skip to main content

Title: 1983 biotic studies of Yucca Mountain, Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada

A 27.5-square-mile portion of Yucca Mountain on and adjacent to the US Department of Energy`s Nevada Test Site, Nye County, Nevada, is being considered as a potential location for a national high-level radioactive waste repository. Preliminary geologic and environmental characterization studies have been supported and more extensive studies are planned. Goals of the biotic surveys were to identify species of concern, describe major floral and faunal associations, and assess possible impacts of characterization and operational activities. Floral associations observed were characteristic of either the Mojave or Transition deserts that are widely distributed in southern Nevada. Diversity, in terms of total number of perennial species represented, was higher in Transition Desert associations than in Mojave Desert associations. Canopy coverage of associations fell within the range of reported values, but tended to be more homogeneous than expected. Annual vegetation was found to be diverse only where the frequency of Bromus rubens was low. Ground cover of winter annuals, especially annual grasses, was observed to be very dense in 1983. The threat of range fires on Yucca Mountain was high because of the increased amount of dead litter and the decreased amount of bare ground. Significant variability was observed in the distribution andmore » relative abundance of several small mammal species between 1982 and 1983. Desert tortoise were found in low densities comparable with those observed in 1982. Evidence of recent activity, which included sighting of two live tortoises, was found in five areas on Yucca Mountain. Two of these areas have a high probability of sustaining significant impacts if a repository is constructed. Regeneration of aboveground shrub parts from root crowns was observed in areas damaged in 1982 by seismic testing with Vibroseis machines. These areas, which had been cleared to bare dirt by passage of the machines, also supported lush stands of winter annuals.« less
Authors:
;
Publication Date:
OSTI Identifier:
59080
Report Number(s):
EGG/10282--2031
ON: DE84017360
DOE Contract Number:
AC08-83NV10282
Resource Type:
Technical Report
Resource Relation:
Other Information: PBD: Apr 1984
Research Org:
EG and G, Inc., Goleta, CA (United States). Energy Measurements Group
Country of Publication:
United States
Language:
English
Subject:
05 NUCLEAR FUELS; 54 ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCES; YUCCA MOUNTAIN; BASELINE ECOLOGY; PLANTS; WILD ANIMALS; SPECIES DIVERSITY; COMMUNITIES; ABUNDANCE; HIGH-LEVEL RADIOACTIVE WASTES; RADIOACTIVE WASTE DISPOSAL; SITE CHARACTERIZATION; Yucca Mountain Project