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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Plant Species Associations with Different Patch Types at a Semiarid-Arid Grassland Ecotone

Authors
item Kroel-Dulay, Gy. - INST ECOL & BOT, HUNGARY
item Odor, P - EOTVOS UNIV, BUDAPEST, HU
item PETERS, DEBRA

Submitted to: US-International Association for Landscape Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 29, 1999
Publication Date: July 29, 1999
Citation: KROEL-DULAY, G., ODOR, P., PETERS, D.C. PLANT SPECIES ASSOCIATIONS WITH DIFFERENT PATCH TYPES AT A SEMIARID-ARID GRASSLAND ECOTONE. 5TH WORLD CONGRESS, US-INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY. 1999. V. I(A-K). ABSTRACT P. 85-86.

Technical Abstract: The objective of this study was to investigate the relationship between subordinate species and the mosaic of dominant grasses at a semiarid-arid grassland ecotone and to compare these localized patterns of species to their geographic range. In central New Mexico, USA, a biome transition zone occurs where Bouteloua gracilis, the dominant of the shortgrass steppe, and dBouteloua eriopoda, the dominant in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands dominate. We used a multiple scale (0.25-256 m2) design to sample species occurrence in 60 patches dominated by either of these two grasses (30+30). Patches of the two types were interspersed across the landscape within a 1500ha area. Soil samples (0-20cm) were collected to test the hypothesis that soil texture controls the distribution of the dominant grasses. Patches dominated by B. gracilis had soils with significantly higher clay content relative to the other patch type. Of the 44 species with sufficient frequency for statistical analyses, 15 were associated with B. gracilis- dominated patches, and 10 with B. eriopoda-dominated ones. These two sets of species did not clearly differ in their geographic distributions. Our results indicate that this transitional mosaic is composed of patches with different species composition but it is not a mosaic of the interacting biomes.

Last Modified: 9/10/2014