The purpose of this data set is to monitor long-term changes in microbial biomass on the belowground plots due to the effect on annual burning, mowing and nitrogen and phosphorus fertilization.
Standing dead and litter decomposition of big bluestem foliage and flowering stems were measured for two years using litterbag methods. Mass, nitrogen and phosphorus content were measured.
In 1991, an irrigation transect experiment was established near the Konza Prairie HQ to assess the effects of supplemental water on ecological processes in tallgrass prairie. The site is burned annually in the spring. The transect spans upland, hillside and lowland topographic positions with irrigation and sampling points (12) located at 10 m intervals. Adjacent control transects are marked on both sides of the irrigation transect. Irrigation is scheduled according to estimates of actual evapotranspiration and measures of plant water status.
PBG datasets are associated with a long-term, large-scale study that is addressing the effects of fire-grazing interactions in the context of a Patch-Burn Grazing management system designed to promote grassland heterogeneity. Effects of patch-burn grazing management on plant and animal diversity and the nature and variety of wildlife habitat are being assessed in two replicate management units, each consisting of three pastures (watersheds) designated C03A/C03B/C03C and C3SA/C3SB/C3SC. In each patch-burn grazing unit, one watershed is burned and two that are left unburned in a given year.
Managing soil to sequester C can help mitigate increasing CO2 in the atmosphere. To maximize this ecosystem service, more knowledge of factors influencing C sequestration is needed. The objectives of this study were to (i) quantify recovery of the roots, microbial biomass and composition, and soil structure across a chronosequence of grassland restorations and (ii) use a structural equation model to develop a data-based hypothesis on the relative influence of physical and biological soil properties on the soil C aggregate fraction diagnostic of sequestered C.
The concentration and isotopic composition of soil carbon and nitrogen were measured from select archived soil cores originally collected for the NSC01 dataset using an isotope ratio mass spectrometer coupled with an elemental analyzer. These soil cores were collected from the lowlands (25 cm depth) of four experimental watersheds in 1982, 1987, 2002, 2010, and 2015. The four experimental watersheds are 001d, n01b, 020b, and n20b.
Soil was collected from multiple locations under individual Cornus drummondii shrub islands of varying size to measure within-shrub heterogeneity in soil microbial processes. Soil chemistry (Total C, Total N, extractable inorganic N, extractable P, and organic matter cotent), microbial biomass C and N, and potential extracellular enzymatic activity of β-glucosidase, phosphatase, NAG-ase, and LAP-ase were measured. Potential carbon mineralization and the isotopic composition of respired soil carbon was measured over a 77-day laboratory incubation.
We conducted a “home vs. away” plant-soil feedback greenhouse experiment using two C3 grass species (Bromus inermis and Pascopyrum smithii) grown in soil collected from Konza Prairie. We used a closed-circuit CO2 trapping method and isotopic analysis to differentiate between root-derived and SOM-derived CO2 production. We investigated how soil chemistry and soil bacterial communities differed in soils with a history of B. inermis vs soils with a history of P. smithii.
Climate variability and periodic droughts have complex effects on carbon (C) fluxes, with uncertain implications for ecosystem C balance under a changing climate. Responses to climate change can be modulated by persistent effects of climate history on plant communities, soil microbial activity, and nutrient cycling (i.e., legacies). To assess how legacies of past precipitation regimes influence tallgrass prairie C cycling under new precipitation regimes, we modified a long-term irrigation experiment that simulated a wetter climate for >25 years.