Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Stromberg, Julie [1].

Phenological Response of Sonoran Desert Vegetation to the 2018-2019 Winter Rainfall Pulse.

The Sonoran Desert experienced unusual weather in 2018-2019 with respect to amount (above average) and timing (early onset) of winter rainfall. At South Mountain Park in central Arizona, two back-to-back tropical storms resulted in 13 cm of rain in October 2018, temporarily ending a long drought period. Ensuing El Nino patterns produced frequent rain events through March of 2019. I documented the phenological response to this precipitation pulse (25 cm total for October through March) by recording dates of first flowering of annuals and perennials during weekly visits to this large urban park. The suite of plants that germinated and bloomed at South Mountain Park following the October rains included characteristic warm-season regional taxa such as Kallstroemia parviflora and characteristic cool-season taxa such as Eschscholzia california subsp. Mexicana, as well as temperature generalists such as Perityle emoryi that flower year-round under favorable conditions.  Comparisons with flowering dates reported in herbarium records (SEINet) revealed that a subset of the plant species flowered earlier than is typical while others adhered to historical phenological norms. Another interesting finding was the presence during this wet period of 2018-2019 of several species that had not been documented from the Park for a decade or more, including the grasses Poa bigelovii and Hilaria rigida.  

1 - Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, 85287, United States

sonoran desert.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 6:15 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PCB010
Abstract ID:799
Candidate for Awards:None

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