The Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion (Omernik, 1987; U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997), also known as the “Madrean Sky Islands” or “Sky Islands,” covers an area of approximately 40,536 km2 (15,651 mi2) in southeastern Arizona and southwestern New Mexico (fig. 1). The ecoregion is bounded on the west by the Sonoran Basin and Range Ecoregion, on the east by the Chihuahuan Deserts Ecoregion, and on the north by the Arizona/New Mexico Mountains Ecoregion. This area of basin-and-range topography is one of the most biologically diverse in the world (Koprowski, 2005; Skroch, 2008). Although the mountains in the ecoregion bridge the Rocky Mountains to the north and the Sierra Madre Occidental in Mexico to the south (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, 1997), the lower elevations act as a barrier to species dispersal. Nevertheless, the geographic convergence of these two major continental mountain ranges, as well as of the Chihuahuan Desert to the east and the Sonoran Desert to the west, forms the foundation for ecological interactions found nowhere else on Earth (Skroch, 2008).
|Title||Madrean Archipelago Ecoregion: Chapter 28 in Status and trends of land change in the Western United States--1973 to 2000|
|Authors||Jana Ruhlman, Leila Gass, Barry Middleton|
|Publication Subtype||USGS Numbered Series|
|Series Title||Professional Paper|
|Record Source||USGS Publications Warehouse|
|USGS Organization||Western Geographic Science Center|