Apacherian-Chihuahuan Semi-Desert Grassland and Steppe

This ecological system includes diverse semi-desert grassland and steppe typical of the Borderlands of Arizona, New Mexico and northern Mexico (Apacherian region), but extends into the Chihuahuan and Chihuahuan deserts. It is found on gently sloping alluvial fans and plains below isolated desert mountains and on mesas and steeper piedmont and foothill slopes that supported frequent fire. This diverse grassland often includes scattered succulents, short and tall shrubs or small trees. Common grass species include grama grasses (black, blue, chino, hairy, Rothrock's, and sideoats), plains lovegrass, muhly (bull, bush, and curly-leaf), and James' galleta. Succulent species of agave, sotol, yucca, and tall-shrub/short-tree species of acacia, mesquite, and various oaks (e.g., gray oak, Emory oak, Arizona white oak, Mexican blue oak) are usually present. Many of the historical grassland and savanna areas have been converted to mesquite-dominated scrub through intensive grazing and other land uses. For more information, see NatureServe Explorer.

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