Invasions of Exotic Plants:
Implications for the Desert Tortoise, Gopherus agassizii,
and Its Habitat in the Western Mojave Desert


Department of Biology, University of Texas, Arlington, TX 76019, USA

Current address:  Department of Zoology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX 78712, USA

        ABSTRACT:  Populations of the desert tortoise, Gopherus agassizii, in the western Mojave Desert of California have declined precipitously over the past few decades.  Many factors may be associated with the ongoing decline, including the anthropogenically induced proliferation of exotic plants.  Exotic plant invasions may negatively affect tortoises by reducing or eliminating important food plants through competition, by altering tortoise nutrition, and by altering the landscape through fire.

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