Spatial variability of soil total C and N and their stable isotopes in an upland Scottish grassland

C A Marriott, G Hudson, D Hamilton, R Neilson, B Boag, L L Handley, J Wishart, C M Scrimgeour, D Robinson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

106 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

As preparation for a below ground food web study, the spatial variability of three soil properties (total N, total C and pH) and two stable isotopes (delta(13)C and delta(15)N of whole soil) were quantified using geostatistical approaches in upland pastures under contrasting management regimes (grazed, fertilised and ungrazed, unfertilised) in Scotland. This is the first such study of upland, north maritime grasslands. The resulting patterns of variability suggest that to obtain statistically independent samples in this system, a sampling distance of greater than or equal to 13.5 m is required. Additionally, temporal change (a decline of 1 parts per thousand) was observed in whole soil delta(15)N for the grazed, fertilised plot. This may have been caused by new inputs of symbiotically-fixed atmospheric N-2.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)151-162
Number of pages12
JournalPlant and Soil
Volume196
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sept 1997

Keywords

  • geostatistics
  • grazing management
  • 13-C
  • 15-N
  • resource patchiness
  • ryegrass-clover pastures
  • REGIONALIZED VARIABLES
  • NATURAL-ABUNDANCE
  • PASTURE
  • NITRIFIERS
  • ECOSYSTEM
  • PATTERNS
  • NITROGEN
  • ECOLOGY
  • PLANTS

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