Biology ETDs

Publication Date



A vegetational study of an area of the Guadalupe Mountains, Culberson County, Texas, was made to help evaluate the ecological impact on the area if a national park should be located at this site. The stands of coniferous forest in the study area, completely surrounded by vegetation typical of the Chihuahuan desert, are considered to be remnants of a more extensive coniferous forest during the Late Pleistocene. Thus the remaining stands are referred to as relict outliers. The dominant species occurring in the area vary, depending on slope exposure, from Pinus ponderosa and Juniperus deppeana on the south-facing slopes to Pinus flexilis, Pseudotsuga menziesii, Quercus gambelii, and Acer grandidentatum in the more mesic areas. Reproduction of the dominant species in the study area accounted for 50% of the total foliage cover. A small grove of Populus tremruloides, limited to the bottom of a deep gorge in a fork of upper South McKittrick Canyon has a very tenuous existence. The effects of competition with the dominant conifers and the limiting climatic and edaphic conditions are evident in this grove. Invasion of south-facing slopes by reproductive Pinus ponderosa and incidence of reproductive Pseudotsuga menziesii and Pinus flexilis in canyon bottoms and north-facing slopes are evidence of the climax potential for the area.



Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

Loren David Potter

Second Committee Member

Gordon Verle Johnson

Third Committee Member

William Clarence Martin

Included in

Biology Commons