Benjamin F . Tracy

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We studied how ungulates and a large variation in site conditions influenced grassland nitrogen (N) dynamics in Yellowstone National Park. In contrast to most grassland N studies that have examined one or two soil N processes, we investigated four rates, net N mineralization, nitrification, denitrification, and inorganic N leaching, at seven paired sites(More)
Microorganisms are largely responsible for soil nutrient cycling and energy flow in terrestrial ecosystems. Although soil microorganisms are affected by topography and grazing, little is known about how these two variables may interact to influence microbial processes. Even less is known about how these variables influence microorganisms in systems that(More)
It remains unclear whether biodiversity buffers ecosystems against climate extremes, which are becoming increasingly frequent worldwide. Early results suggested that the ecosystem productivity of diverse grassland plant communities was more resistant, changing less during drought, and more resilient, recovering more quickly after drought, than that of(More)
There is an emerging recognition that invasibility is not an intrinsic community trait, but is a condition that fluctuates from interactions between environmental forces and residential characters. Elucidating the spatiotemporal complexities of invasion requires inclusion of multiple, ecologically variable factors within communities of differing structure.(More)
Tall fescue (Festuca arundinacea Schreb.), a highly competitive European grass that invades US grasslands, is reportedly allelopathic to many agronomic plants, but its ability to inhibit the germination or growth of native grassland plants is unknown. In three factorial glasshouse experiments, we tested the potential allelopathic effects of(More)
Pasture lands are an important facet of land use in the northeast United States, yet little is known about their recent diversity. To answer some fundamental questions about the diversity of these pasture lands, we designed a broad survey to document plant species richness using an intensive, multi scale sampling method. We also wanted to learn whether(More)
The length of time and form in which disturbances persist in systems depends on the intensity and frequency of disturbance and on the abilities of resident species to recover from such events. In grazed grasslands, trampling by large mammalian herbivores can periodically facilitate weed establishment by exposing patches of bare ground but whether an intense(More)
Little is known about how fungi affect plant selenium (Se) accumulation. Here we investigate the effects of two fungi on Se accumulation, translocation, and chemical speciation in the hyperaccumulator Astragalus racemosus and the non-accumulator Astragalus convallarius. The fungi, Alternaria astragali (A3) and Fusarium acuminatum (F30), were previously(More)
We studied responses of aboveground production, grazing by elk and the availability of eight elements (Ca, Fe, K, Mg, N, Na, P, Zn) in a Yellowstone National Park sagebrush grassland following a fire in 1992. We compared four areas of differing fire history: (1) an area burned in 1992, (2) an area burned in 1992 and 1988, (3) an area burned in 1988 and (4)(More)