Arizona Mountains forests

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Arizona Mountains forests
Arizona Mountains Forests map.svg
Ecology
Biome Temperate coniferous forests
Borders Colorado Plateau shrublands, Chihuahuan Desert and Sonoran Desert
Bird species208 [1]
Mammal species123 [1]
Geography
Area109,100 km2 (42,100 sq mi)
CountryUnited States
States Arizona, New Mexico and Texas
Conservation
Habitat loss0.307% [1]
Protected73.78% [1]

The Arizona Mountains forests are a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion of the southwest United States with a rich variety of woodland habitats and wildlife.

Contents

Setting

This is a landscape of steep mountains and high stony plateaus with rocky outcrops from the Kaibab Plateau in northern Arizona south to the Mogollon Plateau and eastwards across into southwestern New Mexico. Elevations range from 1,370 to 3,000 meters (4,490 to 9,840 ft), with some peaks higher than that. Specific areas include the Gila Wilderness in New Mexico. [2]

Flora

Trees of the area include some of the spruce, fir and quaking aspen ( Populus tremuloides ) trees typical of the Rocky Mountains further north along with typically Mexican trees such as Chihuahua pine (Pinus leiophylla), Apache pine ( Pinus engelmannii ) and the Arizona pine of the Gila Wilderness and elsewhere. The lower elevations have a mixed pinyon pine-juniper-oak woodland. Finally the rivers and their banks are important habitats for specific wildlife and fish.

Fauna

Wildlife found here include the miniature northern saw-whet owl and many birds and reptiles that are common in Mexico further south, such as the secretive Montezuma quail. The caves of the Guadalupe Mountains are a specific habitat for beetles, centipedes and other invertebrates.

Threats and preservation

This is a fairly stable ecoregion with about 25% of original habitat still intact although vulnerable to logging and overgrazing. Pollution and reduction of rivers are threatening specific plants and animals including Fremont cottonwood ( Populus fremontii ) and Goodding's willow ( Salix gooddingii ), the threatened Gila trout ( Oncorhynchus gilae ), and the endangered southwestern willow flycatcher (Empidonax traillii extimus). Logging continues to remove habitat of the Mexican spotted owl (Strix occidentalis lucida) and the northern goshawk (Accipiter gentalis).

Large blocks of remaining habitat include: the Aldo Leopold Wilderness/Gila Wilderness/Blue Range Wilderness and the El Malpais National Monument and Conservation Area in southwestern New Mexico; the Kaibab National Forest, Blue Range Primitive Area, Grand Canyon National Park, the Mazatzal Mountains including Four Peaks, Superstition Mountains, Sycamore Canyon, Red Rock-Secret Mountain Wilderness, Hellsgate Wilderness, Pinal Mountains in the Tonto National Forest and the Galiuro Mountains in Arizona; the Chuska Mountains on Navajo lands; and the Guadalupe Mountains including the Carlsbad Caverns in southeastern New Mexico and western Texas. Much of this is linked and well-protected within national parkland.

Related Research Articles

<i>Pinus edulis</i> species of plant

Pinus edulis, the Colorado pinyon, two-needle piñon, pinyon pine, or simply piñon, is a pine in the pinyon pine group whose ancestor was a member of the Madro-Tertiary Geoflora and is native to the United States.

Madrean pine–oak woodlands

The Madrean pine–oak woodlands are an ecoregion of the Tropical and subtropical coniferous forests biome, located in North America. They are subtropical woodlands found in the mountains of Mexico and the southwestern United States.

Northern California coastal forests (WWF ecoregion) WWF Ecoregion

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Sierra Madre Occidental pine–oak forests subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of the Sierra Madre Occidental range

The Sierra Madre Occidental pine–oak forests are a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of the Sierra Madre Occidental range from the southwest USA region to the western part of Mexico. They are home to a large number of endemic plants and important habitat for wildlife.

The Coconino Plateau is found south of the Grand Canyon and north-northwest of Flagstaff, in northern Arizona of the Southwestern United States.

Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests ecoregion in the eastern United States

The Appalachian mixed mesophytic forests is an ecoregion of the temperate broadleaf and mixed forests biome, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund. It consists of mesophytic plants west of the Appalachian Mountains in the Southeastern United States.

Appalachian–Blue Ridge forests ecoregion in the eastern United States

The Appalachian–Blue Ridge forests are an ecoregion in the Temperate broadleaf and mixed forests Biome, in the Eastern United States. The ecoregion is located in the central and southern Appalachian Mountains, including the Ridge-and-Valley Appalachians and the Blue Ridge Mountains. It covers an area of about 61,500 square miles (159,000 km2) in: northeast Alabama and Georgia, northwest South Carolina, eastern Tennessee, western North Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, and central West Virginia and Pennsylvania; and small extensions into Kentucky, New Jersey, and New York.

Gila Wilderness the worlds first wilderness area in the US state of New Mexico

Gila Wilderness was designated the world's first wilderness area on June 3, 1924. Along with Aldo Leopold Wilderness and Blue Range Wilderness, the 558,014 acres (225,820 ha) wilderness is part of New Mexico's Gila National Forest. The wilderness is approximately 27 miles (43 km) from north to south and 39 miles (63 km) east to west. U.S. Wilderness Areas do not allow motorized or mechanized vehicles, including bicycles. Camping and fishing are allowed with proper permit, but no roads, buildings, logging, or mining are permitted. Wilderness areas within National Forests and Bureau of Land Management areas allow hunting in season.

New England/Acadian forests Ecoregion (WWF)

The New England-Acadian forests are a temperate broadleaf and mixed forest ecoregion that includes a variety of habitats on the hills, mountains and plateaus of New England in the Northeastern United States and Quebec and the Maritime Provinces of Eastern Canada.

Sierra Madre Oriental pine–oak forests

The Sierra Madre Oriental pine–oak forests are a subtropical coniferous forest ecoregion of northeastern and Central Mexico, extending into the state of Texas in the United States.

California interior chaparral and woodlands Ecoregion (WWF)

The California interior chaparral and woodlands ecoregion covers 24,900 square miles (64,000 km2) in an elliptical ring around the California Central Valley. It occurs on hills and mountains ranging from 300 feet (91 m) to 3,000 feet (910 m). It is part of the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome, with cool, wet winters and hot, dry summers. Many plant and animal species in this ecoregion are adapted to periodic fire.

Cascade Mountains leeward forests

The Cascade Mountains leeward forests are a temperate coniferous forest ecoregion of North America, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) categorization system.

Allegheny Highlands forests

The Allegheny Highlands forests are a temperate broadleaf and mixed forests ecoregion of North America, as defined by the World Wildlife Fund.

Alberta Mountain forests Ecoregion (WWF)

The Alberta Mountain forests are a temperate coniferous forests ecoregion of Canada.

South Central Rockies forests Ecoregion (WWF)

The South Central Rockies forests is a temperate coniferous forest ecoregion of the United States located mainly in Wyoming, Idaho, and Montana. It has a considerably drier climate than the North Central Rockies forest.

Colorado Rockies forests

The Colorado Rockies forests is a temperate coniferous forest ecoregion of the United States.

Wasatch and Uinta montane forests

The Wasatch and Uinta montane forest is a temperate coniferous forest ecoregion in the Wasatch Range and Uinta Mountains of the western Rocky Mountains system, in the Western United States.

The Midwestern Canadian Shield forests ecoregion, in the Taiga and Boreal forests Biome, are of northern Canada.

Southeastern mixed forests Ecoregion (WWF)

The Southeastern mixed forests are an ecoregion of the temperate broadleaf and mixed forest biome, in the lower portion of the Eastern United States.

Flora of the Colorado Desert

Flora of the Colorado Desert, located in Southern California. The Colorado Desert is a sub-region in the Sonoran Desert ecoregion of southwestern North America. It is also known as the Low Desert, in contrast to the higher elevation Mojave Desert or High Desert, to its north.

References

  1. 1 2 3 4 Hoekstra, J. M.; Molnar, J. L.; Jennings, M.; Revenga, C.; Spalding, M. D.; Boucher, T. M.; Robertson, J. C.; Heibel, T. J.; Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L. (ed.). The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference . University of California Press. ISBN   978-0-520-26256-0.
  2. "Arizona Mountains forests". Terrestrial Ecoregions. World Wildlife Fund.