Bryophytes of the Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico

TitleBryophytes of the Jornada Experimental Range, New Mexico
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1937
AuthorsLittle, Jr. E.L.
JournalThe Bryologist
Date PublishedSeptember-Octobe
Keywordsbryophytes, climate, Jornada Experimental Range, physiography, southern New Mexico
AbstractThe writer, as a spare-time study, made a small collection of bryophytes on the Jornada Experimental Range in southern New Mexico in 1934 and 1935. The number of species represented, about 25, is considerably less than that of Brother Arsène’s collections in the higher mountain zones of northern New Mexico. Brother Arsène’s did not cite twelve of these species, indicated by an asterisk in the list below. Inasmuch as differences in bryophyte flora are largely the result of differences in environmental conditions, the physiography and climate of the Jornada Experimental Range will be reviewed briefly. This range, with an area of 302 square miles, is north of Las Cruces, Dona Ana County, and is located in one of the sections of least rainfall of the state. For the most part, it is a plain that varies in elevation from 4,000 to 4,600 feet. It is part of the Lower Sonoran Life Zone with unconsolidated sands, adobe and gravel and without springs and streams. On the east border, the San Andres Mountains and foothills, composed chiefly of upper Paleozoic limestone with some sandstone and shale, rise to a maximum elevation of 8,000 feet in the Upper Sonoran Life Zone. The average rainfall is 8.97inches on the plain at the range headquarters, elevation 4,150 feet, and 12.61inches in the foothills at Ropes Spring, elevation 5,600 feet. Collections were also made in Dona Ana Mountains of igneous rock at the southwestern edge of the area. The vegetation of this section, mainly semidesert-shrub and grassland types, has been described by Campbell and others.