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Abstract Detail

Geology and Plant Life: the growing legacy of Arthur Kruckeberg

O'Dell, Ryan E. [1].

Strict vertic clay endemic flora of the Inner South Coast Ranges, California.

In his book, Introduction to California Soils and Plants, Art Kruckeberg identified the following substrates as principal contributors to edaphic endemism in California with the highest number of species to lowest following as – serpentine (285), granite (109), clay (94), carbonate (90), volcanic (88), alkaline (62), gabbro (20), sandstone (16), shale (10), and gypsum (1). While the extreme physical and chemical characteristics of serpentine substrates and its influence on the flora it supports has been well-studied in California, the edaphic ecology of other extreme substrates such as clay, have been scarcely studied. Areas of vertic clay soils are common throughout the Inner South Coast Ranges of California. These soils are derived from acidic, saline marine shale and composed primarily of high shrink-swell smectite clay that is often sodic. The soil absorbs much water during winter rainfall and dries during the summer to form deep cracks. Although the seasonal shrink-swell cycles (argilliturbation) of the vertic clay soils prevent most perennial plant species from establishing, a diverse suite of annual plant species have adapted and evolved to become strict edaphic endemics on the extremely stressful substrate. This study introduces the strict vertic clay edaphic endemic flora of the Inner South Coast Ranges and presents a newly discovered species of Extriplex (Chenopodiaceae) that is a local strict endemic to extremely sodic vertic clay soils.

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1 - Bureau of Land Management, Central Coast Field Office, 940 2nd Avenue, Marina, CA, 93933, USA

edaphic endemism
vertic clay
rare plant

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY4, Geology and plant life: the growing legacy of Arthur Kruckeberg
Location: Fort Worth Ballroom 5/Omni Hotel
Date: Tuesday, June 27th, 2017
Time: 4:15 PM
Number: SY4008
Abstract ID:255
Candidate for Awards:None

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