vegetation near desert-roads

C. Owen cjowen at
Thu Sep 26 16:43:17 EST 1996

Sven Baumer wrote:
> Hi!
> This is maybe not the right group, but anyhow...
> I spend my last vacation in Utah, and I observed something very odd:
> The land in Utah is mostly desert (or plains or something) with a
> vegetation that is arid (that is: small, gray plants, if any).
> But near roads, (a stripe about two feet broad), this changes:
> the plants become green, larger and simply more. But they are the same
> plants (probably only better watered)
> The question: Why?
>  3) asphalt and normal desert-soil have different warmth-keeping (???)
>     factors, and at night the micro-climate changes somehow.
> So what is the reason (proably nothing of the above).

	I think you are close on the micro-climate idea.  The road surface does
most likely have a different cooling rate than the surounding desert. 
If this is the case then is it possible that condenstaion on this
surface during night time hours may increase ambiant moisture in the
surrouding soil. 
	i have no idea what the night time humidity is during the season that
you see this situation, so its just a theory.
	Now i wish i lived there, thats a very interesting situation, one worth
more investigation.

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