NatureServe Explorer logo.An Online Encyclopedia of Life
Search
 
Ecological System Comprehensive Report: Record 1 of 1 selected. View Glossary
<< Previous | Next >>

Classification
Scientific Name: Tamaulipan Savanna Grassland
Unique Identifier: CES301.985
Classification Confidence: 3 - Weak

Search for Images on Google
Summary: This Tamaulipan ecological system is dominated by perennial grasses with sparse overstory of mesquite or oak trees and thornscrub. Stands of the system are typically dominated by Prosopis glandulosa in the overstory, which may be sparse, giving the aspect of an open grassland with scattered trees and shrubs. Or, more commonly, the system occurs as shrub-dominated patches within a grassy matrix. There will typically be an emergent canopy ranging to about 6 or more meters in height, composed of Prosopis glandulosa sometimes with Ebenopsis ebano and/or Celtis ehrenbergiana. Sometimes the overstory canopy is well-developed and would be considered woodland. These patches often coalesce to form significant expanses of shrubland. Dominant grasses are Cynodon spp. This system was once a common matrix system, but has largely been converted to desert scrub and exists as remnant patches. Degraded subtropical forests and woodlands may have similar structure but are not included in this system because different ecological processes maintain them.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)


Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES301.711 Tamaulipan Saline Thornscrub
CES301.983 Tamaulipan Mixed Deciduous Thornscrub


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL002236 Bothriochloa barbinodis - Trichloris pluriflora Grassland
CEGL007762 Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa - Parkinsonia texana var. macra - (Cordia boissieri, Koeberlinia spinosa) Shrubland



Classifiers

Land Cover Class: Herbaceous
Spatial Pattern: Large patch
Natural/Seminatural: No
Vegetated ( > 10% vascular cover):
Upland: Yes
Wetland: No
Isolated Wetland: No

Diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Lowland Lowland
Herbaceous  
Tropical/Subtropical Tropical Xeric

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Toeslope/Valley Bottom  

At-Risk Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
NatureServe Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status
Holbrookia lacerata
  (Spot-tailed Earless Lizard)
G3G4  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Parkinsonia texana var. macra TNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa TNR Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Koeberlinia spinosa G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Tall shrub/sapling    
 
 
Bothriochloa barbinodis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Chloris pluriflora G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Pennisetum ciliare GNR Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Animal Species Reported for this Ecological System
Scientific Name
  (Common Name)
Global Status U.S. Endangered Species Act Status Charact-
eristic
Exotic
Chaetodipus hispidus
  (Hispid Pocket Mouse)
G5      
Holbrookia lacerata
  (Spot-tailed Earless Lizard)
G3G4      
Lepus californicus
  (Black-tailed Jackrabbit)
G5      
Onychomys leucogaster
  (Northern Grasshopper Mouse)
G5      
Phrynosoma cornutum
  (Texas Horned Lizard)
G4G5      
Sigmodon hispidus
  (Hispid Cotton Rat)
G5      
Sylvilagus audubonii
  (Desert Cottontail)
G5      


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: TX
Distribution Outside Canada and the United States: Mexico
Global Range: Examples of the system are found on thinner eolian sands on the western side of the South Texas Sand Sheet in Texas and related areas of Mexico.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
301-Madrean Semidesert C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
30 Tamaulipan Thorn Scrub Confident or certain
31 Gulf Coast Prairies and Marshes Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
36 Western Gulf Plains Confident or certain

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 7151
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1438
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2438

West Landfire Legend: No
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 14Jan2014
Element Description Author(s): L. Elliott and K.A. Schulz

Ecological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).


References
  • Archer, S. 1989. Have southern Texas savannas been converted to woodlands in recent history? The American Naturalist 134:545-561.

  • Brown, D. E., F. Reichenbacher, and S. E. Franson. 1998. A classification of North American biotic communities. The University of Utah Press, Salt Lake City. 141 pp.

  • Brown, D. E., editor. 1982a. Biotic communities of the American Southwest-United States and Mexico. Desert Plants Special Issue 4(1-4):1-342.

  • CONABIO. 2003b. Tamaulipan mezquital (NA1312). [www.worldwildlife.org/wildlife/profiles/terrestrial/na/na131 2_full.html]

  • Comer, P., D. Faber-Langendoen, R. Evans, S. Gawler, C. Josse, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, M. Russo, K. Schulz, K. Snow, J. Teague, and R. White. 2003-present. Ecological systems of the United States: A working classification of U.S. terrestrial systems. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.

  • Elliott, L. 2011. Draft descriptions of systems, mapping subsystems, and vegetation types for Phases I, II, III, and IV. Unpublished documents. Texas Parks and Wildlife Ecological Systems Classification and Mapping Project. Texas Natural History Survey, The Nature Conservancy of Texas, San Antonio.

  • Eyre, F. H., editor. 1980. Forest cover types of the United States and Canada. Society of American Foresters, Washington, DC. 148 pp.

  • LANDFIRE [Landfire National Vegetation Dynamics Database]. 2007a. Landfire National Vegetation Dynamics Models. Landfire Project, USDA Forest Service, U.S. Department of Interior. (January - last update) [http://www.LANDFIRE.gov/index.php] (accessed 8 February 2007).

  • TNC [The Nature Conservancy]. 2013. Climate Wizard. The Nature Conservancy, University of Washington, and The University of Southern Mississippi. [http://www.climatewizard.org/] (accessed September 19, 2013).

  • Webster, G. L. 2001. Reconnaissance of the flora and vegetation of La Frontera. Pages 6-38 in: G. L. Webster and C. J. Bahre, editors. Changing plant life of La Frontera: Observations of vegetation in the United States/Mexico borderlands. University of New Mexico Press, Albuquerque, NM.


Use Guidelines and Citation

The Small Print: Trademark, Copyright, Citation Guidelines, Restrictions on Use, and Information Disclaimer.

Note: All species and ecological community data presented in NatureServe Explorer at http://explorer.natureserve.org were updated to be current with NatureServe's central databases as of March 2019.
Note: This report was printed on

Trademark Notice: "NatureServe", NatureServe Explorer, The NatureServe logo, and all other names of NatureServe programs referenced herein are trademarks of NatureServe. Any other product or company names mentioned herein are the trademarks of their respective owners.

Copyright Notice: Copyright © 2019 NatureServe, 2511 Richmond (Jefferson Davis) Highway, Suite 930, Arlington, VA 22202, U.S.A. All Rights Reserved. Each document delivered from this server or web site may contain other proprietary notices and copyright information relating to that document. The following citation should be used in any published materials which reference the web site.

Citation for data on website including State Distribution, Watershed, and Reptile Range maps:
NatureServe. 2019. NatureServe Explorer: An online encyclopedia of life [web application]. Version 7.1. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia. Available http://explorer.natureserve.org. (Accessed:

Citation for Bird Range Maps of North America:
Ridgely, R.S., T.F. Allnutt, T. Brooks, D.K. McNicol, D.W. Mehlman, B.E. Young, and J.R. Zook. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Birds of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Bird Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Robert Ridgely, James Zook, The Nature Conservancy - Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International - CABS, World Wildlife Fund - US, and Environment Canada - WILDSPACE."

Citation for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
Patterson, B.D., G. Ceballos, W. Sechrest, M.F. Tognelli, T. Brooks, L. Luna, P. Ortega, I. Salazar, and B.E. Young. 2003. Digital Distribution Maps of the Mammals of the Western Hemisphere, version 1.0. NatureServe, Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Mammal Range Maps of North America:
"Data provided by NatureServe in collaboration with Bruce Patterson, Wes Sechrest, Marcelo Tognelli, Gerardo Ceballos, The Nature Conservancy-Migratory Bird Program, Conservation International-CABS, World Wildlife Fund-US, and Environment Canada-WILDSPACE."

Citation for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe. 2004. Global Amphibian Assessment. IUCN, Conservation International, and NatureServe, Washington, DC and Arlington, Virginia, USA.

Acknowledgement Statement for Amphibian Range Maps of the Western Hemisphere:
"Data developed as part of the Global Amphibian Assessment and provided by IUCN-World Conservation Union, Conservation International and NatureServe."

NOTE: Full metadata for the Bird Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/birdDistributionmapsmetadatav1.pdf.

Full metadata for the Mammal Range Maps of North America is available at:
http://www.natureserve.org/library/mammalsDistributionmetadatav1.pdf.

Restrictions on Use: Permission to use, copy and distribute documents delivered from this server is hereby granted under the following conditions:
  1. The above copyright notice must appear in all copies;
  2. Any use of the documents available from this server must be for informational purposes only and in no instance for commercial purposes;
  3. Some data may be downloaded to files and altered in format for analytical purposes, however the data should still be referenced using the citation above;
  4. No graphics available from this server can be used, copied or distributed separate from the accompanying text. Any rights not expressly granted herein are reserved by NatureServe. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring by implication, estoppel, or otherwise any license or right under any trademark of NatureServe. No trademark owned by NatureServe may be used in advertising or promotion pertaining to the distribution of documents delivered from this server without specific advance permission from NatureServe. Except as expressly provided above, nothing contained herein shall be construed as conferring any license or right under any NatureServe copyright.
Information Warranty Disclaimer: All documents and related graphics provided by this server and any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server are provided "as is" without warranty as to the currentness, completeness, or accuracy of any specific data. NatureServe hereby disclaims all warranties and conditions with regard to any documents provided by this server or any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, including but not limited to all implied warranties and conditions of merchantibility, fitness for a particular purpose, and non-infringement. NatureServe makes no representations about the suitability of the information delivered from this server or any other documents that are referenced to or linked to this server. In no event shall NatureServe be liable for any special, indirect, incidental, consequential damages, or for damages of any kind arising out of or in connection with the use or performance of information contained in any documents provided by this server or in any other documents which are referenced by or linked to this server, under any theory of liability used. NatureServe may update or make changes to the documents provided by this server at any time without notice; however, NatureServe makes no commitment to update the information contained herein. Since the data in the central databases are continually being updated, it is advisable to refresh data retrieved at least once a year after its receipt. The data provided is for planning, assessment, and informational purposes. Site specific projects or activities should be reviewed for potential environmental impacts with appropriate regulatory agencies. If ground-disturbing activities are proposed on a site, the appropriate state natural heritage program(s) or conservation data center can be contacted for a site-specific review of the project area (see Visit Local Programs).

Feedback Request: NatureServe encourages users to let us know of any errors or significant omissions that you find in the data through (see Contact Us). Your comments will be very valuable in improving the overall quality of our databases for the benefit of all users.

Copyright 2019
NatureServe
Version 7.1 (2 February 2009)
Data last updated: March 2019