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Agronomy Journal Abstract -

Influence of Fertilization and Altitude on Energy Budgets for Native Meadows1


This article in AJ

  1. Vol. 58 No. 2, p. 234-237
    Received: Sept 16, 1965

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  1. A. R. Grable,
  2. R. J. Hanks,
  3. F. M. Willhite and
  4. H. R. Haise2



Experiments were conducted for 2 years near Gunnison, Colorado, to evaluate the influence of N fertilizer and altitude on energy budgets of native wet meadows. Measurements included evapotranspiration from lysimeters (Et), evaporation from Weather Bureau pans (E), net radiation (Rn), total short-wave radiation (R2), soil heat flow (S), air and soil temperatures, wind velocity, precipitation, and forage yields.

During two periods of 1963, Rn, advected heat (A), and Et were slightly but not significantly altered at one location by application of N fertilizer. S was 2% or less of Rn, and A to lysimeters ranged from 6 to 11% of Et when data from all plots were averaged.

Studies during the entire growing season of 1964 at altitudes of 2240, 2350, 2670, and 3080 m indicated that Rn, Rs, and E cannot be used to accurately predict Et for high-altitude wet meadows. Although changes in Rn or Rs were generally accompanied by changes in E or Et, the ratios of the values changed sharply during the season because of advected energy and crop harvest. During at least 1 or 2 weeks just before midseason harvest, S was negligible and sensible heat flux to the lysimeters (−A) was as much as 26% of Et; after harvest, however, S was about 20% of Et and sensible heat flux from the lysimeters (+A) was as much as 97% of Et. Et, E, and A (to lysimeters) during comparable periods generally decreased as altitude increased. The greatest photosynthetic efficiency obtained was about 2% of Rn; usually it was much less.

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