Dana Marie Villadsen
Plants and Animals
Temperatures in this biome vary greatly between summer and winter. The summers are hot and the winters are cold - much colder than Santa Barbara! With cold winters, it’s surprising how hot the grassland summers can get! Sometimes the temperature is more than 100°F (37.8°C). Rain in the temperate grasslands usually occurs in the late spring and early summer. The yearly average is about 20 - 35 inches (55 - 95 cm), but much of this falls as snow in the winter. Fire is not foreign in temperate grasslands. They are often set by lightning or human activity. Fire regularly swept the plains in earlier times, and to some extent still does today.
People and the Tempature Grassland
Prairies are generally humid and are densely covered in tall grass. There are very few trees on prairies, most of them usually found on hill slopes or more humid near springs and rivulets. The prairie soil is rich in nutrients and is ideal for the growth of plant life, which is why prairie regions have been exploited by farmers for centuries. Grazing animals such as oxen and bison who fed on the prairie grass were also exploited by humans, with the bison being driven to near extinction by hunters.