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ARS Home » Plains Area » Temple, Texas » Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory » Research » Research Project #435864

Research Project: Contributions of Climate, Soils, Species Diversity, and Management to Sustainable Crop, Grassland, and Livestock Production Systems

Location: Grassland Soil and Water Research Laboratory

Project Number: 3098-11000-001-000-D
Project Type: In-House Appropriated

Start Date: Nov 26, 2018
End Date: Nov 15, 2023

Objective 1: Develop procedures and quantify soil health attributes and their impact on agronomic production. Subobjective 1A: Determine the seasonal changes in inherent soil carbon and nutrient cycling potentials (N and P) using the Soil Health Nutrient Tool under conventional and no-till with two different crop rotation systems incorporating legume-dominated cover crops. Subobjective 1B: Determine the effects of conventional and conservation tillage (strip till, no-till) on soil fertility, greenhouse gas emissions, soil microbial diversity, yield, grain, fiber quality, and fertilizer use efficiency (N and P) which contribute to soil health attributes. Objective 2: Quantify native and managed grassland response to biological and climate variability. Subobjective 2A: Document long-term effects of precipitation variation on trends in biomass yield and ecosystem services from grasslands of different species composition. Subobjective 2B: Assess the linkage between the weighted values of Leaf Dry Matter Content of grassland communities and temporal variability in aboveground productivity. Subobjective 2C: Manipulate grassland community composition and resource availability to test the contributions of plant species and functional traits to grassland productivity. Objective 3: Operate and maintain the Texas Gulf Coast LTAR network site using technologies and practices agreed upon by the LTAR leadership. Contribute to the LTAR working groups and common experiments as resources allow. Submit relevant data with appropriate metadata to the LTAR Information Ecosystem. Subobjective 3A: Implement the Texas Gulf Coast LTAR Common Experiment comparing the sustainability of traditional grazing systems and adaptively managed rotational grazing systems. Subobjective 3B: Develop and enhance infrastructure for data acquisition, storage, and transfer to meet LTAR and REE data acquisition and archiving standards.

Research will apply a Genetics x Environment x Management approach quantify nutrient losses from fertilizer, interannual variability in biomass production, and grazing impacts on traditionally managed agroecosystems common in the southern U.S. Great Plains and evaluate results from management actions designed to reduce negative impacts of fertilization, precipitation variability, and grazing.