SWAP Habitat
Warm Interior Chaparral
NVC Name
Warm Interior Chaparral
SWAP General Vegetation Type
ALPINE and MONTANE VEGETATION
The Warm Interior Chaparral [M091] is a moderate to dense evergreen shrub (<3 m (10 ft) tall) community of the Arizona-New Mexico Mountains ecoregion, as well as the mountains of the Chihuahuan Desert and Madrean Archipelago ecoregions. Sites tend to be steep and rocky and are dominated by scrub oaks (Quercus spp.) and sclerophyllous shrubs. Diagnostic species include Sonoran scrub oak, pointleaf manzanita and desert ceanothus (Ceanothus greggii). Other shrubs include hairy mountain mahogany (Cercocarpus montanus var. paucidentatus), Wright’s silktassel, pungent oak (Q. pungens), Pinchot juniper (Juniperus pinchotii), and skunkbush sumac (Rhus trilobata). The herbaceous layer is variable in cover but often sparse. Common species include hairy grama (Bouteloua hirsuta), cane bluestem (Bothriochloa barbinodis), plains lovegrass (Eragrostis intermedia), common wolfstail (Lycurus phleoides), and bullgrass (Muhlenbergia emersleyi). This habitat is found on foothills, xeric mountain slopes, and canyons in hotter and drier habitats and often is dominant along the mid-elevation (1,200 to 2,500 m (3,940 to 8,200 ft)) transition zone between desert scrub and montane woodlands. Many of the shrub species in this habitat are fire-adapted. The role of fire is complex, but, in general, it is responsible for maintaining this habitat across broad swaths of landscape.

Species that live in Warm Interior Chaparral

Back To Top