Bison Grazing Increases Biodiversity In Grasslands

Grazing by herbivorous mammals like bison increases biodiversity in North American grasslands, says National Science Foundation (NSF) ecologist Scott Collins, even during periods of frequent burning and other stresses. In fact, loss of species diversity in these grasslands due to frequent burning was reversed by bison grazing, according to Collins.

"Thus, reestablishing grazing in grasslands stressed by human activities enhances biodiversity," says the scientist. Collins' research results are published in this week's issue of the journal Science. His work was conducted at NSF's Konza Prairie Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) site in northeastern Kansas, one of a network of 20 such NSF sites in North America and Antarctica.

Species diversity has declined in ecosystems worldwide due to habitat fragmentation, eutrophication, and land-use changes, scientists believe.

Collins and his colleagues conducted two long-term field experiments in native grasslands to assess effects of fire, addition of nitrogen, and grazing on plant species diversity. In one experiment, species richness declined on burned and fertilized areas, whereas grazing maintained diversity under these conditions. In a second experiment, loss of species diversity due to frequent burning was reversed by bison, animals that Collins calls keystone herbivores in North American grasslands.

In North American tallgrass prairies, diversity and productivity are controlled to a large extent by nitrogen availability, Collins explains. Historically, nitrogen availability in prairies was driven by interactions between frequency of fires and grazing by large herbivores. In general, spring fires enhance growth of certain grasses, and herbivores such as bison preferentially graze these grasses, keeping a system of checks and balances working properly, and allowing many plant species to flourish.

"Extirpation of native grazers, habitat fragmentation, increased

Contact: Cheryl Dybas
National Science Foundation

Page: 1 2

Related biology news :

1. Solution To Bison-Cattle Conflict In Yellowstone
2. LSU Ag Center Brucellosis Specialist May Help Stem Bison Controversy
3. Colorado State University Study Reveals Climate Change, Longer Growing Seasons Could Harm Grazing On Western Shortgrass Steppe
4. Mowing, Grazing Of Tall-Grass Prairie Increases
5. Study Suggests Vaccine Increases Survival In Ovarian And Breast Cancer Patients Following High-Dose Chemotherapy And Autologous Stem Cell Transplant
6. Stress Increases Blood Chemical Related To Heart Disease
7. Severe Falciparum Malaria Increases In Honduras
8. Lower Temperature Increases Virus Production
9. Survey Shows Students Turning To Physicians Less As Drug Abuse Increases
10. Intake Of Acetaminophen Increases Risk Of Excessive Anticoagulation In Patients Taking Warfarin
11. Iron Deficiency Increases Likelihood Of Bone Fractures

Post Your Comments:

(Date:5/16/2017)... , May 16, 2017   Bridge ... health organizations, and MD EMR Systems , ... development partner for GE, have established a partnership ... Portal product and the GE Centricity™ products, including ... EMR. These new integrations will ...
(Date:4/19/2017)... The global military biometrics market ... by the presence of several large global players. The ... major players - 3M Cogent, NEC Corporation, M2SYS Technology, ... 61% of the global military biometric market in 2016. ... military biometrics market boast global presence, which has catapulted ...
(Date:4/13/2017)... April 13, 2017 UBM,s Advanced Design and ... will feature emerging and evolving technology through its 3D ... will run alongside the expo portion of the event ... and demonstrations focused on trending topics within 3D printing ... and manufacturing event will take place June 13-15, 2017 at ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... Proscia ... be hosting a Webinar titled, “Pathology is going digital. Is your lab ready?” ... pathology adoption best practices and how Proscia improves lab economics and realizes an ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... and LAGUNA HILLS, Calif. , Oct. ... Cancer Research, London (ICR) and University ... SKY92, SkylineDx,s prognostic tool to risk-stratify patients with multiple myeloma ... MUK nine . The University of Leeds ... partly funded by Myeloma UK, and ICR will perform the ...
(Date:10/11/2017)... ... October 11, 2017 , ... A new study published in ... and fresh in vitro fertilization (IVF) transfer cycles. The multi-center matched ... , After comparing the results from the fresh and frozen transfer cohorts, the ...
(Date:10/10/2017)... CALIF. (PRWEB) , ... October 10, 2017 , ... San ... part of its corporate rebranding initiative announced today. The bold new look is ... reach, as the company moves into a significant growth period. , It will also ...
Breaking Biology Technology:
Cached News: