The flora of Fair River Farm, Lincoln County, Mississippi, U.S.A.
Southwest Mississippi is a poorly studied, but biologically diverse region, encompassing the broad transition from the East Gulf Coastal Plain longleaf pine-bluestem ecosystem to the rich hardwood forests of the Loess bluffs and hills. A floristic inventory of an approximately 694.7-hectare privately owned natural area in Lincoln County was conducted. The Fair River Farm is situated in a region of highly dissected terrain around the Little Fair River and Kees Creek, near the transition between two major level III ecoregions, and the boundary between the Pearl River and lower Mississippi River drainage basins. 744 vascular plant taxa and 72 bryophytes were documented. 495 taxa are new to Lincoln County, and 3 are new to the state of Mississippi; 27 species are designated special concern by the Mississippi Natural Heritage Program, 13 are on the watch list and 14 are on the tracking list. Photographic records available on iNaturalist are used for some species as an alternative to physical vouchers. Plant communities present on the tract are discussed and briefly and qualitatively compared to General Land Office records, original county soil surveys, and historic descriptions of the region, with emphasis on the distribution of longleaf pine (Pinus palustris Mill.), now very rare on the tract. The number of county records highlights the need for more survey work and potentially underreported biological diversity and conservation value of the southwest region of Mississippi and other poorly collected areas of the Southeastern U.S.; this inventory may inform land management decisions on the tract and elsewhere in the region.
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