Study: Fertilization destabilizes Global Grassland Ecosystems

As per study led by University of Minnesota researchers, the fertilization of natural grasslands, either intentionally or unintentionally as a side effect of global farming and industry, is having a destabilizing effect on global grassland ecosystems.

About the study on “Fertilization destabilizes Global Grassland Ecosystems”
  • First international experiment by using a network of natural grassland research sites around the world known as Nutrient Network (or NutNet).
  • Assessed the effect of fertilizer on 41 sites across 5 continents.
  • The experimental network included eco-systems from alpine areas of China to Serengeti in Tanzania.
  • Outcome: Found that plant diversity in natural ecosystems creates more stable ecosystems over time because of less synchronized growth of plants.
  • Also found that grassland diversity and stability reduces when fertilizers added.
  • In other words, the balance output of the ecological safety net on addition of fertilizer was upset across diverse grassland as the various organisms in those disappeared. 
  • NutNet is a “grassroots campaign” that is supported by scientists who volunteer their time and resources.
  • Published in the international journal Nature.



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