Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Ryan M. Maher; Heidi Asbjornsen; Randall K. Kolka; Cynthia A. Cambardella; James W. Raich
    Date: 2010
    Source: Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 139(4): 749-753.
    Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)
    Station: Northern Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (160.28 KB)


    Close relationships among climatic factors and soil respiration (Rs) are commonly reported. However, variation in Rs across the landscape is compounded by site-specific differences that impede the development of spatially explicit models. Among factors that influence Rs, the effect of ecosystem age is poorly documented. We hypothesized that Rs increases with grassland age and tested this hypothesis in a chronosequence of tallgrass prairie reconstructions in central Iowa, U.S.A. We also assessed changes in root biomass, root ingrowth, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP), and the strength of soil temperature and moisture in predicting Rs. We found a significant increase in total growing season Rs with prairie age (R2 = 0.79), ranging from 714gCm-2 in the youngest reconstruction (age 4) to 939gCm-2 in the oldest prairie (age 12). Soil temperature was a strong predictor of intra-seasonal Rs among prairies (R2 = 0.78-0.87) but mean growing season soil temperature and moisture did not relate to total Rs. The increase in Rs with age was positively correlated with root biomass (r = 0.80) and ANPP (r = 0.87) but not with root ingrowth. Our findings suggest that growing season Rs increases with tallgrass prairie age, root biomass, and ANPP during young grassland development.

    Publication Notes

    • Check the Northern Research Station web site to request a printed copy of this publication.
    • Our on-line publications are scanned and captured using Adobe Acrobat.
    • During the capture process some typographical errors may occur.
    • Please contact Sharon Hobrla, if you notice any errors which make this publication unusable.
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.


    Maher, Ryan M.; Asbjornsen, Heidi; Kolka, Randall K.; Cambardella, Cynthia A.; Raich, James W. 2010. Changes in soil respiration across a chronosequence of tallgrass prairie reconstructions. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 139(4): 749-753.


    Google Scholar


    Soil respiration, Tallgrass prairie, Grassland age, Root biomass, Belowground carbon, Aboveground production

    Related Search

    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page