Terrestrial Vegetation Inventory of Water Delivery Systems Between San Acacia Diversion and the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge
Terrell T. Baker
Transects parallel and perpendicular to water conveyance structures of the Socorro Division of the Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District were used to characterize vegetation associated with them. Thirty-two plant species were identified in association with canals and drains. Dominant species included willow (19%), johnsongrass (13%), saltgrass (9%), and brome (6%). Willow (60%) and saltcedar (19%) occurred as midstory veggetation in 37% of the area sampled. Drains had higher percentages of ground cover as litter and vegetation than did canals, whereas the latter had higher percentages of bare ground and rock. Dominant species also differed between drains and canals, with willow (28%), saltgrass (13%), and brome (8%) dominant along drains. In contrast, grasses were dominant along canals [Johnsongrass (21%), bristle grass (12%), Canadian wildrye (12%), and scratch grass (10%)]. The willow midstory component along drains represented a greater potential to provide or contribute to fish and wildlife habitat.