A0477 Quercus fusiformis - Juniperus ashei Woodland Alliance
Type Concept Sentence: This alliance includes subevergreen woodlands of dry uplands dominated by Quercus fusiformis ranging from southern Oklahoma, southwest through central Texas, and possibly into northeastern Mexico.
Common (Translated Scientific) Name: Texas Live Oak - Ashe''s Juniper Woodland Alliance
Colloquial Name: Texas Live Oak Woodland
Hierarchy Level: Alliance
Type Concept: This alliance includes subevergreen woodlands dominated by Quercus fusiformis ranging from southern Oklahoma, southwest through central Texas, and possibly into northeastern Mexico. Other canopy components include Quercus buckleyi, Ulmus crassifolia, Quercus stellata, Fraxinus albicans, Juniperus ashei, and Quercus sinuata. Canopy cover ranges from open to closed with monospecific mottes of Quercus fusiformis present in some areas, while other areas resemble a savanna with scattered trees in a rolling grassland. A variety of shrubs are found in this community, especially in association with oak mottes. This alliance occurs in dry settings on coarse soils that developed over igneous and metamorphic rocks and over loamy soils that developed over limestone. Composition varies with substrate and precipitation. Fire, climate, native grazing and edaphic factors all likely played a role historically in maintaining an open structure in this vegetation.
Diagnostic Characteristics: Diagnostic criteria include a broad-leaved subevergreen canopy with Quercus fusiformis as a characteristic species of an open-canopy woodland/savanna or as dense oak mottes surrounded by grasslands, occurring on more-or-less level uplands and mesas in the Edwards Plateau and adjacent regions of Texas and Oklahoma.
Rationale for Nominal Species or Physiognomic Features: No Data Available
Classification Comments: This alliance is closely related to and shares many species with the other alliances in this group (G126). Differences between them are related to the dominance of those species and their growth form (broad-leaved subevergreen, needle-leaved evergreen, or deciduous). Name was changed to add Juniperus ashei to help distinguish this alliance from similar vegetation dominated by Quercus fusiformis in southern and coastal Texas. There may be undescribed associations related to this alliance. More information is needed to flesh out detailed floristic, environment, and range.
Similar NVC Types: No Data Available
note: No Data Available
Physiognomy and Structure: This alliance is a woodland with scattered individual trees or groups of trees (mottes) interspersed with grasslands. These woodlands are threatened by livestock overgrazing, erosion, and lack of prescribed burning. Many areas have severe shrub encroachment.
Floristics: Composition varies with substrate and precipitation. Canopy cover ranges from open to closed with monospecific mottes of Quercus fusiformis present in some areas. Other canopy components may include Quercus buckleyi, Ulmus crassifolia, Quercus stellata, Fraxinus albicans (= Fraxinus texensis), Juniperus ashei, and Quercus sinuata. Shrubs include Rhus spp., Condalia spp., Mahonia trifoliolata, Cercis canadensis var. texensis, Forestiera pubescens, Sideroxylon lanuginosum, and Diospyros texana. These woodlands can occur in a mosaic with Juniperus ashei-dominated woodlands or shrublands (in shallow soil and disturbed areas) and with grasslands or grassy openings with Schizachyrium scoparium, Bouteloua curtipendula, and Hilaria belangeri. Quercus buckleyi, Juniperus ashei, Quercus sinuata, Schizachyrium scoparium, and Hilaria belangeri are more important in the limestone-derived soils of the Edwards Plateau; Aloysia gratissima and Prosopis glandulosa are more characteristic of the sandier soils of the Llano Uplift.
Dynamics: Fire, climate, native grazing and edaphic factors all likely played a role historically in maintaining an open structure in this vegetation. Loss of these natural processes often results in a shift toward a more closed canopy, increase in successional woody species such as Juniperus ashei and Prosopis glandulosa, and decrease in native grass cover. The herbaceous cover in many occurrences of this alliance today exhibits a shift away from a natural dominance by Sorghastrum nutans and Schizachyrium scoparium to a dominance by earlier successional grasses and those that increase under intense grazing pressure such as Nassella leucotricha, Bouteloua curtipendula, Bouteloua rigidiseta, and Bothriochloa laguroides, and weedy forbs such as Aristida spp., Iva annua, and Ambrosia psilostachya. Threats to these communities include fire suppression, livestock grazing, invasive exotics, and damage by feral hogs and vehicles.
Environmental Description: This alliance occurs in dry level uplands on coarse soils that developed over igneous and metamorphic rocks and over loamy soils that developed over limestone.
Geographic Range: This alliance ranges from the Wichita and Arbuckle mountains of southern Oklahoma through the Crosstimbers, Lampasas Cutplain, Llano Uplift and Edwards Plateau of central Texas and possibly into northeastern Mexico.
States/Provinces: MXCOA?, MXNLE?, OK, TX
Confidence Level: Low
Confidence Level Comments: No Data Available
Greasons: No Data Available
Concept Lineage: No Data Available
Predecessors: No Data Available
Obsolete Names: No Data Available
Obsolete Parents: No Data Available
Synonomy: ? Quercus fusiformis woodland alliance (Hoagland 1998a)
? Plateau Live Oak-Midgrass Series (Diamond 1993)
? Plateau Live Oak-Midgrass Series (Diamond 1993)
- Amos, B. B., and F. R. Gehlbach. 1988. Edwards Plateau vegetation: Plant ecological studies in central Texas. Baylor University Press, Waco, TX. 144 pp.
- Diamond, D. D. 1993. Classification of the plant communities of Texas (series level). Unpublished document. Texas Natural Heritage Program, Austin. 25 pp.
- Faber-Langendoen, D., J. Drake, M. Hall, G. Kittel, S. Menard, C. Nordman, M. Pyne, M. Reid, M. Russo, K. Schulz, L. Sneddon, K. Snow, and J. Teague. 2013-2019b. Screening alliances for induction into the U.S. National Vegetation Classification: Part 1 - Alliance concept review. NatureServe, Arlington, VA.
- Hoagland, B. W. 1998a. Classification of Oklahoma vegetation types. Working draft. University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Natural Heritage Inventory, Norman. 43 pp.