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Canyonlands (Cottonwood Macrosystems)

Canyonlands is one of three replicated common gardens planted comprising the NSF Macrosystems experiment. Fremont cottonwood trees (Populus fremontii) from 16 populations collected throughout Arizona were cloned and planted across a wide climatic and geographic gradient in 2014. This experiment was designed to examine the population and genotype-level variation in important traits expressed at a landscape scale as well as provide important riparian habitat for birds and wildlife.

Background:  This northernmost common garden is managed by The Canyonlands Research Center (CRC). Based at The Nature Conservancy’s Dugout Ranch, CRC is an outdoor laboratory committed to researching climate and land use issues surrounding the Colorado Plateau. This center encompasses lands managed by the USDA Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, and Canyonlands National Park.


Site Characteristics Table

Garden Name: Canyonlands

Land-owner management partner: The Nature Conservancy

County: San Juan, Utah

Latitude and Longitude: 38.09, -109.59

Nearest city: Monticello, Utah

Elevation: 1581m

Annual Mean Air Temperature: Minimum -3.2C – Maximum 24.6C

Annual Mean Precipitation: 225mm

On-site manager: Yes

Overnight housing: Yes. Available Apr. 1 – Oct. 31,

Parent Material: Coarse-textured sedimentary

Water source: Colorado River

Dominant vegetation type: Mixed desert shrub, desert grasslands


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