Warming-El Nino-Nitrogen Deposition Experiment (WENNDEx): Net Primary Production Quadrat Data at the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, New Mexico (2006 -present)



Humans are creating significant global environmental change, including shifts in climate, increased nitrogen (N) deposition, and the facilitation of species invasions. A multi-factorial field experiment is being performed in an arid grassland within the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge (NWR) to simulate increased nighttime temperature, higher N deposition, and heightened El Niño frequency (which increases winter precipitation by an average of 50%). The purpose of the experiment is to better understand the potential effects of environmental change on grassland community composition and the growth of introduced creosote seeds and seedlings. The focus is on the response of three dominant species, all of which are near their range margins and thus may be particularly susceptible to environmental change.

It is hypothesized that warmer summer temperatures and increased evaporation will favor growth of black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda), a desert grass, but that increased winter precipitation and/or available nitrogen will favor the growth of blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), a shortgrass prairie species. Furthermore, it is thought that the growth and survival of introduced creosote (Larrea tridentata) seeds and seedlings will be promoted by heightened winter precipitation, N addition, and warmer nighttime temperatures. Treatment effects on limiting resources (soil moisture, nitrogen mineralization), species growth (photosynthetic rates, creosote shoot elongation), species abundance, and net primary production (NPP) are all being measured to determine the interactive effects of key global change drivers on arid grassland plant community dynamics.

To measure above-ground NPP (i.e., the change in plant biomass, represented by stems, flowers, fruit and foliage, over time), the vegetation variables in this dataset, including species composition and the cover and height of individuals, are sampled twice yearly (spring and fall) at permanent 1m x 1m plots. The data from these plots is used to build regressions correlating biomass and volume via weights of select harvested species obtained in SEV157, "Net Primary Productivity (NPP) Weight Data." This biomass data is included in SEV205, "Warming-El Nino-Nitrogen Deposition Experiment (WENNDEx): Seasonal Biomass and Seasonal and Annual NPP."

Data set ID: 


Date Range: 

Thursday, February 2, 2006 to Thursday, June 15, 2017

Publication Date: 

Wednesday, September 6, 2017



Additional Project roles: 


Data Manager


Field Crew


Field Crew


Field Crew