Page Banner

United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Nitrogen Cycling in a Semi-Arid Shrub-Steppe Ecosystem

Authors
item Smith, Jeffrey
item Bolton, H., Jr. - BATTELLE PNW LABORATORY

Submitted to: Microbial Ecology International Symposium
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: February 15, 2001
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Climate change will alter the N cycling in the fragile soils of the semi- arid desert region possibly causing changes in structure and function. The study was conducted to determine the effect of climate change on N cycling processes in a shrub steppe ecosystem. We used 15N to trace N into plants, microbes and soil organic matter over a climate gradient. There was more N loss at the warmer and drier sites and more plant uptake at the wetter cooler sites. The interaction of climate and N cycling was not linear. The microbial processes related to the cycling of N were more affected by climate than plant competition for N. As the climate becomes warmer this ecosystem will loose N more rapidly and move towards desertification.

Last Modified: 11/21/2014
Footer Content Back to Top of Page