- Texas blackland prairies
The Texas Blackland Prairies ecoregion covers an area of 50,300 square kilometers (19,400 square miles), consisting of a main belt of 43,000 km² and two islands of
tallgrass prairie grasslandssoutheast of the main blackland prairie belt; both the main belt and the islands extend northeast/southwest.
The main belt consists of oaklands and
savannasand runs from just south of the Red River on the Texas- Oklahomaborder through the Dallas-Fort Worth region and into southwestern Texas. The Central forest-grasslands transition lies to the north and northwest, and the Edwards Plateau savannaand the Tamaulipan mezquitalthe southwest.
The larger of the two islands is the
Fayette Prairie, encompassing 17,000 km², and the smaller is the San Antonio Prairie of 7,000 km². The two islands are separated from the main belt by the oak woodlands of the East Central Texas forests, which surround the islands on all sides but the northeast, where the Fayette Prairie meets the Piney Woods forests.
This area was shaped by frequent fire and
American bison. Large fires would frequently sweep the area, clearing shrubs and stimulating forbs and grasses. Large herds of bison also grazed on the grasses. [cite web|url=http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/habitats/post_oak/|title=Post Oak Savannah and Blackland Prairie Wildlife Management: Historical Perspective|publisher=Texas Parks and Wildlife Department|accessdate=2008-08-15]
Because of the soil and climate, this ecoregion is ideally suited to crop agriculture. This has led to most of the Blackland Prairie
ecosystembeing converted to crop production, leaving less than one percent remaining (and some groups estimate less than 0.5% to less than 0.1% remaining) and making the tallgrass prairies the most-endangered large ecosystem in North America.
* Ricketts, Taylor H., Eric Dinerstein, David M. Olson, Colby J. Loucks, et al. (1999). "Terrestrial Ecoregions of North America: a Conservation Assessment". Island Press, Washington DC.
* [http://texasprairie.org/ Native Prairies Association of Texas (NPAT)]
* [http://texasprairie.org/resources/resource_npat.htm NPAT protected prairies]
* [http://nature.org/ The Nature Conservancy (TNC)]
* [http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/landwater/land/habitats/cross_timbers/ecoregions/blackland.phtml Texas Parks and Wildlife]
* [http://www.worldwildlife.org/wildworld/profiles/terrestrial/na/na0814_full.html Texas blackland prairie (World Wildlife Fund)]
* [http://www.connemaraconservancy.org Connemara Conservancy]
* [http://soilphysics.okstate.edu/S257/south/mlra/86.htm Soil Physics at Oklahoma State]
* [http://dallas.tamu.edu/Weeds/ Weeds of the Blackland Prairie]
* [http://www.tamu.edu/upress/BOOKS/2006/white.htm Prairie Time: A Blackland Portrait]
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