Western Great Plains Mesquite Woodland and Shrubland

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Nature Serve ID: CES303.668


This system occupies areas of alluvial deposition.


Along drainages and on floodplains.


Bottomland soils and soils along drainages.

Parent Description

Because Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite) 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 (honey mesquite) has invaded. The system is only mapped on bottomland soils and along drainages, while other shrublands dominated by the species are mapped as Native Invasive: Mesquite Shrubland. Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite) typically dominate the sites, sometimes occurring in the overstory canopy. Other overstory species may include species of the Western Great Plains Floodplain (CES303.678) or Western Great Plains Riparian (CES303.956) systems, such as Celtis laevigata var. reticulata (netleaf hackberry), Sapindus saponaria var. drummondii (western soapberry), Populus deltoides (eastern cottonwood), and Salix nigra (black willow). Prosopis glandulosa (honey mesquite) is dominant in the shrub layer, but other shrub species encountered include small representatives of the overstory, Ziziphus obtusifolia (lotebush), Prunus angustifolia (Chickasaw plum), and Baccharis spp. (baccharis). Herbaceous species present in the understory may include Panicum virgatum (switchgrass), Bothriochloa laguroides var. torreyana (silver bluestem), Nassella leucotricha (Texas wintergrass), and Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem). Non-native species such as Cynodon dactylon (bermudagrass), Bromus catharticus (rescuegrass), Sorghum halepense (Johnsongrass), and Bromus arvensis (Japanese brome) are also commonly present and may be dominant.

Ecological Mapping Systems