Advertisement

The Effect of Vehicle Use on Desert Vegetation

  • Earl W. Lathrop
Part of the Springer Series on Environmental Management book series (SSEM)

Abstract

In recent years the delicate desert ecosystem has been challenged by increased use of off-road vehicles (ORVs) (Sheridan, 1979). Families bring dune buggies, motorcycles, and four-wheel-drive vehicles into the desert by the thousands on weekends (Luckenbach, 1975) and this motorized use of the desert has greatly affected the vegetation (Vollmer et al., 1976; Wilshire et al., 1978a, b). The main recreational uses include: (1) motorcycle races, (2) hill climbing, (3) sand dune travel, and (4) trail riding. Associated with these activities are “pit areas” where racers, hill climbers, ORV drivers, and spectators park their vehicles. After several gatherings the pit area is usually bare of vegetation and the soil is greatly compacted (Fox, 1973; Davidson and Fox, 1974; Wilshire and Nakata, 1976, 1977).

Keywords

Aerial Photograph Perennial Grass Hill Climbing Mojave Desert Desert Vegetation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

Preview

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

References

  1. Brower, J. E., and J. H. Zar. 1977. Field and Laboratory Methods for General Ecology. Wm. C. Brown Co., Dubuque, Iowa, 194 pp.Google Scholar
  2. Davidson, E., and M. Fox. 1975. Effects of off-road motorcycle activity on Mojave Desert vegetation and soil. Madrono 22:381–412.Google Scholar
  3. Duck, T. 1978. The effects of off-road vehicles on vegetation in Dove Springs Canyon. Unpublished Report, Department of Biology, University of Redlands, Redlands, California, 12 pp.Google Scholar
  4. Fox, M. 1973. Compaction of soil by off-road vehicles at three sites in the Mojave Desert. In: K. H. Berry (Ed.), Preliminary Studies of the Effects of Off-Road Vehicles on the Northwestern Mojave Desert: A Collection of Papers. Privately publ., Ridgecrest, California, pp. 1–13.Google Scholar
  5. Horsley, C. E. 1979. Plant response to the Barstow to Las Vegas motorcycle race of November, 1974. Unpublished M.A. thesis, Loma Linda University, Loma Linda, California, 87 pp.Google Scholar
  6. Johnson, H. B. 1976. Vegetation and plant communities of southern California Deserts-a functional view. In: J. Latting (Ed.), Plant Communities of Southern California. California Native Plant Society Special Publication 2, Riverside, California, pp. 125–162.Google Scholar
  7. Keefe, J., and K. H. Berry. 1973. Effects of off-road vehicles on desert shrubs at Dove Springs Canyon. In: K. H. Berry (Ed.), Preliminary Studies on the Effects of Off-Road Vehicles on the Northwestern Mojave Desert: A Collection of Papers. Privately publ., Ridgecrest, California, pp. 45–57.Google Scholar
  8. Kuhn, M. W. 1974. Environmental effects of off-road vehicles on the Kelso Dunes. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the California Council for Geological Education, Bakersfield, California, May 5, 1974.Google Scholar
  9. Lathrop, E. W. 1978. Plant response parameters to recreational vehicles in the California Desert Conservation Area. Final report, Contract CA-060-CT7-2824, Desert Plan Program, U.S. Bureau of Land Management, Riverside, California. Looseleaf, 240 pp.Google Scholar
  10. Luckenbach, R. A. 1975. What the ORVs are doing to the desert. Fremontia 2:3–11.Google Scholar
  11. Rowlands, P. G., J. Adams, H. B. Johnson, and A. Endo. 1980. Experiments on the effects of soil compaction on establishment, cover and pattern of winter and summer annuals in the Mojave Desert. In: P. G. Rowlands (Ed.), The Effects of Disturbance on Desert Soils, Vegetation, and Community Processes with Emphasis on Off-Road Vehicles; A Critical Review. U.S. Dept. of Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Desert Plan Staff Special Publication, pp. 135–164.Google Scholar
  12. Sheridan, D. 1979. Off-Road Vehicles on Public Land. Council on Environmental Quality. U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington, D.C., 84 pp.Google Scholar
  13. Thorne, R. F. 1976. The vascular plant communities of California. In: J. Latting (Ed.), Plant Communities of Southern California. California Native Plant Society Special Publication 2, Riverside, California, pp. 1–31.Google Scholar
  14. U.S. Bureau of Land Management. 1975. Evaluation Report, 1974 Barstow-Las Vegas motorcycle race. U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Land Management, Riverside, California, 130 pp.Google Scholar
  15. Vollmer, A. T., B. G. Maza, P. A. Medica, F. B. Turner, and Sa. A. Bamberg. 1976. The impact of off-road vehicles on a desert ecosystem. Environ. Management 1(2):115–129.Google Scholar
  16. Webb, R. H., and H. G. Wilshire. 1978. A Bibliography on the Effects of Off- Road Vehicles on the Environment. U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 78–149, 38 pp.Google Scholar
  17. Whittaker, R. H. 1972. Evolution and measurement of species diversity. Taxon 21:213–251.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Whittaker, R. H. 1975. Communities and Ecosystems. MacMillian Publishing Co., Inc., New York, pp. 1–385.Google Scholar
  19. Wilshire, H. G., and J. K. Nakata. 1976. Off-road vehicle effects on California’s Mojave Desert. Calif. Geol. 29:123–132.Google Scholar
  20. Wilshire, H. G., and J. K. Nakata. 1977. Erosion of off-road vehicle sites in southern California. In: K. Berry (Ed.), Proceedings of the Symposium on the Physical, Biological, and Recreational Impacts of Off-Road Vehicles on the California Desert. Southern California Academy of Sciences Special Publication (unpublished).Google Scholar
  21. Wilshire, H. G., J. K. Nakata, S. Shipley, and K. Prestegaard. 1978a. Impacts of vehicles on natural terrain at seven sites in the San Francisco Bay Area. Environ. Geol. 2:295–319.Google Scholar
  22. Wilshire, H. G., S. Shipley, and J. K. Nakata. 1978b. Impacts of off-road vehicles on vegetation. Transactions of the 43rd North American Wildlife and Natural Resources Conference, 1978, Wildlife Management Institute, Washington, D.C.,pp. 131–139.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc. 1983

Authors and Affiliations

  • Earl W. Lathrop

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations