Plant phenology or life-history pattern changes seasonally as plants grow, mature, flower, and produce fruit and seeds. Plant phenology follows seasonal patterns, yet annual variation may occur due to annual differences in the timing of rainfall and ambient temperature shifts. Foliage growth and fruit and seed production are important aspects of plant population dynamics and food resource availability for animals. The purpose of this study is to assess plant phenology patterns across a series of biotic communities that represent an environmental moisture gradient. These communites include: Chihuhuan Desert creosotebush shrubland, Chihuahuan Desert black grama grassland, and blue grama grassland. Plant phenology is recorded for all plant species across 4 replicate 200 m transects at each of the 3 habitat sites. Plant phenology measurements are taken once every month from February through October. The first ten individuals of each plant species encountered along each transect are assessed for life-history status. Data recorded include the status of leaves, flowers and fruit. Leaves are recorded as new, old, brown or absent. Reproductive status is recorded as absent, buds, flowers, fruits or both fruits and flowers. Data from the site P and J were only collected in 2000 and 2001 and are included in this data set.
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).
2000-04-01 - 2015-10-29
Location: The Blue Grama core site is one of five core SEV LTER study sites. Meteorological trends, rodent abundance, pollinator diversity, phenology, and NPP are all being investigated. Additional studies have examined the Bootleg Canyon fire of 1998 and subsequent effects on the patch dynamics of grasses.Vegetation: Vegetation is characterized as Plains-Mesa Grassland, dominated by blue and black grama (Bouteloua gracilis and B. eriopoda) and galleta grass (Pleuraphis jamesii). , Location: 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.Vegetation: The vegetation is New Mexico Pinyon-Juniper Woodland, dominated by Colorado pinyon (Pinus edulis) and one-seed juniper (Juniperus monosperma), and accompanied by gray oak (Quercus grisea). There is a diverse shrub component, including scrub live oak (Q. turbinella), mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus), broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), sacahuista (Nolina microcarpa), red barberry (Mahonia haematocarpa), Apache plume (Fallugia paradoxa), tree cholla (Opuntia imbricata), skunkbush (Rhus trilobata), and banana yucca (Yucca baccata). Grass diversity is also high, and open spaces between trees are dominated by blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), with hairy and sideoats grama (B. hirsuta and B. curtipendula) and black grama (B. eriopoda) also being significant. Other common grasses include purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea), wolftail (Lycurus phleoides), mountain and ring muhly (M. montanus and M. torreyi), and New Mexican porcupinegrass (Heterostipa neomexicana). Common forbs include small-flowered milkvetch (Astragalus nuttallianus), white sagebrush (Artemesia ludoviciana), Fendler’s arabis (Arabis fendleri), Fendler’s sandmat (Chamaesyce fendleri), New Mexico thistle (Cirsium neomexicanum), false pennyroyal (Hedeoma oblongifolia), bastard sage (Eriogonum wrightii), pingüe rubberweed (Hymenoxys richardsonii), large four o’clock (Mirabilis multiflora), Fendler's penstemon (Penstemon fendleri), and globemallows (Sphaeralcea hastulata and S. wrightii). , Location: The Five Points area emcompasses both the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote study sites. Five Points falls along the transition between the Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitats. Both core sites are subject to intensive research activities, including NPP measurements, phenology observations, pollinator diversity studies, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent population assessments. There are rain-out shelters for drought studies in both the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote sites.Vegetation: The Five Points Creosote site is characterized as Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, dominated by a creosote overstory, with broom snakeweed, purple pricklypear (Opuntia macrocentra), and soapweed yucca as co-occurring shrubs. The site is also characterized by numerous, dense, grass-dominated patches, reflecting proximity to the Five Points Black Grama Site. Dominant grasses are black grama, fluffgrass (Dasyochloa pulchellum), burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolia), bushmuhly (Muhlenbergia porteri), and galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii). Notable forbs include field bahia (Bahia absinthifolia), baby aster (Chaetopappa ericoides), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), Indian rushpea (Hoffmannseggia glauca), Fendlers bladderpod (Lesquerella fendleri), and globemallows (Sphaeralcea spp.)., siteid: 3Location: Five Points Black Grama is on the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitat. The site is subject to intensive research activity, including assessments of net primary productivity, phenology, and pollinator diversity, amongst other projects. It is the site of the unburned black grama (GU) component of the Burn NPP study. On August 4, 2009, a lightning-initiated fire began on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge. By August 5, 2009, the fire had reached the Five Points Black Grama site. Portions of this site were burned, but not the entirety. See individual projects for further information on the effects of the burn. Vegetation: The Five Points Black Grama site is ecotonal in nature, bordering Chihuahuan Desert Scrub at its southern extent and Plains-Mesa Grassland at its northern, more mesic boundary. Characteristically, the dominant grass is black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda).
Wright, Karen (2016): Core Site Phenology Study from the Chihuahaun Desert Grassland and Shrubland at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (2000-present ). Long Term Ecological Research Network. http://dx.doi.org/10.6073/pasta/1a619680f1b57c1b4d21867fe9fb1487