|Desert Shrubland Site|
Tower Site Descriptions
This tower (34.334944 N, -106.744167 W) is located in Larrea-dominated shrubland in the northern Chihuahuan Desert of the Rio Grande Valley on the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (SNWR) and LTER site, approximately 80 km south of Albuquerque, New Mexico. This tower, like the grassland tower, is in the McKenzie flats area of the SNWR. The density of Larrea at this site is 0.9 m-2 , interspersed with C4 perennial grasses (Bouteloua gracilis, B. eriopoda, Sporobolis spp., Hilaria jamesii, Muhlenbergia spp.).
Mean annual precipitation (1989-2005) at the SNWR is 250 mm, about 60% of which comes in isolated, short duration showers during the monsoon season (July – September); the remainder arrives with winter frontal systems, although with considerable year-to-year variation (Pennington and Collins 2007). Mean annual temperature (1980-2003) at this site is 17.7 C. Aboveground net primary production (ANPP) in creosote shrublands in this area of the SNWR averages 59.2 g m-2 y-1 (Muldavin et al. 2007).
This tower was originally set up by Eric Small as part of the BIGFOOT project in 2001. We have been running the tower since January 2006.
It is currently funded by NSF EPSCoR, and by an award from NSF Ecosystems (2008-2011), Do vegetation microclimate feedbacks promote shrub encroachment in the Southwestern U.S.?. This is a collaborative proposal between University of VA (Paolo D'Orico, Jose Fuentes, Stephen DeWekker) and UNM (Marcy Litvak, Will Pockman, Scott Collins).
Desert Shrubland Site Vegetation
Desert Shrubland Site Tower View
Desert Shrubland Site Aerial Veiw
© 2008 Marcy Litvak
Last Updated: January 14, 2008
For more information please contact: Dr. Marcy Litvak
Created by: Kimberly Bandy, January 2008