Effects of soil texture and precipitation on above‐ground net primary productivity and vegetation structure across the Central Grassland region of the United States

Effects of soil texture and precipitation on above‐ground net primary productivity and... Abstract. A potentially important organizing principle in arid and semi‐arid systems is the inverse‐texture hypothesis which predicts that plant communities on coarse‐textured soils should have higher above‐ground net primary productivity (ANPP) than communities on fine‐textured soils; the reverse is predicted to occur in humid regions. Our objectives were: (1) to test predictions from the inverse‐texture hypothesis across a regional precipitation gradient, and (2) to evaluate changes in community composition and basal cover on coarse‐ and fine‐textured soils across this gradient to determine how these structural parameters may affect ANPP. Sites were located along a precipitation gradient through the Central Grassland region of the United States: mean annual precipitation ranges from 311 mm/y to 711 mm/y, whereas mean annual temperature ranges from 9 °C to 11 °C. For both coarse‐ and fine‐textured sites in 1993 and 1994, August ‐ July precipitation in the year of the study explained greater than 92% of the variability in ANPP. Soil texture did not explain a significant proportion of the variability in ANPP. However, soil texture did affect the proportion of ANPP contributed by different functional types. Forbs and shrubs made up a larger proportion of total ANPP on coarse‐ compared to fine‐textured sites. Shrubs contributed more to ANPP at the drier end of the gradient. Basal cover of live vegetation was not significantly related to precipitation and was similar for both soil textures. Our results revealed that across a regional precipitation gradient, soil texture may play a larger role in determining community composition than in determining total ANPP. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Vegetation Science Wiley

Effects of soil texture and precipitation on above‐ground net primary productivity and vegetation structure across the Central Grassland region of the United States

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
1998 IAVS ‐ the International Association of Vegetation Science
ISSN
1100-9233
eISSN
1654-1103
D.O.I.
10.2307/3237123
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Abstract. A potentially important organizing principle in arid and semi‐arid systems is the inverse‐texture hypothesis which predicts that plant communities on coarse‐textured soils should have higher above‐ground net primary productivity (ANPP) than communities on fine‐textured soils; the reverse is predicted to occur in humid regions. Our objectives were: (1) to test predictions from the inverse‐texture hypothesis across a regional precipitation gradient, and (2) to evaluate changes in community composition and basal cover on coarse‐ and fine‐textured soils across this gradient to determine how these structural parameters may affect ANPP. Sites were located along a precipitation gradient through the Central Grassland region of the United States: mean annual precipitation ranges from 311 mm/y to 711 mm/y, whereas mean annual temperature ranges from 9 °C to 11 °C. For both coarse‐ and fine‐textured sites in 1993 and 1994, August ‐ July precipitation in the year of the study explained greater than 92% of the variability in ANPP. Soil texture did not explain a significant proportion of the variability in ANPP. However, soil texture did affect the proportion of ANPP contributed by different functional types. Forbs and shrubs made up a larger proportion of total ANPP on coarse‐ compared to fine‐textured sites. Shrubs contributed more to ANPP at the drier end of the gradient. Basal cover of live vegetation was not significantly related to precipitation and was similar for both soil textures. Our results revealed that across a regional precipitation gradient, soil texture may play a larger role in determining community composition than in determining total ANPP.

Journal

Journal of Vegetation ScienceWiley

Published: Apr 1, 1998

References

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