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Spatial Relations between Shrubs and Prosopis glandulosa Canopies

Jesus Franco-Pizaña, Timothy E. Fulbright and Duane T. Gardiner
Journal of Vegetation Science
Vol. 6, No. 1 (Feb., 1995), pp. 73-78
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3236258
Page Count: 6
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Spatial Relations between Shrubs and Prosopis glandulosa Canopies
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Abstract

Prosopis glandulosa, an arborescent legume, may act as a nurse plant that facilitates the establishment of other woody species. We hypothesized that attenuation of radiant energy and increased soil nutrients beneath P. glandulosa canopies facilitate establishment of subordinate shrubs and shrub cluster development. We determined the spatial distribution pattern of shrubs under P. glandulosa at three locations in southern Texas. Density of Celtis pallida, Zanthoxylum fagara, and total woody plants were comparable among the four cardinal directions at each location, which countered the prediction that shrub density would be greater on the north side of P. glandulosa canopies if attenuation of solar energy was a factor in cluster development. Total woody plant density increased with increasing P. glandulosa basal diameter, canopy radius, and height only at one location. Total woody plant density decreased with increasing total N in the upper 15 cm of soil at two of the three locations. Late in shrub cluster development, extraction of N from the soil and incorporation of N into plant tissue in dense shrub clusters may operate to inhibit further increases in subordinate shrub density.

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