Natural Ecosystems

Part of the NCA Regional Input Reports book series (NCARIR)


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).


Bark Beetle Burned Area Rocky Mountain Creosote Bush Nonnative Plant 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Institute of the Environment 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  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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