Konza Prairie Terrestrial Arthropods Species List. This species list has been modified since 1977, last modified by Ellen Welti and Anthony Joern in 2014.
Frequent burning is a common land practice in many grasslands worldwide, and this land use strategy has large impacts on a wide variety of ecosystem functions and services. Fire in tallgrass prairie, in the absence of grazing, alters plant community composition, decreases richness, and increases plant production. Proposed mechanisms for the changes in community composition and function are that fire decreases N availability (through volatilization) and removes litter (thereby increasing light availability and decreasing soil moisture).
Annual aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) from the Sequential Prairie Restoration Experiment at the Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research site in Manhattan, KS USA. The data include ANPP from the first three years of restoration in each of three restoration sequences initiated in different years. Data correspond to subplot and whole-plot analyses.
We manipulated key resources that influence plant diversity in tallgrass prairie (i.e., soil depth and nitrogen availability) to increase environmental heterogeneity prior to sowing native prairie species into a former agricultural field.
Recent models suggest that herbivores optimize nutrient intake by selecting patches of low to intermediate vegetation biomass. We assessed the application of this hypothesis to plains bison (Bison bison) in an experimental grassland managed with fire by estimating daily rates of nutrient intake in relation to grass biomass and by measuring patch selection in experimental watersheds in which grass biomass was manipulated by prescribed burning.
Rainfall Manipulation Plots facility (RaMPs) is a unique experimental infrastructure that allows us to manipulate precipitation events and temperature, and assess population community, and ecosystem responses in native grassland. This facility allows us to manipulate the amount and timing of individual precipitation events in replicated field plots at the Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site.
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 distribution, structure and function of mesic savanna grasslands are strongly driven by fire regimes, grazing by large herbivores, and their interactions. This research addresses a general question about our understanding of savanna grasslands globally: Is our knowledge of fire and grazing sufficiently general to enable us to make accurate predictions of how these ecosystems will respond to changes in these drivers over time? Some evidence suggests that fire and grazing influence savanna grassland structure and function differently in South Africa (SA) compared to North America (NA).
Understanding spatial and temporal variation in plant traits is needed to accurately predict how communities and ecosystems will respond to global change. The National Observatory Ecological Network (NEON) Airborne Observation Platform (AOP) provides hyperspectral images and associated data products at numerous field sites at 1 m spatial resolution, allowing high-resolution trait mapping. However, the reliability of these data depend on establishing rigorous links with in-situ field measurements.
Woody plants are increasing prevalence and dominance in many rangelands around the world. The reason for their increase is various but two common drivers that have changed are an increase in CO2 concentrations and alteration to precipitation dynamics. We asked what the physiological growth dynamics of four juvenile woody plant species (Cornus drummondii, Rhus glabra, Gleditsia triacanthos and Juniperus osteosperma) when grown in elevated CO2 and chronically water stressed.
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.
Climate change is expected to shift precipitation regimes in the North American Central Plains with likely impacts on ecosystem functioning. In tallgrass prairies, water and nitrogen (N) can co-limit ecosystem processes, so changes in precipitation may have complex effects on carbon (C) and N cycling. Rates of N supply such as N mineralization and nitrification respond differently to short- and long-term patterns in water availability, and previous climate patterns may exert legacy effects on current N cycling that could alter ecosystem sensitivity to current precipitation regimes.
In fall of 2010 in watershed N2B ( 39.088976°, -96.588599°), we established plant community plots to assess the potential ability of the riparian zone to shift to a grassland state based on cutting alone and cutting with replanting. The three treatments were 1) naturally open riparian grassland before the removal, 2) areas cleared of woody vegetation, and 3) areas cleared of woody vegetation and seeded with prairie plant species. The addition of the seeded treatment was designed to address if recovery of grassland vegetation is hindered by propagule limitation.