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Soil‐Vegetation Relationships in the Shadscale Zone of Southeastern Utah
- West, Neil E., Ibrahim, Kamal I.
- Ecology 1968 v.49 no.3 pp. 445-456
- Atriplex confertifolia, Hilaria, basins, bedrock, gravel, habitats, landscapes, sandstone, shale, soil profiles, vegetation, Utah
- Four distinctive units of landscape, soils, and vegetation occurring in a selected area within the shadscale zone of southeastern Utah are designated by the dominant plant species as the Atriplex confertifolia/Hilaria jamesii, Atriplex nuttallii var. nuttallii/Hilaria jamesii, Atriplex nuttallii var. gardneri—Aster xylorhiza, and Atriplex corrugata habitat types. The Atriplex confertifolia/Hilaria jamesii community occurs only on level pediment remnants where coarse—textured and well—developed soil profiles have been derived from sandstone gravel. Soils under this community were non—alkali throughout the profile. They were nonsaline in the surface 2.5 ft but saline at greater depths. A distinct lime zone 9.16 inches thick occurs from 15 to 29 inches below the soil surface. The Atriplex nuttallii var. nuttallii/Hilaria jamesii community occurs on eroded prediment slopes where a shallow A1 vesicular horizon overlies a Ccs massive gypsiferous horizon and altered bedrock of Mancos shale. These profiles are loamy and non—alkali throughout. They are non—saline in the surface 15 inches but saline at greater depths. A gypsiferous horizon 7—17 inches thick occurs from 2 to 4 inches below the soil surface. The Atriplex nuttallii var. gardneri—Aster xylorhiza community occurs on lower Mancos shale badlands. The soil profiles found here are typically fine textured and non—alkali throughout. They are non—saline in the surface 12 inches but saline at greater depths. The Atriplex corrugata community is found in alluvial basins where materials from the other three habitat types have been deposited over Mancos shale. The soils of this habitat type are heavy textured and saline—alkali throughout the profile.