Kaibab Plateau

 

 

Ivesia arizonica

 

Ipomopsis tenuituba

 

Penstemon whippleanus

 

Primulus specuicola

 

 

Coordinating Botanist: Glenn Rink

 

Status: In Progress, Completing 2015-2016

 

Started: 2007

 

Taxa List

 

 

 

 

The Kaibab Plateau is located in Coconino County in northern Arizona on the north side of the Grand Canyon. The plateau is dominated by spruce-fir forests, with ponderosa pine forests at lower elevations, and with mountain meadows between ridges. It is separated from similar habitats by deserts in every direction, limiting dispersal and reproductive interaction with plants from similar, but distant habitats. Botanists have long recognized the unique diversity of the Kaibab Plateau. These shaded dense spruce-fir forests are a southward extension of a vegetation type which is widespread just below the tundra in the Rocky Mountains and the intermountain region.

 

This area harbors plant species endemic to its high meadows; plants that grow nowhere else. The elevational range of the flora treated here is approximately from 2100 2800 m (6900 9200 feet), with the lower elevation limit being somewhat arbitrary. Our intention was to capture the unique flora of the upper elevations of the Kaibab Plateau down to the limit of the ponderosa pine forests. Rough geographic boundaries include the bottom of Nail Canyon on the west, the USFS boundary on the north, the East Side Game Road on the east, and the rim of the Grand Canyon to the south. We include records from below the rim of the Grand Canyon when they were taken above 2100m or in ponderosa pine, or mixed conifer communities.

 

With many thousands of specimens already in existence when this work was started, much of the project has been reviewing those specimens. To date, many more taxa have been eliminated from the area by review than were added by our collecting in the field. This project is nearing completion, with a likely publication date of 2015 or 2016.