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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Comparative Effects of Burning on Ecosystem Fluxes and Productivity in Two Adjacent Tallgrass Prairie Pastures.

item Billesbach, D. - U.S. DEPT. OF ENERGY
item Torn, M. - U.S. DEPT. OF ENERGY
item Fischer, M. - U.S. DEPT. OF ENERGY
item Mayeux Jr, Herman
item Doyle, Geoffrey
item Dowell, P. - U.S. DEPT. OF ENERGY

Submitted to: Trans American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 9, 2005
Publication Date: December 20, 2005
Citation: Billesbach, D.B., Torn, M.S., Fischer, M.L., Mayeux, H.S., Doyle, G.L., Dowell, P. 2005. Comparative effects of burning on ecosystem fluxes and productivity in two adjacent tallgrass prairie pastures [abstract]. Trans American Geophysical Union. 1 p.

Interpretive Summary: Abstract Only

Technical Abstract: Management practices can have large effects on ecosystem productivity. In grasslands and praries, one of the most common management tools is fire. While judicious burning generally increases grassland productivity, there have been few controlled studies that quantify the effect of fire on the fluxes of carbon, water, and energy. We initiated an experiment in two adjacent pastures with similar native prairie vegetation, grazing, and burning histories located at the USDA, Agricultural Research Service's Grazinglands Research Laboratory in central Oklahoma. In March, 2005, we burned one pasture while leaving the other intact as a control. Identical eddy covariance and automated soil respiration systems and sampling protocols were installed and are being used in each pasture. Measurements include: net ecosystem exchange (NEE), soil carbon dioxide flux, soil moisture and temperature, and plant biomass by C3 and C4 functional group. Early in the growing season, there was more above ground green biomass in the unburned, control pasture. This was accompanied by higher NEE and latent heat fluxes. Later in the season, however, significantly greater productivity was observed (biomass and NEE) in the burned pasture compared to the unburned control.

Last Modified: 4/22/2015
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