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Circumstantial evidence suggests that Artemisia tridentata may out?compete Pinus ponderosa and P. jefferyi for water at ecotones between shrub steppe and montane forest vegetation in the Great Basin. Other studies indicate that within the shrub steppe Artemisia may act as a nurse plant for a third species of pine, P. monophylla. We used field experiments to study these contrasting effects of Artemisia on P. ponderosa and P. monophylla within the context of the distributional patterns in western Nevada of all three species on andesite, and on sites where hydrothermal activity has altered the andesite. At intermediate elevations in the Great Basin Artemisia and P. monophylla are restricted to unaltered desert soils,...
Invasion by cheatgrass and the associated high fire frequency can displace native plant communities from a perennial to an annual grass driven system. Our overall objective of this study was to determine the potential to favor desired native perennial bunchgrasses over annual grasses by altering plant available mineral nitrogen (N). In the first study, we grew cheatgrass and three native bunch grasses (native grasses were combined in equal proportions) in an addition series experimental design and applied one of three N treatments (0, 137, and 280 mg N/kg soil). Regression models were used to derive the effects of intra- and interspecific competition on individual plant yield of cheatgrass and the native bunch grasses...
Behavior of focal individuals of two potentially competing sympatric stonefly species, Megarcys signata and Kogotus modestus (Perlodidae), was videotaped in flow-through plexiglass arenas placed in the East River, Gunnison County, Colorado. Focal individuals were observed alone and in pairs with conspecifics and allospecifics at four prey (Baetis bicaudatus, Baetidae, Ephemeroptera) densities to determine whether competitors and prey resource levels affected prey capture rates. Presence of conspecific or allospecific competitors reduced stonefly prey capture rates, especially for Kogotus, the smaller of the two species, due to a significant decline in predator-prey encounter rates with competitors present. This...