Effects of Nuclear Testing on Desert Vegetation

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Science  05 Jan 1962:
Vol. 135, Issue 3497, pp. 38-40
DOI: 10.1126/science.135.3497.38


Detonation of fission-type nuclear devices results in an inner circle of complete denudation of desert shrub vegetation, often about 0.5 mi in radius, surrounded by a zone of partial and selective destruction which is variable in width. The gross injury to vegetation appears to be attributable to mechanical and thermal effects. Successional change in the composition of the vegetation, due to invasion by plants of pioneer character, is taking place in all disturbed areas.

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