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Western Great Plains Cliff and Outcrop

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Nature Serve ID: CES303.665

Geology

Various formations that tend to be less erodible, including limestone and sandstone.

Landform

Areas of high topographic relief, typically with slopes greater than 80%, including along river breaks and escarpments.

Soils

Very little soil development except on shelves and in cracks and crevices.

Parent Description

This system often consists of sparsely vegetated bare rock on slopes greater than 80%. Rocky outcrops can be composed of sandstone, limestone, or other less erodible substrates. Vegetation is typically restricted to shelves, cracks, and crevices where soil can accumulate. Common species in this system include short shrubs such as Rhus trilobata and mixedgrass such as Bouteloua curtipendula. Wind erosion and drought are the processes that dominate this system.

Ecological Mapping Systems

High Plains: Cliff

Mapping System ID: 3100

Sparesly vegetated occurrences of the system

Distribution Map

High Plains: Cliff

Public Land Occurrence

  • None.

High Plains: Wooded Cliff

Mapping System ID: 3104

Shrublands and woodlands, usually spare and low in stature that occupy these sites.

Distribution Map

High Plains: Wooded Cliff

Public Land Occurrence

  • None.