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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Vegetation and Climate Characteristics of Arid and Semiarid Grasslands in North America and Their Biome Transition Zone

Authors
item Hochstrasser, Tamara - NEW MEXICO STATE U.
item Kroel-Dulay, Gy -
item PETERS, DEBRA
item Gosz, J - UNIVERSITY OF NEW MEXICO

Submitted to: Journal of Arid Environments
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 28, 2001
Publication Date: May 1, 2002
Citation: HOCHSTRASSER, T., KROEL-DULAY, G., PETERS, D.C., GOSZ, J.R. VEGETATION AND CLIMATE CHARACTERISTICS OF ARID AND SEMIARID GRASSLANDS IN NORTH AMERICA AND THEIR BIOME TRANSITION ZONE. JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS. 2002. V. 51(1). P. 55-78.

Interpretive Summary: We examined the relationship between species richness, functional group composition, and climate for three grassland types representing the shortgrass steppe in northern Colorado, the Chihuahuan Desert in southern New Mexico, and the transition zone where both grasslands meet in central New Mexico. We found perennial species richness increased as precipitation nincreased from south to north. The transitional site was more similar to the Chihuahuan Desert than to the shortgrass steppe for most climate and vegetation characteristics. This similarity was likely due to the close proximity of those two sites. Our results show transition zones have unique characteristics compared with the adjoining communities.

Technical Abstract:

Last Modified: 9/29/2014