Submitted to: US-International Association for Landscape Ecology
Publication Type: Abstract only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/1/2002
Publication Date: 4/23/2002
Citation: PETERS, D.C. LANDSCAPE-SCALE CONSEQUENCES OF PATCH-SCALE INVASION SUCCESS OR FAILURE. US-INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION FOR LANDSCAPE ECOLOGY. 2002. ABSTRACT P. 109. Interpretive Summary:
Technical Abstract: Shrub invasion into perennial grasslands has occurred throughout many arid ecosystems in the US and abroad. Although various factors contributing to invasion have been well studied, there is little understanding of the spatial variation in shrub success into different plant communities. The objective of this study was to examine differential invasion success by the shrub, creosotebush, into grasslands dominated by different species. The study was conducted at the Sevilleta LTER site in central New Mexico, USA, where the landscape consists of a mosaic of patches and ecotones between several grass and shrub species. Sampling was conducted by geo-referencing the location of all shrub plants within patches dominated either by blue grama, a dominant species in the shortgrass steppe, or by black grama, a dominant of the Chihuahuan Desert. Vegetation was sampled within and outside of each shrub patch. Results show that creosotebush-black grama ecotones are diffuse, consisting of a complex mosaic of grasses and shrubs. By contrast, ecotones between creosotebush and blue grama are distinct with very few shrub plants found within patches dominated by blue grama. Consequences of these patch-scale interactions for landscape-scale patterns in shrub invasion and grass resistance are discussed.