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* • Relative abundances of carbon and nitrogen isotopes in fungal sporocarps are useful in assessing mycorrhizal or saprotrophic status, and might provide insights into the evolutionary history of these traits. * • Sporocarps of known mycorrhizal or saprotrophic genera were collected at Woods Creek, OR, USA, and isotopically compared with foliage, litter, soils and wood collected from the same site. Possible trophic strategies were then isotopically assessed in archived specimens of the Pezizales of known molecular phylogeny from the western United States. * • At Woods Creek, mycorrhizal fungi were 3.5‰ ± 0.6‰ depleted in δ13C and 5.7‰ ± 0.4‰ enriched in δ15N compared with saprotrophic fungi. By...
1. It has been suggested that much of the elevated CO2 effect on plant productivity and N cycling in semi-arid grasslands is related to a CO2-induced increase in soil moisture, but the relative importance of moisture-mediated and direct effects of CO2 remain unclear. 2. We grew five grassland species common to the semi-arid grasslands of northern Colorado, USA, as monocultures and as mixtures of all five species in pots. We examined the effects of atmospheric CO2 concentration (ambient vs. 780 p.p.m.) and soil moisture (15 vs. 20% m/m) on plant biomass and plant N uptake. Our objective was to separate CO2 effects not related to water from water-mediated CO2 effects by frequently watering the pots, thereby eliminating...
Patterns and processes involved in litter breakdown on desert river floodplains are not well understood. We used leafpacks containing Fremont cottonwood (Populus deltoides subsp. wislizenii) leaf litter to investigate the roles of weather and microclimate, flooding (immersion), and macroinvertebrates on litter organic matter (OM) and nitrogen (N) loss on a floodplain in a cool-temperate semi-arid environment (Yampa River, northwestern Colorado, USA). Total mass of N in fresh autumn litter fell by 20% over winter and spring, but in most cases there was no further N loss prior to termination of the study after 653 days exposure, including up to 20 days immersion during the spring flood pulse. Final OM mass was 10?40%...