Much like the Alaska Range Mountains ecoregion, the South Central Mountains ecoregion is dominated by steep, rugged terrain and glacial ice. Areas that do have soil development are relatively productive however, receiving more precipitation and having warmer average temperatures than many Alaska Range localities. Subalpine alder (Alnus spp.) communities are dominant on slopes with higher areas dominated by alpine plants, mosses and lichens. Lower elevations sometimes host riparian spruce-hardwood forests. Wetlands are common. Wildfire is rare.