Effect of mesquites on the herbaceous vegetation in a semiarid harvest field of Guanajuato
AbstractIt has been said for a long time that mesquite reduces significantly cover and productivity of herbaceous vegetation in the range lands. Likewise there are evidences showing the opposite. This controversy make us think that this interaction is not fully understood. This work evaluated the effect of mesquite on the herbaceous vegetation along a gradient which range from open to a heavy dense stands. It was found that isolated arboreal mesquites reduced up to 50% the photosyntetic photon flux density which are not limiting for C4, species, whereas clustered shrubby mesquites reduces 75 % which can limit the growth of these species. Such conditions creates three plant groupings: the first made up of short and caespitose grasses which grow in the open. The second with a better and more diverse group growing under the tree canopy, dominated by bunchgrasses, cacti and shrubs. The third under the close canopy of the clustered shrubby mesquites with shrub dominance.
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