Nurse plant associations in the Chihuahuan Desert shrublands

TitleNurse plant associations in the Chihuahuan Desert shrublands
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsThompson J., Huenneke L.
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 PublishedMay 23-25, 1995
PublisherU.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Intermountain Research Station
Conference LocationLas Cruces, NM
Accession NumberJRN00212
Call Number00713
Keywordsabstract, abstracts, conference, conference proceedings, conferences, germination, nurse plant, Larrea, nurse plant, Larrea, plant association, plant, nurse plant, proceeding, proceedings, seed, nurse plant, shrub, nurse plant, Zinnia, germination

Spatial studies in the Chihuahuan Desert of associations with Larrea shrub islands found juveniles more often associated with shrub islands than unassociated. The spatial structure of the shrub islands points to Nurse Plant facilitation of seedlings. Experiments tested the effects of canopy, shrub islands, and understory on five perennials' germination. Longer survival times, but not higher germination, of Zinnia acerosa were found beneath artificial canopies in intershrub areas and cleared shrub islands as compared to intact shrub islands. Therefore, Zinnia may be poor competitor, preferring germination microsites with few competitors, regardless of Nurse Plant effects.

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