When you mention the state of Arizona most people envision a vast desert wasteland with little water, rattlesnakes, scorpions, and heat. Although all these things are truly found in Arizona, the state actually is comprised of many different eco systems. Many of these diverse eco systems are included below.
First let us discuss this photograph. This photograph was taken near the border of the White Mountain Apache Tribal lands. Many ranches were located in the northeastern part Arizona due to it’s climate and rich pastures for raising cattle and sheep. For one reason or another some were abandoned over time and left to the elements. The vast meadows are home to Elk, Deer, Turkey, Antelope, and all thr predators that come with them. Arizona is an adventure in itself and rich with history of the west.
Tundra occurs on the San Francisco Peaks near Flagstaff, Arizona, which rise above timberline to 12,600 feet. There some of the same plant species that grow in Alaska can be found, yet the mountain is only 45 miles (72 km) from the northernmost saguaros of the Sonoran Desert.
Coniferous forest occurs in the higher mountain ranges throughout the Sonoran Desert. This Rocky Mountain forest is the dominant vegetation of the cold temperate Rocky Mountains.
Temperate deciduous forest is strictly represented only by scattered aspen groves and ribbons of riparian trees. But the foothills and lower mountain slopes of the Sky Islands, and mountains east of the Sonoran Desert are wooded with oaks and pines, a mixture of coniferous forest and temperate deciduous forest tree types.
Grassland is mostly the semi desert grassland community, intermediate between desert and Great Plains grassland.
Chaparral can be found bordering the western edge of the Sonoran Desert in California and northern Baja California. You will also find it in the northeastern edge of the state along the base of the Mogollon Rim and it resides in small patches on the higher sky islands.
Desert is the driest biome. In addition to the Sonoran Desert, the other three North American deserts—the Mohave, Chihuahuan, and Great Basin also occur in Arizona. It is the only state to have all four.
Thornscrub looks like a wet desert and that's essentially what it is. It is intermediate between the desert and tropical forest biomes.
November 11th, 2016
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