Great Basin Naturalist Memoirs


Two hundred samples of leaves of Lycium andersonii A. Gray, each representing one plant and divided among six different locations, were assayed by emission spectrography. Information for 12 different elements is reported in terms of concentrations, frequency distribution, correlations, and some soil characteristics. The objective was to ascertain the nature of variability for mineral elements within a species. Composition varied significantly for all 12 elements among locations, all within about 20 km. At least part of the variation was due to soil characteristics. Samples from Rock Valley were highest in K, Na, and Li, which effect is associated with volcanic outcrop. Samples from Mercury Valley were highest in P, Mg, Ba, and B. At least Mg is related to the soil composition. Correlation coefficients between element pairs were often very different for all 200 samples versus those obtained for individual locations. Some of the values for all 200 samples together proved to be artifacts. The highest correlation was for Ca × Sr (positive) and next was Ca × Mg (also positive). Most correlations were slightly or strongly positive (24 of 32). Only P × Ca, Ca × Na, Ca × B, and Sr × P seemed to be significantly negative of the 32 correlations examined. Frequency distribution patterns where common populations were grouped were often normally distributed. Li, as previously reported, and Na, Cu, Mn, and B and Ba at some locations were not normally distributed. Wide variations in the concentrations of individual elements in leaves of these species were encountered.