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A 2-year experiment with ambient, reduced, and enhanced precipitation as well as nitrogen additions was designed to compare the performance of the  encroaching C3 shrub (honey mesquite Prosopis glandulosa) to the dominant C4 grass (black grama Bouteloua eriopoda) in terms of photosynthetic rates and leaf water status. Precipitation manipulations dramatically enhanced natural variability and generated a range of rainfall scenarios that could have only been studied only after a multi-decade effort using natural conditions.We use vegetation cover as a proxy for plant biomass to avoid confounding spatial and temporal variability or confounding the impact of harvesting.  Individual cover of plant species was measured  using three parallel transects per plot. This study is complete.

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