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Bai, E., Boutton, T. W., Wu, X. B., Liu, F. & Archer, S. R. (2009) Landscape-scale vegetation dynamics inferred from spatial patterns of soil 13C in a subtropical
 

Summary: Bai, E., Boutton, T. W., Wu, X. B., Liu, F. & Archer, S. R. (2009) Landscape-scale
vegetation dynamics inferred from spatial patterns of soil 13C in a subtropical
savanna parkland. Journal Geophysical Research Biogeosciences: In Press.
Abstract
Grass-dominated ecosystems in many regions around the world have experienced increased
woody plant abundance during the past 100 yrs. In the Rio Grande Plains of southern Texas,
subtropical woodlands dominated by C3 trees/shrubs have become significant components of
landscapes that were once almost exclusively dominated by C4 grasslands. However, we know
relatively little regarding the pattern and extent of this vegetation change at the landscape-scale.
C3 and C4 plants have unique 13
C values which are incorporated into the soil without significant
fractionation during soil organic carbon (SOC) formation. In this study, we used soil 13
C in
conjunction with sequential aerial photography and spatial statistics to quantify landscape-scale
vegetation dynamics in southern Texas. A 160 x 100 m plot was georeferenced and subdivided
into 10 x 10 m cells on a sandy loam upland site (1-3% slope) comprised of woody patches in a
grassland matrix. Two soil samples (0-15cm) were collected at points selected randomly within
each grid cell, and analyzed for 13
C. Variogram analysis indicated that soil 13
C had an

  

Source: Archer, Steven R. - Savanna/Woodland Ecology Lab., School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona

 

Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology