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• Theoretical and empirical research has supported the hypothesis that plant–plant interactions change from competition to facilitation with increasing abiotic stress. However, the consistency of such changes has been questioned in arid and semiarid ecosystems. • During a drought in the semiarid south-western USA, we used observations and a field experiment to examine the interactions between juveniles of a foundation tree (Pinyon pine, Pinus edulis ) and a common shrub (Apache plume, Fallugia paradoxa ) in replicated areas of high and low stress. • The presence of F. paradoxa reduced P. edulis performance at low-stress sites, but had the opposite effect at high-stress sites. However, the intensity of the...
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Invasive plants are typically managed using top-down control techniques that focus on the removal of the target organism. Bottom-up control limits the resources available to the undesired species by manipulating disturbance, competition, and successional processes, and thus may prevent reinvasion. Tamarisk species (Tamarix sp.) have invaded riparian areas throughout western North America, resulting in expansive control efforts. A companion study has shown that a native competitor, Box elder (Acer negundo), is capable of outcompeting and killing established Tamarisk through light interception in canyons of Dinosaur National Monument (DNM), Colorado. The goal of this study was to determine the feasibility of using...
1 Although drought frequency and severity are predicted to increase across numerous continental interiors, the consequences of these changes for dominant plants are largely unknown. Over the last decade, the south-western US has experienced six drought years, including the extreme droughts of 1996 and 2002, which led to widespread tree mortality across northern Arizona. 2 We examined the impact of these droughts on the co-dominant tree species of the pinyon?juniper woodland (Pinus edulis and Juniperus monosperma), a major vegetation type in the US. 3 Pinyon mortality following both droughts was 6.5-fold higher than juniper mortality. In addition, large pinyons suffered 2?6-fold greater mortality than small pinyons,...
The demographic consequences of a severe drought year were examined for two experimental plantings of the herbaceous desert perennial Cryptantha flava(Boraginaceae) in northeastern Utah, United States. A total of 6680 nutlets were planted individually or in clusters of four both under shrubs and in open microhabitats within two natural populations. Survival, growth, and flowering as a function of density and microhabitat were followed for 7 years, including 1 year when precipitation just before and during the growing season was 74.5% below normal. The design permitted assessment of how intraspecific density and shrub cover affect demographic response to drought. Mortality increased and flowering decreased dramatically...
1 A 3-year field study examined the physiological and demographic consequences of resource pulse use by an herbaceous, aridland perennial, Cryptantha flava, as well as potential competitive and facilitative interactions with larger shrubs. 2 We applied a pulse of urea and faecal pellets, simulating Mule deer excretions, to plants growing between and under Sagebrush and Rabbitbrush canopies. 3 We hypothesized that C. flava would show strong positive responses to N pulses in open microhabitats, and such plants had approximately 50% increases in leaf N concentrations within days of pulse application, accompanied by increased photosynthetic rates. Over the next year, higher rates of growth and reproduction were found...
There is increasing recognition that overall interactions among plant species are often the net result of both positive and negative effects. However, the positive influence of other plants has rarely been examined using detailed demographic methods, which are useful for partitioning net effects at the population level into positive and/or negative effects on individual vital rates. This study examines the influence of microhabitats created by the native shrubs Artemisia tridentata and Purshia tridentata on the demography of the invasive annual grass Bromus tectorum in the Great Basin Desert, California, USA. Shrub understory environments differed significantly from intershrub space and were characterized by higher...
If plants cannot simultaneously acclimate to shade and drought because of physiological trade-offs, then plants are expected to be less tolerant to shading under drier conditions. One observation that, at first sight, seems incompatible with this idea is the fact that the establishment of new plants in dry areas is often restricted to shady sites under the canopy of other plants, called “nurse plants.� We use a graphical model to resolve this paradox. The model visualizes how facilitative patterns can be understood from the simultaneous effects of plant canopies on microsite light and moisture, and the growth responses of establishing seedlings to those factors. The approach emphasizes the fact that positive...
Circumstantial evidence suggests that Artemisia tridentata may out?compete Pinus ponderosa and P. jefferyi for water at ecotones between shrub steppe and montane forest vegetation in the Great Basin. Other studies indicate that within the shrub steppe Artemisia may act as a nurse plant for a third species of pine, P. monophylla. We used field experiments to study these contrasting effects of Artemisia on P. ponderosa and P. monophylla within the context of the distributional patterns in western Nevada of all three species on andesite, and on sites where hydrothermal activity has altered the andesite. At intermediate elevations in the Great Basin Artemisia and P. monophylla are restricted to unaltered desert soils,...
Beaver (Castor canadensis) populations have declined or failed to recover in heavily browsed envi­ronments. I suggest that intense browsing by livestock or ungulates can disrupt beaver-willow (Salix spp.) mutu­alisms that likely evolved under relatively low herbivory in a more predator-rich environment, and that this inter­ action may explain beaver and willow declines. Field experiments in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, USA, found the interaction of beaver and elk (Cervus elaphus) herbivory suppressed compensatory growth in wil­low. Intense elk browsing of simulated beaver-cut willow produced plants which were small and hedged with a high percentage of dead stems, whereas protected plants were large...
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These data are species distribution information assembled for assessing the impacts of land-use barriers, facilitative interactions with other species, and loss of long-distance animal dispersal on predicted species range patterns for four common species in pinyon-juniper woodlands in the western United States. The layers in the data release are initial distribution records of two kinds: point occurrence records and a raster layer for the general vegetation types where the species is a co-dominant, compiled from other sources. Both types of data are the baseline information in species distribution models for the associated publication.


    map background search result map search result map Habitat Overlap and Facilitation in Tamarisk and Box Elder Stands: Implications for Tamarisk Control Using Native Plants Occurrence records and vegetation type data used for species distribution models in the western United States Habitat Overlap and Facilitation in Tamarisk and Box Elder Stands: Implications for Tamarisk Control Using Native Plants Occurrence records and vegetation type data used for species distribution models in the western United States