24578 – Ecology of the Pumice Desert

Investigator’s Annual Reports (IAR’s) for Crater Lake National Park

Ecology of the Pumice Desert


Report Number: 24578

Reporting Year: 2002

Permit Number: CRLA-2002-SCI-0005

Date Received: Mar 27, 2003

Principal Investigator: Ms Elizabeth Horn, 12235 Marina Loop, West Yellowstone, MT

Additional investigator(s): Bill Hoplins, Dr. Fred Hall, Kirk M. Horn

Park-assigned Study Id. #: CRLA-00005

Permit Expiration Date: Aug 30, 2002

Permit Start Date: Aug 20, 2002

Study Starting Date: Aug 20, 2002

Study Ending Date: Aug 30, 2002

Study Status: Continuing

Activity Type: Inventory

Subject/Discipline: Ecology (Aquatic, Marine, Terrestrial)

Objectives: Research on the Pumice Desert was initiated in 1965 to determine the factors impeding plant succession.

Findings and Status: By comparing the composition of the plots from 1965 through 2002 it is clear that succession is indeed proceeding. While the herbaceous vegetation has not shown much change, the 100-acre tree plot has shown a substantial increase in lodgepole pine numbers. The tabulations were submitted in 2000. This summer all permanent plot markers were given GPS coordinates (these are being sent directly to the Park). On-going investigation into the cause of the multiple stemmed trees that dominate the Pumice Desert is showing that while seedlings appear normal, with a single stem, the apical meristem is injured while the tree is young. The result is a tree with multiple trunks. This form dominates the Pumice Desert while trees in the surrounding lodgepole pine forest are normal, single-stemmed, trees.
All plots were re-photographed during August, 2002.

For this study, were one or more specimens collected and removed from the park but not destroyed during analyses? No

Funding provided this reporting year by NPS: 0

Funding provided this reporting year by other sources: 0

Full name of college or university: n/a

Annual funding provided by NPS to university or college this reporting year: 0


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