Many regions of the globe are experiencing a simultaneous change in the dominant plant functional type and regional climatology. We explored how atmospheric temperature and precipitation control leaf- and ecosystem-scale carbon fluxes within a pair of semi-arid shrublands, one upland and one riparian, that have undergone woody plant expansion. Through a combination of leaf-level measurements… More

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Recent studies have illuminated the process of hydraulic redistribution, defined as the translocation of soil moisture via plant root systems, but the long-term ecohydrologic significance of this process is poorly understood. We investigated hydraulic redistribution (HR) by Prosopis velutina Woot. (velvet mesquite) in an upland savanna ecosystem over a two-year period. Our goal was to… More

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The success of invasive aridland plants may depend on their utilization of precipitation not fully exploited by native species, which could lead to seasonally altered ecosystem carbon and water fluxes. We measured volumetric soil water across 25-cm profiles (θ25cm) and springtime whole-plant water- and carbon-fluxes of the exotic Lehmann lovegrass (Eragrostis lehmanniana) and a native… More

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Global-scale studies indicate that semiarid regions strongly regulate the terrestrial carbon sink. However, we lack understanding of how climatic shifts, such as decadal drought, impact carbon sequestration across the wide range of structural diversity in semiarid ecosystems. Therefore, we used eddy covariance measurements to quantify how net ecosystem production of carbon dioxide (NEP) differed with… More

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The global terrestrial carbon sink offsets one-third of the world’s fossil fuel emissions, but the strength of this sink is highly sensitive to large-scale extreme events. In 2012, the contiguous United States experienced exceptionally warm temperatures and the most severe drought since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, resulting in substantial economic damage. It… More

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The global terrestrial carbon sink offsets one-third of the world’s fossil fuel emissions, but the strength of this sink is highly sensitive to large-scale extreme events. In 2012, the contiguous United States experienced exceptionally warm temperatures and the most severe drought since the Dust Bowl era of the 1930s, resulting in substantial economic damage. It… More

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