A biological inventory of nematodes from Joshua Tree National Park springs and oases


Joshua Tree National Park is home to a desert ecosystem, which also includes several freshwater ecosystems , natural and man-made, that become inundated in the winter and spring or from natural underground springs . Animals in search of water as well as park visitors are frequent visitors to these habitats, which are only a short walk or hike from nearby parking, picnic, or campground areas. Thus, making these vital freshwater habitats areas of high foot traffic and succeptible to habitat destruction.

We are conducting an exploratory survey in JTNP desert freshwater habitats in an effort to create a comprehensive list of nematode species from springs, oases, and man-made reservoirs. Species diversity will be examined to better understand the soil fauna present. Collected specimens will also be used for two different identification systems 1) DNA barcoding and 2) an online point-and-click pictorial key to JTNP nematodes to assist non-experts with identifcations of nematodes from Joshua Tree.


Source of support

Joshua Tree National Park Graduate Student Research Grant - generously funded through donations from the Joshua Tree National Park Association and the Lee Family Foundation.


January 10, 2007 - December 31, 2008

Project team



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