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Rangeland Assessment and Monitoring Committee


Arizona Set - Arizona Loamy Upland Ecological Site
ram5.jpg (65561 bytes) AZ-1. Native short grass. This plant community is characterized by a continuous cover of short gramas, in this case blue grama. Black grama, sprucetop, curley mesquite and low shrubs like false mesquite and range ratany may also be present. Soil protection is adequate to maintain the site. However, if basal cover falls below 5 or 6 percent on 2 to 3 percent slopes this ecological site is no longer stable and accelerated erosion may occur, Drought, fire or heavy grazing can push basal cover below the stable levels when short-grass communities exist on these sites.
ram1.jpg (28665 bytes) AZ-2. Mesquite-Lehmann lovegrass.  These communities generally developed from mesquite-native grasslands either through natural invasion or brush clearing and seeding.  Soil protection is above the SCT.
ram3.jpg (87867 bytes) AZ-3. Mesquite-halfshrub/cacti. In this photograph, mesquite canopy is ess than 10 percent and the understory is primarily burroweed with an occasional native midgrass or Lehmann lovegrass plant. The site is not stable; soil protection is below the SCT.
ram2.jpg (65444 bytes) AZ-4. Native mid-grass. This is a mixed stand of native perennial grasses including sideoats grama, plains lovegrass, cane beardgrass and blue grama. Scattered mesquites occur in the background. Soil protection is above the SCT.
ram4.jpg (55842 bytes) AZ-5.  Invading mesquite with the very little groundcover in interspaces.  Soil protection is below the SCT but the potential productivity of the site remains good.  However, improved grazing management may not be enough to bring this location above the SCT.
az6.bmp (564402 bytes) AZ-6. Grass stand composed primarily of black grama with overstory of mesquite. Soil protection is above the SCT.
az7.jpg (8160 bytes) AZ-7. Heavy infestation of mesquite with very little cover in the interspaces. Rate of soil loss is high, well below the SCT.
az8.jpg (6490 bytes) AZ-8.  A nearly pure stand of Lahmann lovegrass. There is a good stand of false mesquite obscured by the grass. The area was not cleared of brush or seed; the lovegrass invaded naturally.  Soil protection is above the SCT.
Photographs were taken by George Ruyle, Lamar Smith, and Susan Watters
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