Summer Reading | Root Sensitivity & the Chihuahuan Desert

Sensitivity of root production to long-term aridity under environmental perturbations in Chihuahuan Desert ecosystems

“Our results yield new insight into how dryland plant roots respond to climate change. Our comparison of dryland ecosystems of the northern Chihuahuan Desert predicted that root production in shrublands would be more sensitive to future climates that are drier and more variable than root production in dry grasslands. Field manipulations revealed that fire could amplify the climate sensitivity of dry grassland root production, but in contrast, the climate sensitivity of root production was largely resistant to changes in the seasonal rainfall regime or increased soil fertilization.”

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