Simulating the long-term impact of burning on C, N, and P cycling in a tallgrass prairie

TitleSimulating the long-term impact of burning on C, N, and P cycling in a tallgrass prairie
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1988
AuthorsOjima, DS, Parton, WJ, Schimell, DS, Owensby, CE
EditorGiovannozzi-Sermanni, G, Nannipieri, P
Pagination353 -370
PublisherVia Nizza
Conference LocationRoma, Italy
Accession NumberKNZ00153
Keywordstallgrass prairie

A model has been developed to simulate the long-term dynamics of soil organic matter and plant production in response to different management practices. The model simulates the flow of C, N, and P in soil-plant systems and deals primarily with the cycling of nutrients in various soil organic matter pools. The model was used to simulate the long- term effects of different fire frequency and timing of the burning on soil organic matter levels, nutrient cycling and plant production. The model results are compared to nutrient cycling data, soil organic matter data and plant production data from a site in Kansas which was established in 1928 to study the impact of annual burning on a tallgrass prairie. The model results compare very favorably with the observed data and show that maximum production is achieved by annual burning in the late spring (April 20). The annual burning also causes the soil organic matter levels and N mineralization potential to decrease. Burning tends to increase the inorganic P levels at the soil surface, which results in increased N fixation