An ecological study of the vegetation of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge, Box Elder County, Utah Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/zg64tq092

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  • During the summers of 1971, 1972, and 1973, a general floristic ecological survey of the naturally-occurring vegetation of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge in Utah was carried out. Ten community types were identified and characterized. These included two aquatic communities, the Potamogeton pectinatus (Pope) and the Ruppia maritima/ Zannichellia palustris (Ruma/Zapa) communities. There were also three typically emergent communities, the Scirpus acutus (Scac), Typha latifolia (Tyla), and Scirpus maritimus paludosus (Scma) communities. And finally, there were five basically terrestrial communities, the Distichlis spicata stricta (Disp), Distichlis spicata stricta/Hordeum jubatum (Disp/Hoju), Salicornia europaea rubra (Saeu), Agropyron cristatum/Atriplex/Sacrobatus vermiculatus (Agcr/ At/Save), and Suaeda depressa/Bassia hyssopifolia/Lepidium perfoliatum (Sude/Bahy/Lepe) communities. The ten communities characterized were interrelated and related to the two apparently overriding environmental factors, soil moisture and soil salinity. The mean soil moisture of the ten communities ranged from wet to dry as follows: Pope, Ruma/Zapa, Scma, Scac, Tyla, Disp, Sude/ Bahy/Lepe, Saeu, Disp/Hoju, Agcr/At/Save. When the ten communities were arranged from mean high to low salinity, they fell in the following order: Saeu, Sude/Bahy/Lepe, Ruma/Zapa, Scma, Disp, Pope, Tyla, Disp/Hoju, Scac, Agcr/ At/Save. The total known flora of the Bear River Refuge has increased from 92 species in 1935 to 160 species in 1972. The increase came largely as a result of the introduction of "exotics" from surrounding areas. The three largest families in 1935 were (1) Compositae, (2) Chenopodiaceae, and (3) Gramineae. In 1972 the three largest families were (1) Compositae, (2) Gramineae, and (3) Chenopodiaceae. Based on trends of vegetative development and a continuation of present management practices, coupled with a further amelioration of edaphic conditions, as new silt and a supply of relatively fresh water continue, a further increase in species diversity is predicted.
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