Spring 2024

Spring 2024
A bee visits an apricot mallow (Sphaeralcea ambigua) flower, collecting tiny grains of pollen. At the Sweeney Granite Mountains Desert Research Center, students quantified insect visits to the mallow and another orange flower, desert mariposa lily (Calochortus kennedyi). The students found that even though the two species are only distantly related, their flowers were visited by similar insect communities. Image credit: Mingxin Samuel.

Seed preference of ants in the Formicidae family and central place foraging affect plant community composition in the Mojave Desert
Amine Osiris Kousba, Humberto Marquez, Rhyn Hammargren

Soil properties of lichen dominated biocrust facilitate lower invasive red brome (Bromus rubens) abundance in the Mojave Desert
Tim Kacius, Kelechi Okwuegbe, Cate Stone

Impact of beetle florivory on floral longevity and pollinator visitation in desert cacti: A comparative study of Opuntia basilaris var. basilaris and Echinocereus engelmannii
Kaelin Campbell, Darryl Pham, Lili Zheng

Buckhorn cholla (Cylindropuntia acanthocarpa) health affects its reproductive strategy
Sugey Garcia Galvan, Angelina Lee, Hailey Sarmiento

Assessing competitive and facilitative interactions of Calochortus kennedyi var. kennedyi (desert mariposa lily) and Sphaeralcea ambigua (apricot mallow) in regard to floral visitation
Mingxin Samuel, Isla Andersen, Keeana Thomas

Nurse plant facilitation of native and invasive plants along a desert landscape gradient
Caroline Cochrane, Katie Dalessi, Neena Semone