Floristic survey of the Sangre de Cristo Wilderness and environs (Colorado, U.S.A.)
The Sangre de Cristo Wilderness Area with its 226,445 acres is the third largest Wilderness Area in Colorado. It spans areas of the northern Sangre de Cristo Range in the southern Rocky Mountains, with elevations extending from 8,000 to 14,000 feet and vegetation ranging from piñon/juniper woodlands to alpine tundra.
Over 7,000 vouchered specimens largely housed at the Rocky Mountain Herbarium in Laramie, Wyoming (RM) [4,322], and the University of Colorado Herbarium in Boulder, Colorado (COLO) [2,133] were consulted for report. Seven hundred twenty (720) taxa are reported from the study area, with 75 families and 310 genera represented. Predominantly a Western North American flora 40.6% with 292 spp., it is followed by 13.1% of the taxa being native to North America with 94 spp. The Southern Rockies contribute an additional 13.1% with 94 spp. (10 of these taxa being restricted to Colorado). Fifteen species fully tracked by the Colorado Natural Heritage Program (CNHP 2011) were documented from the study area with four of these considered globally imperiled (G1 or G2) with the majority of these having an alpine distribution. Non-native species accounted for 4.0% of the flora (29 spp.), a reflection of the high elevation environment and wilderness qualities of the region. There are no species listed as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act in the area.
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