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Shifts in plant community structure in shrub and grass-dominated ecosystems are occurring over large land areas in the western US. It is not clear what effect this vegetative change will have on rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling, and thus long-term ecosystem productivity. To study the effect of different plant species on the decomposability of soil organic substrates and rates of C- and N-cycling, we conducted laboratory incubations of soils from a 15-yr-old experimental plot where big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum [Fisch.] Schult.) plants had been planted in a grid pattern. Soil samples collected from beneath crested wheatgrass had significantly greater total...
The North American Monsoon (NAM) is characterized by seasonal precipitation pulses which produce a considerable impact on land surface conditions. Changes in land surface processes have received less attention among the factors that concurrently influence the NAM. In this study, we utilize remotely-sensed and ground-based measurements to infer land surface changes that can influence the NAM through a vegetation?rainfall feedback mechanism. Our study is focused over the period 2004?2007 in northwest Mexico. Results from the analysis of remote sensing data indicate that the ground observations at an eddy covariance tower are representative of the land surface dynamics in subtropical scrublands. The extensive subtropical...
The North American Monsoon (NAM) is characterized by seasonal precipitation pulses which produce a considerable impact on land surface conditions. Changes in land surface processes have received less attention among the factors that concurrently influence the NAM. In this study, we utilize remotely-sensed and ground-based measurements to infer land surface changes that can influence the NAM through a vegetation–rainfall feedback mechanism. Our study is focused over the period 2004–2007 in northwest Mexico. Results from the analysis of remote sensing data indicate that the ground observations at an eddy covariance tower are representative of the land surface dynamics in subtropical scrublands. The extensive subtropical...
Southwestern North America faces an imminent transition to a warmer, more arid climate, and it is critical to understand how these changes will affect the carbon balance of southwest ecosystems. In order to test our hypothesis that differential responses of production and respiration to temperature and moisture shape the carbon balance across a range of spatio-temporal scales, we quantified net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 and carbon storage across the New Mexico Elevational Gradient, which consists of six eddy-covariance sites representing biomes ranging from desert to subalpine conifer forest. Within sites, hotter and drier conditions were associated with an increasing advantage of respiration relative to production...
Shifts in plant community structure in shrub and grass-dominated ecosystems are occurring over large land areas in the western US. It is not clear what effect this vegetative change will have on rates of carbon and nitrogen cycling, and thus long-term ecosystem productivity. To study the effect of different plant species on the decomposability of soil organic substrates and rates of C- and N-cycling, we conducted laboratory incubations of soils from a 15-yr-old experimental plot where big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) and crested wheatgrass (Agropyron desertorum [Fisch.] Schult.) plants had been planted in a grid pattern. Soil samples collected from beneath crested wheatgrass had significantly greater total...