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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGING BIOGEOCHEMICAL CYCLES AND RHIZOSPHERE ECOLOGY FOR SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION OF APPALACHIAN PASTURE AND AMENITY GRASSES Title: Introducing "STEMS": A Synchronized, Timed-Event, Measured Stemflow System

Authors
item Godwin, Harry
item O Neill, Katherine
item Halvorson, Jonathan
item Gonzalez, Javier

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: December 20, 2007
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: In our study of nutrient cycling within an Appalachian silvopasture system, one important pathway to consider was solute transfer in the form of precipitation. Trees partition rainfall into throughfall and stemflow resulting in a spatial distribution under the tree. Most collection methods for throughfall and stemflow result in a single sample for the entire rain event. Herein, we introduce a "synchronized, timed-event, measured, stemflow" (STEMS). With this method, using a manifold and several individual collection vessels, the stemflow-event is divided into separate samples. This allows for monitoring the total event in timed increments. The advantage to this method is a better understanding of the chemical makeup of total precipitation volume as a factor of time. This allows for improved analysis of how volume, duration, and time between events influence nutrient concentrations under the tree. Initial results indicate significant increases in pH (e.g., control rain 4.8, rising to a stemflow pH of 7.0 in some tree species) and large differences in total organic carbon, tannin content, and nutrient levels between test and control samples. These initial results suggest additional sampling will further increase our understanding of nutrient cycling within the silvopasture ecosystem.

Last Modified: 7/22/2014
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