Great Basin Naturalist


Patterns of zonation along a saline meadow slope were studied. Different species associations were distributed in five zones along the slope which paralleled Utah Lake. The five zones, distinguished on the basis of dominant species and/or life form, were: saltgrass–annual weed, saltgrass-alkaligrass, saltgrass-forb, saltgrass, and spikerush. Soil, vegetation, and plant species data were taken. Patterns of change with respect to these factors were observed along the downslope gradient. Soil pH and soluble salts decreased downslope, while organic matter and moisture increased. Individual ions showed varying patterns. Vegetation and species patterns also varied with slope position. Annuals dominated the ridge tops, while sedge and rush cover were restricted to the slope base. Perennial forb distribution was shown to be correlated with elevated levels of micronutrients in the soil.