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Yellowstone's Destabilized EcosystemElk Effects, Science, and Policy Conflict$
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Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780195148213

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195148213.001.0001

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Influences on Ecosystem Function IV: Nitrogen Biogeochemistry

Influences on Ecosystem Function IV: Nitrogen Biogeochemistry

(p.273) 14 Influences on Ecosystem Function IV: Nitrogen Biogeochemistry
Yellowstone's Destabilized Ecosystem

Frederic H. Wagner

Oxford University Press

Ungulate grazing, primarily by elk and bison, accelerates nitrogen cycling within the northern-range system by consumption, digestion, excretion, and subsequent mineralization. Ungulate use does not in and of itself increase or decrease the total nitrogen content of the system. The content is determined by input-output processes that include fixation, denitrification, volatilization, soil erosion, aerosol transport, and seasonal elk movements. Without measurements of the input-output processes, no nitrogen budget for the system can be formulated.

Keywords:   nitrogen cycling, mineralization, input-output processes, denitrification, fixation, volatilization, erosion

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