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Effects of nitrogen deposition and insect herbivory on patterns of ecosystem-level carbon and nitrogen dynamics: results from the CENTURY model

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http://pubman.mpdl.mpg.de/cone/persons/resource/persons62414

Holland,  E. A.
Research Group Bioathmospheric Chemistry, Dr. E. Holland, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Society;

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Throop, H. L., Holland, E. A., Parton, W. J., Ojima, D. S., & Keough, C. A. (2004). Effects of nitrogen deposition and insect herbivory on patterns of ecosystem-level carbon and nitrogen dynamics: results from the CENTURY model. Global Change Biology, 10(7), 1092-1105.


Cite as: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-000E-D277-2
Abstract
Atmospheric nitrogen deposition may indirectly affect ecosystems through deposition-induced changes in the rates of insect herbivory. Plant nitrogen (N) status can affect the consumption rates and population dynamics of herbivorous insects, but the extent to which N deposition-induced changes in herbivory might lead to changes in ecosystem-level carbon (C) and N dynamics is unknown. We created three insect herbivory functions based on empirical responses of insect consumption and population dynamics to changes in foliar N and implemented them into the CENTURY model. We modeled the responses of C and N storage patterns and flux rates to N deposition and insect herbivory in an herbaceous system. Results from the model indicate that N deposition caused a strong increase in plant production, decreased plant C : N ratios, increased soil organic C (SOC), and enhanced rates of N mineralization. In contrast, herbivory decreased both vegetative and SOC storage and depressed N mineralization rates. The results suggest that herbivory plays a particularly important role in affecting ecosystem processes by regulating the threshold value of N deposition at which ecosystem C storage saturates; C storage saturated at lower rates of N deposition with increasing intensity of herbivory. Differences in the results among the modeled insect herbivory functions suggests that distinct physiological and population response of insect herbivores can have a large impact on ecosystem processes. Including the effects of herbivory in ecosystem studies, particularly in systems where rates of herbivory are high and linked to plant C : N, will be important in generating accurate predictions of the effects of atmospheric N deposition on ecosystem C and N dynamics. [References: 98]