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June 2008June 2008 2323 Climate Change and

Summary: June 2008June 2008 2323
Climate Change and
Ecosystems of the
Southwestern United States
By Steven R. Archer and Katharine I. Predick
rid desert ecosystems of the western United
States are particularly susceptible to climate
change and climate variability. Plants and ani-
mals in this region live near their physiological
limits for water and temperature stress. Slight changes
in temperature or precipitation regimes or a change in the
frequency and magnitude of extreme climatic events could
therefore substantially alter the composition, distribution,
and abundance of species, as well as the products and
services that arid lands provide.
In the United States, arid lands are located in the sub-
tropical hot deserts of the Southwest, comprised of the
Mojave, Sonoran, and Chihuahuan deserts, and the temper-
ate cold deserts of the Intermountain West. Annual


Source: Archer, Steven R. - Savanna/Woodland Ecology Lab., School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona


Collections: Environmental Sciences and Ecology