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Contact: Daniel Stolte
University of Arizona

Watching Landscapes Change

Caption: Repeat photography is one of the tools range ecologists use to document how lands change: In 1902, photographer David Griffiths' horse-drawn buggy was clearly visible in the open grassland, surrounded by scattered desert hackberry plants at the foot of Huérfano Butte, south of Tucson, Ariz. By 1941, an unknown photographer documented burro weed and cholla cactus popping up, along with velvet mesquite trees. In 2007, the grass cover had given way to velvet mesquite trees, and prickly pear have replaced cholla as the dominant cacti.

Credit: Mitchel McClaran/University of Arizona

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