:"For the formally planted grove of trees in gardening, see
Bosque is the name for areas of
gallery forestfound along the flood plains of stream and river banks in the southwestern United States. It derives its name from the Spanish word for "".
In the predominantly
aridor semi-aridsouthwestern United States, the bosque is an oasis-like ribbon of green vegetation, often canopied, that only exists near rivers, streams, or other water courses. The most notable bosque is a convert|200|mi|km-long ecosystemalong the middle Rio Grandein New Mexicothat extends from Santa Fe past Socorro including the Bosque del Apache National Wildlife Refuge.
The trees in the bosque
habitatare generally smaller species which rarely exceed convert|10|m|ft, such as mesquite. Larger cottonwoodtrees are also common in some areas. Because there is only a single canopy layer and because the tree species found in the bosque are generally deciduous, a wide variety of shrubs, grasses, and other understory vegetation is also supported. Desert hackberry, blue palo verde, graythorn ("Condalia lycioides"), Mexican elder ("Sambucus mexicana "), " virgin's bower", and " Indian root" all flourish in the bosque. The habitat also supports a large variety of lichens. For a semi-arid region, there is extraordinary biodiversityat the interface of the bosque and surrounding desertecosystems.
Rio Grande Bosque
Fires and encroachment notwithstanding, recent events have given scientists and local residents alike hope for positive change in the bosque's future. By garnering national attention, funding has been obtained to clear invasive exotic species from large sections of the bosque. Where possible,
levees and other flood control devices along the Rio Grande are being removed, to allow the river to undergo its natural cycle. Also, over the last decade, a program known as Bosque Management and Endangered Species (BEMP), led by Dr. Cliff Crawford of Albuquerque, New Mexico, has gathered value data that monitors the change in ecological factors within the bosque. This data is invaluable to better understand where the future of this ecosystem is heading.
Most importantly, heavy
precipitationin the spring and summerof 2005doubled the flow in the river, scouring invasive species off sandbars, stirring up sediments, and overflowing the banks in many places. Much of the Southwest had experienced upwards of convert|4|in|mm of rain above average by June. Scientists hope this may be an early sign of the end of the droughtthat has long plagued the region. In the bosque, this trend means moist, nutrient rich soil that the cottonwood seedlings need to take root and more habitat for the endangered silvery minnowand Southwestern willow flycatcher.
* [http://www.fws.gov/bhg/pdfs/final_phase%20iii_report.pdf Save our Bosque Report (.pdf)]
* [http://www.fguardians.org/news/n010626.html Bosque Management and Endangered Species (BMEP)]
* [http://www.kobtv.com/index.cfm?viewer=storyviewer&id=2437&cat=NMTOPSTORIES Bosque’s urban area presents challenge]
* [http://www.fs.fed.us/rm/main/pa/newsclips/00_08/081000_raceon.html Race to reduce bosque fires]
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