IGN 9-8 - Where is the pulse in pulse dynamics?

Thursday, August 11, 2016
316, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Scott L. Collins1, Amy C. Bennett1, Renee F. Brown1, Laura M. Ladwig2, Marcy E. Litvak1 and Robert L. Sinsabaugh1, (1)Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, (2)Zoology, University of Wisconsin - Madison, Madison, WI
The pulse dynamics paradigm has served for decades as the theoretical underpinning for how aridland ecosystems respond to individual rainfall events. In essence, the model predicts that a rain event triggers biological activity that results in some functional response until moisture from that event is depleted. We searched for a variety of pulse dynamics responses following rain events in a desert grassland ecosystem in New Mexico, USA. Although some responses conformed to the pulse dynamics model, most were idiosyncratic. We believe this calls into question the universality of the long-held paradigm of rain event driven pulse dynamics in aridland ecosystems.