Abstract Detail



Symbioses: Plant, Animal, and Microbe Interactions

Kuestersteffen, Landon [1], Antoninka, Anita [2], Bailey, Lydia [3], Bowker, Matthew [4].

Restoration of endemic gypsophiles in the Mojave Desert using soil communities and nurse plants.

In the Mojave desert ecological restoration is challenging, but necessary to restore degraded landscapes and ecological function. The gypsum soils in the Mojave Desert support unique endemic plant and soil communities, including the Nevada Endangered Species, Arctomecon californica (Las Vegas bearpoppy). These systems occur in the the Las Vegas Basin and are particularly threatened due to urban expansion and mining activity. Developing methods to restore these unique plant communities in degraded areas is critical to protecting them. We hypothesized that biocrusts, mycorrhizal fungi, and overstory nurse plants might be key to establishment of endemic species of concern.. To assess the effects of these factors on the germination of Las Vegas bearpoppy and another BLM Sensitive Species,  Enceliopsis argophylla (silverleaf sunray), we designed and implemented a greenhouse-based mesocosm experiment with live, dead or no biocrust and shrub seedlings grown with live or sterile local soil. Seeds of the sunray and bearpoppy were added on the surface after treatments were applied. Mesocosms have been monitored for germination and plant height.  Nurse plants included three species of shrubs, Larrea tridentata, Ambrosia dumosa, and Atriplex confertifolia, that were grown in conetainers for ~6 months prior to transplanting. Ambrosia dumosa grew much better with mycorrhizal fungi, whereas Larrea tridentata and Atriplex confertifolia did not. The presence of live or dead biocrust increased germination rates of Enceliopsis argophylla. This information will be useful to improve restoration of sensitive species by land managers in the future.


1 - Northern Arizona University, Forestry, 200 S Pine Knoll Drive, Flagstaff, AZ, 86001, United States
2 - Northern Arizona University, NAU School of Forestry, 200 E Pine Knoll Dr, room 116, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011, United States
3 - Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry, 200 E Pine Knoll Dr, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011, USA
4 - Northern Arizona University, School of Forestry, 200 E. Pine Knoll, Box 15018, Flagstaff, AZ, 86011, United States

Keywords:
biocrust
mycorhizae.

Presentation Type: Poster This poster will be presented at 5:30 pm. The Poster Session runs from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Posters with odd poster numbers are presented at 5:30 pm, and posters with even poster numbers are presented at 6:15 pm.
Number: PSM009
Abstract ID:956
Candidate for Awards:None


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