Field bioassessments for selecting test systems to evaluate military training lands in tallgrass prairie. Ecosystem health. V

D. J. Schaeffer, T. R. Seastedt, D. J. Gibson, D. C. Hartnett, B. A.D. Hetrick, S. W. James, D. W. Kaufman, A. P. Schwab, Edwin E Herricks, E. W. Novak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Ecosystem responses to physical or chemical stress may vary from changes in single organisms to alteration of the structure and function of the ecosystem. These responses to stress cannol be predicted exactly. Ecosystems repeatedly exposed to physical and/or chemical stress can be used to study the separate and combined environmental effects of stress. Such studies also allow the development of procedures to select test systems for the analysis of stress in ecosystems. A preliminary field survey of six military training sites at Fort Riley, Kansas, USA, was conducted to identify and verify ecological test systems for evaluating ecosystem responses to physical and/or chemical stress. Comparisons of these data with data collected concurrently from Konza Prairie Research Natural Area reference sites showed that soil microarthropods, some species of macroarthropods, small mammals, and native earthworm species were negatively affected by stress. In contrast, plant species diversity, plant foliage biomass, soil mycorrhizae, and many soil characteristics were within the boundaries of nominal variations observed on "pristine" Konza Prairie. Introduced European earthworms appeared to be positively affected by training activities. This study provided a test of systematic procedures to support impact analysis, ecological toxicology, and ecosystem risk assessments.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)81-93
Number of pages13
JournalEnvironmental Management
Volume14
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1990

Keywords

  • Chemical stress
  • Ecological test systems
  • Ecosystem risk assessment
  • Military training sites
  • Physical stress
  • Prairie

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Ecology
  • Pollution

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