Great Basin shrub steppe
|Great Basin shrub steppe|
|Biome||Deserts and xeric shrublands|
|States||Nevada, California, Idaho and Utah|
The Great Basin shrub steppe ecoregion is within the Deserts and xeric shrublands Biome. It includes various xeric shrub-steppe and sagebrush steppe sub-ecoregions in the Great Basin region of the Western United States.
The ecoregion 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 Oregon, and Utah.  The Great Basin Desert and semi-arid non-desert xeric shrubland species include Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and Spiny Hop Sage (Grayia spinosa).
The Great Basin shrub steppe sub-ecoregions are often in elevated desert areas (annual precipitation <10 inches per year) and have ecotones between other Nearctic biomes in adjacent parts of the Great Basin. These include:
- Temperate coniferous forests
- Temperate grasslands, savannas, and shrublands
- Boreal forests — highest elevation (subalpine)
Black Rock 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: the Lahontan Salt Shrub Basin, and a non-shrub-steppe ecoregion, the 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).
Typical plants in habitats can include: Sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata) and Sourberry (Rhus aromatica, formerly Rhus trilobata) or skunkbush. Other non-alpine Great Basin region plants, of the shrub steppe ecoregion, is diverse.
- Sagebrush steppe
- Flora of the Great Basin desert region
- Central Basin and Range ecoregion
- Northern Basin and Range ecoregion
- Great Basin Desert — former outdated biogeography term.
- Lists of ecoregions
- Hoekstra, J. M.; Molnar, J. L.; Jennings, M.; Revenga, C.; Spalding, M. D.; Boucher, T. M.; Robertson, J. C.; Heibel, T. J.; Ellison, K. (2010). Molnar, J. L., ed. The Atlas of Global Conservation: Changes, Challenges, and Opportunities to Make a Difference. University of California Press. ISBN 978-0-520-26256-0.
- List of ecoregions in the United States (WWF)
- Bryce, S.A; et. al. Ecoregions of Nevada (posterReston, Virginia: USGS). NOTE: The poster depicts the CA northern point of the Mojave Basin & Range ecoregion at pixels 453 horizontal & 1151 vertical (interpolates to 37.28N,117.71W in the Last Chance Range, N of Sulfur Rd).
- Pam Mackay, Mojave Desert Wildflowers, p19
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