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dc.contributor.authorWoods, Steven R. ( Orcid Icon 0000-0002-3402-8090 )
dc.contributor.authorArcher, Steven R. ( )
dc.contributor.authorSchwinning, Susanne ( Orcid Icon 0000-0002-9740-0291 )
dc.date.accessioned2021-08-09T14:48:27Z
dc.date.available2021-08-09T14:48:27Z
dc.date.issued2014-01-27
dc.identifier.citationWoods, S. R., Archer, S. R., & Schwinning, S. (2014). Seedling responses to water pulses in shrubs with contrasting histories of grassland encroachment. PLoS One, 9(01), e87278.en_US
dc.identifier.issn1932-6203
dc.identifier.urihttps://digital.library.txstate.edu/handle/10877/14243
dc.description.abstractWoody plant encroachment into grasslands has occurred worldwide, but it is unclear why some tree and shrub species have been markedly more successful than others. For example, Prosopis velutina has proliferated in many grasslands of the Sonoran Desert in North America over the past century, while other shrub species with similar growth form and life history, such as Acacia greggii, have not. We conducted a glasshouse experiment to assess whether differences in early seedling development could help explain why one species and not the other came to dominate many Sonoran Desert grasslands. We established eight watering treatments mimicking a range of natural precipitation patterns and harvested seedlings 16 or 17 days after germination. A. greggii had nearly 7 times more seed mass than P. velutina, but P. velutina emerged earlier (by 3.0±0.3 d) and grew faster (by 8.7±0.5 mg d−1). Shoot mass at harvest was higher in A. greggii (99±6 mg seedling−1) than in P. velutina (74±2 mg seedling−1), but there was no significant difference in root mass (54±3 and 49±2 mg seedling−1, respectively). Taproot elongation was differentially sensitive to water supply: under the highest initial watering pulse, taproots were 52±19 mm longer in P. velutina than in A. greggii. Enhanced taproot elongation under favorable rainfall conditions could give nascent P. velutina seedlings growth and survivorship advantages by helping reduce competition with grasses and maintain contact with soil water during drought. Conversely, A. greggii's greater investment in mass per seed appeared to provide little return in early seedling growth. We suggest that such differences in recruitment traits and their sensitivities to environmental conditions may help explain ecological differences between species that are highly similar as adults and help identify pivotal drivers of shrub encroachment into grasslands.en_US
dc.formatText
dc.format.extent9 pages
dc.format.medium1 file (.pdf)
dc.language.isoenen_US
dc.publisherPublic Library of Scienceen_US
dc.sourcePLoS One, 2014, Vol. 9, No. 01, Article e87278.
dc.subjectSeedlingsen_US
dc.subjectGrasslandsen_US
dc.subjectSeedsen_US
dc.subjectShrubsen_US
dc.subjectRainen_US
dc.subjectEvolutionary emergenceen_US
dc.subjectWater resourcesen_US
dc.subjectDesertsen_US
dc.titleSeedling Responses to Water Pulses in Shrubs with Contrasting Histories of Grassland Encroachmenten_US
dc.typepublishedVersion
txstate.documenttypeArticle
dc.rights.holder© 2014 Woods et al.
dc.identifier.doihttps://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0087278
dc.rights.licenseCreative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.
dc.description.departmentBiology


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