Great Basin Naturalist


Size, structure, and habitat characteristics were studied in three populations of Braya humilis var. humilis (C. A. Meyer) Robins, in Gray & Wats. (Brassicaceae), a small, herbaceous perennial of the alpine tundra in central Colorado. There was a significant association between numbers of reproductive, juvenile, and seedling individuals and population location. Plant size within reproductive, juvenile, and seedling size classes varied significantly among three populations. Plots containing Braya had significantly lower total plant cover, a different set of dominant plant species, more rock, bare ground, and less litter than plots without Braya. Braya appears to be restricted to calcareous substrates that experience a moderate level of disturbance, such as solifluction lobes and abandoned roads. Populations are small despite the existence of much potential habitat. Population studies are necessary for active conservation management of Braya.