Biodiversity and Management of the Madrean Archipelago II Conference

Initiative number: 04S-01
Initiative duration: 6 Months
Dates: April 1, 2004 to September 30, 2004


Hodges, David (PI) - Co-Chair, Sky Island Alliance, PO Box 41165, Tucson AZ 85717, TEL: 520-624-7080, EMAIL:

Proposal Abstract

This project is in support of the conference entitled, Biodiversity and Management of the Madrean Archipelago II: Connecting Mountain Islands and Desert Seas (5th Conference on Research and Resource Management in Southwestern Deserts). The conference will be 11-15 May 2004 at the DoubleTree Hotel Tucson at Reid Park, 445 S. Alvernon Way in Tucson, Arizona.

This conference deals with a unique ecological region. It has been called the Madrean Archipelago, since its isolated mountain ranges resemble a cluster of islands extending off the “mainland” of the Sierra Madre Occidental. It is also known simply as the Sky Island region, because the plants and animals on the mountaintops occupy “islands” of habitat separated from each other by the “sea” of deserts and grasslands. It has also been called the Apache Highlands, in recognition of both earlier regional biotic classifications and one group of people that made this region their home.

The meeting presents a 10-year update on the Madrean Archipelago as originally described by the participants of the first conference in 1994. It is also the 5th Conference on Research and Resource Management in Souther western Deserts. Several themes serve to organize the sessions of the conference, representing some of the critical issues for understanding and managing this region. These include:

  • fire - its ecological role in these systems and how best to manage it
  • hydrology - the relationships between biodiversity and our surface and ground water
  • biogeography - the distributions of species and implications for conservation
  • ecology - the region’s distinctive relations between species and their environment
  • invasive species - the newcomers that threaten the native biodiversity
  • global climate change - the changing abiotic patterns that will affect all other issues.



Gottfried, G.J. et al. 2004. Connecting mountain Islands and desert seas: Biodiversity and management of the Madrean Archipelago II and 5th Conference on Research and Resources Management in the Southwestern Deserts. Program and Abstracts. 11-15 May. Tucson AZ.

A final publication is planned during early 2005


Support for this project came from the International Arid Lands Consortium