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Creators/Authors contains: "Rudgers, Jennifer A."

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  1. Free, publicly-accessible full text available July 1, 2024
  2. Free, publicly-accessible full text available March 4, 2024
  3. This study was designed to examine community- or population-level fluctuations in bee species at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, both intra- and inter-annually. From 2002 to 2019, passive funnel traps were used to collect bees at three sites, each representing a different ecosystem type of the southwestern U.S. (Plains grassland, Chihuahuan Desert grassland, and Chihuahuan Desert shrubland). Bees were collected during each month from March through October, and were identified to species by taxonomic experts. 
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  4. 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: and 
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  5. abstract

    Long-term observations and experiments in diverse drylands reveal how ecosystems and services are responding to climate change. To develop generalities about climate change impacts at dryland sites, we compared broadscale patterns in climate and synthesized primary production responses among the eight terrestrial, nonforested sites of the United States Long-Term Ecological Research (US LTER) Network located in temperate (Southwest and Midwest) and polar (Arctic and Antarctic) regions. All sites experienced warming in recent decades, whereas drought varied regionally with multidecadal phases. Multiple years of wet or dry conditions had larger effects than single years on primary production. Droughts, floods, and wildfires altered resource availability and restructured plant communities, with greater impacts on primary production than warming alone. During severe regional droughts, air pollution from wildfire and dust events peaked. Studies at US LTER drylands over more than 40 years demonstrate reciprocal links and feedbacks among dryland ecosystems, climate-driven disturbance events, and climate change.

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  6. Abstract

    Fungal symbionts can buffer plants from environmental extremes and may affect host capacities to acclimate, adapt, or redistribute under environmental change; however, the distributions of fungal symbionts along abiotic gradients are poorly described. Fungal mutualists should be the most beneficial in abiotically stressful environments, and the structure of networks of plant-fungal interactions likely shift along gradients, even when fungal community composition does not track environmental stress. We sampled 634 unique combinations of fungal endophytes and mycorrhizal fungi, grass species identities, and sampling locations from 66 sites across six replicate altitudinal gradients in the western Colorado Rocky Mountains. The diversity and composition of leaf endophytic, root endophytic, and arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungal guilds and the overall abundance of fungal functional groups (pathogens, saprotrophs, mutualists) tracked grass host identity more closely than elevation. Network structures of root endophytes become more nested and less specialized at higher elevations, but network structures of other fungal guilds did not vary with elevation. Overall, grass species identity had overriding influence on the diversity and composition of above- and belowground fungal endophytes and AM fungi, despite large environmental variation. Therefore, in our system climate change may rarely directly affect fungal symbionts. Instead, fungal symbiont distributions will most likely track the range dynamics of host grasses.

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  7. The purpose of this study is to determine whether or not the activities of small mammals regulate plant community structure, plant species diversity, and spatial vegetation patterns in Chihuahuan Desert shrublands and grasslands. What role if any do indigenous small mammal consumers have in maintaining desertified landscapes in the Chihuahuan Desert? Additionally, how do the effects of small mammals interact with changing climate to affect vegetation patterns over time? This is data for animal created soil surface disturbance measured from each of the SMES study plots. Soil surface disturbance was measured from each of the 36 one-meter2 quadrats twice each year when vegetation was measured. 
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