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Arizona State University (ASU) 2022

Structural Responses of Bouteloua eriopoda to Changes in Annual Precipitation : Interactive Effects of Amount and Duration

Sutter, Bryce Madison

Titre : Structural Responses of Bouteloua eriopoda to Changes in Annual Precipitation : Interactive Effects of Amount and Duration

Auteur : Sutter, Bryce Madison

Université de soutenance : Arizona State University (ASU)

Grade : Master of Science (MS) 2022

Résumé
Bouteloua eriopoda (Torr.) Torr., also known as black grama, is a perennial bunchgrass native to arid and semiarid ecosystems in the southwestern region of North America. As a result of anthropogenic climate change, this region is predicted to increase in aridity and experience more frequent extreme drought and extreme wet years. This change in precipitation will no doubt affect black grama ; however, few studies have investigated how the specific structural components of this grass will respond. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of years since start of treatment and annual precipitation amount on tiller and stolon densities, and to test for interaction between the two predictor variables. Additionally, the effects of annual precipitation on ramets and axillary buds were investigated. By using 36 experimental plots that have been receiving drought, irrigated, or control treatments since 2007, tiller density was the most responsive component to both annual precipitation amount and years since start of treatment. Years since start of treatment and annual precipitation amount also had a statistically significant interaction, meaning the effect of precipitation amount on tiller density differs depending on how many years have passed since treatments began. Stolon density was the second-most responsive component ; the predictor variables were found to have no statistically significant interaction, meaning their effects on stolon density are independent of one another. Ramet density, ramets per stolon, and axillary bud metabolic activity and density were found to be independent of annual precipitation amount for 2021. The results indicate that multiple-year extreme wet and multiple-year extreme dry conditions in the Southwest will both likely reduce tiller and stolon densities in black grama patches. Prolonged drought conditions reduced tiller and stolon production in black grama because of negative legacies from previous years. Reduced production during prolonged wet conditions could be due to increased competition between adjacent plants.

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Page publiée le 13 décembre 2022