Impact of Incremental Surface Soil Depths on Plant Production, Transpiration Ratios, and Nitrogen Mineralization Rates
CitationLyons, S. M., & Gifford, G. F. (1980). Impact of incremental surface soil depths on plant production, transpiration ratios, and nitrogen mineralization rates. Journal of Range Management, 33(3), 189-196.
PublisherSociety for Range Management
JournalJournal of Range Management
AbstractFrom October 1974 to August 1976, a study was conducted to measure how incremental surface soil depths from the pinyon-juniper type affected plant production, plant transpiration rates, and nitrate nitrogen mineralization rates. The treatments were incremental removals of 7.6-cm soil layers to a depth of 30.5 cm. Plant production and transpiration ratios (or water use efficiencies) were measured in greenhouse studies using Agropyron desertorum grown in specified incremental 7.6-cm soil layers taken from five study sites throughout Utah. Significant decreases in plant production and increases in transpiration ratios were measured for all sites at incremental depths beyond 7.6-cm. These changes in plant production and transpiration ratios were linearly related to the nitrate nitrogen content of the soils (as determined when the soils were collected for use in the greenhouse). Nitrate mineralization rates were measured for two 6-week periods under field conditions at two sites for each of the 7.6-cm incremental soil layers. Nitrate nitrogen mineralization was linearly correlated with the organic carbon content of the soil. Decreased mineralization rates as measured in the field at both sites were reflected in the significant increases in plant water requirements and decreases in production that were measured in greenhouse studies.