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Title: Status of the flora and fauna on the Nevada Test Site: Results of continuing basic environmental research, January--December 1987

Abstract

In 1987, three pristine sites in the Mojave Desert and Mojave-Great Basin transition zone were selected as ''pristine'' plots. They were surveyed and gridded for animal studies, and perennial plants were measured. In addition, ephemeral and perennial plants, lizards, and mammals were sampled on a two-year-old burned area in Yucca Flat and perennial plants measured on a one-year-old burned site in Mid Valley. On the five areas sampled, there were a total of 29 perennial plant species measured on belt transects. Cover on undisturbed areas varied from 22 to 38 percent as ranging from 3010 to 5580 kg-dry wt/ha on pristine sites and from 40 to 127 kg/ha on burned areas. Plant density varied from one to four plants per square meter. Perennial plants on the two burned areas considered largely of species which resprout from below-ground after a fire. Desert ephemeral plants were sampled on six sites, and species were also recorded on five plots in Yucca Flat. Of 36 species recorded, by far the most common was Bromus rubens, a European species introduced to the western United States in the late 19th century. It was present on all sites, but at low density on the dry sandy soilsmore » of Jackass Flats. Comparison with data of Dr. Beatley suggests its density in rock valley had increased from less than ten per square meter in the 1960s to greater than 500 per square meter in 1987. 101 refs., 15 figs., 31 tabs.« less

Authors:
;
Publication Date:
Research Org.:
Reynolds Electrical and Engineering Co., Inc., Las Vegas, NV (USA). Environment and Health Div.
OSTI Identifier:
6055728
Report Number(s):
DOE/NV/10630-2
ON: DE89011307
DOE Contract Number:
AC08-84NV10327
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: Portions of this document are illegible in microfiche products
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
12 MANAGEMENT OF RADIOACTIVE AND NON-RADIOACTIVE WASTES FROM NUCLEAR FACILITIES; 11 NUCLEAR FUEL CYCLE AND FUEL MATERIALS; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; UNDERGROUND DISPOSAL; NEVADA TEST SITE; SITE SURVEYS; PLANTS; INVENTORIES; WILD ANIMALS; TAXONOMY; BIOLOGY; MANAGEMENT; MATERIALS; NATIONAL ORGANIZATIONS; RADIOACTIVE MATERIALS; RADIOACTIVE WASTES; US DOE; US ORGANIZATIONS; WASTE DISPOSAL; WASTE MANAGEMENT; WASTES; 052002* - Nuclear Fuels- Waste Disposal & Storage; 053000 - Nuclear Fuels- Environmental Aspects

Citation Formats

Hunter, R.B., and Medica, P.A.. Status of the flora and fauna on the Nevada Test Site: Results of continuing basic environmental research, January--December 1987. United States: N. p., 1989. Web.
Hunter, R.B., & Medica, P.A.. Status of the flora and fauna on the Nevada Test Site: Results of continuing basic environmental research, January--December 1987. United States.
Hunter, R.B., and Medica, P.A.. Thu . "Status of the flora and fauna on the Nevada Test Site: Results of continuing basic environmental research, January--December 1987". United States. doi:.
@article{osti_6055728,
title = {Status of the flora and fauna on the Nevada Test Site: Results of continuing basic environmental research, January--December 1987},
author = {Hunter, R.B. and Medica, P.A.},
abstractNote = {In 1987, three pristine sites in the Mojave Desert and Mojave-Great Basin transition zone were selected as ''pristine'' plots. They were surveyed and gridded for animal studies, and perennial plants were measured. In addition, ephemeral and perennial plants, lizards, and mammals were sampled on a two-year-old burned area in Yucca Flat and perennial plants measured on a one-year-old burned site in Mid Valley. On the five areas sampled, there were a total of 29 perennial plant species measured on belt transects. Cover on undisturbed areas varied from 22 to 38 percent as ranging from 3010 to 5580 kg-dry wt/ha on pristine sites and from 40 to 127 kg/ha on burned areas. Plant density varied from one to four plants per square meter. Perennial plants on the two burned areas considered largely of species which resprout from below-ground after a fire. Desert ephemeral plants were sampled on six sites, and species were also recorded on five plots in Yucca Flat. Of 36 species recorded, by far the most common was Bromus rubens, a European species introduced to the western United States in the late 19th century. It was present on all sites, but at low density on the dry sandy soils of Jackass Flats. Comparison with data of Dr. Beatley suggests its density in rock valley had increased from less than ten per square meter in the 1960s to greater than 500 per square meter in 1987. 101 refs., 15 figs., 31 tabs.},
doi = {},
journal = {},
number = ,
volume = ,
place = {United States},
year = {Thu Feb 09 00:00:00 EST 1989},
month = {Thu Feb 09 00:00:00 EST 1989}
}

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  • This is the final progress report of a Department of Energy (DOE), Nevada operations Office (NV), program to monitor the ecology of the Nevada Test Site (NTS). The eight-year Basic Environmental Compliance and Monitoring Program (BECAMP) included meeting goals of understanding the spatial and temporal changes of plants and animals on the NTS, and determining the effects of DOE operations on those plants and animals. Determination of the changes was addressed through monitoring the most common plant and animal species at undisturbed (baseline) plots located in the major NTS valleys and mesas. One plot in Yucca Flat, the site ofmore » most nuclear weapons tests, was monitored annually, while other baseline plots were censused on a three- or four-year cycle. Effects of DOE operations were examined at sites of major disturbances, related to both DOE operations and natural disturbance mechanisms, censused on a three-year cycle. This report concentrates on work completed in 1994.« less
  • This report documents changes in the populations of plants and animals on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) for calendar year 1992. It is part of a Department of Energy (DOE) program (Basic Environmental Compliance and Monitoring Program -- BECAMP) that also includes monitoring DOE compliance with the Endangered Species Act, the Historic Preservation Act, and the American Indian Freedom of Religion Act. Ecological studies were to comply with the National Environmental Policy Act and DOE Order 5400.1, ``General Environmental Protection Program.`` These studies focused on the following: status of ephemeral plants on the Nevada Test Site, 1992; status of reptilemore » and amphibian populations on the Nevada Test Site, 1992; trends in small mammal populations on the Nevada Test Site, 1992; status of large mammals and birds at Nevada Test Site, 1992; and status of perennial plants on the Nevada Test Site, 1992.« less
  • In 1987 the US Department of Energy (DOE) initiated a program to monitor the health of the Nevada Test Site (NTS) plants and animals in support of the National Environmental Protection Act. The program, part of DOE`s Basic Environmental Compliance and Monitoring Program (BECAMP), monitors perennial and ephemeral plants, the more common species of rodents and lizards, and the horses, deer, raptors and other large animals on the NTS. This is a report of data collected on these flora and fauna for the year 1988, the second year of monitoring.
  • This report provides the results of monitoring of plants and animals on the Nevada Test Site during calendar year 1993. Monitoring was accomplished under the Department of Energy`s Basic Environmental Compliance and Monitoring Program, initiated in 1987. The program looks at both baseline study areas, chosen to represent undisturbed conditions as much as possible, and areas disturbed by Department of energy (DOE) activities or natural phenomena. DOE disturbances studied include areas blasted by above-ground nuclear tests before 1962, subsidence craters created by underground nuclear tests, road maintenance activities, areas cleared for drilling, and influences of man-made water sources. Natural phenomenamore » studied include recovery from range fires, effects of introduced species, damage to plants by insect outbreaks, and effects of weather fluctuations. In 1993 disturbances examined included several burned areas and roadsides, a drill pad on Pahute Mesa, introduced grasses and shrub removal effects on ephemeral plants, and effects on pine trees of an infestation of pinyon needle scale insects.« less
  • This volume includes six reports of monitoring work to determine the status of and trends in flora and fauna populations on the Nevada Test Site (NTS) from 1989 through 1991. The Nevada Operations Office of the US Department of Energy supported monitoring under its Basic Environmental Compliance and Monitoring Program (BECAMP) since 1987. Under this program several undisturbed baseline plots, and numerous plots in disturbed areas, are sampled on annual or three-year cycles. Perennial plant populations, ephemeral plants, small mammals, reptiles, birds, and large mammals were monitored. Monitoring results are reported for five baseline sites, one from each major landformmore » on the NTS (Jackass Flats, Frenchman Flat, Yucca Flat, Pahute Mesa, and Rainier Mesa), and for areas cleared of vegetation by fires, atmospheric nuclear weapons tests, construction, and gophers. Roadside flora and fauna were studied at two locations, and several historical study plots around the NTS were recensused to determine vegetation changes over long time spans. Three subsidence craters resulting from below-ground nuclear weapons tests were also studied. A major influence on plants and animals during the report period was a severe drought during 1989 and 1990, followed by more moderate drought in 1991.« less