Ghost Towns Tell Tales of Ecological Boom and Bust

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Science  06 Oct 2000:
Vol. 290, Issue 5489, pp. 35-37
DOI: 10.1126/science.290.5489.35

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Scarred desert ecosystems are recovering at the sites of some abandoned boomtowns, but are slow to heal at others. Soil age appears to be the key difference; younger soils seem better able to bounce back from insults than older soils. The emerging data could help the managers of the Mojave's six military bases and four national parks make ecologically sound management decisions.