Woodlands dominated by singleleaf pinyon (Pinus monophylla Torr.and Frem.) and Utah (Juniperus osteosperma [Torr.] Little) cover extensive areas in the Great Basin and Southwest. Both species are aggressive and can nearly eliminate the previous shrub-dominated community. Successional pathways from shrub-dominated communities before tree establishment to the tree-dominated communities that follow are known only for a few specific sites. How site growing conditions affect successional patterns needs further study. We compared the relationship of foliage biomass and percentage of cover between paired shrub-dominated and tree-dominated plots over several sites. Sites studied are from different elevation and topographic conditions on one mountain range. Foliage biomass in shrub-dominated plots had about a three-to-one variation over the range of site conditions sampled. Tree-dominated plots varied by about two-to-one. Cover in shrub-dominated plots had a four-to-one variation; cover in the tree-dominated plots varied by about two-to-one. Total foliage biomass in both tree- and shrub-dominated plots correlated best with the site index of height at 200 years of age. Variation in percentage of cover in both tree and shrub-dominated plots correlated best with elevation. Foliage biomass variation in shrub-dominated plots was proportional to the variation in the paired tree-dominated plots. A similar proportional relationship was present for percentage of cover between paired tree- and shrub-dominated plots. Foliage biomass was more sensitive to topographic differences than to cover. Variation in plant species sampled in the shrub-dominated plots correlated with total foliage biomass of the same plots. Species sampled also correlated with pinyon height at 200 years of age and total foliage biomass in the paired tree-dominated plots.
Tausch, R. J. and Tueller, P. T.
"Foliage biomass and cover relationships between tree- and shrub-dominated communities in pinyon-juniper woodlands,"
Great Basin Naturalist: Vol. 50
, Article 4.
Available at: http://scholarsarchive.byu.edu/gbn/vol50/iss2/4