Submitted to: Society of Range Management
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2005
Publication Date: 2/1/2005
Citation: Bates, J.D., Miller, R. 2005. Influence of wyoming big sagebrush on spatial variation of micro-environments and herbaceous vegetation. [abstract] Society of Range Management. Paper No. 62.
Technical Abstract: The Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata spp. wyomingenis, ARTRW8) cover type is the most extensive of the big sagebrush complex in the Intermountain West. Limited work has been done regarding ARTRW8’s role within a plant community. Excluding research on hydraulic lift and islands of fertility, micro-environmental and vegetation differences between subcanopy and interspace zones have been largely ignored. Our objectives were to determine if micro-environment and herbaceous cover and density characteristics differed between subcanopy and interspace zones. Micro-environmental characteristics were different between canopy and interspace locations. On sites receiving more direct radiation, perennial grass and total herbaceous cover were greater under the sagebrush than in the interspace. Often perennial forb cover was also higher in the subcanopy zone. On more north and east aspects, these differences were not as pronounced. Perennial grass density was higher under sagebrush than in the interspace on all sites. Wyoming big sagebrush creates spatial variation in micro-environments and herbaceous vegetation. The spatial variation in micro-environments created by ARTRW8 probably promotes plant species diversity.