Event Title

Soil Nutrient Content In Restored Urban Prairie Systems

Presenter Information

Chelsea Crean

Location

Lobby in front of Auditorium

Start Date

19-4-2019 11:00 AM

Department

Biology

Description

Restored nature preserves serve multiple purposes in an urban community: they are oftentimes a gathering place for people, as well as areas of refuge for endemic plants, wildlife, birds and pollinators. Their relative health and productivity is essential to the creatures that depend on them. The objective of this study is to analyze the variable nutrient content of the soil in restored woodland prairie and restored open grassland prairie and to provide a qualitative analysis of three different restored systems in Chicago. To make an assessment on the relative health of the soil, the researcher will look at soil texture, composition, elemental analysis and nutrient content, carbon content and possibly microbial biomass. The analyzed carbon content could also determine the viability of restored prairie systems for carbon sequestration. With this information together, the researcher can make inferences about the needs of the systems in order to thrive as well as make suggestions for further expansion of a particular restored prairie by soil type. For this experiment, multiple soil samples are collected from three restorative systems in the Chicago area. Areas sampled from are as follows: Somme Woods, Somme Prairie Nature Reserve and Somme Prairie Grove. Dividing the area of each system into a transect, a core soil sample is taken every ten meters. Once all of the core soil samples are collected, they are transferred to the lab for elemental analysis. First the samples must be thoroughly dried and then the texture is analyzed. Any large rock or debris fragments must also be removed from the samples before elemental analysis. Using a soil sample test kit, each sample will be tested for its nitrogen content, phosphorus content, pH level, and potassium content. Carbon content will be measured using the bulk density method. This method is performed through oven-drying and then weighing the dry sample; the bulk density is then calculated with this information. Any bulk density data can be used to compare future soil samples to determine whether the system is gaining or losing carbon. Through such analysis, one is able to compare the variable nutrient content of the three different systems sampled, and this analysis will give an overall picture of the relative health of the soil in each system. Furthermore, if significant amounts of carbon are found in the topsoil, this could indicate the value of restorative systems as carbon sinks.

Comments

Mahesh Gurung is the faculty sponsor of this poster.

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Apr 19th, 11:00 AM

Soil Nutrient Content In Restored Urban Prairie Systems

Lobby in front of Auditorium

Restored nature preserves serve multiple purposes in an urban community: they are oftentimes a gathering place for people, as well as areas of refuge for endemic plants, wildlife, birds and pollinators. Their relative health and productivity is essential to the creatures that depend on them. The objective of this study is to analyze the variable nutrient content of the soil in restored woodland prairie and restored open grassland prairie and to provide a qualitative analysis of three different restored systems in Chicago. To make an assessment on the relative health of the soil, the researcher will look at soil texture, composition, elemental analysis and nutrient content, carbon content and possibly microbial biomass. The analyzed carbon content could also determine the viability of restored prairie systems for carbon sequestration. With this information together, the researcher can make inferences about the needs of the systems in order to thrive as well as make suggestions for further expansion of a particular restored prairie by soil type. For this experiment, multiple soil samples are collected from three restorative systems in the Chicago area. Areas sampled from are as follows: Somme Woods, Somme Prairie Nature Reserve and Somme Prairie Grove. Dividing the area of each system into a transect, a core soil sample is taken every ten meters. Once all of the core soil samples are collected, they are transferred to the lab for elemental analysis. First the samples must be thoroughly dried and then the texture is analyzed. Any large rock or debris fragments must also be removed from the samples before elemental analysis. Using a soil sample test kit, each sample will be tested for its nitrogen content, phosphorus content, pH level, and potassium content. Carbon content will be measured using the bulk density method. This method is performed through oven-drying and then weighing the dry sample; the bulk density is then calculated with this information. Any bulk density data can be used to compare future soil samples to determine whether the system is gaining or losing carbon. Through such analysis, one is able to compare the variable nutrient content of the three different systems sampled, and this analysis will give an overall picture of the relative health of the soil in each system. Furthermore, if significant amounts of carbon are found in the topsoil, this could indicate the value of restorative systems as carbon sinks.