Dust Deposition Effects on Growth and Physiology of the Endangered Astragalus jaegerianus (Fabaceae)
Human expansion into the Mojave Desert is a significant threat to rare desert plants. While immediate habitat loss is often the greatest concern, rare plants situated near areas where soil surfaces experience frequent disturbance may be indirectly impacted when fine particulate dust accumulates on leaf surfaces. Remaining populations of the federally listed Astragalus jaegerianus (Lane Mountain milkvetch) occur on land open to expanding military activities and on adjacent public land with increasing recreational use. This study was initiated to determine whether dust accumulation could decrease the vigor and fitness of A. jaegerianus through reduced growth. Beginning in early May 2004, plants located on Bureau of...