Grazing intensity levels influence C reservoirs of wet and mesic meadows along a precipitation gradient in Northern Patagonia

Authors
Enriquez, Andrea Soledad; Chimner, Rodney Allen; Cremona, Maria Victoria; Diehl, Paula; Bonvissuto, Griselda
Publication Year
2015
Language
English
Format
article
Status
Published version
Description
Wet meadows are important ecosystems for forage production and as carbon reservoirs in semi-arid areas. In Patagonia, Argentina, large areas of wet meadows have been classified as overgrazed by livestock. The objective of this study was to determine whether long-term overgrazing has affected carbon (C) storage in plant and soil pools in wet and mesic meadows. The study occurred in Northern Patagonia, in three study sites located along a precipitation gradient. Our results indicate that long-term overgrazing reduced, on average, 35 % of the total ecosystem C pool. There was significantly lower aboveground and belowground plant production in heavily grazed compared to lightly grazed sites, 419 ± 262 – 128 ± 110 g m2 year−1 and 3796 ± 2622 – 1702 ± 1012 g m2 year−1, respectively. Soil C concentrations were also less in heavily grazed sites (184 ± 98 – 105 ± 58 g kg−1 at 1 m depth, respectively). The response of meadows to long-term heavy grazing also appears to be influenced by different levels of precipitation, with sites in drier areas being apparently more susceptible to overgrazing. Our results indicate that new management and restoration practices are needed to stop and reverse meadow deterioration in degraded meadows of Northern Patagonia.
EEA Bariloche
Fil: Enriquez, Andrea Soledad. INTA. Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Bariloche; Argentina. Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas; Argentina
Fil: Chimner, Rodney Allen. Michigan Technological University. School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science; Estados Unidos
Fil: Cremona, Maria Victoria. INTA. Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Bariloche; Argentina
Fil: Diehl, Paula. INTA. Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Bariloche; Argentina.
Fil: Bonvissuto, Griselda. INTA. Estación Experimental Agropecuaria Bordenave; Argentina
Source
Wetlands Ecology and Management 23 (3) : 439–451 (June 2015)
Subject
Prados de Siega
Alimentación de los Animales
Pastoreo
Tierras Húmedas
Sobrepastoreo
Carbono
Meadows
Animal Feeding
Grazing
Wetlands
Overgrazing
Carbon
Región Patagónica
Access level
Restricted access
License
Repository
INTA Digital (INTA)
Institution
Instituto Nacional de Tecnología Agropecuaria
OAI Identifier
oai:localhost:20.500.12123/4110