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Soil C and N patterns in a semiarid piñon-juniper woodland: topography of slope and ephemeral channels add to canopy-intercanopy heterogeneity

Journal of Arid Environments

By:
, , , , and
DOI: 10.1016/j.jaridenv.2011.11.029

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Abstract

Carbon and nitrogen are crucial to semiarid woodlands, determining decomposition, production and redistribution of water and nutrients. Carbon and nitrogen are often greater beneath canopies than intercanopies. Upslope vs. downslope position and ephemeral channels might also cause variation in C and N. Yet, few studies have simultaneously evaluated spatial variation associated with canopy–intercanopy patches and topography. We estimated C and N upslope and downslope in an eroding piñon–juniper woodland for canopies beneath piñons (Pinus edulis) and junipers, (Juniperus monosperma), intercanopies, and ephemeral channels. Soil C and N in the surface and profile beneath canopies exceeded that of intercanopies and channels. Relative to intercanopies, channels had more profile C upslope but less downslope (profile N was not significant). Relative to upslope, profile C downslope for intercanopies was greater and for channels was less (profile N was not significant). Relative to profile, surface soil C and N exhibited less heterogeneity. Although some topographic heterogeneity was detected, results did not collectively support our redistribution hypotheses, and we are unable to distinguish if this heterogeneity is due to in situ or redistribution effects. Nonetheless, results highlight finer topographical spatial variation in addition to predominant canopy and intercanopy variation that is applicable for semiarid woodland management.

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Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Soil C and N patterns in a semiarid piñon-juniper woodland: topography of slope and ephemeral channels add to canopy-intercanopy heterogeneity
Series title:
Journal of Arid Environments
DOI:
10.1016/j.jaridenv.2011.11.029
Volume
79
Year Published:
2012
Language:
English
Publisher:
Elsevier
First page:
20
Last page:
24
Country:
United States
State:
New Mexico
Other Geospatial:
Pajarito Plateau
Online Only (Y/N):
N
Additional Online Files(Y/N):
N