Difference between revisions of "Dynamics of the Black Rock Playa: Relationships between Recreational Use, Physical Processes, and Biological Environments"

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http://oldsite.dri.edu/deesprojects/adams_black_rock.htm
was: http://www.dees.dri.edu/Projects/adams_black_rock.htm, see http://web.archive.org/web/20070214193025/http://www.dees.dri.edu/Projects/adams_black_rock.htm


Dynamics of the Black Rock Playa: Relationships between Recreational Use, Physical Processes, and Biological Environments
Dynamics of the Black Rock Playa: Relationships between Recreational Use, Physical Processes, and Biological Environments

Latest revision as of 06:37, 11 July 2010

http://oldsite.dri.edu/deesprojects/adams_black_rock.htm was: http://www.dees.dri.edu/Projects/adams_black_rock.htm, see http://web.archive.org/web/20070214193025/http://www.dees.dri.edu/Projects/adams_black_rock.htm

Dynamics of the Black Rock Playa: Relationships between Recreational Use, Physical Processes, and Biological Environments

PI: Kenneth D. Adams and Donald W. Sada

Project Period: April 1,2006 - September 30, 2009

Funded by: U.S. Bureau of Land Management

Keywords: Black Rock Desert, playa

Problem Definition

The Black Rock Playa (BRP) in northwestern Nevada is one of the largest, flattest, subaerial surfaces on Earth. A number of large mountain ranges and other areas of natural and cultural interest surround the playa, together forming an expansive area of natural scenic beauty now recognized as the Black Rock Desert–High Rock Canyon National Conservation Area (NCA). Natural attributes of the BRP and surrounding Black Rock Desert are increasingly attractive to a variety of user groups, but the cumulative effects of all of these users are presently unknown.

The BRP at first glance appears as a barren, inhospitable substrate for biological activity. However, there is a variety of aquatic invertebrates that become active when the playa surface floods. The macroinvertebrate fauna of the Black Rock Desert is poorly understood, but it is probably comprised of crustaceans in the Class Branchiopoda and Orders Anostraca (fairy shrimps), Conchostraca (clam shrimps), and Notostraca (tadpole shrimps). These groups all occupy ephemeral lakes and ponds in the western U.S. where adults are aquatic and emerge from cysts that persist for years in dry playa sediments. These organisms are important food sources for migrating birds, and many are narrowly distributed in localized habitats. Virtually nothing is known about BRP Branchiopods, including species composition, distribution, abundance, and their relationships with sediment geology, processes, and chemistry.

This project is addressing specific questions about the dynamic physical processes that occur on the BRP, how these processes affect the ecology of the playa, and how humans are affecting these processes and the BRP.