|Shale cliff and talus community
||Stephen M. Young
SubSystem: Open Uplands
State Rarity Rank:
Global Rarity Rank:
Did you know?
What is talus? Talus, or scree, is a steep slope usually found at the base of a mountain. The block size of the talus is strongly influenced by the type of rock forming the cliff face and the rate of erosion; for example, shale or rapidly eroding sandstone forms unstable, small, loose talus. The unstable nature of shale results in uneven slopes and many rock crevices. Other rocky types, such as hard dolostone caprock, produces stable, very large talus that provides habitat for much larger organisms.
|State Ranking Justification||
There are several hundred occurrences statewide. Some documented occurrences have good viability and several are protected on public land or private conservation land. This community is limited to regions of the state with steep shale bedrock and talus outcrops, and there are several large, high quality examples. The current trend of this community is probably stable for occurrences on public land, or declining slightly elsewhere due to moderate threats that include development, trampling by visitors, and invasive species.
The number and acreage of shale cliff and talus communities in New York have probably declined slightly in recent decades as a result of development, trampling by visitors, and invasive species.
The number and acreage of shale cliff and talus communities in New York have probably declined moderately from historical numbers likely correlated with past development, trampling by visitors, and invasive species.