Effects of seasonal grazing, drought, fire, and carbon enrichment on soil icroarthropods in a desert grassland

TitleEffects of seasonal grazing, drought, fire, and carbon enrichment on soil icroarthropods in a desert grassland
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsWhitford WG, Steinberger Y.
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume83
Start Page10
Pagination10-14
Date Published06/01/2012
ARIS Log Number283933
Keywordscarbon enrichment, cattle, drought, fire, perennial grass cover, prostigmatid mite, rain-out shelter, soil microarthropods
Abstract

This study was designed to test hypotheses about the combined effects of short-term, seasonal grazing with seasonal drought, fire, and carbon enrichment on soil microarthropod communities in a Chihuahuan Desert grassland. The study was conducted in eighteen 0.5 ha plots following three consecutive years of treatment: six plots intensively grazed in summer, six in winter, and six not grazed. There was no difference in perennial grass cover on the summer-grazed and winter-grazed plots. Intensive seasonal grazing had no effect on the abundance and community composition of soil microarthropods. Within each plot there were six subplots: summer rain-out, winter rain-out, burned, glucose amendment, rainout control and burn-glucose control. Fire and carbon enrichment had no significant effect on soil microarthropod abundance or community composition. The average number of microarthropods ranged from 8915 ± 1422 m-2 in the ungrazed, unburned plots to 7175 ± 1232 m-2 in the winter-grazed, unburned plots. Microarthropod densities in the glucose-amended plots were 8917 ± 4902 m-2 in the winter-grazed plots and 10,731 ± 863 m-2 in the glucose-amended, summer-grazed subplots. The prostigamatid mite, Tydeus sp., was the most abundant microarthropod taxon in all treatment plots. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved

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DOI10.1016/j.jaridenv.2012.03.021