Five Points

Description: 

Five Points is the area which encompasses the Five Points Black Grama and Five Points Creosote Core study sites and falls along the transition between Chihuahuan Desert Scrub and Desert Grassland habitats. Both sites are subject to intensive research activity, including NPP measurement, phenology observation, pollinator diversity studies, and ground dwelling arthropod and rodent population assessments. There are drought rain-out shelters in both the Black Grama and Creosote sites, as well as the mixed-ecotone, with co-located ET Towers.

Site Details: 

Vegetation
The Five Points Creosote site is characterized as Chihuahuan Desert Scrub, dominated by a creosotebush overstory with broom snakeweed, purple pricklypear (O. macrocentra) and soapweed yucca as notable shrubs. The site is also characterized by numerous dense grass dominated patches, reflecting proximity to the Five Points Black Grama site and the relatively recent appearance of creosotebush. Dominant grasses are black grama, fluffgrass (Dasyochloa pulchellum), burrograss (Scleropogon brevifolia), bush muhly (M. porteri), and galleta (Pleuraphis jamesii). Notable forb species include field bahia (Bahia absinthifolia), baby aster (Chaetopappa ericoides), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), Indian rushpea (Hoffmannseggia glauca), Fendlers bladderpod (Lesquerella fendleri), and globemallow (Sphaeralcea spp.). Five Points Black Grama habitat is ecotonal in nature, bordering Chihuahuan Desert Scrub at its southern extent and Plains-Mesa Grassland at its northern, more mesic boundary. There is also a significant presence of shrubs, particularly broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), along with less abundant fourwing saltbush (Atriplex canescens), Mormon tea (Ephedra torreyana), winterfat (Krascheninnikovia lanata), tree cholla (Opuntia imbricata), club cholla (O. clavata), desert pricklypear (O. phaeacantha), soapweed yucca (Yucca glauca), and what are presumed to be encroaching, yet sparsely distributed, creosotebush (Larrea tridentata). Characteristically, the dominant grass is black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda). Spike, sand, and mesa dropseed grasses (Sporobolus contractus, S. cryptandrus, S. flexuosus) and sand muhly (Muhlenbergia arenicola) could be considered co-dominant throughout, along with blue grama (B. gracilis) in a more mesic, shallow swale on the site. Notable forb species include trailing four o’clock (Allionia incarnata), horn loco milkvetch (Astragalus missouriensis), sawtooth spurge (Chamaesyce serrula), plains hiddenflower (Cryptantha crassisepala), blunt tansymustard (Descarania obtusa), wooly plaintain (Plantago patagonica), globemallow (Sphaeralcea wrightii), and mouse ear (Tidestromia lanuginosa).

Elevation: 

1,615m