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Interactive effects of climate change and grazing intensity on soil functioning in dehesa ecosystems

AuthorsDomínguez, María Teresa ; Jiménez, Carlos; Matías Resina, Luis; Gutiérrez González, Eduardo ; Herrador, M. Belén; Hidalgo, María Dolores; Pérez-Ramos, Ignacio Manuel
Issue Date4-Feb-2019
PublisherAsociación Española de Ecología Terrestre
Citation1st Iberian Ecological Society Meeting (SIBECOL 2019) Pag. 261 TS.14-O-8 (2019)
AbstractDehesas are agroforestry systems that occupy a significant fraction of the land surface in the Iberian Peninsula, being the main agroforestry system in the region. The sustainability of these systems could be threatened by the increases in grazing intensity that they have experienced over the last decades, and by the changes in abiotic conditions predicted by the different climate change projections. In this work we analyzed the impact that both sources of stress (climate change and increasing grazing intensity) have on some variables related to soil microbial activity in dehesa ecosystems. Thirty-six experimental plots were established in three dehesa farms exposed to different grazing intensities. In these plots, air temperature and rainfall inputs were manipulated over two years, simulating climate conditions in Southern Spain predicted for the end of the century. The plots were located in different microhabitats (under tree canopy and in open areas) to evaluate whether tree cover could attenuate the impact of climate change on soil functioning. Habitat type exerted a significant influence on most of the variables related to soil nutrient contents and microbial activity (microbial biomass, carbon and nitrogen mineralization rates, enzyme activities), the greatest values of these variables being found on soils underneath trees. Grazing intensity influenced those variables related to N cycling, while climate change treatments had a very limited impact on soil functioning and nutrient content. In conclusion, habitat type and grazing intensity have larger effects of soil functioning than air warming and drought in these drought-prone ecosystems.
DescriptionComunicación oral presentada en el 1st Iberian Ecological Society Meeting (SIBECOL 2019) 4th-7th February 2019, Barcelona, Spain
Appears in Collections:(IRNAS) Comunicaciones congresos
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