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South Central Plains Species and Habitats

South Central Plains (Ecoregion 35)
South Central PlainsEcoregion 35 is composed of rolling plains that are broken by nearly flat fluvial terraces, bottomlands, sandy low hills, and low cuestas; its terrain is unlike the much more rugged Ouachita Mountains (36) or the flatter, less dissected Mississippi Alluvial Plain (73). Uplands are underlain by poorly-consolidated, Tertiary- through Cretaceous-age, coastal plain deposits and marginal marine sediments (laid down as the Gulf of Mexico opened and North America's southern continental margin subsided).

Bottomlands and terraces are veneered with Quaternary alluvium or windblown silt deposits (loess). The lithologic mosaic is distinct from the Paleozoic rocks of Ecoregion 36 and the strictly Quaternary deposits of Ecoregion 73.

South Central PlainsPotential natural vegetation is oak-hickory-pine forest on uplands and southern floodplain forest on bottomlands. Today, more than 75% of Ecoregion 35 remains wooded. Extensive commercial loblolly pine-shortleaf pine plantations occur. Lumber and pulpwood production, livestock grazing, and crawfish farming are major land uses. Cropland dominates the drained bottomlands of the Red River. Turbidity and total suspended solid concentrations are usually low except in the Red River.

South Central PlainsSummer flow in many small streams is limited or non-existent but enduring pools may occur. Fish communities typically have a limited proportion of sensitive species; sunfishes are dominant, and darters and minnows are common.



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Content provided by Woods et al. 2004.

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