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Evidence of edaphic control of endemic plant speciation in southeastern Oregon and southwestern Idaho.

At least 16 vascular plant species are narrowly endemic to southwestern Idaho and adjacent Malheur Co. Oregon. Most of these are located on barren sites often comprised of Miocene volcanic ash. (Mansfield 2010). The purpose of this study was to determine the distributions of endemic plant species and their supporting soil's properties across the boundaries between barren sites and adjacent soils. Density or cover of plant species was measured along replicate transects spanning the boundaries of four different replicated ash-bed types to determine species distributions. All endemic plant species populations observed in the study areas were restricted to the ash outcrops. Soils collected at these four locations and an additional four ash-bed locations were analyzed to compare soil particle content and pH levels across ash barren boundaries. Particle size distributions with one exception did not differ significantly between outcrops and surrounding soils. However, pH differed significantly (p<.018) across boundaries with one exception. Results of the combined plant distribution and soil analyses suggest at least some edaphic selection driving endemic plant speciation on ash-beds.

Brittni Brown (1) and Donald H. Mansfield (1,2)

(1) Department of Environmental Studies, The College of Idaho

(2) Department of Biology, The College of Idaho

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Title Annotation:SESSION P5: FRIDAY, 1:30PM-3:30PM PSUB BEAR RIVER ROOM (312)
Author:Brown, Brittni; Mansfield, Donald H.
Publication:Journal of the Idaho Academy of Science
Article Type:Report
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2013
Words:200
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