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The episodic nature of water availability in arid and semiarid ecosystems has significant consequences on belowground carbon and nutrient cycling. Pulsed water events directly control belowground processes through soil wet-dry cycles. Rapid soil microbial response to incident moisture availability often results in almost instantaneous C and N(More)
Moisture may limit microbial activity in a wide range of environments including salt water, food, wood, biofilms, and soils. Low water availability can inhibit microbial activity by lowering intracellular water potential and thus reducing hydration and activity of enzymes. In solid matrices, low water content may also reduce microbial activity by(More)
Understanding nitrification rates and their regulation continues as a key area of research for assessing human's increasing impact on the terrestrial N cycle. We review the organisms and processes responsible for nitrification in terrestrial systems. The control of nitrification by substrate availability is discussed with particular attention to the factors(More)
Sporadic summer rainfall in semi-arid ecosystems can provide enough soil moisture to drastically increase CO(2) efflux and rates of soil N cycling. The magnitudes of C and N pulses are highly variable, however, and the factors regulating these pulses are poorly understood. We examined changes in soil respiration, bacterial, fungal and microfaunal(More)
Previous studies comparing invaded and non-invaded sites suggest that cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) causes soil N cycling to increase. Unfortunately, these correlative studies fail to distinguish whether cheatgrass caused the differences in N cycling, or if cheatgrass simply invaded sites where N availability was greater. We measured soil C and N(More)
Plant roots serve as conduits for water flow not only from soil to leaves but also from wetter to drier soil. This hydraulic redistribution through root systems occurs in soils worldwide and can enhance stomatal opening, transpiration, and plant carbon gain. For decades, upward hydraulic lift (HL) of deep water through roots into dry, litter-rich, surface(More)
An agricultural soil was treated with dairy-waste compost, ammonium-sulfate fertilizer or no added nitrogen (control) and planted to silage corn for 6 years. The kinetics of nitrification were determined in laboratory-shaken slurry assays with a range of substrate concentrations (0-20 mM NH(4)(+)) over a 24-h period for soils from the three treatments.(More)
Plant-soil feedbacks are an important aspect of invasive species success. One type of feedback is alteration of soil nutrient cycling. Cheatgrass invasion in the western USA is associated with increases in plant-available nitrogen (N), but the mechanism for this has not been elucidated. We labeled cheatgrass and crested wheatgrass, a common perennial grass(More)
We examined the influence of elevated CO2 concentration on denitrifier enzyme activity in wheat rhizoplanes by using controlled environments and solution culture techniques. Potential denitrification activity was from 3 to 24 times higher on roots that were grown under an elevated CO2 concentration of 1,000 micromoles of CO2 mol-1 than on roots grown under(More)