Analyzing root traits to characterize juniper expansion into rangelands
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Juniper expansion into sagebrush communities is a widespread phenomenon occurring across large regions of the western U.S. over the past century. Fire suppression and increased grazing activity are commonly considered as the primary drivers of expansion but they do not explain all instances of expansion. In order to develop a complete explanation for the success of juniper we investigated the competitive abilities of J. osteosperma (Utah juniper) and A. tridentata (big sagebrush) based on fine root traits, including specific root length (SRL), fine root diameter, and fine root biomass, and spatial ...