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Publication Information

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Title: Vegetation response to natural and anthropogenic disturbances in the Larrea-Ambrosia and Coleogyne shrublands

Author: Lei, Simon A.;

Date: 2001

Source: In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., comps. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 172-176.

Publication Series: Proceedings (P)

   Note: This article is part of a larger document. View the larger document

Description: Vegetation response to various types of disturbances was quantitatively investigated in the Larrea tridentata-Ambrosia dumosa (creosote bush-white bursage) and Coleogyne ramosissima (blackbrush) shrublands of southern Nevada. Between the two control (undisturbed) habitats, the Larrea-Ambrosia vegetation zone had a greater plant species richness, but had a lower percent vegetation cover than the Coleogyne zone. Mean plant species richness and percent vegetation cover were significantly reduced in edge (disturbed) habitats compared to adjacent undisturbed habitats in both vegetation zones. A major shift in species composition to favor weedy (pioneer) species was observed in all disturbed habitats. Mean ratios of weedy to nonweedy species were significantly higher in disturbed relative to undisturbed habitats. Among the heavily disturbed habitats, roadside corridors exhibited the greatest, while human trail corridors exhibited the least invasion of weedy species. Woody and succulent (climax) species are highly vulnerable to habitat destruction and fragmentation as a result of natural and anthropogenic disturbances in the Larrea-Ambrosia and Coleogyne vegetation zones of southern Nevada.

Keywords: wildland shrubs, genetics, biodiversity, disturbance, ecophysiology, community ecology

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Lei, Simon A. 2001. Vegetation response to natural and anthropogenic disturbances in the Larrea-Ambrosia and Coleogyne shrublands. In: McArthur, E. Durant; Fairbanks, Daniel J., comps. Shrubland ecosystem genetics and biodiversity: proceedings; 2000 June 13-15; Provo, UT. Proc. RMRS-P-21. Ogden, UT: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 172-176.

 


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