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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....
Plant invasions have dramatic aboveground effects on plant community composition, but their belowground effects remain largely uncharacterized. Soil microorganisms directly interact with plants and mediate many nutrient transformations in soil. We hypothesized that belowground changes to the soil microbial community provide a mechanistic link between exotic plant invasion and changes to ecosystem nutrient cycling. To examine this possible link, monocultures and mixtures of exotic and native species were maintained for 4 years in a California grassland. Gross rates of nitrogen (N) mineralization and nitrification were quantified with 15N pool dilution and soil microbial communities were characterized with DNA-based...


    map background search result map search result map Inorganic N turnover and availability in annual- and perennial-dominated soils in a northern Utah shrub-steppe ecosystem Inorganic N turnover and availability in annual- and perennial-dominated soils in a northern Utah shrub-steppe ecosystem