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We investigated the effects of winter and summer drought on a shrub/grass community of the Colorado Plateau in western North America, a winter-cold, summer-hot desert that receives both winter and summer precipitation. Summer, winter and yearlong drought treatments were imposed for 2 consecutive years using rainout shelters. We chose three perennial species for this study, representing different rooting patterns and responsiveness to precipitation pulses: Oryzopsis hymenoides, a perennial bunch grass with shallow roots; Gutierrezia sarothrae, a subshrub with dimorphic roots; and Ceratoides lanata, a predominantly deep-rooted woody shrub. Growth for all three species was far more sensitive to winter than to summer...
1. Plant carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) inputs to soil interact with microbes and abiotic factors like climate and pH to influence soil fertility and plant productivity. Although root exudates and root litter are important factors affecting the cycling of nutrients critical to plant growth, many studies remain focused on effects of above-ground litter inputs. 2. Using two species that co-dominate alpine moist meadows as a model system (the phenolic-rich forb Geum rossii, and the fast-growing grass Deschampsia caespitosa), we asked whether C from G. rossii fine roots could reduce D. caespitosa growth. We hypothesized that root C would indirectly reduce D. caespitosa growth by stimulating soil microbes, thus restricting...
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This map is one of the layers used to recreate Figure 2 in Churkina and Running (1998) in Data Basin (file title: Climate controls on plant growth) Each pixel (0.5 x 0.5) on the map represents a value derived from a specific function of annual mean temperature (Figure 1 in Churkina and Running 1998). Exerpt from Churkina and Running 1998: Though extreme low mean annual temperatures restrict vegetation productivity, less extreme low temperatures may also limit plant productivity during the period of maximum growth. The degree of thermal limitation on NPP gradually declines as the annual temperatures rise; the limitation increases again when the annual temperatures get too high. Vegetation productivity can be...


map background search result map search result map Summer and winter drought in a cold desert ecosystem (Colorado Plateau) part II: effects on plant carbon assimilation and growth Temperature (annual mean) limitation on plant growth Summer and winter drought in a cold desert ecosystem (Colorado Plateau) part II: effects on plant carbon assimilation and growth Temperature (annual mean) limitation on plant growth