Inefficient nitrogen resorption in a population of ocotillo (<i>Fouquieria splendens</i>), a drought deciduous desert shrub

TitleInefficient nitrogen resorption in a population of ocotillo (Fouquieria splendens), a drought deciduous desert shrub
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1992
AuthorsKillingbeck K.T.
JournalSouthwestern Naturalist
Date Published1992
Call NumberN0062
Keywordsarticle, articles, Fouguieria,nitrogen, journal, journals, nitrogen,Fouquieria, plant,Fouquieria, plant,ocotillo, Fouquieria
AbstractOcotillo is a drought-deciduous desert shrub capable of orchestrating rapid morphological and physiological adjustments to changes in environmental conditions. Lengths of over 2,500 stem segments from two populations of ocotillo growing in the Chihuahuan Desert were measured to explore the possibility that episodes of stem growth could be used to infer past environmental change. Stem growth was so intermittent and complex that historical projections of environmental conditions were not possible without first establishing benchmark stem segments. Once established though, benchmark stem segments and subsequent stem growth may be used as easily measurable integrators of ongoing environmental change in desert ecosystems.