Lucy E. Ridding

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available It is well documented that significant losses in semi-natural grassland occurred across Europe during the second half of the twentieth century. However, comparatively few studies have investigated and quantified the fate of large numbers of individual grassland areas. This is important for understanding the causes of decline, and consequently establishing new policies to conserve and restore lost habitats. This study addresses this problem; GIS was used to compare historic survey data collected between 1960 and 1981 with two contemporary spatial datasets of habitats in England. The datasets included the Priority Habitats Inventory 2013 and the Land Cover Map 2007 and this was undertaken for different types of semi-natural grassland across England. Considerable decreases occurred across the different grassland types, with a loss of 47% of studied semi-natural grasslands sites in England over 32–53 years. Of this, the majority of grassland was lost to conversion to agriculturally-improved grassland or arable cultivation, 45% and 43% respectively. Changes to woodland and urban areas were also evident, but on a much smaller scale. Sites receiving statutory protection as a Site of Special Scientific Interest were found to have retained more grassland (91%, compared with non-protected sites (27%, thus highlighting the effectiveness of this aspect of current conservation policy in England, and the need for this to continue in the future.

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

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

    2012-10-23

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

  15. Black-tailed prairie dogs, cattle, and the conservation of North America's arid grasslands.

    Rodrigo Sierra-Corona

    Full Text Available Prairie dogs (Cynomys spp. have been eliminated from over 95% of their historic range in large part from direct eradication campaigns to reduce their purported competition with cattle for forage. Despite the longstanding importance of this issue to grassland management and conservation, the ecological interactions between cattle and prairie dogs have not been well examined. We address this issue through two complementary experiments to determine if cattle and prairie dogs form a mutualistic grazing association similar to that between prairie dogs and American bison. Our experimental results show that cattle preferentially graze along prairie dog colony edges and use their colony centers for resting, resembling the mutualistic relationship prairie dogs have with American bison. Our results also show that prairie dog colonies are not only an important component of the grassland mosaic for maintaining biodiversity, but also provide benefits to cattle, thereby challenging the long-standing view of prairie dogs as an undesirable pest species in grasslands.

  16. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    Haukos, David A.; Spencer, David; Hagen, Christian A.; Daniels, Melinda D.; Goodin, Doug

    2017-01-01

    Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus) has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1) document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population) from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2) assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP) to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s). Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful in

  17. Conservation Reserve Program mitigates grassland loss in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas

    David Spencer

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Since the beginning of the 20th century, the overall occupied range of the lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus has declined by 84% commensurate with population trends. Much of this decline has been attributed to the loss and fragmentation of native grasslands throughout the lesser prairie-chicken range. However, quantification of changes in land cover in the distribution of the lesser prairie-chicken is lacking. Our objectives were to (1 document changes in the areal extent and connectivity of grasslands in the identified lesser prairie-chicken range in Kansas, USA, (>60% of extant lesser prairie-chicken population from the 1950s to 2013 using remotely sensed data and (2 assess the potential of the Conservation Reserve Program (U.S. Department of Agriculture Program converting cropland to permanent cover; CRP to mitigate grassland loss. Digital land cover maps were generated on a decadal time step through spectral classification of LANDSAT images and visual analysis of aerial photographs (1950s and 1960s. Landscape composition and configuration were assessed using FRAGSTATS to compute a variety of landscape metrics measuring changes in the amount of grassland present as well as changes in the size and configuration of grassland patches. With the exception of a single regional portion of the range, nearly all of the grassland converted to cropland in the lesser prairie-chicken range of Kansas occurred prior to the 1950s. Prior to the implementation of CRP, the amount of grassland decreased 3.6% between the 1950s and 1985 from 18,455 km2 to 17,788 km2. Since 1985, the overall amount of grassland in the lesser prairie-chicken range has increased 11.9% to 19,898 km2 due to implementation of CRP, although the area of grassland decreased between 1994 and 2013 as CRP contracts were not renewed by landowners. Since 1986 grassland in Kansas became more connected and less fragmented in response to the CRP. While the CRP has been successful

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

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

    2016-01-01

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

  19. AHP 21: Review: Moving Mountains

    William B. Noseworthy

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Moving Mountains stands out among recent discussions of the Southeast Asian Highlands, drawing from twelve contributors with extensive field experience living and working in locales closed to nonCommunist academics between 1945 and 1990 (3. The authors' methodologies focus on the anthropological approach of participant observation combined with oral history. Previously, substantial research had been confined to the experience of "hill tribes" in Northern Thailand (11, unless one gained access to the massive collections of French language research under the École Française d'Extrême Orient (EFEO or the Société Asiatique (SA, both in Paris. As such, this volume's contributors are able to ring out the voices of Southeast Asian Massif populations in a way that demonstrates a mindful assembly of research, while carefully narrating a more complex view of the region than that presented by Scott's (2009:22 "zones of refuge." ...

  20. Natural analogs for Yucca Mountain

    Murphy, W.M.

    1995-01-01

    High-level radioactive waste in the US, spent fuels from commercial reactors and nuclear materials generated by defense activities, will remain potentially hazardous for thousands of years. Demonstrable long-term stability of certain geologic and geochemical systems motivates and sustains the concept that high-level waste can be safely isolated in geologic repositories for requisite periods of time. Each geologic repository is unique in its properties and performance with reguard to isolation of nuclear wastes. Studies of processes analogous to waste-form alteration and radioelement transport in environments analogous to Yucca Mountain are being conducted at two sites, described in this article to illustrate uses of natural analog data: the Nopal I uranium deposit in the Sierra Pena Blanca, Mexico, and the Akrotiri archaeological site on the island of Santorini, Greece