Spatial heterogeneity in Chihuahuan Desert vegetation: implications for sampling methods in semi-arid ecosystems

TitleSpatial heterogeneity in Chihuahuan Desert vegetation: implications for sampling methods in semi-arid ecosystems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsHuenneke L., Clason D, Muldavin E
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume47
Pagination257-270
Date Published2001
Accession NumberJRN00345
Call Number00749
Keywordsarticle, articles, Bouteloua, net primary production, ecosystem, plant production, journal, journals, Larrea, net primary production, net primary production, plants, net primary production, Prosopis, net primary production, spatial heterogeneity, technique, aboveground NPP
Abstract

Patchiness of above-ground vegetation, such as that in semi-arid grasslands and shrublands, can pose problems in sampling plant cover, biomass and productivity. We present a method of measuring above-ground plant biomass and production that can be applied consistently among vegetation types and that generates seasonal, spatially-explicit results. Results from 15 sites within the Jornada Basin (Chihuahuan Desert, New Mexico, USA) confirm considerable patchiness and non-normal distributions of plant biomass, even in grasslands. However, tests of adequacy of sample size and of sample error associated with the regression-based estimates of biomass confirmed that the estimates of above-ground net primary productivity are sufficiently precise to be useful in comparisons of both shrub-dominated and grassland sites.

URLfiles/bibliography/JRN00345.pdf
DOI10.1006/jare.2000.0678
Reprint EditionIn File (02/23/2001)