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Environmental Management

, Volume 14, Issue 1, pp 81–93 | Cite as

Field bioassessments for selecting test systems to evaluate military training lands in tallgrass prairie. Ecosystem health. V

  • D. J. Schaeffer
  • T. R. Seastedt
  • D. J. Gibson
  • D. C. Hartnett
  • B. A. D. Hetrick
  • S. W. James
  • D. W. Kaufman
  • A. P. Schwab
  • E. E. Herricks
  • E. W. Novak
Research

Abstract

Ecosystem responses to physical or chemical stress may vary from changes in single organisms to alteration of the structure and function of the ecosystem. These responses to stress cannol be predicted exactly. Ecosystems repeatedly exposed to physical and/or chemical stress can be used to study the separate and combined environmental effects of stress. Such studies also allow the development of procedures to select test systems for the analysis of stress in ecosystems. A preliminary field survey of six military training sites at Fort Riley, Kansas, USA, was conducted to identify and verify ecological test systems for evaluating ecosystem responses to physical and/or chemical stress. Comparisons of these data with data collected concurrently from Konza Prairie Research Natural Area reference sites showed that soil microarthropods, some species of macroarthropods, small mammals, and native earthworm species were negatively affected by stress. In contrast, plant species diversity, plant foliage biomass, soil mycorrhizae, and many soil characteristics were within the boundaries of nominal variations observed on “pristine” Konza Prairie. Introduced European earthworms appeared to be positively affected by training activities. This study provided a test of systematic procedures to support impact analysis, ecological toxicology, and ecosystem risk assessments.

Key words

Ecological test systems Physical stress Chemical stress Military training sites Prairie Ecosystem risk assessment 

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. J. Schaeffer
    • 1
  • T. R. Seastedt
    • 2
  • D. J. Gibson
    • 2
  • D. C. Hartnett
    • 2
  • B. A. D. Hetrick
    • 2
  • S. W. James
    • 2
  • D. W. Kaufman
    • 2
  • A. P. Schwab
    • 2
  • E. E. Herricks
    • 3
  • E. W. Novak
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Veterinary BiosciencesUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  2. 2.Department of BiologyKansas State UniversityManhattanUSA
  3. 3.Department of Civil EngineeringUniversity of IllinoisUrbanaUSA
  4. 4.USA-CERL (EN)ChampaignUSA

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