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New Mexico State University (2021)

Mechanisms Driving Nurse - Protégé Plant Interactions in the Chihuahuan Desert, USA

Rabinowich, Megan Sarah Nadine

Titre : Mechanisms Driving Nurse - Protégé Plant Interactions in the Chihuahuan Desert, USA

Auteur : Rabinowich, Megan Sarah Nadine

Université de soutenance : New Mexico State University

Grade : Master of Science (MS) Biology 2021

Résumé
In deserts, high rates of evaporation and low precipitation strongly limit plant establishment, and recruitment events are often limited to infrequent or seasonal precipitation pulses. The microclimate provided by existing vegetation may ameliorate these unforgiving conditions and expand temporal and spatial opportunities for plant germination, growth, and survival. The competitive and facilitative effects between these “nurse plants” and “beneficiary plants” or “protégés” have been explored, but the individual contributions of the mechanisms driving these relationships are not as well understood. This study aims to disentangle the relative importance of influential properties of the nurse shrub on beneficiary plants using a combination of field and greenhouse studies that manipulate soil provenance and cover conditions. Improving our understanding of these multifaceted interactions may help increase effectiveness of restoration activities. With climate projections predicting increasing temperatures and precipitation variability (Trisos et al. 2020), nurse shrubs may play an increasingly important role in sustaining arid ecosystems.

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Page publiée le 5 décembre 2021