Transpiration dynamics support resource partitioning in African savanna trees and grasses

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dc.contributor.author Holdo, R. M.
dc.contributor.author Nippert, Jesse B.
dc.date.accessioned 2016-04-04T22:13:50Z
dc.date.available 2016-04-04T22:13:50Z
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/2097/32241
dc.description Citation: Holdo, R. M., & Nippert, J. B. (2015). Transpiration dynamics support resource partitioning in African savanna trees and grasses. Ecology, 96(6), 1466-1472. doi:10.1890/14-1986.1
dc.description It is still far from clear whether and to what extent trees and grasses partition soil moisture in tropical savannas. A major reason for this is that we don't know how snapshot data on rooting differences translate into ecologically relevant patterns of water use at seasonal scales. We used stable isotopes in soil and stem water to quantify functional rooting profiles in grasses and two tree species in a South African savanna. Concurrently, we measured tree sap-flow velocity, grass canopy temperature (a transpiration correlate), and soil moisture content at multiple depths over the course of a growing season. We used lasso regression to identify the dominant soil moisture layers driving daily variation in tree and grass water-use metrics while controlling for weather variables. We found clear rooting depth differences between grasses (shallow) and trees (deep) from the isotopic data, and these patterns were strongly supported by the water-use data, which showed that grasses and trees predominantly responded to soil moisture availability at 5 and 40 cm depth, respectively. Our results provide a rare example of mechanistic support for the resource partitioning hypothesis in savannas, with important implications for our understanding of tree-grass dynamics under altered precipitation regimes.
dc.relation.uri https://doi.org/10.1890/14-1986.1
dc.rights Copyright by the Ecological Society of America
dc.rights.uri http://www.sherpa.ac.uk/romeo/issn/0012-9658/
dc.subject Canopy Temperature
dc.subject Lasso Regression
dc.subject Niche Partitioning
dc.subject Rooting Depth
dc.subject Sap Flow
dc.subject South Africa
dc.title Transpiration dynamics support resource partitioning in African savanna trees and grasses
dc.type Article
dc.date.published 2015
dc.citation.doi 10.1890/14-1986.1
dc.citation.epage 1472
dc.citation.issn 0012-9658
dc.citation.issue 6
dc.citation.jtitle Ecology
dc.citation.spage 1466
dc.citation.volume 96
dc.contributor.authoreid nippert


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