Jornada Basin LTER Research

This is the old version of the JRN LTER website. Please visit

Data by Research Category
All Projects Datasets
Animal Projects Datasets
Climate Projects Datasets
Decomposition Projects Datasets
Hydrology Projects Datasets
Plant Projects Datasets
Soil Projects Datasets

Dataset: Surface Soil Canopy Position Nutrients

   Download data: File mescan86.dat
   File description including attribute definitions: data_JornadaStudy_394_mesquite_surface_soil_canopy_position_nutrient
   Original Investigator: Ross Virginia
   Data contact: John Anderson
   Duration: 1986 - 1986
   Dataset ID: 210394009
   DOI: 10.6073/pasta/695da86d575a17925c430dc1a1f89316

Soils were sampled under Prosopis at four sites and under Larrea at one site on the Jornada Desert Site on October 1, 1986. Samples were taken from two depths (0-15cm, 15-30cm) for three canopy positions and one interzone position for each tree or shrub. Four trees or shrubs were sampled at each site. The soils were analyzed for Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN), and inorganic N-- nitrate-N and ammonium-N.

   Additional information:

*Four mesquite ecosystems were studied: playa, coppice dune, arroyo, and grassland. An ecosystem dominated by the non-legume, Larrea tridentata, and lacking mesquite was included as a reference. The arroyo, grassland, Larrea and a playa site were loacated on the NSF Jornada Long Term Ecological Research (LTER) site situated 40 km north of Las Cruces, NM, in the northern Chihuahuan desert. A coppice mesquite dune site was located on the adjacent USDA Jornada Experimental Range about 15 km from the above sites.


Field and electronic data sheets


Soil samples were taken (augered) from three canopy positions, base, mid-canopy, and outer edge-of-canopy, beneath each tree or shrub (four per site). Also sampled was an interzone position in an unvegetated area one canopy radius (distance) away from the edge of the tree canopy. The interzone distance was less when tree spacing was closer. Two soil depths, 0-15cm and 15-30cm, were sampled at each position. Sampling took place on October 1, 1986. Soil samples were air-dryed in a glasshouse and ground to pass a 2-mm sieve. Total N was digested by Kjeldahl digestion block techniques (Bremner and Mulvaney, 1982). Digest NH4-N was analysed using an automated salicylate procedure (Technicon Industrial Method No. 329-74W/B). Inorganic N (NH4-N and NO3 + NO2-N) was extracted with 2M KCl (Keeney and Nelson, 1982). Ammonium-N in the extracts was analyzed colorimetrically (indophenol blue) in an automated procedure (Technicon Industrial Method No. 154-71) and NO3 + NO2-N was measured by an automated Cd reduction colorimetric procedure (Technicon Industrial Method No. 100-70W/).


Three times (January, May, and September)