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Title: Thirty years of weather change and effects on a grassland in the Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico

Author: Moir, William H.;

Date: 2011

Source: Rangelands. 33(3): 50-57.

Publication Series: Miscellaneous Publication

Description: In this paper I describe and compare grassland changes since 1977 at the Central Peloncillo Research Natural Area (CPRNA) with temperature and precipitation data from its nearby weather station. The grama grasslands there have thrived through two distinctive climate periods since 1977. The current period began with warm and dry years beginning around 1993 and continuing to the present. The cover, frequency, and diversity of herbs and shrubs in this grasslands have been precisely measured from permanently marked transects in 1977, 1984, 1996, 2002, and 2007. The grasslands flourish despite year-to-year and seasonal weather fluctuations. Because grasslands in the Southwest are so variable, the dynamics of this grassland cannot be generalized elsewhere, nor is their future maintenance a certainty; but there are reports of long-term, persisting "relict" or "recovered" grasslands without management intervention in from other locations in southern New Mexico, Arizona, and western Texas.

Keywords: weather changes, grassland changes, Central Peloncillo Research Natural Area (CPRNA)

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Moir, William H. 2011. Thirty years of weather change and effects on a grassland in the Peloncillo Mountains, New Mexico. Rangelands. 33(3): 50-57.


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