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Recreating mesquite mounds (nebkas) in the Colorado Desert
Restoration Notes (2014)
  • David A Bainbridge
Accretion dunes or mounds (also known as nebkas or nebkhas) are formed when plants capture and then are partially buried in wind-blown sand. In the San Felipe drainage in the western Colorado Desert, mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torrey var. torreyana (L. D. Benson) M. C. Johnston)) forms dunes up to 5 m high. These are ecologically important for both ecosystem structure (primarily habitat) and function (soil accumulation, moisture retention and nutrient cycling). The widening of California state highway 86 damaged and removed several mesquite mounds and the California Department of Transportation asked us to explore techniques for recreating them to reduce sediment movement in high winds, enhance soil fertility, promote re-establishment of the original surrounding vegetation, and provide improved habitat. (long article many photos)
  • mesquite,
  • mound,
  • nebka,
  • accretion dune,
  • desert,
  • erosion control
Publication Date
Spring 2014
Citation Information
David A Bainbridge. "Recreating mesquite mounds (nebkas) in the Colorado Desert" Restoration Notes Vol. v2 Iss. n1 (2014)
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