Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Global Warming May Lower Grassland Quality

Date:
June 1, 2007
Source:
USDA Agricultural Research Service
Summary:
Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations and air temperatures may lead to an increase in plant production, but a gradual decline in soil carbon and nitrogen. This could negatively affect animal performance, since grazing animals need nitrogen-rich vegetation to facilitate digestion.

Researchers have begun a new long-term study to investigate effects of climate change on rangeland vegetation.
Credit: Doug Wilson

Rising atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and air temperatures may lead to an increase in plant production, but a gradual decline in soil carbon and nitrogen. That's according to study findings reported by Agricultural Research Service (ARS) and Colorado State University (CSU) scientists in the April issue of New Phytologist.

The findings were the result of combined modeling and experimental exercises that explored the impacts of both warming and rising atmospheric CO2 on the ecology of native Great Plains grasslands. The results supported findings from the group's earlier studies, which indicated that future environmental changes could lead to lower nitrogen concentrations in forage grasses. That condition could negatively affect animal performance, since grazing animals need nitrogen-rich vegetation to facilitate digestion.

Plant physiologist Jack A. Morgan and colleagues at the ARS Rangeland Resources Research Unit cooperated with the study's lead author, William Parton of CSU. The scientists are based in Fort Collins, Colo.

The modeling experiment exercise was designed to test the responses from a new experiment just begun in southern Wyoming, the Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment, or PHACE study. The research team has spent two years developing the PHACE study's infrastructure, while the study itself will run for 5 to 10 years.

The scientists tailored an ecosystem model at the PHACE experiment site—based on the earlier experimental results—to help them investigate the effects of changes in climate and atmospheric CO2 in relation to carbon and nitrogen cycling.

A decline in forage quality of the grasslands of eastern Colorado and Wyoming would have a negative effect on not only livestock, but also native animals that have grazed there for thousands of years. The modeling exercise boosted researchers' confidence in the methods being used to assess ecosystems at the PHACE climate change experiment site.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by USDA Agricultural Research Service. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

USDA Agricultural Research Service. "Global Warming May Lower Grassland Quality." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 1 June 2007. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070531112847.htm>.
USDA Agricultural Research Service. (2007, June 1). Global Warming May Lower Grassland Quality. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070531112847.htm
USDA Agricultural Research Service. "Global Warming May Lower Grassland Quality." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2007/05/070531112847.htm (accessed October 20, 2014).

Share This



More Earth & Climate News

Monday, October 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

Raw: Powerful Hurricane Gonzalo Heads to Bermuda

AP (Oct. 17, 2014) Hurricane Gonzalo pounded Bermuda with wind and heavy surf on Friday, bearing down on the tiny British territory as a powerful Category 3 storm that could raise coastal seas as much as 10 feet. (Oct. 17) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

So, Kangaroos Didn't Always Hop

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Researchers believe an extinct kangaroo species weighed 500 pounds or more and couldn't hop. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Hurricane Gonzalo Is A Category 4 And Heading To Bermuda

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) Powerful hurricane could hit Bermuda this weekend, and even if it misses it will likely do some damage. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

The Largest Volcano In Centuries Is Spewing Toxic Gas

Newsy (Oct. 16, 2014) One of the largest volcanic eruptions in centuries is occurring on Iceland. The volcano Bardarbunga is producing high levels of sulfur dioxide. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins