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Changes in precipitation patterns and inputs have the potential to cause major changes in productivity, composition, and diversity of terrestrial plant communities. Vegetation response to altered timing of precipitation was assessed during a 7-year experiment in an Artemisia tridentata spp. wyomingensis community in the northern Great Basin, USA. Four permanent rainout shelters excluded natural rainfall, with seasonal distribution of precipitation controlled with the use of an overhead sprinkler system. Precipitation treatments under each shelter were WINTER, SPRING, and CURRENT. The WINTER treatment received 80% of its water between October and March; in the SPRING treatment 80% of total water was applied between...
Quaking aspen cover 3.3 million hectares in the Upper Colorado River Basin, and these areas are gradually converting to conifer forest by the natural process of ecological succession. This change is being hastened by forest managment practices that reduce fires, destroy pests, or otherwise prevent the natural processes that previously caused conifer areas to revert to the subclimax aspen. The hydrologic consequence has been forecast to cause a runoff reduction in the Colorado River as large as one million acre-feet annually, a major blow to water availability in the Lower Basin. Understanding and dealing with the problems requires quantitative comparision of the evaportranspiration rates of conifer and aspen forests...

    map background search result map search result map The effects of precipitation timing on sagebrush steppe vegetation The effects of precipitation timing on sagebrush steppe vegetation