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Project: Mesquite Soil Cores

Project ID: 210394000
Funding Source: LTER-I

In the Chihuahuan Desert of southern New Mexico, mesquite occurs in a variety of landscape populations where water may accumulate: at depth from channeling and concentration of water into low-lying areas (playas and arroyos); in high infiltration soils which permit deep infiltration and limit evaporation (dunes); and, as scattered individuals expanding into former grasslands where rooting is limited to the depth of infiltration of incident rainfall. We hypothesized that Prosopis glandulosa growing in these systems would vary considerably in root distribution and maximum rooting depth. The creosote system was expected to be more shallow rooted, and unlike mesquite, the community has been well characterized. The objective of these studies was to examine nematode, microarthropod, micronutrient, and nutrient concentrations at deep and surface soils in the different mesquite communties.