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Horseshoe Ranch (Cottonwood Macrosystems)

Horseshoe Ranch 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.


Managed by the Arizona Game and Fish Department and housed on the historic Horseshoe Ranch within the Agua Fria National Monument, this cottonwood garden is providing important riparian habitat along the Agua Fria River. This is the middle garden in terms of both geography and climate among the three Macrosystems gardens.


Site Characteristics Table

Garden Name: Horseshoe Ranch

Land-owner management partner: Arizona Game and Fish Department

County: Yavapai, AZ

Latitude and Longitude: 34.26, -112.07

Nearest city: Cordes Lake, AZ

Elevation: 988m

Annual Mean Air Temperature: Minimum 7.6C – Maximum 28.5C

Annual Mean Precipitation: 440mm

On-site manager: Yes

Overnight housing: Yes

Parent Material: Basalt

Water source: Agua Fria River

Dominant vegetation type: Desert scrub and grassland

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