Spatial Patterns in a Prosopis – Juniperus Savannah
AbstractWe determined the distribution patterns and distance to nearest neighbor for Prosopis glandulosa and Juniperus pinchotii plants on deep and shallow soils. Ordination was used to compare microsite vegetation associated with open grassland habitat and the habitat proximal to big and small Prosopis and Juniperus plants. Analysis of similarities was used to provide a probability of plant group similarities to outside group similarity. Big Juniperus trees were randomly distributed on both soils, while the big Prosopis trees were random on the deep soil but aggregated on the shallow soil. Saplings of both species were strongly aggregated on both soils. Big and small Juniperus plants were positively associated with the dominant, established Prosopis trees and with litter cover but were negatively associated with bare ground and C4 grasses. In contrast, small Prosopis plants were negatively associated with both Juniperus and Prosopis trees on either soil and were positively associated with bare ground and C4 grasses. Prosopis trees facilitate establishment of Juniperus on deep or shallow soils, but Prosopis presence is probably not necessary for Juniperus establishment on either soil.
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