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Abstract Detail

Conservation Biology

Keeling, Jeffrey J. [1].

An annotated vascular flora and regional floristic analysis of The Nature Conservancy Davis Mountains Preserve, Jeff Davis County, Texas.

The Nature Conservancy's Davis Mountains Preserve (DMP) is located 40 km north of Fort Davis, Texas in the northeastern region of the Chihuahuan Desert. The Davis Mountains are the largest single range in the Trans-Pecos Texas volcanic field, spanning from 1,524 to 2,560 m in elevation, and were part of a continental volcanic arc active in Texas between 48 and 31 Ma. The cool-temperate region receives an annual precipitation between 28 and 57 cm with the majority occurring during the late summer monsoonal months between June through September. This "sky island" ecosystem caters to the requirements that are needed to accommodate a wide range of vegetation patterns, endemism, and unique biodiversity. Distinct vegetative zones include the Draw (Desert Grassland), exhibiting species found in grama, tobosa, and sacaton grassland associations, dominating the lower elevations in Jeff Davis County. The Montane Savannah sites, between 1,747 and 2,469 m, exhibit characteristics of the montane woodland associations such as the juniper-pinyon, oak, and pine woodlands. Dominant species of these forests include Juniperus deppeana, Quercus grisea, Q. gravesii, Q. hypoleucoides, Pinus cembroides, P. ponderosa, and P. strobiformis. The current study began in May of 2011 and aimed to catalogue the entire vascular flora of the 32,000 acres of Nature Conservancy property south of Highway 118 and directly surrounding Mount Livermore. Many sampling areas were selected according to their intricacy of topography resulting in likely unique, but unvisited, microhabitats such as deep, sinuous canyons and the tops of higher peaks. Previous botanical investigations are presented, as well as biogeographic relationships of the flora. The numbers from herbaria searches and from the recent field collections combine to a total of approximately 2,153 voucher specimens, representing 545 species, 326 genera, and 91 families. The best represented families are the Asteraceae (92 species, 16.9 % of the total flora), the Poaceae (86 species, 15.8% of the total flora), and the Fabaceae (28 species, 5.1% of the total flora).

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1 - Sul Ross State University, Biology, SRSU Box C - 64, Alpine, TX, 79832, USA

The Nature Conservancy
Davis Mountains Preserve
Chihuahuan Desert
sky island
vascular plants
biogeographic relationships.

Presentation Type: Oral Paper:Papers for Topics
Session: 20
Location: Marlborough A/Riverside Hilton
Date: Tuesday, July 30th, 2013
Time: 10:15 AM
Number: 20007
Abstract ID:280
Candidate for Awards:None

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