Natural Ecosystems

  • Erica Fleishman
  • Jayne Belnap
  • Neil Cobb
  • Carolyn A. F. Enquist
  • Karl Ford
  • Glen MacDonald
  • Mike Pellant
  • Tania Schoennagel
  • Lara M. Schmit
  • Mark Schwartz
  • Suzanne van Drunick
  • Anthony LeRoy Westerling
  • Alisa Keyser
  • Ryan Lucas
  • John Sabo

Abstract

The Southwest’s high species richness of diverse groups of plants and animals (Kier et al. 2009) in part reflects the considerable geographic and seasonal variation in climate within the region (see Figure 4.1). For example, the difference in absolute minimum and maximum temperatures at a given location within a year can be as much as 113 F (45 C) in the interior of the Southwest and as little as 59°F (15°C) near the coast. High elevations in the Sierra Nevada and Rocky Mountains receive 39 inches to 79 inches (100 cm to 200 cm) of precipitation annually, whereas low elevations receive less than 4 inches (10 cm).

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Copyright information

© Institute of the Environment 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erica Fleishman
    • 1
  • Jayne Belnap
    • 2
  • Neil Cobb
    • 3
  • Carolyn A. F. Enquist
    • 4
  • Karl Ford
    • 5
  • Glen MacDonald
    • 6
  • Mike Pellant
    • 5
  • Tania Schoennagel
    • 7
  • Lara M. Schmit
    • 3
  • Mark Schwartz
    • 1
  • Suzanne van Drunick
    • 7
  • Anthony LeRoy Westerling
    • 8
  • Alisa Keyser
    • 8
  • Ryan Lucas
    • 8
  • John Sabo
    • 9
  1. 1.University of CaliforniaDavisUSA
  2. 2.U.S. Geological SurveyUSA
  3. 3.Northern Arizona UniversityUSA
  4. 4.USA National Phenology Network/The Wildlife SocietyUSA
  5. 5.Bureau of Land ManagementUSA
  6. 6.University of CaliforniaLos AngelesUSA
  7. 7.University of ColoradoUSA
  8. 8.University of CaliforniaMercedUSA
  9. 9.Arizona State UniversityUSA

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