Great Basin Naturalist


Mapping units were developed based on landform, soils, and plant communities for the 40,000 ha of salt desert vegetation located below the maximum level of pluvial Lake Gilbert in Grass Valley, Nevada. Lake plain, beach, and bar features of the pluvial lake provide the dominant landforms. Fine textured lake sediments have produced salt- and Na-affected soils. The distribution and structure of plant communities are related to depth of the groundwater table, fluctuations in this depth, and the salt content of the groundwater. Wind and water erosion combine to continually evolve new environments for colonization by plants in this ecosystem.