Great Basin Naturalist


Herbaceous vegetation pattern and soil properties around individual Juniperus pinchotii Sudw. trees were studied on a grazed and a relict grassland in western Texas. Herb standing crop and soil samples were obtained under the canopy, at canopy edge, and beyond the canopy edge of three to five trees on each of four dates. Standing crop was lowest midway between the bole and canopy edge. Soil organic matter was highest under juniper canopies on both sites. Soil pH and P were not related to distance from tree bole on either site. Herbaceous pattern from under the canopy to canopy edge apparently depended primarily on individual tree size. However, trees had little influence on herbaceous vegetation pattern 3–5 m beyond canopy edge, a response attributed to distance-independent interaction between J. pinchotii and herbaceous vegetation. Given a shallow soil underlain by indurated caliche and tree densities ranging from 288 (relict size) to 2123 (grazed site) trees/ha, the interaction between J. pinchotii and herbaceous vegetation did not change over a distance of 3–5 m from tree canopy edge in our study area.