Benton Taylor

Benton Taylor
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC)

Doctor of Philosophy

About

26
Publications
6,466
Reads
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455
Citations
Additional affiliations
September 2013 - present
Columbia University
Position
  • PhD Student
January 2012 - May 2012
College of Charleston
Position
  • ENVT 200: Introduction to Environmental Studies
January 2012 - May 2012
College of Charleston
Position
  • ENVT 395: Seminar on Global Climate Change
Education
August 2013
Columbia University
Field of study
  • Tropical Biogeochemistry
August 2008 - August 2010
Clemson University
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences
August 2002 - May 2006
Maryville College
Field of study
  • Biological Sciences

Publications

Publications (26)
Article
Full-text available
More than half of the world's tropical forests are currently recovering from human land use, and this regenerating biomass now represents the largest carbon (C)-capturing potential on Earth. How quickly these forests regenerate is now a central concern for both conservation and global climate-modeling efforts. Symbiotic nitrogen-fixing trees are th...
Article
Full-text available
Root systems serve important roles in carbon (C) storage and resource acquisition required for the increased photosynthesis expected in CO2-enriched atmospheres. For these reasons, understanding the changes in size, distribution and tissue chemistry of roots is central to predicting the ability of forests to capture anthropogenic CO2. We sampled 80...
Article
Large-scale, long-term FACE (Free Air CO2 -enrichment) experiments indicate that increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations will influence forest C cycling in unpredictable ways. It has been recently suggested that responses of mycorrhizal fungi could determine whether forest NPP (net primary production) is increased by elevated CO2 over long time...
Article
Root systems are important for global models of below-ground carbon and nutrient cycling. Notoriously difficult sampling methods and the fractal distribution of root diameters in the soil make data being used in these models especially susceptible to error resulting from under-sampling. We applied the concept of species accumulation curves to root...
Article
The rarity of nitrogen (N)-fixing trees in frequently N-limited higher-latitude (here, > 35°) forests is a central biogeochemical paradox. One hypothesis for their rarity is that evolutionary constraints limit N-fixing tree diversity, preventing N-fixing species from filling available niches in higher-latitude forests. Here, we test this hypothesis...
Article
The ability to fix nitrogen may confer a competitive advantage or disadvantage to symbiotic nitrogen‐fixing plants depending on the availability of soil nitrogen and energy to fuel fixation. Understanding these costs and benefits of nitrogen fixation is critical to predicting ecosystem dynamics and nutrient cycling. ▪We grew inoculated (with symbio...
Article
Nitrogen (N)‐fixing trees fulfil a unique and important biogeochemical role in forests through their ability to convert atmospheric N2 gas to plant‐available N. Due to their high N fixation rates, it is often assumed that N‐fixing trees facilitate neighbouring trees and enhance forest growth. This assumption is supported by some local studies but c...
Article
Nitrogen-fixing plants provide critical nitrogen inputs that support the high productivity of tropical forests, but our understanding of the ecology of nitrogen fixers – and especially their interactions with herbivores – remains incomplete. Herbivores may interact differently with nitrogen fixers vs. non-fixers due to differences in leaf nitrogen...
Article
Regenerating tropical forests have an immense capacity to capture carbon and harbor biodiversity. The recuperation of the nitrogen cycle following disturbance can fuel biomass regeneration, but few studies have evaluated the successional dynamics of nitrogen and nitrogen inputs in tropical forests. We assessed symbiotic and asymbiotic nitrogen fixa...
Article
Symbiotic nitrogen (N)‐fixing plants have important effects on the biogeochemical processes of the sites they inhabit, but their ability to reach these sites is determined by the dispersal of their seeds. Differences in seed size and dispersal vectors of N‐fixing and non‐fixing plants could influence the spatial and temporal distributions of N fixe...
Article
Full-text available
Scientific communication relies on clear presentation of data. Logarithmic scales are used frequently for data presentation in many scientific disciplines, including ecology, but the degree to which they are correctly interpreted by readers is unclear. Analysing the extent of log scales in the literature, we show that 22% of papers published in the...
Article
Full-text available
Nitrogen limits primary production in almost every biome on Earth1,2. Symbiotic nitrogen fixation, conducted by certain angiosperms and their endosymbiotic bacteria, is the largest potential natural source of new nitrogen into the biosphere3, influencing global primary production, carbon sequestration and element cycling. Because symbiotic nitrogen...
Article
Symbiotic nitrogen (N) fixation provides a dominant source of new N to the terrestrial biosphere, yet in many cases the abundance of N-fixing trees appears paradoxical. N-fixing trees, which should be favored when N is limiting, are rare in higher-latitude forests where N limitation is common, but are abundant in lower-latitude forests where N limi...
Article
Full-text available
As global climatic changes increase plant susceptibility to large-scale disturbances such as drought and pathogens, understory responses to these disturbances will become increasingly important to long-term forest dynamics. To better understand understory responses to canopy disturbance, we measured changes in the growth and physiology of the domin...
Article
Full-text available
Ecosystems globally are undergoing rapid changes in elemental inputs. Because nutrient inputs differently impact high‐ and low‐fertility systems, building a predictive framework for the impacts of anthropogenic and natural changes on ecological stoichiometry requires examining the flexibility in stoichiometric responses across a range of basal nutr...
Article
Full-text available
Negative density dependence contributes to seedling dynamics in forested ecosystems, but the relative importance of this factor for different woody plant life-forms is not well-understood. We used 1 yr of seedling survivorship data for woody seedlings in 17 different plots of lower to mid-montane rain forests on the island of Dominica to examine ho...
Article
Full-text available
The introduction of non-native seed dispersers has the potential to significantly alter distributions and relative abundances of native plants. Although effects of introduced seed predators have been documented, little is known about how introduced dispersers influence seed movement patterns. We investigated seed removal of seven rainforest species...
Article
New Phytologist (2014) doi: 10.1111/nph.13123 Key words: elevated CO 2 , free-air carbon enrichment (FACE), fine-root architecture, foraging strategy, nitrogen (N) fertilization, Pinus taeda (loblolly pine). Summary Predicting the response of fine roots to increased atmospheric CO 2 concentration has important implications for carbon (C) and nutrie...
Data
The number of publications using minirhizotrons published in each year for the period 1988–2011. Publication numbers are the result of a search of the term “minirhizotron” on Web of Science.
Article
Full-text available
Background and aims Accurate data on the standing crop, production, and turnover of fine roots is essential to our understanding of major terrestrial ecological processes. Minirhizotrons offer a unique opportunity to study the dynamic processes of root systems, but are susceptible to several measurement biases. Methods We use roots extracted from m...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Elevated atmospheric CO2 influences root growth and potential for belowground carbon storage. We used minirhizotrons and soil monoliths (8000 cm3) to examine root systems in a loblolly pine plantation following 15 years of exposure to Free-Air-CO2-Enrichment (FACE) and 5 years of nitrogen (N) addition. We hypothesized...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Roots have long been recognized for their role in allowing plants to meet their resource needs and respond to changing environmental conditions, and roots are now increasingly considered as a critical component when creating terrestrial carbon budgets. Despite recognition of the importance of below-ground plant biomass...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Rising atmospheric CO2 will influence productivity and function of forests. Greater C assimilation by forests will likely be accompanied by higher nutrient demands and greater absorptive surface area either of fine roots or mycorrhizal fungi. Increased atmospheric CO2 may also affect the dynamics of mycorrhizal structu...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Many of the mechanisms proposed to maintain woody plant species diversity in forested ecosystems involve processes affecting seedlings. To determine the importance of light and competition in structuring hurricane-prone tropical wet forests of Dominica, an island in the Lesser Antilles, we examined the relative effects...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Mammals serve as important dispersers of large-seeded plant species in many habitats. In the Neotropics, agoutis are important seed dispersers as well as seed predators and have been shown to be the only disperser of many important canopy trees. Agoutis eat seeds on site or disperse and bury them in a shallow cache as a...

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