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Drainage Size, Stream Intermittency, and Ecosystem Function in a Sonoran Desert Landscape

Understanding the interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems remains an important research focus in ecology. In arid landscapes, catchments are drained by a channel continuum that represents a potentially important driver of ecological pattern and process in the surrounding terrestrial... Full description

Journal Title: Ecosystems (New York) 2006, Vol.9 (3), p.344-356
Main Author: SPONSELLER, Ryan A
Other Authors: FISHER, Stuart G
Format: Electronic Article Electronic Article
Language: English
Subjects:
Publisher: New York, NY: Springer Science+Business Media
ID: ISSN: 1432-9840
Link: http://pascal-francis.inist.fr/vibad/index.php?action=getRecordDetail&idt=17780237
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recordid: cdi_proquest_journals_733070760
title: Drainage Size, Stream Intermittency, and Ecosystem Function in a Sonoran Desert Landscape
format: Article
creator:
  • SPONSELLER, Ryan A
  • FISHER, Stuart G
subjects:
  • Animal and plant ecology
  • Animal, plant and microbial ecology
  • Biological and medical sciences
  • Creeks & streams
  • Deserts
  • Forest canopy
  • Fresh water ecosystems
  • Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology
  • General aspects
  • Highlands
  • Landscapes
  • Plants
  • Productivity
  • Riparian areas
  • Riparian soils
  • Streams
  • Synecology
  • Watersheds
ispartof: Ecosystems (New York), 2006, Vol.9 (3), p.344-356
description: Understanding the interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems remains an important research focus in ecology. In arid landscapes, catchments are drained by a channel continuum that represents a potentially important driver of ecological pattern and process in the surrounding terrestrial environment. To better understand the role of drainage networks in arid landscapes, we determined how stream size influences the structure and productivity of riparian vegetation, and the accumulation of organic matter (OM) in soils beneath plants in an upper Sonoran Desert basin. Canopy volume of velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina), as well as overall plant cover, increased along lateral upland-riparian gradients, and among riparian zones adjacent to increasingly larger streams. Foliar δ¹³C signatures for P. velutina suggested that landscape patterns in vegetation structure reflect increases in water availability along this arid stream continuum. Leaf litter and annual grass biomass production both increased with canopy volume, and total aboveground litter production ranged from 137 g m⁻² y⁻¹ in upland habitat to 446 g m⁻² y⁻¹ in the riparian zone of the perennial stream. OM accumulation in soils beneath P. velutina increased with canopy volume across a broad range of drainage sizes; however, in the riparian zone of larger streams, flooding further modified patterns of OM storage. Drainage networks represent important determinants of vegetation structure and function in upper Sonoran Desert basins, and the extent to which streams act as sources of plant-available water and/or agents of fluvial disturbance has implications for material storage in arid soils.
language: eng
source:
identifier: ISSN: 1432-9840
fulltext: no_fulltext
issn:
  • 1432-9840
  • 1435-0629
url: Link


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descriptionUnderstanding the interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems remains an important research focus in ecology. In arid landscapes, catchments are drained by a channel continuum that represents a potentially important driver of ecological pattern and process in the surrounding terrestrial environment. To better understand the role of drainage networks in arid landscapes, we determined how stream size influences the structure and productivity of riparian vegetation, and the accumulation of organic matter (OM) in soils beneath plants in an upper Sonoran Desert basin. Canopy volume of velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina), as well as overall plant cover, increased along lateral upland-riparian gradients, and among riparian zones adjacent to increasingly larger streams. Foliar δ¹³C signatures for P. velutina suggested that landscape patterns in vegetation structure reflect increases in water availability along this arid stream continuum. Leaf litter and annual grass biomass production both increased with canopy volume, and total aboveground litter production ranged from 137 g m⁻² y⁻¹ in upland habitat to 446 g m⁻² y⁻¹ in the riparian zone of the perennial stream. OM accumulation in soils beneath P. velutina increased with canopy volume across a broad range of drainage sizes; however, in the riparian zone of larger streams, flooding further modified patterns of OM storage. Drainage networks represent important determinants of vegetation structure and function in upper Sonoran Desert basins, and the extent to which streams act as sources of plant-available water and/or agents of fluvial disturbance has implications for material storage in arid soils.
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subjectAnimal and plant ecology ; Animal, plant and microbial ecology ; Biological and medical sciences ; Creeks & streams ; Deserts ; Forest canopy ; Fresh water ecosystems ; Fundamental and applied biological sciences. Psychology ; General aspects ; Highlands ; Landscapes ; Plants ; Productivity ; Riparian areas ; Riparian soils ; Streams ; Synecology ; Watersheds
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atitleDrainage Size, Stream Intermittency, and Ecosystem Function in a Sonoran Desert Landscape
jtitleEcosystems (New York)
date2006-04-01
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issn1432-9840
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abstractUnderstanding the interactions between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems remains an important research focus in ecology. In arid landscapes, catchments are drained by a channel continuum that represents a potentially important driver of ecological pattern and process in the surrounding terrestrial environment. To better understand the role of drainage networks in arid landscapes, we determined how stream size influences the structure and productivity of riparian vegetation, and the accumulation of organic matter (OM) in soils beneath plants in an upper Sonoran Desert basin. Canopy volume of velvet mesquite (Prosopis velutina), as well as overall plant cover, increased along lateral upland-riparian gradients, and among riparian zones adjacent to increasingly larger streams. Foliar δ¹³C signatures for P. velutina suggested that landscape patterns in vegetation structure reflect increases in water availability along this arid stream continuum. Leaf litter and annual grass biomass production both increased with canopy volume, and total aboveground litter production ranged from 137 g m⁻² y⁻¹ in upland habitat to 446 g m⁻² y⁻¹ in the riparian zone of the perennial stream. OM accumulation in soils beneath P. velutina increased with canopy volume across a broad range of drainage sizes; however, in the riparian zone of larger streams, flooding further modified patterns of OM storage. Drainage networks represent important determinants of vegetation structure and function in upper Sonoran Desert basins, and the extent to which streams act as sources of plant-available water and/or agents of fluvial disturbance has implications for material storage in arid soils.
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doi10.1007/s10021-005-0167-6