USDA-ARS Long-Term Agroecosystem Research Network (https://www.tucson.ars.ag.gov/ltar)
*We designed a study to examine the long-term spatial and temporal patterns of mass loss, changes in nitrogen content and chemical composition during decomposition of roots in a desert watershed. Because nitrogen availability has been hypothesized to affect decomposition rates of buried litter in deserts, we studied decomposition of roots along a transect on a desert watershed that had been fertilized with ammonium nitrate and compared these results with the decomposition of roots along a transect that had not been fertilized.
Contains areas of disturbances on soil/surface for different categories of animal (for example, Novomesser ant). To be used to calculate % disturbance and soil disturbance density by animal.
Rabbit pellets were collected from 24 5x5m plots at approximately 1 month intervals. Dry weight by date and plot was recorded. Pellets were subsampled and analyzed for Total N. Plots are located along LTER-1 Control and Treatment transects in creosotebush (around station C62 and T61) and upper basin slope. (See site description.) Plots are located along LTER-1 Control and Treatment transects in creosotebush (around station C62 and T61) and upper basin slope. (See site description.)
Average percent coverage of each plant species per 5-meter segment along a 30-meter line intercept perpendicular to each of 91 stations on each of the three LTER-I permanent transects. Data consists of week number, transect, station number, species, carbon reduction pathway, habit, form, and average percent cover. It is sorted by transect, station number, then plant species. Measurements are made on 30-meter line intercept transects located perpendicular to each of 91 stations on each of the 2.7 km long Control, Treatment, and Alternate Control Transects established at the beginning of LTER-I. Following January 1, 1987, spring line- intercepts will only record cover of annual species. All perennial cover data will be limited to fall samples. Both annuals and perennials are measured during the fall. Measurements were made biannually from 1982 - 1988. After this they are measured every 5 years. Annuals are measured through 1998; however, after this only perennials are measured and only in the fall. Each plant line transect is divided into 6 5-meter segments. Annuals are measured only in the first meter of segments 1, 2, and 3 and in the last meter of segments 4, 5, and 6. Perennials are measured for the full length of all segments. BACKGROUND. In the spring of 1982, as part of the establishment of the Jornada Long-Term Ecological Research site in southern New Mexico, a 135 ha portion of a 1500 ha, internally drained, watershed was exclosed from grazing by domestic livestock. Prior to exclosure the watershed, as well as the rest of the Jornada basin, had been moderately to heavily grazed for the past 100 years. Concurrent with grazing, the vegetation had undergone a dramatic change from desert grassland, with an almost continuous cover of C4 perennial grasses, to isolated patches of the original grassland in a mosaic with desert shrub dominated plant communities (Buffington and Herbel, 1965). The exclosure lies along a northeast facing piedmont slope at the base of a steep isolated mountain peak, and covers a variety of component landforms from the foot of the mountain to the basin floor. This provided the opportunity to investigate the response of vegetation with respect to landscape characteristics as well as release from grazing.
Leaf weight-per-unit area of Larrea tridentata from creosote zone on LTER-I Control and Treatment transects was calculated. Litter used was collected from 4 litter baskets placed under each of 10 bushes on Control Transect and also the Treatment transect. Litter was from month of October litterfall. Thirty whole leaves were picked from each bush, dry weight obtained, soaked in H20 to soften, flattened, and run through area meter.
Mesquite litterfall collected monthly from mesquite fringe on south side of College Playa. Oven-dry weights of leave, stem, and seed fractions as well as total dry weight are recorded.
Creosotebush litterfall collected monthly from creosotebush zone Creosotebush litterfall collected monthly from creosotebush zone on upper bajada between College Playa and Mt. Summerford. Oven-dry weights of leave, stem, and seed fractions as well as total dry weight are recorded.
Rabbit pellets were collected from 24 5x5m plots at approximately 1 month intervals. Dry weight by date and plot was recorded. Plots are located along LTER-1 Control and Treatment transects in creosotebush (around station C62 and T61) and upper basin slope