Vegetation on gypsum soils of the Jornada plain, New Mexico

TitleVegetation on gypsum soils of the Jornada plain, New Mexico
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication1938
AuthorsCampbell R.S., Campbell I.F.
Date PublishedOctober 1938
Keywordsgypsum soils, Jornada del Muerto plain, observations, vegetation
AbstractThe small number of plant species and their sparse distribution on gypsum is a real problem on many ranges in the Southwest. Herrick ('04) states that the great Jornada del Muerto plain is evidently underlain at no great depth by deposits of the Red Bed series, a gypsum-bearing formation extending from New Mexico into Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas. The White Sands in New Mexico, now mostly within a national monument, is a spectacular gypsum formation with both active and stabilized dunes containing from 96 to 98 percent hydrous calcium sulphate (Cockerell and Garcia, '98; Coville and MacDougal, '03; Macbride, '05). Just a few miles west over the San Andres Mountains on the Jornada Experimental Range,' several thousand acres are occupied by gypsum soils or by sandy soils underlain by gypsum at shallow depths. Regular observations of these two soil types from 1925 to 1934 with available climatic, vegetative, and grazing records constitute the basis for this report.