ORDANO Mariano Andres
Ameliorative effects of nurse shrubs on soil chemical characteristics are driven by plant size in the Monte desert
OMAR VARELA; MARIANA VARAS; DONNA RATTALINO; FRANCO CRABBÈ; MARIANO ORDANO
ARID LAND RESEARCH AND MANAGEMENT
TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2017 vol. 31 p. 418 - 418
In deserts, shrubs determine landscape structure and influence plant productivity by creating nutrient-enriched environments. Attributes vary among shrub species, thus their contribution to soil characteristics is expected to vary as well, and nutrient input under shrub cover will depend on species attributes. We propose that plant size determines the contribution to soil chemical characteristics. Therefore, the contribution of larger species will be higher than smaller ones. Also, each species will contribute differentially for each chemical parameter. To corroborate these premises, we measured six soil chemical characteristics in areas covered by shrubs and in bare soil, as well as among five nurse species, in four sites of the Monte desert (La Rioja, Argentina). A multivariate analysis of variance (MANOVA) indicated significant variation between cover conditions and locations. Supporting previous studies, the presence of shrubs improved soil properties. Chemical concentration between soils under shrubs and bare soils, respectively showed as mean and (SD) were: carbon(%): 0.82 (0,47), 0.52 (0.22); nitrates (ppm): 33,33 (67,36), 2.63 (0.56); phosphorous(ppm): 16.76 (25.02), 6.56 (1.92); electric conductivity (dS m-1): 0.24 (0,43), 0.03 (0,02); pH : 6.93 (0.56), 7.62 (0.53), and water content (%): 3,17 (8.94), 2.47 (9.15). Chemical characteristics also varied according to the nurse species. Larger nurse species affected the ensemble of chemical characteristics, after controlling for cover condition and site. Larger plant species (Bulnesia retama, Prosopis torquata, and Zuccagnia punctata) were significantly associated with higher carbon and higher nitrates concentration. These results suggest that soil properties are enhanced by the size of nurse plant species.