Hydrology and solar radiation as factors for desert vegetation patterns

Vamsee Mohan Veera, University of Texas at El Paso


There is a growing need to predict vegetation spatial patterns for assessing land cover change and to understand how micro-climate influences the growth of plants. The purpose of the present study was to evaluate the relative influence of potential evapotranspiration to solar radiation on vegetation patterns in the West Potrillo Mountains, New Mexico. To accomplish this, vegetation was sampled and environmental parameters were measured over two cindercones in the West Potrillo Mountains. The frequently occurring vegetation species that were considered for the study were Aloysia wrightii, Larrea tridentata, Parthenium incanum, Ephedra trifurca and Lycium berlandieri . Six other species were identified that were not sufficiently abundant to be considered in the statistical analysis. A series of solar radiation and evapotranspiration parameters were calculated with a code developed from an existing ‘SolPos’ code developed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL). Through principal component analysis (PCA) and detrended correspondence analysis (DCA) the relationships between species, and between environmental variables were found. And through redundancy analysis (RDA), Detrended Canonical Correspondence Analysis (DCCA) the species relationship with environmental variables was estimated. (Abstract shortened by UMI.)

Subject Area

Environmental engineering|Hydrology|Environmental science|Ecology

Recommended Citation

Veera, Vamsee Mohan, "Hydrology and solar radiation as factors for desert vegetation patterns" (2005). ETD Collection for University of Texas, El Paso. AAI1430934.