Concurrently, not orthogonality

Working on round 3 of a design for understanding the Ephedra-Brome relationship in the Panoche Hills. Based on our discussions I think I want to simplify the project a bit more to the roots. What are the major factors limiting Ephedra growth. Similar to my mechanisms paper, there are different pathways a shrub can facilitation a plant, there are also different pathways Bromus could be affecting Ephedra. Looking at the literature this could be interference, exploration of resources, etc. So why not test it all?

Density series of Brome vs Ephedra. Step one is to resolve whether or not Brome actually limits Ephedra in some way. Then step two is to layer on different factors that could be responsible for changing the relationship or interaction. These include:

– Nutrients

– Soil Moisture

– Shade/light

– Herbivory

– Soil substrate

The big revelation?! Concurrently but not crossed. We have discovered that beyond two interaction terms things start to get murky. What would a significant relationship for nutrients x shade x herbivory mean anyways? Let’s bring back the basics and understand the role of each factor on the Ephedra-Brome interaction independently. Then once we resolve which factors are most relevant we can design a “final” experiment be it in the field or greenhouse that combines these factors together.

This will also give us more insight into growing Ephedra, so even if the Brome link isn’t true we can still get some botany out of this.

Restoring Ephedra is within reach!!