The long-term goal of the decomposition study was to document the effects of climate variation on decomposition of major plant litter-types. The project began in 1989 and underwent changes of locations and litter types. The long-term litter types included black grama, Indian rice grass, juniper, and creosote. Â Mass loss of the litter types can be compared to precipitation and other meteorological factors obtained at nearby locations.
Knowledge Network for Biocomplexity (KNB) Identifier
Data Policies: This dataset is released to the public and may be freely downloaded. Please keep the designated Contact person informed of any plans to use the dataset. Consultation or collaboration with the original investigators is strongly encouraged. Publications and data products that make use of the dataset must include proper acknowledgement of the Sevilleta LTER. Datasets must be cited as in the example provided. A copy of any publications using these data must be supplied to the Sevilleta LTER Information Manager. By downloading any data you implicitly acknowledge the LTER Data Policy (http://www.lternet.edu/data/netpolicy.html).
SEV LTER, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, 87131
1990-02-23 - 1999-02-25
The Black Butte Mixed Grass site is located just inside the gate and to the south of Black Butte. This site is grassland, characterized by Oryzopsis hymenoides, Sporobolus giganteus, Sporobolus flexuosus, Bouteloua eriopoda, and occasional shrubs, including Gutierrezia sarothrae and Yucca glauca. Forbs include Senecio douglasii, Baileyi multiradiata, and Sphaeralcea spp. This site contains the fertilizer study plots, which are located less than one mile from the Black Butte gate on the east side of the road to Five Points.Deep Well is located on McKenzie Flats and is site of the longest running SEV LTER met station, number 40, which has been active since 1988. In addition to studies of meteorological variables, core line-intercept vegetation transects and line-intercept transects from the 1995 & 2001 Deep Well fires are sampled here. The mini-rhizotron study, blue and black grama compositional comparison, blue and black grama patch dynamics investigation, and kangaroo rat population assessement are all ongoing here. Deep Well Blue/Black Grama Mixed is also the location of the warming and monsoon experiments, as well as portions of the line-intercept and vegetation removal studies. On August 4, 2009, a lightning-initiated fire began on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. By August 5, 2009, the fire had reached the area of Deep Well Blue/Black Grama Mixed. While portions of this site were burned, the entirety was not. See individual projects for further information on the effects of the fire.Five Points is the area which encompasses the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote Core study sites and falls along the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitats. Both sites are subject to intensive research activity, including NPP measurement, phenology observation, pollinator diversity studies, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent population assessments. There are drought rain-out shelters in both the Black Grama and Creosote sites, as well as the mixed-ecotone, with co-located ET Towers.Sepultura Canyon is one of the largest ravines coming down from the Los Pinos Mountains to McKenzie Flats. Originally a core site, rodent webs and vegetation line-intersept transects were located in Sepultura Canyon through 1992, when the US Fish and Wildlife Service established the Sevilleta Wolf Management Facility in the area.The Cerro Montosa Pinyon-Juniper site has been the location of major Sevilleta LTER research since 1989. Meteorological trends, net primary productivity, rodent and ground-dwelling arthropod populations, mycorrhizal responses to fertilizer, pinyon-juniper fruit and nut production, and pinyon mortality are all being investigated at this site. Previous studies have included analyses of pinyon tree rings for regional climate reconstruction.The Rio Salado is an ephemeral tributary of the Rio Grande on the west side of the Sevilleta NWR, flowing west by northwest to east by southeast. Rio Salado Grassland & Rio Salado Larrea are two study sites established in 1989. These sites were established as counterparts to sites at Five Points. Between 1989 and 1998, vegetation, litter decomposition, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent populations were studied at both sites. Core studies at these sites were largely terminated in 1998, although rodent populations are still monitored at the Rio Salado Larrea site because the Small Mammal Exclosure Study's Larrea plots are co-located there. Rio Salado Grassland is the location Met Station 44.The Rio Salado study sites are accessed by taking the San Acacia exit, going west and then taking the frontage road back north to the Sevilleta NWR gate. After entering the refuge turn left after 0.2 mi and take this road 1.4 mi to a "T" in the road at the power lines. An earthen berm stops road travel here and the met station is located about 300 m west on the blocked road. This site is located in the foothills of the Sierra Ladrones on the west side of the Sevilleta NWR. Red Tank is a man-made earthen drainage pool and is the location of Met Station 43. Research conducted at the site includes soil moisture and erosion studies related to the Sierra Ladrone watershed project.
Gosz, Jim (2016-03-03): Plant Litter Decomposition at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (1990-1998). Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/64a1b2dbbf515d121d4c372759e360a0