The Steppes (or Eurasian Steppes)

September 20, 2007 at 4:10 pm (Uncategorized)

The steppes are the wild grasslands of Eurasia (located in Eastern Europe and Russia), where there is almost no vegetation due to cultivation and grazing. It consists of treeless plains and is much like a prairie, except the grass is mostly short instead of tall, and herbaceous vegetation with isolated shrubbery dominates the plains. Unfortunately, The Steppes biome is becoming “extinct,” in that people are constantly digging holes into the ground in search of oil.

Annual Precipitation

Annual rain in The Steppes is roughly 46cm in the northern areas of The Steppes, and 26cm in the southern parts of The Steppes. On the other hand, annual snow ranges from 10cm in the south, to up to 50cm in the north.

Annual Temperature / Season Information

Summer lasts four to six months every year, with temperature ranging from only 21-23 degrees Celsius. Winter persists for three to five months, with a temperature range of -13 to 0 degrees Celsius. There are also not many trees at The Steppes, so there’s always high-speed and cold winds blowing across the land.

Soils

The grounds that compose the steppes are rich in minerals, but lack organic matter because of the little rainTfall in the steppes.

Types of soils in The Steppes

  • Salinized Soils
  • Chernozem Soils
  • Chestnut Soils

A storm is rising on The Steppes

http://www.bluepeak.net/mongolia/assets/photos/steppe-storm.jpg

Ecoregions and Their World Locations

Because of the vastness of The Steppes, the World Wildlife Fund has divided the Eurasian steppes into many ecoregions depending on the different species of animals and plants that live there, elevation, annual rainfall, and climate.

  • Alai-Western Tian Shan steppe (Kazakhstan, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan)
  • Altai steppe and semi-desert (Kazakhstan)
  • Daurian forest steppe (China, Mongolia, Russia)
  • Emin Valley steppe (China, Kazakhstan)
  • Kazakh forest steppe (Kazakhstan, Russia)
  • Kazakh steppe (Kazakhstan, Russia)
  • Kazakh upland (Kazakhstan)
  • Mongolian-Manchurian grassland (China, Mongolia, Russia)
  • Pontic steppe (Moldova, Romania, Russia, Ukraine)
  • Sayan Intermontane steppe (Russia)
  • Selenge-Orkhon forest steppe (Mongolia, Russia)
  • South Siberian forest steppe (Russia)
  • Tian Shan foothill arid steppe (China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan)

World Map of Locations:

http://cache.eb.com/eb/image?id=4445&rendTypeId=4

Vegetation

The vegetation in The Steppes typically consists of plants that can tolerate drought and lack of resources, such has shrubs and grasses. There are also forests, but only on the edges of the rivers that run across The Steppes. Although the Steppes is basically all grass, there are different kinds of grasses that grow. Tall grasses that grow up to five feet are found near the forests, which are near sources of water. Shorter grasses- around one foot tall, can be found to the regions closer to deserts. One feet may not seem short, but remember that no one goes around cutting the grass on the Steppes. Because of the dryness of the vegetation, occasionally in the summer time the grass will catch on fire and spread extremely quickly.

Animals

The majority of the animals that live in The Steppes are grazing animals, like rabbits and horses. However, the Steppes also hosts a variety of unique animal species such as the Corsac Fox, Mongolian Gerbil, Saiga Antelope, Northern Lynx, Saker Falcon, Bactrian Camels. These animals are all mostly herbivores, since there is an almost never ending supply of grass in The Steppes. However, there are exceptions, such as the Corsac Fox.

http://www.kurasz.ca/WinterShrubs.jpg

Animals

The majority of the animals that live in The Steppes are grazing animals, like rabbits and horses. However, the Steppes also hosts a variety of unique animal species such as the Corsac Fox, Mongolian Gerbil, Saiga Antelope, Northern Lynx, Saker Falcon, Bactrian Camels. These animals are all mostly herbivores, since there is an almost never ending supply of grass in The Steppes. However, there are exceptions, such as the Corsac Fox, which is an omnivore.

 

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/images/corsac_fox.jpg

The Corsac Fox is originally from Mongolia, and likes to live in burrows. You will not find them in agricultural areas. They eat small prey such as birds, insects, and also plants.

The Saiga is an odd looking animal that eats plants. It lives in the semi-deserts of The Steppe.

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/images/saiga.jpg

http://www.barrameda.com.ar/ecology/the-steppes.htm

http://www.blueplanetbiomes.org/steppe.htm

http://www.britannica.com/eb/article-38593/Russia

http://www.answers.com/topic/steppe?cat=travel

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