Nom du corpus

Corpus Systématique Végétale

Titre du document

Spatial partitioning of the soil water resource between grass and shrub components in a West African humid savanna

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Springer (journals)
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Mots-clés d'auteur
  • Humid savanna
  • Stable isotopes
  • Soil water
  • Root
  • Competition
Nom du fichier dans la ressource
  • X. Le Roux 1
  • T. Bariac 2
  • A. Mariotti 2
  • 1) Laboratoire d'Ecologie (URA 258 CNRS), Ecole Normale Supérieure, 46 rue d'Ulm, F-75230, Paris Cedex 05, France
  • 2) Laboratoire de Biogéochimie isotopique, Univ. Paris 6-INRA, 4 place Jussieu, F-75252, Paris Cedex 05, France

Most savanna water balance models assume water partitioning between grasses and shrubs in a two-layer hypothesis, but this hypothesis has not been tested for humid savanna environments. Spatial partitioning of soil water between grasses and shrubs was investigated in a West African humid savanna by comparing the isotopic composition (oxygen-18 and deuterium) of soil water and plant stem water during rainy and dry conditions. Both grass and shrub species acquire most of their water from the top soil layer during both rainy and dry periods. A shift of water uptake pattern towards deeper horizons was observed only at the end of the dry season after shrub defoliation. The mean depth of water uptake, as determined by the isotopic signature of stem water, was consistent with grass and shrub root profiles and with changes in soil water content profiles as surveyed by a neutron probe. This provides evidence for potentially strong competition between shrubs and grasses for soil water in these humid savannas. Limited nutrient availability may explain these competitive interactions. These results enhance our understanding of shrub-grass interactions, and will contribute to models of ecosystem functioning in humid savannas.

Catégories Science-Metrix
  • 1 - natural sciences
  • 2 - biology
  • 3 - ecology
Catégories INIST
  • 1 - sciences appliquees, technologies et medecines
  • 2 - sciences biologiques et medicales
  • 3 - sciences biologiques fondamentales et appliquees. psychologie
  • 4 - psychologie. psychophysiologie
Catégories Scopus
  • 1 - Life Sciences ; 2 - Agricultural and Biological Sciences ; 3 - Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
Catégories WoS
  • 1 - science ; 2 - ecology
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