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  1. Le_Bagousse-Pinguet, Yoann (Ed.)
    Root production influences carbon and nutrient cycles and subsidizes soil biodiversity. However, the long‐term dynamics and drivers of belowground production are poorly understood for most ecosystems. In drylands, fire, eutrophication, and precipitation regimes could affect not only root production but also how roots track interannual variability in climate. We manipulated the intra‐annual precipitation regime, soil nitrogen, and fire in four common Chihuahuan Desert ecosystem types (three grasslands and one shrubland) in New Mexico, USA, where the 100‐year record indicates both long‐term drying and increasing interannual variability in aridity. First, we evaluated how root production tracked aridity over 10–17 years using climate sensitivity functions, which quantify long‐term, nonlinear relationships between biological processes and climate. Next, we determined the degree to which perturbations by fire, nitrogen addition or intra‐annual rainfall altered the sensitivity of root production to both mean and interannual variability in aridity. All ecosystems had nonlinear climate sensitivities that predicted declines in production with increases in the interannual variance of aridity. However, root production was the most sensitive to aridity in Chihuahuan Desert shrubland, with reduced production under drier and more variable aridity. Among the perturbations, only fire altered the sensitivity of root production to aridity. Root production was more than twice as sensitive to declines with aridity following prescribed fire than in unburned conditions. Neither the intra‐annual seasonal rainfall regime nor chronic nitrogen fertilization altered the sensitivity of roots to aridity. Our results yield new insight into how dryland plant roots respond to climate change. Our comparison of dryland ecosystems of the northern Chihuahuan Desert predicted that root production in shrublands would be more sensitive to future climates that are drier and more variable than root production in dry grasslands. Field manipulations revealed that fire could amplify the climate sensitivity of dry grassland root production, but in contrast, the climate sensitivity of root production was largely resistant to changes in the seasonal rainfall regime or increased soil fertilization. 
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    Free, publicly-accessible full text available May 20, 2025
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  3. This dataset includes estimated plant aboveground live biomass data measured in 1 m x 1 m quadrats at several sites and experiments under the Sevilleta LTER program. Quadrat locations span four distinct ecosystems and their ecotones: creosotebush dominated Chihuahuan Desert shrubland (est. winter 1999), black grama-dominated Chihuahuan Desert grassland (est. winter 1999), blue grama-dominated Plains grassland (est. winter 2002), and pinon-juniper woodland (est. winter 2003). Data on plant cover and height for each plant species are collected per individual plant or patch (for clonal plants) within 1 m x 1 m quadrats. These data inform population dynamics of foundational and rare plant species. Biomass is estimated using plant allometries from non-destructive measurements of plant cover and height, and can be used to calculate net primary production (NPP), a fundamental ecosystem variable that quantifies rates of carbon consumption and fixation. Estimates of plant species cover, total plant biomass, or NPP can inform understanding of biodiversity, species composition, and energy flow at the community scale of biological organization, as well as spatial and temporal responses of plants to a range of ecological processes and direct experimental manipulations. The cover and height of individual plants or patches are sampled twice yearly (spring and fall) in permanent 1m x 1m plots within each site or experiment. This dataset includes core site monitoring data (CORE, GRIDS, ISOWEB, TOWER), observations in response to wildfire (BURN), and experimental treatments of extreme drought and delayed monsoon rainfall (EDGE), physical disturbance to biological soil crusts on the soil surface (CRUST), interannual variability in precipitation (MEANVAR), intra-annual variability via additions of monsoon rainfall (MRME), additions of nitrogen as ammonium nitrate (FERTILIZER), additions of nitrogen x phosphorus x potassium (NutNet), and interacting effects of nighttime warming, nitrogen addition, and El Niño winter rainfall (WENNDEx). To build allometric equations that relate biomass to plant cover or volume, the dataset "SEV-LTER quadrat plant cover and height data all sites and experiments" is used with a separate dataset of selectively harvested plant species "SEV-LTER Plant species mass data for allometry." Together, these datasets produced “SEV-LTER quadrat plant species biomass all sites and experiments” using the scripts posted with the allometry dataset. Data from the CORE sites in this dataset were designated as NA-US-011 in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD). Data from the TOWER sites in this dataset are linked to Ameriflux sites: ameriflux.lbl.gov/doi/AmeriFlux/US-Seg and ameriflux.lbl.gov/sites/siteinfo/US-Ses. 
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  4. This dataset includes plant species cover and height data measured in 1 m x 1 m quadrats at several sites and experiments under the Sevilleta LTER program. Quadrat locations span four distinct ecosystems and their ecotones: creosotebush dominated Chihuahuan Desert shrubland (est. winter 1999), black grama-dominated Chihuahuan Desert grassland (est. winter 1999), blue grama-dominated Plains grassland (est. winter 2002), and pinon-juniper woodland (est. winter 2003). Data on plant cover and height for each plant species are collected per individual plant or patch (for clonal plants) within 1 m x 1 m quadrats. These data inform population dynamics of foundational and rare plant species. In addition, using plant allometries, these non-destructive measurements of plant cover and height can be used to calculate net primary production (NPP), a fundamental ecosystem variable that quantifies rates of carbon consumption and fixation. Estimates of plant species cover, total plant biomass, or NPP can inform understanding of biodiversity, species composition, and energy flow at the community scale of biological organization, as well as spatial and temporal responses of plants to a range of ecological processes and direct experimental manipulations. The cover and height of individual plants or patches are sampled twice yearly (spring and fall) in permanent 1m x 1m plots within each site or experiment. This dataset includes core site monitoring data (CORE, GRIDS, ISOWEB, TOWER), observations in response to wildfire (BURN), and experimental treatments of extreme drought and delayed monsoon rainfall (EDGE), physical disturbance to biological soil crusts on the soil surface (CRUST), interannual variability in precipitation (MEANVAR), intra-annual variability via additions of monsoon rainfall (MRME), additions of nitrogen as ammonium nitrate (FERTILIZER), additions of nitrogen x phosphorus x potassium (NutNet), and interacting effects of nighttime warming, nitrogen addition, and El Niño winter rainfall (WENNDEx). To build allometric equations that relate biomass to plant cover or volume, a separate dataset of selectively harvested plant species is provided in "SEV-LTER Plant species mass data for allometry." Together, these datasets produce “SEV-LTER Plant biomass all sites and experiments” using the scripts posted with that dataset. Data from the CORE sites in this dataset were designated as NA-US-011 in the Global Index of Vegetation-Plot Databases (GIVD). Data from the TOWER sites in this dataset are linked to Ameriflux sites: ameriflux.lbl.gov/doi/AmeriFlux/US-Seg and ameriflux.lbl.gov/sites/siteinfo/US-Ses. 
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  5. EDGE is located at six grassland sites that encompass a range of ecosystems in the Central US - from desert grasslands to short-, mixed-, and tallgrass prairie. We envision EDGE as a research platform that will not only advance our understanding of patterns and mechanisms of ecosystem sensitivity to climate change, but also will benefit the broader scientific community. Identical infrastructure for manipulating growing season precipitation will be deployed at all sites. Within the relatively large treatment plots (36 m2), we will measure with comparable methods, a broad spectrum of ecological responses particularly related to the interaction between carbon fluxes (NPP, soil respiration) and species response traits, as well as environmental parameters that are critical for the integrated experiment-modeling framework, as well as for site-based analyses. By designing EDGE as a research platform open to the broader scientific community, with subplots in all replicates (n = 180 plots) set-aside for additional studies, and by making data available to the broader ecological community EDGE will have value beyond what we envision here. 
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  6. Net primary production is a fundamental ecological variable that quantifies rates of carbon consumption and fixation. Estimates of NPP are important in understanding energy flow at a community level as well as spatial and temporal responses to a range of ecological processes.  While measures of both below- and above-ground biomass are important in estimating total NPP, this study focuses on above-ground net primary production (ANPP). Above-ground net primary production is the change in plant biomass, including loss to death and decomposition, over a given period of time. Volumetric measurements are made using vegetation data from permanent plots collected in SEV297, "Extreme Drought in Grassland Ecosystems (EDGE) Net Primary Production Quadrat Data" and regressions correlating biomass and volume constructed using seasonal harvest weights from SEV157, "Net Primary Productivity (NPP) Weight Data." 
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  7. This dataset contains pinon-juniper woodland biomass data and is part of a long-term study at the Sevilleta LTER measuring net primary production (NPP) across four distinct ecosystems: creosote-dominant shrubland (Site C, est. winter 1999), black grama-dominant grassland (Site G, est. winter 1999), blue grama-dominant grassland (Site B, est. winter 2002), and pinon-juniper woodland (Site P, est. winter 2003). Net primary production is a fundamental ecological variable that quantifies rates of carbon consumption and fixation. Estimates of NPP are important in understanding energy flow at a community level as well as spatial and temporal responses to a range of ecological processes. Above-ground net primary production is the change in plant biomass, represented by stems, flowers, fruit and and foliage, over time and incoporates growth as well as loss to death and decomposition. To measure this change the vegetation variables in this dataset, including species composition and the cover and height of individuals, are sampled twice yearly (spring and fall) at permanent 1m x 1m plots within each site. A third sampling at Site C is performed in the winter. Volumetric measurements are made using vegetation data from permanent plots (SEV278, "Pinon-Juniper (Core Site) Quadrat Data for the Net Primary Production Study") and regressions correlating species biomass and volume constructed using seasonal harvest weights from SEV157, "Net Primary Productivity (NPP) Weight Data." 
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  8. Begun in spring 2013, this project is part of a long-term study at the Sevilleta LTER measuring net primary production (NPP) across three distinct ecosystems: creosote-dominant shrubland (Site C), black grama-dominant grassland (Site G), and blue grama-dominant grassland (Site B). Net primary production is a fundamental ecological variable that quantifies rates of carbon consumption and fixation. Estimates of NPP are important in understanding energy flow at a community level as well as spatial and temporal responses to a range of ecological processes. Above-ground net primary production is the change in plant biomass, represented by stems, flowers, fruit and foliage, over time and incorporates growth as well as loss to death and decomposition. To measure this change the vegetation variables in this dataset, including species composition and the cover and height of individuals, are sampled twice yearly (spring and fall) at permanent 1m x 1m plots within each site. A third sampling at Site C is performed in the winter. The data from these plots is used to build regressions correlating biomass and volume via weights of select harvested species obtained in SEV999, "Net Primary Productivity (NPP) Weight Data." This biomass data is included in SEV999, "Seasonal Biomass and Seasonal and Annual NPP for Core Grid Research Sites." 
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  9. This dataset contains pinon-juniper woodland quadrat data and is part of a long-term study at the Sevilleta LTER measuring net primary production (NPP) across four distinct ecosystems: creosote-dominant shrubland (Site C, est. winter 1999), black grama-dominant grassland (Site G, est. winter 1999), blue grama-dominant grassland (Site B, est. winter 2002), and pinon-juniper woodland (Site P, est. winter 2003). Net primary production is a fundamental ecological variable that quantifies rates of carbon consumption and fixation. Estimates of NPP are important in understanding energy flow at a community level as well as spatial and temporal responses to a range of ecological processes. Above-ground net primary production is the change in plant biomass, represented by stems, flowers, fruit and and foliage, over time and incorporates growth as well as loss to death and decomposition. To measure this change the vegetation variables in this dataset, including species composition and the cover and height of individuals, are sampled twice yearly (spring and fall) at permanent 1m x 1m plots within each site. A third sampling at Site C is performed in the winter. The data from these plots is used to build regressions correlating biomass and volume via weights of select harvested species obtained in SEV157, "Net Primary Productivity (NPP) Weight Data." This biomass data is included in SEV182, "Seasonal Biomass and Seasonal and Annual NPP for Core Research Sites." 
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  10. The varied topography and large elevation gradients that characterize the arid and semi-arid Southwest create a wide range of climatic conditions - and associated biomes - within relatively short distances. This creates an ideal experimental system in which to study the effects of climate on ecosystems. Such studies are critical given that the Southwestern U.S. has already experienced changes in climate that have altered precipitation patterns (Mote et al. 2005), and stands to experience dramatic climate change in the coming decades (Seager et al. 2007; Ting et al. 2007). Climate models currently predict an imminent transition to a warmer, more arid climate in the Southwest (Seager et al. 2007; Ting et al. 2007). Thus, high elevation ecosystems, which currently experience relatively cool and mesic climates, will likely resemble their lower elevation counterparts, which experience a hotter and drier climate. In order to predict regional changes in carbon storage, hydrologic partitioning and water resources in response to these potential shifts, it is critical to understand how both temperature and soil moisture affect processes such as evaportranspiration (ET), total carbon uptake through gross primary production (GPP), ecosystem respiration (Reco), and net ecosystem exchange of carbon, water and energy across elevational gradients. We are using a sequence of six widespread biomes along an elevational gradient in New Mexico -- ranging from hot, arid ecosystems at low elevations to cool, mesic ecosystems at high elevation to test specific hypotheses related to how climatic controls over ecosystem processes change across this gradient. We have an eddy covariance tower and associated meteorological instruments in each biome which we are using to directly measure the exchange of carbon, water and energy between the ecosystem and the atmosphere. This gradient offers us a unique opportunity to test the interactive effects of temperature and soil moisture on ecosystem processes, as temperature decreases and soil moisture increases markedly along the gradient and varies through time within sites. This dataset examines how different stages of burn affects above-ground biomass production (ANPP) in a mixed desert-grassland. Net primary production is a fundamental ecological variable that quantifies rates of carbon consumption and fixation. Estimates of NPP are important in understanding energy flow at a community level as well as spatial and temporal responses to a range of ecological processes. Above-ground net primary production is the change in plant biomass, represented by stems, flowers, fruit and foliage, over time and incorporates growth as well as loss to death and decomposition. To measure this change the vegetation variables in this dataset, including species composition and the cover and height of individuals, are sampled twice yearly (spring and fall) at permanent 1m x 1m plots. The data from these plots is used to build regressions correlating biomass and volume via weights of select harvested species obtained in SEV157, "Net Primary Productivity (NPP) Weight Data." This biomass data is included in SEV292, "Flux Tower Seasonal Biomass and Seasonal and Annual NPP Data." 
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