grassland News

  • Nitrogen mysteries in urban grasslands

    Areas of turf-forming species created and maintained by humans for aesthetic and recreational (not grazing) purposes, i.e. “urban grasslands” are an extremely common, but poorly studied ecosystem type. There are over 150,000 km2of urban grasslands in the U.S. and many receive high rates of fertilizer, creating concerns about nutrient runoff to streams, lakes, and estuaries and emissions of ...

  • Grasslands: The future of sustainable agriculture

    Grassland: Quietness and Strength for a New American Agriculture was written to increase our awareness of the vital role grass and grassland plants have in ensuring a sustainable future for American agriculture. Published by the American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, the book's content is geared toward agriculturists, students, the ...

  • Fighting climate change with grasslands

    Grasslands have vast untapped potential to mitigate climate change by absorbing and storing CO2, according to a new report by FAO. Pastures and rangelands represent a carbon sink that could be greater than forests if properly managed. Covering some 30 percent of the earth’s ice-free land surface and accounting for 70 percent of its agricultural land, the world’s 3.4 billion ha of grasslands can ...

  • Climate change enhances grassland productivity

    More frequent freeze-thaw cycles in winter can increase biomass production according to the results of a recent study conducted by the Helmholtz Center for Environmental Research (UFZ), the University of Bayreuth and the Helmholtz Center in Munich. For their experiment at the Ecological-Botanical Garden of the University of Bayreuth the researchers installed underground heating on their plots, ...

  • Chevrolet supports grassland preservation program

    Chevrolet has become the first corporate participant in a public-private initiative that pays farmers not to convert natural prairie to large-scale agriculture, which would release gases that are warming the planet, officials said Monday. The automaker, a division of General Motors, said it has bought more than 39,000 metric tons of carbon credits ...


    By Associated Press

  • Simple method to estimate soil carbon stocks in grassland

    Storage of carbon in soil helps to keep land fertile and regulates the climate, and is therefore an important ecosystem service. However, mapping of soil carbon stocks currently uses unreliable measures. This study used data from a national survey of English grasslands to show that soil carbon stocks can be accurately predicted using simple measures of soil and climatic conditions. Two to three ...

  • Abandoned wet grasslands can be rapidly restored

    Wet grasslands abandoned less than 40 years ago can be successfully restored within a decade, a recent analysis suggests. By examining the findings of a range of studies, it identified the causes and consequences of abandonment and the key factors in successful restoration. Wet grasslands, such as floodplain hay meadows, are semi-natural habitats with either a high water table or regular ...

  • Mountain grasslands and shrublands store significant amounts of carbon

    Despite their general absence from climate policy discussions, the world’s mountain grasslands and shrublands (MGSs) store between 60.5 and 82.8 billion metric tonnes of carbon, a new study estimates - more than three times that of ocean and coastal ecosystems. This research, which is the first to provide a global inventory of carbon stored in MGSs, argues that these ecosystems should be ...

  • Abandoned wet grasslands can be rapidly restored

    Wet grasslands abandoned less than 40 years ago can be successfully restored within a decade, a recent analysis suggests. By examining the findings of a range of studies, it identified the causes and consequences of abandonment and the key factors in successful restoration. Wet grasslands, such as floodplain hay meadows, are semi-natural habitats with either a high water table or regular ...

  • Canada's Leading Environmental Education Organizations Unite to Help Save Grassland Ecosystems

    The Bison Collaborative, comprising the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) (http://www.rom.on.ca), the Toronto Zoo (http://www.torontozoo.com), Parks Canada (http://www.parkscanada.gc.ca), and Earth ...


    By PRWeb

  • Will large amounts of soil carbon be released to the atmosphere if grasslands are converted to energy crops?

    Grasslands in the Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) in the United States may be increasingly converted to growing bioenergy grain crops. Questions abound regarding the fate of carbon sequestered in the soil during the CRP program by perennial grasses if the land is converted to grain crop production and the potential effectiveness of no-till production systems to conserve the sequestered soil ...

  • Erosion of forests and grasslands triggers alarm bells in Asia and the Pacific

    Forest loss and degradation remain major problems confronting the Asia-Pacific region which, if not addressed, will leave future generations a legacy of damaged ecosystems and irrecoverable losses of biodiversity, FAO is warning. Forest and grasslands cover 57.5 percent of Asia-Pacific’s massive land surface and provide vital ecosystems that support agriculture and livelihoods, which in ...

  • High-nature-value grasslands can be maintained by alternating between mowing and grazing

    Scientists recommend policies that alternate between mowing and grazing to manage Europe’s high-nature-value grasslands. This comes after a new seven-year study found that a high plant-species diversity helps grasslands to maintain productivity and to resist depletion of phosphorus caused by livestock grazing and depletion of potassium caused by mowing. Grasslands with high levels of ...

  • Populations of grassland butterflies decline almost 50 % over two decades

    Grassland butterflies have declined dramatically between 1990 and 2011. This has been caused by intensifying agriculture and a failure to properly manage grassland ecosystems, according to a report from the European Environment Agency (EEA). The fall in grassland butterfly numbers is particularly worrying, according to the report, because these butterflies are considered to be ...

  • Intensive grassland farming could have deep effects: sequestering significantly less soil carbon

    Huge amounts of soil carbon have been discovered up to 1 metre below grassland in a recent UK study. Yet most carbon inventories do not assess soil deeper than 30 cm. Furthermore, this research suggests that intensive management of grassland, involving high rates of fertiliser use and livestock grazing, may deplete carbon at these depths. Globally, soil contains more carbon than all the ...

  • Phosphorus-rich soils support larger invertebrates

    In a recent study, researchers have defined the relationship between soil conditions and nutrients with the health of soil ecosystems. The results suggest that organic grassland, rich in phosphorus, is supportive of large populations of bigger invertebrates. All living things are made up of chemical elements in certain proportions and the availability of these elements in the environment can ...

  • Biofuel crops increase carbon emissions

    The conversion of forests and grasslands into fields for the plants offsets the benefit of using the fuel, researchers find. Greenhouse-gas output overall would rise instead of fall. The rush to grow biofuel crops -- widely embraced as part of the solution to global warming -- is actually increasing greenhouse gas emissions rather than reducing them, according to two studies published Thursday in ...

  • Some plants can adapt to widespread climate change

    While many plant species move to a new location or go extinct as a result of climate change, grasslands clinging to a steep, rocky dale-side in Northern England seem to defy the odds and adapt to long-term changes in temperature and rainfall, according to a new study by scientists from Syracuse University and the University of Sheffield (United Kingdom) published online in the July 7 issue of the ...

  • Soil nitrogen increased through greater plant biodiversity

    Increased plant biodiversity improves grassland soil quality by boosting its nitrogen levels, even in the absence of nitrogen-fixing plants, recent research has found. Previous research has shown that grasslands with higher biodiversity had higher levels of carbon and nitrogen. However, in the case of nitrogen it has been suggested that this was purely a result of increased numbers of ...

  • Crop management to reduce biofuels` carbon debt

    It is widely considered that using biofuels produces less greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions than using fossil fuels. However, there are concerns that the possible effects of land use change (LUC) may outweigh these benefits. New research looks at the effects of sustainable crop management as a means of reducing the negative impacts of LUC. Biofuels form an important part of the EU's strategy for ...

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