Influence of nitrogen loading and species composition on the carbon balance of grasslands

David A. Wedin, David Tilman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

456 Scopus citations

Abstract

In a 12-year experimental study of nitrogen (N) deposition on Minnesota grasslands, plots dominated by native warm-season grasses shifted to low- diversity mixtures dominated by cool-season grasses at all but the lowest N addition rates. This shift was associated with decreased biomass carbon (C):N ratios, increased N mineralization, increased soil nitrate, high N losses, and low C storage. In addition, plots originally dominated by normative cool- season grasses retained little added N and stored little C, even at low N input rates. Thus, grasslands with high N retention and C storage rates were the most vulnerable to species losses and major shifts in C and N cycling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1720-1723
Number of pages4
JournalScience
Volume274
Issue number5293
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 6 1996

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