National Park Service

Mojave Desert Network I&M

Integrated Upland



  • Coming Soon


MOJN I&M parks are faced with the increasing pressures of air pollution, habitat loss, fragmentation, and altered disturbance regimes (e.g., fire, land development). Climate models also predict significant climatic changes, increasing temperatures but decreasing precipitation, for the southwestern United States. The presence and composition of vegetation depends on a multitude of abiotic and biotic factors, including climate, resource availability, and soil microbial community, thus, making vegetation, and the soils associated with it, good general indicators of environmental change across parks.

MOJN I&M and network parks decided that Integrated Upland monitoring will be conducted on select upland shrub communities. Shrub communities were chosen because this physiognomic class collectively represents a large proportion of each park and captures several focal communities of interest (e.g., Joshua tree, creosote bush, and sagebrush), thus, providing a common theme among parks.

Monitoring Objectives

  • Determine trends in shrub species and life form composition, structure, and relative abundance.

  • Determine status and trends in soil chemistry, the magnitude and extent of soil erosion and surface disturbance, and soil hydrologic function.

  • Determine status and trends in abundance and composition of biological soil crusts.

  • Determine status and trends in distribution and abundance of targeted invasive plant species.

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Last Updated: December 04, 2012 Contact Webmaster