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Great Basin shrub steppe

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Title: Great Basin shrub steppe  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: Mojave Desert, Black Rock Desert, Great Basin desert, Ecology of California, Sagebrush steppe, Desert Biosphere Reserve, Shrub-steppe, Intermountain West, Ranunculus glaberrimus, Deserts of California
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Great Basin shrub steppe

For the other WWF ecoregion named for the Great Basin, see Great Basin montane forest.
Great Basin shrub steppe
Biome Deserts and xeric shrublands
Bird species 204[1]
Mammal species 105[1]
Country United States
States Nevada, California, Idaho and Utah
Habitat loss 4.1362%[1]
Protected 76.62%[1]

The Great Basin shrub steppe ecoregion, within the Deserts and xeric shrublands Biome, includes various xeric shrub-steppe sub-ecoregions in the Great Basin region of the Western United States.It is within the North American Desert region, and includes much of Nevada, eastern and northeastern California east of the Sierra Nevada and Cascade Range rain shadows, and parts of Idaho and Utah. [2] The Great Basin Desert and semi-arid non-desert xeric shrubland species include Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and Spiny Hop Sage (Grayia spinosa).

Adjacent biomes

The sagebrush steppe ecoregions are often in elevated desert areas (annual precipitation <10 inches per year) and have ecotones between other Nearctic biomes in this part of the Great Basin. These include: Temperate coniferous forests, Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands, Riparian, and highest elevation (subalpine) Taiga and Boreal forests.
For an outdated term for this ecoregion, see Great Basin Desert.


The Black Rock Desert is in the Central Basin and Range ecoregion at the edge of the Northern Basin and Range ecoregion and has two Level IV ecoregions: Lahontan Salt Shrub Basin and a non-shrub-steppe ecoregion, Lahontan Playa.

In the Dixie Valley watershed, the sub-ecoregions of Central Basin and Range ecoregion are a more complex example with shrubs on the slopes. The Dixie Valley watershed has a floor with elevation >3,000 ft (910 m) and, like the Black Rock Desert, has both the Lahontan Salt Shrub Basin and Lahontan Playa ecoregions. But additionally at higher elevations are the Dixie Valley's Lahontan Sagebrush Slope (west) and Central Nevada High Valley (east) ecoregions that transition to the mountainous Lahontan Upland and Central Nevada Mid-Slope Woodland & Brushland ecoregions (the latter's summits are Central Nevada Bald Mountain ecoregions).[3]

See also


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