Stress gradient hypothesis explains susceptibility to Bromus tectorum invasion and community stability in North America’s semi-arid Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis ecosystems

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This study tested the stress-gradient hypothesis (SGH) in observations of 75 sites along overlapping water and heat stress and disturbance gradients. As stress-disturbance levels increase, sagebrush-herbaceous plant facilitation levels increase, the landscape will become increasingly aggregated as a product of necessary facilitation between sagebrush and herbaceous plants. This aggregation decreases the individual resilience of the native herbaceous plants, increases the competition from invasive plants, and decreases the overall stability and resilience of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem.