Award Date

Spring 2004

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor of Science

Department

Environmental Science

Advisor 1

Dr. Patrick Drohan, Assistant Professor Department of Environmental Studies

Number of Pages

25

Abstract

A. californica can be considered a rare endemic species, which is believed to be restricted by unique soil relationships. These relationships make the species vulnerable to anthropogenic habitat disturbance. Although A. californica is listed as critically endangered by the state of Nevada, further research is needed before the species can be listed as federally endangered or threatened. This study used primary observational data and secondary GIS compatible data to characterize A. californica habitat. Representative sampling techniques were used to select observations from derived soil types. Although a majority of A. californica populations were found to occur in gypsic soil types, 34.6% were found to occur in limestone soils. This result contradicts previous research, which has characterized A. californica as a gypsic obligate species. Primary observations were analyzed using the full dataset of 2,575 observations. Cryptogam cover, aspect and elevation were all found to be significantly related to A. californica relative abundance. It was also discovered that 96% of A. californica populations occur at elevations close to 600 meters. This study needs to be reinforced by on the ground field research and its main goal is to provide future studies with a foundation for further research.

Keywords

Desert plants; Habitat conservation; Las Vegas Valley (Nev.); Nevada; Papaveraceae; Poppies; Rare plants; Soils classification; Soils composition

Disciplines

Desert Ecology | Environmental Indicators and Impact Assessment | Environmental Sciences | Natural Resources and Conservation | Plant Sciences

Language

English