Great Basin Naturalist


Vegetation and soil differences with respect to slope position were studied on foothill knolls in the Uinta Basin of Utah. Plant communities on windswept ridges (top of slope) exhibited several unique characteristics when compared to the other slope communities. These communities at the top and base of slopes were sufficiently different in respect to plant life form composition, plant cover, wind-adapted growth forms, and percent exposed rock that they should be considered separate community types. Mineral concentrations in plant tissue and soil samples declined downslope in some cases and increased in others. Diversity decreased downslope as shrubs became dominant over grasses and forbs. Management of these communities should require special consideration due to the changes in the community structure with slope position.