Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Grasslands soils offer some insurance against climate change

Date:
January 29, 2012
Source:
Lancaster University
Summary:
The earth beneath our feet plays an important role in carbon storage – a key factor in climate change – and new research shows that in times of drought some types of soil perform better than others.

The earth beneath our feet plays an important role in carbon storage – a key factor in climate change – and new research published in Nature Climate Change this week shows that in times of drought some types of soil perform better than others.

Related Articles


Research led by Dr Franciska de Vries of Lancaster University, showed that in drought conditions soil under agricultural grasslands was able to continue doing its job of containing carbon rather than releasing it into the atmosphere. Soil under intensively managed wheat fields, however was not so efficient.

The grasslands in the study also retained their nutrients better under drought conditions, when compared with wheat fields. The grassland soils did their job better because the soil biota in them consisted mainly of fungi, and the small animals which eat fungi, whereas in the wheat field they were mainly bacteria and bacterial-eating animals. Less fungi died because of the drought, so they could continue performing their functions.

The study, which set out to compare the stability under drought of soil biota of two common land use systems, was conducted in labs at Lancaster University and field studies in the south of England, near Reading.

Extensively managed grasslands are agricultural grasslands with low grazing densities. No
fertiliser is added to the fields and they are not tilled. Wheat, however, is tilled every year, and receives a lot of fertiliser.

Dr Franciska de Vries of Lancaster University’s Environment Centre said: “These results show land use strongly affects the resistance of soil food webs to drought.

“As drought is widely predicted to increase as a result of climate change, it would be worth wile to promote these fungal-based soil food webs that are found under grasslands, because they can continue to perform their functions better under climate change, and prevent carbon and nitrogen losses, which can cause problems.

“In that sense fungal-based soil food webs are almost like an insurance against the effects of climate change.”

Land use alters the resistance and resilience of soil food webs to drought, De Vries F.T., Liiri M., Bjørnlund L., Bowker M., Christensen S., Setälä H. & Bardgett R.D. (2012), is published in Nature Climate Change, 29 January .

Lancaster University’s research partners were the University of Helsinki in Finland Biologisk Institut, Terrestrisk Økologi in Denmark, and Southwest Biological Science Center, US Geological Survey, in Arizona, US.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Lancaster University. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Franciska T. de Vries, Mira E. Liiri, Lisa Bjørnlund, Matthew A. Bowker, Søren Christensen, Heikki M. Setälä, Richard D. Bardgett. Land use alters the resistance and resilience of soil food webs to drought. Nature Climate Change, 2012; DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1368

Cite This Page:

Lancaster University. "Grasslands soils offer some insurance against climate change." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 29 January 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120129151054.htm>.
Lancaster University. (2012, January 29). Grasslands soils offer some insurance against climate change. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 31, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120129151054.htm
Lancaster University. "Grasslands soils offer some insurance against climate change." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/01/120129151054.htm (accessed January 31, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Nanoscale Sensor Could Help Wine Producers and Clinical Scientists

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Jan. 30, 2015) — A nanosensor that mimics the oral effects and sensations of drinking wine has been developed by Danish and Portuguese researchers. Jim Drury saw it in operation. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Dog-Loving Astronaut Wins Best Photo of 2015

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) — Retired astronaut and television host, Leland Melvin, snuck his dogs into the NASA studio so they could be in his official photo. As Mara Montalbano (@maramontalbano) shows us, the secret is out. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

U.S. Wants to Analyze DNA from 1 Million People

Reuters - US Online Video (Jan. 30, 2015) — The U.S. has proposed analyzing genetic information from more than 1 million American volunteers to learn how genetic variants affect health and disease. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Rarest Cat on Planet Caught Attacking Monkeys on Camera

Buzz60 (Jan. 30, 2015) — An African Golden Cat, the rarest large cat on the planet was recently caught on camera by scientists trying to study monkeys. The cat comes out of nowhere to attack those monkeys. Patrick Jones (@Patrick_E_Jones) has the rest. Video provided by Buzz60
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