Soil Carbon Addition Controls Weeds and Facilitates Prairie Restoration

Blumenthal, D.M., N.R. Jordan and M.P. Russelle

Publication Date:

Soil nitrogen enrichment and consequent vigorous weed growth are thought to hinder the restoration of tallgrass prairie. Adding carbon to the soil may facilitate prairie restoration by inducing immobilization of plant-available nitrogen. Early attempts to use this method, however, have had mixed results. Success of C addition depends on three conditions: weeds must suppress prairie species in the absence of C addition, weeds must be nitrophilic relative to prairie species, and C addition must result in a large enough decrease in N to alter the balance of competition among weeds and prairie species.

Resource Type:
Peer-reviewed Article

Ecological Applications