Shrub Encroachment Alters Sensitivity of Soil Respiration to Temperature and Moisture
A greater abundance of shrubs in semiarid grasslands affects the spatial patterns of soil temperature, moisture, and litter, resulting in fertile islands with potentially enhanced soil metabolic activity. The goal of this study was to quantify the microsite specificity of soil respiration in a semiarid riparian ecosystem experiencing shrub encroachment. We quantified the response of soil respiration to different microsite conditions created by big mesquite shrubs (near the trunk and the canopy edge), medium-sized mesquite, sacaton bunchgrasses, and open spaces. We hypothesized that soil respiration ...
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