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Boston Mountains

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NameColor on MapEPA Code‡
Upper Boston Mountains38a
Lower Boston Mountains38b

† Status: ✓ = Complete ○ = Needs Image … = Incomplete ∅ = Stub Only

This code refers to the US EPA's Level 4 ecoregion codes for the continental U.S., see here.


Partially Complete
With Images
Complete w/ Images

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About the Boston Mountains

The Boston Mountains are a mountain range, oriented east-west, mostly located in Arkansas and extending slightly into eastern Oklahoma. They are located between the Arkansas Valley to the south, and the Ozark Highlands to the north. They can be seen as part of the U.S. Interior Highlands, one of the few mountainous regions between the Appalachians and the Rocky Mountains.

This region consists of a deeply dissected plateau, underlain by sandstone, shale, and siltstone, with a few carbonate rocks in places. Elevations tend to be higher than in the Ozarks, reaching to about 2,560 feet. The terrain is more consistently rugged than in the Arkansas Valley, but the peak elevations actually reach higher in the isolated ridges distributed throughout the valley.

This region has a humid subtropical climate, slightly cooler and wetter than at lower elevations to the south. Precipitation averages 46-54 inches annually, and is higher in the east and at higher elevations. The precipitation pattern is bimodal, peaking in May and again in autumn, but with drier summers and winters. As one moves west, the spring precipitation increases, but fall precipitation decreases by a greater total amount. Snowfall is uncommon.

Original forest cover here was presumably similar to the present cover. The region mostly supports oak-hickory forest. Dominant trees include northern red oak, white oak, post oak, blackjack oak, and various hickories. Lower elevations, especially on south- and west-facing slopes, also support oak-hickory-pine forest, with the addition of shortleaf pine and eastern redcedar. Ravines and north-facing slopes feature mesophytic forest, with sugar maple, beech, northern red oak, white oak, American basswood, and hickory.

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1. Wiken, E., Griffith, G. "North American Terrestrial Ecoregions - Level III", Commission for Environmental Cooperation, (2011) Web.