Vargas-Lomelín, J.G.; Macías-Rodríguez, M.Á.; Zarazúa-Villaseñor, P.; Rodríguez-Zaragoza, F.A.; Neri-Luna, C., and Albuquerque, F., 2023. The effect of Prosopis juliflora (Fabaceae) on the physical and chemical properties of coastal dune soil in western Mexico. Journal of Coastal Research, 39(1), 63–72. Charlotte (North Carolina), ISSN 0749-0208.
Prosopis juliflora (Fabaceae) is a dominant legume and potential ecosystem engineer in the dunes of Jalisco, western Mexico. The objective of the present study was to evaluate how P. juliflora modifies soil physical and chemical properties in three coastal dunes that belong to different watersheds. To determine the physical properties of the three sites, soil samples were taken inside the canopy of five P. juliflora trees and five soil samples were taken outside their canopies. The same trees and soil positions regarding the canopy of P. juliflora were considered to determine the chemical properties, but the samples were taken at two different depths. A multidimensional and permutational analysis of variance (PERMANOVA) was performed to evaluate differences in the physical properties among the sites and between the sampling positions relative to the canopy of P. juliflora. This PERMANOVA also evaluated differences among sites, sample depths, and the positions of the samples relative to the P. juliflora canopy. A test of homogeneity of dispersions was performed to determine the data dispersion type, whereas a similarity percentage analysis identified which variables contributed most to the observed differences. A principal coordinate analysis was performed to visualize the differences in the model. The results demonstrated that P. juliflora modified the soil physical properties, specifically the real density, total porosity percentage, and percentages of silt and clay. The soil physical properties also varied significantly among the three sites. In addition, P. juliflora modified the soil chemical properties, increasing the electrical conductivity, pH, and total nitrogen, iron, and available phosphorus content. The results show significant differences between the two soil depths, as well as among sites. Ultimately, this study contributes to understanding of the implications of soil property modifications by plants in coastal dunes, which will give guidelines for managing and conserving these ecosystems.