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The role of the cyanobacterium Microcoleus vaginatlls in cold-desert soil crusts is investigated using scanning electron microscopy. Crusts from sandstone-, limestone-, and gypsum-derived soils are examined. When dry, polysaccharide sheath material from this cyanobacterium can be seen winding through and across all three types of soil surfaces, attaching to and binding soil particles together. When wet, sheaths and living filaments can be seen absorbing water, swelling and covering soil surfaces even more extensively. Addition of negatively charged material, found both as sheath material and attached clay particles, may affect cation exchange capacity of these soils as well. As a result of these observations, we...
Late Quaternary-age arthropods were recovered from dry cave deposits and packrat middens located in the Grand Canyon, Canyonlands, and Glen Canyon region of the Colorado Plateau. This Quaternary data resource has not been analyzed before from the Colorado Plateau national parks. Radiocarbon dates on the various deposits containing arthropods range from 1510 to 30,660 yr B.P. The fossil assemblages yielded 57 identified taxa of insects, arachnids, and millipedes, including 15 taxa taken to the species level. The information from the fossil insect record of the Colorado Plateau is not yet sufficiently detailed to permit precise paleoenvironmental reconstructions. However, preliminary conclusions suggest a cooler,...
The exotic shrub Tamarix ramosissima (saltcedar) has replaced the native Populus fremontii (cottonwood) along many streams in southwestern United States. We used a controlled outdoor experiment to examine the influence of river salinity on germination and first-year survival of P. fremontii var. wislizenii (Rio Grande cottonwood) and T. ramosissima on freshly deposited alluvial bars. We grew both species from seed in planters of sand subjected to a declining water table and solutions containing 0, 1, 3, and 5 times the concentrations of major ions in the Rio Grande at San Marcial, NM (1.2, 10.0, 25.7, and 37.4 meq l super(-1); 0.11, 0.97, 2.37, and 3.45 dS m super(-1)). Germination of P. fremontii declined by 35%...

    map background search result map search result map Late quaternary arthropods from the Colorado Plateau, Arizona and Utah Late quaternary arthropods from the Colorado Plateau, Arizona and Utah