The operating hypothesis is that: (1) nutrient supply rates and the spatial scaling of soil nutrients are two equally important and interactive constraints to plant growth; and (2) plants contend with these constraints through a trade-off in the way theyscale root biomass to total rooting volume, root surface density, and root proliferation. Testable hypotheses were derived from a model that relates the competitive ability of plants to the interaction between the scaling properties of their root system and the scaling properties of the resources they utilize. The protocols for testing the proposed hypotheses involve two sets of experiments. The first is designed to determine the root lateral spread, root length, root density, and the distribution of root surface areas of selected plants in the presence and absence of nutrient patches. Plants will be grown in containers with grid panels located at fixed intervals designed to keep roots in place once the soil is removed. Nutrient patches will be generatedby Sierra slow release fertilizer prills. Roots will be sampled by grid depth, separated based on fertilizer location, digitized, and analyzed for the desired parameters with a Delta-T Scan imaging system. The second set of experiments will test how the spatial distribution and supply rate of nutrients can affect plant competition. The experimental system consists of a 3x12x0.3 m growth container equipped with 3,600 trickle irrigation emitters arranged in a grid pattern at 10 cm intervals. This system isdesigned to control the spatial scaling, and supply rates of nutrients. Each emitter is controlled by one of 10 Dosatron injectors that delivers the desired amount of nutrient within a lOxlO cm area. The design has the capability of generating spatial patter ns as well as independent or simultaneous time patterns for nutrients and water delivery. All experiments will be organized as 2x3 factorials. Factor 1 will consist of 2 spatial scaling factors for either N or P Factor 2 will consist of 3 mean N or Psupply rates. N and P will be used to account for differences in mobility and buffer power among soil nutrients. Each of 5 replications will consist of 400 plants from 10 species (40 plants/species) with distinct root scaling patterns selected from the root architecture experiment. To test the repeatability of results, each experiment will be conducted twice with two distinctly different combinations of 10 species.
Grazing ecology, plant community ecology, restoration ecology, ecosystem modeling, statistical ecology, scaling issues in ecology. The two main biomes where I have conducted research are the North and South American grasslands and Northern Great Plains wetlands. Ecosystem level carbon flows and nutrient cycling, grazing ecology, ecosystem modeling, biocomplexity, statistical ecology, spatial pattern analysis, scaling issues in ecology, landscape ecology and plant community ecology. The two main biomes where I have conducted research are the North and South American grasslands and Northern Great Plains wetlands.
Research Interests: Study and Analysis of Ecosystems, Use of Multivariate Statistical Techniques in the Study of Ecosystems, Modeling of Ecological Systems, Landscape Ecology, Plant-Soil Relationships.
Research Interests: Ecosystem Science, Use of Multivariate Statistics, Ecosystems Modeling, Theoretical Ecology, Landscape Ecology, Plant-Soil Relationships.
1. Programming in C, C++, and Fortran. Includes parallel computing programming using MPI (Message-Passing Interface)
2. System analysis and ecosystem modeling
3. Univariate and multivariate analysis, spatial pattern analysis (including geostatistics, and fractal geometry methods), and statistical ecology (including species abundance relationships, species affinity, ordination, and classification methods)
4. Use of Geographic Information System for the analysis of ecosystem structure and function.
See publications list at http://www.ndsu.nodak.edu/instruct/biondini/vita/mebvita.htm Ecosystem Dynamics, Ecosystem Studies, Environmental Biology, Role-terrestrial Ecosystem