Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service
  
Treesearch

Research & Development Treesearch

 
Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Northern
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help
 

Science.gov - We Participate


USA.gov  Government Made Easy


Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.
20090-6090

(202) 205-8333

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

Publication Information

View PDF (478.0 KB bytes)

Title: The response of soil CO2 fluxes to progressively excluding vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores depends on ecosystem type

Author: Risch, Anita C.; Haynes, Alan G.; Busse, Matt D.; Filli, Flurin; Schütz, Martin;

Date: 2013

Source: Ecosystems. 16(7): 1192-1202

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Grasslands support large populations of herbivores and store up to 30% of the world’s soil carbon (C). Thus, herbivores likely play an important role in the global C cycle. However, most studies on how herbivory impacts the largest source of C released from grassland soils—soil carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions—only considered the role of large ungulates. This ignores all other vertebrate and invertebrate herbivores and their collective effects on ecosystem properties.We progressively excluded large,medium, and small vertebrates and invertebrates from two subalpine grasslands (productive, heavily grazed short-grass; less productive, lightly grazed tall-grass) using size-selective fences, assessed the impact on soil CO2 emissions and related biotic and abiotic variables. Exclusion resulted in significant changes in soil CO2 emissions in both vegetation types. Short-grass soil CO2 emissions progressively increased when large and medium mammals were excluded. However, no difference was detected among plots were all or no herbivores grazed. In contrast, tall-grass soil CO2 emissions were not affected by mammal exclusion, but excluding all herbivores lead to reduced emissions. Soil micro-climatic parameters best predicted the patterns of soil CO2 emissions in short-grass vegetation, whereas root biomass was the best predictor of CO2 release in tall-grass vegetation. Our results showed that diverse herbivore communities affect soil respiration differently than assumed from previous studies that only excluded large ungulates. Such information is important if we are to understand how changes in herbivore species composition—as could happen through altered management practices, extinction or invasion—impact grassland C storage and release.

Keywords: vertebrate herbivores, invertebrate herbivores, consumption, soil temperature, soil moisture, root biomass, soil microbial biomass C, Q10, exclusion, soil respiration

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.

XML: View XML

Citation:


Risch, Anita C.; Haynes, Alan G.; Busse, Matt D.; Filli, Flurin; Schütz, Martin 2013. The Response of Soil CO2 Fluxes to Progressively Excluding Vertebrate and Invertebrate Herbivores Depends on Ecosystem Type. Ecosystems. 16(7): 1192-1202.

 


 [ 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.