Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 1, 2000
Publication Date: August 6, 2000
Citation: PETERS, D.C. CROSS-SITE COMPARISONS OF CLIMATE AND VEGETATION FOR TWO SEMIARID GRASSLANDS AND THEIR ECOTONE. 85TH ANNUAL MEETING, ECOLOGICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA. 2000. ABSTRACT P. 372. Technical Abstract: The objective of this ongoing work is to compare ecosystem characteristics of three LTER grassland sites located along a north-south aridity gradient. These sites share some characteristics and differ in others that are expected to be important to their ability to respond to environmental drivers, including climate change and land use. The SGS-LTER in northern Colorado is representative of the shortgrass steppe and is dominated by th long-lived bunchgrass, Bouteloua gracilis (blue grama). Grasslands at the JER-LTER in southern New Mexico are dominated by the short-lived stoloniferous grass, Bouteloua eriopoda (black grama). Landscapes at the SEV-LTER in central New Mexico consist of patches that are dominated or codominated by these two species. Regional analyses of the climate and simulated recruitment showed important differences between biomes that may account, at least in part, for observed patterns in dominance and species diversity. Field studies of seed production and seed storage in the soil, as well as simulation analyses, showed the responses of these species at their ecotone are not predictable based on responses within the biomes where they dominate.