Sample depth Artemisia Bare ground Sarcobatus
(cm) tridentata vermiculatus 0-5 2.6 3.2 41.3 5-15 2.9 2.5 33.9 15-40 3.7 2.0 26.7 40-63 8.9 8.5 26.5 63-80 14.4 19.7 30.2
In the solonchak and salt-clay deserts of North America, the subshrubby chenopod known as greasewood (Sarcobatus
vermiculatus) may be very abundant.
Although the signature (Shantz, 1923; Lauenroth et al., 2008) and dominant species of the shortgrass steppe is blue grama (Bouteloua gracilis), in southeastern Colorado short-grass steppe consists of a mosaic of plant communities that include mixed grass-shrublands containing woody plants such as sandsage (Artemisia filifolia), rabbitbrush (Ericameria nauseosa) and black greasewood (Sarcobatus
vermiculatus), as well as other grass species such as galleta grass (Pleuraphis jamesii), three-awn (Aristida purpurea) and species of dropseed (Sporobolus) including alkali sacaton (S.
The different species of Atriplex are not only associated with each other but also with other relatively halophilous species such as the sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) at higher altitudes and the big greasewood (Sarcobatus
vermiculatus) in areas where only the topsoil is highly saline.
Shrub-steppe was characterized by juniper (Juniper osteosperma), big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), greasewood (Sarcobatus
vermiculatus), horsebrush (Tetradymia glabrata) and viscid rabbit brush (Chrysothamnus viscidiflorus).
Study sites were located in salt desert vegetation dominated by shadscale (Atriplex confertifolia) and Bailey's greasewood (Sarcobatus
vermiculatus baileyi), with winterfat (Kraschen-innikovia lanata) in the shrub layer.