SWAP Habitat
Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie
NVC Name
Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie
SWAP General Vegetation Type
PLAINS-MESA GRASSLANDS
The Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie [M053] is prevalent in the High Plains and Tablelands ecoregion but can also occur in isolated locations throughout New Mexico. Dominant grasses are blue grama, buffalograss, and western wheatgrass with purple threeawn (Aristida purpurea), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula), hairy grama (B. hirsuta), plains lovegrass (Eragrostis intermedia), New Mexico feathergrass (Hesperostipa neomexicana), needle and thread (Hesperostipa comata), James’ galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii), and sand dropseed (Sporobolus cryptandrus) as common associates. In the southern portion of this community, honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) may form a sparse to moderately dense short tree or shrub canopy. Stands of this habitat occur on primarily flat to rolling uplands. Soils typically are loamy but may range from sandy to clayey. Historically, expansive fires occurred after a series of years with above-average precipitation, during which litter/fine fuels built up. Currently, fire suppression and more extensive grazing in the region may have likely decreased the fire frequency.

Species that live in Great Plains Shortgrass Prairie

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