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1.
Long- and short-term effects of fire on nitrogen cycling in tallgrass prairie   总被引:16,自引:2,他引:14  
Fires in the tallgrass prairie are frequent and significantly alter nutrient cycling processes. We evaluated the short-term changes in plant production and microbial activity due to fire and the long-term consequences of annual burning on soil organic matter (SOM), plant production, and nutrient cycling using a combination of field, laboratory, and modeling studies. In the short-term, fire in the tallgrass prairie enhances microbial activity, increases both above-and belowground plant production, and increases nitrogen use efficiency (NUE). However, repeated annual burning results in greater inputs of lower quality plant residues causing a significant reduction in soil organic N, lower microbial biomass, lower N availability, and higher C:N ratios in SOM. Changes in amount and quality of below-ground inputs increased N immobilization and resulted in no net increases in N availability with burning. This response occurred rapidly (e.g., within two years) and persisted during 50 years of annual burning. Plant production at a long-term burned site was not adversely affected due to shifts in plant NUE and carbon allocation. Modeling results indicate that the tallgrass ecosystem responds to the combined changes in plant resource allocation and NUE. No single factor dominates the impact of fire on tallgrass plant production.  相似文献
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We explore the issues relevant to those types of ecosystems containing new combinations of species that arise through human action, environmental change, and the impacts of the deliberate and inadvertent introduction of species from other regions. Novel ecosystems (also termed 'emerging ecosystems') result when species occur in combinations and relative abundances that have not occurred previously within a given biome. Key characteristics are novelty, in the form of new species combinations and the potential for changes in ecosystem functioning, and human agency, in that these ecosystems are the result of deliberate or inadvertent human action. As more of the Earth becomes transformed by human actions, novel ecosystems increase in importance, but are relatively little studied. Either the degradation or invasion of native or 'wild' ecosystems or the abandonment of intensively managed systems can result in the formation of these novel systems. Important considerations are whether these new systems are persistent and what values they may have. It is likely that it may be very difficult or costly to return such systems to their previous state, and hence consideration needs to be given to developing appropriate management goals and approaches.  相似文献
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Atmospheric nitrogen deposition may indirectly affect ecosystems through deposition-induced changes in the rates of insect herbivory. Plant nitrogen (N) status can affect the consumption rates and population dynamics of herbivorous insects, but the extent to which N deposition-induced changes in herbivory might lead to changes in ecosystem-level carbon (C) and N dynamics is unknown. We created three insect herbivory functions based on empirical responses of insect consumption and population dynamics to changes in foliar N and implemented them into the CENTURY model. We modeled the responses of C and N storage patterns and flux rates to N deposition and insect herbivory in an herbaceous system. Results from the model indicate that N deposition caused a strong increase in plant production, decreased plant C : N ratios, increased soil organic C (SOC), and enhanced rates of N mineralization. In contrast, herbivory decreased both vegetative and SOC storage and depressed N mineralization rates. The results suggest that herbivory plays a particularly important role in affecting ecosystem processes by regulating the threshold value of N deposition at which ecosystem C storage saturates; C storage saturated at lower rates of N deposition with increasing intensity of herbivory. Differences in the results among the modeled insect herbivory functions suggests that distinct physiological and population response of insect herbivores can have a large impact on ecosystem processes. Including the effects of herbivory in ecosystem studies, particularly in systems where rates of herbivory are high and linked to plant C : N, will be important in generating accurate predictions of the effects of atmospheric N deposition on ecosystem C and N dynamics.  相似文献
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Dramatic changes in land use have occurred in arid and semi-arid lands of Asia duringthe 20th century. Grassland conversion into croplands and ecosystem degradation is widespreaddue to the high growth rate of human population and political reforms of pastoral systems. Rangeland degradation made many parts of this region vulnerable to environmental and political changes. The collapse of the livestock sector in some states of central Asia, expansion of livestockin China and intensive degradation of grasslands in China are examples of the responses of pastoral systems to these changes over the past decades. Carbon dynamics in this region is highly variable in space and time. Land use/cover changes with widespread reduction of forest and grasslands increased carbon emission from the region.  相似文献
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We employed grass and forest versions of the CENTURY model under a range of N deposition values (0.02–1.60 g N m–2 y–1) to explore the possibility that high observed lake and stream N was due to terrestrial N saturation of alpine tundra and subalpine forest in Loch Vale Watershed, Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado. Model results suggest that N is limiting to subalpine forest productivity, but that excess leachate from alpine tundra is sufficient to account for the current observed stream N. Tundra leachate, combined with N leached from exposed rock surfaces, produce high N loads in aquatic ecosystems above treeline in the Colorado Front Range. A combination of terrestrial leaching, large N inputs from snowmelt, high watershed gradients, rapid hydrologic flushing and lake turnover times, and possibly other nutrient limitations of aquatic organisms constrain high elevation lakes and streams from assimilating even small increases in atmospheric N. CENTURY model simulations further suggest that, while increased N deposition will worsen the situation, nitrogen saturation is an ongoing phenomenon.  相似文献
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Dramatic changes in land use have occurred in arid and semi-arid landsof Asia during the 20th century. Grassland conversion into croplands and ecosystem degradation is widespread due to the high growth rate of human population and political reforms of pastoral systems. Rangeland degradation made many parts of this region vulnerable to environmental and political changes. The collapse of the livestock sector in some states of central Asia, expansion of livestock inChina and intensive degradation of grasslands in China are examples of the responses of pastoral systems to these changes over the past decades. Carbon dynamics in this region is highly variable in space and time. Land use/cover changes with widespread reduction of forest and grasslands increased carbon emission from the region.  相似文献
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In this study, we examined N gas loss as nitric oxide (NO) from N-fixing biologically crusted soils in Canyonlands National Park, Utah. We hypothesized that NO gas loss would increase with increasing N fixation potential of the biologically crusted soil. NO fluxes were measured from biologically crusted soils with three levels of N fixation potential (Scytonema-Nostoc-Collema spp. (dark)>Scytonema-Nostoc-Microcoleus spp. (medium)>Microcoleus spp. (light)) from soil cores and field chambers. In both cores and field chambers there was a significant effect of crust type on NO fluxes, but this was highly dependent on season. NO fluxes from field chambers increased with increasing N fixation potential of the biologically crusted soils (dark>medium>light) in the summer months, with no differences in the spring and autumn. Soil chlorophyllasis Type a content (an index of N fixation potential), percent N, and temperature explained 40% of the variability in NO fluxes from our field sites. Estimates of annual NO loss from dark and light crusts was 0.04-0.16 and 0.02-0.11-N/ha/year. Overall, NO gas loss accounts for approximately 3-7% of the N inputs via N fixation in dark and light biologically crusted soils. Land use practices have drastically altered biological soil crusts communities over the past century. Livestock grazing and intensive recreational use of public lands has resulted in a large scale conversion of dark cyanolichen crusts to light cyanobacterial crusts. As a result, changes in biologically crusted soils in arid and semi-arid regions of the western US may subsequently impact regional NO loss.  相似文献
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Annual brome grasses, Bromus japonicus and B. tectorum, are common invaders of northern mixed-grass prairie, and have been shown to alter the structure and function of prairie ecosystems, including plant biomass production and litter decomposition. To build on previous findings, our objective was to model the impact of annual brome grasses on soil organic carbon storage as a step towards forecasting ecological change. Specifically, we measured differences in carbon storage between patches dominated by annual bromes and perennial grasses, in addition to evaluating key plant functional characteristics that impact carbon storage. Using the CENTURY model, we simulated high- and low-brome vegetation based on differences in functional characteristics, allowing us to extrapolate the findings from the field study across a broader time scale. We sampled a prairie site in 1996 and 1997 to quantify differences between the high- and low-brome cover plots. High-brome plots averaged 40% brome cover, while the low-brome plots averaged 1% brome cover. We found differences in functional attributes for growth characteristics and litter quality, as well as minor differences in edaphic variables between the plots. Based on field measurements, more soil organic carbon was stored under high-brome vegetation than low-brome, but the differences were not statistically significant. Results from model simulations were consistent with field measurements, and suggested that this prairie ecosystem was not significantly impacted by the functional differences between high- and low-brome vegetation for the first 50 years after the brome invasion under historical management and climate. However, the model results also showed that the differences in soil organic carbon storage continue to diverge after 50 years and consequently could be significant in the future.  相似文献
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