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The demographic consequences of a severe drought year were examined for two experimental plantings of the herbaceous desert perennial Cryptantha flava(Boraginaceae) in northeastern Utah, United States. A total of 6680 nutlets were planted individually or in clusters of four both under shrubs and in open microhabitats within two natural populations. Survival, growth, and flowering as a function of density and microhabitat were followed for 7 years, including 1 year when precipitation just before and during the growing season was 74.5% below normal. The design permitted assessment of how intraspecific density and shrub cover affect demographic response to drought. Mortality increased and flowering decreased dramatically...
1 Resource pulses generally result in a burst of biological activity at multiple scales. For plants, the increased activity is generally considered positive due to an overall up-regulation of physiological activity during the pulse. Longer-term effects remain an understudied aspect of resource pulses. 2 We monitored the short- and long-term effects of nitrogen (N) pulse to the long-lived desert perennial, Cryptantha flava. One group of plants were treated with a one-time application of N in the spring of 1999, a second group received two N pulses (one in the spring of 1999 and one in the spring of 2000), and a third group received ambient N (controls). 3 In the short-term, N-pulse treated plants rapidly increased...
1 Precipitation in arid regions is temporally variable with much of it arriving in discrete, unpredictable pulses. Climate change models predict an increase in the variation of precipitation, with longer droughts and larger rainfall events, in addition to increased temperatures. 2 A life table response experiment (LTRE) was conducted with the herbaceous arid-land perennial Cryptantha flava (Boraginaceae) from 1997 to 2000, in order to determine how variation in precipitation affects asymptotic population growth (l) and vital rates. Variation in precipitation took two forms, through rainout shelters erected just before and during the 1999 spring growing season, and through naturally occurring variation over the 4...