An Index of Virgin Land?

Finding an uncommon lizard (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/41468432) near the most abundant cluster of these cacti helps support the supposition that they are found only in area undisturbed by human activity and likely never plowed or graded. If I knew more about the age and growth rate of E. missouriensis that conclusion would be more firm.

But E. missouriensis is not a perfect index of never-disturbed land because it will not grow just anywhere; it needs the caliche graveled slopes of canyonsides and outcrops for their drainage and possibly soul pH. It only seems that E. missouriensis is such an index because virtually every part of the South Plains has been plowed or scraped and developed except in some instances the caliche canyonsides. The Yellowhouse Canyon in the City of Lubbock has mostly in its 130 year history of European occupation been subject to scraping, digging, and filling, except in the few places where E. missouriensis is found.

Posted by thebark thebark, April 06, 2020 14:43

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