Soil moisture correlates with shrub–grass association in the Chihuahuan Desert

Auteur(s) et Affiliation(s)

Inst. of Earth Sciences, Hebrew Univ., Jerusalem, Israel
Dep. of Biology, New Mexico State Univ., Las Cruces, Etats-Unis

Description :
Both groups, shrubs and grasses, occupy a gently sloping silty (loessial) soil within the Jornada Experimental Range (JER), northern Chihuahuan Desert, NM, USA. The findings point to a close link between grass biomass and the soil moisture content, with the high grass biomass at habitats with burrograss mainly confined to depressions (DP) explained by runoff contribution, while that of tarbush shrubs with a dense population of tobosa grass under the shrub canopy (UC) by the higher moisture content mainly attributed to the reduced evaporation under shading conditions. The co-existence of shrubs and under-canopy grass does not support the notion of high competition between both groups of plants. It may rather indicate facilitation. The close link between soil moisture content and the grass habitats also suggests that lower water availability during summertime may explain current grass scarcity in JER.

Type de document :
Article de périodique

Source :
Catena (Giessen), issn : 0341-8162, 2013, vol. 107, p. 71-79, nombre de pages : 9, Références bibliographiques : 2 p.

Date :

Editeur :
Pays édition : Allemagne, Cremlingen-Destedt, Catena

Langue :
Droits :
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