Vascular plant list of the Castner Range National Monument in the Franklin Mountains, Texas, U.S.A.
Castner Range National Monument encompasses 2.70 ×107 m2 of land in the northeast section of the Franklin Mountains adjacent to El Paso, Texas to the east and surrounded by Franklin Mountains State Park. The vegetation of this area has remained mostly undisturbed, outside of its role as a military weapons firing range from 1926 to 1966. A checklist of the plant species present in the area has not previously been published. In order to provide a comprehensive vascular plant list of the Castner Range National Monument, we compiled records of historical plant specimens of the UTEP Herbarium and other digitized records from SEINet and GBIF databases for georeferencing. Using QGIS, a map of vascular plant specimens found within the boundary of the Castner Range was constructed, which included 1,637 records. This data was supplemented with verified observational data from iNaturalist. From these records, we constructed a vascular plant checklist. A total of 82 families, 293 genera, and 470 species (and subspecies or varieties) of vascular plants were identified to occur in the boundaries of Castner Range National Monument. Two species, Escobaria sneedii and Sicyos glaber, have global vulnerable status (G3), and several collections in the Castner Range and Franklin Mountains represent the only records in Texas. This checklist can be applied to future studies and the high level of diversity helps justify preservation efforts regarding this area.
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