ABSTRACT The February 2008 study of a Snowflake, Arizona site measured changes in soil organic carbon, total nitrogen, extractable phosphorus, and soil moisture, to determine what affect One-seed Juniper (Juniperus monosperma) trees have on surrounding soil, thus affecting native grass growth. Increasing juniper densities in grasslands also decrease populations of some grassland bird species. Measurements were taken each meter along a twelve meter line transect, moving from juniper trees, through a bare soil area and into a grassland. Non-linear relationships were examined, in regard to distance from the tree and juniper root mass. Relationships were examined to determine any affect of the juniper tree on soil characteristics along the transect. Organic carbon decreased as distance increased from the trees (F=4.25, df=46, p=0.020). Soil moisture increased with distance from the trees (F=5.42, df=46, p=0.008), and juniper root mass, of roots less than 1 mm diameter, significantly decreased with distance away from the trees (F=11.29, df=46, p=0.0001). Total nitrogen and extractable phosphorus did not significantly change with distance from the tree, or presence of juniper roots. This data is important as grassland restoration projects rely on the availability of soil nutrients and water for reestablishment of native grass species.
- Juniper effects on grassland soil nutrient availability