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    Author(s): Laura Marie Ladwig
    Date: 2014
    Source: Albuquerque, NM. University of New Mexico. 140 p. Dissertation.
    Publication Series: Dissertations
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (2.35 MB)


    Within grasslands, precipitation, fire, nitrogen (N) addition, and extreme temperatures influence community composition and ecosystem function. The differential influences of these abiotic factors on Chihuahuan Desert grassland communities was examined within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, located in central New Mexico, U.S.A. Although fire is a natural disturbance in many grasslands, fire during drought temporarily increased forb cover and decreased grass cover for several years. The seasonal timing of fire was not important, rather community recovery was more influenced by the persistent drought conditions. N deposition is increasing worldwide due to human activities, and although additional N increases productivity and decreases diversity in most terrestrial systems, community responses were variable in Chihuahuan Desert grasslands.

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    Ladwig, Laura Marie. 2014. Abiotic drivers of Chihuahuan Desert plant communities. Albuquerque, NM. University of New Mexico. 140 p. Dissertation.


    abiotic drivers, plant communities, Chihuahuan Desert grasslands

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