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The Diamond Creek drainage is one of the major watershed systems of the Gila National Forest in southwestern New Mexico. The purposes of this study were to catalog the vascular plants of a portion of this drainage area, describe the vegetation zones, locate any threatened, endangered, or sensitive plant species, and assess plant regeneration in areas that have been burned. The study area is located in the eastern portion of the Gila National Forest along the Black Range in the northwest corner of Sierra County. It covers approximately 5600 hectares (14000 acres) and ranges in elevation from 2250 to 3000 m (7400 to 9850 ft). Collected from the upper main Diamond Creek drainage area were 348 species including an additional six infraspecific taxa. The five largest families (by number of species and infraspecific taxa) in the study area were the Asteraceae (58), Poaceae (52), Fabaceae (24), Rosaceae (19), and Cyperaceae (17). The study area can be classified as Montane Coniferous Forest with most of the study area dominated by Pinus ponderosa and Pseudotsuga menziesii var. glauca. This overall vegetation type is fractured by narrow canyons, open meadows, perennial and intermittent streams, and rock outcrops. Three sensitive plant species were located in the study area: Erigeron scopulinus, Senecio sacramentanus, and Draba mogollonica. Two fires have occurred in the study area in recent times. These burned areas are primarily covered by shrubs including Quercus gambelii, Robinia neomexicana var. neomexicana, and Populus tremuloides.

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© 1998 Eric H. Roalson, Kelly W. Allred

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

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