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Nitrogen (N) is a critical limiting nutrient that regulates plant productivity and the cycling of other essential elements in forests. We measured foliar and soil nutrients in 22 young Douglas-fir stands in the Oregon Coast Range to examine patterns of nutrient availability across a gradient of N-poor to N-rich soils. N in surface mineral soil ranged from 0.15 to 1.05% N, and was positively related to a doubling of foliar N across sites. Foliar N in half of the sites exceeded 1.4% N, which is considered above the threshold of N-limitation in coastal Oregon Douglas-fir. Available nitrate increased five-fold across this gradient, whereas exchangeable magnesium (Mg) and calcium (Ca) in soils declined, suggesting that...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
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This review article describes vectors for nitrogen and phosphorus delivery to riparian zones in semiarid African savannas, the processing of nutrients in the riparian zone and the effect of disturbance on these processes. Semiarid savannas exhibit sharp seasonality, complex hillslope hydrology and high spatial heterogeneity, all of which ultimately impact nutrient fluxes between riparian, upland and aquatic environments. Our review shows that strong environmental drivers such as fire and herbivory enhance nitrogen, phosphorus and sediment transport to lower slope positions by shaping vegetative patterns. These vectors differ significantly from other arid and semiarid ecosystems, and from mesic ecosystems where the...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Ecosystems
Desert grasslands, which are very sensitive to external drivers like climate change, are areas affected by rapid land degradation processes. In many regions of the world the common form of land degradation involves the rapid encroachment of woody plants into desert grasslands. This process, thought to be irreversible and sustained by biophysical feedbacks of global desertification, results in the heterogeneous distribution of vegetation and soil resources. Most of these shrub-grass transition systems at the desert margins are prone to disturbances such as fires, which affect the interactions between ecological, hydrological, and land surface processes. Here we investigate the effect of prescribed fires on the landscape...