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: Western Great Plains Mesquite Scrub Woodland and Shrubland
Unique Identifier: CES303.668
Classification Confidence: 1 - Strong

Search for Images on Google
Summary: This system is found primarily in the southern portion of the Western Great Plains Division, primarily in Texas, Oklahoma and eastern New Mexico. It is dominated by Prosopis glandulosa with shortgrass species in the understory. Ziziphus obtusifolia and Atriplex canescens can codominate in some examples, as can Opuntia species in heavily grazed areas. Shortgrass species Bouteloua gracilis or Bouteloua dactyloides are typically present. Other grasses may include Aristida purpurea, Bouteloua curtipendula, Bouteloua eriopoda, Bouteloua hirsuta, Muhlenbergia torreyi, Pleuraphis jamesii, Sporobolus airoides, and Sporobolus cryptandrus. Historically this system probably occurred as a natural component on more fertile soils and along drainages, but it has expanded its range into prairie uplands in recent decades. In Texas, in what are considered the natural alluvial setting of this system, other overstory species may include Celtis laevigata var. reticulata, Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii, Populus deltoides, and Salix nigra. In these settings, Prosopis glandulosa is dominant in the shrub layer, but other shrub species encountered include small representatives of the overstory, and Ziziphus obtusifolia, Prunus angustifolia, and Baccharis spp. Herbaceous species present in the understory may include Panicum virgatum, Bothriochloa laguroides ssp. torreyana, Nassella leucotricha, and Schizachyrium scoparium. Non-native species such as Cynodon dactylon, Bromus catharticus, Sorghum halepense, and Bromus arvensis are also commonly present and may be dominant.

Classification Approach: International Terrestrial Ecological Systems Classification (ITESC)

Classification Comments: With fire suppression and grazing, Prosopis glandulosa has been able to extend its range and become dense in examples of Western Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie (CES303.672) or Central Mixedgrass Prairie (CES303.659). Those areas should still be considered part of the prairie system. In Landfire mapzone 26 BpS modeling workshops, this was modeled in its limited extent along drainages rather than as the pervasive EVT. Because Prosopis glandulosa is the characteristic dominant of this system, and that species can occupy various sites and is thought to have expanded on the landscape as a result of land use, it is difficult to distinguish this system from areas where Prosopis glandulosa has invaded.

Similar Ecological Systems
Unique Identifier Name
CES303.659 Central Mixedgrass Prairie
CES303.672 Western Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie
CES303.678 Western Great Plains Floodplain
CES303.956 Western Great Plains Riparian


Component Associations
Association Unique ID Association Name
CEGL002131 Vachellia farnesiana - (Prosopis glandulosa) Riparian Woodland
CEGL002133 Prosopis glandulosa / Bouteloua curtipendula - Nassella leucotricha Woodland
CEGL002194 Prosopis glandulosa / Bouteloua curtipendula Ruderal Shrubland
CEGL003877 Prosopis glandulosa var. glandulosa / Bouteloua gracilis - Bouteloua dactyloides Ruderal Shrubland
CEGL004070 Schizachyrium scoparium - Bouteloua curtipendula - Nassella leucotricha Grassland
CEGL004211 Schizachyrium scoparium - (Sorghastrum nutans) - Sporobolus compositus var. compositus - Liatris punctata var. mucronata Grassland
CEGL004939 Prosopis glandulosa - Ziziphus obtusifolia Shrubland
CEGL004948 Bouteloua dactyloides Modified Grassland



Classifiers

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

Non-diagnostic Classifiers
Primary Classifier Secondary Classifier
Shrubland (Shrub-dominated)  
F-Patch/Medium Intensity  
G-Patch/Medium Intensity  

Vegetation Composition (incomplete)
Species Name Rounded Global Status Growth Form Stratum Char-
acter-
istic
Domi-nant Con-stant
Cover Class %
Con-
stancy
%
Prosopis glandulosa G5 Broad-leaved deciduous tree Tree canopy    
 
 
Ziziphus obtusifolia G4 Broad-leaved deciduous shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Atriplex canescens G5 Broad-leaved evergreen shrub Shrub/sapling (tall & short)    
 
 
Aristida purpurea G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Bouteloua curtipendula G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Bouteloua eriopoda G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Bouteloua gracilis G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Buchloe dactyloides G4 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Pleuraphis mutica G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 
Sporobolus cryptandrus G5 Graminoid Herb (field)    
 
 


Distribution
Color legend for Distribution Map
Nation: United States
United States Distribution: NM, OK, TX
Global Range: This system is primarily found in the southern portion of the Western Great Plains division, particularly in Texas, Oklahoma and eastern New Mexico.

Biogeographic Divisions
Division Code and Name Primary Occurrence Status
303-Western Great Plains C: Confident or certain

The Nature Conservancy's Conservation Ecoregions
Code Name Occurrence Status
27 Central Shortgrass Prairie Possible
28 Southern Shortgrass Prairie Confident or certain
29 Edwards Plateau Confident or certain
33 Central Mixed-Grass Prairie Confident or certain

MRLC 2000 Mapzones
Code Name Occurrence Status
26 Chihuahuan Desert Confident or certain
27 Great Plains Tablelands Confident or certain
34 Southern Great Plains Confident or certain
35 Edwards Plateau Confident or certain
38 Eastern Great Plains Predicted or probable

National Mapping
ESLF Code (Ecological System Lifeform): 5317
ESP Code (Environmental Site Potential): 1111
EVT Code (Existing Vegetation Type): 2111

West Landfire Legend: Yes
East Landfire Legend: Yes

Authors/Contributors
Element Description Edition Date: 02Oct2014
Element Description Author(s): S. Menard, K. Kindscher, K.A. Schulz, mod. L. Elliott and J. Teague

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


References
  • Barbour, M. G., and W. D. Billings, editors. 1988. North American terrestrial vegetation. Cambridge University Press, New York. 434 pp.

  • Bell, J. R. 2005. Vegetation classification at Lake Meredith NRA and Alibates Flint Quarries NM. A report for the USGS-NPS Vegetation Mapping Program prepared by NatureServe, Arlington, VA. 172 pp. [http://www.usgs.gov/core_science_systems/csas/vip/parks/lamr_alfl.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. 2013. Draft descriptions of systems, mapping subsystems, and vegetation types for Phases VI. 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.

  • Shiflet, T. N., editor. 1994. Rangeland cover types of the United States. Society for Range Management. Denver, CO. 152 pp.


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