Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (202 KB)

Title: Soil nitrogen mineralization not affected by grass species traits

Author: Nosshi, Maged Ikram; Butler, Jack; Trlica, M. J.;

Date: 2007

Source: Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 39: 1031-1039.

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Species N use traits was evaluated as a mechanism whereby Bromus inermis (Bromus), an established invasive, might alter soil N supply in a Northern mixed-grass prairie. We compared soils under stands of Bromus with those from three representative native grasses of different litter C/N: Andropogon gerardii (Andropogon), Nassella viridula (Nassella) and Pascopyrum smithii (Pascopyrum); in ascending order of litter quality. Net mineralization (per g soil N) measured in year-long laboratory incubations showed no differences in comparisons of Bromus with two of the three native grasses: Andropogon and Nassella. Higher mineralization in Pascopyrum stands relative to Bromus was consistent with its higher litter quality. However, an unusually high occurrence of an N-fixing legume in Pascopyrum stands, potentially favoring high mineralization rates, confounded any conclusions regarding the effects of plant N use on N mineralization. Instead of an initial flush of net mineralization, as would be expected in laboratory incubation, we observed an initial lag phase. This lag in net N mineralization coincided with high microbial activity (respiration) that suggests strong N limitation of the microbial biomass. Further support for the importance of immobilization initially came from modeling mineralization dynamics, which was explained better when we accounted for microbial growth in our model. The absence of strong differences in net mineralization beneath these grasses suggests that differences in plant N use alone were unlikely to influence soil N mineralization through substrate quality, particularly under strong N control of the microbial biomass.

Keywords: nitrogen immobilization, species effects, N use, litter quality, soil incubation, soil respiration, mixed-grass prairie, N cycling, plant-soil interactions, invasive species, Bromus inermis

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Nosshi, Maged Ikram; Butler, Jack; Trlica, M. J. 2007. Soil nitrogen mineralization not affected by grass species traits. Soil Biology & Biochemistry. 39: 1031-1039.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.