Great Basin Naturalist


This study analyzed spatial location patterns Cercocarpus ledifolius Nutt. (curlleaf mountain mahogany) plants, classified as current-year seedling, established seedling, juvenile, and immature individuals, at a central Nevada study site. Most current-year seedlings were located in mahogany stands in which large, mature individuals had the greatest abundance. These stands had greater litter cover and a thicker layer of litter than areas with few current-year seedlings. Most established young Cercocarpus were located in adjacent Artemisia tridentata spp. vaseyana (mountain big sagebrush) communities, or in infrequent canopy gaps between relatively few large, mature Cercocarpus. We discuss potential roles of plant litter, root growth characteristics, nurse plants, and herbivory in the establishment and renewal of Cercocarpus communities.