Tracking environmental change with the desert shrub ocotillo (<i>Fouquiera splendens</i>): Prospects and pitfalls

TitleTracking environmental change with the desert shrub ocotillo (Fouquiera splendens): Prospects and pitfalls
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication1996
AuthorsKillingbeck K.T.
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
Call Number00710
Keywordsabstract, abstracts, conference, conference proceedings, conferences, Fouquieria, environmental change, ocotillo, SEE <Fouquieria>, plant, environmental change, proceeding, proceedings, technique, environmental change, technique, 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.
Custom 1Ogden, UT