Abstract Detail


Bales, Nora [1], Pressler, Yamina [2].

Investigating the relationship between biological soil crusts and crusts and a federally threatened plant (Hooveria purpurea var. purpurea) found on California's Central Coast.

Purple amole, Hooveria purpurea var. purpurea, is a threatened Californian endemic plant known from only four populations, all on Department of Defense lands. The largest of these four populations occurs at Camp Roberts, a California Army National Guard Training Site. Prior field studies of purple amole have observed greater purple amole plant density in populations associated with biological soil crusts, 'biocrusts'. Biocrusts perform important ecological functions in arid ecosystems worldwide, including soil stabilization, water retention, and nitrogen fixation. The objective of this study is to understand the relationship between purple amole density and biocrust presence, level of development, and diversity. In 2020, we found a significant positive correlation between purple amole density and biocrust presence (R2=0.45, p<0.05). In the spring of 2021, we collected further data on purple amole density; biocrust cover, composition, and level of development; plant community associates; and a suite of soil variables. Data analysis from this effort is ongoing, with results expected in the late spring of 2022. We expect to find greater purple amole density in areas with more extensive and developed biocrusts. Previous management efforts have focused on strategies to increase purple amole reproductive output without considering other habitat parameters. If purple amole density is truly correlated with biocrust presence, then any future management, conservation, or restoration efforts for this plant must also consider biocrust.

1 - Cal Poly, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 1 Grand Ave., San Luis Obispo, CA, 93405, USA
2 - Cal Poly, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, 1 Grand Ave, San Luis Obispo, CA, 93405, USA

plant-soil interactions

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EC01002
Abstract ID:171
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Paper

Copyright © 2000-2022, Botanical Society of America. All rights reserved