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Biogeographic Regions of Arizona

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Biogeographic Regions of Arizona

Arizona’s environment is exceptionally diverse. From arid lowlands dominated by cacti and scattered shrubs to cool mountain forests of spruce and fir, the state contains many of the major plant communities found in western North America. Local climate, geology, flora, and fauna vary considerably depending on one’s location. The state can be divided into five biogeographic regions based on these differences. To the north are the Mojave Desert and Colorado Plateau regions, stretching across the central part of the state is the Central Highlands region, and spanning southern Arizona are the Sonoran Desert and Sky Island regions. Though each of these areas is distinct, some plant communities and their associated wildlife as well as some geologic features may be common to several regions of the state.

In each of these regions one can find a collection of different biotic communities. These communities have varied plant and animal life adding diversity and interest to the landscape.