According to a new research loss of megaherbivores such as elephants and hippos could allow woody plants, non-grassy herbs and flowering plants to encroach the grasslands in African national parks.

Megaherbivores (>1000 kg) are critical for ecosystem health and function, but face population collapse and extinction globally. The future of these megaherbivore-impoverished ecosystems is difficult to predict, though many studies have demonstrated increasing representation of C3 woody plants. These studies rely on direct observational data, however, and tools for assessing decadal-scale changes in African ecology without observation are lacking.

Analysis of multi-year nutrient enrichment experiments carried out on 45 global grassland sites show that an addition of an increasing number of nutrients leads to a reduction in plant species diversity, and competition for multiple below-ground resources promotes plant species diversity.

The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is the largest agricultural land-retirement program in the United States, providing many environmental benefits, including wildlife habitat and improved air, water, and soil quality. Since 2007, however, CRP area has declined by over 25% nationally with much of this land returning to agriculture. Despite this trend, it is unclear what types of CRP land are being converted, to what crops, and where. All of these specific factors greatly affect environmental impacts.

A new study finds that, contrary to popular belief, grassy biomes such as grasslands and savannas are species-rich ecosystems every bit as biodiverse as rainforests — yet little attention is being

In arid and semi-arid regions, grassland degradation has become a major environmental and economic problem, but little information is available on the response of grassland productivity to both climate change and grazing intensity. By developing a grazing module in a process-based ecosystem model, the dynamic land ecosystem model (DLEM), we explore the roles of climate change, elevated CO2, and varying grazing intensities in affecting aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) across different grassland sites in Mongolia.

The whole life depends on soil, which is an important habitat for thousand millions of organisms. Soil biodiversity is extremely diverse in shapes, colours, sizes and functions.

Human impacts on fire regimes accumulated slowly with the evolution of modern humans able to ignite fires and manipulate landscapes. Today, myriad voices aim to influence fire in grassy ecosystems to different ends, and this is complicated by a colonial past focused on suppressing fire and preventing human ignitions.

Despite advances in plant functional ecology that provide a framework for predicting the responses of vegetation to environmental change, links between plant functional strategies and elevated temperatures are poorly understood. Here, we analyse the response of a species-rich grassland in northern England to two decades of temperature and rainfall manipulations in the context of the functional attributes of 21 coexisting species that represent a large array of resource-use strategies.

In early spring the Baltic region is frequently affected by high-pollution events due to biomass burning in that area. Here we present a comprehensive study to investigate the impact of biomass/grass burning (BB) on the evolution and composition of aerosol in Preila, Lithuania, during springtime open fires.