A general classification of vegetation dynamics for Chihuahuan Desert management models

TitleA general classification of vegetation dynamics for Chihuahuan Desert management models
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBestelmeyer BT, Herrick JE, Havstad K, Brown J.
Conference NameSixth Symposium on the Natural Resources of the Chihuahuan Desert
Date Published2004
ARIS Log Number175622
AbstractWe briefly describe a new conceptual approach to describing vegetation dynamics based on multiple scales of vegetation/soil pattern and processes and cross-scale interactions among grass loss in patches, patch connectivity and sediment/water flux regulation, and climate-forcing functions. This approach is based on a preliminary classification of transitions into five broad classes including: (1) size oscillation of grasses, (2) loss and recolonization of grasses, (3) loss of grasses with replacement by shrubs, (4) spatial reorganization of grass/shrub patches, and (5) cascading grass-shrub transitions that spread from small to broad scales. This classification links spatial and temporal patterns with ecological processes and monitoring strategies.