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. Castanea. 70(3):170-183.