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Soil Science Society of America Journal Abstract -

Shrub-induced Spatial Patterns of Dry Matter, Nitrogen, and Organic Carbon1


This article in SSSAJ

  1. Vol. 42 No. 5, p. 804-809
    Received: Jan 20, 1978
    Accepted: June 1, 1978

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  1. R. C. Barth and
  2. J. O. Klemmedson2



Spatial patterns of dry matter, nitrogen, and organic carbon were investigated for velvet mesquite [Prosopis juliflora (Swartz)] DC and for palo verde [Cercidium floridum Benth.] ecosystems in the Upper Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Standing understory vegetation and litter originating from the overstory shrub decreased in weight as distance from the shrub center increased. Litter originating from understory vegetation displayed weak spatial patterns in dry weight. Gradients in percentage N and percentage carbon of understory vegetation, understory litter, and shrub litter were generally lacking. However, percentage soil N and organic carbon decreased as horizontal distance from the shrub center and depth to 60 cm from the surface layer increased; soil pH under both shrubs changed with depth and horizontal distance. Quadratic response surfaces for these three soil properties differed significantly between velvet mesquite and palo verde. Limited sampling of honey mesquite (Prosopis juliflora var glanulosa Torr.) ecosystems in the Chichuahuan Desert in New Mexico showed spatial patterns of dry matter and soil properties that differed somewhat from those of Sonoran Desert shrubs.

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