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Nitrogen limitation, ¹⁵N tracer retention, and growth response in intact and Bromus tectorum-invaded Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis communities Public Deposited

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  • Annual grass invasion into shrub-dominated ecosystems is associated with changes in nutrient cycling that may alter nitrogen (N) limitation and retention. Carbon (C) applications that reduce plant-available N have been suggested to give native perennial vegetation a competitive advantage over exotic annual grasses, but plant community and N retention responses to C addition remain poorly understood in these ecosystems. The main objectives of this study were to (1) evaluate the degree of N limitation of plant biomass in intact versus B. tectorum-invaded sagebrush communities, (2) determine if plant N limitation patterns are reflected in the strength of tracer ¹⁵N retention over two growing seasons, and (3) assess if the strength of plant N limitation predicts the efficacy of carbon additions intended to reduce soil N availability and plant growth. Labile C additions reduced biomass of exotic annual species; however, growth of native A. tridentata shrubs also declined. Exotic annual and native perennial plant communities had divergent responses to added N, with B. tectorum displaying greater ability to use added N to rapidly increase aboveground biomass, and native perennials increasing their tissue N concentration but showing little growth response. Few differences in N pools between the annual and native communities were detected. In contrast to expectations, however, more ¹⁵N was retained over two growing seasons in the invaded annual grass than in the native shrub community. Our data suggest that N cycling in converted exotic annual grasslands of the northern Intermountain West, USA, may retain N more strongly than previously thought.
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  • Witwicki, D. L., Doescher, P. S., Pyke, D. A., DeCrappeo, N. M., & Perakis, S. S. (2013). Nitrogen limitation, 15N tracer retention, and growth response in intact and bromus tectorum-invaded artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis communities. Oecologia, 171(4), 1013.
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  • 171
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  • 4
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  • This study was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’sInitiative for Future Agriculture and Food Systems (CREESAgreement 2001-52103-11322) and the U.S. Geological Survey’sCoordinated Intermountain Restoration Project.
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  • description.provenance : Submitted by Deborah Campbell (deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-05-14T17:13:11Z No. of bitstreams: 1 DoescherPaulSForestEcosystemsSocietyNitrogenLimitationN-15.pdf: 483717 bytes, checksum: c4a1bca090bd1c5d7a5e8c741a5b5f4f (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Approved for entry into archive by Deborah Campbell(deborah.campbell@oregonstate.edu) on 2013-05-14T17:46:36Z (GMT) No. of bitstreams: 1 DoescherPaulSForestEcosystemsSocietyNitrogenLimitationN-15.pdf: 483717 bytes, checksum: c4a1bca090bd1c5d7a5e8c741a5b5f4f (MD5)
  • description.provenance : Made available in DSpace on 2013-05-14T17:46:36Z (GMT). No. of bitstreams: 1 DoescherPaulSForestEcosystemsSocietyNitrogenLimitationN-15.pdf: 483717 bytes, checksum: c4a1bca090bd1c5d7a5e8c741a5b5f4f (MD5) Previous issue date: 2012-09-22

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