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Ecological Sections: Southern Great Basin
Southeastern Great Basin
This section comprises the southern Great Basin in the Basin and Range geomorphic province. It is in MLRA 29. Section 341F was extended into California after the Ecoregions and Subregions of the United States map was prepared. The extent of this section and its’ subsections is shown on the Ecological Units of California, Subsections map.
Geomorphology. Widely separated short ranges in desert plains. Contains isolated mountains, plateaus, alluvial fans, playas, basins and dunes. Basin and Range geomorphic province.
Lithology. Paleozoic marine sedimentary rocks, Quaternary, Tertiary and Miocene volcanic rocks, Mesozoic and Jurassic granitic rocks, and alluvial deposits.
Soil Taxa. Aridisols, Entisols, Inceptisols, Mollisols in combination with thermic, mesic or frigid soil temperature regimes and aridic, xeric or aquic soil moisture regimes.
Vegetation. Predominant potential natural communities includes the Big sagebrush series, Singleleaf pinyon series, Utah juniper series, Low sagebrush series, Shadscale series, Mixed saltbrush series and Bristlecone pine series.
The following series are found throughout the California portion of the section and are not restricted to or extensive in any subsection. Series dominated by exotic plants are not listed under subsections unless they are extensive and stable.
Series dominated by exotic plants: Tamarisk series.Fauna.
Mammals include desert bighorn sheep, desert kit fox, coyote, spotted skunk, spotted bat, black-tailed jackrabbit, ground squirrels, kangaroo rat and white footed mouse.
Birds include eagles, hawks, owls, quail, roadrunners, finches, warblers and orioles.
Reptiles include desert tortoise, several species of rattlesnakes and chuckawalla lizard.
Elevation. 1000 to 11000 feet.
Precipitation. 4 to 20 inches.
Temperature. 35° to 72°F.
Growing Season. 100 to 275 days.
Surface Water Characteristics. Mostly bedrock controlled channels in mountains that carry seasonal flows to alluvial channels below. Most channels terminate in basins within the section.
Fire: Areas with less than about 8 inches of rainfall rarely support enough vegetation to carry a fire. Fire occurrence in areas receiving more than about 8 inches has been influenced by introduced grasses. Fires are variable in frequency and intensity.Land Use. Composition and successional sequence of some communities has changed because of plant and animal species introduced between the late 1800’s and early 1900’s related to mining and grazing. Since the early 1900’s, significant effects on some plant and animal species occur at widely scattered locations associated with military testing and recreational activities.
Cultural Ecology. to be written
Subsections. Six subsections of the Southeastern Great
Basin section occur in California.
To obtain information about a particular subsection, click the subsection.