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  • ItemOpen Access
    Dataset associated with the manuscript: “Long-term compost amendment modulates wheat genotype differences in belowground carbon allocation, rhizosphere recruitment and nitrogen acquisition”
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Kelly, Courtland; Fonte, Steven; Haddix, Michelle
    The implementation of soil health-promoting practices, such as cover crops and compost additions, has important implications for nutrient cycling regimes in agroecosystems. At the same time, plant belowground carbon (C) allocation patterns can influence nutrient cycling and availability in soil, but the effects may depend on the crop genotype and management practices in place. The relationship between root exudation, rhizosphere communities and the processes they regulate is likely influenced by a range of soil conditions, including soil organic matter (SOM) content, nutrient status, and overall soil biological activity, but such interactions remain poorly understood. To better understand the potential role of long-term soil management (that alters of SOM) and crop genotype in regulating rhizosphere microbial communities and associated nitrogen (N) cycling processes, we collected soils from two treatments in a 10-year field trial, one with high compost inputs (108.7 Mg ha-1 every 2 years) and a control (no nutrient inputs). We then used stable isotopes to measure belowground C allocation patterns in two genotypes of winter wheat (Triticum aestivum) with distinct rooting and exudation strategies. We also measured microbial community structure and function in the rhizosphere and quantified uptake of residue-derived N from 15N-labeled residues. We found an interactive effect between soil management and genotype, where the high-exudation genotype modified its exudation more in response to soil management and was relatively better at accessing residue N in the compost-amended soils than the low-exudation genotype. The high-exudation genotype also demonstrated selection of specific rhizosphere microbial taxa, with several taxa conserved across soil treatments. Our results suggest that the high-exudation strategy influences the microbial community, and this strategy is more successful in soils with higher SOM. Understanding the relationship between crop genotype, soil management, and microbial function can help inform crop production and breeding strategies in systems seeking to leverage improved soil health and biological nutrient cycling.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dataset associated with "Artefactual depiction of predator–prey trophic linkages in global soils"
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Wyckhuys, Kris A. G.; Nguyen, Ha; Fonte, Steven J.
    Soil invertebrates contribute to multiple ecosystem services, including pest control, nutrient cycling, and soil structural regulation, yet trophic interactions that determine their diversity and activity in soils remain critically understudied. Here, we systematically review literature (1966–2020) on feeding habits of soil arthropods and macrofauna and summarize empirically studied predator–prey linkages across ecosystem types, geographies and taxa. Out of 522 unique predators and 372 prey organisms (constituting 1947 predator–prey linkages), the vast majority (> 75%) are only covered in a single study. We report a mean of just 3.0 ± 4.7 documented linkages per organism, with pronounced taxonomic biases. In general, model organisms and crop pests (generally Insecta) are well-studied, while important soil-dwelling predators, fungivores and detritivores (e.g., Collembola, Chilopoda and Malacostraca) remain largely ignored. We argue that broader food-web based research approaches, considering multiple linkages per organism and targeting neglected taxa, are needed to inform science-driven management of soil communities and associated ecosystem services.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dataset associated with "Land use conversion to agriculture impacts biodiversity, erosion control and key soil properties in an Andean watershed"
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Galindo, Victor; Giraldo, Carolina E.; Lavelle, Patrick; Armbrecht, Inge; Fonte, Steven J.
    The conversion of natural vegetation to agricultural land uses in mountainous Andean landscapes threatens an array of key ecological processes and ecosystem services. In protected areas and buffer regions that provide water to cities, it is critical to understand how interactions between plants and soil communities sustain a range of ecosystem functions, associated with nutrient recycling, soil structure, and erosion control. We sought to understand how land use conversion within a mountainous tropical forest landscape influences the diversity of vegetation and soil macrofauna communities, soil physico-chemical properties, and hydrological regulation services. Biodiversity and a suite of key soil-based ecosystem services were compared in five major land uses of the Cali River watershed: 1) annual cropping systems, 2) coffee plantations, 3) pastures, 4) abandoned shrubland, and 5) secondary forests. The diversity of woody and herbaceous vegetation, as well as soil macrofauna was assessed in each land use. Soil chemical fertility and aggregate morphology were assessed via laboratory analyses and visual separation of soil aggregates based on their origin. Infiltration, runoff, and sediment production were measured using a portable rainfall simulator. We found a decrease in the diversity of woody vegetation across land-uses to be associated with lower diversity of soil macrofauna. At the same time, agricultural management, annual crops in particular, supports the largest earthworm populations, likely due to increased organic inputs and low impact tillage, which appears not to diminish soil fertility and water infiltration. In contrast, the low soil fertility in pastures was associated with the lowest values of soil C, poor aggregation, and high bulk density, and likely reflects overgrazing, with negative implications for water infiltration and erosion. Associations between the different sets of variables, evaluated with a co-inertia analysis, highlights the hierarchical relevance of plant cover and woody diversity on ecosystem services. The biological complexity associated with intact forest cover appears to generate "bundles" of co-occurring ecosystem services, with this land use demonstrating the highest infiltration, and low runoff and sediment losses. Our findings demonstrate that forests and tree-based agricultural systems may better contribute to the provision of multiple ecosystem services, including biodiversity conservation and hydrologic regulation.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dataset associated with the manuscript: “Divergent belowground allocation patterns of winter wheat shape rhizosphere microbial communities and nitrogen cycling activities”
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2021) Kelly, Courtland; Fonte, Steven; Haddix, Michelle
    Plant roots add carbon (C) -rich rhizodeposits to the soil, which can alter microbial activity and nitrogen (N) cycling with implications for N availability and uptake by plants. We evaluated root architecture, rhizodeposit C, and microbial community structure and function across a breeding gradient of twelve winter wheat genotypes and examined how these rhizosphere traits were related to the availability and uptake of N from fresh cover crop residues in the soil. We traced wheat-derived C into soil and microbial pools using continuous isotopic labelling (13C-CO2) and applied 15N labelled plant residues to quantify plant and microbial uptake of residue-derived N. Wheat genotypes differed in root C allocation patterns, influencing N cycling. Thicker roots released more C into soil, which enhanced N mineralization through stimulation of the microbial biomass. Microbial biomass increased N-cycling enzyme activity and residue N-uptake by wheat. Microbial communities did not differ between wheat genotypes but were strongly related to patterns in root C allocation, and several genera showed strong relationships with root C deposition and N uptake. The microbial community associated with extractable root-derived C was structurally different from the community associated with residue N uptake, indicating the N-cycling response to exudation was not necessarily carried out by the same microbial community members as those stimulated by rhizosphere C inputs. Our results indicate that differential patterns of rhizodeposition and associated belowground C allocation strategies in winter wheat can alter microbial communities and influence cycling and plant availability of residue N. Ecologically-based nutrient management in agricultural systems should consider the role of crop root traits and associated microbiomes to optimize soil nutrient dynamics.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Dataset associated with Vanek et al., 2020, "Participatory design of improved forage/fallow options across soil gradients with farmers of the central Peruvian Andes"
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2020) Vanek, Steven; Fonte, Steven; Ccanto, Raul; Meza, Katherine; Olivera, Edgar; Scurrah, Maria
    Land use intensity is increasing in Andean smallholder systems, and innovations are needed to sustain soil fertility and productivity of potato-cereal rotations with shortening fallow periods. In collaboration with farmers in central Peru, we assessed forage-based fallows in 58 fields across three production zones over three years. Fallow treatments selected with farmers tested grass-legume mixtures with different combinations of Vicia Sativa (vetch), Avena sativa (oats), Lupinus mutabilis (Andean lupine), Trifolium pratense (red clover), Medicago sativa (alfalfa), and Lolium multiflorum (ryegrass) compared to an unseeded control fallow with natural revegetation. The ability of fallows to quickly cover soil was tested, as was their biomass production in years one and three. Following the incorporation of fallow vegetation in a sub-set of nine fields, we also tested fallows' effects on soil pH, available phosphorus (P), permanganate-oxidizable carbon (POXC) and potato yield. In year one managed fallows produced from 1.9 to 5.4 Mg ha−1 of forage biomass compared to 0.5 to 1.1 Mg ha−1 in unseeded controls. Managed fallows also exceeded controls in nutrient uptake, soil cover, and forage quality (lower lignin and higher protein content). First-year biomass of vetch and Andean lupine responded differently to soil pH in fields, indicating that appropriate fallow options likely depend on soil context. After three years, total biomass did not differ among treatments. However, legumes had greater biomass in treatments employing perennial species (0.79–1.18 Mg ha−1 of legumes) than in controls (0.15 Mg ha−1). Potato yield and soil fertility was not reduced in managed fallows compared to the control, and an alfalfa + liming treatment yielded higher than the control (p < 0.05). Diseased tubers were also less prevalent in fallows containing ryegrass and clover, versus other treatments (2.7 % vs. 4.7 % diseased; p = 0.05). In a post-hoc analysis considering 41 treatment plots with contrasting cutting regimes, plots that were cut repeatedly throughout the fallow period had more negative changes in POXC than those cut initially and then left to regrow (p = 0.04). In evaluation workshops, farmers emphasized forage production, potato yield, and potato tuber health as evaluation criteria for the fallows, and ranked the alfalfa + liming treatment as the best. In Andean communities with shortening fallow periods, forage-based fallows represent a promising, multi-functional option to maintain soil health and productivity while generating additional sources of high-quality forage. However, future research should examine long-term nutrient and carbon balances under different forage removal scenarios, as well as designing fallows for varied agroecological contexts.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Data-land use as a driver of soil fertility and biodiversity across an agricultural landscape in the central Peruvian Andes
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2017-01) de Valença, Anne W.; Vanek, Steven J.; Meza, Katherin; Ccanto, Raul; Olivera, Edgar; Scurrah, Maria; Lantinga, Egbert A.; Fonte, Steven J.
    Land use change and intensification in agricultural landscapes of the Andean highlands have resulted in widespread soil degradation and a loss in soil-based ecosystem services and biodiversity. This trend threatens the sustainability of farming communities in the Andes, with important implications for food security and biodiversity conservation throughout the region. Based on these challenges we sought to understand the impact of current and future land use practices on soil fertility and biodiversity, so as to inform landscape planning and management decisions for sustainable agroecosystem management. We worked with local communities to identify and map dominant land uses in an agricultural landscape surrounding Quilcas, Peru. These land uses existed within two elevations zones (low-medium, 3200-3800 m and high elevation, 3800-4300 m). They included three types of low-medium elevation forests (Eucalyptus, Alder and mixed/native species), five pasture management types (permanent pasture, temporal pasture (in fallow stage), degraded pasture, high-altitude permanent pasture and high-altitude temporal pasture (in fallow stage)) and six cropping systems (forage crops, maize/beans, and potato under four types of management). Soil fertility was evaluated in surface soils (0-20 cm) with soil physicochemical parameters (e.g., pH, soil organic matter, available nutrients, texture), while soil biological properties were assessed using the abundance and diversity of soil macrofauna and ground cover vegetation. Our results indicated clear impacts of land use on soil fertility and biological communities. Altitude demonstrated the strongest effect on soil physicochemical properties, but management systems within the low-mid elevation zone also showed important differences in soil biological communities. In general, the less-disturbed forest and pasture systems supported more diverse soil communities than the more intensively managed croplands. Degraded soils demonstrated the lowest overall soil fertility and abundance of soil macrofauna, but this may be reversible via the planting of Alder forests. Our findings also indicated significant covariation between soil physicochemical parameters, soil macrofauna and ground vegetation. This suggests that management for any one of these soil properties may yield unintended cascading effects throughout the soil subsystem. In summary, our findings suggest that shifts in land use across the landscape are likely to have important impacts on soil functioning and biodiversity.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Pyrogenic organic matter and litter decomposition using isotope tracing-data
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2016) Soong, Jennifer L.; Dam, Marie
    The use of dual 13C- and 15N-labeled leaf litter and pyrogenic organic matter in decomposition studies is a powerful method for identifying the amount, location, and transformation of organic matter inputs to the soil. The data reported here derive from the experiment described in Soong et al. 2015 and Soong et al. 2016. The experiment was designed: 1) to trace the fate of C and N from dual labeled decomposing Andropogon gerardii leaf litter and pyrogenic organic matter into the soil and roots; 2) to identify the microbial and nematode community composition and utilization of the isotopically labeled substrates over the course of 11 months.
  • ItemOpen Access
    Hydro-biogeochemistry transport of black carbon project-data
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2015) Cotrufo, Francesca
    This data package was produced by researchers working on the Hyrdo-Biogeochemistry Transport of Black Carbon Project. This project was supported by National Science Foundation and the Water Institute at Colorado State University. This data package includes a tab-delimited data table and an accompanying tab-delimited file (file name ending in "_var') that denotes header definitions and data types for each column in the data table. Detailed metadata also are contained within an Ecological Metadata Language document (i.e. XML). Black carbon (BC) is a ubiquitous component of the carbon cycle, yet controls on its landscape-level distribution, including the relative importance of mechanisms for transport across the terrestrial aquatic interface, are relatively unknown. In June 2012, the High Park Fire (HPF) burned 353 km2 of land in the Cache la Poudre (CLP) watershed just northwest of Fort Collins, CO. Following independent efforts of our group to quantify the effects of the HPF on biogeochemical pools and landscape geomorphology, we aimed to synthesize our respective datasets with two main objectives: 1. determine and relate BC content in different parts of the watershed including litter, soils, river bank sediments and dissolved and particulate organic materials in river water, 2. develop a conceptual framework for mechanisms that contribute to BC export from the CLP on short and long-term time scales. Using the benzene polycarboxylic acid (BPCA) method as a molecular proxy for BC concentrations, we found that the majority of BC deposited on the landscape by the HPF was located in the litter, coarse plant fraction of river bank sediments, and DOC, suggesting that BC mobilized on the landscape is transported downstream through the river network. We also participated in a comparative study to investigate differences between the BPCA method and stable polycyclic aromatic carbon and benzene polycarboxylic acid method. The results of the comparative analysis are included in this data table and this work was supported by an NSF grant for Catalyzing New International Collaborations.
  • ItemOpen Access
    C and N dynamics between grass litter, soil and the atmosphere determined using isotope tracing
    (Colorado State University. Libraries, 2015) Cotrufo, Francesca; Soong, Jennifer