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Growth Rates and Root: Shoot Ratios in Seedlings of the Desert Shrub Larrea tridentata

James Peter Walters and C. Edward Freeman
The Southwestern Naturalist
Vol. 28, No. 3 (Aug. 19, 1983), pp. 357-363
DOI: 10.2307/3670798
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3670798
Page Count: 7
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Growth Rates and Root: Shoot Ratios in Seedlings of the Desert Shrub Larrea tridentata
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Abstract

Sonoran creosotebush seedlings are larger than plants of the Mojave, which are larger than Chihuahuan plants. However, total biomass, shoot biomass, and root biomass from each of three deserts increased at the same relative growth rate of 3% per day. The root:shoot biomass was found to be similar among plants of the three desert groups, but to vary between age classes. The ratio increased from 0.33 at 15 days to 0.49 at 75 days, and then decreased to 0.42 at 150 days. The roots were found to contain significantly less energy ($4.1\text{cal}\cdot \text{mg}^{-1}$) than shoots ($4.7\text{cal}\cdot \text{mg}^{-1}$).

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