Human impacts and aridity differentially alter soil N availability in drylands worldwide

Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo, Fernando T. Maestre, Antonio Gallardo, David J. Eldridge, Santiago Soliveres, Matthew A Bowker, Ana Prado-Comesaña, Juan Gaitán, José L. Quero, Victoria Ochoa, Beatriz Gozalo, Miguel García-Gómez, Pablo García-Palacios, Miguel Berdugo, Enrique Valencia, Cristina Escolar, Tulio Arredondo, Claudia Barraza-Zepeda, Bertrand R. Boeken, Donaldo Bran & 33 others Omar Cabrera, José A. Carreira, Mohamed Chaieb, Abel A. Conceição, Mchich Derak, Ricardo Ernst, Carlos I. Espinosa, Adriana Florentino, Gabriel Gatica, Wahida Ghiloufi, Susana Gómez-González, Julio R. Gutiérrez, Rosa M. Hernández, Elisabeth Huber-Sannwald, Mohammad Jankju, Rebecca L. Mau, Maria Miriti, Jorge Monerris, Ernesto Morici, Muchai Muchane, Kamal Naseri, Eduardo Pucheta, Elizabeth Ramírez, David A. Ramírez-Collantes, Roberto L. Romão, Matthew Tighe, Duilio Torres, Cristian Torres-Díaz, James Val, José P. Veiga, Deli Wang, Xia Yuan, Eli Zaady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Aims: Climate and human impacts are changing the nitrogen (N) inputs and losses in terrestrial ecosystems. However, it is largely unknown how these two major drivers of global change will simultaneously influence the N cycle in drylands, the largest terrestrial biome on the planet. We conducted a global observational study to evaluate how aridity and human impacts, together with biotic and abiotic factors, affect key soil variables of the N cycle. Location: Two hundred and twenty-four dryland sites from all continents except Antarctica widely differing in their environmental conditions and human influence. Methods: Using a standardized field survey, we measured aridity, human impacts (i.e. proxies of land uses and air pollution), key biophysical variables (i.e. soil pH and texture and total plant cover) and six important variables related to N cycling in soils: total N, organic N, ammonium, nitrate, dissolved organic:inorganic N and N mineralization rates. We used structural equation modelling to assess the direct and indirect effects of aridity, human impacts and key biophysical variables on the N cycle. Results: Human impacts increased the concentration of total N, while aridity reduced it. The effects of aridity and human impacts on the N cycle were spatially disconnected, which may favour scarcity of N in the most arid areas and promote its accumulation in the least arid areas. Main conclusions: We found that increasing aridity and anthropogenic pressure are spatially disconnected in drylands. This implies that while places with low aridity and high human impact accumulate N, most arid sites with the lowest human impacts lose N. Our analyses also provide evidence that both increasing aridity and human impacts may enhance the relative dominance of inorganic N in dryland soils, having a negative impact on key functions and services provided by these ecosystems.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)36-45
Number of pages10
JournalGlobal Ecology and Biogeography
Volume25
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 2016

Fingerprint

dry environmental conditions
aridity
arid lands
anthropogenic effect
anthropogenic activities
soil
environmental factors
ecosystems
biotic factor
climate effect
air pollution
ground cover plants
observational studies
ammonium nitrate
biome
global change
soil texture
terrestrial ecosystem
Antarctica
field survey

Keywords

  • Aridity
  • Depolymerization
  • Global change
  • Human impacts
  • Mineralization
  • N cycle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics

Cite this

Delgado-Baquerizo, M., Maestre, F. T., Gallardo, A., Eldridge, D. J., Soliveres, S., Bowker, M. A., ... Zaady, E. (2016). Human impacts and aridity differentially alter soil N availability in drylands worldwide. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 25(1), 36-45. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12382

Human impacts and aridity differentially alter soil N availability in drylands worldwide. / Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T.; Gallardo, Antonio; Eldridge, David J.; Soliveres, Santiago; Bowker, Matthew A; Prado-Comesaña, Ana; Gaitán, Juan; Quero, José L.; Ochoa, Victoria; Gozalo, Beatriz; García-Gómez, Miguel; García-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Escolar, Cristina; Arredondo, Tulio; Barraza-Zepeda, Claudia; Boeken, Bertrand R.; Bran, Donaldo; Cabrera, Omar; Carreira, José A.; Chaieb, Mohamed; Conceição, Abel A.; Derak, Mchich; Ernst, Ricardo; Espinosa, Carlos I.; Florentino, Adriana; Gatica, Gabriel; Ghiloufi, Wahida; Gómez-González, Susana; Gutiérrez, Julio R.; Hernández, Rosa M.; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth; Jankju, Mohammad; Mau, Rebecca L.; Miriti, Maria; Monerris, Jorge; Morici, Ernesto; Muchane, Muchai; Naseri, Kamal; Pucheta, Eduardo; Ramírez, Elizabeth; Ramírez-Collantes, David A.; Romão, Roberto L.; Tighe, Matthew; Torres, Duilio; Torres-Díaz, Cristian; Val, James; Veiga, José P.; Wang, Deli; Yuan, Xia; Zaady, Eli.

In: Global Ecology and Biogeography, Vol. 25, No. 1, 01.01.2016, p. 36-45.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Delgado-Baquerizo, M, Maestre, FT, Gallardo, A, Eldridge, DJ, Soliveres, S, Bowker, MA, Prado-Comesaña, A, Gaitán, J, Quero, JL, Ochoa, V, Gozalo, B, García-Gómez, M, García-Palacios, P, Berdugo, M, Valencia, E, Escolar, C, Arredondo, T, Barraza-Zepeda, C, Boeken, BR, Bran, D, Cabrera, O, Carreira, JA, Chaieb, M, Conceição, AA, Derak, M, Ernst, R, Espinosa, CI, Florentino, A, Gatica, G, Ghiloufi, W, Gómez-González, S, Gutiérrez, JR, Hernández, RM, Huber-Sannwald, E, Jankju, M, Mau, RL, Miriti, M, Monerris, J, Morici, E, Muchane, M, Naseri, K, Pucheta, E, Ramírez, E, Ramírez-Collantes, DA, Romão, RL, Tighe, M, Torres, D, Torres-Díaz, C, Val, J, Veiga, JP, Wang, D, Yuan, X & Zaady, E 2016, 'Human impacts and aridity differentially alter soil N availability in drylands worldwide', Global Ecology and Biogeography, vol. 25, no. 1, pp. 36-45. https://doi.org/10.1111/geb.12382
Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel ; Maestre, Fernando T. ; Gallardo, Antonio ; Eldridge, David J. ; Soliveres, Santiago ; Bowker, Matthew A ; Prado-Comesaña, Ana ; Gaitán, Juan ; Quero, José L. ; Ochoa, Victoria ; Gozalo, Beatriz ; García-Gómez, Miguel ; García-Palacios, Pablo ; Berdugo, Miguel ; Valencia, Enrique ; Escolar, Cristina ; Arredondo, Tulio ; Barraza-Zepeda, Claudia ; Boeken, Bertrand R. ; Bran, Donaldo ; Cabrera, Omar ; Carreira, José A. ; Chaieb, Mohamed ; Conceição, Abel A. ; Derak, Mchich ; Ernst, Ricardo ; Espinosa, Carlos I. ; Florentino, Adriana ; Gatica, Gabriel ; Ghiloufi, Wahida ; Gómez-González, Susana ; Gutiérrez, Julio R. ; Hernández, Rosa M. ; Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth ; Jankju, Mohammad ; Mau, Rebecca L. ; Miriti, Maria ; Monerris, Jorge ; Morici, Ernesto ; Muchane, Muchai ; Naseri, Kamal ; Pucheta, Eduardo ; Ramírez, Elizabeth ; Ramírez-Collantes, David A. ; Romão, Roberto L. ; Tighe, Matthew ; Torres, Duilio ; Torres-Díaz, Cristian ; Val, James ; Veiga, José P. ; Wang, Deli ; Yuan, Xia ; Zaady, Eli. / Human impacts and aridity differentially alter soil N availability in drylands worldwide. In: Global Ecology and Biogeography. 2016 ; Vol. 25, No. 1. pp. 36-45.
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abstract = "Aims: Climate and human impacts are changing the nitrogen (N) inputs and losses in terrestrial ecosystems. However, it is largely unknown how these two major drivers of global change will simultaneously influence the N cycle in drylands, the largest terrestrial biome on the planet. We conducted a global observational study to evaluate how aridity and human impacts, together with biotic and abiotic factors, affect key soil variables of the N cycle. Location: Two hundred and twenty-four dryland sites from all continents except Antarctica widely differing in their environmental conditions and human influence. Methods: Using a standardized field survey, we measured aridity, human impacts (i.e. proxies of land uses and air pollution), key biophysical variables (i.e. soil pH and texture and total plant cover) and six important variables related to N cycling in soils: total N, organic N, ammonium, nitrate, dissolved organic:inorganic N and N mineralization rates. We used structural equation modelling to assess the direct and indirect effects of aridity, human impacts and key biophysical variables on the N cycle. Results: Human impacts increased the concentration of total N, while aridity reduced it. The effects of aridity and human impacts on the N cycle were spatially disconnected, which may favour scarcity of N in the most arid areas and promote its accumulation in the least arid areas. Main conclusions: We found that increasing aridity and anthropogenic pressure are spatially disconnected in drylands. This implies that while places with low aridity and high human impact accumulate N, most arid sites with the lowest human impacts lose N. Our analyses also provide evidence that both increasing aridity and human impacts may enhance the relative dominance of inorganic N in dryland soils, having a negative impact on key functions and services provided by these ecosystems.",
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AU - Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel

AU - Maestre, Fernando T.

AU - Gallardo, Antonio

AU - Eldridge, David J.

AU - Soliveres, Santiago

AU - Bowker, Matthew A

AU - Prado-Comesaña, Ana

AU - Gaitán, Juan

AU - Quero, José L.

AU - Ochoa, Victoria

AU - Gozalo, Beatriz

AU - García-Gómez, Miguel

AU - García-Palacios, Pablo

AU - Berdugo, Miguel

AU - Valencia, Enrique

AU - Escolar, Cristina

AU - Arredondo, Tulio

AU - Barraza-Zepeda, Claudia

AU - Boeken, Bertrand R.

AU - Bran, Donaldo

AU - Cabrera, Omar

AU - Carreira, José A.

AU - Chaieb, Mohamed

AU - Conceição, Abel A.

AU - Derak, Mchich

AU - Ernst, Ricardo

AU - Espinosa, Carlos I.

AU - Florentino, Adriana

AU - Gatica, Gabriel

AU - Ghiloufi, Wahida

AU - Gómez-González, Susana

AU - Gutiérrez, Julio R.

AU - Hernández, Rosa M.

AU - Huber-Sannwald, Elisabeth

AU - Jankju, Mohammad

AU - Mau, Rebecca L.

AU - Miriti, Maria

AU - Monerris, Jorge

AU - Morici, Ernesto

AU - Muchane, Muchai

AU - Naseri, Kamal

AU - Pucheta, Eduardo

AU - Ramírez, Elizabeth

AU - Ramírez-Collantes, David A.

AU - Romão, Roberto L.

AU - Tighe, Matthew

AU - Torres, Duilio

AU - Torres-Díaz, Cristian

AU - Val, James

AU - Veiga, José P.

AU - Wang, Deli

AU - Yuan, Xia

AU - Zaady, Eli

PY - 2016/1/1

Y1 - 2016/1/1

N2 - Aims: Climate and human impacts are changing the nitrogen (N) inputs and losses in terrestrial ecosystems. However, it is largely unknown how these two major drivers of global change will simultaneously influence the N cycle in drylands, the largest terrestrial biome on the planet. We conducted a global observational study to evaluate how aridity and human impacts, together with biotic and abiotic factors, affect key soil variables of the N cycle. Location: Two hundred and twenty-four dryland sites from all continents except Antarctica widely differing in their environmental conditions and human influence. Methods: Using a standardized field survey, we measured aridity, human impacts (i.e. proxies of land uses and air pollution), key biophysical variables (i.e. soil pH and texture and total plant cover) and six important variables related to N cycling in soils: total N, organic N, ammonium, nitrate, dissolved organic:inorganic N and N mineralization rates. We used structural equation modelling to assess the direct and indirect effects of aridity, human impacts and key biophysical variables on the N cycle. Results: Human impacts increased the concentration of total N, while aridity reduced it. The effects of aridity and human impacts on the N cycle were spatially disconnected, which may favour scarcity of N in the most arid areas and promote its accumulation in the least arid areas. Main conclusions: We found that increasing aridity and anthropogenic pressure are spatially disconnected in drylands. This implies that while places with low aridity and high human impact accumulate N, most arid sites with the lowest human impacts lose N. Our analyses also provide evidence that both increasing aridity and human impacts may enhance the relative dominance of inorganic N in dryland soils, having a negative impact on key functions and services provided by these ecosystems.

AB - Aims: Climate and human impacts are changing the nitrogen (N) inputs and losses in terrestrial ecosystems. However, it is largely unknown how these two major drivers of global change will simultaneously influence the N cycle in drylands, the largest terrestrial biome on the planet. We conducted a global observational study to evaluate how aridity and human impacts, together with biotic and abiotic factors, affect key soil variables of the N cycle. Location: Two hundred and twenty-four dryland sites from all continents except Antarctica widely differing in their environmental conditions and human influence. Methods: Using a standardized field survey, we measured aridity, human impacts (i.e. proxies of land uses and air pollution), key biophysical variables (i.e. soil pH and texture and total plant cover) and six important variables related to N cycling in soils: total N, organic N, ammonium, nitrate, dissolved organic:inorganic N and N mineralization rates. We used structural equation modelling to assess the direct and indirect effects of aridity, human impacts and key biophysical variables on the N cycle. Results: Human impacts increased the concentration of total N, while aridity reduced it. The effects of aridity and human impacts on the N cycle were spatially disconnected, which may favour scarcity of N in the most arid areas and promote its accumulation in the least arid areas. Main conclusions: We found that increasing aridity and anthropogenic pressure are spatially disconnected in drylands. This implies that while places with low aridity and high human impact accumulate N, most arid sites with the lowest human impacts lose N. Our analyses also provide evidence that both increasing aridity and human impacts may enhance the relative dominance of inorganic N in dryland soils, having a negative impact on key functions and services provided by these ecosystems.

KW - Aridity

KW - Depolymerization

KW - Global change

KW - Human impacts

KW - Mineralization

KW - N cycle

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