This time-sensitive project will test the interactive effects of rainfall and nutrient deposition from the urban atmosphere on herbaceous annual plant productivity and community structure by taking advantage of a second sequential year of above-average spring precipitation following a prolonged drought in the Southwest. Although they are ephemeral, herbaceous annual plants contribute substantially to pulsed ecological dynamics of desert ecosystems at the urbanwildland interface. An opportunity presents itself this year to explore how addition of the primary (water) and secondary (nitrogen) limiting factors affect desert herbaceous productivity, potentially in two seasons. This opportunity is unique in that it follows a decadal drought and a single wet year immediately preceding this one. The intellectual merit is that this combination of conditions will document, for the first time, responses to the urban atmosphere coupled with responses to elevated precipitation. The broader impacts include 1) developing an understanding of the impact of human activities (largely transportation-related) in urban areas on desert processes both within and downwind from the city, and 2) exposing undergraduate students to ecological research in the habitat in which they live.
|Effective start/end date||9/1/09 → 8/31/10|
- NSF: Directorate for Biological Sciences (BIO): $29,904.00