Subsurface soil textural control of aboveground productivity in the US Desert Southwest

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

5 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The drylands of the US Desert Southwest (SW) are dependent on precipitation stored as soil moisture for aboveground productivity. Availability of soil moisture in dryland systems is a function of climate and soil physical properties; however, we lack accurate understanding of how soil physical properties modulate regional patterns of aboveground productivity responses to climate forcing in the SW. We used established regional soil, vegetation, and climate datasets to quantify differences in vegetation productivity attributable to soil texture and climate forcing. Subsurface soil texture accounted for significant variation in aboveground productivity in the winter and fore-summer months, but not during the summer monsoon. Subsurface soil texture differences were more important in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, which receive significant winter precipitation. Subsurface soil texture is a significant determinant in modulating aboveground productivity, linked to winter precipitation storage as soil moisture, suggesting that drying winters may lead to increased dryland ecosystem stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)44-54
Number of pages11
JournalGeoderma Regional
Volume4
DOIs
StatePublished - 2015

Fingerprint

soil texture
deserts
desert
arid lands
productivity
winter
soil water
soil physical properties
climate forcing
soil moisture
soil
climate
Mojave Desert
Sonoran Desert
physical property
vegetation
summer
regional pattern
drying
monsoon

Keywords

  • Aridisols
  • Dryland ecosystem
  • Soil moisture
  • US Southwest

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Soil Science

Cite this

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abstract = "The drylands of the US Desert Southwest (SW) are dependent on precipitation stored as soil moisture for aboveground productivity. Availability of soil moisture in dryland systems is a function of climate and soil physical properties; however, we lack accurate understanding of how soil physical properties modulate regional patterns of aboveground productivity responses to climate forcing in the SW. We used established regional soil, vegetation, and climate datasets to quantify differences in vegetation productivity attributable to soil texture and climate forcing. Subsurface soil texture accounted for significant variation in aboveground productivity in the winter and fore-summer months, but not during the summer monsoon. Subsurface soil texture differences were more important in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, which receive significant winter precipitation. Subsurface soil texture is a significant determinant in modulating aboveground productivity, linked to winter precipitation storage as soil moisture, suggesting that drying winters may lead to increased dryland ecosystem stress.",
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author = "Christopher Shepard and Marcel Schaap and Michael Crimmins and {van Leeuwen}, Willem and Craig Rasmussen",
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AU - Shepard, Christopher

AU - Schaap, Marcel

AU - Crimmins, Michael

AU - van Leeuwen, Willem

AU - Rasmussen, Craig

PY - 2015

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N2 - The drylands of the US Desert Southwest (SW) are dependent on precipitation stored as soil moisture for aboveground productivity. Availability of soil moisture in dryland systems is a function of climate and soil physical properties; however, we lack accurate understanding of how soil physical properties modulate regional patterns of aboveground productivity responses to climate forcing in the SW. We used established regional soil, vegetation, and climate datasets to quantify differences in vegetation productivity attributable to soil texture and climate forcing. Subsurface soil texture accounted for significant variation in aboveground productivity in the winter and fore-summer months, but not during the summer monsoon. Subsurface soil texture differences were more important in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, which receive significant winter precipitation. Subsurface soil texture is a significant determinant in modulating aboveground productivity, linked to winter precipitation storage as soil moisture, suggesting that drying winters may lead to increased dryland ecosystem stress.

AB - The drylands of the US Desert Southwest (SW) are dependent on precipitation stored as soil moisture for aboveground productivity. Availability of soil moisture in dryland systems is a function of climate and soil physical properties; however, we lack accurate understanding of how soil physical properties modulate regional patterns of aboveground productivity responses to climate forcing in the SW. We used established regional soil, vegetation, and climate datasets to quantify differences in vegetation productivity attributable to soil texture and climate forcing. Subsurface soil texture accounted for significant variation in aboveground productivity in the winter and fore-summer months, but not during the summer monsoon. Subsurface soil texture differences were more important in the Mojave and Sonoran Deserts, which receive significant winter precipitation. Subsurface soil texture is a significant determinant in modulating aboveground productivity, linked to winter precipitation storage as soil moisture, suggesting that drying winters may lead to increased dryland ecosystem stress.

KW - Aridisols

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