Abstract

 

Table of Contents

 

List of Contributors

 

Abstract   Top of Page

The semiarid shortgrass steppe is especially interesting and important because it is the warmest, driest, and lowest in primary production of the several grassland types that made up what was a very large area of grassland in central North American and because a large fraction of the original area is still in native vegetation. This remaining native vegetation is in both private and public holdings and for the most part it is all grazed by cattle.  One of the most interesting characteristics of the steppe is how little it has been altered by the introduction of livestock, which has been attributed to its long evolutionary history of grazing by large herbivores.
    Ecology of the Shortgrass Steppe:A Long Term Perspective summarizes and synthesizes more than 60 years of research that has been conducted throughout the shortgrass region. The shortgrass steppe was an important focus of the International Biological Programme’s Grassland Biome project that ran from the late 1960s until the mid 1970s. The work conducted by the Grassland Biome project was preceded by almost 40 years of research by U.S. Department of Agriculture researchers – primarily from the Agricultural Research Service – and followed to the present by the Shortgrass Steppe Long Term Ecological Research project. Ecology of the Shortgrass Steppe:A Long Term Perspective is an enormously rich source of data and insight into the structure and function of a semiarid grassland.

 

 

Table of Contents   Top of Page

1 The Shortgrass Steppe: The Region and Research Sites

2 Climate of the Shortgrass Steppe

3 Soil Development and Distribution in the Shortgrass Steppe Ecosystem

4 Land-Use History on the Shortgrass Steppe

5 Vegetation of the Shortgrass Steppe

6 The Role of Disturbances in Shortgrass Steppe Community and Ecosystem Dynamics

7 Simulation of Disturbances and Recovery in Shortgrass Steppe Plant Communities

8 Ecology of Mammals of the Shortgrass Steppe

9 Birds of the Shortgrass Steppe

10 Insect Populations, Community Interactions, and Ecosystem Processes in the Shortgrass Steppe

11 Trophic Structure and Nutrient Dynamics of the Belowground Food Web within the Rhizosphere of the Shortgrass Steppe

12 Net Primary Production in the Shortgrass Steppe

13 Soil Organic Matter and Nutrient Dynamics of Shortgrass Steppe Ecosystems

14 Soil–Atmosphere Exchange of Trace Gases in the Colorado Shortgrass Steppe

15 The Shortgrass Steppe and Ecosystem Modeling

16 Effects of Grazing on Vegetation

17 Cattle Grazing on the Shortgrass Steppe

18 Effects of Grazing on Abundance and Distribution of Shortgrass Steppe Consumers

19 The Future of the Shortgrass Steppe

 

 

Contributors   Top of Page

E. Carol Adair, Department of
Forest Sciences, Graduate Degree
Program in Ecology Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Michael F. Antolin, Department of
Biology, Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523

John E. Barrett, Department of
Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech,
Blacksburg, VA 24061

Steve W. Blecker, U.S. Geological
Survey, Mackay School of Earth
Science and Engineering, University
of Nevada, Reno, NV 89557

Ingrid C. Burke, Department of
Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed
Stewardship, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

David C. Coleman, Institute of
Ecology, University of Georgia,
Athens, GA 30602

Thomas O. Crist, Department of
Zoology, Miami University,
Oxford, OH 45056

Stephen J. Del Grosso, U.S.
Department of Agriculture–
Agricultural Research Service,
Soil Plant Nutrient Research, Fort
Collins, CO 80526

Peter C. de Ruiter, Alterra,
Wageningen University and
Research Centre, Wageningen,
The Netherlands


Justin D. Derner, U.S. Department of
Agriculture–Agricultural Research
Service, High Plains Grasslands
Research Station, Cheyenne,
WY 82009

James K. Detling, Department of
Biology, Colorado State University,
Fort Collins, CO 80523

Nolan J. Doesken, Atmospheric
Science Department and Colorado
Climate Center, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Howard E. Epstein, Environmental
Science Department, University
of Virginia, Charlottesville,
VA 22904

Richard A. Gill, School of Earth
and Environmental Sciences,
Washington State University,
Pullman, WA 99164

Richard H. Hart, U.S. Department of
Agriculture–Agricultural Research
Service, High Plains Grasslands
Research Station, Cheyenne,
WY 82009

Paul B. Hook, Intermountain Aquatics,
Inc., Driggs, ID 83422

H. William Hunt, Natural Resource
Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Jason P. Kaye, Department of Crop and
Soil Sciences, Penn State University,
University Park, PA 16802


Eugene F. Kelly, Department of Soil
and Crop Sciences, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Robin H. Kelly, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

William K. Lauenroth, Graduate
Degree Program in Ecology, Warner
College of Natural Resources,
Colorado State University, Fort
Collins, CO 80523

Mark D. Lindquist, Shortgrass Steppe
Long-Term Ecological Research,
Colorado State University, Fort
Collins, CO 80523

Petra Lowe, Shortgrass Steppe
Long-Term Ecological Research,
Department of Forest Sciences,
Colorado State University, Fort
Collins, CO 80523

Roberta E. Martin, Department
of Global Ecology, Carnegie
Institution, Stanford, CA 94305

Rebecca L. McCulley, Plant and Soil
Sciences, University of Kentucky,
Lexington, KY 40546

Nancy E. McIntyre, Department of
Biological Sciences, Texas Tech
University, Lubbock, TX 79409

Daniel G. Milchunas, Department of
Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed
Stewardship, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

John C. Moore, Natural Resource
Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80524


Jack A. Morgan, U.S. Department of
Agriculture–Agricultural Research
Service, Fort Collins, CO 80526

Arvin R. Mosier, U.S. Department of
Agriculture–Agricultural Research
Service, Soil–Plant–Nutrient
Research Unit, Fort Collins,
CO 80521

Dennis S. Ojima, Colorado State
University, Natural Resource
Ecology Laboratory, Fort Collins,
CO 80523

Carolyn G. Olson, U.S. Department
of Agriculture–Natural Resource
Conservation Service, Lincoln,
NE 68508

William J. Parton, Natural Resource
Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80523

Debra P. C. Peters, U.S. Department of
Agriculture–Agricultural Research
Service, Jornada Exp. Range,
Las Cruces, NM 88003

Roger A. Pielke, Sr., Cooperative
Institute for Research in
Environmental Sciences and
Department of Atmospheric and
Ocean Sciences, Boulder, CO 80309

Osvaldo E. Sala, Center for
Environmental Studies, Brown
University, Providence, RI 02912

David S. Schimel, Terrestrial
Sciences/Climate and Global
Dynamics Division, National
Center for Atmospheric Research,
Boulder, CO 80307


Jill Sipes, School of Biological
Sciences, University of Northern
Colorado, Greeley, CO 80639

Paul Stapp, Department of Biological
Science, California State University
Fullerton, Fullerton, CA 92834

David W. Valentine, Department
of Forest Sciences, University of
Alaska, Fairbanks, AK 99775

Beatrice Van Horne, U.S. Department
of Agriculture Forest Service,
Wildlife, Fish, Watershed, and Air
Research, Arlington, VA 22209

Mary Ann Vinton, Department of
Biology, Creighton University,
Omaha, NE 68178

Diana W. Wall, Natural Resource
Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State
University, Fort Collins, CO 80524

Amanda A. Whittemore-Olson, School
of Biological Sciences, University of
Northern Colorado, Greeley,
CO 80639

John A. Wiens, The Nature
Conservancy, Arlington, VA 22203

Caroline M. Yonker, Department of
Soil and Crop Science, Colorado
State University, Fort Collins,
CO 80523