Morphological variation in creosotebush, <i>Larrea tridentata</i>: effects on ecosystem properties

TitleMorphological variation in creosotebush, Larrea tridentata: effects on ecosystem properties
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1995
AuthorsWhitford WG, Martinez-Meza E., de Soyza A.G.
EditorBarrow J.R., McArthur E.D., Sosebee R.E., Tausch R.J
Conference NameProceedings: symposium on shrubland ecosystem dynamics in a changing environment
VolumeGen. Tech. Rep. INT-GTR-338
Number of Volumes275
Date Published1996
PublisherU.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station
Conference LocationLas Cruces, NM
Call Number00714
Keywordsabstract, abstracts, conference, conference proceedings, conferences, Larrea, morphology, precipitation, shrub morphology, proceeding, proceedings, shrub, morphology, soil, shrub morphology

Morphological characteristics of creosotebush canopies (angle of exterior stems), size of litter layer and sub-canopy soil chemistry were measured on several sites on the Jornada Experimental Range. Soils under canopies of inverted cone shaped shrubs had little or no litter layer and significantly lower total soil nitrogen and soil carbon than soils under canopies of hemispherically shaped shrubs. In Death Valley, creosotebushes growing in braided washes were predominantly inverted cone shaped. The morphological characteristics of creosotebushes appear to vary with soil type and with mean annual rainfall. The proportional distribution of different morphotypes of creosotebush affects the heterogeneity of creosotebush dominated ecosystems.

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