The Black Belt region (often called the Black Prairie
or Northeastern Prairie Belt in Mississippi) forms a 500 km long and
approximately 40 km wide arc across central Alabama into northern
Mississippi. This prairie ecosystem starts near Tupelo, Mississippi and
terminates near Montgomery, Alabama. The boundaries of this region have
been described by the United States Soil Conservation Service as a Major
Land Resource Area – 135 and include the main arc in Mississippi and
Alabama as well as additional areas in central Mississippi as well as
Arkansas. “Prairies” are defined here as open areas with few trees,
dominated by grasses, with an abundance of forbs that, in the Black
Belt, occur on soils underlain by a calcareous substrate. Thus, prairies
are not simply abandoned cornfields or pastures.
* Taken from Barone, John, A. 2005. Historical Presence and
Distribution of Prairies in the Blackbelt of Mississippi and Alabama.