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Booth, Mary S

Soils that are physically disturbed are often reported to show net nitrification and NO3? loss. To investigate the response of soil N cycling rates to soil mixing, we assayed gross rates of mineralization, nitrification, NH4+ consumption, and NO3? consumption in a suite of soils from eleven woody plant communities in Oregon, New Mexico, and Utah. Results suggest that the common response of net NO3? flux from disturbed soils is not a straightforward response of increased gross nitrification, but instead may be due to the balance of several factors. While mineralization and NH4+ assimilation were higher in mixed than intact cores, NO3? consumption declined. Mean net nitrification was 0.12 mg N kg?1 d?1 in disturbed...
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The exotic annual grass Bromus tectorum has replaced thousands of hectares of native perennial vegetation in semi-arid ecosystems of the western United States. Inorganic N availability and production were compared in soil from monodominant patches of Bromus tectorum, the perennial bunchgrass Elymus elymoides, and the shrub Artemisia tridentata, in Curlew Valley, a salt-desert shrub site in Northern Utah. Bromus-dominated soil had greater %N in the top 10 cm than Artemisia or Elymus-dominated soils. As determined by spring isotope-dilution assays, gross mineralization and nitrification rates were higher in Bromus-dominated than Artemisia-dominated soils, but gross rates of NH4+ and NO3- consumption were also higher....
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