Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation
Western North American Temperate Cliff, Scree & Rock Vegetation
SWAP General Vegetation Type
CLIFF, SCREE &ROCK VEGETATION
Cliff, Scree and Rock Vegetation [M887] occurs in all ecoregions and at all elevations of New Mexico. It consists of near barren and sparsely vegetated landscapes on a variety of substrates including mountain slopes, volcanic deposits, bedrock, badlands, outcrops, dunes, cliffs, narrow canyons, sandsheets, and unstable scree and talus that typically occur below cliffs. Physical properties of substrates that may limit plant growth include active substrates such as scree slopes, strong alkalinity and/or salinity with thin soil or unstable, eroding substrates, and heavy clay soils that reduce water infiltration or availability. Lower elevation sites often have some herbaceous or shrub species present, and montane sites may also include scattered trees. Most of these species are more common in adjacent habitats, but some are endemic perennial species that thrive in rocky habitats.