Impact of feedbacks on Chihuahuan desert grasslands

Transience and metastability

Gregory S. Okin, Paolo D'Odorico, Steve Archer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

48 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

A simplistic model of grass-shrub dynamics was used to investigate the role of grass demographic processes on grassland-shrubland dynamics when grasses are in competitive advantage over shrubs. The model suggests that a feedback between grass biomass and soil erosion may cause an abrupt transition to a shrubland state. The model explains how a simple change in either grass recruitment or grass mortality, presumably linked to climate change or grazing, could produce changes in Holocene flora and the conversion of grasslands to shrublands, which has been observed throughout the southwestern U.S. in the past 150 years.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numberG01004
JournalJournal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics
Volume114
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 28 2009

Fingerprint

Chihuahuan Desert
grasslands
grasses
deserts
metastable state
desert
grassland
grass
Feedback
shrubland
shrublands
Climate change
Erosion
Biomass
shrub
shrubs
soil erosion
plants (botany)
Soils
mortality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ecology
  • Soil Science
  • Forestry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Palaeontology
  • Atmospheric Science
  • Aquatic Science

Cite this

Impact of feedbacks on Chihuahuan desert grasslands : Transience and metastability. / Okin, Gregory S.; D'Odorico, Paolo; Archer, Steve.

In: Journal of Geophysical Research: Space Physics, Vol. 114, No. 1, G01004, 28.03.2009.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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