Vol 2: Plant compensation to grazing and soil carbon dynamics in a tropical grassland.Report as inadecuate



 Vol 2: Plant compensation to grazing and soil carbon dynamics in a tropical grassland.


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This article is from PeerJ, volume 2.AbstractThe effects of grazing on soil organic carbon SOC dynamics, particularly in the tropics, are still poorly understood. Plant compensation to grazing, whereby plants maintain leaf area C input capacity despite consumption C removal by grazers, has been demonstrated in tropical grasslands but its influence on SOC is largely unexplored. Here, the effect of grazing on plant leaf area index LAI was measured in a field experiment in Serengeti National Park, Tanzania. LAI changed little for grazing intensities up to 70%. The response curve of LAI versus grazing intensity was used in a mass balance model, called SNAP, of SOC dynamics based on previous data from the Serengeti. The model predicted SOC to increase at intermediate grazing intensity, but then to decline rapidly at the highest grazing intensities. The SNAP model predictions were compared with observed SOC stocks in the 24 grazed plots of a 10-year grazing exclosure experiment at eight sites across the park that varied in mean annual rainfall, soil texture, grazing intensity and plant lignin and cellulose. The model predicted current SOC stocks very well R2 0.75, and suggests that compensatory plant responses to grazing are an important means of how herbivores might maintain or increase SOC in tropical grasslands.



Author: Ritchie, Mark E.

Source: https://archive.org/







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