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A grassland at the tipping point near the Jornada LTER site in the mid 1930s
USDA ARS, Jornada Experimental Range archive
Long-term data and vegetation maps from the JRN LTER show thresholds (shown by change in slope of line) in the increase in areal extent of shrubs and decrease in perennial grasses through time. Thresholds occur when the dominant process driving shrub expansion changes, from biotic (recruitment in early 1900s and clonal expansion between 1935-1985) to physical (wind erosion and deposition) leading to dune formation beginning in 1985.