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Freeze damage to native woody plants was assessed at the same four sites in the lower Rio Grande Valley, Texas, in 1983 and 1989. The number of severely damaged species was greater in 1989 possibly because temperatures in 1989 were lower and longer in duration below freezing versus 1983. Thirty0five species (48.6%) had the same damage index value for the two freezes, and 24 (33.3%) species showed no damage in either year. More than half of the 72 species analyzed (55.5% in 1983 and 51.3% in 1989) showed no damage or only leaf damage, indicating most of the native woody species are well adapted to survive periodic freezes. In 1989, Avicennia germinans, Cordia boissieri, Leucaena pulverulenta, Karwinskia humboldtiana, and Pithecellobium pallens included individuals killed to their bases. Heights of some of the L. pulverulenta exceeded 10 m. All species showed evidence of recovery by spring 1990.

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The Southwestern Naturalist



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Biology Commons



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