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The cold deserts of the Colorado Plateau contain numerous geologically and geochemically distinct sedimentary bedrock types. In the area near Canyonlands National Park in Southeastern Utah, geochemical variation in geologic substrates is related to the depositional environment with higher concentrations of Fe, Al, P, K, and Mg in sediments deposited in alluvial or marine environments and lower concentrations in bedrock derived from eolian sand dunes. Availability of soil nutrients to vegetation is also controlled by the formation of secondary minerals, particularly for P and Ca availability, which, in some geologic settings, appears closely related to variation of CaCO3 and Ca-phosphates in soils. However, the results...
The availability of nutrients is a critical determinant of ecological dynamics in grasslands, but the relationships between soil resource availability and nutrient limitation across ecosystems are not clear. To better understand how soil nutrient availability determines nutrient limitation in vegetation, we grew the same species of grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) in 98 North American grassland soils and fertilized them factorially with nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P). On average adding N, P, and the two nutrients together increased biomass relative to unfertilized plants by 81%, 22%, and 131%, respectively. Plants grown on low-P soils were not primarily limited by P. Instead, these plants were colimited by N and...
The cold deserts of the Colorado Plateau contain numerous geologically and geochemically distinct sedimentary bedrock types. In the area near Canyonlands National Park in Southeastern Utah, geochemical variation in geologic substrates is related to the depositional environment with higher concentrations of Fe, Al, P, K, and Mg in sediments deposited in alluvial or marine environments and lower concentrations in bedrock derived from eolian sand dunes. Availability of soil nutrients to vegetation is also controlled by the formation of secondary minerals, particularly for P and Ca availability, which, in some geologic settings, appears closely related to variation of CaCO3 and Ca-phosphates in soils. However, the results...
There have been relatively few tests of resource-ratio theory in terrestrial systems. Additionally, resources are known to be an important factor determining the success of invasive species. Here I discuss how the study by Newingham and Belnap (pp. 29?40, this issue) tests predictions of resource-ratio theory and how they apply it to questions of invasion by Bromus tectorum in a terrestrial grassland. Published in Plant and Soil, volume 280, issue 1-2, on pages 23 - 27, in 2006.
Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) availability limit plant growth in most terrestrial ecosystems. This review examines how variation in the relative availability of N and P, as reflected by N : P ratios of plant biomass, influences vegetation composition and functioning. Plastic responses of plants to N and P supply cause up to 50-fold variation in biomass N : P ratios, associated with differences in root allocation, nutrient uptake, biomass turnover and reproductive output. Optimal N : P ratios ? those of plants whose growth is equally limited by N and P ? depend on species, growth rate, plant age and plant parts. At vegetation level, N : P ratios <10 and >20 often (not always) correspond to N- and P-limited biomass...
1. The effects of phosphorus enrichment and grazing snails on a benthic microbial community that builds stromatolic oncolites were examined in an experiment at Rio Mesquites, Cuatro Ci´┐Żnegas, Mexico. Chemical analyses of stream water samples indicated that overall atomic ratios of total nitrogen (N) to total phosphorus (P) were approximately 110, indicating a strong potential for P-limitation of microbial growth. 2. Phosphorus enrichment involved addition of 5 ?mol Na2HPO4 L-1 to streamside microcosms receiving intermittent inputs of stream water while grazer manipulation involved removal of the dominant grazer, the snail Mexithauma quadripaludium. After 7 weeks, we examined responses in organic matter content,...
The fate of carbon (C) in organisms, food webs, and ecosystems is to a major extent regulated by mass-balance principles and the availability of other key nutrient elements. In relative terms, nutrient limitation implies excess C, yet the fate of this C may be quite different in autotrophs and heterotrophs. For autotrophs nutrient limitation means less fixation of inorganic C or excretion of organic C, while for heterotrophs nutrient limitation means that more of ingested C will ??go to waste?? in the form of egestion or respiration. There is in general a mismatch between autotrophs and decomposers that have flexible but generally high C:element ratios, and consumers that have lower C:element ratios and tighter...


map background search result map search result map Controls of Bedrock Geochemistry on Soil and Plant Nutrients in Southeastern Utah Controls of Bedrock Geochemistry on Soil and Plant Nutrients in Southeastern Utah