Plants as indicators of ground water

Water Supply Paper 577



Perhaps the most outstanding feature of the flora of the desert is its relation or lack of relation to the water table. On the one hand are the plants which are adapted to extreme economy of water, which depend on the rains that occur at long intervals for their scanty water supplies, and which during prolonged periods of drought maintain themselves in a nearly dormant condition. These plants are known as xerophytes (from Greek roots meaning "dry plant"). On the other hand are the plants that habitually grow where they can send their roots down to the water table or to the capillary fringe immediately overlying the water table and are thus able to obtain a perennial and secure supply of water. These plants have been called phreatophytes.1 The term is obtained from two Greek roots and means a "well plant." Such a plant is literally a natural well with pumping equipment, lifting water from the zone of saturation.

Publication type Report
Publication Subtype USGS Numbered Series
Title Plants as indicators of ground water
Series title Water Supply Paper
Series number 577
DOI 10.3133/wsp577
Year Published 1927
Language English
Publisher U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location Washingotn, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Utah Water Science Center
Description v, 95 p.
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