Most members of the genus Puccinellia are endemic to highly saline or mineralized soils, with all members being found on some saturated, saline, or alkaline substrate. Puccinellia howellii is the dominant vegetation found in this specific series of mineral seeps. They have Cl- (Chloride) concentrations up to 10.8 g/l, and high Na+ (Sodium) concentrations. (Davis 1990).High levels of soil salinity impose extreme stresses on plants by lowering water availability in the soil. The accumulation of toxic ions such as sodium, chloride, and magnesium can disrupt plant metabolism. Saline soils often have low fertility, due to limited nitrogen. Research has shown that many halophytes (plants that grow in saline conditions) are able to grow on non-saline media, but under natural conditions they are restricted to high saline areas due to an inability to compete with other species (Bacca 1995).Howell's alkaligrass reproduces only by seed (Bacca, 1995). The plants must grow for two years before they are able to flower and produce seed. Seed can be dispersed both by water flow and by animals such as the black-tailed deer and the band-tailed pigeon (Fulgham et al. 1997). After flowering, the plants gradually die back (Stacey 2001). After the fall rains begin, the water in the springs is diluted and germination is possible. Vegetative growth occurs primarily in the fall, winter, and spring (Oct.-May) when temperatures are cool and salt concentrations are moderate. The plants go though a period of relative dormancy and/or senescence during the hottest summer months (June-Sept.) when evaporation leads to high salt concentrations (Fulgham et al. 1997). Howell's alkaligrass grows best (as large, monotypic stands) in developed soil with a permanent supply of mineralized water. In less developed soils they occur in smaller clumps or as scattered individuals. They have even been observed growing in vertical rock walls where water seeps occur.Distichlis spicata (saltgrass) also grows in the salt spring area. It is native to California, but can be very invasive. It is an aggressive, warm-season grass that spreads via rhizomes and can rapidly colonize an area. Saltgrass is able to grow in high salt concentrations because its roots and leaves are able to extrude salts and its roots can selectively take up ions. In addition, its rhizomes can spread great distances both vertically and horizontally, allowing it to take resources from a large area (Bacca 1995). There is concern that this species may eventually out-compete and exclude P. howellii from the area (Bacca 1995). Additionally, saltgrass is considered poor forage, and may not be as palatable for deer as Puccinellia howellii (USDA 2001). Saltgrass is found at all three springs, but it is only considered invasive in the disturbed portions of the spring (Stacey 2001). D. spicata is not as tolerant of inundation as P. howellii is, indicating that it may be possible to control invasion by lowering the grade of the area so that spring seepage would occur year-round (Fulgham et al. 1997).