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Cranfield University (2000)

Rainfall redistribution within two-phase mosaic vegetation in the Mediterranean

Archer, N.A.L

Titre : Rainfall redistribution within two-phase mosaic vegetation in the Mediterranean

Auteur : Archer, N.A.L

Université de soutenance : Cranfield University

Grade : Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) 2000

Résumé
The main aim of this study is to increase the understanding of the water relations of two-phase mosaic vegetation by : (1) Studying the redistribution of rainfall in a semi-arid environment and developing a conceptual model linking below and above ground processes ; and (2) studying the function and response of two morphologically and physiologically different shrubs dominating two-phase mosaic vegetation. Through these two aims a greater understanding of the implications of two-phase mosaic vegetation for ground water recharge and land use management is developed.The study area lies in a valley of marginal abandoned land in south east Spain. One field site, the Anthyllis site, was located on an upper alluvial fan dominated by Anthyllis cytisoides and the other, the Retama site, was on a lower alluvial fan dominated by Retama sphaerocarpa.A conceptual model of below ground features was developed showing that shrub areas have a greater presence of coarse woody roots distributed to greater soil depths, whereas grass areas have fine dense superficial roots. Over time these root systems alter their environment and facilitate storage and uptake of water and increase nutrient availability. The difference in rooting depth and size limits competition for water between the shrub areas and grass areas.

Accès au document : Proquest Dissertations & Theses

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