Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/7/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: FREDRICKSON, E.L., LONGLAND, W.S., HYDER, P.W., HU, D., ESTELL, R.E. ROLE OF HERBIVOROUS AND GRANIVOROUS FAUNA IN THE MAINTENANCE OF MESQUITE COPPICE DUNE SYSTEMS. 5TH SYMPOSIUM ON RESOURCES OF THE CHIHUAHUAN DESERT REGION: US AND MEXICO. 1999. ABSTRACT P. 17-18.
Technical Abstract: Part of the ongoing desertification process within the Chihuahuan Desert involves replacement of former grasslands by shrubs. At the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range, vast areas of Black Grama, Bouteloua eriopoda, grasslands were replaced by mesquite, Prosopis glandulosa glandulosa, which hsubsequently facilitates the formation of coppice dunes or mounds of sand around established shrubs. Three studies were designed to assess the effects of two broad guilds of fauna herbivores (foliage eaters) and granivores (seed eaters) in maintaining coppice dune states. We also consider in greater detail species-specific roles played by a group of desert rodents known to have keystone effects on Chihuahuan Desert plant communities. These studies indicate the small mammals studied both maintain and probably augment coppice dune systems.