Mauz, Kathryn .
Plant Biodiversity of a Former Riparian Landscape in the Sonoran Desert.
UNTIL the late nineteenth century, streams and springs, marshes, gallery forest and mesquite bosque were part of the landscape of the Tucson Basin in southern Arizona. The study area lies near the eastern margin of the Sonoran Desert and is surrounded by desertscrub vegetation. Destructive flooding in the 1890s initiated a cycle of erosion and desiccation that culminated in the disappearance of riparian and wetland ecosystems from the Basin. This study documented plant biodiversity of the historic riparian landscape through collections-based research at several herbaria. Specimens from the Basinís bottomlands, dating from 1855 to 1920, represent 385 species in 72 plant families. More than one-quarter of these were wetland-associated taxa. Historically, the flora area was an outpost for many species that are typically confined to higher elevation mountain drainages or cienegas of the desert grasslands.
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1 - University of Arizona, Herbarium, Herring Hall, PO Box 210036, Tucson, Arizona, 85721, USA
Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Sections
Location: 206/Performing Arts Center
Date: Tuesday, August 1st, 2006
Time: 2:30 PM