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In desert ecosystems a large proportion of water and nitrogen is supplied in rain-induced pulses. It has been suggested that competitive interactions among desert plants would be most intense during these pulse periods of high resource availability. We tested this hypothesis with three cold desert shrub species of the Colorado Plateau (Gutierrezia sarothrae, Atriplex confertifolia, and Chrysothamnus nauseosus), which differ in their distribution of functional roots. In a three-year field study we conducted a neighbor removal experiment in conjunction with simulated 25-mm precipitation events and the addition of a nitrogen pulse in either spring or summer. We measured predawn water potential (?), gas exchange, leaf...
The ability to exploit short-duration nutrient pulses may be an important factor in the competitive balance of plants and in shaping plant community structure. We investigated the growth responses and biomass production of six Great Basin plant species growing in monocultures in the field following a single pulse of nitrogen applied in early, mid, or late spring. As a control, we applied the same total quantity of N that was in each of the individual pulses as a continuous series of applications at twice-weekly intervals over 10 wk in the spring. Surprisingly, most of the species grown under the control, continuous N supply had lower growth rates, fewer tillers, and less biomass production than plants receiving...
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In desert ecosystems a large proportion of water and nitrogen is supplied in rain-induced pulses. It has been suggested that competitive interactions among desert plants would be most intense during these pulse periods of high resource availability. We tested this hypothesis with three cold desert shrub species of the Colorado Plateau (Gutierrezia sarothrae, Atriplex confertifolia, and Chrysothamnus nauseosus), which differ in their distribution of functional roots. In a three-year field study we conducted a neighbor removal experiment in conjunction with simulated 25-mm precipitation events and the addition of a nitrogen pulse in either spring or summer. We measured predawn water potential (Ψ), gas exchange, leaf...


    map background search result map search result map Interspecific Competition and Resource Pulse Utilization in a Cold Desert Community Interspecific Competition and Resource Pulse Utilization in a Cold Desert Community