The Biome of Prarires
By: Allanna Marrow
Where is are prarires located in the biosphere?
Prarires are mostly located here in the U.S.. They are commonly found in of North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana, Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico, and the Canadian provinces of Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan make up the Great Plains. The prairies in North America formed as the Rocky Mountains grew taller and taller.
What organism adaptations have evolved for survival in prarires?
The map above shows where in the world someone could find prairies.
Here you can see a bunny hiding out in the field.
Here you can see a herd of buffalo migrating across the field.
What is the dominant vegetation found in prairies?
What meteorological elements impact the characteristics of prairies?
Precipitation in the prairies can reach from about 12.6 inches in the shortgrass prairie to 21.7 inches in the tallgrass prairies.
The prairies were maintained in their natural state by climate, grazing and fire. Rainfall varies from year to year in the prairies. There is usually a long dry period during the summer months. Every 30 years or so there is a long drought period which lasts for several years. The most famous drought was in the 1930s, when the prairies were called the "Dust Bowl".
The climate of the prairies is influenced by its mid-continental location, and the sheltering effect of the Rocky Mountains. Being located far from the moderating effects of oceans causes a wide range of temperatures, with hot summers and cold winters. Strong winds blow across the endless plains during both summer and winter.
Every one to five years fire would spread across any given area of land. These fires moved rapidly across the land and did not penetrate into the soil very far. They killed most saplings, and removed the thatch of dead grasses, allowing early flowering spring species to grow.
- Prairie plants have adapted to fires by growing underground storage structures, and having their growth points slightly below ground surface. The soil under a prairie is a dense mat of tangled roots, rhizomes, bulbs, and rootstock. The plants die back every winter, but are kept alive from year to year by the underground root system. Roots of prairie plants can by longer than the plant is tall. The roots of big bluestem may be 7 feet long, and switchgrass roots can be 11 feet long. Two-thirds of most prairie plant are below the ground. Some roots die each year and decompose, adding lots of organic matter to the soil. That's why the soil of prairies is so fertile.
Abiotic factors that impact prairies: