Great Plains Mixedgrass Prairie
Great Plains Mixedgrass & Fescue Prairie
SWAP General Vegetation Type
The Great Plains Mixed-Grass Prairie [M051] is relatively uncommon and is primarily found in the High Plains and Tablelands ecoregion with some occurrences in the Southern Rocky Mountains, Arizona/New Mexico Mountains, and Colorado Plateaus ecoregions. It is comprised of a mixture of short and tall grass species. In New Mexico, the common grasses can form dense stands and include sideoats grama, little bluestem (Schizachyrium scoparium), sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus), needle and thread, New Mexico feathergrass (Hesperostipa neomexicana), western wheatgrass (Pascopyrum smithii), and blue grama (B. gracilis). Shrubs tend to be a minor element. Forbs can be prevalent. Common yarrow (Achillea millefolium), white sagebrush (Artemisia ludoviciana), purple prairie clover (Dalea purpurea), and white prairie aster (Symphyotrichum falcatum) are typical representatives. Soils are typically mollisols rich in organic matter and range from silt loams to silty clay loams with sandy loams possible on the western edge of the range. Fire and poorly managed grazing constitute the primary disturbances affecting this habitat.